Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

This is a first. I have never seen her subdue a mouse like that before. Especially MY MOUSE! It took about 10 minutes to de-select everything on my desktop. Don't even go there with the scrolling part. Bad Yoshi!
Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

My Innocence is Gone

I checked out after seeing all the new personas popping up on Dooce. Well, I have to say that I have attained a new high in identity achievement. In prison I would be THE PERV. Oh yeah! I can play that.

A few months ago I stumbled onto a great site with a Pimp Name Generator. If I sold humans for sex I would be Ghetto Fabulous St@cey Slim. It is a mouthful but with fuzzy dice I might just pull it off. I encourage you to go and PIMPAFY yourself. De-lurk and pimp your new names in my comments section. Bring on the bling!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Men! Can't Live With Them and You Can't Live With Them

My past relationships came up in conversation the other day in defence to the fact that I am almost perpetually single. It is true – I have been single for a looong time. The city where I live – Canada’s Largest Gay City – makes meeting that perfect het guy quite the challenge. I also don’t know how to flirt and have an annoying habit of busting guys when they are trying to chat me up. I can smell a line of bullshit a mile away and can’t quite stop myself from exposing the lie. I just can’t help it.

I will save my sweet (gag) adolescent boyfriend fairytales for another time because that is a whole other bag of delicious delights. Here is a small sample of past somewhat serious boyfriends and their fine qualities.

Anyway, I literally found my first “all growed up” boyfriend (fiancĂ© to be honest although we were waaay too young to get married) in bed with another woman. A woman who I considered a friend. I am not kidding. While quite a shock and initially devastating it was eventually quite a relief to no longer have to deal with his horrible financial habits and the resulting collection agency phone calls. I have heard that they thought they were pretty clever over the whole deception but I can only smugly guess at the monetary devastation he would have perpetuated throughout their relationship, however long it lasted. Good riddance! I got the last laugh with that one.

The next longish relationship I had was with a guy I worked with. He was quite charming and things got off to a great start. Then a couple things started creeping in. The first thing that sent off alarms was that he was cheap. I mean REALLY cheap. One of his little tricks was to buy a 6-pack of the cheapest beer possible from the shelf instead of the cooler so he would go to a friend’s house and ask if he could help himself to a “Cold One” while his warm beer cooled in the fridge. So the whole night he would help himself to his friends' more expensive beer insisting his beer was still warm. By the end of the night everybody would be stuck with his cheap-ass beer and he would just laugh and leave. I always had to drive us around in my car, as he didn’t like to use up his gas. The other thing he liked to do was invite me out for coffee and then not only not buy me coffee but read the paper and not talk to me the whole time. He also did what most guys never cop to doing-he admitted he acted a certain way to get a girl and then dropped it once the relationship was established. Not cool. Not impressed. He once said he needed a “break” to re-evaluate the relationship and would call me when he figured out whether he still liked me or not. Let’s just say I dumped his ass when he called back. Then he would show up at 4 am crying outside my window. I pity the woman who ended up with him. You don’t have to have money with me but I HATE CHEAP GUYS! I will say this though, for such a turd he really had some nice friends. I missed them more.

The last major relationship I had was with this guy who had lived in Canada for about 15 years and English was his second language. He was very articulate and well spoken until I would call him on his shit when he would suddenly revert to an overly accented “Me No Understand” at which point I would nearly explode with frustration. Nothing was ever discussed or resolved. He eventually had a midlife crisis and fled back to the homeland as he felt the elusive “American Dream” had duped him. While I had no proof I suspected he may have been cheating too. Once again, so glad that it was over. I never looked back.

“So, Krankipantzen, no wonder you are so kranki,” you might say. Actually I am not. Well about that anyway. What I am is just much more careful and very picky. This stuff happens to everybody. And I am thankful I have not been in an abusive situation or feared for my safety. Overall, in hindsight, it has mostly been humorous. I take some responsibility because I think people show their true colours if you care to look, but we all know that in those early lusty days a lot can be overlooked or even forgiven. Then those same things lead to clothing thrown on the front lawn and an ugly divorce.

