Sunday, August 28, 2011


As if.  As if I could keep a secret.
Many apologies for my absence the past few weeks.  Medically speaking, not much is new today, but the month of August was eventful to say the least.  I realize that's a tease, but that's okay by me since there has to be something new to read when the book comes out.

Meanwhile, we've survived an earthquake, a hurricane and tornado warnings this past week (along with most of the East Coast) and have been rewarded with a cool, crisp evening, crickets peacefully chirping outside.  Not that I would welcome anymore rain, but it does tend to drive away that marching band...

Tonight I broke my no sugar rule and made cookie dough (if you roll it into little balls and freeze them, you can have warm, homemade cookies in 10 minutes whenever you please).  They are made with whole wheat flour and organic sugar, blah blah blah - they're still chocolate chip cookies.  The best part about them is you can just cook them until they're almost finished and eat them hot and gooey.  Tomorrow, back on the wagon.  All this being trapped indoors thing (yes, it was only about 24 hours) made me want to eat sugar.

School starts soon and I am trying my hardest to be ready by October.  I push myself to take walks and to try to cook (pancakes for breakfast, anyone?).  I know I need to be ready to move - like, a lot - if I'm going back to the classroom.  I try to monitor my heart rate and note when it's racing to see if there's any connection to something I did or ate.  So far, no dice.  The holter I wore a few weeks ago showed a slight decrease in my heart rate since taking the beta blocker (previous time my avg. bpm was 105, this time it was 92).  While that is definitely a step in the right direction, it does nothing for my dizziness (or lightheadedness) but increase it, as it decreases my blood pressure.  What's more, my heart rate jumped up to 148 a few times (once after taking a zantac - the most gentle of acid reducers around).  What the heck?

Nevertheless, I couldn't resist getting new folders and labels and copybooks and pencils and glue sticks for my maybe kids this year.  Last August there was not a chance in all of Atlantic City that I was headed back to school in September as I was busy with rounds 5 and 6 of chemo.  This year is a different story.  I am still recovering, though, and I wish I could just hurry up and heal my insides back to normal.  Or at least, whatever my permanent normal is going to look like.  You know how this uncertainty does a number on my anxiety.

What can I do to take an active role in my recovery, when what my body needs most is time?  I've put myself on a series of vitamins (recently including an excellent probiotic) and supplements intended to reduce inflammation and restore immunity and wellness.  I try to take a walk (usually with the dog) every day that the sky or the Earth is not rockin and rollin.  I try to distract myself or do some meditation (does a long bath count?) or maybe read a trashy magazine in an attempt to let my shoulders drop down below my neck.

I know I can't rush things.

This week should be an interesting one.  I have my 6th (please be final) cavity to be filled, some blood work and acupunture to attend to, though not simultaneously.  Then, next week I have my first PET scan since March.  I am absolutely convinced it is not going to go well.  This is how I do things, people, I must expect the worst possible news so that I can be pleasantly surprised if I find out I am wrong. 

My experience involved a lot more tears.
Last week, I was sure I had stomach cancer and also probably some kidney cancer thrown in too.  I wonder if I will ever reach a point where I will have a stomachache and NOT think it's cancer.  I also wonder what the odds are that I maybe DO have stomach cancer.

This Tuesday, Dan and I are going to an advanced screening of 50/50, the upcoming movie about being a young adult diagnosed with cancer (based upon Will Reiser's experience with spinal cancer).  I am slightly nervous about keeping it together - aw, hell, I will surely not be able to keep it together - and not making a complete scene in the theater.  But I am looking forward to the cleansing aspect of it, that I even get from watching the trailers, that says I have been where you are, the stages, the baldness, the being sick and sick of it all.  While I wouldn't wish any of this on another person, it's nice to know that someone else understands.
Wouldn't this be awesome?

I'm off to sip my fresh watermelon mint juice (thanks to Dan and the amazing Breville c/o Michali and Jimmy).  Nighty-night.


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