Friday, April 29, 2005

In Good Hands

Once again I feel blessed. Today I had an appointment with an Internist at whatever I call that place - "impressive medical center" or whatever. He is a heads-up, young, really sharp man, who had me figured out in about three min. Don't you kinda hate it when they're SO fast - I mean - like - gee - guys - where's the mystery I used to exude?? But, then - thanks - I've had enough Mystery the last two years to last the rest of this life time. I want simple from here on in!

He Listened - can you imagine - He asked me what might make my life better - He wants to bring in some quality - some Light - less burden. He ordered some tests which may make a difference. Okay - okay - Moms ready to adopt yet again. But, would you blame me?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Just Lazy

It feels like someone just drained all my stuffing out. I'm pooped - or is it just lazy? Too many tests, too many meds and definitely too many carbs make for wanting to sleep any time, any place. Yesterday, I fell asleeep with my knitting needles pointing straight up - glad Kid Sis walked by before I stabbed myself..

It will be good to be home. My old home had been great to visit but a lot of work with wheel chair, walker, commode, etc. Everthing is so heavy lucky for me I have great, strong friends who do Curves or Yoga and other things to keep fit.

As Kid Sis reported, I had great results from the MRI and MRS the best/Icould have imagined, in fact. The swelling looked much smaller than 6 weeks ago. But they still can't ans. -they just don't know -- or have any history - or I'm on the far outside of the Bell Curve - guess better on the outside than the alternative. More when I get home.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Are WE There Yet?

You know you've gone too many times, too close together when you pull out of a restaurant and can't remember if you're going North or South - as in North to Alaska or South towards Mexico! Not, just which way to my house from here.

Today, believe it or not we must leave again for big impressive hospital up North. They want my head back. For two cents I'd ....no, no - they want it attached! Do you guys have any idea of how much FUN we could all have if we could divert all this time, energy and cash into, oh I don't know - maybe a day or two playing the slot machines - or pigging out on cruise food - or - whatever. I'm going to be a good girl - spend my money on MRI and MRS and any other test that sounds fun and informative.

Seriously, if they don't get a handle on this soon, I could be rejected as a Blimp float in the Macy's Day Parade - too large. The steroids rule - not good - and they are really not helping my brain - foot coordination thing - as seen from this angle. Hopefully the tests will prove me wrong.

This is the best I've felt getting ready for an 8hr. car trip. I'm planning to see some more friends this time when I hit my old "home". Last time I was so scared of the growing numbness and paralyses I wasn't much up for much.

You people are terrific - my heart warms with all the generous acts of kindness you extent to me and my family. I'm not good at personal comments yet - but will ask Kid Sis to do some work on that with me. In the meantime please know I am truly grateful.

Til I can steal/beg/borrow a computer and get back to you - I wish you all well -
Love and Light,
Mom

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Wheelchair 101

About six weeks ago I got a wheelchair. It has been sitting in the dining room mostly unoccupied. I figured it was for sticking into the car when I needed to go to medical offices, out to dinner or long, slow trips on sandy beaches (nah, not really). With someone else doing the pushing.

WRONG! Michael, my P.T. guy now tells me that every step I take with the walker counts. It must be well executed. No more dragging, Frankenstein style. Heel down - roll toe up lift. Did you ever think there was SO much that goes into one single step. (Hey, man on the Moon).

Well, jump to mid-story. I can get many 30 feet and am exhausted. This puts me close to wheelchair, saddled up in dining room. I switch walker for wheelchair but just sit there. OOOHHH - I have to do something. Geez - big wheels just sit there - waiting patiently for me to try and figure out angles and turns and trying hard not to run over Hero. Who, by the way, seems to have quite a sense of when to RUN for a corner.

Today, Chris, an Occupational Therapist, helped me christen the kitchen. It was pathetic. I bumped, I crashed, I got wedged, I really got stuck, I felt very, very sorry for myself - all just trying to get a frozen eggie thing out of the freezer and and into the microwave. I know I'll get better, faster, more agile, i Know - I know....somethings you just wish you didn't have to know. Then, I think about what Son said about how complex our brains are - about how this swelling could be affecting my speech, my memory, my eyesight - I am fortunate. I know...
Love and Light,
Mom

Monday, April 18, 2005

So, About the Eisner?

There was a time I tried to be a "hip" Mom. That was shortly after the period in the 60ies when I was a "hippie" Mom. Lately, although I finally developed a full set of real hips, I find myself lugging further and further behind.

The comic books have been part of our lives since Son could lean over the shopping cart and make that cute little fisted give-me, give-me. He didn't want candy or sweets, he wanted to read! So, I let him. He saved every one - good as new - right up until it was time for us to move to California. Then, I made him "weed them out" there was no way they would fit in our little U-Haul along with important things like washer, dryer, couch. (There went his retirement fund.)

Then along came Kid Sis. Her enthusiasm became even more pronounced when Big Bro left for college and told her that she may continue to read his books - but he better never find a mark on any of them. She would sit beside the drawers filled with comics, quietly reading for hours.

Zoom ahead twenty five years and imagine sitting across the table from these two . They leave me staring blankly back and forth as they recall this issue and that Super hero and compare and contrast and throw in a movie and how the Super Four..

