Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Oncologist is a dirty liar


That's exactly how I feel.

'Cause my HCG levels went up, so my body is becoming resistant to the methotrexate which means we had to switch my treatment to something called adh gaoweoif...ok wait. I think I got that wrong. It's...wag8a;kjnapc. Yes, that's an 8. It's in there somewhere....no? Ok ok I think I remembered. Actinomycin-d/dactinomycin. Looks just as suspect, huh? I don't think it's a word either, probably because they accidentally left they "ay" off when they made the word into Pig-Latin. Come on, guys. It's-hay e-thay easiest-hay of-hay e-thay anguages-lay o-tay emember-ray.

So I get to sit there with a vein in my arm for 45 minutes, and 30 of those I will not even complain about because they're just stuffing me full of anti-nausea meds. Someone needs to call the guy who invented those and give him a gold star. Those things are ah-may-zing. But the other 15? I can't even talk about in person because I get too nauseous. BUT the doctor said (shouldn't he be right??!!) this drug would have little/no side effects, so it's really no big deal.

Of course I challenge him, because I still don't fully understand that he is there to help me, not just to heckle us for cheering for his rival college. Dude - not my problem Mr. Huntsman decided to donate to the U instead of the Y. I'm just here for the chemo. I reminded him that he said the other stuff wasn't supposed to have side effects either. That obviously didn't work, so I just expected to have the same side effects, only more intense since this stuff is stronger. And, it happened just like that. Saturday I was sick all day in bed, and it ever so slightly lessens up as the days go on. But this one's every two weeks, so I better count my blessings.

Oh, what's that? I might lose some of my hair? To be frank, I looked up his salary the night before because I found out it was posted online (who doesn't want to know how much their doctor makes?), and while I didn't mention that, I did tell him that if I lost my hair, he was personally buying me a wig.

Did I mention he's almost completely bald on top? "Well, you don't see me complaining!" he replies.

Dang it, Doc. You got me there.

I will say the one thing I am somewhat sad about, is that now that I know what this is like (a big hell-hole, if you can't read between the lines. No, just read the lines. Pretty sure I've said it more than once), I wish I had understood how to help my dad when he was going through chemo. I have some friends who are being so fabulous to me right now, I actually cried when one of them dropped off anti-nausea foods to me the other day. I know I wasn't that good to my dad when he had to deal with all this, but maybe I can pay it forward to someone in the future.

So long as it's not my child. Or my husband. At-thay ould-way uck-say. Igtime-bay.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I believe....in crying a lot

Life lately has been a big bashibbaba storm, to say the least. I've been confused about lots of things, and it just got to the point where thoughts were so muddled in my mind about what I even believed anymore that I had to get it on paper. I started writing, then crying, and suddenly
four pages later, Chris got home, and the floodgates opened. I tried to make it uniform and pretty, starting almost every line with, "I believe..." but a lot of it ended kinda ugly. I was writing my belief statements on everything - food, religion, music, relationships, God, you name it. It was liberating and frightening, to say the least. I live in an area where it's super easy to get caught up in what everybody else thinks, and easy to forget what you, as an individual, think. I tried to condense things, so instead of saying something too specific, like, "Adam Levine is one of the sexiest musicians of our time and can make anything feel better" (don't even try to deny it), I wrote, "I believe music can cure almost anything, and being that way, it should be open to all who wish to try."

That was one of the tame ones. Most of them were controversial and on some sliding scale of heresy. I wrote these out, knowing that I'd have to share it as a form of therapy, and knowing it would probably be with Chris. I only edited one of them, and it wasn't even the worst one. I knew some of them, he wasn't going to like. I knew most of them, God wasn't going to like, but I figured he already knew anyway, so what's the point in pretending to hide it?

I'm tired of feeling like everyone should be put in a box and expected to stay there all the bloody time. I'm tired of going to church and being asked the same questions over and over, with the same answers and no one being honest about how they feel. Maybe one day I should just get up and say, "I believe God is only merciful when it suits him," and see what people do.

Life is about trying to live and grow, not to fit into some kind of mold that you or others think you should move around. I hate that I feel that way. Maybe others don't and I'm the crazy one. But I don't think it's right that everyone is expected to put on a face all the time, to answer the, "How are you?" question with the too-common, "Fine, you?" You're more than likely not simply "fine."

