Name that tune!
Okay, so I was waiting (and not sleeping) and now I have some info. But FIRST, who knew that getting cancer would be like Christmas?! Not me, and as you know, I like prezzies so this is a real benefit. A gorgeous box of pampering arrived from Megan, Emma, and Sam replete skin-care products (made in Maine thank you very much), a luxuriously fuzzy blanket, a water bottle that may actually get me to drink water (excuse me while I take a sip), and delicious homemade oatmeal, raisin, and chocolate cookies! And, drum roll, I am getting snail mail cards!!! And all while I am feeling great but just have some coral in my boob! Just wait til I’m sick is what I am thinking.
Finally have the appt. with Dana Farber, that’ll be Tuesday next. Rog and Mart, I’m moving in! So, the point there is they are the knowers of all things IBC. They will look at all my info, poke and prod me, CAT scan me, MRI me, PET scan me (not pet me, pet SCAN me) and then tell me this is what you need to do and your docs in VT can do it, or this is what you need to do but because of some special circumstance we think you should get your treatment here (unlikely but a possibility).
So yesterday was a very difficult day. It would appear that, nurse tho I am, I am able to compartmentalize with the best of them. I hadn’t really engaged in thinking about the possibility of metastases to other vital organs (implication: breasts are vital, I know have come to rather adore mine this past week and a half. We have had some splendid chats and they are ever so happy to be released from that item of torture, the bra. Yes people, these babies will not see the inside of another one of those preposterous contraptions). Okay back to metastases: So my unconscious had the idea that the best time to bring that out into the open was at about 3 a.m. So I lay in bed freaking out about my impending death til the sun came up, then I talked to David and sobbed, and then he sobbed. Great start to the day.
Then, I forgot that I had a doctor’s appt. with my surgeon. Really, Mary? I’m on my way to have coffee with Jill and called the office for something unrelated and the nurse said, sure we can do that Mary, but are you coming in for your appointment? Ugh, raced over there (thank you Jill for the speedy lift to my car) to have the surgeon, Mary Stanley (have I told you how wonderful she is? Well, that was only after one meeting. She is now super wonderful), totally talk me off the cliff re the metastases and, among other things, refer to this cancer as, at almost-worst, a chronic disease. I leave it to you to figure out what worst is. I personally have compartmentalized that tidbit. I left there feeling SO much better (poor David didn’t get that benefit).
Then I come home and get a call from one of my best friends, Roger, that his brother, also a friend, had just died at 62 years old. It is absolutely heart breaking to hear your friend’s heart breaking, not to mention the toll of having mortality smack us all in the face every time we turn a corner these days.
I spend much of the rest of the day fielding calls from DF, calling people to call people to send scans, reports, notes, etc. And then it’s 3:30, time for faculty meeting at Vermont Commons where Dexter is going to let all my colleagues from that beloved institution know about my diagnosis. 3:55 get a text from Heather that she is on her way over (with Rosie, her almost 2 year old and a love of my life). They arrive and I put the dogs out so Rosie can destroy the house without interruption and we have a lovely visit. I look out the door to the back yard and wonder what that white thing is that Keep is playing with. It was Lagertha, my Viking Shield Maiden chicken, breathing her last. Are you fucking kidding me?!?! Now I know a chicken is tiny potatoes compared with losing a brother. It was just that her murder by my best friends was the last straw for this particular camel. I picked up her limp body, walked to the chicken coop and sat inside and sobbed, for me, for Roger and his family, for Lagertha. Heather, distraught at my dismay, kindly took Lagertha home to give her a decent viking burial. Now that’s a friend!
So yeah, it’s been a couple days.
Lead mock funeral for a vocal coach/actor to fulfill part of my work for the Funereal Celebrant class I am taking (clearly signed up for that prior to diagnosis)
Then head to Winooski to lead a conversation at Winooski Death Talks on “How Experiencing Death Changes the Way We Live” (also clearly signed up for that prior…)
Head shaving party at Lizzie Boolukos’ Beehive Beauty Boutique on Cumberland Head on Sunday! (this would be a post diagnosis sign up)
Head to DF and Beantown!
And now, what I know you really have all been waiting for: More Word Play Contest Entrants! From Matt: “Next time we come to VT, we’ll swing by to see you since we’ll already be in your general areola.” From Roger (who went on a texting roll): “Joined the blog. Thanks for keeping us abreast of the situation.” “I’m sure it’s nip and tuck.” “But I don’t know if you have any mammary of that.” Each one got a belly laugh and as we know about laughter… it makes you pee! So send me your best!
I love you all. If you read this far, I am duly impressed.