Now, about the Eisner Awards. I'm not going to pretend that I'm not excited. There is just a lot which seems to be escaping my basic understanding. Okay, new catagory..who votes? Owners of Comic Book stores? Fans of Web sites? Me..? Where can a Mom cast her ballot? I'm not trying to be too nieve here, I have friends asking...some of them a lot more "with it" than me. I'm so obviously not in this industry I'd never have a Professional vote - but, hey, I did get my likeness onto quite a few pages. I figure that gives me the right to ask a question or two.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

No More Tarps, Buckets

Eight months and holding - that's how long it took to get roofers doing what roofers do best - ROOF our roof. Now that every dog within miles is awake I guess that's enough shaggy story, right? But, of course, being the drama queens that all of us are, it wasn't a simple job.

It started out well last Sat. If you can say having approximately 18-20 guys jump onto your roof and start ripping up shingles okay. They were loud, they were all over the place and they were not speaking the one language I'm somewhat familiar with. Kid Sis and I stayed inside as the wood, nails, black paper, etc. came flying off.

THEN, it was still - nothing - the eye of the storm. I looked out just as they (20 strong) attack the Guest House where Nurse Sis and her Lab were doing some computer work. They both ended up under the covers, expecting someone to be falling thru at any moment.

That was that. As quickly as they had descended, they were gone - big white truck filled to the brim with day workers and shingles. It was surreal.

Of course, Sat. night and all day Sun. we prayed it would not rain - as every increasingly heavy clouds hovered around us. We did get out the tarps, placed the buckets in rows starting in the corner of the front room and working forward, as usual. Some big contributors toward filling up the buckets have been our ceiling speaker and our ceiling fan, along with about 10 holes a nice fireman poked into the drywall one rainy night to keep the ceiling from falling down on us.

Oh, it's really been the Beverly Hillybillies around here. But, that is now over.... Monday morning we got two white trucks - filled to the brim with - oh, you know.

Now, the surprise. All but two guys left. Every day now for a week these two guys show up at 10:00 or 11:00, start a noisy compressor and start drilling holes in the tops of our heads - no, no, that's just what it feels like until 6 or 6:30 every night.

Maybe we needed the slow, painful version of the roofing process to kept reminding ourselves we are now over the hump. We have a tight, secure house to relax in, stay dry in, take a deep breathe in - we are home.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Happy Birthday, Son

More years ago than perhaps either one of us wants to admit to, you decided to make a quiet entrance into this world. You brought along a new foreign name for me - Mom - which seems to have stuck! It's kinda cool to hide behind since everyone has one and no one (okay a few) knows it's me. Just yell out "Mom" in a crowd and watch the women's heads spin around as if on sticks.

Yesterday my little Blog site made a not-so-quiet entrance into your world. geez...it was bad enough being a barely 20 year old Mom not knowing where to put the powder, or how much - now, at my ripe old age, I have to worry about comas, and run on sentences, and my public, and YOUR public, and how I can't spell for beans, and how - now - for the first time, everyone will know my dirty little secret about being a life-time smoker who couldn't quite quit in time.

Yeah, I can still run a pretty damn tight guilt trip , eh? Nice to see I haven't lost my edge!!!!

But, between us, we have already acconplished one of my sincerest goals. When I decided it was okay for me to cop to being a smoker - I did it for one reason ONLY - and yesterday that reason became a reality - in comments "Dee" wrote:"I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE THE REASON I QUIT SMOKING ON MARCH 1, 2005."

Awards are great, wonderful acknowedgements of jobs well done - I hope you get tons of them - just remember that between us we saved one woman the torcher I went through.

I can't think of a more wonderful Birthday Gift.
I love you, MOM

Friday, April 15, 2005

Get To Be 99

Do you remember the Hallmark(?) greeting care that asks - "How do you live to be 100 years old? " Ans. "You get to be 99 - and then be very, very careful."
I've just decided that same formula is how you get to survive a 5% chance of living past the five years mark for Stage IV Lung Cancer!!
I saw my research Oncologist at big, impressive SO. CA. Medical Center on Monday. I'd had a PET CT the previous week. Always a bit scary - especially when they bring in the cylinder with the Radioactive injection inside - dry ice spewing forth like a bad X-Files moment. So, Nurse Sis and I got the results on Monday. From the neck down (the part SO. CA. is responsible for) I am 100 % Cancer free. The pockets of liquid on my lungs have dried up to the point she can hear air going through - YES - no further draining required, thank you. Some rather nasty lymphs along my collarbone decided enough was enough and dried up or shrunk away.

It just doesn't get any better than this. This is on the way to the five year mark!! Two years and holding. I was told that the brain tumor was not what would kill me, maim me pretty good, yes, but the Lung cancer was what I should fear.
I'm feeling a BIT more generous to the Medical community when it was explained to me - both up North and here, that this is all new to them, too. My local Dr. has just this LAST Month had her first 5 year success story(of Stage IV Lung with Mets someplace else) - with another one coming in a month or so. We are inventing the Wheel - together.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Toe Hold

Still looking for a good strong toe hold here. The Physical Therapist and I have been working three days a week, trying to build up my muscles, and re- link my right foot to my fuzzy brain. At the most I could move my foot back and forth maybe 1/2", but it was progress. Two days ago I was told to reduce the Dexamethasone by 2 mg. I did - and my body went on strike.

We are still fighting. Wish I could be witty and hopeful, but after two years of singing "Tomorrow" I'm plum tuckered out. Today was okay. For now that will have to do. I'll try to keep you posted, if not, Kid Sis has done a nice job of keeping up with the family news. Check her out. Love and Light - Mom