Friday, November 30, 2007

benign holiday foible

I've mentioned before that Christmas music is my weakness. Big time. All of the random kiosks call out to me and pull at my inner heartstrings so that I simply must go see which titles they offer this year. Somehow they end up in my buggy.

Last year The Hater put a limit on me. I was only allowed to buy three new cds. But this year I've not been given a limit yet.

On a curious whim tonight I bought a new Christmas cd because I had absolutely nothing like it... and it's fantastic. It's sing-a-long good. Seriously. I've had the Bose up to 85, scaring the cat and totally rocking out tonight, and thought this would be a great opportunity to give some Christmas music pointers, based on my humble collection.

These are in no particular order of preference. They're all winners:
  • Elvis: Christmas Because it's just not Christmas without the King. (pun intended)
  • John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together That's right! It's hard to beat the classics with a twist of Kermit the frog.
  • Burl Ives: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer The soundtrack to the classic holiday tv show. Not something you could listen to all the time, but worth its weight in "Silver and Gold".
  • Christmas with Johnny Cash The oldies with that familiar deep talky-singy voice.
  • James Taylor: at Christmas Jimmy at his best. Some classics- some with his bari twist.
  • Ray Charles: Celebrates a Gospel Christmas with the Voices of Jubilation! Okay, I admit that we bought this one after the Ray movie came out. It's okay for something different, but not the greatest holiday mix.
  • Frank Sinatra: Under the Mistletoe So classic that any Christmas music collection would be incomplete without the crooner. This one came in a pack of 3 cds with the next two. Actually, it was the first Christmas music cds that we purchased after we were married, and arguably the best ones in our collection.
  • Perry Como: That Christmas Feeling See above. It's not Christmas without the crooners.
  • Bing Crosby: Featuring the Andrews Sisters See above. These three are Christmas music legends. Period.
  • Twisted Sister: A Twisted Christmas This was the serendipitous buy that I made tonight, and I'm so glad I did. These are the classics you know, with that 80s rock and roll feel that makes you just a little nostalgic for ratty denim jackets and teased bangs. It is in no way disrespectful to the season, and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone from Gen X or Gen Y.
  • Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration I'm not so sure what I was expecting with this cd, but I'm disappointed by it. Maybe I was expecting it to have more of a Celtic flair. It's pretty, but forgetful.
  • Santa Paws That's right. No respectful collection is complete without cats and dogs meowing and barking in tune. This version was obviously done on a keyboard, so I was a little disappointed that it didn't have the zoological feel.
  • holiday jazz (jazz piano) I played piano in my high school's jazz band, so there's a special place in my heart for solo jazz piano anything.
  • Caribbean Christmas Not one of my better buys. In college some of the head honcho percussion gurus had a steel drum group that was fantastic, and I heard them play Christmas mixes before. So when I saw this cd I thought, hey, that'll be like Lalo Davila's group; It will rock! Except that it wasn't anything like Lalo's group, and its only similarity to a rock is that it would sink if you threw it into a pool of water. If you know Lalo, please ask him to make a Christmas cd so I can buy a better steel drum arrangement and pass this one on to those less fortunate.
  • Angels from the Realms of Glory: London Symphony Orchestra All the standards. I bought it for one dollar, which was a great buy.
  • Christmas with the St. James Harp Quartet The Hater is very particular about holiday instrumentals, and he won't let me have any Christmas music that has a solo sax anything. He says it's because his Mom played a certain soprano sax cd over and over for three Christmases straight, and so far that's his only steadfast rule about the subgenre of holiday music . (Although he really hates the music of Celine Dion. I saw that she has her own holiday cd out now, and it was really hard for me not to buy it on sole principle that I knew he'd hate it.*) Another $1 buy.
  • Holiday Voices of Children I thought this cd would be cute voices of kids singing, but it's a children's choir singing... which is okay, but the refinement takes a little away from the magic. Not something that anybody could sing-along with. Another $1 buy.
  • Handel's Messiah: London Symphony Orchestra with teh St. James 48 Voice Chorale It's the kit-and-kaboodle. Another great $1 buy. The Hallelujah chorus alone was worth this buck.
  • Alan Jackson: Let it be Christmas I worked with a lot of people who were big country music-listeners and they burned this for me, saying my collection wasn't varied enough.
  • Kenny Chesney: All I Want for Christmas Guess who burned this one for me, too...
  • Garth Brooks: The Magic of Christmas Yep. You guessed it. I think my collection was way more varied than theirs.
  • The Statlers: Christmas Present Track 2: "Christmas Country Style" Super fun. Another person at the same office burned this one for me.
  • Gladys Knight: Christmas Celebration Someone told me this sounded like gospel music and not Christmas music, but I like it anyway.
  • Marianne Beard: O, Holy Night My favorite single. I wish she'd do a whole Christmas cd!! (hint, hint)
If you have a favorite must-have holiday cd that you don't see on this list, please let me know! I'm always looking for goodies to add to our collection. After all, it's the most wonderful time of the year...

