The Big C

Feb. 9th, 2019 04:09 am
mellicious: pink manicure (nails)
Well, so the biopsy was positive. I am actually not completely freaking out about it because it's very minor, as cancer goes. It's small and it's away from the chest wall (which apparently is good) and there's no lymph node involvement (I know that's good, it has to do with the way cancer can spread, for one thing) - I just have to have a lumpectomy. And that's really all I know right now. I have an appointment with the surgeon next week so that's when I'll know more.

I didn't tell anybody but Rob and my boss and my sister, so far. I definitely want as few people as possible to know at work because I don't want to have to deal with a million questions about it. Thank goodness for HIPAA, because I can tell you from personal experience that in the old days everybody in the whole hospital knew everything, pretty much immediately. It's a small town, where I work. (Far as I know, nobody I know in real life follows me here, so I'm not worried about you guys.)

I had a bad feeling about it - the first radiologist I talked to acted like it was probably nothing, but then after that I could just tell from the way they were talking that it sounded more worrisome. Then I got a call this morning from a doctor (rather than a nurse) and by the time I woke up he had called several times. So that didn't sound like it was going to be good news. But cancer is not the death sentence it used to be, in general. I've even managed to completely forget about this whole thing for long stretches of the day today.


Um, as far as the rest of life, I'm still playing Covet Fashion with my sister - have I talked about this here? and my god, is she competitive. I'm actually getting pretty good scores though so I may give her more of a run for her money than she expected. Also I finally went to my second movie of 2019 and it was a repeat - Into the Spider-verse. I liked it even better the second time. We will probably go see the Lego thing this weekend but we are waiting til Sunday night so there will hopefully be fewer kids.
mellicious: pink manicure (nails)
I'm trying to remember to post a little bit here & there, but I am totally sleep-deprived again and so I hope this comes out making sense. (I got like four hours of sleep yesterday.) I've already had one try at going to sleep earlier and I sat and read instead (now on Expanse book 3, which is called Abaddon's Gate, I believe? not sure of their spelling of that but I'm fairly sure that's the name. SPOILER (although fairly minor, I guess): there's a giant alien stargate (?) thing - or maybe it's not a gate, just a Ringworld - lurking around so that makes sense for the name at this point in the overarching plot.)

We have a plan for the weekend which does not include a movie for me. Rob is going to see Vice, finally (no new horror movies this week), and I will stay home and we will go out to eat on Sunday. I'm still saying the same thing I was saying a couple of weeks ago, which is that I was not amused by the Bush administration the first time around and I have no desire to re-live it. Rob has been wanting to go see Glass when it comes out next weekend, but the reviews aren't good. On the other hand, it's his birthday weekend so I may end up going anyway. Movie-wise, I'm just marking time til the things I actually want to see (like Captain Marvel) start coming out.

Also I had a mammo last week and I have to have a followup because they saw a shadow of some kind. I got phone messages about it and looked online, and I get the impression that the nurses who were trying to call me were all set to have to calm me down, and I'm like, no problem, been there done that (every few years since I turned 40, basically) and I'm not going to get excited til I'm sure there's actually a problem.
mellicious: Astros' very colorful uniforms of the 70s-80s (Astros' rainbow uni)
I realized when I was driving home from work tonight (I get off at 11;30) that November was ending right then and that made it Holidailies time. I had signed up and I did remember that it was coming, but still December 1st snuck up on me as it always does. I could wait til tomorrow to write an entry but I'd rather get ahead. It's 4 in the morning so this may not be too drawn-out, though.

I've switched venues since last year but my old archives are here and it's not as if Livejournal has actually gone anywhere, anyway - here's the old place, for the record. Since a lot of links and stuff didn't transfer I'm probably going to be sneaking looks at it myself.

