My Name is Nobody

So, now that I’ve got this new fangled blog, I feel like I need to fill it up. Right now, it’s kind of like a house with not enough furniture—it just doesn’t feel quite like a home yet. I have been adding a few things though, including the link over there on the left where you can sign up to receive an email when I update.

This new home is in a different neighborhood. The old one was in a small town where everybody pretty much knows everybody, and no one locks their doors. The new home, however, is right smack in the middle of the city. Everybody and their 3rd cousin is wandering around here. And just as in a city, we need to be a little more concerned about safety. That’s where I need to ask for your help. I know all you folks who’ve followed me from Carepages feel like you know me, and it’ll be very tempting for you to call me by my real life first name. Please don’t. As you you’ll notice, I don’t have my name anywhere on this blog. If you look closely, you’ll also notice that I’ve given the child a pseudonym, and I’ve already edited the comments that addressed me by name. Don’t let that stop you from commenting, though. I LIVE for comments…comments and coffee. If you really feel like you want to call me something, call me by my big city pseudonym: The Moody Foodie, or TMF.

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I have been informed that I have a mullet. This from none other than my loving hubby. I said, “That’s right. It’s business in front, Carol Brady in the back, Buddy.” Can you feel the love? People assure me that my hair looks nice, but really, what are they going to say? It’d be pretty rude to say, “Dang! I wish you’d hurry up and grow some real hair!” I think it’s walking that fine line between dorky and cool most of the time, but I figure that with big enough earrings maybe it will look purposeful enough to fall on the cool side of the line more often than not.

By neccesity, my motto throughout much of this ordeal has been “If you can’t hide it, decorate it.”

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Welcome to My New Home

I keep getting compliments on my hair. And people keeping saying, “It’s coming in curly!” Yes, that’s because I have naturally curly hair. Sometimes I think I must have been darn forgettable prior to chemo because no one seems to remember what I looked like. Not only are people incredulous that my hair is coming in curly, but they actually tell me, “I thought your hair used to be straight.” A couple of weeks ago I asked Angie, “Hey, did I exist before I was bald?” You know, chemo has really jacked up my short term memory (more on that later…unless I forget to write about it) but people, even *I* remember what my hair looked like!  Sheesh! Of course, this is at least partly rooted in the belief that when people do chemo their hair comes back in different. Personally, I think this is a bunch of baloney. When you hair is a half inch long, any amount of wave it has will make it seem curlier than when it was longer and stretched out by its own weight. And if you used to color your hair, then of course your new sprouts won’t be the same color. Sometimes people say it comes back I thicker, but really, how would you know? You just spent the last 6 months bald!   

Last week I had my stitches removed, and met with Dr Birhiray. The last time I saw him was after the Tribune Star interview, but prior to the article actually being published.  I’d told him about it, and he asked me to bring him a copy next time. So, I took a copy when I went for my check-up. Dr B insisted that I autograph it, as if I am really some sort of celebrity. He’s probably got it listed on eBay for 99 cents right now with 2 minutes to go and no takers.   

I also griped to Dr B about not losing any weight. After weeks of working out, I weighed in one measly pound lighter. Of course, it doesn’t really help that my appointments are always right after lunch. And since we were running behind, lunch consisted of Steak N Shake. So there I was, griping that he’s making me fat with all this Tamoxifen, while the smell of cheese fries still yet lingered around me like a deep friend aura. But the way I see it, I’d have had those cheese fries if I weren’t working out, so the fact that I have been working out consistently should definitely overcome one meal at Steak N Shake.  I should still be ahead of the game. And I should be ahead by more than one stinkin’ pound!  

About that memory loss thing…you’ll be amused to know that I did indeed forget to write about it. It was only when I went back and read through what I’d written that I said, “Oh yeah!  Memory loss!” Welcome to life with me, post-chemo version. While it can be frustrating, it’s actually kind of amusing to me because it’s just so ridiculous. My long-suffering hubby can attest to the resemblance I bear these days to Dory from Finding Nemo. The only thing that has kept him from losing his mind is that he knows me well enough to finish most sentences for me. Still, that doesn’t help when he asks me to do something and I say, “Okay” and then immediately forget.  I guess it’s a good thing he loves me. 