* I still have the Yankees.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

faux updating

More than a year ago I admitted that I needed to update my address book, which at the time was still the list that we used for wedding invitations. We've now been married for about four and a half years, and I've still not officially updated my address book. I've thought about it several times during the year, but never took it as a project. Truth be told, I could probably finish that project in an afternoon, but the thing is that I don't want to do it. It's not a fun project, so it continues to not be done.

So now every time we look at the list we have to mentally remember who has had babies (and what their names are), who has died, who has moved, who has gotten divorced or changed their name, etc. It's a mental exercise that's more complicated than Friday's Sudoku puzzle.

And the time has come again where I lug out my outdated address book and think about how nice it would be if I had the time to update it. So, again, I flip through the pages and wonder which address is correct, what they named their baby, and daydream about a correct address book that updates itself as people's lives change.

If you've moved and I don't have your new address, now is probably a great time to email it to me... or your other option is not to have your feelings hurt when your Christmas card is returned back to my house because we both dropped the ball.

To clarify: No, I'm not updating the address book as I go through it this time, either. But if you'd like to come visit and you're into mundane, tedious projects... I've got the perfect job for you!

Friday, November 23, 2007


I don't do the whole Black Friday shopping thing. More power to the people who like to get up far too early and wait in line in the cold to go shopping, but for me, I'd rather be in bed. This isn't to say that I'm against holiday shopping, because typically by now I like to be more than halfway done with shopping and wrapping.

If we're not halfway, we're really close.

Before the preparation of the turkey fiasco I was wrapping the gifts that we had already purchased throughout the year. The Hater and I were watching football as I wrapped. There was one particular gift that kept jiggling in the box, so I asked The Hater go to back to the spare bedroom and get me some tissue paper.

This is what I had in mind:

This is what he brought me:

me: What is this?
him: It's tissue paper.
me: (laughing) No, that's kleenex.
him: Will it not work?
me: No, it would work for my family, but not for the gift I'm wrapping for your Mom.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

being thankful

The Short Version:

The results of my scan are back, and we saw exactly what we were hoping to see. There was faint uptake in the region of the thyroid gland. There was also normal uptake in my salivary glands, liver, GI tract and bladder.
This scan told us a lot—that my body will still react to radioactive Iodine treatments and that the cancer hasn’t spread anywhere else. However, we still won’t know how effective this treatment was for six more months (until I have all the scans and lab draws again in May).

The Long Version:

The holiday season is officially here, and for the first time, we have finished our Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. Usually The Hater protests Christmas celebrations before Thanksgiving, wanting to give each holiday its due time. But this year we decided to go ahead and celebrate Thanksgiving with the Christmas tree and nativity in the background. I’ve even been allowed to play Christmas music (my personal holiday weakness!).
With our schedules as crazy as they are we knew that if we didn’t put up the tree this past weekend, we’d probably get too busy to do it at all. What’s more, we know that the tree and holiday trimmings will probably be up until late January before our schedules will allow us to take them all down again.
But, really, what’s the harm in overlapping our holidays? The “fourth Thursday in November” is as arbitrary as the date “December 25th”. What makes days special isn’t their location on a calendar or which casseroles are served on the table, or even where you are in relationship to home. Holidays are special when you approach them with an open heart and truly take the moment to acknowledge their meaning.
Thanksgiving is nearly here, and like many other people, we have much for which to be thankful. Among the laundry list, somewhere between “our wonderfully supportive friends and family” and “power steering fluid”, we have an addendum that we would like to add to “good health”, because we’ve just heard back from the endocrinologist’s office.
We are thankful that the post scan showed only expected, normal uptake. We are thankful that the radioactive Iodine treatments continue to work (and kill stupid cancer cells) 6 months to a year after you take them. We’re also thankful for peace that passes understanding, and that so many prayers have been sent up for us that we’ve not even needed to worry this go-round because we know that no matter what happens in May (or June or tomorrow or in forty years), things are going to be okay.
We’re grateful for each of you. For your good vibes, your well-wishes, for your special youness (the reason we love you), but mostly because you’ve been here for us during the hard times.