So I ask this completely seriously, because I don't know. Please, anyone who reads this (I'm talking to you, my lone reader in Qatar. You too, Malta.), answer if
you have a minute. What is wrong with us sharing our feelings, our real thoughts, with those around us? Friends, lovers, co-workers, family, whoever. Someone who isn't necessarily your BFFFFFFFEE + 1. Why is there a stigma with opening up, or with being honest? I'm thinking maybe it's because we're scared of being rejected? Lots of actions tend to boil down to that. But I'm honestly interested. And a little scared to post this because...I'm afraid of a bad reaction. Of negativity, or changed perceptions of who I am. Ah, well. Guess that'd come eventually anyway, if I continue trying to be honest. So, am I sharing too much of my life online because I'm starved for attention, or because I want to stir the pot, or because I really want to express my opinions in an open way? Probably all three. But why do we hold back our true thoughts and feelings, in any given situation? And where do you draw the line? And am I the only person who feels this way? Feel free to answer anonymously, angrily, excitedly, passionately...but above all, be honest. Thanks!

PS It should go without saying - but just in case - that exceptions to this are when you'll unnecessarily hurt someone else.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Warning: This post contains mild profanity and extreme, but edited, profanity

I'm pretty sure half the reason we get married is to have someone to keep us in check. I'm also sure that you know you've spent too much time on Facebook when you try to start your blog posts by ending a sentence that starts out with your name. Huh?

Anyway, last week was the sh*#s. I've been on methotrexate shots - in my bum, it is so pleasant - for the last 10 weeks, and it seems like there's barely any improvement. Chris is ever positive, at least on the outside, to cancel me out, but I'm tough to crack because I'm bitter that he hasn't been the one having to roll over and get stuck in the ass every week, followed by losing his appetite and ability to stay awake for the next 18 hours. I know, I'm a bad person. He HAS been to every shot he possibly can, which helps a bajillion. (A bajillion what? I have no idea.) The doc at the beginning of this never-ending story said this would take, average, 6-8 weeks, and it's been 10. Then the other doctor had to recap what a bell curve looks like. Thanks, doc. I took stats already. Still having night terrors. Then, my HCG levels went up. Significantly. If you haven't been following my post "pregnancy" saga, this is BAD NEWS BEARS. My goodness, now this chemo isn't working? What the hell?

They called us from the hospital to tell us the bad news, and by then I was on my way to bed. Literally, two steps away from blissful naptime. If there's a surefire way to piss me off, it's cutting off my direct path to sleep. I'm still not sure why I want to be a mom so badly, for this reason alone. "You'll need to come back up," they said. "These levels are too high to ignore," they said. "We need to do another, different treatment, today," they said. "Mother%!#*&$" I said. An hour later, the receptionist is wondering why we're back, the phlebotamy lab smell is making me sick, and I go to sit on a table so that my doctor and his 3 residents tell me, "Let's wait this out one more week. We'll see what happens then. But your body is definitely doing something weird."

Oh, you mean like the time that it was supposed to make a fetus but instead made me cancer? They're not calling it that, but it's growths where they're not supposed to be, and I'm being treated with chemo. If it looks like a duck and quacks like one.... Or when it was supposed to reject all the leftover tissue after not one, but two surgeries? And now, after 800mg of chemo that's designed to kill it, it still isn't doing anything?

I was frustrated. By this point, it was never going to end. In my mind, 10 years down the road, I was going to be going to the same hospital with my 3 adopted kids, still getting these shots.

Enter my husband. My ever-loving, kind, eternally patient husband, who gives me a figurative slap upside the head. He tells me, "don't you remember when the doctor told you explicitly that this is 100% curable? Not 99, or 98, but one hundred percent. You don't have a choice. You ARE going to beat this. And this WILL end. There is nothing you can do about it. Soon, your body will be healed, and you won't ever have to worry about this again. So you might as well be positive about it, because it can't hurt anything, and you're not helping yourself the way things are."

Can't you just let me be pissed?!?!?! No? Oh, because I've been a self-absorbed B@#^& the last three months? Are you getting sick of me? I guess I can't blame him. I'd have been done with him a looooong time ago.

So I thought about this for a bit, knowing deep, deep, deep....deep, deep down that he was right. But I couldn't say it yet, so instead, I said, "After I say this, I don't want you to say anything. I needed to hear that. BUT. It doesn't mean I'm going to be happy about this from now on, or that I should be expected to right away. But I'm glad you said something."

It was all I could do not to take it back, but Chris respected me and immediately started talking about something else.

SO. Positive things. 1)The doctor asked me if I needed any pills. Nausea, sleeping aids, etc. I'm not normally one to accept meds on the fly but oh my gosh I can't even eat normally anymore, and I obviously can't suffer in silence. I begged for nausea meds, and he wrote me some up right away. Score! 2)The nurse who made us come back gave is $16 to the delicious hospital restaurant. Not a complete tank of gas, but close enough. 3)We have the technology to cure this. 30 years ago, this literally would have killed me. 4)The doctors and nurses are concerned about me, and doing everything they can to make sure they don't go too drastic. I like that. 5)Family and friends have been incredibly supportive, which means the world to me.It really does, and if you're one of them, or any member of my family - thank you. From every part of my heart.

