Thursday, February 20, 2014

snow, medical update, and a cat story

Yesterday was 35 degrees and not only were the natives out in shorts and sandals (not really) but the bunny's head was exposed! He could see for the first time in a week! Today, unfortunately, the snow is coming down at a furious pace and it looks like he will go under for a while longer.


So many things have been cancelled that we have nothing to do the remainder of the day. I got in the obligatory ten games of Scrabble and a long nap. Ah, bliss. Tomorrow isn't looking so good either. I am scheduled to sub at the high school which only means that, once again, I get to experience the tension and exuberance of an impending snow day. You just never get over that.

I had my oncology check-up this morning. All is well. I talked to my research nurse and my oncologist about my desire to lop off all parts of my body that increase my risk of relapse. I had copies of my medical records with many questions. Judy said this is not at all unusual as the initial experience is overwhelming and it's hard to take in all the information.

The upshot is that she suggested I stop focusing on the numbers (stage, grade, percent of relapse...) because I am not a number. I left feeling encouraged and relieved.

I remember at one point after my WLS, my doctor telling me to stop worrying about the numbers, to put the binders away and start just living my life. Same thing, I guess.

This is my daily Woodrow chuckle. Anytime a bag or box is left open in our house, Woodrow is fixated on climbing in to investigate. Sometimes he will drag a piece of paper out...or a sandwich bag...but generally he just likes to check around. I've learned a lot about his personality since he came to live with us. I don't know if all cats are like this, but this is what I know about this cat.


  • He likes dogs. He likes to torment dogs. When Ava was here, he loved to lie under the couch and poke his paw out at her. He liked to sit back on his haunches and box at her. He liked to play with her tail when she tried to sleep.
  • He wakes up at 4 am and expects the same of us. He has a variety of tricks to accomplish this: he bites at any jewelry you have on, he sticks his paw in your ear, he nibbles on your hair or beard, and he meows loudly, demanding to be fed.
  • He loves treats as much as Gus and will sit up on his haunches when I ask if he wants a treat.
  • He loves to be brushed and purrs loudly and rolls on his back so I can brush his tummy.
  • He loves to go on the back porch to look out the windows. It's like his daily excursion...out the door and up on the back of the sofa to look out the window.
  • Gus has a tub of supplies on the back porch and Woodrow loves to get in there and root around. He brings in his favorite find of the day...a plastic bootie, a poop bag (empty), a forgotten toy or bone.
  • We don't spend money on cat toys because he much prefers boxes, bags, paper clips, balls of paper, feathers, dried leaves, and other stuff such finds.
That's enough cat observations.

My friend, Joanne, told me the other day that she learned about Google chat. I said I didn't know anything about that but would ask Regis. He told me I do it all the time. What??? He told me when those little bubbles pop up with a picture (he hears the noise), that is Google chat. I said I didn't know that and always drag the bubble to the trash. Hahaha! What the hell. So, if you have tried to google chat with me and got no response, this is the reason.

I read this on Longform this week: This Old Man by Roger Angell. It's long but a very worthy read. Roger is in his nineties and he talks about aging, loss of spouses and friends, maintaining a love of life (and a love life), his dogs, and love, always love. I highly recommend it. I enjoyed his writing so much that I'm going to check out his other writing even though he writes mostly about sports.

Regis and I went to dinner at a place with televisions last night and inadvertently watched part of a curling match. I liked it because it was slow moving. Those Canadian curlers were certainly muscle bound and very athletic looking.

The oncology folks are so much fun to see. The Mayo philosophy is that pleasant surroundings and friendly care-givers help your healing and it certainly seems true. I lingered in the hallway between my lab work and my oncology appointments to look at Anders Bjorling's photos. I love the one of St. Peter from the air balloon. 

Get this. Regis and I are registered for three "races" through the YMCA RunSTRONG program. There is a 5K in March, an 8K in May, and another 5K in July. We will be walking but it should be fun as long as the snow is off the ground by the end of March. My oncologist's eyes lit up when I told him I was participating in the YMCA Livestrong program. He liked my idea of functional fitness. I told him some day when I am very old, if I have to go to a nursing home, I don't want any hot male nurse to have to help me off the john. I want strong thighs so I can do that myself.

Regis and I went out for a drive to check out the weather which is what we do here in Minnesota. We drove by the bars to see the crowds that gather there on snowy nights. I think that must be a reptile brain thing from cave man days. Bad weather...get together in one place. I stopped and bought a bottle of Menage a Trois wine. Red wine in a blizzard. It's a rule.

1 comment:

Ben Leonard said...

I thought about my cancer 20 times a day for the first two years. I went screaming back to the oncologist thinking I found another lump no less than 7 times. After 2 years I didn't worry quite so much. After 5, I thought about it less, and almost never worried. I rarely think about it now. You sound pretty normal to me. You'll get through this!