May 182004

Yeah… it’s true, like the Little Woman said. I have an extra belly-button.
That was vulgar. I did sit up and accidently see it and that was bad.
Bad, bad, bad.

But enough about that.

It’s a beautiful sunny day. People are jogging past my house, people are roller-blading past my house. I have a lot of things I wish I could do in my yard, but I can’t.
That sucks, it totally sucks.
But enough belly-aching.

The story of the extra hole in my belly is this…
The staples came out just fine, the wound was healing really nicely.
I’d been out of the hospital for almost a week and everyone said it would be fine if I took a shower.
So, I took a shower.
And when I got out, the wound was leaking a little bit, but we didn’t think much of that. And it continued to leak, so we covered it in a sterile dressing and did the stuff we had to do.
I took the dressing off before bed, and woke up the next morning to the clear fact that the wound was still oozing.
And luckily, I had an appointment with my GP yesterday, just to catch her up on the overall picture, so I had her look at it.
She thought it looked fine, maybe just a little infected, until her hand when “poot” through my skin and into my belly.
I’ll just give you a minute to conjure up some other image to have in your head for a while.
Anyhow, so now I am packed full of sterile gauze.
I will spend every day sitting in a doctor’s office getting the gauze changed.

And I am amazed how I was uprooted from my simple and relatively happy little life.
It’s like I was a happy little speck in a great big universe, and that was all fine, and then one day, I wandered too close to a vent that sucked me into the medical world, and now I have to stay here until I can swim against the current and get out. Sort of Finding Nemo-ish, that’s how it feels.
Which is probably better than pulling out the San Quentin analogies.
I’m sure those will come when they turn me into the human pin cushion.

An update on that, the chemo schedule….

okay, I have learned that the timing of everything and anything in the medical world is tentative and could change in a heartbeat. People I have dealt with are spectularly skilled at dodging anything that could seem like a solid commitment. It’s really quite amazing.
Yesterday, the nurse at the cancer agency taught us the all-purpose answer to anything, which is, “well, yes and no.”
So, with that said, here is the chemo scheduling update, which could change on Friday or any other time if my chemo doctor thinks it should change.

After looking at it this way and that and talking to Elaine about the pros and cons of this and that, I decided to do agree to participate in the new drug test.
Here’s why:

– we don’t know yet whether I will be in the control group or the study group but we do know that either way they will be studying my bloodwork and test results an awful lot. I figure in 4 months I will rue the day I thought that extra attention would be a good thing, but today I think it is.

– They have already done a preliminary round of tests with this new drug combo and the results were promising and now they are testing in on a much larger group of people.

– Maybe I am just willing to hedge my bets, but it *feels* like the right thing to do. I realize this may be incredibly naive on my part, and I have certainly spent a whole big chunk of my life being skeptical of the medical industry and who decides what and how people are treated in that process.
Today I feel a bit differently.
I’ve spent a bit of time sitting and chatting with these folks who work at the Cancer Agency and they seem like nice, committed people.
I mentioned to one of the nurses that I had heard that lots of oncology professionals wouldn’t do chemo themselves or let any of their loved ones do it.
She told me about a relative of hers who had done chemo and how that had gone. She said that she would do chemo and she believed everyone who worked at the agency would as well.
So right now, I am willing to trust that they know more about this subject than I do and that they are committed to helping as many people as possible get better and see where that takes me.

– I also feel like I need to do what I can to eliminate this nasty mo-fo disease. If being part of a study can help some, then I’ll do that.

The chemo start date is (tentatively) May 31st.
I don’t know if I am in the study or not. If I am in the study, then I have to get extra treatments and will have to be there 5 days a week. If this happens, then I will be seeing if I can recruit some drivers so that Elaine can have some small bit of a life. The treatments will be one 7 hour treatment on the Monday (which Elaine will probably oversee) and 4 one hour treatments around dinner time on the other week days.
More as it happens.

And finally, people have been amazingly sweet and supportive and lots and lots of folks have asked if they can help in any way.
I think I am still learning how to deal with people doing things for me/us.
We certainly have some little details that we could use some help with and I need to figure out how to accept that and also how to co-ordinate that, so that it works for everyone.
One thing I have realized is that we, Elaine and I, are going to be doing this chemo thing for the next 6 months. I think things are actually pretty good and pretty manageable now and the real challenges are in the next few months.
I’m trying to do the things I can now and hopefully I am rely on this great generosity when I am less able to do things.
So I am hoping to keep the help of our friends and family over the long haul. That’s my hope.

In the short term, if anyone knows of a good source of organic potatoes…
we have decided to clean up our food gig here and go organic when we can. I had a wee field trip out of the house with a friend the other day and we went to Capers to get some organic grub. We got quite a bit of good stuff, but couldn’t find any organic potatoes. Well, except for a tiny little bag that might serve two people their dinner.
Anyone know of a source?

And the last thing I would say is, please be patient with us if we are in some sort of telephone or e-mail communication with you.
Right now I feel completely overwhelmed by all the people I need to connect up with about any number of things. And the list never seems to get smaller. I get things taken care of, but there always seem to be 20 things left to do. I have a feeling Elaine may be in a similar boat, but I will let her speak for herself.

Okay… that’s it, that’s all for now.
I do babble-on, no?

 Posted by at 11:41 am

  3 Responses to “Another Day, Another Healthcare Professional”

  1. Am i the only one who can find the fuckin comment button on this motherfucker?

  2. Hold on! Is anyone even reading this?

  3. you know, i used to have a job where i drove around in the middle of the night and delivered boxes of organic grub to the back porches of yuppies houses. each week i would get a free box of organical foods for free, and if i recall the price wasn’t so bad, if one was a paying customer. definatly cheaper than the health food store (with the added bonus that you aren’t forced to hob-nob with hippies and other dirty things). one of the things that came in the box was organic, purple potatoes. it’s a fact. purple. another upshot to this home-delivery thing is that it’s like getting a little present every week. that’s my two cents.

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