So I am curious. What humorous or insane stuff has happened to you to clear out of a relationship? And have you been thankful about it in the end? I can’t be alone in this insanity – I know there are better stories out there!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Emotional Maturity or Fear Paralysis?

Spoonleg has been sending me photos of her beloved Oscar. This cat is GORGEOUS!!! Apparently he also has a crush on Yoshi. I find this very sweet. I am also a little bit jealous as nobody has a crush on me. Yoshi is perpetually single like myself but I will let you know if any kitty lust comes about.

Anyway, Spoonleg was telling me a funny story about Oscar that reminded me of an incident with Yoshi that I had completely forgotten about. And I have photo proof as well, which makes this story even better.

Yoshi follows me around like a dog most of the time and is insanely curious about what is in ALL THOSE BAGS!!! after grocery shopping. She checks each item out and smells all the different scents of the millions of people who have packaged, unloaded and handled each can and box on its journey to the grocery shelf. She even tries to climb into the refrigerator to smell everything once it is put away which freaks me out as I could accidentally create a cat-cicle if I am not paying attention. One day I went to the local pet food store for her mega-expensive-hyper-organic-superior-quality-food-better-than-I-buy-my-own-self supply. Once home I got distracted and left the bags on the kitchen floor intending to unload it all later. As I was going on about my day I noticed Yoshi sitting patiently by her food in their bags. How cute, I thought. She knows it is her stuff. Several minutes go by and she still sitting by those bags. I go into another room and do some more stuff and walk by the kitchen and she is still sitting by her bags. I think, WOW! She is sure curious about those bags. More time elapses and I realize that the damned cat has been sitting by her food bags for about 45 minutes. This time I actually walk into the kitchen and see that she has inserted her head through one of the carrier bag handles and has been patiently waiting all this time for me to do something about it.

So what is the first thing I do? I laugh my ass off. What is the second thing I do? I get my camera and take photos. Then I laugh some more and call some people to tell them about it. Then I simply lifted the handle over her head and she calmly went straight to her food dish for sustenance. Obviously, 45 minutes is a long time without crunchies. I don’t know if she is really dumb or completely brilliant but she cracks me up EVERYDAY!

The photos are below since I can't seem to insert a photo in a post without breaking the photo link. Maybe I should ask Yoshi how to do it.

Would you unhook me ALREADY!
Posted by Hello

Notice lack of eye contact. Diagnosis - SHAME! Also contagious laughter leading to blurry shot!
Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 26, 2005

To Booby or Not To Booby?

A friend of mine had a breast reduction a few years ago and I was invited over for dinner the evening before her surgery. While she was very committed to ending years of back pain and eliminating those pesky divots on her shoulders from her bra straps, her mom and aunt were lamenting her rejection of The Family Birthright – big boobs. My friend, M, had been trying to convey to the family her desire for cute perky breasts for several months now but nobody was having any of it. Her husband was resigned to it and supported her decision even though he loved her just the way she was. Mind you he loved her just the way she became after the surgery too. That is what great husbands are for. I was caught in the middle of this discussion during dinner with each corner pleading their case. Now I was and still am in no way qualified to state an opinion either way as I possess an A cup. Barely.

I have had very mixed emotions about my chest size in the early years mostly due to outside influence and opinion. Being a late bloomer I was badly bullied in the girl’s locker room over my lack of cuppage. I began to believe that if only I could sprout some tatas everything in my life would be perfect and those slutty bitches would finally leave me the fuck alone. Of course I now know that if I had big boobs I would have been harassed and if I had that magical unknown perfect sized rack they would have found something else to molest me about. Such is adolescence and the shittiness of young girls. But it did suck at the time. As my high school friends gained attention from boys and I was relegated to Purse Watcher at all social events I again blamed my lack of chest. However, I soon learned that boys were only interested in breasts and getting as close to them as possible and that realization was distressing to any girl who just wanted to be loved for who they were INSIDE. So I was spared that trauma altogether.