There are some folks who will say, “You can’t claim chemo brain anymore.” Oh yeah?  Come hang out with me for a couple of hours and see if you still feel the same way. Ask any of my friends how many times I say things like, “Did I already tell you this?” Sure, it’s not like the very slow mental processing I had going on while I was actually doing chemo, but neither is it normal brain function.  At least 70% percent of the time I can’t think of the words I need to complete an intelligent sentence. My conversations are peppered these days with thingamajigs, doojiggers, and watchacallits. The names of people either completely escape me, or are crossed up with someone else. For example, the other day I commented to Mini Me, “Man, Emeril’s trying to kill me!” She said, “Emeril’s trying to kill you?” I just busted out laughing. I was actually not talking about Emeril at all. Instead, I was talking about Gilad, the exercise guru, whose dvd I’d done the previous day.  How on Earth I crossed up those two, I’ll never know. Mini Me astutely observed that indeed Emeril is the very opposite of Gilad.   

Clearly the synapses are not firing correctly.

Good News

I got the results of my biopsy today, and they are benign! It’s about daggone time I got some good news out of this stuff, too. When Tana called me today and told me my results, my reaction was, “Reeeally?” That’s not a squealing, excited really, but more like the type of really you say when you learn something interesting, unexpected, and maybe a little strange. Like, if I said to you, “Hey, I’ve got a boil that looks just like Elvis” you might reply, “Reeaally?” So, anyway, Tana says, “Had you prepared yourself to hear bad news?” I laughed and replied, “No, I’ve learned not to draw any conclusions until I actually have the information.” And seriously, what was the worst thing they could tell me? That I’ve got cancer? Sorry, that really doesn’t have much shock value anymore. Now maybe if they told me, “You’ve got cancer, and this cancer doesn’t feed off of estrogen like the previous cancer. This one feeds off of caffeine” then I’d really be wailing and gnashing my teeth. “What do you mean only decaf!?! Where will I derive my personality if not from caffeine?!”

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Susie and I have been hitting the gym pretty hard the last week. Of course, at this point I’m limited on what I can do because of my lifting restriction. Fortunately, Susie doesn’t mind sticking to walking and stationary biking. I’m getting a little frustrated, however, because it seems like every time I work out I weigh more. I’m beginning to think that it’s because I’m building ginormous calves from all this walking and biking. That’s great for the old self-esteem, ya know, to have one boob and legs like Popeye.

Which brings me to the subject of The Foob. Right now I have to wear a sports bra and so The Foob is riding around kinda loose in there, rather than having his own little compartment. This isn’t that big of a deal, except when we’re walking at the Y and I’ve got on a tank top. As we walk, The Foob likes to creep up and try to peek out. “I want to zee where we are going” he says in that annoying fake, French accent. “Get back in there, we’re just going around the track,” I tell him. But he’s quite persistent. “No! I want to zee where we are going. Bezides, it is zweatty in here, and I need to breathe zee fresh air.” I poke him back down. “We’re at the Y—there IS no fresh air! Don’t make me pin you in place next time!” The Foob laughs, “You cannot pin me—I am zee zilicone model.”

I am SO ready to be reconstructed.

Speaking My Love Language: Disco Therapy

So the dreaded wire localization wasn’t nearly as bad as the last time. It was also done differently, but I don’t think that’s why it hurt less. I say that because this time instead of using ultrasound to guide the needle into place, they used mammogram. Yeah, you read me right—they put my boob in the mammogram machine, squashed it, and THEN inserted various needles, wires, etc. through a little window that was cut in the plate just for such purposes. At one point, the nurse told me, “You can breathe normally, Moody.” Uh, no, I really can’t because you’ve got my boob in a vise! Hello! But, like I said, it still wasn’t nearly as bad as the last time. In fact, it really didn’t even hurt as bad as some regular old mammograms I’ve had.