I wish we could say that we’re done with the c-bomb show, but the truth is that we won’t know the effectiveness of this treatment until all the results from the labs and scans are back – next May. Although we’re through the immediate stage of feeling icky and needing extra prayers, please continue to keep us in your hearts in the months ahead; that this treatment continues to zap stubborn cells until May, when my scans COME BACK NEGATIVE and my tumor marker is LESS THAN ZERO. Friends, when these two things happen in May, we are going to host the biggest party that OKC has ever seen, and you’ll all be invited. It will be another day of Thanksgiving, and we may even put up the tree and celebrate Christmas again, too.
But for now you can take those good vibes and prayers out of overdrive and shift them back down to first gear. We’ll cue you in when it’s time to shift up again, and also send out another update in May when we hear the good news.
In the meantime, take the time to truly enjoy the upcoming holidays. Sing your favorite carol as loud as you can in the shower. Surprise someone, or yourself. Eat dessert first. Keep your tree up until June. Remember the reason for the season, and enjoy it with blind abandon.
Again we thank you for your endearing friendship and kindness.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Today is Oklahoma's centennial. They've been celebrating all year, so I'm not really sure how they're delineating this particular day, but I thought that I'd make the effort to extend birthday wishes, too.

With that done, I'd also like to make another, more political and less socially accepted delineation...

Part of celebrating any milestone birthday is looking back at past accomplishments, while gracing over its blemishes, and this 100th celebration is no different. It's difficult to talk about Oklahoma history without mentioning the massive disservice that this state and this country have done to the native American people, but again they're getting the shaft.

Cue the protest. And it's not like there's a surprise here -- it's been planned. See this article from last week's paper. Or watch this video from last week's news. And (this is the hard part) think for yourself...

Is it good enough? Is setting aside a few hours THE DAY BEFORE the "real celebrations" making an effort to include our native Americans or is it another example of forcing them with the short end of the stick, another proverbial blanket infected with small pox? Are we merely celebrating 100 years of theft?

I may be at work right now, but in spirit I'm marching downtown as part of a peaceful protest that may or may not make the evening news. I may not be a card-carrying native American, but I am proud of my Cherokee heritage, and appalled at the extreme ignorance that the many Oklahoma celebrations have overlooked.

Our native Americans have, yet again, been given the shaft. Happy birthday, Uglyhoma.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

aint life grand

I had great intentions to send out an update before this, but time flys when you're having fun...

Monday I woke early and did 8 loads of laundry while The Hater was atwork. I stripped my bed and washed everything. (Not to mention thetwo loads that didn't get done over the weeknd while I was still inisolation.)

Tuesday was my first day back to work, and it really was a doosey. I had forgotten how crazy tired I would be! But my coworkers are great, so it worked out okay.

Wednesday was another tiring day, but I smarted up (yes, that's aword), and started a list of things I needed to do before I left the house. I've done well with the list today and will likely have another list tomorrow.

What else? What's next?

Thursday I had a"post scan" here where I work. The purpose of this scan is multi-fold: First, we want to see for sure that the cancer cells are uptaking the treatment. Over time sometimes they quit wanting to play radioactive Iodine games; so we hope to see some evidence of disease on this scan. We want to see "hot spots" to know that the treatment is working. Next, we want to see where those "hotspots" are. Ideally, they'll only be around the place where my thyroid gland was. We don't want to see "hot spots" in different parts of my body, not in the lungs, not in the brain, not on the liver, not anywhere else -- except the "thyroid bed".It'll be next week before I hear about the results of this scan, but we have really good vibes about it.