Yet as I went forward and dated and dumped my share of guys and was dumped in return I realized that any boobies are good boobies for young men/old men/good men/bad men. I had no complaints and life went on. I learned to accept and appreciate my tiny breasts and suffered Cup Envy on only a few occasions.

Then I became smug as friends breastfed children and fun sacks became tools of the motherhood trade. And then sagged. Letters like DDD and EEE and F, G and H started creeping into hushed conversation. All of a sudden I realized that while my A Cups were not bodacious or voluptuous they were located exactly where they were a decade ago. I revelled in the fact that I always knew where I could find them whether I was laying down or bent over. My Boobs were up front and perky. HAHAHAHAHAH!!! Vilified at last! Redemption!

Bras got better and my silhouette improved and everything was fabulous. I admit to a slight blip in my confidence when implants became all the rage. But they looked so unnatural and weird and who would like them? Well, plenty of men do and I don’t quite know why. And then I hugged a woman who had them and they felt like two rocks digging into my torso and I was secure again.

That night before M’s surgery, after dinner, we ladies retired to the living room for more mammary chat. M, in an act of desperation, flashed us her soon to be reduced tits trying to explain why she was dissatisfied about her chest. She wanted PERKY, DAMMIT! Her mother responded by flashing her own grand assets, and was quickly followed by her sister who also possessed the family traits. Both were proud and unrepentant. These were the Family Jewels and you DID NOT mess with Mother Nature. M begged me to show mine for a little contrast. You know, provoke some discussion. So I did. And they aaaaaahhhhed. Suddenly they saw what it was like for those on the other side of the spectrum and it was good. There were benefits to be had. M got the support she needed from the family and never looked back.

So here I am about 5 years later facing further meddling with my breasts. It looks to be a very definite probability that I will need a right side mastectomy in the near future. Additionally they found in-situ cancer in my pathology, which indicates that I have about a 25-30% chance of getting cancer in my left breast at some point in the future. I have read of women who chose to have both breasts removed to eliminate any risk. Initially, I thought that was overkill and with good doctor care and vigilance on my part I surely could catch anything new that might come up. But things have changed. My cancer is bad enough that it has spread to the lymph nodes and I now need chemo. This is after having several tests clearly stating there was no cancer at all. My cancer seems to be sneaky! As you can imagine my confidence that I could head off anything that may occur on my left side is severely shaken. I may be faced with that choice of removing both boobies and it is no longer a wayyy-out-there decision like I thought. It kinda makes sense now. I have to say this is not necessarily as horrible as it seems because breast reconstructive surgery is ABSOLUTLEY FUCKING AMAZING! I cannot believe how great it looks. And who am I to turn down free fabulous cosmetic surgery?

So the question remains; if I have to get a radical mastectomy and immediate reconstruction should I stick with A Cuppage or go for a groovy Full B and walk on the wild side? Keep in mind here I am trying to find some good out of this clusterfuck. I am getting pretty grabby over any benefits offered to me. What are your thoughts?

Friday, March 25, 2005

Why Lobotomies Are Good

First of all I would like to thank everybody who dropped by via Dooce today. Your kind comments were much appreciated by my beautiful cat with halitosis and me. I hope you will visit again soon. In fact I beg you to visit again as you probably won’t want to after reading the next paragraph. I promise I will post better once I feel better.

I have been wracking my brains for something to blog about today. Here is the problem; nothing has been going on. I went out Wednesday night and picked up some dinner from my favourite sushi place up the road. I actually pretended to be an active person and wore track pants and a hoodie PLUS sneakers to leave the house. I felt like an impostor since I never work out. That is why I never wear such outfits in public. They are for doing laundry and housework. So I ate this delicious sushi meal in front of the TV watching America’s Next Top Model and within about 3 hours started to feel pretty gross. Really nauseous. What else is new!?! – many of you ask because, yes, indeed, I have a bad stomach at the best of times. But it was waaay bad. And it kept on waking me up during the night so I would take more anti-nausea meds that would make be more groggy and stupid. Then it was still bad in the morning and all day and especially terrible last night. STILL! I just felt hurlish for hours. It was awful. I do not know if I had dodgy sushi or a tummy bug or what but it was nasty. My personality is such that when I don’t feel good I obsess over WHY I FEEL BAD!!! I know I will never know why I felt sick but I just have to try to figure it out. Why can’t I be ok with just feeling bad? So that is what I have been up to all day – trying to figure out why I felt bad for 24 hours. Woo HOO! That and feeling guilty that I wasn’t very productive during this time. Welcome to a glimpse of my creepy mind.

