Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Monday, November 7, 2011

This is for you Dr. M, Ashley, Bobbie and all my other friends at Archibold

As I predicted, my CT Scan came back looking good,.  "Clean" is the word the amazing Dr. M used.  There is of course that one little spot, about 1 cm that has not gone away, but everything looks good.  OK, I have no idea what 1 cm means or looks like.  But if the amazing Dr. M is not worried, then neither am I.  It is amazing that I get to spend maybe 5 - 10 minutes with him once a month, and yet when he walks in he sees everything.  From the color of my eyes, to my skin to my shape and weight, the expression on my face.  He reads it all and takes it in, and never ever seems to forget anything, no matter how small or insignificant. 

Today I said I would like to start taking milk thistle.  He says my liver numbers are good, so does not think I need to take another supplement that might affect the absorption of my chemo.  My sister Sioux has been trying to get me to take it for years now, and I don't know, I just never started.  It has helped her tremendously and she worries about me and my cancer and wants me to do everything possible to be well and live to 102 likes she wants to.  I love her dearly, but no thank you.  I do not want to live to 102.  I have never assumed I would live to be a very old person, and it has never been my goal to do so.  I have always ate well and exercised, and I try to get enough rest, but I also abuse my body terribly by pushing it as far as I can.  And I never did those healthy things to live forever, but to live as full of a life as I could, for as long as I have.  To be able to push myself further and further to live life fully.

I have always planned on living as much as I could and wearing myself out so that when I did die, there would not be that much to cremate.  Maybe get a discount if they go by weight.  It just seems that the more I can do for myself for as long as I can, and then just keep going until I get smaller and smaller and just disappear well, that would be the easiest on everyone.  Then of course I got cancer, and my ideas on life and death did not change as much as I realized that taking care of myself would be what keeps me from looking horrified at my last breath.  I want to go out like Steve Jobs saying, "oh wow...." or like Colin did when he died of cancer on his lungs with, "I am so lucky, life is so good."  Well, I am not exactly sure those were Colin's last words, but they were something with those meanings.  Yes, that is how I want to go.

So I also brought up today to the amazing Dr. M that when I was ready I thought I would just stop taking the chemo and in about 6 months the cancer would have come back and taken care of things for me.  This did not make the amazing and remarkable and adorable Dr. M happy in the slightest.  He looked at me very serious and told me that I was never to say anything like that again.  That if I felt that way, talk to him and he would help me work through whatever.  I did not mean to upset him.  And I do not plan on stopping the meds right now, or killing myself or anything along those lines.  I just like to have plans, and if things get to be too much, well, it is nice to know that there is a simple, albeit not the most desirable plan, but a plan.  Dr. M has worked very hard saving my life for me, and he wants me now to go out and live it.  I hope he understands how grateful I am for all he has and does for me.  But that does not make me want to not think of dying.  Instead it seems even more important that when my time does come that I do it as best as I can.

Thank you Dr. M.  You are right, but sometimes life does get to be a bit much, and even though I do not seriously contemplate ending my life, it does seem to help these medically induced weepy times to remind myself that I choose each day to take that pill.  That I could stop all of this by stopping the meds.  And then I realize how lucky I am, and how I am very happy to be in this world with all the wonderful people around me, on my Labrun with my "kids" and I do not give another thought to ending anything. 

But I realize this is not how people are supposed to think.  People are not supposed to worry and wonder when this journey will end, they are suppose to go out and actively live the journey.  I am in no pain, I have minimum amount of side effects to deal with, and those are probably medication related more then from the cancer itself.  I am very healthy.  My liver is doing great, my platelets are up, my immune system is up, my liver enzymes back to normal.  My cancer count is low, I am thin, and gaining my strength and stamina back.  I am in a play and in another week or so Daddy will come up for Thanksgiving.  Life is good.  But I do love to have my plans. 

