Saturday, February 26, 2011

My afternoon field trip.

I took myself on a field trip this afternoon to the local Asian market, hoping to find some Guarana to take to my brother's birthday party tomorrow.

No such luck. No Guarana to be found. (In fact, the typical Brazilian aisle seemed to be oddly missing. The Indonesian aisle? Check. The Tawain aisle? Double check. The Hispanic aisle? Of course. But no Brazilian cheese puff mix or Guadana to be found. Poor Spencer and Kirk. I had such great intentions, too.)

But I did run across all manner of other interesting (by which I mean: unusual and gag-reflex-inducing) foodstuffs. Like:

Really? Like I wanted to drink grass in the first place? No. No, I did not. (I am not one to add wheat grass juice to my Jamba Juice. Maybe some protein powder, but most definitely NOT the wheat grass.) Add the word "jelly" to the grass juice, and it just takes on a whole new level of horror.

Then there was this can of aloe vera drink:

What the heck? ... Uh, no. Nope, I'm pretty sure you couldn't pay me to drink this. (And I don't care how much honey you added to aloe vera plant, I don't know how you could make it delicious.) There were at least five different brands/versions of aloe vera juice/soda. What the heck?!

On the other hand, I am a big fan of pretty dishes:

Seriously, I spent a good 20 minutes in this aisle, just checking out blue and white faux china patterns. (I heart blue and white china. I really do.)

Look at this bowl:

It was, like, $3.50 or something. I sooo wanted to buy it, but then I remembered that I already have too many serving dishes in my cupboards that I never use, so I made myself leave it at the store. But seriously, I wanted it. Badly.

But what didn't I want? I will show you. Look at this bizarro fruit:

I can't remember what it was called, but the word "fresh" was in the name of it (or was on the sign, anyway). I don't know if that means that they were actually fresh/new whatever-they-were, or if fresh is part of the name of the fruit. (Or maybe it's a vegetable. I don't know. It was in the produce section, so it could go either way.) All I know is, I had never seen anything like it. They were about the size/shape of watermelons, but they were pokey. And more than a little bit scary to me.


The Asian market. Always a good time. ... Until you get sick of breathing through your mouth so you don't gag and you have to leave before you lose it. (I tell you, it's the live fish they keep in the back of the store. When I first walk in, it smells a little fishy, but I think I can take it. After 20 minutes or so of walking the store, perusing unusual foodstuffs, I realize I'm about to be done in by the smell of fish and I have to run for the exit like I'm running for my life. Every time.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's Ba-ack...

To be read in a sing-songy (semi-creepy) tone, of course.

Some of you may recall a little post I made last summer about my body growing an abnormally large tumor. I'm so sorry to have to say that it's back. (The good news? This time, they caught it while it was little. To date, it's about the size of a chocolate Easter egg. ... Much better than the size of a watermelon, right?)

I had my first 90 follow-up CT at the end of January and met with my oncologist on Feb 11th to get the results. He told me at that meeting that I was a vibrant young woman (I told him that I loved him for that). He also told me that it looked like the cancer may be back (I told him that I still loved him, even though that is the opposite of what I wanted to hear). He advised that there was a growth on/near my left kidney that appeared to be in the resection bed (where they'd scraped the original tumor from). He wanted to do an MRI to get a better, clearer picture of the mass. I had the MRI last Friday, and met with my surgeon today to get the results of the MRI. The MRI shows conclusively that there's a tumor on my left kidney. (Look, I'll show you a picture. Don't judge the arrow pointing to the little gray/tumor area just to the right of my kidney. I do not have photo shop skillz. Obviously.)

So, that's the little egg shaped tumor that's attached to my kidney. It must come out. (And by "it", I mean the kidney.) Per my sweet doctor, he wants to take the kidney out, so this can't happen again. Before he takes the kidney out, however, he wants to do a biopsy to make sure that this tumor on my kidney is, in fact, a recurrence of liposarcoma. The last thing he wants to do is remove a vital organ if it's something other than regrowth of the same cancer I spent all summer fighting. The plan is to have a biopsy done next week. After he gets the results of the biopsy and can confirm if it's the same type of tumor/cancer, or if it's something new, decisions will be made about surgery and possible treatment plans.

The best news I've heard all day/week/month is that if it's the same kind of tumor/cancer, he should be able to just remove my kidney and call it a day. As in, no follow-up treatment. (Can you hear the angels singing? Because I sure can!) This, of course, isn't a for sure done deal until we have more information - and is subject to change up until after surgery, after my oncologist has been able to review everything and make a final decision. But for now, the thought of only having to recover from surgery is enough to make me weep for joy.

So, it's back. But it's definitely not worst-case-scenario. Yay!

I'm incredibly grateful for doctors who had a much more aggressive treatment plan than I thought made sense, because they caught something that had grown in the last 90 days. I'm grateful for office staff who know my face and remember my name. I'm grateful for doctors who care about my body and my spirits, that both of my doctors have delivered news and then asked "How are you?". I love them, and that makes it so much easier this time around.

I'm grateful for my family, and for my friends. I have always known that I had the most incredible people in my life. The last year has proven that to me on so many levels. Thanks, all, for being the kind of people you are. I love you, and I'm so glad I have you! (Even when I don't have the cancer, I love you. But somehow, when a girl hears some truly hard news, it makes the love all that much stronger.) You're all my favorite! (And I'm not just saying that because I may need someone to come over and vacuum in March. And April. And maybe May. I promise.)

Stay tuned for further updates and/or service opportunities. :-)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Stuff I love-love-love

It's Valentine's Day, so I thought I'd make a list of the things that I love in my life. Why? Because it's always fun for me to make a list. And it's Valentine's Day. So, there.

I loooove...

Good books
Blue cheese
You've Got Mail
Banana popsicles
Julie's cinnamon rolls
My favorite aunt
My sister
My parents
My brothers, and their families
Wheat Thins
Symphonies (the candy bar AND the musicians)
Cotton candy
Winter grass
Fleecey throws
A good bra
My friends
My cousins
Daffodils and tulips
Blaring trumpets in a big band
A ticking clock
Holding a baby
The smell of baking bread
Clean sheets
Fingernail polish
Grape juice
Ben & Jerry's
The sound of running water
Red smudges on my fingers from eating raspberries out of a bowl

And so many other things. And people. Like you. Whoever you are, reading this.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love, Me