So bear with me and pray that my attention span returns once the Gravol is out of my system.

Yoshi also does impressions. This is her "MAN" imitation. If she was wearing a beater then she could be Archie Bunker. What talent! She'll support me in my old age.
Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Even Yoshi Loves Shoes
Posted by Hello

Tuna For The Birthday Girl.

Happy Birthday YOSHI! You are 7 years old today. Right now you are sitting on my lap and breathing your “Krill Bin” essence on me. It can be hard to love you, especially up close, but I do.

To read about how Yoshi picked me just click HERE!

Kitty Gap

Where is the RAID?

Yoshi O' Lantern

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

You Too Can Learn From My Mistakes.

It all makes sense now. When one is diagnosed with cancer a lot of seriously guilt-laden crap runs through your mind. One thinks about divine justice and karma. One searches through one’s mind for all the times they white lied, thought a bad thought, were tardy, fudged a resume, blamed a bad smell on another or slightly under tipped. One weighs each damning incidence against one’s concept of an angel’s code of behaviour and tries to figure out if there was one particularly terrible event or an accumulation of misdeeds that triggered those cells to overgrow. We all know that stuff like murder, rape and pillage doesn’t lead to cancer because that would just be too simple. It is the little things that are going to get you in the end.

My mother sent me an internet chain email today promising me good luck if I passed it along to a bitchmillion people within an impossible time frame. That is when it dawned on me the real reason why I have cancer – I ALWAYS delete those fucking annoying spam shit things. I hate them. HATE ‘EM! Obviously years of accumulated chain-email 'deletement' must have maxed out my good deeds account. I have a poor cosmic credit rating. So imagine my conflict to be offered guaranteed good luck and a wish come true if I only pollute all my nearest and dearests’ inboxes with an “Irish Wish”. Gee, cure my cancer and alienate my friends or hit delete as usual thereby inviting even further wrath on top of the apocalypse I have already. Hmmmmmm That is a tough one.

My logic held firm, stubborn woman that I am. I will hit delete and take my chances because if God/Allah/The Universe/Insert Divine Being Of Your Choice Here chooses to punish my ass for not wasting valuable time and bandwidth passing along some schmaltzy little shamrock ditty then He/She/It can feel free - I don’t play that way. If that is the meaning of life and forwarding cheap sentiment and conditional blessings is the way to fulfillment and sublimation then SMITE ME NOW!

Monday, March 21, 2005

His Cheetah is Very ANGRY!

P at the beach.

Mr. P was mad that I hadn't posted any photos of him and his Cheetah. Well, a beefcake shot at the beach will have to do. Monkeyman!
Summer 2004

Yes, I Remember I Have Cancer!

I know it seems that I dropped the bombshell of the state of my breast cancer and my impending chemo and then I have gone on like nothing is happening. I’ll tell you what is happening. I am in a bit of a survival mode right now. Doing basic things seem really hard and I am thankful I don’t have a full plate right now. I am fluctuating wildly between despair and acceptance. There is a lot buzzing around in my head and I am taking a lot of quiet time to sort it all out. My mom has been worried that I am isolating myself but I have been a loner for a while and am used to dealing with stuff on my own. My mom is absolutely devastated as she has been through this before with my aunt and nobody should have to do it again. Especially with their daughter. It breaks my heart. There are just so many ways to feel sad about this. And that is normal.

So here is what is new. Nothing! I am waiting for a call from the Cancer Clinic to get appointments for what happens next. The waiting game continues. I should hear from them this week and I will let you all know what is going on the minute I know myself. Until then I am trying to be as centered as possible. That and taking loads of tranqs.

