Friday, March 30, 2007

the rains came down-

and the floods came up-

Still raining in OKC. My boss let me leave work early because the roads were starting to flood. I waded shin-deep to my truck. The Hater won't be home until late tonight. He'll have to stop and get a kayak to get into the apartment complex.

This morning he was wishing he had a better umbrella. He will really be wishing that tonight.

I was wishing for some waders this afternoon. Although I wore my "rain shoes", they didn't help much when the water was more than ankle-deep. Needless to say, it was a sloshy walk up the stairs to the apartment.

The thunder continues to threaten and the rain continues to fall. It's a great opportunity to sleep, and I think I'll take advantage of it.

I'm so glad it's the weekend!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

algebraic timing

The Hater left for work no more than five minutes ago. I thought I'd check my email before I left, and I'd no more than logged in before it hit. It's raining cats and dogs, thundering, and generally going to be super messy outside.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm tickled to have the rain. I love rain. I love the green that follows. I do not love the timing of this particular downpour.

My Dear Aunt Sally -- solve for X . You can do this; it's simple Mathematics:

Erosion [Mud + (Partly Hydrated Soil )] * (White Nurse Shoes)^2 - (Pretty, But Not Fantastic Umbrella) / X

X = Messy
X = Should Wear "Rain Shoes" and carry "White Nurse Shoes" in bag
X = The Hater just called to make sure I wasn't driving; people are pulling off the side of the road on the interstate.
X = A fantastic day to call in sick! (I won't do it, but it would be good timing and would definitely solve for X.)

Sounds like it's letting up -- I better start swimming.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

night night

I was going to write a post about nothing in particular because I've not heard from the doctor yet and was planning to follow-up tomorrow with that. But then The Hater was all, "Let's go to bed. Aren't you tired?"

The tables have turned. For once I'm awake and it's The Hater who is whining, asking when it's going to be bedtime. Wacko.

He's putting his foot down now. I'm amused at how it's different when he's the one who is more tired than I am. This is truly a red letter day.


I'm sitting on some news and I can just hardly stand it anymore. I wanted to have the full story before I shared, but I don't know when I'll have the rest of it. Like everything else, we'll just have to fake it as we bumble along.

Do you remember last week when I saw the new endocrinologist? On a whim we drew another tumor marker (thyroglobulin) just to see what it was doing before we treated with another radioactive Iodine treatment. The office called me yesterday to say that it was down from 5.6 to 2.4 ! I'm so excited that it's going down.

But that's where my good news ends. I don't know what the plan will be:
* Do we continue and treat since 2.4 isn't zero?
* Do we wait and see if it either continues to go down?
* Do we do a PET/CT and let that influence our decision?
* Do we just plan to stay on the Synthroid and do a Thyrogen-induced WBS?
* Do our ears hang low and wobble to-and-fro?

I hope to hear from them today.

I spent over an hour yesterday trying to research what the next step will be, but was unable to find a nice, clear algorithm that said if your thyroglobulin is X then you do Y. Apparently Tg is a touchy subject, and they won't even give a set range of good to bad because each separate lab has their own range based on their testing procedures. So I really don't know what to expect.

They asked me what I wanted to do, which I thought was a nice professional gesture. I deferred to the white jacket and told them I'd do whatever the doctor thought was best. If we know it's working and want to treat a suppressed 2.4 vs an unsuppressed 2.4 I'm game. At least we know the RAI is still working.

That's the extent of my news this morning. I have meetings all day long today, which should be a good diversion. It's nice how that works out sometimes.

Monday, March 26, 2007

debate stuff & CEDA

The Hater and I went to Norman this past weekend to watch the college-level debate nationals. We took the video camera so that The Hater could use the tapes for training. He spent much of his Spring Break judging rounds for Gonzaga. We went yesterday strictly to tape the last few rounds.

We are tickled that our bracket not only pulled through, but was 100% spot-on for the triple-octofinal (48 teams) rounds. We were pulling for a couple of seniors at OU who were both Oklahoma high school debaters that debated mostly in-state. Incidentally, neither of them were recruited by any big universities to debate for them. And they were nice guys, which is rare in the successful college debate circle.

