Monday, October 31, 2005

Hating Judging Amy today

We watch reruns of Judging Amy here with some frequency. Embarrassing I know but there you have it. Anyway of the threads this week has been Vincent's girlfriend Carol is diagnosed with breast cancer. Saw that episode the other day. Today, she has left for SF (show's based in CT for those more evolved folks) and has found an oncologist. Now it's true that I missed some of the details from that episode. Today Vincent announces that her tests have uncovered some bad new - carcinoma in situ, blah blah, radical mastectomy. Excuse me! Carcinoma in situ does not mean radical. My mother doesn't see an oncologist until after they do the surgery.

It was bad enough watching tv where pregnancy and birth are used as plot devices - I mean really, girlfriend threatens to shut the damn thing off, or cast me out of the house, but now breast cancer is going drive me bonkers too. I am not safe around women's programming, I tell ya!

(Shh - don't tell anyone, but it's the girlfriend who is distinctly a tomboy dyke who is really into the Judging Amy thang.)

The Cat that Ate the Universe

Elliott Butler loves people food. I mean it. Comes right over to your plate, doesn't matter what's on it he must check it out and often taste.

He is a carb kitty. Loves my honey cake (made for the new year) - devoured it as a matter of fact. The oatmeal walnut cookies I made for the party tickled his fancy as well. Barbeque chips make him purr. Potato chips, definitely can't eat just one. Hamburger meat - he does cartwells for a taste. I suspect that if offered he would delight over It's All Good Bakery's sweet potato pie gifted to us for the party (it is fabulous!). He has to inspect any plate we carry to the couch. Luckily he doesn't hunt at the dining room table.

Atticus Finch seems to have a thing for Fritos (his other mother's manna from heaven). He madly sniffs my coffee but doesn't taste it, which is good though I suspect the look on his face if he did taste would be priceless. Other than Fritos he doesn't seem to be interested in human food.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The party's over

Who sang that? Can't think of it for the life of me.

I did succeed in washing, albeit far from perfectly, most of the floors before the party - sans mop. My office still looks rather abandoned, the bathroom was not painted (though Jennie thought it was and like the color - silly woman!), and still no pictures have been hung (in part due to my pathological fear of later rearranging only to find the art work no longer matches the room).

We had lots of people saying they would come, but wound up no shows. Very sad as we were really looking forward to seeing them. I already have an email from one of them apologizing for not making it. She is pregnant and throughly exhausted from it, perfectly acceptable excuse in my book. As a result we have lots of food, though lots of it is sweet stuff. My rice salad and cranberry relish were huge hits, despite the fact girlfriend seems less than thrilled with them. However she loves the oatmeal cookies, even though they have walnuts in them. Did I mention she is a very picky eater with a rather narrow palate?

On the board for today is trying to do catch up work for school, since the two classes with weekly assignment are 1 and 2 weeks behind respectively. We won't even bother to discuss the others. Being so broke means I havent even bought the books I am supposed to be pontificating on. I suppose it's time to write to the professors and classmates (it's an online program) to tell them that I am behind and some of the reason why. I suspect I will leave out the part about being too broke to buy the books and go for the sympathy angle of "my mother has breast cancer". Way easier to get cut a break that route!

Some laundry also needs to get done. And please no looking at my kitchen right! As Gwendolyn says, Thanks to the goddesses without husbands, I have a dishwasher for the first time ever!!!
Also have a microwave for the first time, but that is only because of the girlfriend. I would give up the 'wave in a heartbeat over the dishwasher. A thought that horrifies her.

Oh yes, and then there's knitting. Karen ("the girlfriend") head band/ear warmer thingy needs to be finished, ideally today. Really have to get cracking on the beret for the momcat, since I will be there in just over a week, give or take. I know I can finishing it there but it would be nice for it to be complete upon arrival.

