Warrior Princess

June 29, 2007

Non-Binding Peace Accord Reached

Filed under: Office Hell, Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 9:56 am

I’ve been completely useless this week. The only thing remotely productive I’ve done at work was yesterday’s conversation with Loathsome.  That pretty much speaks for itself.

On the non-productive Crazy Land front, I’ve had several early morning chats with the Shunner.  We’ve signed a non-binding peace accord and relations have been almost completely normalized.  I should be dispatched to solve the Middle East problem; I’d have them talking amiably in two weeks or less. They still might not like each other, but they’d be discussing critical things like home grown tomatoes and soldering tools almost immediately.

Those are the kinds of warm, bonding experiences the Shunner and I have been sharing.  He grows organic vegetables for his personal consumption and was kind enough to bring some to Crazy Land.  He suggested I partake and I took him up on that offer without hesitation.  Therein lay the seeds of the new relationship.

Then the Shunner shared with me his frustration with a soldering tool he used this week in an attempt to repair his beloved riding lawnmower.  He has three acres of land on the verge of town and nothing pleases him more than loading up with a beverage, putting on the mp3 player headphones and mowing the hell out of the place.

A couple of belts broke on the mower on Tuesday and, stranded in the middle of the three verdant acres, he “was devastated,” he told me.  Humor never fails to soften my heart.

The Shunner, being an enterprising guy, got his handy 15 year old soldering tool to replace some wires that got thrown about the lawn when the Kevlar belts broke.  (We’re talking high-end mower here.) From what I can tell, it’s like a self-adjusting heating iron.  It heats up to a certain temperature, shuts itself down to cool, then heats up again.  I guess one of the advantages here is that sparks don’t fly up and cause unsightly burn marks on the user.   There’s probably some other highly technical reason, but I have no idea what it might be.

Not a patient man, the Shunner, after about 30 minutes of trying fruitlessly to solder the wires together, threw the entire thing into one of his pecan trees.  His wife came out to find out if she could help and arrived at just the moment the ancient tool hit a branch.  Without a word, she turned around, went back to their backyard deck and resumed reading a book.  When the Shunner has reached his emotional limit, you don’t want to give him an opportunity to vent.  Not that the Shunner has any control over Brenda at all; she will kick his butt without a moment’s hesitation.  Sometimes it’s just too much trouble.

Finally, we dissected the sad  state of affairs the weather has wreaked on this area.  It’s been raining for weeks now with no reprieve in sight.  May is the beginning of our usual drought season, so we’re all delighted to have an abundance of water, but folks are having to be rescued on a daily basis from the roofs of their houses.

We’ve had so much rapid development in the past several years that the historical problem of run-off in this area has gotten much worse.  Even though we regularly experience long-term drought conditions, we have our own brief spring rainy season. Every year, people are warned not to drive through moving water if it’s more than an inch high.  If you can’t judge how high it is, you should just turn around and go back the way you came.  Every year, during heavy rain periods, foolhardy souls fail to heed these warnings and are swept down torrents of fast-moving water.  Many of them die.

You can see that the Shunner and I have our conversational hands full with all of this weather-related activity going on.

I’d love to share more with you, but I’ve managed to kill another day without accomplishing a damn thing.  Must be time to go home and regale the family with Crazy Land tales.  You’ll just have to wait for what promises to be another unproductive day tomorrow.

June 27, 2007

Loathsome is Back

Filed under: Office Hell, Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 2:15 pm

Oh jesus. Loathsome is in the office today and we’ve already been unable to prevent him from coming upstairs.  Right off the bat.

I was on my way to Owner’s office when I saw him standing in the Information Superhighway’s office, forcing Money Man to look for something. (Information Superhighway is out for a couple of weeks.)  I took some pleasure in noting Loathsome was already infuriating Money Man.  I could see him clenching his teeth, presumably in an effort to keep his head from exploding.

I weighed the odds of being able to make it to Owner’s office and back without Loathsome noticing. They weren’t good, as always, it was too late to retreat. Sure enough, Loathsome turned around before I could escape into Owner’s inner sanctum.  I flashed him a smile and said, “Loathsome!  How’s life?”  I gave him the thumbs-up sign as I kept walking.  That should have made it abundantly clear that I don’t give a rat’s ass how he is, but we’re talking about Loathsome here.

