Friday, September 24, 2010


Clyde is benign, just a blob of mystery tissue.

Surgeon snipped my stitches and said the skin looks good.

I can breathe again.

I was prepared to do another round of chemo or whatever, but I am so freaking relieved that I don't have to. I have received another stay of execution.


Today I will go to the surgeon, get my stitches out and find out the pathology of Clyde. I still feel pretty confidant that Clyde is not cancer, but...there is always a but (or a butt).

Speaking of butts, the kids bought me a box of 20 full size cancer bars for my birthday. My butt will be huge. I may get back to dieting after I am sure that Clyde is cool. I guess there is a mental thing where I don't really worry about the size of my ass if I am still cancer-y.

Well, that may not be entirely true. I ate a bunch of crap during chemo, because I could. I am eating crap now because I can. I did try, and succeed in losing weight before cancer because I started thinking about how the extra weight would affect me in my old age. I didn't want the people in the nursing home to have to life my fat ass out of the bed. Since I lost weight when I had 40 years to prep for my nursing home stay, you would think that I would work harder to get in shape since my period of infirmity may be much closer now.

But not today.

Ooh, one creepy thing. My stitches are not the dissolving kind. They feel like fishing line. They poke out of my shirt and when I accidentally rub it it feels very icky. But, the skin seems to be doing OK, I think the holes will heal up fine. I may have escaped the dreaded non healing radiated wound fate.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


"Well, it's cancer", NOT Clyde, but that is what the Surgeon said a year ago today.

It is my cancerversary. (I still don't know what Clyde is, I'll find out Friday).

Looking back, the fear really is the worst part. Yes, there is physical pain involved, there is a whole lot of suckiness that has happened. But the fear really is the worst part. Maybe that is because they have drugs for all the other stuff, pain, anxiety, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, radiation burns.... There isn't anything for the terror you feel.

September is a big month for me, many anniversaries. My birthday, my wedding, my exhusband moving out, 9/11, cancer diagnoses, big stuff happens to me in September.

The main thing I am feeling right now is thankful for this break. I don't know what is going to happen. I could learn Friday that I have another battle coming up (although I really don't think so, I think the biopsy will be negative). I think sometime in October, I may get another scan. But for now, I have a break, no treatments, just some healing time.

I had a great day with the homeschooling yesterday, we just sat around the table learning and laughing. The kids seem to be doing well, maybe this will just be a little blip in their childhood memory bank.

Helluva blip.

Monday, September 20, 2010


More Birthday thoughts...

Last year on my birthday, I had just had the biopsy and was waiting for the results. My family and I met at a Mexican restaurant to celebrate my birthday. My Mom had bought me a toaster over (which we have loved having) and she also bought me a zip up front shirt thing. The zip up shirt was significant since she had picked that in case I needed to have surgery, which I did.

If I knew where that damn shirt was, I would burn it today. I think I have already given it away to Goodwill. I still have my chemo scarves and my favorite chemo pajamas and I don't feel compelled to burn any of them. But that shirt...I guess it represents the dread of the unknown.

Helluva year.


Today is my birthday, Wednesday is my cancerversery. Friday, I will find out if I won round one of the cancer battle.

Maybe I should go ahead and declare myself the winner of round one. I am not sure if the bell has sounded yet (I am doing a boxing match thing here.)

I am 42 now. That is weird to me since the number 42 seems to hold some special significance. When I am yelling at the kids, I seem to always say "I have told you 42 times to put your clothes away". They brought this to my attention, that I really always say 42. My Mom says "eleventy million" as in, "I must have eleventy million baskets...". OK, so if I am afraid I will die when I am 42, than my Mom is going to live that theory doesn't hold. Moving on.

It has been a helluva year.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Surprisingly, Surgeon did biopsy the bump yesterday. He took out two plugs of it, stitched me up and I was in and out in less than 30 minutes, like a drive-through biopsy. I will get the results next Friday when he takes the stitches out.

It was exactly one year, to the day, in between biopsies.

Surgeon said he ran into Rad Onc at a tumor conference and Rad Onc asked about me. That is a little concerning that my bump was so memorable.

So I have done my little fashion show, went to the State Fair with the kids and had a biopsy, plus had my IV infusion. It has been a busy little week for me.

One thing I am looking forward to, there is a salon that does a free hair thing for us post chemo headed people. That will be great, I don't know what to do with this fuzzball on my head, other than just pet it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Going to see Big Onc today, getting my IV infusion and let him check on me and see how I am doing. I see surgeon tomorrow, I have no idea what is going to happen with Clyde. He is more integrated into my body, either my body is eating him, or he is eating me.