Not too much has changed with me in the last year. There's a paragraph or two about Harvey if you scroll down click over to my recent entries, so I'm not going to repeat that. (Short version: we didn't get flooded. We were really lucky.) I'm getting older and I have an irregular heartbeat, it turns out, and I need to lose weight, of course, and I've been procrastinating about having a sleep study for months, but I'm generally alright. (I had actually lost 5 pounds or so before Harvey, and then we sat around the apartment and I played Portal Knights and ate for a solid week because we were flooded in, so that put paid to that.)

(movie talk below that I'll try to keep unspoilery)

Oh, let's see, I should probably talk about movies before I forget again. I last updated in October, and if we went to see anything later in October I can't remember what it was, but I made up for that by seeing four movies in November. Well, three movies, actually, because I dragged Rob to see Thor: Ragnarok again last Sunday. So there was that, twice, by which you can guess that I liked it a lot. But then practically everybody did. We also went to see two movies that weren't so generally liked, and that was Murder on the Orient Express and Justice League. And honestly I liked both of them just fine. I'm kind of at a loss for why nobody (relatively speaking) went to see Justice League - it's better than freaking Batman v. Superman and everybody went to see that one anyway. And hey, it had Wonder Woman in it! I mean, it's certainly not a great movie, but it's not completely terrible, either.

Murder on the Orient Express had a better Rotten Tomatoes rating than Justice League, but not spectacularly so. And it is a better movie than Justice League, definitely, but not really a great one, either, even though it has lovely production values and a terrific cast. Now I had read the book and seen the old movie, long ago, but I couldn't really remember whodunnit (and I'm not going to say) but I looked it up on Wikipedia to see if it was the one I was thinking about, and it was. (I read a bunch of Agatha Christie at some point long ago, so I can't remember which plot is Death on the Nile and which is Ten Little Indians, etc. I think I would have remembered which one this was really quickly even if I hadn't looked it up.) In any case, I thought they kind of telegraphed the answer in this new version, and that's probably its big weakness. Now I'd like to see the old one again and see if they manage to do any better.

(Do you think there's any chance that Ten Little Indians will ever get remade? What would they call it? - And yes, I know what the original title was. Although I didn't know about that until well after I'd read it - no internet, after all! It does have a good plot, but I suppose the basics of it have been stolen a hundred times by other movies and TV shows by now, anyway.) (And honestly, I remember the part about people getting picked off one by one, but I don't remember whodunnit there, either. Or who the characters were other than Poirot, even. Although I'm sure it would start coming back to me if I started reading it again.)
mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas lights pink)
I started my day out with a mammogram. I had one maybe six weeks ago, and they came back and said there was a "shadow" and they needed more imaging. This was one of those times when I was sorry I got online and read the radiology report because the way it was worded there was fairly alarming. But then they gave me a date of December 15 for the additional imaging, which at the time seemed like a long way away, and I went "oh well, if they really thought I had cancer they would have had me back in there like a shot" and I calmed down. Plus I've had needle biopsies twice in the past, and so I've been through this false alarm thing before. So after a day or two I was like, well, the time to freak out about it is when they tell me they really found something, not because they saw a shadow, literally.

So anyway, I had a 3-D mammogram, which is so new I heard them telling people on the phone that they couldn't guarantee insurance would cover it (although mine did, thank you BCBS), and then I had an ultrasound after that, because they were like, "We're pretty sure it's nothing but we just want to be sure" - which sounded reassuring and a little weird to me, but okay. (An ultrasound is nothing, after all - no giant needles involved!) In the end the radiologist came in and looked and they said it was fine. I guess that's just the health system covering itself, mostly.

