Happy Thanksgiving From My iPhone

STEVEN'S STASH FOR MO-VEMBER (MEN'S HEALTH MONTH)

STEVEN’S STASH FOR MO-VEMBER (MEN’S HEALTH MONTH)

Again I’m posting from my phone. If you didn’t see my very first phone post on Sunday evening…well too damn bad for you because it’s lost forever in cyberspace. It may become one of those recurring things in a marriage that always comes up when the barbs start flying. “Oh yeah? Well YOU deleted the most brilliant piece I ever wrote.”. Was it really that brilliant? I can’t even remember what I wrote. But since it’s gone, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!!

Today is Thanksgiving and I’m so very thankful that I still have Steven here. He always says, “If you’re going to be a bear, be a grizzly”. He has a right to say that because he is. And he is attacking this lymphoma the same way the Rituxan treatment is attacking him – like a grizzly! Yet even with that battle going on in his gizzards, he still keeps telling me he’s feeling very positive. He’s not even worried about the possibility that this course of treatment might not be the solution. He is absolute in his resolve that other options, clinical trials and miracles are swirling around us. And with that faith and hope being so strong, I am allowed the momentary weakness of character to get pissed at him for deleting the most brilliant post ever. Because as stupid as it may seem, those banal little square-offs are monumental in a cancer fighting household.  It means we’re normal, common, regular…NOT SICK!!!  And for that I am extremely thankful.

THE APPLE STORE IN THE FLORIDA MALL

THE APPLE STORE IN THE FLORIDA MALL

Today we are going to have Thanksgiving dinner with Matt and Alexis. It is their first time preparing the mealand I’m thankful for ALL of that.  I’m thankful that they both finally found each other after years of having to suffer through the wrong people in order to discover the right person.  I’m thankful that the insight of that miracle is not lost on them.  I’m thankful that Matt’s parents are wonderful people and that I’m looking forward to seeing them again, rather than loading up on the Xanax.  And I’m especially thankful that as I drink my morning coffee, they are probably up to their elbows in turkey slime, as they prepare the bird to be today’s centerpiece.

And finally, I am thankful that Alexis was willing to brave the pre-Holiday crowds at the Florida Mall last night in order to visit the Mothership…The Apple Store.  She picked up my laptop, (the iPatient) from the iHospital after a stay requiring open hard drive surgery.  And tonight, when we return home with tight pants and full Tupperware, I will also have one patient that has been cured, and one who is on his way!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING.  AND DON’T GIVE UP HOPE.

Happy Anniversary, Honey

NOVEMBER 10, 1996

NOVEMBER 10, 1996

Wow, when they say for richer and for poorer, for better and for worse, in sickness and in health, blah blah blah blah blah blah – they’re not screwing around!  (I’m not going to finish the sentence.  You all know what comes next and, anniversaries are for celebrating.)  Steven and I just celebrated 15 happy years of richer, poorer, better, worse, sickness, health, sickness, health, sickness…

In retrospect, I’m sure that all of his times of ‘sickness’ are cancer related…oh yeah, except for that one time that he was teaching Alexis to play basketball and she faked left and made him blow out his knee.  Other that that, he’s really only had that one sickness.  Me?  I’ve had a million issues that I’ve made a way bigger deal than he has of his cancer.  If you’re a long time reader, you’ve already heard the tale of the arthritic toe.  There are 2 knees that go with that toe, the worse of the two is the result of falling off my bicycle a few years back.  The lesson I learned is that even though you have a lot more fat, you don’t bounce like you did when you were a skinny kid!

We won’t even delve into the menopause and perio-menopausal symptoms.  Suffice it to say that Steven is a saint, and I, at times, have been a ranting lunatic strung out on hormones.  Anything further on this topic is shelved for now.  Mainly because menopause symptoms all sound just like cancer, so that’s a whole other blog post when I feel the urge.

So let’s just go with the sprained ankle from when I misjudged the space between my office chair and my ass, falling to the ground and entertaining all who were privy to the show.  Then there was the emergency eye doctor appointment because I got a cocker spaniel hair embedded in my tear duct after home grooming Missy and Zack.  (That’s why we got short haired dogs this time!)  Or, the emergency podiatrist appointment when I dropped my blow dryer and rather than have it crash on the bathroom floor, I broke the fall with my foot, which resulted in a smashed toe.  Then there were a half dozen stomach flu incidents when I wished I was single just so no one would hear the horror movie noises coming out of the bathroom.

I’ve had varicose vein surgery, which by the way doesn’t last so my legs still look like a road map of Georgia.  After the surgery, Steven got to watch me hobble around with my mummy legs wrapped like Ruth Buzzi on Laugh-In (google it) That lasted for 2 weeks.  Then there was the time I had some dental work done and the dentist nicked a blood vessel while giving me novocaine and my face swelled up and turned black and blue like Mike Tyson during the prison years.  Steven took the brunt of that because people who didn’t know better thought he was abusing me!