So these guys went to OU and were some of the first members of the debate team there. The OU debate team is 4 years old, and it's a big deal that they have come so far so quickly. And although we don't really support anything OU, this was our one exception: we support both OU and UCO debate teams.

It's okay because UT doesn't have a debate team, and we're not about to support Vandy, who is bad anyway.

The plan is to do what no team has ever done before: This coming weekend in Dallas is the NDT, the other national debate championship. (for some reason they have two sets of nationals) No team in the history of debate nerdness has ever won BOTH CEDA nationals and the NDT. It's never been done. A couple of teams have come close, but they haven't succeeded.

This week, as March Madness is waning, we'll be watching all of the brackets. We think that if Florida loses to UCLA, and UCLA wins the championship, we might win the Peanut bracket. But Florida must lose or Emily will win, which is okay, too. Meanwhile, we'll also be cheering for the Lady Vols in the women's bracket. We'll watch the updates on ESPN and hope our teams pull through.

We'll also be watching what's going on in the debate circuit. Although you'll never hear us say Boomer Sooner, we'll be rooting for Oklahoma CJ to do what's never been done before.

Friday, March 23, 2007


In some ways in life I've drawn the short stick. Most of them are obvoius and need no further explaination. However, in many, many ways - ways too numerous to count - I am also very fortunate.

A friend sent this short message to me, and it was too good not to steal and share with you:*

In sixteen minutes, it's a new day.
One potentially nothing like today was.
Fully capable of being the best day in the history of days before it, in fact.

Let's watch and see.

This person didn't know I had a cruddy week, which makes the message even more meaningful. True friendships - those that stand the test of time, distance and differences - are among my most priceless posessions.

Thanks for always being there, even if it was figuratively. Thanks for being you.

* I would've made this post fancier (changed the font, maybe the color, indent the quoted text, added a picture, etc), but couldn't because the Mac doesn't like to play those games. So read it again and imagine that it's much fancier than it looks now. (Then remind me again why I'm supposed to think the Mac is wonderful.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

one-year benchmark

It hit me earlier: today makes one full year that I've been a cancer survivor.

It's no small potatoes.

I met with my new endocrinologist today, and I think I'm really going to like her. We drew another tumor marker to see if it's still going up. I told her that I've been feeling a new lump in my throat when I swallow, but thankfully she couldn't feel anything when she mashed around.

We should hear about the lab we drew today (thyroglobulin) early next week. After that comes back we will start to plan towards my third radioactive Iodine treatment (RAI). We'll schedule another PET scan. I'll be going off of my Synthroid and moving to the shorter-acting thyroid supplementation for four weeks before going cold turkey for a couple of weeks before the RAI dose. You'll again get to read about the horrors of eating the low Iodine diet and hypothyroid constipation. Try to hold your enthusiasm; there's plenty of poo to write about until then.

The third time is a charm. Even as a kid I waited until at least "2 1/2" to stop whatever I was doing that prompted Dad to count to three. So I'm thinking that these stubborn cells will get zapped and not know what hit them this time. If, after the third treatment, my thyroglobulin does not go down to zero, The Hater and I will have to go see the big-wigs at MD Anderson. We don't particularly want to do that, so when the time comes we'll mobilize the prayer troupes and call forth the healing powers of good vibrations.

It's been a year, and I wish I could say that it's over, but we're just not there yet. Tonight I'm celebrating with chocolate.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

spirited redesign

The bad news is that we couldn't get the Volunteer orange brick for the exterior of the house. The good news is that we could special order Titans blue brick instead. We've got that ordered, with a grayish-white trim, but we're going to keep the orange and white checkerboard driveway.... It's very important that everybody know our allegiance from the beginning.

We do know that astroturf would have a better life than real grass, but we think that would be taking it a little far. We'll just be sticking to astroturf in the living room. Actually, we're thinking about putting a whtie stripe between the living room and the kitchen. You know, like the 50 yard line. The Hater thinks it should be the endzone and bring the checkerboard into the house, but I'm afraid that will take away from the orange and white tile backslpash. I'm going to use my veto power to keep the big impression in the driveway. Besides, we don't want to take away from the wall mural of Neyland Stadium across from the fireplace.