Let's see, and then I went and had lunch at Luby's, because it was on the way home, and I went to the grocery store and got a few things, and then when I got home I read for a while. Then I got on the computer because around 5pm my time on weekdays is about the only time Col & I ever manage to meet up to play games these days - and before I could even get online, I promptly knocked my tea over on the keyboard. I'm accident-prone as hell, but oddly, I've never managed to ruin a keyboard like that - until today. It seemed alright for a while, and then the spacebar stopped working. (Bear in mind that the spacebar is also the "jump" key in videogames, and this was Trove, where you can't move more than a few steps without jumping most of the time.) Then the A key stopped working a few minutes later - and eventually I figured out that the Escape key was also hosed. So I waited a couple of hours to make sure it wasn't just a temporary problem (I had the keyboard turned over hoping it would drain!) but eventually I ended up at Walmart at 10:00 at night because that's the only place you can buy keyboards at that time of night. I wasn't even sure if the Walmarts nearest me - one in each direction - were open 24 hours these days, but apparently both are, in fact. I just bought the cheapest Logitech keyboard, not even cordless - it was $12 and change. It seems fine so far. I thought about trying to wait until tomorrow but then I decided that was crazy because I am totally computer-dependent. I've never gotten in the habit of doing things on my phone, like most people have, even. And really, it's the keyboard that keeps me using the computer, because I'm a fast typist (if more and more mistake-prone) and it takes me three times as long - probably more - to do things on the phone.

(I told Col - while I was trying to type with no spacebar and no A's - that I might possibly have spilled nail polish on the old keyboard at some point, but actually I'm pretty careful with the nail polish and I don't think I ever really had any kind of full-scale spill there. There was some glitter on it, for sure, though.)

And so now I'm writing this on the new keyboard, and baking an apple pie that we bought at Aldi the other day. My husband has decided Aldi is the best grocery store in the world because they have all this good cheap stuff - with weird off-brand names on it - and so far everything we've tried has been fine. I think he exaggerates the savings, but it is pretty cheap. (It was H-E-B I went to earlier today, though, because Aldi doesn't carry Red Diamond tea and I'm addicted to it. And today that addiction cost me $12.)


2015holibadge-blue.gif
mellicious: pink manicure (brain leaking)
I found a list that I was compiling somewhere along the line, so for your entertainment, I give you:

Fancy word

Normal word

Pruritis

Itching

Biliary colic

Severe pain from gallstones

Renal colic

Severe pain from kidney stones

Alopecia

Hair loss

Urticaria

Hives

Ecchymosis

Bruising

Pharyngitis

Sore throat

Acute coryza

Cold symptoms

Cerumen

Earwax

Exophthalmos

Bug-eyes

Emesis

Vomiting

Pyrosis

Heartburn

Pyrexia

Fever

EdemaSwelling

This is not near complete, but it gives you a few of them.

Meanwhile I have finally plowed my way through the last chapter of the anatomy book, so all I have to do is review and I'm done there. Meanwhile, I have also started working on the coding material. The second chapter of coding is a review of anatomy and terminology, so maybe I can overlap those and use it to study for my anatomy final!

Bing!

Jun. 26th, 2009 12:39 am
mellicious: pink manicure (Dr Who - delete)
I joked to Rob that I am like those annoying commercials for that Microsoft Bing! or whatever it's called - where people start spewing all that random information on a certain keyword. Only mine's not really random, and of course I hope to god I'm not that annoying about it! But I'm full of all this newly-acquired information these days, and I'm dying to share. Where I am Bing-like is that if you say, oh, Parkinson's disease, you elicit an immediate brain-dump - I really did do that one the other day, but it was only Art, and he's increasingly deaf these days and won't wear his hearing aid, so I don't know that he even heard it. -- Which reminds me, Col asked for a brain-dump about nerves and I haven't gotten around to doing that one yet, so if I'm really as gung-ho as I say, I ought to get on the stick, shouldn't I?

The next chapters in Anatomy were two subjects that were at the end of the other book - the senses and the endocrine system - and so I am sort of sick of them and I decided to skip them for now. I will come back to them later. The next chapters were the one on blood (thus the "buffy coat" term the other night) and the one on fluid regulation, which didn't have its own chapter in Med Terminology. Something new, yay! (And blood is a very complicated subject so I certainly needed a refresher there.)

