Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sincerity vs. Sarcasm

I have two books on the table in front of me. One is sincere, the other sarcastic. They both have the same intent, hysterical or happy living. I think I can play them off each other for real development.

Lindsey got me the sarcastic book for my birthday, then bought herself a copy. This Book Will Change Your Life (Amazon link here) will probably not change my life, because I've already rejected three of the topics out of pure spite. And I'm not even talking about my own spite, but the authors'. For example, I refused to put a "Out of Order" sign on public infrastructure on Day 5.

And when I tried to set up a link to their blog as suggested  on Day 10, my application was rejected by sending my browser to Playgirl's website. HA HA. Very funny. Dumbasses.

It's not all bad. Day 4, World Coloring Day was quite informative. I was instructed to color code the world map with places I have been (green), would like to go (yellow), and happy never to set foot there my whole life (red). There was much more red than I would have expected, mostly places I'm warned Americans aren't really welcome.

So I plan to supplement that book with Field Guide to Happiness by Barbara Ann Kipfer (here). I've had this book for a while and quite enjoyed it. It is a positive approach, with list-making, mind maps, and journal ideas. I LOVE making lists. I love my notebook and my little mind maps.

LINDSEY! What's been your experience with the Book? Who wants a happiness assignment?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hats in action! 1

Hats in action! 1, originally uploaded by wizzybit.

Worst craft blogger ever! I tend to give my creations away before I can even photograph them. However, since I love to mash sardines into my ice cream (and bad analogies), I have now created the craft / street fashion blog, where I give people crafts and then try to catch them wearing them in public while I have a camera. It's like shooting fish in a barrel of ice cream!

Anyway, Kelly on the far left with the double-shooters is wearing on my favorite hats, a light blue alpaca yarn helmet crocheted from a vintage pattern, topped with giant pom pom. I figured if anyone could pull it off, it would be Kelly.

Now, stop looking at the kitty cat in the leopard bra. Look at my hat! I made that hat.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Can I send a text message to my blog? And why would I want to dob that?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Okay, can I stop thinking about this now?

So, the "radiation" is done. The full body scan discovered that maybe I shouldn't have held that pill after all (4 additional views of my hand and hip, only to determine it was my hand that was "hot"). My throat feels kind of funny sometimes, but a glass of water or lemon drop usually fixes it right up. I declare it "cancer for creampuffs".

I know that it sounded scary, but nothing "really" happened to me. I mean, it was mostly the fear, and on that level, I guess I have experienced cancer. But the treatments and surgery were really easy for me. I am certain that other regimens are not that easy, and I know that I'm a baby. I learned a lot about my patients at work and even a few of my friends. Fear is not your pet or motivator. It's just crap.

So on to the crafts, I say! I'm working on a hat (for me, selfishly!!) and a belly dance bra. I will get pictures of the other 3 hats I've finished and the 10-10-10 scarf. But some of them are birthday presents, so it might be a little late breaking news. I hope to get pictures of the recipients wearing their gifts. I've also got plans for a some jewelry for another birthday girl.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The line between planning and worry is where again?

Well, the actual radiation pill was pretty much the most boring doctor's appointment ever. I'd been carefully avoiding dairy products, products of the sea, processed food, iodized salt, and exuberance like a good girl for 10 days, I'd had my pregnancy blood test, I brought some reading and knitting. The doctor was running late, of course, so I waited. The radiology tech that called me back was vaguely familiar from my work at that hospital (oh, the joys of living in the same town your entire life....) and seemed vaguely uncomfortable with me. The room contained a bed, a chair and a lead container.

When the doctor showed up, he initialled some things, went over the discharge instructions, and opened the container. The pill looked like your stereotypical capsule. The tech ran to get a glass of water, and didn't seem very happy about me holding the thing in my hand. I drank the water, swallowed the pill. The tech "took the measurements" (geiger counter???) and I was out the door.

Today I'm feeling a little funny in the mouth. Nothing horrid. I'm supposed to get some lemon candy, which I am on my way out the door to do. I had to continue the low-iodine diet until the end of the day yesterday, so I started today with a Pig in the Garden scramble at Food Dance. Mmm. Smoky apple bacon.

