Monday, August 30, 2010

I seek him here, I seek him there...

You know how sometimes I wake up and look in the mirror and think "Holy crap! I look like a celebrity!"? Yeah? Well, it happened again.

Check me out:




Before I show you my celeb look-alike for the day, let me just say that whenever I wear this robe, I have to giggle a little bit. You see, I had one of best/most sincere compliments of my life when my friend Jenni was here this summer. I came out of my room, wearing this robe, and she gasped and said that this was such a great color for me, that it made my eyes greeney-browny. (True story.) Now if only I could find more than a robe in this color - you know, a dress, or a top or something a little more suited to public wear - maybe I could find myself my very own Sir Percy Blakeney. I'm pretty sure that no man would be immune to my charms, my big hair and my greeney-browney eyes...

Behold, my celeb look-alike for the day (in my own - very wild - imagination, mind you):






Now, if I could get my crazy hair to be just a little bit bigger (it's lacking some size about the sides), maybe I could snag myself a seemingly foppish Englishman who spends his free time saving French nobles from the guillotine. (Also, he's a bit of a poet.)



Sir Percy Blakeney. Be still, my beating heart.

If you've never seen The Scarlet Pimpernel circa 1982, put it on your Netflix - STAT. You will not be disappointed. I promise.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

We have so much in common.

We both grew up poor. Except I think that I was probably poorer, in that he had two parents who were teachers and I only had one parent who was a teacher. (With that math, his family had twice as much money as mine did.) Another big clue that he was richer than me is that he had a bike with a banana seat. I wanted a bike with a banana seat, but we couldn't afford one, so I'd go over to Christa Maxwell's house and ride her banana seat bicycle and pretend it was mine. (What can I say? I've always had a rich fantasy life.) Her bike also had a basket. A basket, complete with plastic flowers wired to the front of it. And shiny streamers that came out of the handlebars.

But I'm not bitter.

Really, I'm not. Why? Because we were both poor. I think having that in common is going to go a long way into helping us forge a relationship that will stand the test of time. (For example, when I was in Jr. High, my brother and I would walk to the gas station - it was the only "store" in town - and we would get a 32 oz refill and a firebomb for 25 cents.) Do you see how much Nathan and I have in common? ... All of the talks we could have about what we could get for a quarter when we were kids, it's staggering. (Just wait until I tell him about the soda machine at the feed store. You could get 3-4 cans of soda for a quarter there. --- Not that the price was "4 cans for a quarter". Oh, no. The machine was broken. I would put a quarter in and just keep pushing the Red Creme Soda button until the cans stopped coming. On second thought, maybe I won't tell him that one. It doesn't speak well of my ethics, come to think of it.)

I like to think that he'll tell these stories to our children:



I love him - and Legos.

The End.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bippity-Boppity-BACON!



I tell you what, this clip makes me laugh out loud. Why? Because I so love bacon.

In truth, this whole routine makes me laugh out loud. Seriously, the man is HILAR!

I would like to thank my friend Kimmie for bringing this dvd over to amuse me in my time of Radiation and confinement. (Okay, so I'm not really "confined", but I'm too flipping tired to go anywhere or do much, so the stack o' movies she brought over was super nice.) This stand up dvd is pretty much the funniest darn thing - EVER. Probably because I, too, am lazy. And indoorsy. And love bacon.

Jim Gaffigan, I totally heart your humor.

And now I think I'll go and make some bacon and eggs for lunch.

The End.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Who do I love?

Captain Mal. Dr. Adam Mayfair. Kevin Callis. Dr. Jim Pomatter. The Holy Avenger. Captain Hammer. Joey Buchanan. Richard Castle.

(And by association - literally, association - my friend James. But that story will come a little later.)

Nathan Fillion. That's who I love.



Did you see that wink? ... Be still, my beating heart. Also, the man carries Oreos around with him?! And I'd thought that I couldn't possibly love him any more than I did before I saw that clip. Help me, Rhonda.

