Archive for March 2017
“But how hard is it , when we are struggling with fears, to think beyond ourselves and the present moment. Even the most responsible of us is not in a learning mode on those days, days which sometimes stretch into years, years when the quiet voice of reason is drowned out by the cries of the terrorized child within us.” — Lillian Smith from The Journey.
I discovered that quote in a separate book, The Firebrand and the First Lady that I read last night about Pauli Murray and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who developed quite a friendship that began in the 1930s. Murray, a young African American woman, wrote letters to the First Lady on issues important to her, primarily race relations and opportunities for all.
In the book about Murray, I was at the point where the firebrand was in the hospital and discovered that quote, which I assume but do not know for sure, was related to race relations. I was taken by the quote because it was on the same day that I learned the results of my scans done on Wednesday.
Spoiler Alert: results were as good as they can be at this point – stable. All that junk inside me has not advanced. Has it gone away? No. But I’m told stable is a victory. I hope I have a medical dynasty of stability that stretches into years, and that the quiet voice of reason – and for me – humor, is not drowned out by the terrorized child within me.
If you know me or have been following me, you know that my mode for dealing with stuff scary and unpleasant stuff is to make jokes. I had the scans on Wednesday, and was supposed to see my oncologist this morning, but she has been out sick all week. The clinic called yesterday and asked if I could instead come in yesterday to see another oncologist. I did.
Did the need to talk to me mean it was horrible or just to explain and touch base? I worked through it during the day trying to convince myself that having the appointment did not mean bad news. I went with my son to the oncologist’s visit as Dick had to work.
Now the terrified child yesterday tries to stay calm – I took an extra anti-anxiety pill to still my beating heart. I do make jokes, but it was clear that it was not a good day for learning. It is hard to hear things when you are that scared child.
The doctor, who did not appear to know how to take my humor, said it was a win. To be stable is a win. He also told me he hoped it would stay stable for a very long time. Deal. And let me say the relief when he said that was palpable.
He also was puzzled about why I asked if I could go to my granddaughter’s fourth birthday party and whether I could participate in a Story Guild’s story slam called Luna. I can do both. I should do both.
He said the thing about the drug I take is that even though “Phils” are down once again the risk of low white cells and nuetrophils seems to be lower with this drug than with tradiational chemotherapy that I had before. I can still fight infections despite having a mere 750 Phils to call my own.
So I should get out more than I have. Be careful, wear a mask when around sick people, but enjoy my life. I think that extra information on the neutrophils is helpful. I will be out more with my hand sanitizer and mask (to wear if people are sick around me).
So come out on April 1st to the Bluff Country Story Telling Guild’s Luna which being on April Fool’s has a foolery them. I will be telling a story called “The Mark’s mark.” Whose fool am I? You have to listen to find out.
Read more here about Luna: http://bit.ly/2nkuOyj.
Today I’m writing about the Flat Something Society.
We discussed Sunday how some professional athletes like the NBA’s Kyrie Irving believe the world is flat and not round. Thus they are members of the Flat Earth Society, undoubtedly believing the ball with which they play is flat, too. They think the space program was a fraud.
Google tells me the Flat Earth Society is all about “alternative science or unusual ways of viewing the world.” And they don’t believe dinosaurs roamed the earth, although as I get older, I’m feeling more and more dinosaurian myself.
Within minutes of that conversation, I tuned into Sunday Morning on CBS and hear about the International Flat Chest Society, where no implants are allowed.
Sunday Morning, a terrific news magazine, focused its entire program on cancer. I was thrilled to learn about the improvements of childhood cancer and in treatment of tough cancers in general. Thank you very much.
There was also a story women with very small breast cancers who doctors advised not to do anything about in treatment because their cancers might grow so slowly that it would not cause them problems in life. There are times that men with prostate cancer, for example, will die with the cancer but not from the cancer.
What interested me most was a half dozen or so women who chose not to have reconstruction surgery after mastectomy or mastectomies. They were proud of their bodies and the friendship that has developed between women with flat chests. Some like to show their scars.