But I've been thinking about the relationship of planning and worry. Once the plan is in place, any further thought seems to lead to worry. And worry is the biggest waste of time. I had a list of questions I wanted to ask the doctor, and I started to ask them Wednesday when I was there getting an injection. The medical assistant kind of snapped, "What's the big deal? It's two injections and a pill." At the time, I was kind of angry. But she was right. It was two injections and a pill.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's not as bad as it sounds, but I miss you, Cheese.

So, I'm on day 5 of the low-iodine diet. I just had a really delicious pasta salad with fresh tomatoes and basil and vinegar and a little onion, and a grilled chicken breast. It would have been perfect with some fresh mozarella on top.... But maybe next Sunday.

I did totally cheat twice this weekend, so I need to buckle down for the rest of the week. Both cheats were worth it, though. Richard bought Sarkozy cookies for a barbeque because he didn't want me to worry about dessert (uh, I wasn't), so I stole a bite of a chocolate chip one from Cande. Saturday night was a birthday party with a beautiful mocha torte from Boonzaijer's Bakery, and you can bet I wasn't going to miss that. I ate the whole piece.

I hope to learn something, though. So far, it's that I take deliciousness for granted. Must slow down and taste things. Also, I rely on cheese too much. I mean, cheese is the only taste I'm really missing, but it doesn't necessarily need to go on everything.

The rest of the week is pretty busy. I said I'd be in a writer's group again, and that meets Monday. I haven't written anything yet. I haven't read a poem out loud to a group since before the year 2000? Shocking. Not sure how I feel about that yet. I had originally gotten out of the workshop scene because I had fallen in with humorless "feminist" writers, who basically just didn't want to deal with any men. Well, they allowed one man, but he was an elderly professor type. Now a couple of them front around Kalamazoo as the "published", and therefore "real" poets. I have avoided them and their events. But when they attempt to take over the publication of my favorite professor from college, well, it's time to start writing again.

What a great reason to jump back in - revenge?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

List of Fears

I have to start the low-iodine diet tomorrow to prepare me for the radiation dose in 9 days. This has meant I have spent the last 24 hours in a panic / denial. The internet is not your friend when you are in this mode. I know this, too, but couldn't listen to myself.

Fear 1. I will actually have radiation side effects like losing my hair. However, that does mean I can wear a turban, which might be pretty cool.

Fear 2. I will harm Mr. Awesome with my radioactive self. I do have a plan, but I forgot to enact it. I was trying to wean him from the shoulder snuggling, but I think I get more out of that than he does. I shall just have to be strong, and play with the fishing pole toy alot.

Fear 3. I will lose my sense of taste. Literally. It's supposed to mess with your saliva glands. Although I always thought I should drool less, in general I would prefer to be moist than dry. The remedy is supposed to be something about sour candy, and I do love LemonHeads and their boxes.

4. It won't work and I'll have to do it again. I guess "easy" radiation is still better than chemo / radiation, so I'll just have to make it work.

5. Which is why this fear is the scariest - I won't be able to follow the low-iodine diet, which will cause the treatment not to work. But I can. I like vegetables and meat. I can have more pepperoni in 9 days.

6. But see fear 3! It will taste like tin! But it goes away in 30 days, which could just make for the thinnest birthday ever.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Close call?

I'm kind of a head-in-the-sand type. I might prefer not to know. But I'm no longer allowed to do that, I suppose. I'll have to revel in my hypochondria, now that I'm a "cancer survivor".

Whatever. Last week, I had my hair cut and colored. Albert's new assistant is really pretty good at the head and neck massage. I even got a new (well, back to the original, but new if you've met me recently) color that was a pretty dramatic change. I was feeling good.

Two days later, I wake up with one eyelid covered in my ol' "psoriasis" rash that I used to get before the allergy people made me quit using every beauty product known to the market. Also, my surgery incision was kind of puffy and weird on the right side.