And because the bit with the ice cube makes me laugh out loud, I am including this little beauty.



Sundays. They are the best day for watching youtube videos of my fav celeb boyfriend. I heart Sundays. (And Nathan.)

The End.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Progress Report

Today, I hit the halfway mark for the radiation treatments. Three weeks down, three to go. Halle-freakin-lujah! And I thought it would be fun to give ya'll a little recap of what I can (and still cannot) do these days.

It's been just over 8 weeks since surgery. I still cannot roll over. I understand most babies learn to roll over between 3-5 months. ... My abdominal muscles aren't as strong as those of a 5 month old baby. Awesome. (But I can lie on my side now, thankyouverymuch.)

I can shave my own legs. (I just heard a whoop of "hooray!" around the world.) Life is good. (Any day now, I should be able to clip/paint my toenails again. Ya'll are looking forward to that day as much as I am, I'm sure.)

I can lift a gallon of milk. (I know, that's not one most of you would find impressive. But trust me, it's a big deal.)

I can wear a 1 1/2 in heel - but 2 inches is too much and they make my stomach hurt. (Oh, the muscles we women use to balance on our girly shoes. It's so funny to me.)

I can get out of a float in the swimming pool. (For a while there, I had to swear off the pool. The first time I went swimming, I got stuck in a float and for the life of me could not bend in half to get out of it. It was terrifying - and hilarious. I can now float and un-float at will. I bend in the middle again. Wahoo!)

I can't carry a heavy purse. (As ridiculous as I know that sounds, it's true. The weight and bulk of my normal-sized purse isn't comfortable. I'm the queen of clutches these days. Any of you who are familiar with my usual purses can imagine how hard it is for me to carry a bag that will only fit my phone and wallet in it.)

I can sleep through the night. (The fact that I can sleep more than 4 hours at a time is still thrilling to me. Now that I can fall asleep on my side, I fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer than I'd been thinking would ever happen again. ... One of the "perks" of radiation is that I'm pretty tired. As in, I'm sleeping for 9-11 hours every night these days. - My usual is 7, maybe 8. It's mind blowing that not only can I sleep through the night, I can sleep until 8:00 or 9:00 in the AM.)

I can't eat ice cream, cheese, grapes, or more than 4 baby carrots at any given time. (This last week, I've tried to play with the diet. I've experimented with the foods on the forbidden list and have found that, uh... yeah, there's a reason I'm not allowed to eat fruits, vegetables, or anything with a dairy base. Awesome. The good news? I can keep 4 baby carrots down. They don't seem to cause any major issues - as long as I only eat 4, once a day. Hahaha.)

I'm off the prescription pain meds, and am down to only 3 doses of ibuprofen a day. (I feel less like a druggie, which is good. For a while there, I was wondering if I'd need to join a support group for Percoset Users Anonymous. ... Not that I'd be all that "anonymous", seeing as I've pretty much told the whole www that I love the stuff and it was my best friend for weeks after surgery.)

I'm walking less and sitting more. (They'd told me, when I started radiation, that I'd be tired. I had no idea how tired I'd be. I mean, I was tired after surgery, but it was different. This tired is a funny thing, because I sleep for-freaking-ever at night, but still wake up with just enough energy to sit still all day. The good news? It won't last forever. And I'm re-watching the entire series of LOST.)

I'm not eating chocolate. At all. Which, if you know me even one little bit, you know is STRANGE behavior. It's on the forbidden list, and is pretty much the one thing I have truly steered away from. (Why? Because if chocolate made me sick, it might ruin our relationship forever, and I just can't take that kind of risk.)

So, like I said. It's been 8 weeks since surgery - and I'm 3 weeks into radiation. This whole mess of a surgery oriented summer is more than half over. On the one hand, it's been fast. On the other, I don't even remember what it was like to eat/feel/sleep like a normal person. Hardcore digestive issues will most likely set in next week, as they'll be changing the radiation fields. (They've been hitting the same spot(s) for the last 3 weeks. The next 3 weeks will have varied treatment fields and strengths, to make sure they've hit not only the original tumor area, but any surrounding areas that were affected as well.)

