Saturday, May 31, 2008

Ms. Van Winkle

I don't know what you've been up to for the last ten days or so but if there is such a thing as a "beauty sleep" then I should be nominated for top super model of the year right now. With as much sleep as I've had in the last couple of weeks I should be gorgeous. Unfortunately, not happening. But this pain I have been having which I have not been able to get rid of until just about yesterday has been so unbearable that all I could do for quite some time was sleep. A dreamless sleep. Just a heavy zonked out "get this horrific pain to go away or I'm going to jump out my bedroom window even though it's at ground level and all that would happen is that I would scrape my knee or get an ugly gash over my eye which would look just so lovely with this fucking CryptKeeper hairdo that I seem to have" type of sleep. Which reminds me that my wig friend called and said my wig is ready and he says it's beautiful but I have been feeling so badly that I haven't been able to get over there. Maybe this week. But I like wearing my Cubs cap..

So I had a scan on Wednesday and that told me that something is very inflamed, like my esophagus and on Monday they'll put me to sleep and stick a camera down my throat and then they'll be able to tell me more about my pain which actually I do not think is cancer pain. I think it's throwing up pain, lack of stomach pain. Still haven't eaten since February. But I'm thinking about it more and that's a good thing. Guess what I want? A hot dog.

Some days to pass the time I look through catalogues and dog ear the pages of things I would order if I had endless amounts of funny money...Although no one should have endless amounts of "funny" money because it's not funny when some people don't have any money and others can buy useless items with their extra thousands just because they're bored. Shouldn't there be a catalogue with the addresses of people who could use some money and the ones with the catalogues could send THEM the money instead of sending money to Eddie Bauer or Victoria and her not so secret Secret?

Anyway, I dog ear all of these pages and throw the catalogues into the garbage, wasting paper as well as time. But a couple of weeks ago I actually ordered something. My alarm clock has been broken for sometime now and there was this pretty yellow old fashioned Sunbeam alarm clock with glow in the dark hands that looked so cute and was very cheap and I thought it was just the clock I'd been waiting for. It arrived today. Guess I didn't read the fine print. But this clock was only twenty dollars so how big could it be? Right? A nice little yellow alarm clock to put on your night table. Well, THIS CLOCK IS HUGE. A veritable Big Ben. I'm not kidding. You could put this thing on top of a ten story building and you'd still be able to read the glow in the dark hands. The thing is like an entire mantle piece. I have no idea what to do with it. And the alarm. I would not die from cancer with this alarm, I would die from a heart attack when that GONG went off. Like a guy next to your head holding a mallet about to hit one of those gongs like at the end of an old English movie.

So now I have to wrap it all up and mail it back to where it came from and when they ask me why I'm returning the item I am going to say, "Because this clock could kill me." I might pull the cancer card because I want my twenty dollars back and when I get it I'm going to go straight down to the Promenade and give that twenty to the first homeless person I see and then I'm going to come back home and toss every dog earred catalogue I have and cancel the rest and try and be useful in these long hours of healing, which is what I should have been doing in the first place.

Anyway, I'm fine. Thanks for asking. And you?...............................................

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

To The Max

Well, I lost it yesterday. Lost my blog. Wrote a long one and then poof it was gone. And you can't rewrite these things because they are, to put it pretentiously, stream of consciousness. But it was about chemo. How Monday was the sixth but not the last and it was about other people in the room, who were mostly women and about how we trusted these doctors who were putting poison into our veins and sort of guessing that this was the right thing to do. And it was about trusting just about everything we do everyday like drive on the 405 or on Lake Shore Drive or whatever the big road is where you live and trusting that some nut is not going to crash into you and it was about being on a plane trusting that the guys in the control tower are paying attention...Like..."Hey, do those two planes seem like they're too close together to you, Bob?...Bob?...Yeah, give me one of those chips. Yeah, the salsa good. You made it, huh? Hothouse tomatoes, huh? It's smokin'. So, what do you think about those two planes?"

And then maybe your life is over because Bob made some good salsa.