I need to find one of those plug-in neon orange signs that flashes VOLS VOLS VOLS for the bedroom window before the fall. Maybe if I spell out enough hints The Hater will get one for my birthday. If he doesn't catch on, he might get one for his birthday instead. HBDTY: Orange you glad you're a Vol?

The best news is that we found some authentic Tennessee river rock to use in the master bathroom as a snazzy updo for the tile. Everyday when I'm in the shower it'll be like I'm a little bit closer to home. We made positively sure that there would be no Alabama river rock included by mistake. They understand the gravity of that mistake; it would be a deal-breaker. Showering with Alabama just wouldn't be the same, and you'd probably stink more when you got out of the shower than before you stepped inside.

We decided against the beadboard in the entryway because I really don't want the house to look hokey. I was also afraid the beadboard would take away from the family portrait we had done of the four of us at Fall Creek Falls (The Hater, me, Zoloft and Peyton). Besides, we don't want it to look too busy right as you're walking in the door past the alcove bleacher seats.

All kidding aside, we're looking into finding a doorbell that will ring Rocky Top. But we don't want to spend an arm and a leg for it. If The Hater gets me the neon sign that I want, he might get a special doorbell for his birthday. Wouldn't that be fun! You'll want to come visit just to ring our doorbell, and that's okay, so long as you stay long enough to be social.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

we are nerds

You Passed 8th Grade US History

Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!

We're really proud. We're so proud that we don't mind telling you that we worked together to pass the test. We took an IQ test earlier, which determined that I'm actually smarter than The Hater, but not by much. Tonight our genius is showing, and we're both amused.

The meeting with the design people went well. We decided to go with green pinstripes with olive ceilings; it should be fancy. We meet again tomorrow to see if we can special order Tennessee orange bricks for the outside of the house. It'll look great with the white trim and the checkerboard driveway.

design me

The Hater and I have a meeting this afternoon with the "design team" to haggle over the details of the interior and exterior of the house. I sincerely feel somewhat sorry for whoever gets assigned to us because neither of us are nor have ever been trendy. Our style is mandated by the types of furniture that our family is willing to share, from the little-boy-blue couch with shells sewen into the material to the bedroom set with wheat carved into the pieces. We are what is available to us in Nana's basement, and we're proud of it.

The design people told The Hater to bring fabric samples of our furniture. I laughed when he told me this. We're going to lean towards neutral colors and worry about getting furniture to match at a later date. We're really not upset too much by things that don't match.

Although yesterday I saw a guy walking into the hospital wearing a dark suit with white pinstripes, a pale blue shirt with green pinstripes, and a navy tie with gray pinstripes (the navy did not match the suit color). He wore the blocky I'm-trying-to-make-an-impression-with-my-glasses glasses that were an olive green with an orange tint. His hair, although tossed by Uglyhoma wind, had gel and intentional curl placement. He wore black swanky (tightly-laced) shoes that looked to be way out of my price range. The stripe combination caused me to take a second look, one more curious and studious. He looked at me looking at him and I smiled. He smiled continued walking the other way. I did it; I turned around and looked at the stripes again, deciding the look must have been on purpose. This must be trendy.

This afternoon I'm going to request the house be painted in pinstripes.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

salacious Saturday/ sultry Sunday

The Hater and I have been really busy this weekend. We made several trips to the house and tried to envision things about it. We're pretty sure what bricks we want for the outside, and we've picked out several color choices for the inside, too. Our meeting with the design team will be Tuesday; that's when we'll find out if we can afford all the fancies that we've been considering.

For a short time we're going to enjoy being in the top 3 of the family March Madness bracket. The Hater says we won't be there for long, so we'll enjoy it for a little while.

The big news: my hair has been drastically cut. Imagine a fat Dorothy Hamill and you'd have it, minus the ice skates. The Hater says it looks okay, and I'm sure I'll be used to it soon enough.