I'm doing well (as long as I don't eat cheese, grapes or other forbidden foods - hehehe). I'm taking anti-nausea meds every day, and they're helping. I sleep a lot, which I figure will help my stomach muscles heal so one day (hopefully soon) I can roll from my back onto my stomach and over again. Radiation is halfway over, and as much as I do enjoy the techs there telling me how cute I am every day, I'm looking forward to the day that I don't have to go back. ... Maybe I could get a new "Laurie, you look cute" support group going to take their place. I wonder if I could get James to talk to Nathan about heading that up. Hmmm... I'll get right on that. Tomorrow. After 9:00 AM, when I'm awake again. :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We're famous!

That's right, we're famous. And yeah, that's pretty much a big, fat "royal we". (Since Darth Vader was long ago incinerated, I am the only living creature who can enjoy the fame.)

Get this. I saw my surgeon today and asked, just for kicks, how big the largest tumor he'd ever removed had been. He smiled his smirky little smile (those of you who've met the good doctor can envision this, I am sure) and said ... "Years ago, I took a really big tumor out of an older gentlemen. It was big. It was really big. But yours was bigger." Awesome! I told him I'd felt a little like I'd won the tumor lottery, knowing that I'd had the biggest tumor in his life. He laughed, outright. (This is a major win. Love the doc like I do, he is not a laugher as much as he's a smirker.)

One thing led to another, with all our tumor/cancer talk, and as we were talking about both the size of the tumor and the chance of return, he said something about the panel of doctors at the cancer conference having said that radiation should decrease the chance of return.

What?

What was that?

There was a panel of doctors talking about my tumor at a cancer conference?


Why, yes. Yes, there was.

It turns out that one of my many oncologists (my new life - it cracks me up, how many 35 yr olds do you know who have a team of oncologists? I mean really...) presented my case at the cancer conference, and there was a panel of doctors who sat with him and discussed treatment options. Across the board, radiation had been the prescribed treatment. ... It's good to know that I'm not wasting my time, lying on that radiation table for 10 minutes of my life every Monday-Friday.

When I called my mom to tell her the great news - that one of her kids finally has a serious claim to fame - she said "You're a freak." My response? "I'm not going to take that personally. It's not like you're a medical professional." Hers? "No, but I do know a little something about genetics." Hahaha!

So, we're famous, Darth and I. (In cancer circles, anyway.) I really did win the cancer lottery. I have a 13 inch scar, 5 tattoos, and was the subject of much discussion at the most recent cancer conference. The only thing that could make my life better? If I knew if I'd been added to a medical journal. I'll have to see what I can do about that.

It's awesome to be famous.

The End.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Theme Songs

Years ago, when I worked at Ye Olde Central Bank, there was a group of us that watched Ally McBeal. (I know, it's an old show. I told you, it was years ago. ... Just don't ask me how many years, because I really don't remember anymore.) Anyway, we would watch Ally, and then we'd come to work the next day and laugh about the coffee cup fantasy, or the dancing baby, or... or what our theme song would be, if we could choose one.

This was my theme song. (Forgive the cheesy video. It was the 90's, okay? And for the record, this song's a little twangy for my blood. But the words? Oh, heck yeah, they totally describe me.)



"I'm an emotional girl, I can't help myself. Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I do both, and I don't know why. I have a passionate heart, and that's just the way things are." - Sound like anyone you know?

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a friend, explaining that I do, too, like to be hugged... it's just that few and far between are the people who I will let get close enough to hug me. (He'd thought that I hated to be hugged - by anyone. Bless him. He gets confused.) After I gave him the short list of reasons why I don't like strangers (or weirdies) to hug me, as well as a run-down on who is or is not allowed to touch me, he threw his hands up in the air and exclaimed, "Oh my gosh, you should come with a manual!".