I have added a wish list to my blog. I was reluctant to do this as I don’t like asking for stuff but my cancer support worker said it was a good idea as these items can be helpful to make me feel better. Especially since I don’t have a live-in family etc to do little things (*MOM-You do way too much already!) for me or a big bank account to purchase some stuff I may physically or mentally or emotionally need. I honestly do not expect anybody to get me stuff but I know many of my friends and family are not close by and may feel helpless and want to do something for me. If you would like to check out the wish list please do so but DO NOT feel any obligation to participate. Right now it is books and CDs and DVDs but I will be adding such things like vitamins/supplements and medical/holistic type items as I become aware of them. And then Louboutins, Cartier and Heatherette will be added as I start feeling better. Then a nice hybrid car will top the list when the Cancer Free Road Trip is planned.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

And DRAMA was her NAME-O - America's Next Top Model

I just realized that I neglected to comment on this week’s America’s Next Top Model episode. Pardon moi! Well, nothing really stood out for me except, of course, Rebecca’s collapse during judging. I will preface this by saying that it is truly horrible to have any physical shit go down but life is life and that stuff happens. Now let me go on to say that she looked absolutely fabulous passing out. Her eyes fluttered and ever so slightly rolled back in her head and she gracefully fell backwards onto the floor. She looked amazing even all unconscious on the ground. Call me callous but if you are going to faint on national TV that is the way to do it.

Now if I collapsed on national TV my shirt would pull up exposing my duct taped breasts or the padding would spring from my bra to hit Tyra in the forehead. With the expulsion of my breath my gut would “cupcake out” over the waistband of my jeans. I know I would drool and make so-not-cute snorting noises. And I would most definitely let a fart slip. It would not look good AT ALL.

So that is why Rebecca is my new favourite even though she is a bit of a Miss Snooty Poo. She does drama so well.

Here Are 50 Things You Will Learn About Me Unless You Flee Right This Second!

Not really knowing what to write today I have decided to just create a list of various facts about me. Here are 50 things about me that are completely irrelevant:

  1. I am a vegetarian and have been for 15 years. But do eat some fish.
  2. I am a hypocrite and love leather.
  3. I studied silversmithing for two years but haven't made any jewellery for 5 years because I no longer have a studio to work in.
  4. My hair has not been its natural colour since I was about 14 years old.
  5. I am a big animal lover and totally suspicious of people who don't have pets. Allergies are the only accepted excuse.
  6. I am a very fussy eater. I especially don't like mixing fruit into savoury dishes. For instance don't put apple or raisins in stuffing. That is just wrong.
  7. I love chocolate but only milk chocolate. My faves are milk chocolate covered caramels and Toblerone bars.
  8. I drive an old Jetta.
  9. I have no fear and will take apart electronic stuff to attempt to fix it - often with surprising success.
  10. I also have no fear with home improvement projects - I installed hardwood laminate flooring through my apartment all by myself. I have been warned I will hurt myself one day.
  11. I do not drink alcohol.
  12. I don't like coffee and only occasionally will have a latte. But I LOVE coffee ice cream.
  13. I live in one of the most beautiful recreational-activity friendly cities in the world but don't ski, hike, camp, rollerblade, kayak, boat, water ski, or mountain bike. I watch TV.
  14. I need a lot of sleep. 10 hours per night is perfect. I started sleeping through the night at 3 weeks old. I was born to sleep.
  15. I am a very fast reader and read a lot but if you ask me what I read the day before I couldn't tell you. Shitty retention.
  16. I bite my nails.
  17. I have cankles and H-A-T-E them.
  18. I can't cook very well and don't like doing it either.
  19. My favourite food is sushi and I order the same things every time.
  20. I hate squash and most coloured vegetables. I love anything green including brussel sprouts.
  21. I rarely make my bed.
  22. I am allergic to eggs.
  23. I have an unhealthy crush on Henry Rollins.
  24. I often leave the house without wearing make-up. This is why Henry Rollins will never love me back.
  25. I cannot walk in heels. I have tried and tried but it just hurts so bad.
  26. I am phobic about spiders, swimming in any body of water except pools, and throwing up. I know - WEIRD!
  27. When I was 19 a Rottweiler attacked me. It ripped a chunk out of my arm and bit my foot. I was just waking down the street at the time.
  28. I write thank you notes.
  29. I am a huge fan of Danish Modern furniture.
  30. My parents have been married for 47 years.
  31. I get panic attacks.
  32. I backpacked around Europe when I was 19 years old. Most of the time I did it alone because my travel buddy and I parted ways, as we were not into seeing the same places.
  33. I inevitably kill all plants but cacti.
  34. I live one block from the beach.
  35. My back fire escape is the local raccoon toilet.
  36. My living room is painted orange.
  37. I do not have a favourite colour.
  38. I absolutely hate ironing. I probably iron something about 3 times a year.
  39. I didn't learn to drive until I was 19 years old. I didn't get my first car until I was 22.
  40. The smell of patchouli enrages me and makes me want to kill hippies.
  41. I hate hippies.
  42. I desperately want a dog but my cat won't let me get one.
  43. While I think kids are great I do not want any because I don't think I could handle all the pee, poo, puke, drool and snot.
  44. I can only print - I have totally forgotten how to write.
  45. I still look forward to getting mail.
  46. I have visited Jim Morrison's grave.
  47. If I won the lottery the first thing I would do is get laser eye surgery. I am really blind.
  48. I love pineapple but it makes me itchy.
  49. I backpacked through Jamaica when I was 22 years old.
  50. I have a terrible addiction to America's Next Top Model.