Friday, March 16, 2007

fabulous Friday

The Hater's picks for March Madness aren't as hot as he'd like for them to be. We looked at the family standings, and we're sinking to the bottom of the bracket. We looked at the picks we'd gotten wrong and he kept saying, "I thought I picked *** instead!" We obviously didn't. However, Sister and her fiance are hot to trot. I don't mind losing to them; The Hater doesn't like to lose at all... it should make for an interesting story.

Today at work I was helping a patient who was getting a MRI. I was working with another nurse getting things ready when I felt someone tug on my hair. I turned around and nobody was there. I didn't think much about it and went back to work. A few minutes later I felt it again. This time I reached back to my hair and didn't feel anything, nor was there anyone standing behind me. I wasn't getting any vibes that the room was haunted or anything like that, but I still thought it was strange.... until I realized it was the magnet in the machine pulling on my barette.

I'm just glad I didn't accuse someone of pulling my hair. That would've been awkward when they pointed out the obvious, which would have made me look like an idiot. This way I am able to acknowledge my idiocy in my own mind and am able to save face. This is important because I've started this new job and I'd like it to take longer before my coworkers realize I'm a dummy.

The Hater says I still have him fooled, and he wants to add that the basketball bracket he did at work is better than the bracket he did for the family. We're not going to take it personally.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

thrilling Thursday

And a tired, Thursday, to boot. Nothing exciting to report. I'm working on some stuff to use for a research trial, which is both exciting and overwhelming. Other than that, I'm just tired.

Hope you've had a great day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

wonderful Wednesday

You may have noticed a theme in the titles of my last several posts. When I was a kid the church had a summer program called "Wonderful Wednesdays" (and later "Marvelous Mondays") where the kids and youth of the church could go to classes held by church members -- anything from drama to painting, trains to swimming -- It's always been a fun memory. At my last job we had an intake form where we would record what we did each day. At the top of the form I always wrote the day, the day of the week and its special alliterative adjective. It became a common thing for everyone to say 'but you can't be gripy, it's Marvelous Monday!'

And I wish I could say it's been an absolutely wonderful Wednesday, but that's simply not true. The good news is that The Hater's step-dad is now home, recovering from his knee surgery. He's doing well and sees his surgeon next week.

The bad news is that my Dad's Mother didn't get such good news. Apparently her cancer is very aggressive and they want to treat her with concurrent radiation and chemotherapy (after a port is surgically placed). That's the bad news. The worse news is that she's been a very passive person as long as I've known her, and I'm not so sure she knows how to make the decision if she wants to be treated or not.

The good news is that my family finally recognizes me as an expert in my field of knowledge (even if it's more than a year after the professionally community). They want me to call and talk to her after one of my aunt's, another RN, gets there to help explain things. Tomorrow I'm calling her radiologist to get the low-down before I call my grandmother. This is what I do; I'm very thankful that my family recognizes that I am able to help.

She has a CT scan tomorrow. The good news is that the type of cancer she has is generally very treatable, even in 87-year-old spring chickens. The CT will tell more about how involved the cancer is now. We're pretty sure it's moved into the lymph nodes, but the CT will tell exactly how involved they are. Even if there is massive lymph node involvement- it should not change the treatment plan. It's just a matter if she wants to try.

Which is true just about anything, I guess. I itch to go ahead and tap into the resources I know to have the kitchen sink on cancer care mailed to them, but I don't know yet if she even wants to seek aggressive treatment. So for the time I'm waiting to see if I need to send treatment information or only information on general cancer things. I'm not one to sit on my hands, so waiting isn't my forte.

It's a wonderful Wednesday. The Bradford Pears are blooming and I have antihistamines to enjoy them. The Hater and Zoloft love me, each in their own anthropomorphic way. Surgeries that were really risky years ago aren't as big of a deal. Cancer patients have more options now than they ever had. Today, indeed, is wonderful.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

terrific Tuesday

Tired. I'm not a big fan of springing forward. I feel like it's about three hours later than it's supposed to be. I can tell that I'll be struggling to stay up to going to bed early tonight.