After I was back in my office for a couple of minutes, I thought I heard a faint voice coming from Crazy Employee’s office saying, “Ggirl.  Ggirl.”  For a second I thought I had lost my mind.  I’m relentlessly optimistic.  Of course it was Loathsome.  Who else would believe it better to mumble my name from the other side of a closed door than to actually knock?

I girded my mental loins and told him to come in.

He asked, “Are you in the loop for paper receipts?”

Now he knows damn well I’m not in that “loop.” I’m so far out of it that I had to pause for a minute to figure out what the hell he was talking about.  At least he’s consistent.  I’m immediately baffled every time he opens his mouth.  That’s just part of his charm.

“No. That would be Crazy Employee. She’s not here today,” I told him.

He stood in my doorway and explained to me in excruciating detail why he needed some specific receipts immediately.

“She’s not here today.”  Just in case I hadn’t made it clear the first time and he hadn’t noticed Crazy wasn’t wandering around the office, whining.  If she’s here, that’s what she’s doing.  Well, unless she’s futilely attempting to create problems between Owner and me. Either way, Loathsome should have noted we’re missing that special something Crazy Employee brings to the office.

Loathsome explained his customer really wanted those receipts and they’d been requesting them for a couple of days.  Tough shit, Bud, I guess you should have gotten them a couple of days ago.  Besides, I believe we addressed that, possibly more than once.

“Well, can’t help you.  Crazy will be back tomorrow, though.”  Maybe if I just wrote it down with a Sharpie on a piece of paper, climbed up on my desk and held it up over my head like that famous scene in “Norma Rae,” I could get him the hell out of my doorway.

Three times is never enough with Loathsome.  Yes, we went through it again.  He seemed to finally comprehend, but didn’t budge an inch.  I know I always have to stroke his ego one way or another.  Call me stubborn.  I just don’t wish to do it.  Ever.  So I hold out and, eventually, give in because I know he’ll still be standing there at 5:00 o’clock if I don’t just get it over with. Oh fuck.

“How’s the back?  And the wrists?  And the ankles?”  I hoped to get him to sum everything up for me so I wouldn’t be nodding and smiling for the next 45 minutes.  Dream on.  He told me.  It’s all bad.  Loathsome is a trooper, though, and hangs tough for our collective benefit.

“Yeah.  I’m in pain every day, too.  You know, I’ve had so many surgeries.”  I just said that because I know it irritates him to think about anyone other than Loathsome.  I have to get something out of this, you know.  That seemed to register briefly on his slack-jawed face.

“I really need those receipts.”  Back to me, bitch.

It was about as gracious an exit line as you’re ever going to get from Loathsome.  He had accomplished his objectives–bother the hell out of me, impress upon me the importance of his job, astound me with his capacity for endurance and, finally, to feign interest in someone else.

“I guess you’re just going to have to call Crazy Employee on her cellphone.”

I’d also accomplished my objective.  I smiled at him as I got up, smiled sweetly and closed my door.

It’s going to be a long 12 weeks.

What Book Are You?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ggirl @ 9:56 am

You’re Love in the Time of Cholera!
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Like Odysseus in a work of Homer, you demonstrate undying loyalty by
sleeping with as many people as you possibly can. But in your heart you never give
consent! This creates a strange quandary of what love really means to you. On the
one hand, you’ve loved the same person your whole life, but on the other, your actions
barely speak to this fact. Whatever you do, stick to bottled water. The other stuff
could get you killed.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

June 26, 2007

Live Until You Die

Today I planned to get around to checking in with all of my online blogging friends.  I always miss sharing in their daily lives when I have to be gone–usually because of a trip to deal with cancer in one way or another.  I may not get around to that, after all.

I’m crying now.  In my office.  At the mercy of anyone in Crazy Land who happens to knock on my door.  I do not wish for them to see me cry.  It’s too personal to explain and there is no consolation to be found.  Certainly not here, anyway.  Actually, I’d love to explain it to myself, but crying is only crying. No explanation necessary.
It feels so silly to be afraid.  Is there something wrong in the new girl?  Probably not.  My mom thinks everything is okay.  I should just banish the fear and rest in the thought that most likely all is well.  Right?  I’m almost certain everything is fine.  Why would I choose to believe otherwise?
On the other hand, having once been overly optimistic, it’s well nigh impossible to exorcise that anxiety gnawing around the edges of my consciousness.   Two summers ago, I thought we were just going to have a look around, maybe remove a benign tumor and get on with things.  Then I believed Dr. Ross would perform a little lumpectomy or a big lumpectomy and I’d go on my merry way.  Obviously, that didn’t happen.