It is not that I am so worried about suffering, I don't even know that I will suffer one minute, and I have one of those brains that can not hold on to suffering and sadness and pain.  I get bored and let it go immediately.  So I do not really understand suffering.  It is sometimes tough on my friends when I talk about death because when I am in one of those dark moods and difficult to be with, I get upset when they point it out, and yet, I must be horrible to be around at times.  Why else would they say things to me?   I have no real perception of myself as seen from other eyes.  I do not see myself as attractive.  I try to be a good friend, but I can remember every time I was not.  I do not dwell on that, but I do live with it, worrying that I will hurt again.  I am a very complicated person I guess. 

When I am on stage I have no idea what the audience sees.  When the Director talks about motivation and intent I understand what they say, but since I do not know how I look, it is hard to know if I am showing her what she is asking of us. 

It is like when Dr. M says out of the blue, your eyes are red, but that is the meds, just use some natural tear eye drops, I am amazed.  How can he see so much so quickly?  I guess the only answer is he is the amazing Dr. M.  And in case you do not remember how handsome he is, here is the link to Ms Moon's blog that she wrote about him and put the picture of him on.  Bless our Hearts

I still think I see a hallo around his head every time I look at him.  And everyone at this center is amazing, but I have to say that Bobbie and Ashley, Dr. M's 2 nurses are extra special to me.  All three of them always ask for Mary and Judy when I come in on my own.  They all know my weight and little ideosencrencies like close friends, and gently admonish my weight loss and cheer my weight gain.  They are so supportive and kind to me.  They always make me feel like they are happy to see me.  And I can say or ask anything.  They all may be shocked or give me the look, but they put up with me, and let me keep going back each month to visit them. 

I was teasing Dr. M today about wanting him to do one of the commercials for the Oncology Center.  He does have a short cameo in one of the commercials, but Dr. Johnson has a whole commercial where he talks about the center.  He is an attractive man, and well spoken, but he is no Dr. McCuttie pie.  I think I embarrassed Dr. M asking him about the commercial, and I think that the people in charge of these commercials must have been on him to make a commercial by his reaction.  So I put this out to the universe.  Dr. M if you will do a commercial, I will stand there next to you supporting you.  I will be happy to look at the camera and say, "This man saved my life.  These people make my life worth living.  This place gives me a reason to celebrate my life, instead of fearing and dreading the "c".  They help to keep it a little "c".  And next month, will be December, and I am working on an alpacha scarf for the amazing Dr. M.  He can give it to his wife if he doesn't wear scarves.  I have never made up my mind about men and scarves.  I am not sure if most men would wear them to keep themselves warm, or if their manly man attitudes are enough. 

So I left my visit with the Oncology Department, happy that Dr. M was happy with me and his work to save my life.  I got in the toy and put the top down and drove over to the Y to do my exercises.  There are no yoga classes today, but I can at least do my workout.  After all I might as well make every trip to Thomasville count.  And I did my eliptical and got my mile in just a few seconds over seven minutes.  Which is what I try to do everytime I am there, a 7 minute mile, seems just fine to me.  Then I worked my way through the machines and was pleased and surprised that I was able to keep the weights the same as the last time I was there.  I saw some friends and waved hello, and I was happy.  I felt strong and good and my body thanked me for the workout by almost perspiring. 

Then a quick run to Wally world for dog and cat food. My they do eat a lot, my dear ones.  And then I called Ms Moon and asked for the link with Dr. M's photo and we talked about Jessie and Owen and then Lily came to pick up the boy, so we hung up.  I do love that woman dearly.  And bless her heart she is so supportive and I am so very very difficult at times.  I don't know what I would do without her or Judy.  I have lots of dear friends who are so supportive and generous in so many many ways, but those two really take the brunt of my weepies.  And I know at times I must hurt them, even though it is never my intent, but I know I must, and they stay by my side and just keep loving me.  That is the miracle.

People talk about miracles in healing and so on.  But honestly, the true miracle is love and the bond that people give to each other.  Even when one or the other or both is having a hard time.  They say to you, "Sounds like you are having a hard day." That is code for you are being unpleasent.  And that is appreciated.  I normally do not call people when I am in these moods, but sometimes I get so lonely and weepy on these meds that I have to talk to someone, and those two, along with my Vicki have to pay the price.  But they stay right there.  I wonder who they lean into when they have taken all of my pain?  I wonder how they can still love me after my raging and moodiness.  I know they know it is not the real me, but after a while, I would think they would get tired of it.  If they do, they do not say.