Unofficially, some of my coworkers and I have been playing with the geiger counter. This is a machine that they use in radiation areas to measure the amount of radiation (or leakage). Also, this is the first cousin to the fun machine that's used in the Ghostbuster movies, too. It looks like a small, wanded version of a metal detector; the closer it gets to radiation, the arrow moves from left to right (more right being more radiation exposure), and the beeps get closer together...

So yesterday we were playing with this machine to see how "hot" I still am. (Mind you, I've been cleared by nucler medicine to return to work and be around people, so long as I don't spit on them.) Well,unofficially, I am still off the chart. The arrow went back almostall the way to the right, and went the furthest right when close tothe base of my neck. Arguably, this is not scientific and no substitute for a real scan, but preliminary findings lead us tobelieve that we have uptake in the thyroid bed ONLY. We hope that theofficial findings are as positive.

So this scan will tell us everything we need to know?

No, it's not that easy. Next May of 2008 I will have another set of scans and lab draws to determine how well this treatment worked. We have to remember that thyroid cancer really is a horse of a different color, and it's timeline is not as quick as some of the other cancer treatments.

Next May we're praying for "totally clear scans" AND a tumor marker"LESS THAN ZERO". We have complete faith that this treatment zapped all of the remaining cells in my body... but if for some reason I still have pesky cells hanging around, I will be referred to specialists at a major cancer center for evaluation and further treatment.

I know it's hard to ask people not to worry, so I'm not even going to bother. Instead I'd rather call upon the teachings of a brilliant professor I had at MTSU. He used to say that teaching was never a matter of motivating kids. Kids were already motivated -- to talk, to play, to look out the window, to pull Jane's hair. Instead, he taught us that to be successful, we would need to rechannel their motivation into a more constructive outlet, like multiplication tables.Scientifically, we say that energy is neither created nor destroyed.We say there is a finite amount of energy on this planet, and it takes turns being passed around from one thing to another. (and they said I'd never use what I learned in Pedagogy... You may recognize this analogy if you're a dedicated haiku reader because I'm sure I've used it before in relation to prison reform.)

Given that we're energetic beings, I'm not asking you not to worry, because the best of worries are a symptom of caring for me, and I really do appreciate that. Instead, I challenge you to rewire your worry. Rechannel it. Turn it into a prayer. Pray that this treatment keeps on working until EVERY LAST ONE of those stupid cancer cells are dead. Imagine your worry in a bubble, and float that bubble up to Heaven with wishes for a NEGATIVE tumor marker.

Satan uses worry and doubt against us, and breeds fear to make us feel far away from God (or whatever name you call Him). But the truth,dear friends, is that God is always right here next to us. He wantsus to ask for His help, and He wants to be helpful. He's been with us since the c-bomb dropped, and we know He'll be with us until forever,despite what the scans say in May.

Meanwhile, I'm still tired. My mouth tastes like exhaust pipe in the dead of Summer (after an old double-loaded tractor trailor has justclimbed Mounteagle Mountain). I'm borderline-constipated (expecting the grand exodus soon). But each day is one step closer to the day whenI feel better, and that is great news.

We hope that each of you are doing well, having a fantastic week. We hope you have big Thanksgiving plans. We hope you know how much we appreciate your friendship and your concern.

Please keep us in the loop if you have exciting things going on, too. It's times like these when we like to hear about other people's drama.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

slept late

I zonked pretty hard last night.

This morning I'm in the process of motivating myself to get up and take a shower. But The Hater isn't up yet, and Zoloft is out prowling. It'll be easier to do my thing once she's put back into her jail, too.

Maybe I'll just queue up a movie until he's up and roaming enough to put her up for me. Or maybe I'll send him a text and see if he's up yet. Or maybe I'll just go back to bed.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

real food

My first meal:

Toasted turkey and bacon on wheat with just a smidge of mayo.
Some angel hair pasta with herbs.

Sweet Jesus, this is heaven!!!

I'm restarting the Synthroid tonight, too, which means I'll be human again by mid-December.