Money Man’s daughter poked her head in my office a while ago and, though I tried to pull myself together, I’m a messy crier.  My eyes get puffy immediately and my nose turns red.  Very, very attractive, I assure you.  That’s when I decided to take a little trip next door and get over myself.  At least there I could cry noisily if it came to that.  It did.  But I’m back now.
A few seconds ago, Crazy Employee, who engaged in some egregious back-stabbing behavior last week, knocked on my door and made some ridiculous excuse for entering my office.  If I wanted chocolate donuts, bitch, I would go to the receptionist’s desk to get them.  I do not wish to share anything with her.  I’m insulted that she would think otherwise.

In what’s come to be the Official GGirl Crying Building, there is an abandoned plant.  I’ve been trying to get someone to take care of it for a long time and now it’s dying.  That touched off another round of crying and, as I sit here, tears are welling up again.  Goddamn it.  I’m going to try to find a way to get some water to the poor thing and, in the meantime, I slanted the blinds so it could get more light.  I just need to find a big enough container to take some water to it; it’s a very large plant and needs more than a cupful or so.

Back to the matter at hand, be afraid or not?  Maybe I don’t have any choice and I should just go with whatever the moment brings.  Oh yeah.  That was supposed to be one of those lessons I learned from having breast cancer.  Being in the moment is being completely alive.

I tell everyone that I wish to live until I die.  When I’m sitting on the floor next door, crying about a dying plant, that is exactly living until I die. Yesterday I was reminded of a quote from a Medieval mystic named Julian of Norwich.  “All things shall be well.  And all manner of things shall be well.”  They shall.

In the meantime, I may be vying for the office nickname, “Crazy Employee.”  I’ll have to think of a new name for her, though.  The possibilities are endless.   I’m officially taking suggestions, but I have dibs on “Back-stabbing Bitch.”  I’ll get back to debating fear later.  I’ve got my priorities straight, you know, because all things most certainly shall be well.

June 25, 2007

The Woman I Swore I’d Never Grow Up To Be

Filed under: Uncategorized — ggirl @ 1:31 pm

On Saturday, when I went to my local Walgreens to pick up a prescription, I was waited on by a young Pharmacy Technician.  I’ve never quite understood what specific skills are necessary for that job other than the ability to talk (to pharmacists and customers), the ability to alphabetize (the prescription bags) and the ability to run the computer/cash register.  On the face of it, that seems easy enough.

I’ve engaged in transactions with this tech before and all has always gone well.  That’s saying a lot because I’ve been “helped” by a number of true numbskulls who needed a lot more Pharmacy Tech education.  Mainly in the area of “finding stuff.”  I hope there’s a separate class on that subject, because it’s sorely needed. Or, for instance, “Diabetes Drugs–Where To find them in the Pharmacy Refrigerator.”  That should also be a required class in the Pharmacy Tech curriculum.

This Pharmacy Tech must have had absolutely stellar grades in “finding stuff”, because he located my prescription in short order.

“Have you taken this before?” he asked me.


“Have you had any problems with it?”

“No,” I said.

His response?  “Awesome.”

Yet another suggestion for Pharmacy Technician required training:  “Reasons Why ‘Awesome’ is a Completely Inappropriate Response. To Anything.”
While I’m at it, I may as well cover my other pet peeve, one which must certainly define me as a crank.  I always thank all waiters, cashiers and sales people.  They’ve provided me with a service, they are fellow human beings and that is my way of acknowledging both of those things.  I know the vast majority of people don’t understand either one of those truths, are too busy or too irritated to be thankful.  Some people probably don’t even seen the need to show gratitude because, after all, the service provider is compensated either by the customer or the store owner or both.  I get all of that and I’m not proselytizing for my way of doing things.  Nothing wrong with those people.

It’s not impossible for me to see that maybe people who work in customer service positions are completely unaccustomed to being thanked. Maybe they don’t know what to say.  Entirely possible.

However, once I’ve said my “thank you” and smiled at the cashier/waitperson/sales person, they should respond with something along the lines of, “My pleasure.”  Instead, the majority of service people say, “No problem.”  Well, I should certainly hope it would not be a problem, since it’s your job, after all.