(I am tempted to talk about Michael Jackson or LOTRO but I think I will go study instead. The former subject, in particular, does not need any more input. I had to turn MSNBC off because they have abandoned politics for the evening in favor of 24-hr King of Pop, and it was making me nuts.)
mellicious: pink manicure (brain leaking)
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
a slow-growing degenerative brain disease caused by a prion, an infectious protein agent. Related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or "mad cow" disease) in cattle.


This is another one of those things where I had heard the name but I didn't really know what it was. (Mad Cow Disease is not something I've paid a lot of attention to, I admit.) I also didn't know that there was such a thing as an infectious protein.

In other news, I'm taking a jewelry class all day tomorrow - 10:30-4:30, I think - which I signed up for ages ago. I think we're making some sort of necklace that had a bunch of different techniques involved in it. As I recall, I was more interested in the techniques than having the necklace, really. I hope it's a good class because it's going to involve getting up at what is for me nowadays a really incredibly early hour. Speaking of which, I need to go make sure I have the things I'm going to take with me gathered up. (Including a lunch, for goodness' sake. I really just am not a big "sack lunch" person.)

Flu bug

Apr. 29th, 2009 12:06 am
mellicious: pink manicure (VMars - surprise)
CNN has tracked down what they think might be the first person who came down with swine flu, a 5-year-old boy who was sick in March and is now fully recovered. There is a large commercial pig farm near where he lives but they are unclear about exactly how the virus might have made the jump from animal to human, in his case. Apparently they took a blood sample from the child at the time and tested it again later, so they know - as they didn't at the time - that what he had was actually the new strain. (Here's Sanjay Gupta's blog on cnn.com but I haven't seen what they were just saying on the air hit the website yet.)

They also said the virus has now been identified as an H1N1 influenza and is not the same thing as the "seasonal flu" - for whatever good that does. Different viruses, obviously - apparently the seasonal variants are the ones that are more likely to hit the old and the young, and that doesn't happen with this one, as we've already been hearing. (This post on Dr Gupta's blog talks about the differences.)

(I'm not sitting around worrying about the flu but I'm interested in the epidemiological angle. Maybe I missed my calling.)
mellicious: pink manicure (baseball - Kissimmee)
I was dreaming, just before I woke up, about being at a conference - actually most of it was at somebody's house, but it was supposed to be a conference, you know how dreams are - and being left out of everything. (Or maybe just feeling left out of everything.) That's one of my very deep insecurities, and it keeps on rearing its ugly head from time to time. There was this very odd mix of work people and online people in the dream. It was weird - but then it was a dream, so I don't know why I should be surprised about that.

Anybody else notice that the two big news items of the day yesterday were that (1) Anna Nicole Smith did drugs (and died from them) and (2) Pat Tillman was killed by his own men? Neither of which is exactly a big shock. Now I have to admit that the complexity of Anna Nicole's drug cocktail fascinated me a bit - nine different prescription drugs? Man oh man. I think that's a person with some serious enablers around her.

My personal drug cocktail was apparently not quite up to par yesterday - or maybe it was just forgetting to take my drugs on time, or maybe it was just that I was tired - but when I left work yesterday, that walk to the car was a very painful thing. Very painful. I was shuffling along like a little old lady by the time I got out to the street. But I went home and got in bed and rested for a while and felt better.

Rob watched Flyboys last night - luckily, since I didn't really want to get interested in it, it turned out not to be a very good movie. One big bundle of cliches, was what it was. I was only half paying attention and I was still telling Rob what was going to happen before it happened. (Last week's Monday rental, Invincible, was much better. I liked that one quite a lot. I am not usually a huge fan of football movies, but I still liked it. It was sort of a football version of The Rookie - made by the same people, actually, I think.)
mellicious: pink manicure (HP - Phoenix)
I really think there must be something in the water. Not only is Texas requiring the HPV vaccine (and even more surprisingly, offering to pay for those who can't afford it), but now Florida is abandoning paperless voting.