So I guess that's what I was thinking about yesterday. Oh, and the title. Max. Every morning when I get up, the first thing I want to put down my throat is Pepsi Max. DIET Pepsi Max. It's got caffeine and ginseng in it. It is full of crap and I love it. Before I was sick I ate nothing but healthy. Broccoli, zuchini. Now I can't eat sugar, thus the diet MaX and I can't even look at a vegetable. And you know what, who cares? At this point, who cares. Will eating a bean really make me better? I don't think so. It think it's going to be poison and some luck.

That's what I was thinking yesterday. Today, my mind is blank. But I did wash the bathroom floor and did my laundry. That's a good thing. Normal life. Getting back to a normal life. Is that possible? Does that include broccoli? Does normal have a different meaning now?

I think it does. And that is going to be a very interesting thing to discover. The new normal.

Hmmm, I'm in the mood for something cheesy and greasy. Definitely a new normal.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wait A Minute...Could You Please Repeat That

"You don't actually have one more chemo treatment. You have five more...Altogether. You see, a "treatment" is TWO chemos, then a week off. So after next Monday you will have had THREE treatments, which included six chemo sessions. I'm sorry I didn't explain it more clearly."

Oh, she explained it just fine and it was ME and my tiny brain that didn't really want to understand that two meant one and I was never good at math anyway. But it might not be as bad as all that because after next weeks chemo I am getting a scan and then she'll be able to see if maybe I just need a couple more or maybe just one more go around. But I must say that at the time I was finding this out I wanted to cry or tear my hair out but that would have been pointless so I shed a tiny tear and took a deep breath and punched myself in the head then I felt better. And we're dealing with the pain and I'm going in next week to find out what that's all about, which is good. I'm running out of spaces to put these pain patches though a pain patch blouse might be the thing. Maybe Stella McCartney could come up with a cool style. And did you see that Heather McCartney is getting something like fifty million dollars and she was only married to him for two years. Seems a bit much but maybe he was a jerk. This goes under the heading of information that should not be in my brain AT ALL.

And yes, the Lakers lost on Sunday and then I really didn't feel well so I'm hoping they win tomorrow night but Kobe has a bad back and can you imagine playing basketball with a bad back? You have to be young and have a great doctor in order to do that.

This is going to be short today because it is post chemo and I'm a bit tired and relaxed from my acupuncture so I can't actually think right now but my computer was right here and I picked it up and I just started writing without anything to say. I know there was something I was thinking of....................Tell you what, I'll get back to...tomorrow. Good thing I'm not driving.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sweaty Bodies, Cool Shoes and Mothers Day

Okay, let's pretend I'm not in pain. Let's pretend I don't have chemo tomorrow. Let's pretend I can eat and drink anything I want to because I am very thirsty right now and I want to gulp down an entire bottle of pomegranate juice but then I would go into some kind of horrible coma like state so I just have to take tiny sips of water and pretend that it has some sweet wonderful tart taste so today seems to be a great day to play pretend. I am putting all the sort of "bummer" things aside and I'm just focusing and what is actually good about today.

My son was just here for a visit, had to go back for work but it was a great visit and just sitting with him and hanging is a million times more satisfying than pomegranate juice or any juice for that matter and now it is Sunday and foggy and I love fog and I am writing on my fab gear computer and watching the Laker game and looking at all of those incredibly handsome young man run up and down the court, at the top of their game, making what is impossible seem effortless and I'm a little worried about the Lakers right now because I think the Jazz may be a bit hungrier at this little juncture but Kobe did win the MVP award this week and maybe he can get his guys in gear. But it is not going to be easy. And they are playing Utah! In Utah. Look at those people. They're all so white and happy and of course I think they're all Mormons, which is fine, but I had a strange run in with Mormon's once. A long time ago, I took a train with my friend Nora. We were on our way to Colorado. We had a morning stop in Salt Lake so we put on our running shoes so we could get a little exercise and we were told we couldn't run around the Mormon Temple! It was illegal. So we debated whether it was cool to get a ticket for running illegally, sort of like Arlo Guthrie getting a ticket for littering, or if we should just walk around the Temple. We chose walking. The chicken way out. Anyway, that was my experience with Utah and Mormons.