I know, I know.  I have had sales jobs, but not waiting tables and not acting solely as a cashier. I have many times worked in malls at Christmas.  I’m a war-hardened veteran of harried, bad-tempered customers.  I’ve had many friends who’ve worked in restaurants.  It’s a tough to make a living wage and maintain your sanity. I’m entirely sympathetic to their plight or I would never say thank you.
I work in a service industry, though.  (I will not bore you with my lecture about how we all are customer providers of one type or another.  It’s long and could be a bit tedious.)  I not only answer to our clients, but to the other denizens of Crazy Land.  Crazy Land notwithstanding, I still want to give my internal customers what they need.  I will do whatever it takes to make the company’s clients happy.  I will tell them it’s my pleasure to help them and they should  let me know immediately if there’s a problem or they need more assistance.
Please never, ever tell me “no problem.”  I don’t get my panties in a wad or leave a paltry tip.  It’s a thing I notice, though. Think of this as just another note from the woman I swore I would never grow up to be. In the words of my co-worker, Loathsome, thank you for your cognizance

June 22, 2007

Same Song, Second Verse

Filed under: Breast Cancer, Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 6:50 pm

I got back from M.D. Anderson several hours ago. The good news: hotel was fine, water was hot, no one suggested that I might be feeble minded. The other up side: I saw my beloved Dr. Ross. One of my online friends asks what’s special about my surgeon. Excellent question, which I’ll answer later.

The mammogram process was terrifying. We did the usual four x-rays, they sent me to wait in a little room to make sure they hadn’t missed an area. I was the only person there. After a period of time, they came to get me again. No big deal, I thought. We just missed something; that’s not unusual at all.

Oh no. We had to do a different kind of mammogram because they needed to take a closer look (they being the radiologist and person who did the mammogram) at something. Hand crank makes a comeback. I was sent to sit in the little room again. Alone. Time passed and passed and passed.

Finally, after about 15-20 minutes of waiting, the mammogram person came to get me to take even more x-rays. Now I’m really afraid. That’s how it started the last time. Picture, pictures, wait, wait, then bad, bad news. “This must be making you really afraid,” the mammogram person said. “Yes,” I answered. No response. She put the x-rays on a light board, told me to come over and pointed out several areas they were concerned about. Great. That also happened the last time.

More hand crank action and some highly unusual poses that I had to hold, without breathing of course. Back to the tiny room. As I waited, I became more and more afraid. I was almost ready to cry when she came back and said they looked okay. Too late. That’s what the radiologist told me two years ago. Then I showed up at my local surgeon’s office where I found out that things weren’t fine, after all.

I was still terrified while I waited for Dr. Ross. He came in and asked about any problems, then reassured me about the right breast. I could relax enough to tell him they took my oncologist away from me. I asked him if he was going away, too. “I’ll do anything you want me to do.” Okay. I was feeling better enough to think, “Oh, really? How about I move in with you and we spend the rest of our lives together?” Instead, I said, “Please don’t go away. You’re my guy. I trust you. I know you’re going to take care of me.”

Dr. Ross then started examining the new girl and found a hard place where I had a lot of radiation last summer. He was concerned about it and wants to have a better look. A mammogram? Ultra sound? I don’t know. “See?” I said, “You’re my guy. I know you’ll take care of me.”

We scheduled another visit in a month, I think. Or in August. When your oncology surgeon registers concern, there’s a part of your brain that shuts down. Or at least that’s my experience. Off he went to fetch his appointment schedule. He wrote me down for whatever date it is and gave me a hug He’s a very, very compassionate man.

Now, on to why he’s so special. He saved my life. I had an unusual form of breast cancer that manifested itself in unusual ways. He found it. He told me. Then Dr. Ross took care of me. He’s the best surgeon in one of the best cancer hospitals in the world. He’s very gentle and cares about all of his patients as individual human beings who deserve kindness and support. He gave me hugs. Dr. Ross knows how terrifying any kind of cancer diagnosis is (he also specializes in skin cancer surgery).

Here’s the final and saddest reason why I have such a huge crush. He’s the first man I’ve ever known who’s taken care of me. I can count on him. That’s remarkably special.

Thanks for all of the prayers and good wishes. They help, you know, both emotionally and physically. That helps to take care of me, too. I have to rest now. See you on Monday.

