Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Cell phone rant

OK, cell phones have become ubiquitious in our society. Everyone uses them, all the time, even when some of us think they shouldn't be on them. I'm not going to bother to comment on that.

Instead I am going to rant about this... If you are trying to multitask by making calls on your cell phone to conduct some kind of life business while you are driving or doing other activities, DO NOT get an attitude with the person on the other end because YOU do not have a pen handy or hands free to write down information. If you are not able to write something down while you are on the phone, then PERHAPS YOU SHOULD NOT BE MAKING THIS CALL AT THIS TIME. It is not the fault of the person on the other line that they have to give you some information; after all, that is what you are asking for, isn't it?????

Oh and while I am ranting... even if you are at home or somewhere else where you have your hands free... don't call somewhere SPECIFICALLY to get a phone number for something (oh like calling your employee benefits office to get a number for your medical insurance company or something) and then when the benefits person says, "OK, the number is 1-800..." suddenly stop them and say "oh wait, I need to go get a pen". Go get a pen? GO GET A PEN? Hello??? You called to ask for a phone number. What did you think was going to happen? Did you think the benefits person would magically transfer you??? And even if they did, wouldn't it be a GOOD IDEA to have the phone number they are transferring you to, in case you get disconnected???

OK, I think I have worked in customer service a little too long... but I feel a little better now...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

CTTSD 7/24

That's Cute Things They Say and Do, for those of you unfamiliar with one of the kazillion internet acronyms.

Carly is just hilarious these days. She has decided that she doesn't like baby food at home any more, though she will eat it at day care. She is doing well trying out what we're eating. Last night was broiled pork chops and pierogies. I didn't know if she would eat the tiny bits of pork but she did, and she *loved* the pierogie. It was a messy time, but very cute. Of course my camera is currently hiding but next time I hope to get some pics.

She's starting to try to communicate verbally; she says "uh oh" at times. Her favorite sound right now is "OT!" (rhymes with hot) She just seems to like the sound of it; she doesn't say it in any context that we can detect but if we say it to her, she'll repeat it back, which cracks us all up. She and I were OT-ing our way through the grocery store on Sunday, much to the amusement of other shoppers.

Last night I was trying to put her down for the night, as she was super tired and crabby. Silly girl doesn't nap much at day care so is verrrrry tired by the evening. Usually she'll drink all or part of a bottle, then lay on my (or Jim's) chest until she is asleep or almost; then we lay her in her crib. Well, last night she was not going down! She rolled onto my chest and laid there for a couple of minutes, making me think she was drifting off, then kept popping her head up and grinning at me. At one point she crawled up my chest, pressed her forehead to mine and stared into my eyes! Then the next time she crawled up my chest she pressed her open mouth to mine... I think she was trying to kiss me. So sweet! Makes it hard to be annoyed that she was not falling asleep. Finally Jim came up to try his hand and she finally dropped off.

She is quite the dolly these days...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I've been tagged

Natalie tagged me so I'll be a nice girl and play along: :-)

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops?
Nope, not that I have anything to search for.

2. Do you close your eyes on a roller coaster?
No, I like to see where I'm headed.

3. When's the last time you've been sledding?
Not since I was a kid though I pulled Becky around once or twice when she was a toddler.

4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone?
I sleep most comfortably with my husband next to me -
he's my "white noise". :-)

5. Do you believe in ghosts?
In theory no, but stories about encounters with spirits or other-worldly things creep me out so I guess I do, a little.

6. Do you consider yourself creative?
No, though I would like to be and think I should try to develop that part of myself.

7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife?
Absolutely.

8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?
Neither. I am sick of the media talking endlessly about the lives of entertainers. It's just ridiculous. Just like I don't care that we haven't seen pictures of Suri Cruise. So what?

9. Can you honestly say you know ANYTHING about politics?
Just enough to know to shut up when talking to someone who follows it more closely. I think the state of the media coverage makes it very difficult to look at politics objectively.

10. Do you know how to play poker?
Nope, and don't really have a desire to learn. And whassup with all the poker shows on TV? If we have nothing better to do than to watch other people play cards on tv, then we need to develop some hobbies. :-)

11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight?
No, though it felt like it when the girls were newborns.

12. What's your favorite commercial?
Can't think of one; I watch so little tv these days due to lack of time. And when I do watch it's taped so I skip past them.

13. Who was your first love?
Brett Simon, first grade. We got married on the playground on the merry-go-round (get it? marry-go-round?) Actually I don't think we ever divorced so I guess I'm a bigamist!

14. If you're driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around you, do you run a red light?
No, unless I felt I was in danger. I'm just not a law-breaker. Too worried about "doing the right thing", lol.

15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you?
I can't think of anything that just I know... there are plenty of things that only one person or a few people know about, but nothing only I know.

16. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees?
Neither... Cleveland Indians, hapless as they are. NEVER the Yankees (no offense Jacqui, but it's a Cleveland thing!)

17. Have you ever been Ice Skating?
Loved it as a child. We skated at a local rink and in an icy depression in the woods behind our house. I think I'm too scared of falling now. However, I would like to try rollerblading.

18. How often do you remember your dreams?
A lot, though they don't make sense to me because I don't spend much time trying to analyze them.

19. What's the one thing on your mind?
That I don't have time to get done everything I want/need to.

20. Do you always wear your seat belt?
Absolutely!!!

21. What talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could sing in tune. Pretty soon my kids are going to tell me to stop singing out loud. :-)

22. Do you like Sushi?
No, though maybe I would if I tried it with someone knowledgeable.

23. What do you wear to bed?
Nightshirt usually, kind of like a big t-shirt.

24. Do you truly hate anyone?
I don't think so... there are people I dislike extremely but hate is really strong. I had it drummed into my head as a kid that we don't "hate" people and that seems to have stuck.