I'll be sitting pretty, once I get some more senakot-s on board. The Hater has planned a trip to the store tonight to both pick up the necessities and also to play the "Rock Band" demo.

I still feel a little cruddy and tired, but there's much comfort to be found in real food.

present and accounted for

Tired and somewhat cruddy, but present.

Breakfast was easier this morning. I've had a shower and started laundry, but what I think I really need right now is a nap.

Friday, November 09, 2007

no reason

This is just a post to report that I'm still alive and sequestered.

To my knowledge, nothing else has died or been killed since my last post.

the tv just died

And to make matters worse, I was watching a musical (that I was in) on VHS. (gasp!) The tape, priceless, may have just bit the big one.

Thank goodness the laptop can play DVDs or I'd really have to take a nap.

and now I've killed the cat

The Hater said he had put her in the bedroom and closed the door.

This is the daily routine when I'm on isolation because this way I can keep my door open, get some fresh air, and not feel quite as sequestered. When he returns home from work, I close my door, and she's allowed to roam as she pleases (so long as she doesn't cry at my door).

Either the bedroom door wasn't completely pulled or Zoloft has learned to turn a door knob... because she just showed up at my door. I don't know which of us was more surprised to find the other sitting here.

So our one baby in the house who is at the most risk for being exposed to me has just been exposed, as I shoo'd her back to the bedroom I had to lift and toss her through the door. This is bad mojo for Zoloft's thyroid gland. Very bad mojo.

Only time will tell if less than 10 seconds of exposure to high dose RAI is enough to fry hers, too. Maybe it'll just burn one of her 7 remaining lives instead.

c-bomb yahtzee

We heard the news last night, and it wasn't the news we had hoped to receive.

The Hater's maternal grandmother found a breast lump, which was biopsied on Tuesday. The pathology came back as cancer.

I don't know yet what the exact path said or what the next part of the plan will be, if it's operable, how involved it is, if she's a candidate for chemo with her comorbidities, any of the details... other than the c-bomb has been dropped again. They're taking it pretty hard, as is The Hater's Mom, (within reason!) so please keep the whole family in your prayers and good thoughts.

I've had a shower and have started a load of laundry. My plan is to take a nap shortly after I finish my morning chores. My mouth tastes like exhaust pipe, but I'm doing just fine.

timeline: 18 hours down; 78 more to go

breakfast is a process

but I'm getting it down

Slept well last night.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I'm hot.

One hour down, 95 to go.

Piece of cake.

"I'm your Huckleberry."

Welp, folks, by the grace and good nature of God we have fanagled a way for me to wait until this afternoon to take the RAI dose, thus saving a day of time off at work. There actually wasn't much fanagling about it-- one of the nuke med technicians showed up yesterday afternoon and asked if I'd like to save my time and take the pill in the afternoon, to which I heartily agreed.

So I've been helping with projects that don't require me to remember my name. I've forgotten it twice this week already, and things aren't getting any prettier the longer I'm off my meds and my TSH continues to rise. (I've resorted to a script on a post-it, taped to my phone, so I won't sound like an idiot and forget my name again.) I've been making copies (on the machine that isn't posessed) and wearing the gopher hat today. These are easy tasks that don't require me to think, which are right down my alley.

My short term memory is shot. But somehow my movie trivia files are almost completely intact. Ask me to remember three items for ten minutes is a bust. Ask me about a plot line in a movie from the 80s or 90s, and I'm all over it. It's funny how our brains work.

The mental fog is so annoying for me, not because I'm some kind of genius, but because the fog makes me feel like an idiot. My short term memory is shot. I can't remember things without a mountain of post-its. I'm no longer any real help in the kitchen because I read what I need, turn around and walk towards the pantry, stare at the shelf, only to come back to the book and try it all over again. We can laugh about it, but it's still a pain in the neck. My endo said this was good practice for going through menopause.

I'd like to note that, although I appreciated the humor, she thought that joke was funnier than I did.

When thinking of this post, I had planned a neat transition between this story and the next part, but I didn't write it down. So imagine a pointed, slightly witty, and creatively smooth transition that had something to do with the next part.

(Insert it here.)