And I must say...Talk about handsome...Kobe just gets cuter and cuter as he matures and I think he's actually a better guy, not quite as self absorbed as he used to be and oh my goodness his daughters are soooooo cute.........................

So I'm going to sit here and watch basketball and sweaty bodies and for moment, for very long moments I will not feel any pain and that is such a relief because I cannot seem to get what I think is my esophagus to stop hurting. Every time I eat something or even have that sip of water my chest hurts. Dr. Shaum is going to help me figure this out. I keep reminding myself that I used to eat...before the cancer came back...and I ate in February so I should be able to eat again...Without pain. And I won't have to wear these pain patches or take pills that make me feel off center and drive like a maniac. Which, by the way, I am going to do today so you might think about staying off the street between 2 and 3.

Until then I am going to watch Kobe and Derek and try to remain calm although until they are at least ten points ahead I will probably not be able to do that.

But I won't be thinking about MY pain. Just handsome guys with sweaty bodies wearing cool shoes running back and forth, back and forth. Life is good.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


I decided not to mention this yesterday in the middle of all the wireless excitement but there I was on the couch tip tap typing away and feeling oh so good about where I was and what I was doing and I went back and read what I had written which is something I don't always do and I saw that AN ENTIRE PARAGRAPH had been erased! My little lap top is much more sensitive than the desk top I've been using forever and I must have just touched something very gently and poof, the paragraph was gone. And it was a good one, too. At least I imagined that it was and probably the best thing I had ever written...EVER. And it was all about me driving around on pain pills and pulling out of the driveway and I knew I was either going to have to start all over (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!) or try and recreate it. And oh my gosh as I've said before (like yesterday) that it's always something (actually Gilda Radner said that and of course I loved her but SHE DIED so I try not think that I am the Gilda who DIDN'T make it.) Anyway, I wrote a bunch of stuff all over again. Actually, first I went into the bathroom and put this oil that's supposed to help with hair regrowth all over my head. I still have some hair though it's much thinner than it used to be and maybe I'm kidding myself and I actually look like the Crypt Keeper with just these pathetic strands shooting out in various places but when I came out of the bathroom I was covered with oil I had to go into the kitchen and try and get it off of my hands or it was going to cover my brand new sweet comuter so I did that and came back to the couch with this oily head and dry hands and wrote something. Because I knew that was the thing I was supposed to do and that's what all this wirelessness was about.

But I try, believe me I try, to not sweat the small stuff as someone said and I don't think it was Gilda but might have been. Although, that's what it's all about really, isn't it? The small stuff. I mean, a baby is big stuff because it's a LIFE for goodness sake and a puppy is big stuff and any animals and then I guess you would say plants and I suppose pencils and here's the thing...

I'm hungry. When I start talking about pencils it means something is not right and at this moment it is because I am hungry that I'm talking about pencils. I did a little too much today because my friend Candace came over and we walked and then went to the market and before you know it, it was after three and I hadn't been plugged in since this morning and that's a long time for me to be without nutrition. But I'm plugged in now as I write this and I'm a bit light headed from no food. Although, maybe it's actually because I have NO HAIR. Honestly, ever since I conjured up that image of the Crypt Keeper, I am realizing that when I look in the mirror, that's who I see. Oh my god, I'm a female Crypt Keeper with no ass and a tube coming out of my abdomen. If only it was closer to Halloween. I always have such a hard time finding a costume and right now I'm all set with no where to go. My timing has always been for shit.

So I'm trying to keep calm. And I'm thinking that not looking in the mirror is a good place to start. I never really liked doing that anyway. Was not a big mirror looker. Who looks good in a mirror? They can try and trick you in some of those upscale stores with their soft pink lighting and I did fall for those tricks as witnessed by some of the clothes in my closet. "Oh, that looks so great on you. Makes you look years younger." And then I'm home and I try it on and I look like Bette Davis on The Dick Cavett Show when SHE had matured into the Crypt Keeper.

