Saturday, October 27, 2007

World Series

Foggy, cold weekend - and I'm looking forward to two evenings of serious baseball.

Game One was a horror show. I kept hoping the umps would stop the game before someone got hurt. But Game Two was everything you could want in a game.

Linda has been watching the games with me. Now Linda has never shown any interest in any sport. But she has been entranced. She likes Manny, of course.

Her questions started out very basic. I had to define outs, balls, and innings, explain how many men were on a team, what was a bullpen, and so on. Linda learns fast, however, and her questions have gotten more sophisticated. Last night I had to explain the designated hitter.

Fortunatly, she became interested in the playoffs late, so I never had to explain the magic number or the wild card. (I don't understand either.) I'm now trying to keep her away from the in-field fly rule.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Cure! Cope! Heal! Mamm?

The magazine rack at the oncologist's office.

No matter how good your prognosis, never go to the oncologist's office without your own reading material. This stuff looks lethal.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

false alarm

I've had a lot of pain right below my collarbone ever since I finished the radiation. Then two days ago, while rubbing the sore spot, I noticed a sizable lump on my collarbone. Maybe 3 cm x 2cm, and tender to the touch.

So now what? I've vowed never to see my internist again. Which of my three docs should look at this? My first choice was the surgeon, but although I was vague about "a new lump" I couldn't get past her vigilant receptionist. I already have an appointment with the medical onocologist for Friday. I thought it might be bad luck to present to him with a lump. The radiation oncologist - the kindest man in the world with the best office staff - agreed to see me right away.

He pointed out that the lump was outside the field of radiation. Therefore, nothing of interest. But he (kindly again) gave me an order for an xray and promised to go over the results with me immediatley.

Freaked, I called in sick this morning and went to the hospital. They did the xray quickly and handed me the film and the report.

"Moderate osteoarthritis with hypertrophy of the clavicular head".

More good news - persistent pain fopr the rest of my life and nothing lethal.

I went out to lunch, came home, and immersed myself in a Norwegian detective novel.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Across the Universe

I don't like romantic movies. Not unless they are "Wuthering Heights" with Merle Oberlin and Lawrence Olivier out on the moors.

Car chases, shock cuts, zombies, and explosions are always good. Sometimes a tidy, wry, little British movie is good. But usually my tastes run to aliens, Will Farrell, mobsters, cops, vampires, and more zombies. I watched a DVD of "Dirty Larry, Crazy Mary" tonight.

I saw "Love" in Vegas last year. The sound (which went from speakers built into the seats directly to the brain) was thrilling. Some of the scenes, with Beatles images and voices, made me cry. Others, more Cirque than Beatles, were rather annoying.

The show had me primed for more new ways to explore the Beatles' great 20th century songbook. When iTunes offered the "Across the Universe" soundtrack, I downloaded it and played it over and over.

I saw the movie yesterday and fell in love - the way I fell for "A Hard Day's Night" 44 years ago. But this time there were huge hunks of my life on the screen.

I hear the movie is a big hit with 15 year old girls. If one asked me, "Was it really like that?", I could only say "Yes, it was".

And another Christmas cactus

This one combines gifts from two friends. This plant has never left Anchorage. It spent the summer in the yard and budded up right on schedule. It confused me with a handful of blossoms last Easter.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Christmas cactus

Aunt Anne gave me some pieces of a Christmas cactus just about a year ago. It was a piece of my grandmother's plant. I remember it blooming in the bay window where she held court with the big black phone. I brought the cuttings all the way back from Virginia to Alaska, and they have done well.

But now this plant reminds me of my grandmother, my father, and my Aunt Anne.

I'll repot it this week and next year it will start to bloom about now. This makes me feel so lucky and so loved.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

goodbye Mango and Kiwi

I have finally found a new home for my lovebirds. They are delightful fellows and I feel terrible now that they are gone. I developed severe asthma about a year after I got them - probably not a coincidence. And since I've been too tired to keep up with housework (a room with birds requires daily vacuuming) things have been worst.

And Mango is a plucker. I have similar problems - I am always tearing at my eczema. The vet says Mango's problem is behavioral and the dermatologist tells me mine isn't. He says I scratch uncontrollably because the itching is so intense. anyway, I identify with Mango and I always felt worse when I looked at him.

They are going to a lovely young couple who have experience with birds and run an assisted livng home. They will get more attention and maybe I will feel less inadequate.

Rocky reluctantly prepares for the playoffs

Monday, October 8, 2007

Lovely weekend

The Sox clinched. And maybe the Indians? I would have enjoyed another Sox-Yankees playoff , but the Indians are really cool this year.
The first killing frost and the first snowfall last night. The air was delicious today and the sky was brilliant.
It is wonderful to snuggle with the dogs at night. I haven't closed the window yet.
I am struggling to realize that I have to spend the rest of my life being treated for breast cancer. In return, it won't kill me. But given my fears of health care and medicalization ... I don't like it.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Still October

Went to the library for a new supply of neo-noir and was confronted with this thing. You were supposed to write names of "those affected by breast cancer" on pink ribbons and put them on the tree.

I can't wait for the Colon Rectal Cancer Awareness tree.

Monday, October 1, 2007


This is the first time I've heard this through. iTunes, thank god, is on eastern time. I can hardly breath for the thrill.

"You're own worst enemy has come to town"

Today I saw the surgeon - she is young and little and dynamic and I love her. She says this pain under my collarbone and along my sternum is neuropathic and not likely to go away on it's own.

And she disagrees with the oncologist about tamoxofen therapy. She thinks it is important. I said the oncologist says there is no survival advantage with it.

"Survival!' she says. "We can keep you alive, That's no problem." For a second it sounds like a threat. Alive, with painful and debilitating slash/burn/poison, until I die of something else.

"Tonight I'm gonna blow this town town".