June 19, 2007

Even The Hand Crank Is Better Than This

Filed under: Breast Cancer, Office Hell, Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 7:53 pm

Okay, here’s the deal. Tomorrow morning, I will take my little Andy to be boarded, then I’m going to drive four hours to get to Houston. Thursday, I have a bone scan and a mammogram. The bone scan is no big deal. There’s no pain involved in that.

As for the mammogram, my insurance company should be pleased that I am receiving the best screening possible. They manage to scrunch all of the skin and muscle from my neck to my bellybutton in between what I think of as the jaws of death. We spend a good twenty or thirty minutes getting me all lined up and making the plates capture the skin and muscle. Then, my friends, the hand crank comes into play. All of that bodily mass will eventually be compressed into a quarter of an inch. I swear.

After all of that, I’ll be sitting around waiting for my beloved oncology surgeon. At least 45 minutes at best will be spent sitting in a hospital gown three times my size in a tiny, freezing little room. Given the size issue, I don’t even know why they give me the gown thing. It’s fastened in front and, having only two ties, I’m virtually naked from the waist up. I used to expend a considerable amount of energy trying to keep myself covered up in case one of the many nurses or Fellows or assistants show up. Going down the hall to the bathroom was always interesting. I’m shameless at this point. So many absolute strangers have not only looked, but touched extremely private parts of my body that I don’t bother with modesty.

On mammogram days, I usually get back to my hotel room around 9:00 p.m., exhausted and starving. They make it impossible to actually eat anything substantial in a day always positively action-packed with waiting. In spite of all of this, it seems infinitely preferable to another day in Crazy Land. I know it will still be there waiting for me on Monday. But for the following three days, I can occupy my thoughts with more important things than back-stabbing attempts by co-workers, random rage attacks by others and my own weariness with it all. Bring on the hand crank. What a relief it will be. See you on Monday.

June 18, 2007

Needs Much More Therapy

Filed under: Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 2:29 pm

One of my online friends recently asked me (in a perfectly humorous and non-offensive way) how my co-workers might describe me. I’ve given that a lot of thought. I’ve noted in previous posts that they might well describe me as “Crazy Cat Lady” or “Useless Too.” Oh yeah, there’s always “Psychobitch. That’s one of my favorites.

Another that came to mind is “Who The Hell Is This Woman Anyway.” Better yet, “Mysterious Co-worker.” I wonder if it ever occurs to them how little they know about me. Some of them know me better than others, of course. I’ve known Owner for over 3 decades now. I’m not such a mystery to him. Superhighway knows me better than anyone else other than Owner.

For everyone else, I’m pretty much all surface charm, in an impersonal way. I’m known for making people feel important and listened to. I laugh at their jokes, but only when they’re funny. No fake laughing. That’s an ego boosting thing, too. I listen (if only vaguely) to their difficulties. I’m not so responsive when they’re whining about working at Crazy Land. Get with the (crazy) program, folks, or move on. I’m helpful when called upon. What do they know about me? As much as I wish for them to know. That would be not much.
There are a lot of my own qualities of which I’m not so fond. I’m not sure people know what they are, but then, all the better. It’s hard to see myself outside the framework of my own perceptions. Yes, I have qualities I think are funny. Unfortunately, because of the way the day started out, I can’t remember what they are. I’m more often deadly serious about the ways I fall short. I’ll have to get back to you on that.

The things that aren’t funny? I have that list I’ve mentioned before of people who’ve mistreated me (on a grand scale, not the stuff that’s merely irritating). Once you’re on it, it’s hard to get off. I’m not sure that could be called vengeful, because I have no interest in doing these people harm. I’m simply keeping track. Nonetheless, probably not one of my better characteristics.

I can be highly critical. Oh, you’d already noticed? How about sardonic? (Well, the sardonic thing may actually be something I like. Again, I’ll have to get back to you on that.) Another quality I’m certain you’ve become intimately acquainted with is my staunch belief that everyone should buck up and stop whining about little things. Note to self: develop more compassion.
Even when I’ve been friends with someone a long time, I have a limit. When the annoying qualities outweigh the good qualities, I can be ruthless in cutting people out of my life. No looking back. I guess that means I’m not overly loyal.
I can be an intellectual snob. Oh how I hate that about myself, so I’d be less than honest if I didn’t own up to it. As a matter of fact, I’m embarrassed by it. I’m working on it, though. Of course, I’ve been working on it for about two decades now. For a really long time there, it didn’t strike me as something I should get over. I’m now a lot clearer about the value of intelligence–it’s good for entertaining yourself, but not much else. I like people who are clear thinkers, not necessarily people who are highly educated. There is a difference. Feeling is just as valid as thinking, though. It simply depends on the circumstances.
I don’t respond well to less than constructive criticism. Better come armed with some objective reasons, in which case I’ll take it under advisement. Otherwise, I will cut you off at the knees. Do not fuck with me. Especially if you’re a man. Here again, probably not one of my better qualities.