So why is this a Happy Anniversary post, you ask.  I’m going to tell you.  Yesterday was our anniversary.  We were going to go out to dinner to celebrate.  However, the night before our anniversary turned into another incident.  In the middle of the night, Zoey snuggled up to me in bed, stretched and stuck her paw, right in my eye…with her claw…at the exact moment I opened my eye.  OOOOOOWWWWWWW!  Seriously, you have no idea unless you’ve ever had a hot poker in your eye.  All I could see was bright white, and since the room was dark, I knew that was really bad!

Yesterday was awful at work.  I couldn’t stare at anything for too long without my eye tearing.  I couldn’t wear eye make-up because of the pain, so I went with the vibrant lip instead…which matched the red blood shot color of my Pop-eye.  By the time I got home I was a mess.  I was tired from squinting, exhausted from the pain and disappointed that our anniversary was becoming a bust.  I couldn’t even make a nice dinner because my spacial vision was so off that I was afraid I’d burn down the house!

Steven came to the rescue.  He suggested I put together a make shift eye patch to give my eye a rest.  After fussing about it for a while, I realized that he was probably right.  While I patched up, he made me a healthy martini and declared an official pizza and TV night.  And he told me I looked cute.  Of course I begged him to take a picture of me in my Christmas jammies, sprawled out on the sofa under a blankie, sucking down a slurpee sized martini and smiling like a nut job.  He would not do it.  I guess I didn’t really look all that cute…or maybe he knew I only looked cute to him.  It doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that we were both extremely happy sitting there making jokes about my eye patch, snarfing down pizza and staring, with 3 eyes, at the tube.  And that, my friends, is love!

So HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, HONEY.  I love you.  I absolutely know you love me.  And cancer doesn’t factor into any of it.  It’s just an eye patch in our life…only I take pictures of it!

Rituxan

DRUGGED UP & READY FOR TREATMENT...OR A WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S

DRUGGED UP & READY FOR TREATMENT…OR A WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S

Steven started his latest “treatment” last Thursday and I’m really confused.  If you’re crazy and you go to a shrink, it’s called psychotherapy.  If you hurt yourself and go to rehab, its called physical therapy.  And normally if you have cancer and go to an oncologist, it’s called chemotherapy.  So let me reiterate: Steven started his treatment last Thursday.

The current course of treatment is Rituxan and I’m thrilled that this medication is available for Steven.  He’s had it before, mixed in a recipe of other unpronounceable medical potions that they just call CHOPS for short.  It worked like a charm and kept him on this side of the dirt, so I’m not doubting that Rituxan is a wonder drug.  But for the record, when he had Rituxan with CHOPS…they called it chemotherapy.

I’m not saying the drug company is trying to pull a fast one, but If you go to the Rituxan website, the first thing you see is a photo of a happy-freakin’-happy guy grinning like he thinks he’s on the Viagra website!  No ribbons, no sunrises, no modern medical center in the background.  Just a guy standing around in his backyard with a shit-eating grin, looking like he doesn’t have a care in the world.  What the hell?  They say that if it walks like a duck and quacks like then it’s probably a duck.  So with that as my mantra, I have to say that this treatment is probably chemotherapy.  I’m not trying to be a drama queen here, but to call Rituxan “treatment” seems a little lame.

A VIEW FROM THE CHEMO CHAIR IN THE NEW OFFICE

A VIEW FROM THE CHEMO CHAIR IN THE NEW OFFICE

Wednesday night Steven pre-medicated as directed, with a sedative type horse pill thatmade him sleep so hard that he didn’t even flinch when Zoey and Maritza took their end of the day laps through the house and over the bed using his belly to trampoline over the foot board!  (By the way, that’s how it was when he had chemo!)  The morning of the “treatment” he took the second pill which had him zombied out within 30 minutes.  I poured him into my car and brought him with me to work until it was time for his appointment.  The doctor’s new office is only 5 minutes from my office, so Steven thought this was a good idea when he came up with it the day before.  Of course when he was sedated and propped up in a chair like “Weekend at Bernie’s”, I think he would have rethought the decision…if he could have had a thought!  (By the way, that’s how it was when he had chemo!)

RECLINING VIEW FROM THE CHEMO ROOM LAZ-E-BOY

RECLINING VIEW FROM THE CHEMO ROOM LAZ-E-BOY

Rituxan is administered by infusion.  It’s started it with an appetizer of steroids and benedryl mixed in a saline I.V. gravy.  That course is followed by the entree of Rituxan at a real slow drip, so you don’t have a reaction and burst into flames.  (By the way, that’s how it was when he had chemo!)  He gets it in the chemo room at the doctor’s office, and cancer patients come and go throughout the day, while he sits there for 5 hours getting his “treatment.”  And, when I picked him up he was tired and achey and kind of glowing in the dark.  (By the way, that’s how it was when he had chemo!)

Today is Monday.  He’s still tired but not as achey.  He got out and did some walking over the weekend, and puttered around the house.  He’s been a little on the slow moving side, but not housebound or bedridden in any way.  So all in all, I’d say this treatment is going to be OK.  And maybe just this one time, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it Rituxan.