Sorry for the radio silence.
Living with my mother to recuperate from surgery, something that has become all too routine since I turned thirty, (though God knows I am grateful to have someone to take care of me), has a predictable pattern: Step 1: Look lady, I am a grown person who knows how to take care of herself. Step 2: Mommy, the blanket came off my foot and now I’m cold. Step 3: Soundless hand gestures signifying hunger or thirst.
Actual quote: “I want something to drink, but not apple juice. Apple juice is yucky.” – Dawn Summers 2011. *Shakes head*
Thanks a billion for all the well wishes and thanks to Tae for feeding my ebook obsession. Aside: I was in London once, visiting my friend Kaz, and Pearatty and I were making our way across the street when I forgot that I needed to look left for traffic, not right. I stepped off the curb into the path of an oncoming double decker bus. Pearatty stretched out her arm to stop me, but the look of horror on her face pretty much meant that she was too late, she couldn’t stop me before the bus did. Vaffles for me. Except, somehow, I did stop and I scrambled back onto the sidewalk as the bus whizzed past, almost nipping off my nose. I’d guess that was back in 2000, maybe 2002. Gosh, pretty much everything before I started blogging and after I graduated high school has kinda melded together in my mind. Anyway, for a long time, part of me suspected that the bus actually did hit me that day. And all of this *waves hand vaguely*; all of you, were just affectations of my comatose subconscious or my own personal afterlife.
However, now that I can immediately download the next Sookie Stackhouse novel, have it immediately delivered to my Kindle from my amazon account, with a few taps of a touchscreen, I know that I’m totally alive and living in the best time and place in the world. No WAY could my subconscious have come up with one touch purchasing or pageless books. PAGELESS BOOKS, people! COME ON!
I have mentioned how I do love ebooks, right? Plus, I kinda have a delicate respiratory system, so actual books irritate my nose when I turn the pages, no such problems with ebooks. Oh man, I wish I were getting paid by the ebook people for this post right now. Ebooks are great! *taps foot* Nope…still shilling for free. Sigh. Also, proof that I’m alive. If I were in charge of this world, the ebooks people WOULD SO BE PAYING ME FOR THIS!
Anyway, I just wanted to catch everyone up on what’s going on, I feel like I sprang the whole surgery thing very suddenly.
In February of last year, I had a thing that the doctor said was benign. I took this to be the happy end of an unpleasant incident in a weird year. I went in for a follow-up appointment just before I left for my Midwest roadtrip, but, again, I had declared the matter closed. So when the doctor’s office called in the end of September, I was really not worried about it. In fact, one might say I ignored it. One might also say I ignored the calls in October too. In my defense, I was traveling around all the time and I was working, so I didn’t have time for her and this already closed my mind matter. And then in mid-November, she employed the tactic of every elementary and junior high school teacher known to man: she called my mom.
And this is, I guess, when I started to worry. I mean…gulp.
But now it was Thanksgiving, and this was obviously not good, so I wasn’t going to all ruin my Thanksgiving. Right? Right? And if I wasn’t going to ruin Thanksgiving, I forshizzle wasn’t going to ruin Christmas! I made an appointment to go in the last week in December, but there was a big storm and they rescheduled it for the second week in January. Now, at the time, my Patriots were the overwhelming favorites to win the Superbowl, so I called them and rescheduled it for mid February. You know, when I got back from Dallas. SHUT UP. I wasn’t crazy! I did my homework. I even read up on mathematical football statistics and stuff! Honest to goodness READ! And then when I started to panic after the Saints lost, ALCESTE gave me the Alceste face and was all “why do you possibly think they’re going to lose?” THE ALCESTE FACE! Theretofore, an expression reserved for Dawn only when she has said something positively ridiculous. (E.g. Me: Wait, what’s 7 plus 9? 15? Alceste: *Alceste face*) (Aside: Yes, I just had to double check to make sure 7 + 9 was not 15. And yes, somewhere Alceste just gave his computer the Alceste face. Incidentally, I’m sure Kaz also gave her computer the Kaz face. I seriously, need to get new friends who are dumb as I am.)