I did the fashion show, it was long and anti-climatic. But, the kids really enjoyed seeing me, they kept saying how proud they were. I guess I was able to convey to them that beauty is an attitude and if their overweight, boobless, chemo fluff haired Mom can feel good enough to work a runway (a tiny runway), than they can feel wonderful at any stage of their life.

I took the kids to the State Fair last night, my sister and I and four kids. I had some extra kids since school let out early. I spent way too much money but I think we all had a blast. Morgan said she had no idea her Mom was so fearless! My favorite ride was down for repairs, the Gravitron. We'll have to find one somewhere else to try out.

At the end of the fashion show, we had to hold up signs that showed how long we had been cancer free. Mine said "Hope to be soon", that was a little depressing. I was looking at all these vivacious women, beautiful and spirited and felt bad about being fuzzy and tired. I had to remind myself to cut myself some slack. Many of those wonderful women were years out from their treatment. But it did give me a glimpse of what I may feel like one day soon.

The kids received their TCAP scored back. They were not as great as the last set, but they were still proficient in everything. I felt bad that they didn't score advanced, but again, I had to remind myself to cut myself some slack. I home schooled them through surgery, chemo and radiation and they have not fallen below grade level. Even if they were in school, the stress that they have been under would affect their test scores.

All in all, it has been a good Mom week.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Nothing is going on, but I feel the limbo starting to fade. I guess I am moving on and I will find out what the chapter is. Clyde is still there, I see surgeon in a week. Clyde feels different, I am not sure they can cut it out, but it is still red and very much there.

I am participating in a fashion show to raise money for a local cancer program. It is a silly thing that is very out of character for me, but maybe that is why I am doing it. Maybe there is a new character in me coming out. They have called the show "Heroes in Heels" which I find stupid, almost insulting. If I saved a kid from a burning building in stilettos, now that would be something. All I did was get cancer and go to a bunch of appointments and I am pretty sure I never wore heels doing it. Wait, I did go to one birthday party in a pair of clog type shoes during chemo, very unsteady on my feet in a Japanese restaurant with slick floors. It rained and I didn't mind going to get the car since I was bald and had no hair to get messed up.

My shoulder is a little weird, not the joint but the surrounding tissue. The rads fried it all pretty good. It just feels thick and tight in there.

I went on a date, I let him poke my port on the first date. I thought I would try to slowly introduce him to the weirdness that is my body now. My port is my little chemo access button in case you were confused, get your mind out of the gutter!

So next week I have silly fashion show, my IV treatment and the surgeon. I will admit it was a little fun having someone dress me in what is actually in style. They will do my make-up and all that girly stuff (but I won't admit that I like it).

I have also signed the kids up for a support group, but I haven't told them yet. They will moan and groan and grumble. I may end up having to pay them to try it out. I do feel like they need to debrief about this cancer crap. They may have some things that they don't want to say to me. They have said I was nicer during chemo and that they didn't mind having a mom that napped a lot. Motivated Mom seems to be less fun for them.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Clyde seems to be slowing dissappearing, I think he is scared now that we have a slice and dice plan. He is still discolored but it is smaller...hmmm. So when I get back to surgeon, maybe it will be gone. I will never know whether it was cancer, and for some reason that will bother me. They said if it gets smaller during radiation, it is probably cancer. If it gets bigger, it probably is not.

I think the powers that be are just messing with my head. There is a lesson in this, as much as I like puzzles, this one is wearing me out.

I don't want to die, but I am not scared of it. What I don't want, is to have to pack for the trip. I really would need to get rid of stuff if I was terminal, make it easier on my family after I kick the bucket.

I don't love my house, but I won't move since I don't want to pack.

Did you hear about the woman that was missing for four months and they finally found her dead body under a pile of stuff in her home. She was a hoarder and they didn't realize that she was actually dead in the house. I am not a hoarder, but I could see it happening to me. I do have quite a bit of weirdness in my house. Things that the post-death packers would wonder "what the hell was she keeping this for".

What is funny is that a few years ago, I actually lived in a 187 sq ft camper. You can't keep much stuff in that space. I loved it, you had one place to sit and one place to lie down. How many other spaces do you need.

Frankly, I don't think it is a mental problem of not getting rid of stuff, it is a problem of I am too damn tired to carry it away.

So I am not sure that that issue is the great life lesson I am supposed to be learning.

The quest continues.