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but my mother's first round of cancer (diagnosed about 5 years ago, well before the whole brain tumor business) was apparently related to the HPV which my father gave her. So I take this whole vaccine thing a little more personally than I might otherwise.


I sat and held my mother's hand for a couple of hours this afternoon. She's pretty much completely nonresponsive, but they apparently have been getting a small amount of food into her, which is good. I am feeling really guilty about not being over there more, but the fact is that Art probably doesn't want me hanging around all the time, and I don't really want to be there all the time, so I really need to cut it out with the excessive guilt. At least I keep telling myself that. It's not doing too much good, though.

(Let me modify the above by saying that I already *am* planning on going to see my mother more in the time that she has left. What I am not currently planning on doing is, well, holding vigil, if you know what I mean. I don't think I could stand it. Although I don't know, I may change my mind when the time comes.)
mellicious: pink manicure (Shaun of the Dead)
I really need one of these. I can never remember what blood type I am, I have some kind of mental block about it. I'm not O and I'm not AB - I think I'm A-positive but I'm not quite sure. A laminated card I could carry around would be just the ticket. (Of course, once I had it, I would remember.)

You can tell it's a slow day when I start making multiple posts.

Complaints

Nov. 16th, 2006 11:33 pm
mellicious: pink manicure (fall tree)
Of course you can't buy a car and have it really be easy, that just wouldn't be right. We had a very easy time on Saturday, on the whole, and came home with the car, but then on Monday it developed that the credit union wanted all the papers to be in both of our names, to match the loan which was written up as a joint loan. OK, fine, so we'll go back and re-do the papers, shouldn't take long. Well, it didn't, once we got there. But getting there was a problem - we left right after work and promptly got caught in traffic. There was a wreck on the causeway, which is the only major way off the island. (The two "minor" ways, for you completists out there who want to know - minor mostly because they go to very out-of-the-way places - are the ferry to Bolivar Peninsula and the San Luis Pass Bridge, which is way the hell off, 25 miles south(east) at the very end of the island.) Plus, where normally the causeway is two bridges, right now there's only one because they're in the process of demolishing the old ones and rebuilding. They built the one new span, which is meant to be 4 lanes (in one direction) plus a full shoulder on each side - but at the moment, meaning the next couple of YEARS, presumably, it has traffic going both ways on it, which means six lanes and no shoulder whatsoever. Which makes it hell on earth when there's a wreck.

OK, so anyway, we eventually got out of traffic, up to the Toyota dealer and got the papers done. No problem. THEN I ended up spending most of the day Tuesday playing go-between between the dealer's finance guy and the loan guy at the credit union. These guys could not get their shit together. All that needed to happen was that the dealer's guy needed to fax the purchase order to the credit union guy, and in return they would get their money. Instead I get this: "Well, I sent the fax." "Well, I haven't gotten any faxes from them." Apparently neither of them is too good at working a fax machine. And I don't think they ever actually talked to one another, that would've made communication too easy. But eventually the Toyota dealer finally got all the papers to the CU, so presumably they've gotten their money by now and I can quit worrying about that. It was just another bit of stress that I really didn't need this week. I was seriously teetering on the edge.

 ------------------------

It didn't help that in the middle of all this, I get a call from radiology: I need to come in and have a follow-up mammogram. They called on Monday and scheduled it for Wednesday, which is a little ominous in itself because they usually make you wait longer than that. But then my OB/Gyn's nurse calls, and says, "Oh, I don't think it's anything to worry too much about, it just looks like some calcification," and so I relax for a while. So I go in yesterday, get it done, and the tech says, "OK, let me just go check the film real quick, I'll be back in a minute." 15 minutes go by and I'm starting to get worried. I figure the longer that takes, the more the chance that that means they're looking at something specific. And they were. They take me in to the room where the doctor is looking at the films - and she has it on a computer, too, I don't know if they scan it or what - and she shows me these spots with the calcification. She says there are some funny cells in there. 80% chance they're benign, 20% chance they're cancer. I can just wait 6 months and "see what happens" - which I think would drive me insane - or I can have a needle biopsy. So, I'm having a needle biopsy after Thanksgiving. I've had one once before, it's not a huge deal. I think wondering for six months if I have cancer or not would be a lot worse.