Or maybe I could arrange it for my theme song to play whenever I enter or leave the room. Maybe that would help. Maybe...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Never were there such devoted sisters



This is my seester and me, circa 1992. (We were 17 and 5.) I love this pic.

Katie came to see me this week. I had her for almost a full 48 hours, and it was super fun. We laughed, we cried, we talked, we watched movies, we ate crappy food, we ate good food, we drove around, we shopped, we slept and we made merry. I love her!

Here are a couple funny stories from the past coupla days. (I tell you, my sister makes me LOL.)

We'd gone to Costco with our friend Jo and we were talking about dating, and I was expressing some concerns that I have about meeting anyone while I'm in the middle of these stupid radiation treatments. Jo was telling me that I shouldn't stop being social, just because I have this other thing going on on the side, that I'm still me, even if I can't eat normal food or do anything outlandish. My stance was that if I met anyone who was recovering from a summer full of surgery and cancer treatments, I'd be freaked the hell out that he'd gotten scared by the cancer and was just trying to find someone NOW, so he wouldn't die alone. ... Anyway, we went back and forth about the subject while Kate just watched and listened. It culminated in me saying that if I met someone right now and the cancer situation/role was reversed, I'd be thinking red flag. Jo told me that I need to retire some of my red flags, that that's just ridiculous. I was all "no freaking way, a red flag's a red flag". This is when Katie came in with "Laur, I swear, you're more like a literary character than a person, sometimes." Then she stood up and said "Come on, Elizabeth Bennet, let's go."

Hahahaha... I had to laugh out loud. The kid is hilar.

While at Costco, we had some hockdogs for lunch. (Seriously, $1.50 for a hotdog and a coke? I love that place!) While I did really enjoy my hockdog at the time, I was more than a little sick to my stomach for the rest of the day (I tell you, they're BIG). As Katie and I were on our way to my radiation treatment, I was whining about my stomach hurting and I said "eating that whole hockdog was the wrong choice". Kate's reply? "This is why you need to get your CTR ring resized." ... Right, like wearing a CTR ring is really going to help me choose the right when it comes to what I should eat for lunch. (I took my rings off before surgery, so nothing would happen to them while I was in the hospital. By the time I got back home and went to put them on, my fingers had shrunk and they didn't fit anymore. Consequently, I'm making bad food choices. Or so I hear.)

I do love my little sis. She's a sweet girl. She's super funny. She makes me look short. No one hugs me like she does. I can't imagine my world without her.



Thanks, Moo, for coming down - and for staying an extra night. (Sorry about the fact that I couldn't center a pic of us to save my soul. I need to hone my self-photography skills, clearly.)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Homework Assignment

I went over to my friend Jo's this afternoon and her middle-school aged daughter was working on her homework assignment. She was bored out of her mind (crazy kid), so she came into the kitchen and asked us if we'd help her. The assignment was to begin/finish proverbs with your own words. It was a blast to come up with different versions of well-known proverbs. Too bad Jo wouldn't let Roomie use some (most) of my suggestions. Here are some samples of my/our work.

Never underestimate the power of ... semi-automatic weaponry.

Children should be seen and not ... eaten.

There's no use crying over ... dumb boys.

If at first you don't succeed ... just give up on your dreams.

A good woman ... makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

True love never ... happens.

Home is where ... I go to sleep at night.

The best things in life are ... really (REALLY) expensive.

What you don't know ... can't make you furious.

All's well that ... goes my way.

I think, therefore I ... obsess.


There were a lot more, but those are all that I can remember right now. It was super fun, even if I did get vetoed on pretty much every contribution I threw out. (Something about how my caustic sense of humor wouldn't go over well in a 6th grade English class? I don't know what that's about.)

I heart wordplay.

The End.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I have the best boyfriends EVER!