My high school Chemistry teacher was a bad instructor. I think we watched more movies than had lectures, which at the time was fantastic. We weren't watching anything relevant to class stuff - but whatever Disney cartoon was out or the film 8 Seconds.* I think we watched 8 Seconds, a movie about a real-life rodeo bull rider, 3 or 4 times during class time. It wasn't a particularly good movie, but we were in southern TN where it was cool to wear Ropers (although I never had any).

In the movie the main character, what's his name, had to rise up the ranks of the rodeo world. There was an especially mean bull who bucked everybody, and he was so tough that the community considered a ride of 8 seconds to be a major victory for anyone who tried to ride him. (or something like that- the bull was a serious hoss with which to be reckoned) There's a scene where one of the bulls ends up smashing one guy's nuts. There are several scenes of people being thrown from bucking bulls. Some people get hurt. There are rodeo clowns running around, but I don't remember them doing any real tricks, other than distracting bulls from pummeling their riders.

Anywho, what's his name wants to ride the big bull for 8 seconds. People say he can't do it. Insert dialogue. Insert plot twist, with an on-again, off-again, love interest. Somewhere along the way he coins the phrase "cowboy up", and then he rides the bull for 8 seconds before the bull throws him and kills him. He ended up placing in the competetion, which nobody thought he would do. The end.

In the back of my mind, I'm lacing up my ropers today. My mind is on the clock and the beast of a pill that's sitting inside a lead cyllinder.

It's time for me to cowboy up.

* We may have watched Toombstone, too. We really did watch more movies than do work in there, which leads me to believe that my teacher had a thing for Luke Perry. Lord only knows how I got through nursing school pre-requisits without a good foundation in chemistry.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

kickin ass and taking names

The results are in and I'll receive my third radioactive Iodine dose on Thursday morning, probably before lunch. I will again ask for the metachlorine blend and demand the brand of RAI that has the best Jedi-like side-effects. I expect this Jedi knight will have mastered some serious light sabre skills by this time next week.

By now you know the drill... I'll come home and hide out in the pimpin prison that we call the second bedroom. We're tech'n it out even as I type, so we should have both tv and the laptop raring to go by the time we need it.

Please keep sending good vibes this way. We appreciate all of them.

More details later. We've got some tech'n to get done.

it's early

God and I had a heart-to-heart yesterday evening, and I really have a peace about today and everything related to the c-bomb.

I slept almost through the night and awoke before any of the bad dreams could escalate to being all-out nightmares. I'm still working on quieting all the mindless chatter that goes on inside my head... but was able to give that to God, too, and go back to sleep without much tossing and turning.

My inbox has been flooded by encouraging emails from many friends. Keep those good vibrations headed this way.

I'll post something else when I know more.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

time changes and drags

We forgot to set our clocks back last night, which wasn't a huge deal because we had planned on sleeping. So it took us all morning to wander around the house and change all of the clocks. Except we forgot one-- you know, the one we always look to see what the time is. And two of three of our cell phones had completely different times. We ended up in a desperate call to Sister to see what time it really was, but she was looking at three different times, too.

We've cooked a lot this weekend. The Hater grilled fantastic steak Friday night. It was wonderful. I baked potatoes with them, but no matter how you season a potato-- it's not the same without butter, which I currently can't have. Saturday lunch we made chicken noodle soup, which was also really good. For supper last night we made turkey stir-fry served over broccoli. We ate leftover soup for lunch and The Hater has made briskett for supper. All this tasty eating is going to make the transtion back to work really hard.

The root soup, although better than just taking raw veggies to eat, is still awful. It's greenish, about the consistency of thin oatmeal, and looks about the same going in as it comes out. The people with whom I work think I must have balls of steel to eat it, but when you're hungry, you can eat just about anything. Just about-- I still have to give myself a big mental pep talk before I dig in.

The Hater had given me a gift certificate for an hour massage for our date-a-versary last month, and I cashed it in today. I checked all the labels to make sure it would be low iodine compatible. It was wonderful. I will get a massage EVERY TIME I'm off my meds from here on out. It was fantastic.