I remember I used to be Eloise. Thought I was sort of like Eloise or Pippi Longstocking. And if you check out an Eloise book you can sort of see how she could morph into the Crypt Keeper if she could get older. So actually, if I died at a younger age than people think you are supposed to die, it might not be such a bad thing. John Kennedy will always be young and handsome. Hard to imagine him as an old man. Kurt Cobain. John Lennon.

But you know what? It's fun watching Bob Dylan grow old. It's cool. Nice if Gilda had gotten to be an old funny lady. Nice for her if she had been able to be a mom. So, once again, maybe living is the thing to go for.

I'm not going to read this again. If something sounds like it's missing...It probably is. I'll get the hang of this yet.

Or I'll just go back to using a pencil.............................................

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Oh Yeah

Yes, ladies and germs I am wireless! Thanks to my handsome and rugged friend Keith Stevenson, whom, if only I were years younger, would be attacked and captured and dragged to my house and fed turkey meatloaf and potato chips but because of my present circumstances all I could do last night was watch him work on my computer while I put together a Chinese chicken salad and tried not to throw up...But he did it and now I am sitting on the couch in the living room, just as I had imagined and I have my Spring Green computer on my lap and we're bonding and it's so warm on my thighs and that is one thing I had never imagined and I'm so excited I could scream...

I just did.

And last night after he finally got it going I actually did get so excited that I had to excuse myself and vomit and I think that was out of pure excitement. I guess little kids do that. Vomit and poop when they get excited. Not so cute when you're my age but at least I excused myself. So who knew? Well now, everyone.

But, of course, it's always something. It's afternoon now and I have spent all day freaked out because I no longer have any excuse as to why I'm not writing. I woke up thinking, oh shit, I can sit on the couch and write now and I can't say to anyone oh dear I am waaaaay too tired to go into my study and yadayada and I am sick as a dog...Although when I am I sick which will be the next couple of weeks because I didn't have chemo this week and I'm finally feeling a bit better...But when I am sick THAT IS an excuse so there! I have been feeling really badly the past few days and I talked to Dr. Shaum and told her that my chest hurt, right where the cancer is/was and she thought I should add another pain patch so I am now wearing three patches and taking less of the pain pills. Which is good. The pills make me feel very strange and I don't like to drive on the pills and I shouldn't drive but I have to take them and sometimes I do have to go out. It's a kind of strange that's hard to describe but it's sort of like I get into the car and wonder what in the world a car is................And someone is talking and it takes a while to realize it's the radio and it's Rachel Maddow who is a radio commentator and she's also on MSNBC and she's a beautiful and smart lesbian that a bunch of straight women I know are in love with but she's taken and I love her too, especially on pain pills so she's talking and I start driving and sort of feel like I'm in a Disney Flubber car and I'm not even sure what that is but I feel like I'm bouncing all over the road and I realize I have no idea where I'm going or why I'm going and then I see a Ralphs so I decide that I must be going there so I do. And I pull the car into one of those parking space thingies and listen to Rachel for way too long and I'm not even sure what she's talking about but it has something to do with Michigan and Florida and I have been to both states and if I get to go to Michigan again I will be a very happy woman but if I have to go to Florida again I don't think I even want to get out of this car...

But I do get out and walk into Ralphs (which is a SUPERmarket for those who don't live in Ralphsville.) and Ralphs looks SO BIG that I sort of freak out and just leave and..................

Anyway, you can see why I don't like taking the pain pills. Makes the world just a little woo woo for me to drive around in. I guess the world is all woo woo to a baby. Maybe I'm becoming a baby again. Poop vomit woo woo. Oh my gosh, what if I had to wear a diaper AND move to Florida. Well, that would just be it, wouldn't it? What would be the point of going on?

But I ramble. I'm wireless. Dog food. That's what I needed at Ralphs.

Wow. Cool. Thank you, Keith. Thank you, Will. Thank you, Ralph. Woo woo...............