I’m generally disengaged emotionally. That’s a symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but other people probably find it troubling. See above.

I have issues with men. I can be unfair and capricious about those issues. There’s a vast spectrum of behavior I will not tolerate. Never, ever, ever under any circumstances should men betray the slightest inclination to believe themselves better (in any way) than me or any other woman. I should probably lighten up. Been working on that for a long, long time, too. I’m not optimistic about making it go away.

I’m stubborn. I’m not impressed with authority generally. You’re a Senator? Big deal. You might want to give me some other reason why I should treat you differently than anyone else.

More? Of course there’s more. I’m far more critical of myself than others. How much time do you have?

Dr. Ross, Please Note Muscle Tone and Hair

Filed under: Breast Cancer, Marriage, The Trouble with Boys — ggirl @ 12:58 pm

Okay, well maybe not an up side.  More like random thoughts that aren’t quite so glum.

I’m back to some semblance of my old workout schedule.  The good news:  there really is muscle memory!  The butt is making a comeback.  The triceps–not so much.  They need lots and lots of work.  The rest of me is getting more muscular and my stamina improves every day.  It was vitally important to get the muscle tone back to some extent so I can resume flirting with my oncology surgeon.  That’s such an odd concept–trying to flirt with a guy who regularly makes me lie down and then touches my breast (and now the new girl, I suppose). I have hair now, though.  That’s got to be an advantage.  Yes, I will leave my husband.  In a heart beat.  Or a breast check, whichever.

I had a compliment from one of our contract employees last week.  I always call him “The Ladies Man,” although he’s known by his peers as Killer, a tribute to his lady killer days.  I’ve known him for years now, but he’s still a looker.  Killer told the Superhighway that I’m looking very sexy.  I naturally thought she was making this up as a tonic to my poor physical self-esteem.  Now I’m not sure.  She looked pretty sincere.  That used to be a thing that irritated the hell out of me–I always wished men would pay less attention to how I looked than how the brain worked.  Now?  It made my week.
I passed the compliment on to Hubby.  Interesting how that made him actually see me again.  After 30 years, in at least a couple of which I looked like absolute hell, we tend to take each other’s positive attributes for granted.   I don’t care.  I’d still leave him for surgeon noted above.

Should there be another post?  Yes, I think there should.  I write these long, verbose posts and I’m always afraid they’re too long.  They may become tedious.  So next topic.  I’m making up for my absence later this week.  I can always tell myself that, anyway.

Another Month, Another Medical Visit

Filed under: Breast Cancer, Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 12:33 pm

I’ve got a trip to M.D. Anderson this week…it’s never-ending. Bone scan and a visit with the ever lovely Dr. Ross. Even my great affection for him isn’t quite a panacea for the stress extravaganza. I woke up four times last night. It never fails. Even when I’m not thinking about, my brain is working overtime with anxiety.
I think I get the month of July off, except for a visit to check on the progress of my macular degeneration. I fear the news will not be good because the eyesight in my left eye (the one most affected by the disease) has deteriorated. I can still see the grid I use to check md’s progress, so that’s good news. I’m tired of doctors and I’m tired of bad news.

In August, I have a follow-up with my radiation oncologist. He’s here in town, so that’s something, I suppose. August 29 is my next (and, I hope final) surgery.

In September, it starts all over again. I’ll have to schedule a visit with my medical oncologist. I’ll never forget the last visit after chemo ended. I told my doctor that I really like him, but I’d be thrilled to not see him again. Oh no, he told me, you’ll be seeing me for the next five years, at least. Four times a year. My heart sank.

There will never be an end to this, unless they find a cure. I have my very own M.D. Anderson page on the web. A dubious distinction. It could be worse, though. As far as we know, there’s no cause for concern. The Watcher notes the one-cell rule.

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