25. If you could sleep with one famous person, who would it be?
??? Oh boy, I don't know???

26. Do you know anyone in jail?
I just heard that a guy I went to high school with is back in jail. Nobody that I personally know, luckily for them. :-)

27. What food do you find disgusting?
I can't abide the smell or taste of brussels sprouts. Natalie - I like creamed corn but will remember not to serve it if I ever have you to dinner! lol

28. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back?
Not so much made fun but talked about them, either to my husband or to other friends, discussing things they are doing that maybe I don't agree with. I'm sure they've done the same to me.

29. Have you ever been punched in the face?
No, thank goodness, though I'm sure some of the employees at my job have wanted to at times.

30. Do you believe in angels and demons?
I do believe in angels and have asked for their protection at times.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Scan results from 7/14

Went on Friday for my comparison CT scans of my chest to pelvis - nothing like looking at all the innards. :-) I had to drink 2 bottles of redi-cat aka "prep" aka the most disgusting drink I ever encountered. While I am pretty capable of doing whatever is needed to get through a medical procedure, drinking this stuff was a challenge at best. Going into detail brings yucky flashbasks, so suffice it to say you would not like this drink either.

The test itself was easy. The tech was able to find a vein for the IV contrast in only the second spot he tried, and with only one poke to my as previously mentioned shy veins. The appointment was scheduled for 9AM and I walked out of the office at 9:12. Beachwood Radiology rocks!

This morning I emailed Dr. Rini about my results and he called back right away. Good news... everything is exactly the same; nothing has grown. He remains "unconvinced" but agreed that this is good news for now. He wants me to have a repeat scan in 8-12 weeks, and wants me to have it at Beachwood to use the same machine. His nurse, Jeanie, emailed me to let me know the appointment is scheduled for 9/29 - I had told her any day/time was fine but that I would prefer not to have to drink redi-cat on my birthday, which is 9/25. Here was her reply:

"Now, as an early birthday gift, I have arranged for you to NOT DRINK THE REDI-CAT (unless you prefer to!).
Instead, arrive ONE HOUR BEFORE your appt., tell them that you need to drink the contrast (that is not RediCat) that they have there, per my conversation with Diana in CT today. They have this stuff available for people who either (1) "forget" to drink the RediCat or (2) can't tolerate it (I told them that you can not tolerate it.)

Patients say that it's much better tasting than the RediCat (and it's only 1 bottle vs. 2!)"

Jeanie rocks!

I am very happy; I get to enjoy the rest of the summer without being on treatment.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

An explanation?

I was reading More magazine the other night... yes, as an over-40 woman I am now reading an over-40 magazine... and in an article it was mentioned that the menstruation process burns about 500 calories per cycle. Hmm, says I, I have always been irregular... Eureka! This is why I am fat! Now, my regular-as-a-clock fertile-myrtle sisters who are holding on to extra pounds, I don't have an explanation for you. But I will keep looking!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Finally an update!

Sorry for not posting for a while... too busy during the day, too tired in the evening!

Dr. Rini called me the morning of the 23rd to discuss the results of the biopsy. Luckily, Jim was in his office at that time so I was able to conference him in. As Dr. R put it, it was a good news/bad news situation.

Good news is, the biopsy showed no evidence of cancer. That IS good news.

But, it was still inconclusive as to what the nodule is. So it still could turn out to be cancer. In Dr. Rini's words, "we're not out of the woods yet."

For now, the game plan is for me to have CT scans again next week, which will be 6 weeks from last scans, to see if the nodule grows or changes, or if the inflamed lymph node changes. If there is no growth, then we'll rescan in 2 months. If there is growth, then I will likely have another lung biopsy. A biopsy of the lymph node is also possible but less likely. It's deep in my abdomen, and as Dr. R noted, " there are a lot of large blood vessels nearby and we don't like to put sharp things near them."

Dr. Rini said that it would not be a good idea to start chemo now, so I at least have a few more weeks chemical free, relatively speaking, and hopefully longer. He also told us that as kidney cancer goes, the amount of disease we are currently potentially looking at is very small. It's not the answer I was dreading, nor is it the answer I was hoping for. The people I've told have mostly all rejoiced and told me to think positively about it. I feel more reserved about it, however, and Jim, who is generally more pessimistic than I am, is even more circumspect about it. I want to celebrate but can't while there are still trees in front of me.

It's good to not have heard "the lung nodule is malignant" but frustrating to be in a hold pattern. The panic I felt in early June has mostly receded, except for a moment here or there. I'm trying to just have fun and enjoy summer with the girls. OTOH this latest bump in the road pushed Jim and me to do something we have been talking about doing for years; we consulted an estate attorney about having wills drawn up. It's not a fun topic of conversation but we really should have done it before Becky was born. Now, in a few weeks, we'll have accomplished something from our long-term "to do" list. Part of me feels good, like having my ducks in a row (at least this one big duck) will ensure that it won't be needed. The other part of me looks at the situation like it's a story or a movie... "it was a good thing Liz got her will done when she did, since things deteriorated rapidly." Do I think things will deteriorate rapidly? NO. But it's still a scary prospect.

I've been feeling like I need to really clean out the house, too. It's filled with disorganized junk and I can't believe it's gotten so bad. Yeah yeah yeah, we both work full time and have two small children to take care of, I know. But still... I need to get a grip on things here. I did some work on Tuesday while we were home for the holiday; we purposely made no plans for the 4th so we could do stuff at home. I started reclaiming the laundry room/pantry... not a big room but it's a start.

OK, this has gotten way too heavy. I do NOT want this to be a cancer blog... I refuse to have that situation rule my life! I now bring you a moment of silliness:


And one more:




Some people refuse to smile nicely for the camera these days... :-)