Have I told you that I've been getting a lot of packages from my boyfriends lately? Well, it's true. They're sending me a lot of stuff to help me along in my recovery. And in every package, there's at least one (sometimes - oftentimes - more than one) autographed photo. I hang the autographed pics on my fridge. They're getting a little water spotty (because my sink splashes them every now and then), but I know where I could get more copies if I need them.



Sometimes they write me poetry. They're soooo romantic.




Oh, and sometimes they send my pretty necklaces. (Yup, that's a lei.)



From my favorite space cowboy. (Insert snarky laughter here.)



I so love him.

The End.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Is it just me, or... do I look like Mugatu?



Okay, maybe not so much, because I'm smiling in my pic instead of making that nasty sideways "I am superior" look at the camera. Also, you can't see the full extent of my poky-horn-hair. But trust me, it was a hilarious look-alike morning for me. As anyone who's every had a sleepover with me can attest, I have to put my hair up when I go to bed or I can't sleep. The recent humidity combined with laziness (I just piled my hair on top of my head and put a clip in it instead of bunning it, as I usually do) resulted in a fan-freaking-tastic morning look-alike.

Too bad I never wake up looking like Derek Zoolander. I could stand to be "really, really ridiculously good looking" every once in a while...

Monday, August 9, 2010

If at first you don't succeed, buy something else

I went shopping this afternoon for a potato ricer.




After no luck in two different stores, I went ahead and bought myself one of these.




I've wanted a microplane zester for... oh, I don't even know how long. And now I have one. Yay!

And then I came right home and did some online shopping. My potato ricer should be here in 3-5 days. (Double yay!)

That is all.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I don't care if they're funeral flowers

I love them.


I really do.

I always have.

(And the fact that I could get 10 stems for $4 at Safeway sure didn't hurt.)

Aren't they lovely?

I heart fresh flowers.

The End.

Friday, August 6, 2010

By popular demand - tattoos and guts

I've had a lot of people asking me questions about my tattoos in the last couple days, which is funny to me, since I could have sworn that I'd typed a post about them weeks ago. ... Uh, it seems that I just wrote that post in my head. (I can't say it enough, sometimes I could swear that it was a brain tumor. My memory and ability to spell, they're completely shot.)

Anyway, the way they know where to shoot the radiation is a two-part thing. For one, when the surgeon removed the tumor, he put little clips in my body. Seriously. Metal clips. In my abdomen. (I'm a little excited to see what happens next time I fly. I kinda hope that Security will have a minor freakout on me and then I can explain the removal of the 22.5 lb tumor and subsequent metal clip placement. I think that would be fun. ... I know, I'm sick in the head.) So, these little clips served two purposes during surgery: 1) they cut blood flow, which helped keep my guts clear for surgery itself and 2) they created a roadmap inside my body that would show the radiation oncologist where to shoot the beams during treatments.

In fact, here's a fun little picture of my guts. You can kind of see a clip in the mid-right section. (It's white, just a fraction of an inch over from my spine.)




Crazy, eh? This is a shot of my midsection. If you look at the bottom of the picture, you can see my spine. (I'm not sure what that bone-looking thing above it is. Maybe I have two spines? I don't know. Oh, wait. It's my pelvic bone. ... I think. I really don't know for sure, though.) You can see my kidneys to the left and right of my spine, they're kind of circled in a purpley color. The area above what may-or-may-not-be-my-pelvic-bone, and to the right, that's circled in pink is the treatment area. This is where the tumor started. It was attached to a kidney, my colon and a ureter. Awesome. (And yet, there was no invasion into any of these organs. I am amazed, and humbled, that this could have been so very much worse than it was.) They're blasting not only the area that the tumor was in, but also the tissue it started in, because - unfortunately - this type of tumor has a high likelihood of re-growth (50-60%), and there's a possibility that there were microscopic tumors at the time of surgery that weren't removed, because they couldn't be seen.

So, the clips in my body are the first way that the doctors know where they need to zap me. I had two CT's done the week before radiation started, so the doctors could see exactly where to shoot the radiation - also so there would be a baseline of what my guts looked like before treatment.