By Friday, I had convinced myself that it was cancer come back from the grave. I was touching my neck so obsessively, I massaged away the main swelling and ended up with a vague post-surgical tightness. That lasted all weekend.

Monday I started to believe it was an allergic reaction to the hair chemicals and took a bunch of Benadryl. I slept really well. My neck still felt tight Tuesday morning though.

Only Wednesday did I finally call the doctor to ask if this was normal. Now, part of the delay was that I couldn't decide which doctor to call. I ended up calling the surgeon. His medical assistant said, "Oh, no. That's not normal at all."

She also said the doctor was out, I'll check with him and call you tomorrow at work. I kept it together at work today quite well, I thought. Checked my cell phone a few thousand times in case she couldn't get me on the work line. Raced home and looked at the answering machine on the land line, which is of course where she called, and listened to her message that said to return her call.

Which I promptly did and got her voice mail. Then, I flipped through some magazines that came in the mail, turned on the tv and watched the end of some Bravo show, and ate a lot of dry-roasted peanuts.

She finally called and said that I could ignore the swelling, maybe lightly massage if it made it feel better. Oh. I was going to ignore it in the first place, but then ....

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Grandma blows out the candles, originally uploaded by wizzybit.

My grandma died August 5. When I used to consider the concept of losing her, it felt like the end of having any kind of female guidance in my life. But I started losing her to dementia even before this photo was taken. She had fallen, broken a hip, had surgery, and it seemed so instant, like the anesthetic had cut the strings to her memory instantly.

But I'd rather remember the stubborn, gravel-voiced, cookie loving, Uno-monster of my childhood. We spent a good part of July with my grandparents every year, camping and going to the fair. She sewed most of my clothes until I was in 7th grade and taught me to sew. She always had alterations customers stopping by the house with some boring blazer or fabulous prom dress that needed adjustment. She answered the door in her slip and girdle, much to my embarassment. She made molasses cookies and homemade "ketchup" and dill pickles. She argued furiously about everything. She dined on "hamburgs" and carried a "pocketbook". We were to keep our feet off the davenport. She took baths and put my hair in ringlets whenever possible. I'm really, really really going to miss her.

Her obituary in the newspaper was pretty short. Apparently, all you could really say about her life is that she was a homemaker, 4-H teacher, mother, church-goer, and these were the progeny. I guess that makes my obituary even shorter, if I haven't had any children. But she was such a big personality, it seems wrong. So here's my internet rambling about Grandma Bassett. I'm going to learn to make pickles and I hope she will help me.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Well, that was pretty dull.

I can see why there's not exactly a lot of thyroid cancer blogs. I feel exactly the same, except with a slightly more frequent urge to nap. Not exactly earth-shaking self-analysis or life changing.

I do have a grody scar. I should take a picture of it. It will fade. The surgeon said I will have forgotten about it all in one year.

But I probably shouldn't forget. There was a lot of goodwill and love around, and I would like to remember that and pay it forward. That sounds cheesy, but it's all you can do, and you probably can't even do that.

And I'm not exactly the same. I can't sing. I'm not saying I could sing before, but so far, I have not been able to sing anything with high notes. Not even as a joke, which I used to love to do.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So now what?

Surgery was Friday. I had been crying Thursday night because I was worked up and scared, so my eyes were quick to tear. The surgeon instantly noticed and I admitted I was scared. "You don't need to be scared," he said in the least reassuring but most confident way. I knew that it was routine to him and needed to be, but it's hard to submit yourself to that kind of stuff. Just to go from person to patient is kind of a journey.

When I woke up (and truly, that's what anesthesia is like - I fell asleep, then I woke up), I could tell I had been crying more. I dread to consider what I must have seemed like to them. I had a big bandage on my neck, which Richard exclaimed was "really small!". I had a nice corner room at the hospital, right over the ambulance bay. One nurse made me walk around the floor once. The other brought me graham crackers and peanut butter to take with my pain killers. I watched a lot of crappy TV, paced around in my room. Ordered some not-bad-for-the-hospital food and ate it. Waited and waited and waited for the surgeon's partner to stop by and discharge me, and then he even offered to keep me another day. I went home.

