Sunday, June 26, 2005


For those that believe that air mattresses and pillows have no place in camping, I defer to Socrates.

Pillows and mattresses are used for sleeping.
Sleeping is done during camping.
Therefore, ergo, ipso facto, pillows and mattresses are required for camping.

Why am I talking about camping? Because I am going camping, with Conor and Lucy. Kevin is out of town, and we're going with one of Conor's classmates. The good news is that they're the consummate campers, and are handling all logistics--including meals. We just need to show up!

Kevin obtained a tent for us (armed with the latest Consumer Reports data), and so we arrived at the campsite with a 10"x10" tent and three laundry baskets full of stuff. Why laundry baskets? Because they're easy to pack, easy to get into, and that's where dirty clothes end up anyway. (If I could bring them in a washer/dryer, I would. I am totally into Just In Time laundry--if you plan it right, you can get away with NEVER folding sheets and towels!) And a queen size air mattress.

If I was amused at the look of consternation when they saw my 'luggage', I was doubly amused when the mansion of a tent was put up. Compared to the one-person tent another camper brough, it hulked over it like a Humvee next to a Civic. I cannot imagine what they thought when I went off in search of an outlet to blow up the air mattress, but it amuses me greatly to think of it.

We did quite well, considering the cold and the wild boars. Oh, and the bees nest. One night of that was enough for us, and we packed up our grubby bodies and went home. Conor had a great time, except for freezing at night, and Lucy did great for someone who never left the Baby Bjorn.

Friday, June 24, 2005

So, last week I go to the doctor because I was sick. I had a fever and my throat hurt and I swear I had white patches on the back of my throat and I just knew I had strep. I called my GP, and they dug out my records and I went in. The doctor said she wasn't too interested in my throat because I had pneumonia.

After telling a friend about it, she said, "It's always something with you, isn't it."

Yep, seems to be!

Monday, June 20, 2005

TV for moms

Last night I managed to watch an episode of House dealing with sick and dying babies without losing it. Probably because we skipped through the nasty bits, like the scene where they autopsied a baby and where they told the family their baby had died. Oh, and the reason the babies got sick was completely unreal, too. I figured I might be okay after seeing an episode of Gray's Anatomy where a sick baby was a sub plot. The baby had heart trouble and they had to show it turning blue and they either shined a blue light on its face or did some after filming hijinks. Either way, it looked too odd to be scary. But since the show is about surgeons, the solution was surgery. I fast-forwarded through that part, too.

(I didn't come through it completely unscathed, however, and neither did Lucy because I kept waking her up when she went into her shallow-breathing sleep stage.)

Right after Conor was born, Kevin and I sat down to watch CSI. Unfortunately, the episode dealt with the murder of a baby, and I have not watched the show since. Nor any of its spin-offs. Now that's a lot of TV! It's not because each watching reminds me of the baby, it's because I never got enough into the show to forgive it its idiosyncracies. For example, can't these people TURN ON THE LIGHTS? Does every crime scene (in the few fractions of shows I've seen with Kevin) have to be dimly lit so they wander around with tiny flashlights? Kevin HATES watching shows like this with me because I refuse to stop talking to the screen.

Where was I? Oh, TV for moms. So if they can't give moms their own channel where all the commercials are Hallmark or Kodak and the shows have NOTHING bad happening to children, then they need to update those warnings. Don't tell me about violence or language, warn me that you're going to do something terrible to a child. I can come up with enough terrifying situations without letting Hollywood fill my brain with some, too.

I remember the fear and anxiety I had with Conor, where I couldn't help but catalog all the terrible things that could happen to him. Now I try to tell myself that listing them and worrying about them won't help one bit--I'd like to be surprised if something happens. Totally surprised--I want to be able to say that I NEVER saw it coming, had no idea, etc. I have learned that worrying about things does not help and won't change the outcome.
On the Radio

I heard two segments on the radio recently that were interesting. Sandra Horning, an oncologist at Stanford specializing in lymphoma was on Fresh Air talking about her battle with cancer and how it has affected her practice and research. The quote that resonated with me was something a colleague told her (not knowing she had breas cancer), "At least with Hodgkin's, you know if you're cured". She explained that with Hodgkin's, if it's going to come back, it's going to come back soon.

Her torment is my relief! No wonder my doctor was happy I'd made it past the six-month mark after the second treatment--that's when they found I'd relapsed after the first round of treatment.

Another program on breast cancer (Talk of the Nation) was also interesting. I could listen to it semi-detached and slightly curious, although the odds of me hearing the terms of myself is high. My cure for Hodgkin's comes at a price--the double shot of radiation to the chest increases the probability of breast cancer. By the time you get breast cancer, the radiation oncologist told me, we'll have much better treatments. I can hardly wait.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Doctor visit today, and we took the whole family. I was really hoping for an in-and-out, but it didn't happen. But it didn't happen for the right reason, which was because it was good news--my PET was clean. See, I'm not really a patient anymore, so the people who need treatment get to go first.

Of course, I tortured myself by believing that the delay was caused by bad test results and everyone was just trying to figure out how to treat me. Pessimism, paranoia, and self-centeredness, all in one!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I had my final PET scan yesterday. I moved it up for insurance reasons--wanted to get it on the current insurance, rather than start the new one with a $5K test. I'd done a lot of research ahead of time about the implications for Lucy--namely, how long it would take to purge the radiation from my system so she could nurse again. Everyone I spoke to said 24 hours. When I'm getting up on the table for the scan (after the point of no return, namely being injected and spending an hour laying down letting these radioactive sugars course through my body) I asked the tech to double-check for me. He comes back with 24 to 48 hours of no breastfeeding AND I can't hold Lucy for 6 hours.


I made him triple-check. No one has mentioned not holding a child. I specifically asked during my first PET scan, too. (Okay, so I asked if I needed to pee in a lead-lined container.) And Conor came with us for one and no one had a problem with that. The tech tells me that it has to do with Lucy's size, she's only 8 weeks old and very very tiny so just to be safe I should stay away from her. If I'd have known that, I'd have laid on Scooter every time I came home from a PET because he's needed radiation on his thyroid for years and I've never done it.

So that freaked me out so much that I almost forgot to ask about the 24 TO 48 hours of no breastfeeding. The answer to that one is that 24 is the minimum, but they recommend 48 hours. I'm pissed that they didn't tell me this the first two times I asked, because that's quite a difference, especially for something you do every three or four hours. It's not like I'm supposed to stay out of a pool or not drive.

So I do more research, or, as my dad says, start calling people until I get the answer I want. I get on the phone to one of my sources, my brother. He checks with his sources, and they say that the tech at Stanford is just being conservative, that I've received x millicuries of fluroblueroscarostuff and it has a half life of y and it really all gets down to what's a safe dose for an infant....

Stop, stop right there, I don't want to know any more. Now I'm terrified that I've done a bad bad thing and I'm going to cause horrible things to happen to Lucy. I don't want to hear the rationale or do the math. I just want someone to say if you do this, everything will be fine. But you'll never get that from a doctor.

On the upside, all the stress over this has made me forget that I won't find out the results of the PET until my doctor gets back from her vacation on the 13th, in two weeks.

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