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.