It's so freaking cold here! But lots of fun. Sledding, live music, good friends...
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
I went to the dentist last week for my bi-annual check up. In between lectures about flossing and crown replacement, they took some xrays. One was a panoramic, camera-circles-your-head-for-30-seconds kind of xray, nothing out of the ordinary. Until...later on, the dentist was going over the xray with me, pointing out the fractured post of an old root canal (yikes), and she asked what was up with the "flowery tattoo thing" on the scan up above my sinuses. Check it out (and don't judge me for having so many fillings. I like candy.)! It must be some kind of something that was put there to hold my skull in place after my craniotomy! Unless of course it's some sort of government tracking device so the CIA can read my thoughts. And why wouldn't they? I have some pretty amazing thoughts. They mostly go like this: "mmmmmmmm salty caramel." Either way, it was a surprise to me, to say the least--that whole craniotomy period of time is a bit fuzzy--and I can't stop looking at it. It's hypnotic, but in a good way. It's sort of calming and mantra-y.
Monday, December 16, 2013
He's not waxing on or painting a fence yet, but he has memorized some crazy amount of positions and combinations and will be eligable to test for a yellow belt in February.
Did you hear my jaw hit the ground just then?
Kid's got skills, that does not surprise me. It's the thought of him being able to focus and pay attention long enough--TO ANYTHING--that blows me away. Our three month experiment seems to have proven successful, as far as I'm concerned. On to more classes! Hooray fir kempo!
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
I am pooped. I'm exhausted and emotionally running on fumes. I need to think of a good way to refresh myself, other than sleep--which, of course, is what I crave. Sleep and chocolate.
How about you? How do you hit the reset button on your soul? What is your emotional equivalent to a breath of fresh air? Please don't say exercise or vegetables.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I'm starting to feel better than I have in a few weeks. The dust is settling. I can breathe a bit better, and I'm starting to think about ways to fix things in my life that feel like they aren't functioning properly. Trying to, anyways. I've gotten hooked on a TV show on Netflix called Scandal, and the main character is a fixer, a professional problem solver (but I like her better in this). The other day on the way to work, I thought about a problem I was having--a long distance friendship that had been suffering from neglect--and instead of feeling complainy and sorry for myself, I fixed it. I sent my friend an email to sort of let them know I was still there and making sure they were, too. Maybe not fixed completely, but definitely a step in the right direction.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is things are looking up. Today.
Saturday, December 07, 2013
I've got to say, I really appreciate everyone's support over the last few days. My posts have been more raw than usual, and I've shared a side of the pain and fear that I feel, a part of my life that I'm usually trying to camouflage. Snark and perceived fearlessness will only get you so far; sometimes, you just need to cry and scream and hit things and write mean and ugly words on a blog for everyone to read. And honestly, the candid nature of these last few posts has felt REALLY REALLY GOOD.
Of course, I wouldn't be me without also feeling guilty. Here, I'll use a list to count some of the wonderful and factual things that I have in my life that so many other people do not have, therefore causing me to feel guilty about having any complaints at all.
Some of the Wonderful and Factual Things That I Have in My Life that So Many Other People Do Not Have
1. Two healthy, living, nearby parents.
2. A healthy and committed marriage.
3. A healthy and perfect six year old son.
4. Full and complete use of my arms, legs, mouth, and brain-- a variety of things that most GBM survivors I know do not have.
5. A great job that I love and look forward to every day.
6. A warm home and plentiful pets.
I worry that the kind of person who can have this list and still complain about anything in their life is fundamentally broken, and, frankly, reprehensible. I know it's who I am; it's part of my personality and character to feel bad about feeling bad, but I do get nervous that I'll never inherently allow myself to enjoy the bounty that is my life, and that I'm doomed to always gravitate back to the cancer, every four months, as the primary definition of who I've become, in spite of the list of wonders above.
Now, I promise to do my best to return to our regular programing--although it's immeasurably comforting to know I can be as honest I might need to occasionally be here.
Friday, December 06, 2013
After every MRI, I meet with two sets of Neuro-oncologists, one at Stanford where I receive my standard ontological care and one at UCSF where I participated in a few trials during my treatment. Today I am at UCSF, finishing up my week of cancer check-ins. Hopefully, this will serve as some sort of mental closure to this particularly gruesome (emotionally speaking) MRI cycle. You win some, you loose some, and while I've physiologically won the grand bonus prize with another clean MRI, my emotional score this quarter was far below par and not what many of expect of me.
I appreciate the kind and thoughtful comments, the hugs from those I see and the stress relieving help that I get from my family. I have a caring and compassionate husband who tries his hardest, and an abundance of positive energy running toward me in the form of a six year old boy. I have all of this, and then some. And sometimes, it's just not enough. Sometimes, in spite if all the goodness that surrounds me, I feel encased in sadness, loss and gloom.
Please don't be afraid for me. Don't worry or feel that you need to be on eggshells around me. The way I feel right now is a natural part of a life-long grieving process that I have come to accept as a part of my life. The MRIs, the anxiety and emotional response serve as a reminder of how my life has changed. Forever. And there's absolutely nothing that I can do about it. I am thankful for my health and continued stability, but I am simultaneously enraged that something like brain cancer came along and changed my life irrevocably, without any sort or warning or negotiation or compensation. I'm not blind, I'm not stupid--I know I am doing incredibly well, much, much better than most people with Glioblastoma Multiforme IV. And I am grateful for that truth. But I am perfectly within my rights to feel robbed of the full, plump, shining life of NORMALCY that I had until September 2009.
So don't freak out when I write posts like this. It's part of my process and it will help me in the long run.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Monday, December 02, 2013
Top Five List of Things Saving Me From Giving In To My Rage and Anger Right Now
1. Selective over-played hit songs on the radio.
2. The zero percent existence of dog pee on my carpet. More on that later.
3. My six year old son in a blazer and tie. Every chance he gets.
4. Waiting for results that will come on Wednesday from my Sunday morning MRI.
5. Before bedtime, the kiddo suggested we "initiate cuddle sequence."