Category Archives: medical stuff

“Home Is Wherever I’m With You”

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And just like that, I’m done.

My aneurysm has been, according to my neurosurgeon, perfectly clipped and I’m well on my way to recovery.

Yay!

Okay, I look like hell. My left eye is all bruised, but that happens with brain surgery. And I get wiped out pretty easily, but that also happens with brain surgery, too.

And I don’t feel all that bad. Considering that I had major surgery three days ago (Wednesday was three days ago, right?), I’m doing okay. I bought beautiful yarn and picked out a gorgeous pattern for me to work on while I’m getting better. I make no promises; I will probably fall asleep somewhere in the middle of it (more than likely while I’m turning the heel) and I’ll be taking extra strength Tylenol for the next couple of weeks, too.

Yes, I do have the good drugs. Ahem.

Well, I won’t take them while I’m knitting, or that heel’s going to end up looking like a…well, not a heel, okay?  Probably not a great idea to do any knitting under the influence of Percocet.

Definitely not a good idea. Ahem.

So, time for tea and sock knitting and some Villanova University men’s hoops.

And probably a nap.

“A dog, I have always said, is prose; a cat is a poem”

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At the end of June, my boyfriend and I took our cat, Frogger, to the vet. We adopted him from the Delaware County SPCA a week after we moved in, and from the moment we brought him home, he’s been our “Little Guy”. He’s the loyal cat who greets us when we come home, pines for us when we’re gone, loves hugs and kisses and scritches and belly rubs, even with yorked-up furballs, stinky litter boxes, grey and white cat fur tumbleweeds rolling down the hallway in the breeze and even the occasional dead mouse-as-gift, he’s the “Best Cat Ever”.

“Look what I got for ya, Momcat! Look what I did while you were out! Aren’t you proud of me? Look at that! Look at me again while I pull my claws down your jeans! Let me do that figure 8 thingy around your legs again while you trip over the kitchen rug where the dead mouse is!”

I’m going to york up a hairball on your pillow tonight and it’ll be stuck to your face when you wake up. Will you still give me breakfast in the morning?

So, I found out today that my insurance plans are all taken care of and I’ll be covered on September 1st. Now, that’s a long time for someone to sit around wondering if she’s going to be okay, but they won’t move up your coverage date unless it’s a life-threatening situation, which I entirely understand.

I’m just nervous…I don’t need an organ transplant. Is there such a thing as a nervous transplant? I didn’t think so.

This is the first weekend since my diagnosis that I feel I have a handle on things. All of the paperwork is in order, health insurance done, Fox Chase has both…it’s going to be a good weekend to take a page out of Frogger’s book and nap a lot because all of that stuff I’ve been fretting about for the past 2 weeks has been taken care of for now. And there’s nothing else I can do until next week.

Move over, sweetie!

Move over, sweetie!

Yep, that looks about right.

Like A Room Without A Roof

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Because cancer sucks.

Because cancer sucks.

Two weeks ago today I was diagnosed with cancer. I will always remember that I was in the Oral Surgery department of the University of Pennsylvania’s Dental School, sitting in a dentist’s chair, when one of the residents looked at my biopsy and gave me the news.

It’s always the who and the what, the where and the how. It seems that we remember the little details when we get bad news of any kind. I’ll always remember that resident and how I didn’t like his chairside manner or the other dental students hanging out in the room, around my chair, checking out my reaction. Learning you have cancer should be in private, even in a teaching hospital environment.

In other words, fuck cancer. And screw the rest of you, too, standing around, goggling at my reaction. If you can’t help me, get out of my way. Now. I have people to tell and I have to drive home.


One of the worse things about finding out you have cancer is talking about it or even admitting to yourself that yes, you are a cancer patient, whether you like it or not. You have cancer, and it’s down there or up here or over in there and you have to deal with it. And it’s really, really hard to say to someone you love “Hey, the biopsy came back, and it’s not good. And I’m going to need your love and support and all of the hugs you can give me.”

I called my boyfriend from the car and then I drove back home with the biopsy results in my knitting bag. I snuggled with my cat, made an appointment with my primary care doctor and just sat on the couch, stunned.

And then I got to work making sure I’d get the care I needed, because no one else was going to do it for me.


So, here I am, two weeks later, and I feel good. If it weren’t for this thing in my mouth, I’d be even better.

And all politics aside, I bought a great health insurance policy this morning through the marketplace. My cancer care costs will not bankrupt me, thanks to the ACA.

Every health professional that I’ve spoken to over the past two weeks looked like they wanted to pass out when I told them my diagnosis and that I didn’t have health insurance.

But now I do, and that’s taken care of. Now the next step is to get my treatment started so that I can be well again.

I will get through this, you know…might take some time, but I’ll be fine.

So, it’s like this…

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So, this wasn’t the way I’d intended to start my blog. Really. I wanted to tinker with it and make all pretty and shiny and post all of my crafty and cooking stuff here so I could share it with everyone. If you’re reading this, you probably already know that I’m doing “Year Of Making” over on Instagram and I get a lot of requests for patterns and recipes. Which is all incredibly flattering and terrific and I’m thrilled that people think my knitting and crocheting and cooking looks like something they’d like to make for themselves, but it gets a little cumbersome when it comes to sharing stuff with multiple people, mainly because my 49-year-old brain can’t always remember who wanted what.

And I can’t always trust my scribbles on sticky notes, either. I usually find one that says something like “LA, pasta recipe, no fish, change to chix” or something like that. And while I know perfectly well that LA is LeeAnn and that she doesn’t eat fish I am absolutely at a loss when it comes to remembering which pasta recipe she’s asked for. So there’s that, too.

Anyway, this is my roundabout way of coming around to last night’s cryptic posts on Instagram and Twitter. I’m not a person who beats around the bush when it comes to the important stuff, so here goes…I have cancer.

My dentist found a lump on the floor of my mouth during an exam a few weeks back, so she shooed me off to the University of Pennsylvania’s dental school to be examined by an oral surgeon. I got my biopsy results yesterday morning.

I saw my primary care physician in the afternoon and as a former boss once said, we huddled. My next doctor’s visit is to an ENT (otolaryngology, or ear, nose and throat) specialist and I should have my referral this afternoon. Other than this lump of insane little cells invading my personal space, I’m in perfect health.

Like the author Lisa Scottoline’s late mother once said, “Aside from all this shit, I’m fine.”

So, this will not be a cancer blog. Sure, I’ll post about it and talk about it because I’ll need to, but it won’t be the focus of it because there are other things to yap about. Right?

Besides, I’m fine. Aside from all of this shit, of course.