Are you going to eat that?

Are you going to eat that?

Judging by the intensity of my cravings today, I’m running headlong into another mig— By the way, are you going to eat that last brownie?

(Some have hypothesized that cravings are part of prodrome, not a trigger for migraine headaches. And, you know, let’s just go with that because I’m not about to blame myself for lacking self control when it comes to that pan of brownies in the kitchen.)

So I figured I should do a quick rundown of what’s happening before I feel even less like writing an update. There’s some pretty migraine-ish weather in the forecast, so, hatched egg or not, I’m counting this damn chicken.

Most of the time between my last post and now was terrible, truth be told. The only things fueling me were sensory overload and PTSD. I wasn’t even aware of my sorry condition until things relented and suddenly my internal dialogue went from “everything hurts and I’m dying” to “still not dead, assholes!”

A few things helped break the spell: Someone on staff at my oncologist’s office said the word “stable” to me on Tuesday, I have hired cleaning help for the first time ever, and I am listening to music again.

Although they’re still awaiting an official July 2022 image comparison from a radiologist at St. Elizabeth’s, the written reports don’t indicate any significant changes in my brain tumor. That means I can continue not taking Temodar for the immediate future, and sweet cheezus is that ever a relief. I’ll have another MRI in a few months as they continue to monitor stuff.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Mom helped me set up an estimate with a local housekeeper, and she and another member of her crew came out for the first time this week. When I saw the place after, Dan and I kept swapping excited relief.

“They got the fingerprints off the microwave!”

“They vacuumed the cat scratcher!”

“They made Boomer’s bed!”

“Holy shit, they cleaned Boomer’s nose prints off the patio door!”

I have been trying not to drown for almost a decade now. I can no longer fathom how much two abled people can accomplish in an hour. If I didn’t have vague memories of life before cancer, I’d call what happened Tuesday a blessed miracle right up there with virgin birth and tumor-less MRIs.

During a meltdown a few days ago, I bought a cheap pair of headphones from Amazon. (Although I have a set of gamer cans that work fine, they’re too heavy to put on when stuff hurts.) And I told myself I wasn’t going to do anything but listen to music until my crisis time passed.

Coincidentally, if “Remember Us This Way” had been my first audio encounter instead of “Poker Face”, I’d have been a Lady Gaga fan ages ago.

Anyway, I spent days with my headphones on listening to everything from Fleetwood Mac to The Mavericks. (I don’t know Spanish, but en EspaƱolthis track in particular—is wonderful.) I hadn’t done so much music listening since my divorce, because I thought sounds hurt me post brain surgery. It turns out, however, my problem is with multiple senses and overstimulation. If I close my eyes and lie prone, I can listen without wanting to stab everything around me.

In summation, I’m okay but bracing for some intensified pain. Send Kinder Buenos.

MRI #23 and Other Fun Stuff

MRI #23 and Other Fun Stuff

I was going to write a post on New Year’s Day, but, well, ouch. If the weather won’t make up its mind, I’m inevitably in pain until my body adjusts. Not that my body has adjusted to any of this back-and-forth, up-and-down, precipitating-but-not chaos. I’m typing out of spite.

I’m grumpy today. I just woke up, and I am not a morning person. My amazingly comfortable bed isn’t comfortable anymore. I could go on, but I don’t feel like it.

Let’s do this in chronological order. As of last week, the house in Urbana is sold, and I only have a few bills to pay off before there’s nothing nagging at me there. The closing check came, and now I’m waiting for my bank to let me have the money I deposited so I can pay those debts and hand a check over to Mom.

I thought I’d get to stop thinking about money, but I guess that only comes with death. Something to look forward to maybe. (I’m in a mood. If you don’t appreciate morbid humor yet, I highly recommend getting brain cancer in your mid 30s.)

Anyway…

After the closing came my NYE MRI in a mobile unit in the back parking lot of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. My first (and worst MRI) was in a mobile unit too. In Danville that time. This time there was no music to strain to hear over the magnetic screeching, and somehow the time passed quickly.

Do songs make the scan feel longer?

The longest (perceived) part of the MRI was the part a little over halfway through where the rad tech tried to get my IV going for the contrast dye. My veins weren’t exactly cooperative.

My results are back on that MRI already, but the radiologist’s report was noncommittal because the previous MRI wasn’t available for comparison. So basically it just says, “Hi. You still have a tumor on you brain stem.” Which literally everyone already knew.

Don’t worry, it wasn’t all for naught. I still had to deep-breathe my way through reading the report, because: PTSD. I went to bed at 11:30 on December 31, 2022.

Next on the timeline was New Year’s Day. We ate cheese and crackers. I was planning on writing a blog post and doing a Zentangle video to start 2023, but I didn’t get around to either. Didn’t feel like it. My clothes are tight and cutting into me even though my weight hasn’t changed. My ears are ringing and everything hurts. But I can’t do anything about the weather, so…

Dan and I just recently wrapped up another rewatch of all seven seasons of The West Wing. Then I listened to Rachel Maddow’s Ultra podcast. (It’s good and less than 10 episodes.) I found the podcast gave me a little hope that maybe we aren’t doomed, and The West Wing had me like “this pie-in-the-sky crap no longer holds up.”

I mean, we all know the Chief of Staff wouldn’t just testify because Congress subpoenaed him.

Looking at you Mark Fucking Meadows.

Another very party-over-country thing is happening now: Republicans are turning the House into the same shitshow of do-nothingness the Senate was when they had the majority there. And, you know, the more I watch this ass-hattery unfold, the less frustrated I am with Republican politicians and the more frustrated I get with people who are still voting for these absolutely daft, self-serving, nihilist turds.

Conservative congress members say that government doesn’t work. Then they break it for shits and giggles and take home $174k a year.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a good belly laugh at Kevin McCarthy’s expense the first six times he lost to the likes of the Freedom caucus.

Coup-cus?

But now it just looks like the Republicans are quiet quitting in front of the C-SPAN cameras. Self-cancelling culture and infighting within the party of personal responsibility. No one wants to work anymore. Am I right?

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