It doesn't make it any easier when there's a sweet kitty curled next to your hip.

Did I mention that I'm hating on the neighbor's dog? I know it's not his fault, so I'm really trying to hate his owners instead. Just a couple of nights ago they left the apartment with their sliding glass door opened, which left doggy on the deck barking at everything for five hours. Five hours. His idiot parents came back at midnight and took him for a walk, at which point he returned to the apartment, barking. It's hard to sleep when the idiot neighbors' dog is nuts. But like I said, I'm trying to keep things in perspective. Idiot doggy isn't to blame; his idiot parents are. Tonight I'm hating them. Maybe I should tape the cat purring and crank up the stereo for the rest of the night...

Monday, March 12, 2007

marvelous Monday

We've heard good news from The Hater's step-dad. The surgery went well, and it wasn't as icky as we thought it was going to be. The downer is that he'll probably have to get a total knee replacement within a few years. But he's doing well now and looks to leave the hospital in three days.

We love good news!

Meanwhile, I've been in contact with some of my Summit friends. They're giving me all kinds of ideas for my new job. I'm really excited. Now all I need is another thyroid cancer survivor (geographically close) who wants to help start a thyroid cancer support group! It looks like I need to make a few more phone calls!

The rain is coming, and I'm glad. We need the rain. At home when it rains, the pollen isn't as bad immediately afterwards. Here when it rains it just blows everything around and increases the mold count, which makes for crazy Bradford Pear sneezes.

There's not much spring to my forward. I much prefer to fall back.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

we quiz you with our quiz

Guess which one belongs to genderist and which ones belongs to The Hater!

Your 1996 Theme Song Is: Ironic by Alanis Morisette

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought ... it figures

Your 1996 Theme Song Is: Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something

And I said "What about Breakfast at Tiffany's?"
She said, "I think I remember the film,
And as I recall, I think, we both kinda liked it."
And I said, "Well, that's the one thing we've got."

subdued Sunday

Tonight we have to book the hotel for me to go to Vegas for a convention. Unfortunately, my boss won't let me stay at Angry Dissenter's house... even though I argued that it'd be way cheaper to do that and rent a car instead. My arguments fell on unimpressed ears: I'll be staying on the strip.

The Hater is downtrodden that he can't come, too.

Looks like I'll be hanging out at the Luxor for free by myself. Oh, the travesty.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

exsqueeze me

I'm in the process of making sure that my doctors take my new insurance and have privileges at the preferred hospital. So this morning I called my endocrinologist's office and asked if he had privileges at that hospital. The conversation went something like this:
me: Does Dr. Blah have privileges at XYZ hospital?
her: Who is this?
me: I'm one of Dr. Blah's patients.
her: Why do you want to know?
me: Because I've changed jobs and insurances and I want to make sure that I don't have to change doctors, too.
her: Well, what insurance do you have now?
me: I'm covered by the You-Better-Hope-You-Don't-Get-Sick company.
her: Oh, good, we accept that one. You should be fine to stay with us.
me: I knew he accepted the insurance. My question was if he had privilegs at XYZ hospital.
her: I can't answer that.
me: Why not?
her: Because I can't.
me: Then can I talk to someone who can answer the question?
her: It's not that easy.
me: It's not a hard question.
her: He doesn't always go to XYZ hospital.
me: But he sometimes goes?
her: Dr. Blah wants his patients to go to the Princess Hospital instead.
me: That's where my last surgeries were, but my new insurance wants me to go to XYZ. Does he or does he not see his patients who are having surgeries there?
her: I can't answer that.
me: I don't understand why you can't. It's not violating anything to tell me.
her: Well, sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't. It depends on if he wants to or not. It's not a blanket decision, but done by a case-by-case basis.
me: Then can I talk to someone who can answer the question if he would take care of me in XYZ hospital if I had to have another surgery secondary to my diagnosis of thyroid cancer?
her: Nobody can answer that question.
me: Are you seriously telling me that nobody in the office can answer this question? Not even Dr. Blah?
her: Yes.
me: Well, that helps me to make up my mind. Thank you for your time.
And then I hung up the phone and shoved a Phillip's screwdriver into my eye socket because that was less painful. I've already looked into finding a new endocrinologist who has privileges at XYZ hospital, but I need to get a copy of my chart from the run-around office (and I need to do that relatively quickly so that I can get an appointment and plan for whatever we end up doing this spring/summer).