The second way they know where to shoot me is by using tattoos as guides. A few days after having the CT done that showed where my internal markers are, I had to go in and have corresponding marks put on the outside of me. These tattoos are lined up with lasers in the radiation room before they start the machine, so the techs know they're hitting me exactly where they're supposed to.

By popular demand, here is a picture of one of my five lovely tattoos. For those of you who may have weak stomachs (and you know I won't judge you, because this is usually very much a "present company included" issue) this is where you might want to scroll down. (Aunt Cindy, I'm talking to you. Scroll down. Quickly. Before you read one more word.)

You can see part of my lovely scar from the incision, as well as some sweet staple marks, there to the left of this tat.




Yeah, the tattoos aren't very big. In fact, they're kept small so they'll look more like freckles and less like... well, tattoos, when it's all said and done. I have a total of five, the first is an inch from the top of my incision, then at the mid-point of the incision, and an inch from the bottom of the incision. I also have one on the left and right sides of my body, marking the outside line of the treatment area.

They use a permanent marker to make an X across the mid-section and side tattoos, because that makes it easier for the techs to make sure I'm lined up right on the table before they run the machine.

Here's a pic of my near-the-belly-button tattoo.



Super sexy, eh? (I know, who'd have ever thought I - of all people - would be putting pictures of my bare midriff on the www?) Don't mind the gross discoloration. My tummy doesn't actually look that pink and raw, it was bad lighting more than anything else. (I promise, Mom. Really. It's a little pinkish and it's itchy, but it's not that bad.)

So... those are my guts. And my tattoos. I wish I had a better picture of the clips/roadmap inside of me. I'll ask my doctor on Monday if he has any other pictures of my guts that he can give me. He's pretty cool with stuff like that. If I get anything else, I'll post it for ya'll. Promise.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Radiation 101




This is what I get to see every day. I walk through a hallway that's plastered with these signs, and then I lie down on a table like this...




And then they get to work on blasting the cancer out of my body. It's awesome.

Okay, but really, that is exactly like the machine I that blasts me every day. I even have a blue triangle pillow like that to go under my knees. Two really nice girls help me lie down (I still don't have the muscles to be able to lie down flat without assistance. It's sad, but true), then they lift my shirt and line up the tattoos on my stomach with the lasers. (Seriously. There are laser lights on the walls and they cross the tattoos on my stomach. It's trippy.) Once they get me positioned just right (I lie on the table, on top of a sheet, and they move the sheet incrementally, to make sure I'm in exactly the right position), the techs walk out of the room and leave me there all by myself.

And then the arm starts to move.

Well, first, the table raises itself, and then the arm starts to move.

I tell you, my life is like a science fiction movie right now.

The arm goes all the way around me, stopping every few minutes to shoot radiation through my body. I thought it was interesting that I get shot from every angle, from top and bottom and side to side. My doctor explained that it's like cooking a hamburger. While it's possible to cook a hamburger at a low heat and it will cook all the way through, it takes a while, and one side will very likely be burnt. It's much faster and more effective to flip the hamburger halfway through because it will cook faster and more evenly. (Also, having radiation from every angle means there's less chance that any one part of my skin will suffer severe burns. Of course, that means I may get a burn all the way around my abdomen/back, but at least it shouldn't be really bad in any one part.)

The treatments themselves only last for 7 minutes. I know it's over when the "danger, danger" light stops flashing in the corner of the room and one of the techs comes back in to lower the table and help me get up. (Remember how I can't lie down by myself? Yeah, I can't sit up by myself either. It's awesome.)

The treatments don't hurt. At all. ... Well, except for when my right arm goes to sleep. (I have to raise both arms over my head and hold onto these little handles. Every once in a while I get in a weird position and my arm falls asleep, because I can't move once they start the radiation, lest my body get off-target.)

Possible side effects: sunburn-like skin burns, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue.