Okay. I think that's enough rambling. Haven't even finished the first cup of coffee. I suspect the rambling is an effect of that and the fact that I have only eaten candy corn and a small slice of the most luscious sweet potato pie. Sugar and caffiene, two of four food group according to my best friend, Greg.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Evidence that it's not my universe

Well we have a surgery date and it means that I won't be in town when my dear friend Gwendolyn is here. Our coasts will be reversed - it's just silly. She lives in Ithaca NY and is coming to town for a conference right next door in Oakland. I will be going to Croton-on-Hudson NY. It's like being star-crossed lovers or something.

First I need to know what my mother would like in terms of when I show up and how long I stay. It could be at least a week, maybe close to two. Second, Karen and I need to decide if she comes with, or stays home with the babies, and gets to play with Gwendolyn. Fie! If she comes with, did I mention she and my mum have never met? Over the phone they have spoken. That's it. As my friend Michele said, it will certainly make a memorable meeting.

I have left it up to my mother when I should come out, so I could be flying while she is having surgery, or waiting here on the left coast, biting my nails, in between playing computer solitaire furiously to distract myself. I started to say something about this to her but interrupted myself saying "well that's my stuff to sort out. Right now this is all about you." Why oh why did I ever say that! She just loved it way too much. I scolded her later saying that she is going to just milk this no end. Her response: Only on one side. God she cracks me up.

Well now I have a time line for knitting her beret. Have to get busy.

Still no mop or bucket, but thanks to Jennie, I have Murphy's Oil Soap. Watch out floors - Murphy's, towels and me, your dirt is mine!

Thursday, October 27, 2005


There is no other title for this one. I did call my father the other day and sure enough he was concerned about my mother and about me. Blah. He tries but I do not get comfort there.

Fast forward. I sent him an email giving the update about the second opinion and surgery plans.

He just called. I so DO NOT want to deal with his grief about this. He clearly feels like on some level that she or her husband should have noticed something earlier. He even knows this isn't rational but damn it all to hell, I don't want to hear about it. He wants her to go to Sloan Kettering - give me a friggin' break! We don't even know that this is a big deal. "I know people there" Well so do I. Big whoop.

If it's bad news from the surgery, than sure, let's look at different doctors, treatment, whatever.

I know, I know. He is struggling, he is scared, he's angry. Well so am I!!
He has other children besides me, he has a great girlfriend, but Sunny is my only mother. This is sounding like a "my hurt is bigger than your hurt", but what it amounts to is I don't want to be his confidente on this, ya know?

And here I am still without a mop, a bucket, or Murphy's Oil Soap for Wood Floors.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A mop, my kingdom for a mop

How is it possible I don't have a mop? I mean, I'm an adult (stop laughing!). Okay so a reasonable facismile thereof. But I don't have a mop. I desperately need to wash floors in my house before this gathering I'm having on Saturday. Did I mention we have 6 animals - so you can imagine the floors need washing - badly.

I know, I need to just suck it up. It's not like I don't have anything to clean the floors with, though I am lacking a mop or a scrub brush. Down in the basement we have several small towels that would do an excellent job at scrubbing.

The house just seems so daunting to clean. Oh I pick up here and there. Several of my hotspots- flylady the demented angel on my shoulder who annoys the living crap out of me) are just fine. But seriously, the house is a pit. Wyatt, who miraculously lives another day, has strewn cardboard, yarn, wood splinters, stuffing from the animals he gnaws hourly across the rug and floors.

Did I mention I have no desire to actually do the cleaning. I just want it done. Why won't twitching my nose do anything? Blinking my eyes really hard doesn't work either. Damn it all to hell.

If it weren't so funny it would be sad

So another funny from my mom. "I have all the material I need to be the drama queen and I am simply not up for it."

One of the benefits, as I point out to my friends, of my mother being a hypochrondriac is that she knows exactly how to manage all things medical. Some lovely folks have been suggesting websites for info and support, in person support groups. The reality is my mother know how to find all these things. She is a research queen. Really.

I suspect that if the internet had been around when she was in school getting all her degrees, she either would have completed it all much faster or added two more into that time frame. Although once you've research the bejesus out of Jonathon Swift and Samuel Johnson, truly, what is there left to conquer?