Tonight The Hater and I put down the first part of our down payment for the new home that we're building. We should get to move in the first week of July. For now the framing and outside walls are up, and they've shingled the roof, too. Sometime in the next week we're going to schedule a meeting with the design team to pick out the innards. We're a little nervous and a lot excited about the idea of moving into our first home this summer.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Vol Mom: HBDTY!

It's your big day! How exciting! Happy, happy birthday--

Have a great one -- all day long!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


My right shoulder and neck are still super sensitive from my second surgery last year. It doesn't always bother me, but from time to time the neuropathy REALLY makes itself remembered. When that happens it's a combination of pins and needles and burning sensations on said shoulder and neck. The good news is that when this does happen, it usually doesn't last too long.

Somewhere along the way we were told that this stuff would resolve itself in a year. Well, a year quickly approaches and there's been little relief.

I don't like collars on clothes that rub my neck. I don't like blankets on my neck. I can hardly tolerate necklaces on my neck. And this is all upsetting my chi and making me tingle, as you can imagine...

So I've started trying to desensitize my neck by doing those things that bother me. I'm thinking that maybe by doing it, it'll get used to things touching it and then not bother me anymore. Worst case scenario, I'm annoyed and nothing changes.

Best case? It quits setting me on fire. We're obviously pulling for the latter.

And in the mean time I'm getting lots of compliments on a certain necklace that I received for Christmas. Thanks so much!

Monday, March 05, 2007


Having sat through 5 complete hospital orientations (not including the 3 or 4 mini-orientations I endured while in nursing school), I consider myself to be savvy in the art of hospital orientation. And after today I consider myself to be quite oriented; tada.

Oh, but wait! There's even more orientation if you can stand it! I'll get to be oriented to just hospital policies and doo-dah for at least the next week, at which point I can return to my regular orientation, which still hasn't been determined. I am most excited about the general orientation to their computer system where I will be doomed to sit next to the lady who does not know where the key is located. If I'm really lucky I'll be stationed either next to the woman who cannot see her screen or next to the man who does not know how to use a mouse. If the stars are most astutely aligned I will be sitting between the two of them... for three days.

Those will need to be well-caffeinated days, I promise you.

Other than hating cookie-cut orientation, everything else is going great. I'm still glad that I decided to change jobs. Actually, I get a little more excited about it every day. Woo!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

just browsing

This afternoon we've been looking at homes for sale, lots for sale, and some local building companies. We wandered through a dozen different houses and found a couple of floorplans that we like.

The Hater has gotten us pre-qualified for a loan, and we've used that as a guideline to look at houses that we could actually afford. (As opposed to the magnanimous houses that there's no way we could afford, unless we won the lottery last night and don't know it yet.) Oklahoma has special loan programs for first-time home owners and also for teachers, so we're hoping to get breaks on both ends.

I've nominated The Hater to be a committee of one to look into background checks for some of the companies. Our friend, Angry Dissenter in Vegas, is a lawyer and says he'll research to make sure the front-runners haven't been involved in bunches of lawsuits.

We're still in the forward thinking stage. We're so stuck in that phase that we don't know what the next phase will even be... maybe the seriously considering phase? We'll name it as we cross that threshold.

Update: We just checked our lottery ticket and, subsequently, will not be looking at the super fancy houses this week. Laundry is running and the cat is continuing her Olympic sleep-a-thon.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

patellar concerns

Whenever I think of knees something inside of me instinctively thinks of the sunscreen song. You remember, the one with the yoga music behind the guy giving life-advice to high school graduates. The line I think of is this one:

Be kind to your knees; you'll miss them when they're gone.