But since I've been home, I read a whole book (a first for quite a while!), pieced together most of my afghan, laid out some jewelry, deadheaded the garden. I've talked to the office a couple of times, listened to a mix CD that Tom and Becky made for me, and watched some more crappy TV (those darn Housewives!). I'm probably not really ready to go back to work, but I'm looking bored in the eye and saying, NOT ON MY VACATION, buddy.

The scar is, so far, pretty small. Today you can kind of see the yellow bruise around my clavicle. There are 3 little steri strips holding the wound. My hands tingle when they perceive a calcium deficiency, which is frequently. Sometimes I feel like my heart might be racing, but I think that's pain.

It is exciting from the larger perspective to consider that they took out the cancer. It's gone.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Won't get fooled again.

Well, naturally, that is a lie. And it relates not at all to the song, but now that you're here, allow me to whine that I've missed several apparently lucrative blog topics, so I'm not letting this one go.

For example, if you were once the editor of a fancy home decor magazine, the New York Times might publish an excerpt from your book (!!!) about having your job eliminated and feeling kind of disconnected. Oh. I did that LAST summer. Although, my job title was a little less exalted and maybe a little imaginary, and the NYT did not publish anything by me, I also felt some ennui.

Previous to that I had this great idea that I would keep track of my experiences cooking every recipe in a cool cookbook. I know, Better Homes and Gardens! That will be bland but I'll know how to make green goddess dressing eventually, right? Oh. It's been done? Darn.

So, now that I'VE GOT CANCER, I'm not letting it go. (I'm actually having it surgically removed, but I digress.) Yeah, I said cancer. Thyroid cancer. Oh sure, it's the most curable cancer that has the highest survival rate. But I've got it! And that's the point of blogging, right? Me me me.

I'm being a little sarcastic, I admit. Because I am scared. What if it has spread? What if I lose my voice? What if I gain 30 lbs? What if my thyroid was ME, and I'm not myself anymore?

Someone actually said that to me today at work, that I would not feel like myself. I nearly burst into tears. When I think about it, it's a little ridiculous. I read Eckert Tolle, I know the body is not the ego is not the soul etc, etc. But, realistically, if the body is feeling sluggish, it could make the mind more melancholy. A lot of the things that I think are "me" are body related - I love to do things that I'm good at over and over, and if I'm not "in practice" then I won't feel good at them. You know, things like running and belly dancing. These seem like especially important skills to me because I'm fairly new at them, and I don't want to lose much of the headway I've made.

So really, it will be an excellent test of being in the now, Eckert. Because right now, my throat is a little sore, so I'm about to eat a dish of ice cream. If it still hurts tomorrow, I will call a doctor or two. I suppose if they don't think it's a good idea to have surgery on Friday, I can post-pone it. Oh well. See? It's okay to have a dish of ice cream right now.

And, it's just a handy gland. Lots of other people don't have one for a lot of reasons, and look and feel fine. We can do it. We being my mind, my ego, my legs, and me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Oops, I got a job, and I've been too busy to blog?

But! This means I can write about other things than finding a job. And I'm doing 1,000 other things now, as well as the job. I mean, really, who wouldn't rather think about fashion, or photography, or music or belly dancing or running or gardening or anything but job searching?

It is also kind of sad how much happier I am working in an office, with office clothes. Is that really all it is/was? I mean, my hatred of the gardening overalls was intense, but I grew to respect the utility after some time. Still, I have much more respect for myself when wearing office clothing. It's just the way I'm motivated.

As a bonus, I still get to garden as a hobby. And volunteer, which I prefer! They've asked me to design another garden at Mount Olivet Cemetary, which I'm very excited about. In fact, I need to look up some evergreens for my perceived plan. Everyone loves evergreens in a garden, especially in the cemetary! Weeping might be a bit much, however.

My 2009 goals are to run and train for the Borgess 5k, and perform with a belly dance group. All of those should be doable. Watch me.