Sleeping dogs

What do dogs dream about? And why do they whimper in their sleep? My sweetheart usually speaks to Wyatt (the puppy) to try to settle him because she is convinced that he is having bad dreams.

It sounds like a like barking but muffled and more wimpy. He doesn't bark much except when certain noises outside alarm him in some way. Generally Wyatt has got to be the happiest dog around. Really. He smiles all the frigging time! He is certain that every dog at the dog park needs him to say hello. A regular Shiner, as the girlfriend(/partner/whatever the hell) says. Meet and greet, that's him.

Wyatt is eight months old and several times a week I am sure it will be his last day on earth because he has destroyed something. He is a toddler on steriods. The only thing that saves him is that he's so damned cute. Seriously. I'm not biased or anything. He really is exceptionally cute.

Except when he chews: my artisan hand mirror, the digital camera, memory sticks for said camera, yarn (he destroys more yarn that the frigging 5 cats), knives, pens, orchid plants, phone chargers (two down, two left), bras (two down of those, maybe three), fresh made bread. The list is actually rather endless.

Do dogs ever stop being orally fixated? I'm asking seriously. Do they? A life hangs in the balance.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A high grade is not always good

if it's the grade of your tumor.

Stage IIA, high grade. Oh yeah.
If it's a simple Stage IIa, and hasn't spread she has about Five Year Relative Survival Rate of 88%, which is damn good. Of course the grade indicates fast growing which isn't as good.

Second verse same as the first.
Second doc advises same approach.
I will go home for it.

Mumsy asked if I would knit her a breast cozy as the remaining one will be lonely. Love her sense of humor. First though I will knit her the beret I promised years ago. Winter's coming and she hates the cold. Purple of course. Natural fiber obviously. She is going to be an expensive giftee.

I guess now it feels appropriate to be emotional. She sounded angry, which is also appropriate.
Bone scan and CAT scan need to be scheduled, then the surgery which will happen in 2-4 weeks. Won't know if the cancer has spread to her lymph glands until then.

Okay, now the waiting begins in earnest.

Feeling like the pot watcher

My mom's second opinion on treatment option is today. It's almost 3:30pm here and I am figuratively tapping my foot when for the damn phone to ring. She is on the east coast so her appointment should long since be over. Right? Well?

I mostly don't want to talk about the subject. My partner about twisted my arm to call my best friend to tell him last week. Yeah, sure I posted it on a list I'm on but they're mostly faceless people who I don't actually talk to or see in real life. And I trust that the ones I do see, will intuitively understand not to bring it up unless I do. That's reasonable, right? Yeah I know it's not, but I have unrealistic expectations as do we all. So most of my long time, in real life friends don't know. I don't feel like there is anything to know yet. K (partner) says we already know that she has cancer, what more do I need.

I guess I feel that my emotions are a bit silly right now, as there is no death sentence impending, just surgery of some type for sure. So what's the point of getting upset. K says that well cancer is a big deal, it is scary, it's a reasonable response. Bah. But upset I am nonetheless.

Regardless that damn phone better ring soon!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Starting in the middle

of a rant of sorts because whenever one starts one of these, isn't that usually the case?

I just snapped at my partner, that she shouldn't think that if I do a blog it's gonna keep me quiet.

What was I ranting about?

Again, starting in the midst of life.

My mother recently had a biopsy and has breast cancer so know we are waiting on treatment option. It probably won't be that bad. Did I mention I'm an optimist? Any my father called yesterday, they've been divorced forever (like 30 years) but still talk. I think, wait he just called last week, this can't be good. I joked that maybe he hooked up with Pioneer long distance so is feeling generous (he's a little cheap). Of course the reality is that my mother called and told him the news. So now he wants to talk to me and be nice and all that crap. Great. See if it was truly my universe he wouldn't know yet. I mean, seriously, we know practically nothing but know I have to talk to him about it. Crap and double crap.

It's also a gray (or is it grey - why are there two spellings?) day here.

First blog entry, done!