 ------------------------

This is not going to be a very cheery journal to read through the holidays, I suspect. (Even assuming that I don't have cancer!!) Y'all are going to have to bear with me, because writing about it does help, it seems.

For a little comic relief, though, take a look at Lupin's wand, which is, well, sorta scary. Makes me inclined to think the set designers had been reading Snape/Lupin fanfiction or something.


(I forgot to say earlier that I called this "Complaints" because I meant to link to the Complaints Choir - even though I'm sure everybody who cares to has seen it by now. I don't normally watch a lot of YouTube stuff, but I like that one.)
mellicious: pink manicure (Halloween - corpse bride)
Hmm, they're replacing the Trinity River Bridge. I've had nightmares about that bridge. (You can't tell from that picture how steep the thing is. It's truly scary.)

I wrote an entry over the weekend on how to add a feed - I was originally wanting to do this for purposes of tracking my congressman's votes, but I also ended up adding a feed for [profile] celluloid_eyes, among other things. Anyway, I originally had the entry marked as private because it wasn't finished, and when I did make it accessible it seems to have sort of gotten lost in the shuffle. So if you're interested, it's here. (If anybody found it without following the link, I'll be shocked. *I* couldn't even find it without looking on my Recent Entries page.)

I had a flu shot this morning. Ow. But it makes me feel terribly virtuous, somehow.

I got about 4 hours of sleep last night so I'm increasingly cranky today. Went to bed at 12, woke up 4-ish, never did really go back to sleep. I finally gave up about 5:45 or so and got up. God, I hate that. (I did get Rob's savings account all nicely up-to-date & balanced in MSMoney, for the first time in a year or so!)


Now I'm thinking about bridges. I actually think my bridge nightmares usually conflate a number of really tall bridges, especially all of that bunch on I-10 between Houston and New Orleans - the ones over the Trinity and the Sabine and the ones in Lake Charles and Baton Rouge, in particular. Also the one on Loop 360 in Austin, which isn't even tall, but something about that bridge is sort of creepy to me.
mellicious: pink manicure (fireworks)
Here's the text messages I got today with Rob's chip times:
6.2 miles: 00:43:27 (6:59 pace) (predicted 3:03:05)
13.1 miles: 01:29:57 (6:51 pace) (predicted 2:59:35)
18.6 miles: 02:06:42 (6:47 pace) (predicted 2:57:50)
finish: 2:59:04 (6:49 pace)

Personally, as a spouse of a longtime runner, I think the text messages are a great invention. About the time I start wondering how things are going and if he got hit by a car or anything (okay, that's highly unlikely during the marathon, really, since they close all the streets off - I really worry more about him getting hurt in some much more mundane way), I get another text message.

Anyway, the predicted times getting lower and lower is normal - he always runs what they call "negative splits" in the marathon, which just means he runs the 2nd half faster than the first half. So all looks normal there up until the finish time. I saw him right around mile 18, though, and I knew something was wrong - he wasn't running smoothly like he usually does. He's been complaining about his hamstring a little bit, and sure enough, that was it. He said he almost quit but he kept going because he knew he could still break three hours. Crazy thing. (I'm being flip but this really does worry me a fair bit - I worry that he's going to try to run through some really serious injury one of these days, and make it worse.)


(Hey, I just found out that if you go to abc13.com tomorrow and put in Rob's bib number - 1179 - you are supposed to be able to see him cross the finish line! Ain't technology grand.)

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