Who knew I could be a card-carrying member of the International Flat Chest Society? I made that decision nearly 8 years ago because I didn’t want to go through the often painful process of reconstruction. I also wanted to get better faster.
It is a very personal decision, with 52 percent of women choosing reconstruction, according to the CBS story. I respect whatever decision women make on this and am surprised that 48 percent of women choose my route.
I’m just amused by the proximity of discussions about the two flat something societies and am grateful that I can make such a connection. Life can be very quirky.
On Thursday I received my liquid Wonder Bread IV treatment (builds bones; thus it is one of the 12 ways Wonder Bread builds strong bodies). My counts were good.
A gentleman came around and asked if I was interested in a free reiki treatment.
Now, I’m not a new age kind of gal so I really didn’t know what reiki is. He explained it to me and I agreed to have one as it was one of my favorite prices – free.
What is reiki? Google tells me it is “a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.”
The first thing he did was tell me to go to a place where I was very comfortable and happy. I went to my usual place – the Passanante swimming pool.
The Passanantes were the best friends of our family going back to my parents generation and we have remained good friends into my generation and the next. Their is a fourth generation, but they have not met each other. I will assume they will be friends once they do get together.
Bart and Bertie were like second parents to us
When I threw up on an Aunt Bertie in the ambulance on the way to have Uncle Bart fix my dislocated knee once again. Her only comment was a gentle, “You really need to chew your food better.”
And when I was in the not wear a bra stage of life, she advised me that there were bras that looked like i did not have one on but would give me the support I needed. She called it the “best of two worlds bra.” That became a lifelong joke with her daughter Jean.
Look Aunt Bertie: no bra these days.
I miss summer days of my childhood and young adulthood at the pool. I remember lying on a raft and just floating away after swimming laps in the pool. Aunt Bertie always reminded me to use suntan lotion – that’s what it was called before it was recognized we need to protect ourselves from the sun and thus became sun screen.
There are so many stories about the Passanante pool and the freedom we had to go there any time we wished. I swam laps there every summer day after work. I always sat and enjoyed a diet Dr. Pepper with Aunt Bertie as we discussed the news.
Nixon was president and I had disliking DNA in my body. Aunt Bertie and I watched the news at 5:30 p.m.
This was the summer when the Pentagon Papers were published. The PP were secret documents about the US involvement in Vietnam. It also was the summer that the right to vote dropped to 18 from 21. I was suddenly able to vote. Very cool. I have not missed an election since.
Yes, that pool is my “happy place,” where I go when I need to relax. I cannot believe how much I relaxed that Thursday as Mike performed the reiki treatment on me.
I may turn out to be new age in my old bod after all.
It is not often in life that you are happy when there is nothing in that gray matter known as the brain.
But I certainly am today. The brain MRI that I had Monday revealed nothing in my brain. Whew. So grateful to be empty headed once again.
However, I did not realize why that MRI was so important. I knew mu doctor had mentioned previously that there were some tumors in my skull. This helps to explain why I never wanted to:
- See my scans. I figured they’d scare the stuff out of me.
- Have a total for how many tumors there are. I figured they’d scare the stuff out of me. Wait. Didn’t I just write that?
And my counts are up, too. Phills have returned to Capistrano. My son and I lived wildly today after the appointment – We went to get me new sunglasses I can wear over my glasses as my other ones disappeared as things do way to often with me. And then we went to Burger Fusion. Finally, we stopped at the library for books that have come in that I had put on reserve.
Of course three came in at once but I’m really excited about the three. And I’d like to say kudos to the La Crosse Public Library again for being itself. Heck of a job, library.
So once more, I’m looking on the bright side of life. Well, I’ve tried to look at the dull side, as I don’t get out of the house much for that bright side.
And by the way, snow came back to Wisconsin yesterday, but I don’t mind. I can watch that inconvenience from inside. However, I realize I’m not the only one on the planet and it is more a pain in the tush for those who are more active than me.