Archive for February, 2012

Ugggghhh, take two.

February 29, 2012

Yesterday I had my 5th round of Gamma knife radiation. That went fine, until I woke up today with lots of nausea and vomiting (and extremely painful, stiff muscles from Monday’s fitness evaluation). My stepdad was supposed to meet with a prospective student this morning, and of course I vomited all over the (thankfully, tiled) living room shortly before the meeting. We managed to get it cleaned up in time, but still…

Then came lunch. I tried to swallow some anti-nausea meds with a sip of Coke, and it came back — instant vomit. I didn’t even have time to lean over the front of the couch into the floor. I threw up all over my pajamas, all over the couch, in between the couch cushions, down the front of the couch… Poor Mom was so grossed out. She led me to the laundry room and ordered me to strip naked, then moaned, “Oh, this is so gross. Oh, this is disgusting. Oh, G-d, this is really bad.”

I insisted that we call the doctor, and thank goodness we did, because it turns out I was on the wrong dose of steroid. As soon as that was fixed, the nausea went away. (Not a moment too soon!)



February 27, 2012

Today Mom and I went to be evaluated for the free cancer exercise program at the Health Science Center, and boy, did they push us to our limits! I don’t think I’m ever going to move again…

Blue Man Group

February 26, 2012

Today we got to go see Blue Man Group (again).  We first learned about them back in 2001 on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and my mom surprised me with tickets to go see them in Boston when we went up north to check out Middlebury.

For those who aren’t familiar with Blue Man Group, I suppose they could be best described as an all-blue alternative percussion group with the best silent comedy routine around.

Unfortunately, the performance highlighted my desperate need for a new pair of glasses.  I had a hard time reading the text messages on the phones.  I also got more of a workout than I’ve had in a long time, participating in the six universally-known rock concert moves.  And I learned a slang term for “buttocks” — “pants pillows”.

I had way too much fun. 🙂


I love it when my mom makes me laugh

February 22, 2012

Yesterday on our way home from the doctor’s office, we stopped to eat at our favorite Italian Napoletana pizzeria.  We had them recreate our favorite pizza from Geneva (sauce made out of fresh tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese, imported Italian salami and fresh arugula) and we had a delicious custard dessert whose name I forget.

Anyway, the weather was beautiful, so we decided to eat outside.  Lots of sunshine and a gentle breeze.

When we finished and got in the car, Mom exclaimed, “You didn’t tell me I had hair on my head!”

Me: Mom, where do you want your hair to be?  You’re supposed to have hair on your head.
Mom:  You know what I mean!  It’s messed up!
Me: Mom, we were eating outside.  There’s a breeze. Everyone’shair is a little messed up.  It’s okay.

I also had a good laugh watching “Dirty Jobs” last night — it was a special episode featuring dirty conversations caught during the taping of the show.  I learned a new noun (a “murky”) and I will not tell you what it means.  You’re going to have to figure it out for yourself.  This is not a dirty blog.  All I’ll say is that I’ve had them happen to me in public because of the chemo, and they’re not fun.  But Mike Rowe cracks me up.

I am going 90 to nothing

February 20, 2012

I just finished writing the rough draft of my memoir last week.  It’s 153 pages long and as-of-yet unproofread because I need to take a big step back for awhile.  I had my mom give me another piano lesson so that I’ll have some material to practice to un-fry my brain, and I’ve started scrapbooking again.  In fact, Mom and I went to our scrapbook group today for the first time in many months.  It’s great to get to talk to people who don’t live in the same house as you for once.  (And we talked about some naughty things.  And I learned some new, dirty vocabulary.  But I won’t share it with you.)  I’m working on finishing my Geneva 2010 album, and today I made pages for the World Cup and the Russian Orthodox Church.  I also got inspiration for a pretty page of globes that I need to do next.

Oh, yeah.  And I’m going to be doing a fundraiser for the Kidney Cancer Association in March, so to prepare I’ve created a CaringBridge page for myself (which you can view by clicking on the link in the right sidebar) and reformatting the blog that contains my memoir ( ).  Now I have to do some research and start writing a gazillion letters.

Thank goodness the steroids I’m on for my lungs right now are giving me extra energy!

I’m not talking to you any more!

February 18, 2012

Scene:  Yesterday morning.  Mom and I are driving to my doctor’s appointment.  She is on the phone with her brother, who has just gotten out of the hospital.

Mom: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
Uncle Larry: (unheard)
Mom: Do intestines have feelings?
Uncle Larry: (unheard)
Mom: Okay, love you.  Bye.
Me: That has got to be the question of the year. “Do intestines have feelings?”
Mom: You are NOT allowed to post that on your blog.
Me: Of course I’m going to post it on my blog!
Mom: You need to get a life.
Me: I do have a life.  And much of it consists of talking to you.
Mom: I’m not talking to you anymore!  And you’ll be sad!

New favorite commercial

February 16, 2012

Never mind that the song is about plucking all the feathers off a little bird…

It is finished!

February 13, 2012

Two days ago I finally finished the book I’ve been working on since September.  It’s about life with cancer and what it’s like to be a relatively atypical cancer patient.  Many parts of it are funny, but there are also some parts that are sad or heart-wrenching (or, at least, they were for me when I was writing them).  It’s 153 pages long, and some pre-rough-draft excerpts can be seen at my other blog, .

It’s taken so much out of me mentally that I’ve spent the past 48 hours doing almost nothing.  As soon as I feel up to it, I’ll be pulling out my scrapbook materials to try to get my mind un-brain-fried.  Then I’ll start trying to find an editor who’s interested in my work, with a view to getting it published.

I love it when my mom makes me laugh

February 10, 2012

I learned something new today — “nonwithstanding” is not a word.  The correct word is “notwithstanding”.  (Yes, it is possible to teach a proofreader new tricks.)  My mom couldn’t believe I didn’t know that, and she was so proud of herself for knowing something that I didn’t know.

Of course, today as she was labeling her file folders alphabetically, she wrote A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A.  She may be retired now, but she’ll still always be a music teacher!

This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of

February 7, 2012

My insurance company is requiring me to sign up with a company that provides “Chronic Condition Disease Management”.  The incredibly insulting letter I received was signed, “We look forward to working with you on your journey to improved health!”

Um, let’s see.  I’m terminally ill.  I’m DYING.  I am not on a “journey to improved health”.

Not to mention that their screening questionnaire is totally off-base.  I responded that I had cancer, and their risk assessment said that I had a low-moderate risk of developing cancer.  I told them that I weigh 200 pounds, and they said that I was underweight.  I told them that I had kidney cancer, and they said I was at low risk for kidney disease.  On the other hand, they said I was at moderate risk for smoking-related health problems, even though I responded that I have never in my life used tobacco products.

Talk about waste and jacking up the cost of our medical system…