Friday, March 18, 2005


I don’t know if anybody has noticed but I really like to swear. A lot. I am not entirely certain where this joy originates, as I was most definitely not allowed to curse during my whole childhood. Until recently the only time I ever heard my mom say ‘fuck’ was in the presence of the vacuum cleaner. My father is not a vulgar swearer but has let such words like ‘bugger’ and ‘shit’ slip on occasion. I can only say this. Swearing for me releases some sort of chemical satisfaction in my brain not yet replicated by any other life experience. It feels just sooooo goooood.

I can remember the first time I said ‘fuck’ in front of my mom. We were walking home in the snow after doing grocery shopping. I was about 10 years old. My mom had bought her favourite liquorice toffee and I was chomping on a piece. All of a sudden a back molar that was not very loose to begin with was wrenched from my gums in the firm grip of my candy. Blood flooded my mouth and without even thinking I said FUCK! My mom started to flip but I stopped my eminent grounding my allowing a gob of bloody liquorice tinged drool to ooze out of my mouth. Mom was immediately distracted and I was not punished.

There was an earlier occasion when ‘fuck’ escaped from my mouth in the presence of my mother but I don’t think it counts as I was only 3 years old and didn’t say it with full knowledge and intent. Renee from preschool had been repeating the catchy phrase of; “You fuckin’ fuckin’ jerk!” for a few days and it sure seemed to roll off my toddler tongue just fine. When I said it to my mom after school she didn’t react at all. She only asked where I had heard it. I told her and Renee was busted the following day. I believe her parents where going through divorce at the time and she was caught in the verbal crossfire. This is waaay before Dr. Phil when fighting in front of your kids was ok.

Very recently I have stumbled onto the blog of Dad Gone Mad who employs such fabulous swears as Assclown and Cockmaster. This guy is a connoisseur. And I admit I am crushing a little. While seriously intimidated and totally envious of those who can curse with such flair I have to admit to some guilt and shame when I cuss due to a parentally ingrained tenet that nice girls should not have a potty mouth. While I don’t think it is necessarily wrong to walk on the bad side now and then I fear the label of nasty foulmouthed scrag. I want to be able to swear and still maintain an aura of sweetness. Is this possible? Am I sexist?

Ironically over the years I have let loose egregious expletives in the presence of my mother to her intense discomfort and disapproval only to recently receive emails from her containing the word fuck. Apparently I am rubbing off. Once again conflict creeps in. Am I an evil corrupting influence or a verbal liberator?