But so help me Oden, if I have to shave my head.......positivepositivepositive. Ok. At least it's summer, and will help me cool down. And I'll match all my baby friends.

And I know this seems a lot TMI for the internets but I am sick of hearing about the metaphorical pastor's wife who got cancer and was soooo positive the whole time. Uuuhhhhh she's lying. I want to be relatable. And reinforce that I'm not perfect. Just so you know. I know. I fooled myself for a while.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bicycle! Bicycle!

Cue the Queen song that always comes to mind when I say the word "Bicycle," which then makes me think of "Fat-Bottomed Girls," which then makes me smile.

Chris and I went on a bike ride yesterday, and may I say it was THE perfect weather for a ride. We took some lemon juice to a friend making artichokes, and took the long way back. It was supposed to be leisurely, and Chris thought it would be a good idea to ride the ramp up to campus. Uh, are you kidding me, honey?? That is an automatic negative, as the ramp is at a 45 degree incline. This was supposed to be a leisurely ride. On a Sunday. Totally not worth it to work that hard on the Sabbath....for nothing. Also, I'm weak. What?

"But it will be so leisurely on the way down!!" It made no difference. There was nooooooo way.

So I led the way home, a nice breeze through the streets. And Chris was behind me, and said, "I really like it when you ride in front."

"Why is that?"

"Then I get to look at your bum all the way home."

I can't believe I didn't see that coming. You think these things might end in the honeymoon, the first year of marriage, but by now, I'm starting to see that once a man, always a man. We will be in front of our great-grandchildren, and Chris will hit on me that will make my next of kin blush.

Secretly, (don't tell him) I'm super flattered.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It ain't Rocket Surgery

Imaginiff is a group game where you choose the person who most likely fits the description on the card.

Last night, one of the cards was, "Which player would most likely be a laughing hyena?"

You don't need to know who the other players were to know who won that one.

Edit: Neither KJ nor Baby Josh were involved in the game.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Road rage

Two years ago, I was at fault in a car accident in town where I tried the beat the yellow light to turn left. As I was turning, the car in the other lane coming towards me had the same idea. It resulted in my very first accident, shown here:

I was in the little car, and I was OK, and the people in the Jeep were even more OK. Even though this happened two years ago, I rarely drive through that intersection without thinking about the accident, and you better believe I am infinitely more careful in my left turns, especially at 7th north and 9th east.

Now, earlier today I drove that same course, and I felt edgy because I knew I had to turn left here. I hate it because this entire section of road has no left arrows, so turning is always tricky. Well, the light turned yellow, and I decided to wait this cycle out and try next time. I was too nervous, there were cars that were close coming the other way and could have tried - it wasn't worth the risk. The last time sure wasn't.

And then you know what happened? The man in the truck behind me honked and I looked back just in time to see him throwing his hands in the air and giving me dirty looks. I was afraid to keep watching because I was afraid he was going to bring out the bird, and of all things that hurt my feelings, people flipping me off while driving is one of them. I'd like to note that it is mainly while driving that I hate this, and I think part of it is because I have no way to defend myself.

And that was the problem today. This man had no idea what I had been through, and while it wasn't earth shattering, it did bend my reality just a little bit, to the point where - yes, I'm willing to wait an extra two minutes for another green light if it means I'm guaranteed not to cause another wreck.

After the light turned green, I pulled up into the intersection, and the man drove around me to go straight, honking all the while. And all I could think was, "This man's next 15 minutes, at least, are ruined because - because of what? Nothing." At least, when I get REALLY mad at someone's driving I'm mad for that long....sometimes I have a temper? But a while back, I heard a story of someone becoming upset because an "irresponsible" driver was weaving in and out of freeway traffic as fast as he could, which is inherently dangerous, amiright? Suddenly, the driver got the distinct impression that the man driving the car was trying to get to his wife in the hospital after a life-threatening scenario. Now, if you're a person who believes in promptings like that, then that one in particular is significant. I feel like, so often in driving, it is so easy for us to judge whoever is next to us, because without them being there to defend themselves, we will always, in our minds, be right and justified.

It's an attitude that easily carries over to other aspects of our lives, and it just seems like life would be less frustrating if we would give each other the benefit of the doubt and allow people their faults. I know I have mine, and when I'm not even given the chance to defend my honor, it hurts - it's like I wasn't given that opportunity. I also think it's because we cannot be held responsible for our reactions. Who will ever know we were hateful to another while driving?

Well, I certainly didn't mean for that to be so passionate. It's something I'm working on as well. Road rage is super easy to get involved in, especially here. But, if we're another minute or two late, what does it matter? Is it worth showing a neighbor, a brother or sister, complete disrespect that seems so right to us in the heat of the moment, but could ruin their entire day? Just something to consider.