Anyway, we all know how the football stuff turned out (NOT WELL) and very suddenly I was faced with having to deal with this thing that I’d been dodging.
I called the office, they fit me in pretty close to the original rescheduled appointment and that was that.
The doctor has a Nurse Practicioner lady that deals with all the patients before she herself comes in. This NP lady was very very mean.
“I have sent you multiple correspondences to your home regarding this matter. Did you receive them?”
“Is this your correct address?”
“But you don’t remember if you received the three letters we sent?”
“Yes you received them? Or…”
“Uh…I probably did receive them. I don’t really check the mail…um…my dog ate it?” *nervous laughter*
“This is very serious, do you know that?”
*stares at feet*
And then the doctor came in and explained that they had been trying to reach me for the past three months because that thing that I had declared to be a closed matter was now twice the size of the closed matter that it had been in February of last year. The growth and the speed was troubling. Instead of doing another needle biopsy to see if it had become malignant, they wanted to remove it completely to test it. And they wanted to do so immediately. Or you know, in four months, whatever was convenient for me.
So, they did the blood tests that day, made me go back the next day for more boob smooshing tests days (I swear that’s the technical name. I saw it on the form. O_O) and they scheduled my surgery for six days hence.
I was still very nonchalant about the whole thing, until I showed up at the Cancer Center for the final pre surgery testing. Let me say this, the Cancer Center is gorgeous. It’s like a spa in the desert where rich white ladies go for the vapors. The staff is super friendly and they greet you with a hug and they drape their shoulders around you as they walk you down the hall to fill out the paperwork. The waiting rooms have internet computers and there are colorful signs that invite you to use them. There are multiple outlets to charge your cellphones. They tell you their names and ask you how your trip in was.
Oh yes, I was clearly going to die.
I went home and I bought all the presents for my about to celebrate a year of life and about to celebrate life (spit spit knock on wood) nephews and even got my mom the stupid Wii Fit that I know will collect dust in a closet for the next two years.
I will NOT wear Marley’s chains in the afterlife! No Sir!
And then I caught the SARS virus and was on my deathbed for four days. (Stupid hugging, arm draping germ carriers!) My mother started freaking because she thought they would cancel my surgery when they saw my pale, fever addled, non stop coughing personage. I was fairly sure that without lungs, which I lost in the almost world record setting coughing fit of January 19, 2011, I would be dead before they could cancel my surgery. I also wondered how there were three of her.
But I recovered from my SARS, checked in on time for my surgery on Thursday, even though I had to pay a billion dollars for a cab to drive me from Brooklyn to Manhattan because the busses and subways were shut down due to snow. A. GAIN.
I was one of only two women who managed to make it in, so the process moved very quickly. I had to see this other doctor whose job was something like “locate and isolate the abnomaly,” but in reality whose job was to tie down my arm and stab a huge needle through my breast to hold the lump in place. My surgeon came in at the tail end of this process. And as they were sopping up the blood with fistsful of gauze, while drowning out my screams with Easy Listening tunes, she smiles and goes “well, that will be the worst part of the day!”
Die slow and bloody.
I went to the anesthesia guy after that. He really did seem super incompetent. Like. 11 years old max, with floppy hair that he SO could not see through and a hippie name like “Peace.”
I tried to tweet these finals thoughts, but my mom said “Give me the goddamn phone. Next thing you know, you’re going to turn into a phone.”
And yes, those would have been my mother’s final words to her only child had I died under the not so watchful eye of “Peace the anesthesiologist.”
The operating room was freezing. I kept imagining all the hospital shows I’ve ever seen. Oh man. They stuck the IV in my hand and a minute later, it was burning from the anesthetic flowing into my veins. Fucking, Peace!
I tried to tell him, but he stuck an oxygen mask on my face and was all “okay, you should be feeling sleepy now!”
Nope. Still feeling mostly stabby. But I figured it must have been working, cause I tried to say prayers that I can say in my sleep, but I couldn’t.
And then I was back in the recovery room. The surgery took less than an hour. Of course, the thing was even larger than they thought.
It’s been sent off for analysis. And so, I wait.
But do not drink apple juice.