I talked to the doctor on Monday and he told me that he didn't think I'd suffer a lot of side effects, due to the type of laser, the treatment area being buried so deeply in the core of my body, and the dosage that they're hitting me with. He explained that a lower dose of radiation is more likely to burn the skin, as well as give other side effects. He likened low dose radiation to a shotgun, in that there are a lot of little pellets/bullets that do their damage by ricocheting inside a target - and then he said that the higher powered radiation is like a sniper rifle, it is designed to hit a specific target, and will go through walls (and, uh... my guts) in order to hit its target. He told me that if I had any side effects, it wouldn't be until weeks in, but he didn't think I'd have any real issues. He told me that I didn't need to stick to the super strict diet, that I should eat what I would usually eat and if I had any issues come up, to start striking foods from my diet one at a time. He told me that I probably wouldn't get really bad burns, that I could swim if I wanted to, just to make sure and hydrate (lotion) my skin afterwards, so the chlorine wouldn't hurt me.

And then he delivered the caveat that they all seem so fond of: "Of course, everyone reacts differently to treatment, so we can't be positive..."

And now I know why they throw that disclaimer out.

I've been sick every day. Like, pukey sick. Monday and Tuesday, I was just nauseated (no actual puking) from 3:00-8:00. Wednesday I started puking my guts up at 4:30, and couldn't hold anything down until after 8:00. Today, I told the techs that I've been stomach sick every day, and that yesterday I lost everything I ate/drank for hours. The all around reaction was "But it's so soon!". No kidding, it's so soon. Since day 1?! Who does that happen to? ... Oh, me. Awesome. By the time the treatment was over, they'd lined up an appointment with a nurse and a doctor following treatment today, and now I have a prescription for nausea medicine that I'll take half an hour before treatments to make sure I can keep my lunch and eat some dinner. Tomorrow I'll meet with the nutritionist to go over the diet do's and don't. Egads. ... Oh, well. At least I had that one day (Monday) to live happily under the delusion that I could eat whatever I wanted to and I wouldn't be sick.

My stomach itches. Not as bad as it did the first few weeks after surgery, when all the stitches and staples were making stuff come back together, but still. It itches. ... I'm afraid it's the beginning of the sunburn. I bought the GINORMOUS sized bottle of Lubriderm at the WalMart today. Hopefully, that'll help with that.

Also, I'm tired. I mean, I am T-I-R-E-D. I haven't been this tired since... well, since week 2 after surgery. So, apparently the fatigue is starting to set in.

Oh, and I'm about to trade my stock in Dulcolax in for stock in Immodium. *If you've been making a bundle on recent laxative sales you may want to sell while your stocks are high.

So much for the thought that my side effects would be minor, if at all. The good news? They won't last forever - and the cancer will be gone.

One more day this week, then - 1 week down, 5 to go.

*As I am a consumer, and not an employee, of either company, I'm pretty sure I can't get in trouble for insider trading with this little tip.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Eat, Drink and be Merry

Because tomorrow the cancer (and, unfortunately, a lot of other, healthy, cells) will die.

Yup, tomorrow - August 2nd - I start radiation treatments.

I'm kind of excited to get the show on the road and go to the next phase of fighting this stupid disease, but I'm kind of nervous, too. Not that the treatments themselves will be hard, or painful. They won't be. It's the side and after effects that are freaking me the heck out. Not to mention the diet. At this point, I think the diet suggestions/requirements may kill my spirit before the radiation kills the cancer. Honestly. When I told my brother, Spencer, what I wasn't allowed to eat, his reply was "That's like a 6 week straight Fast Sunday!". No freaking kidding, Roon.

On the list of food that I am not to eat, lest my possible (I think the word there is supposed to be "probable", but I'm gonna think positive and go with "possible") digestive issues overcome me:

Caffeine (This, obviously, includes soda - which isn't too big of a deal, as I haven't been able to drink a respectable amount of Coca Cola since surgery. I tell you, those doctors did something to my body when they cut me open and took out Darth Vader. I can't drink more than 10 sips of carbonated beverage before I'm uncomfortably full. It's tragic. ... And while we're discussing tragedies, let me just tell you that the cancer book also spelled out that chocolate is on the list of forbidden caffeinated goodness. Oh, the horror. No chocolate, until mid-September, at best. I think I may just shrivel up and die right now.)