Part of this was, I’m sure, because when I told the nurses how awful the last experience had been, they decided to call Dr Dicke (pronounced dickie). Dr Dicke uses lots of numbing meds. Dr Dicke is also a woman. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not hatin’ on male doctors. All of my regular doctors are male, and they’re great, love ‘em to pieces. But, I think that when it comes to something like having your boob placed in a vise, and then impaled, a woman doctor might be able to empathize a little better.

And so, my experience was no big deal at all. When they told me I was done and asked me how I was feeling, I said, “I feel great. You rock, Dr Dicke!” I had to wait for films to be printed, so I went to the waiting area, which is where I logged on to give you the update yesterday. The nurse came out to give me my films and told me how well I did. (And after my whining about last time, too.) I asked her, “Do you normally have people freaking out?” and she said, “Oh yeah.” I was wondering how that plays out with someone who has her boob in a vise. Not like she can go anywhere. The first thing it makes me think of is in high school when I worked at the animal hospital and had to bathe cats. We had a little slip lead that was mounted to the wall that you slipped over the animal’s head to keep them from jumping out while they were being bathed. It worked great for dogs, but cats tend to freak out. And since they were tethered to the wall, what transpired was that a freaked out cat might climb the wall, pivoting around the anchor of the leash repeatedly, in big, wet, hissing, clawing circles. The other mental image was of Flick getting his tongue stuck to a frozen flagpole in A Christmas Story. I’m sure somewhere in between those two scenarios lies the description of a mammogram freak out.

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Surgery was no big deal. You know, I was asleep for that part, so it was pretty uneventful as far as I was concerned. Won’t have any results for about a week. One of the fun things yesterday was that Nina came to see me before surgery. She had an appointment with Dr Birhiray, so she used her bounty hunter skills to hunt me down like a dog at the surgery center.

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I feel good today. In fact, I went to the Y earlier and walked three miles with Susie. Of course, I wasn’t allowed to shower this morning, so I’ve got a nice layer of funk going right about now. Makes you all wish you could be right here with me, doesn’t it? Thanks to everyone for their prayers, and to my friend Tanya for the disco therapy cd. I am very blessed to have you all along with me on this ride.

Carol Brady

I know there are probably some of you who are a little upset right now. You were anticipating that last Saturday, amid much fanfare, the Foobhog would emerge to look for his shadow. I tried to wake the Foob up early to take advantage of the first rays of morning sun. However, the Foob is not a morning person. Not at all. In fact, the Foob refused to budge, mumbled something unintelligible, and pulled the covers up over his head. In my most soothing voice I attempted to coax him out, “But Foobster,” I implored, “your fans are waiting! I’m getting comments on the message board, and emails asking for you. People are suffering in your absence. Please come out and look for your shadow.” The Foob, perturbed by my persistence, threw off the covers and said in his snotty French accent, “Zilly woman! Zee Foob does not awake before 9 AM! Because you are zo inzensitive to wake me up zis early, I will not go to see zee zhadow! Now be gone!”

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Today is my surgery day. The good news is that when I talked to the lady from the surgery center, she told me that I could indeed eat breakfast. Not dry toast, but a real breakfast. Woo hoo! This is almost as exciting as when Dr Haerr told me I could wear deodorant! Of course, I had to do this at 6 AM. Which meant I got up about 5:40 to cook myself some bacon & muffins. The other good news is that both tea AND coffee are considered clear liquids, as long as the coffee is black. So, I’m drinking my usual quota of coffee, and plan to make some sweet tea to take with me to drink until my 11 AM beverage curfew.

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I had Tabytha trim my hair again. Now I’m sporting the Modified Carol Brady ‘do. Remember when she had the cut that was shorter on top and sides, and then kind of longer and wispy in the back? Well, that’s sort of what I’ve got going on, except her hair was blonde and straight, and longer, and mine is brown and naturally curly, and shorter. So, in essence, it’s the same, and yet completely different.

carolbradyhair