We have started pimping the prison again. New prison this time. I have a real bed instead of a futon that won't open all the way. I won't know how to act if I'm not sleeping on a hill. (That's a lie-- sleeping will be the least of my concerns.) We've moved the extra TV and DVD player, and The Hater says we'll get a long coaxle cable so that I can have tv to watch, too. He's thinking about letting me use his laptop while I"m in there. I've also got to put some playing cards and pick out some movies to have on hand.

This weekend has done me well. Although I'm feeling sicker, I've also been able to rest more. I feel as caught up as I possibly can be for another week.

Tomorrow morning = lab draw
Tuesday afternoon = see the MD (make plan for rest of the week)

We're taking it one minute at a time. And cheering for Peyton.

Friday, November 02, 2007

short fuse

I totally could have reenacted the scene from Office Space where Michael Bolton (not the musician) and his coworkers take the office fax machine out to a field to stomp on it and beat it to pieces with a baseball bat. I’ve been frustrated with technology before, but never to the point that I wanted so badly to pummel a piece of machinery as I wanted to completely obliterate the copy machine this morning.

It’s new to us, but not a new machine. I wanted to make a double-sided copy of a form that I’m using for work. I wanted it on blue paper. These things are usually not monumental requests… but this confangled copier kept getting choked on about every fourth good copy. Each choke required me to take its insides apart, throw three to five pieces of chewed up paper away, wait for it to restart, then repeat the process. After about the sixth time I decided to go somewhere else and use someone else’s machine. But even after I cleared the job and cancelled my project, the copier continued to spit out my copies and get choked on my project. I unplugged it, thinking a hard reset would erase its memory. Finally I apologized to the secretary and asked her to exorcize the copy machine while I went to another copier that finished my job in an appropriate amount of time without getting choked.

I literally had a vision of how nice it would be to run over the damn copier with a monster truck. I wanted to smash it with a sledge hammer. I wanted to melt it at 3,000 degrees Kelvin and watch it burst into flames. I wanted to break each blasted piece of its insides, throw them all into a box, and then call the Xerox guy to come put it back together. I wanted it to suffer a long, slow demise.

Typically I wouldn’t be so frustrated with an inanimate object, but you see, today is my 8th day without any thyroid supplementation. To say my fuse is short is an understatement, and the nice filter that usually sits between what I think and what I say is nonexistent. I’m hypo, and if I had the energy, kicking the copier would be my top priority.

That’s right, folks, it’s that time again. The Hater and I are eating Low Iodine food in preparation for another radioactive iodine treatment (RAI) next week to treat my thyroid cancer.

The plan is a lab draw Monday morning. Tuesday afternoon I’ll see the doctor, discuss the results, and will probably be told that we’ll have another RAI. I don’t know yet when that will take place, probably Wednesday or Thursday of next week. After the dose, I’ll spend 4 or 5 days in isolation (from The Hater and Zoloft and the rest of humanity) before I can return to the normal world and eat real people food, reinitiate taking my precious Synthroid, and start the slow road back to feeling human again.

Please keep us both in your prayers for the next few weeks. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, and we’ll need all the good vibes that we can get.

When I called home from college, complaining about classes and professors, Dad would always say that PapaLu would say that college is just one big endurance test. Jump through the hoops, keep your mouth shut, and you’ll get through it. ROTC Basic Camp at Ft Knox was as much a mental endurance test as it was physical.

And now, my third trip into what thyroid cancer survivors affectionately refer to as “hypo hell”, I’m struggling to tell myself that this is just another endurance test. The third time’s a charm. If I’ve done it twice already, this should be a breeze.

There’s nothing breezy about it, folks; the golden ring might as well be on Neptune. In other words, it really is true that everything we needed to know we learned in kindergarten: If it looks like poo and smells like poo, you don’t have to taste it to know it’s poo.

I’ll keep you updated as we learn more about the plans for next week. We’re also taking bets to see who has more stamina—- me or the copy machine.
In Other News Unrelated to Feeling Crappy
The mighty Lawrence County Wildcats play Tullahoma tonight and are favored to win. If LCHS wins this game, they will qualify for the playoffs... for the first time in more than 20 years.

It’s a home game, and you can bet a pretty nickel that I’ll be there in spirit. I may even get out my cowbell and ring it in honor of purple and gold football (even if it’s not *the* Cowbell Game). Go Team Go!