It always amuses me because it's exactly the type of sentiment I hear from older nurses who have walked the wards and actually birthed Methuselah. Or from people who have been life-long runners. Or from people who are putting off knee replacement surgery. Or from anyone in general who is suffering from knee problems.

In short, the general consensus is that knees are important, which is why The Hater and I are concerned. His step-father has been having knee problems for several months.

He has what we're pretty sure is a nonmalignant tumor behind his knee.* It's in a precarious place next to a major artery. This is a concern because growing onto the artery makes its wall weaken. Given this, they had a hard time finding a surgeon who was willing to consider treating him.

But find one they did. Upon their second visit this past week it was decided that the tumor had grown, despite well wishes that it would not. The larger it gets, the more risk his entire knee joint will face. Meanwhile, as the tumor makes the artery weaken, removing it will also weaken the artery. This is the reason they had such a hard time finding a surgeon who would even look at him.

The plan is surgery on Monday week, March 12th. The surgeon, a highly-touted Vanderbilt specialist, says that they'll have to go in from the front and the back of his knee. The surgery itself will be at least six hours. He'll be in the hospital for at least a week, longer if there are complications.

The most obvious complication we're worried about is if the weakening of the artery causes that artery to burst, causing him to bleed out. The other concern is that the surgery itself, plus the weakening caused by the tumor, causes the artery to burst several weeks to months later, causing him to bleed out. (Which could mean he could even be at home, after recovering from the surgery, after all of the perceived complications were over -- in theory he could even then burst that artery and bleed out.) And obviously The Hater and I are both very vivid-imaginers and are nervous about the whole thing.

Nervous that not doing anything is bad. Nervous that the surgery is bad. There's really not an easy way to cut it without being nervous, pun intended.

Other thoughts that come to mind when I consider knees are more than obviously ridden with religious overtones. Tonight we're humbly asking that for the moment you'll redirect all of the good vibrations you've sent our way; please send them towards everyone else who needs them worse than we do right now, including to my in-laws for the path that lies ahead of them.

* They're calling it a "pigmented villa-nodular synovialitis tumor" pre surgery. Since they think it's not cancer, we're hoping that'll be the post-surgical diagnosis, too.

Friday, March 02, 2007


At work I'm still following people around, watching what they do, discussing how our jobs will intertwine once my space is finished being built. Next week I have hospital orientation, but after that I'm not so sure as to what I'll be doing. I'm sure it'll be more following and playing things by ear.

I've started brainstorming things that I need to do before the center opens. I've started ordering materials and would REALLY like a day where I can locate resources and start ordering educational materials and other stuff that I'm going to need to make this a productive place. So far all I've done is make a list and order a set of materials from a fertility website.

This is a big deal for me because I like to be organized and time-goal oriented. The old me would have come home and done this stuff on my own time, but the new me refuses to do that at home where I'm not being paid. I won't even read journals at home any more. The only cancer games I'm willing to play at home are the ones that my endocrinologist* says we have to play.

So this whole thing is a big step for me... not bringing stuff home. Meanwhile, I'm super excited and wish that they'd give me a little time to start planning and ordering stuff!

I'm being introduced to lots of people, including people who interviewed for my job and didn't get it. I knew they had intervewed lots of people over the past couple of years, and am still surprised and excited that they picked me. Their jaws are dropping when they hear about how fancy the new center is going to be, and I'm picking up on a little jealousy from them, too. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out over the next few months.

* UPDATE re: LAST LAB DRAW: Good news! For the first time my TSH and free T4 were where we want them to be. This means we will not be increasing my Synthroid this time. (Yay.) We did not draw another tumor marker. The plan remains that I'll need another PET scan in April, at which point we'll decide when to schedule the next RAI treatment and tumor marker draw. So we're finally successfully suppressing my thyroid function; now all we have to do is fry the rest of those persistant cancer cells! (I've always been stubborn...)

(Sure, it's not fantabulous news, but it sure beats the hell out of more bad news. I'm also proud to report that I've kept my New Year's resolution of not having any surgeries. The Hater and I have learned to lower our standards to create our own good news!