After running my errands I got back I walked out to the car and looked up to see a sky so different then the clear bright blue one of the morning.  This sky had no blue to be seen anywhere.  I stood in the parking lot and turned in a circle looking for any trace of blue, none.  The sky was now filled with gray fat low clouds moving from west to east.  Being pushed ahead of the cold front, if I was listening correctly to the news this morning.  But I did not think we would have any chance of rain until Wednesday.  And honestly these clouds looked more like cotton candy carelessly discarded after the fair.  No longer pink or blue, but just gray and puffy, not rain filled.  I drove home and felt the chill.  I loaded the car with garbage and dogs and stuffed the letters I wanted to mail in my purse and drove back into Monticello to dump my garbage at the main station and then mail the letters.  The dogs enjoyed the ride, Harry stretched out in the back seat.  Ednarose sitting alert and eyes forward in the front seat, Bob not sure where he should sit.  With Harry?  Maybe push Edna out of his shotgun position.  No room on Mom's lap.  So he just moves from one seat to the next happy to be in the car.

And now I have written this blog for my dear amazing remarkable doctor and his equally amazing and remarkable staff, and I am grateful again for having them in my life.  I left the house this morning, happy and sure of my results, but I came home grateful.  Grateful for all the miracles, small and large in my life.  Grateful that another friend who has been going through tests came out with a good report today also.  I am very grateful for that.  She is a special friend and I have been trying hard not to worry for her.  Trying to be supportive and there, but not making her feel like she is sick and that is why I am worrying.  That is the truth though, but she is not very sick, and she will be fine, and she is happy and celebrating her good news.  And sometime later this week or next we will go out together and both of us celebrate our good reports and our friendship.  And maybe Ms Moon will even have a free afternoon and I can get to spend some time with her also.  And I need to spend more time with Judy and Denise, I miss them terribly.

But tomorrow I will work at the Opera House, volunteering for a few hours to help out.  And when I have closed this post, I will call my Dad and talk to him.  It has been a couple of days that we have been missing each other's calls.  He called last night at 8:30.  I did not hear the phone because I was already asleep. 

Tonight I will eat mixed veggies with rice and yogurt and lentil soup which I will squeeze a lime into and maybe cut a little fresh herbs to put in also.  Geeta made this food for me and when I left their house yesterday my arms were full of love and gifts.  My heart too. 

The dogs want me to give them a cookie, they think it is almost 6:00 pm, they are smarter then we humans who fall for this daylight savings thing twice a year and the discord it causes to our minds and bodies.  They wake up when the sun is where it should be or their tummies say they are hungry.  They want their cookie at the same time every day, and it will take a few weeks to finally get them adjusted to this human's schedule, but they will eventually adjust, or I will.  We will somehow meet in the middle.

So now to call my Dad and give him the good news from the doctor.  And then a healthy dinner and to bed to rest and sleep and to be ready for tomorrow.  Life is good.  It is not just a saying or a Tshirt company.  I am one grateful and happy woman tonight.  This is when I most wish I had someone special in my life.  More then when I am sad or weepie or need support.  It is when I have good news, when I am happy when I am grateful for my life, is when I realize how nice it would be to share these things with someone special.

to be special to someone
to show someone how special they are
I have my kids and family and friends
and they are all
and so am I


  1. It's an amazing honor to be able to read the intensely private thoughts and experiences of another human being going through treatment for stage four cancer. I am in awe of your remarkable ability to sift through it all. Also, I think your doctor sounds absolutely amazing. :) And if you are thinking about the fact that you could end it all by stopping the pills, I think that is perfectly normal and possibly the same thoughts I'd have. Who gives a rats ass what you are supposed to do- it's what you ARE doing, and you are doing it, no one else. And in fact, from my perspective, doing it quite well. Whatever that means.

  2. ps
    milk thistle is amazing, too :)

  3. Such good, good news. I really HAVE to go up for the next appointment. I am suffering Dr. McCutie Pie withdrawals.