Saturday, May 31, 2008
Last week, when I was in Barnes & Nobles looking for the new George Romero DVD, I noticed Shelley Lewis's book, "Five lessons I didn't learn from breast cancer". Thinking about the first anniversary of diagnosis and everything that followed, I bought it.
I guess its all right (notice that Rocky is not impressed). Of course I agree with the premise - we do not suddenly become better after treating this very common disease. Little or no insight attached. There are some good lines in the book."If you honestly think breast cancer is a gift, you can't come to my birthday party". And whole chapters about the healthy and useful aspects of denial - I'm still amazed about how little information I took in and how little I sought out.
Maybe a year is too soon to look back. But now, my main thought is that the experience was not very interesting. I wouldn't want to repeat it. There was a little fear, a lot of anger, but mostly the experience was boring. It didn't teach me much.
I have always found my patients' stories about their illnesses absolutely fascinating. But mine was boring. A series of tasks, a sequence of worries.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
The tulips are ready. Any day now a moose will come by, walking neatly on the sidewalk, and carefully bite the bloom off each tulip. A sad thing but it can't be helped. They are not nearly as fond of daffodils, fortunately.
The cows are moving into town to give birth. Bears and wolves love to eat moose calves. Unlike moose, bears and wolves tend to avoid humans. So throughout the city the cows will give birth in back yards, parks, schoolyards, and hiking trails. Anywhere people tend to be. In Denali National Park, they often choose the tennis court or the hotel parking lot (right next to the espresso bar).
We all love calves, bright red and the size of goats. But their urban presence is something of a worry. Mother cows are very protective. They give birth near us, but are likely to charge to defend their babies.
We took the dogs to the park today. A muddy section of trail forced us to a section we usually avoid because of the presence of a beaver dam. Usually we walk at midday when the beavers are asleep. Today we were a little early - that happens when the sun rises at 4 am. Having screwed up twice, we met the beaver. First he slapped his tail. That meant something to the humans, but the (rather slow) dogs were intrigued. Rocky and Cosmo stood at the edge of the water on full alert.
The beaver, who weighed at least 50 pounds and was smarter and faster than than the dogs came rearing up out of the water, standing tall, and chirping at the dogs. We hastily called them back and leashed them and dragged them away.
Never mess with a beaver. Or an otter,
Monday, May 12, 2008
Notice how, in addition to the pinkish pasty over the nipple, I got to wear little radio-opaque pink triangles (pink triangles!) over the incision lines. There was another row of pink triangles over the scar from the sentinel node biopsy, but it got all wrapped up in a ball before I got home to take a picture,
But everything looks fine on the first anniversary, alive and well.
Now I have to rethink the follow-up. Every couple months I have an appointment with another doctor - another one I like very much. I go in and show my tits and we say hellos and I write a check.
It might be time to stop that and learn to keep my shirt on like a normal person again.