Spicy Foods (Yeah, salsa. It is now forbidden. There goes one of my all time favorite food groups. My favorite go-to snack/meal of chips and salsa has been taken off the table - literally. And so much for tacos loaded with sour cream and cheese, dripping salsa. They are the trifecta of food sins while on the radiation diet.)

Which brings me to... (hold your breath, this is so horrible)

Dairy. (Yup, no dairy. Not only am I forbidden tacos with sour cream, cheese and salsa, I have to strike cream cheese, yogurt and ... it pains me to type it ... ice cream from my diet. Oh, and milk. Not that that, alone, is such a major loss. I never drink the stuff - unless it has chocolate in it, and we all know that's against the rules right now.)

Fiber. (Which is ironic, considering I've been eating fiber rich foods like they're going out of style for the last 6 weeks. I can only imagine the shock my body's going to go through when I stop eating Wheat Chex and fresh fruit every day. - But seriously, no fiber. Raw fruits and vegetables are listed specifically as food I need to stay away from. So are whole wheat bread and cereal, perish the thought.)

Fries. (Or hamburgers or any other fried or fast food. So much for going to Red Robin for a half a cobb salad with a side of steak fries and poppy seed dressing. So much for the drive-thru treat that is Wendy's Bacon & Blue. No more Panda. My life is over.)

On the upside, here's what I can eat:

Clear broth (chicken or beef ... ooh-la-la, I have options)
Cranberry or grape juice
Fruit punch
Gatorade (right - as if)
Water
Boiled Potatoes
Chicken (broiled or baked ... chicken, two different ways, fancy)
Crackers
Cream of Wheat
Noodles
Oatmeal (I'd rather drink Gatorade)
Pretzels
Rice
Toast
Angel food cake
Canned peaches
Jello
Sherbet (which is sorta like ice cream ... sorta)

Awesome, right? The good news is that I like chicken. And I enjoy Cream of Wheat. And noodles. And pretzels. And Jello. And Sherbet. Also, in the world I live in, boiled potatoes = mashed potatoes. (Now I just need to figure out how to make them delicious without the use of butter, cream, cream cheese and/or sour cream, since those are all forbidden. Hmmm...)

Needless to say, ever since I read the lovely pamphlet that outlined my diet do's & don't for the next few weeks, I've been binging. I mean... I have been binging. Why? Because I had four cartons of ice cream in my freezer that I refused to donate to the children in my life. (It was high dollar stuff people, not the kind of cheap ice cream that should be fed to the young.) Also, I had a lot of fiber-rich food that needed to be eaten. Oh, and some other stuff that sounded so good that I had to have it before The Day of Reckoning came.

Yes, what I'm telling you is that I went and picked up a to-go order of chips & salsa from Chili's. I ate the entire bag of chips (and pint of salsa) in two sittings. Go ahead and judge me, I won't care. It was delicious - and I won't be able to eat salsa again for a really long time.

This weekend, I've been living on a steady diet of:

Licorice
FiberOne bars
Salad
Peaches
Strawberries
Blueberries
Chips & Salsa
Cucumber and Tomato Sandwiches (on whole wheat bread)
Ice Cream
Cheese (Havarti, Swiss, Feta, Blue and String)
Popcorn
Orange Juice
My weight in chocolate

And... that's about it. I tell you, "Eat, Drink and be Merry" has been my mantra for the past four days. So what if I have a pretty constant state of indigestion going on? So what if I've had to treat two different tops for salsa spills, lest they turn into stains? So what if I don't even like Dreyer's Rocky Road anymore, because I've eaten too much of it in too little time? So what?

I ate, I drank, and I have made merry.

And tomorrow some cancer cells are gonna die.