Perhaps I could swear without censor in the privacy of my own home and car but refrain from uttering anything but the most creative and mentally stimulating profanity in the company of others. Something like serving champaign to guests and saving the plonk for leftovers at home. Hmmmmm…Fuck it! I am just gonna let them fly as they come and savour the delicious brain and body sensations like the curse junkie that I am.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

About face!

Just when I have reached a pretty horrific low and have actually resorted to therapeutic sobbing I find a blog post like THIS ONE and actually laugh out loud even though I will be chemo-fied in the near future.


Ok guys. I just got very bad news today. My cancer is waaaay worse than we thought. It is official - chemo is in my very near future. The scope of this suckage is quite beyond me right now. I have cried today. I will continue to cry today and possibly cry for a while longer. I am actually not a big crier. Yes, I sniffle over animal cruelty and sentimental shit but I very rarely cry over stuff in my life. I hate crying and try to avoid it at all costs. But today I am going to give myself a break and let the weep fest begin. I am not going to be strong right now because I will have to be strong later and I only have so much to go around right now.

I cannot believe that I have to go through this. I honestly thought I might just get away with a near miss. Some tanning on the radiation bed and off I go. It is so not the case. My surgeon gave me a photocopy of my lab results and they are very difficult to understand. But what I can get from it is that the rather large piece of tissue she removed from my body is practically ALL CANCER! I hope those words I actually do understand are wrong about this but that’s what seems to be the case. 9 out of the 13 lymph nodes are positive for cancer. NINE!! This so sucks. It appears that this cancer has been around for a while.

The surgeon looked at me and said that we were expecting this. I said NO! I was not expecting this! I was told this was a small area! She went through my past test results again and got a puzzled look on her face that aptly told me that, yes, in fact all indications were pointing towards early detection of a very small cancerous area. Actually all but one of early tests indicated NO CANCER AT ALL! Nope. All those tests were very wrong. I was supposed to be the patient that was going to be fine.

Here is some good news. The blood tests they did prior to my surgery showed no cancer markers at all. That means that there is probably no serious cancer elsewhere in my body. My X-ray was clear as well so no tumours in my lungs. This is good news. And I am grasping onto this info with all my might. My surgeon also said this is still curable. And that is good news too. Yet far too little good news overall.

My doc looked at me and told me that I can do this meaning the chemo. I said that I HAD to do this. But I soooo don’t want to do this. I’d really rather being doing a whole lot of other stuff instead of chemo. Even other nasty stuff. Chemo scares the shit out of me. But then I hear people say that somebody they know went through chemo and felt fine. Or didn’t loose their hair. Or never missed a day of work. But those things always seem to happen to somebody else. But then I thought that about cancer too and now I am that somebody.

I have to say that I am trying hard not to get a hate-on going but I am starting to see a really fucked up pattern here. I have good times and bad times and inevitably when the good times start getting very good then crap starts to fall from the sky and I am completely without an umbrella. I have always had a really difficult time with work and finding that career that I think I can do every day. I have had a couple near misses when I thought I’d found that perfect job only to find that it was an illusion. Just recently I literally got an epiphany about my perfect career and it was a good idea. In fact it was a great idea that could really provide financial security and not suck my soul dry. Of course that is now on the back burner for a while. And time is of the essence with this idea. I have also had loads of problems with depression and anxiety for ages. I have been trying different meds for years hoping to stumble upon the perfect potion. I have not been successful so far with that and have had lots of bad side effects with this experimentation. The most obvious being the 50 lbs I gained one month. But now I have found that I can do OK without any meds at all. So what happens? I have cancer – something to get really bummed out about. AND of course I am going to need chemo because I just spent a load of money on a frickin’ hair straightener and for once in my frickin’ life my hair looks good. Not to mention that I am only 36 years old! HOLY SHIT! The universe is a big bully and I am going to tell!

I know, you don’t have to tell me that I need a positive attitude, blah blah blah, but I am just going to be a little bit BITTER RIGHT NOW!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


OH NO! Cheetah is very mad! Posted by Hello

The Tarzan Effect

Last night my dear friend P called me from Montreal. I’ll say this; he and I can get pretty silly on the phone. We are talking about the kind of silly that would get you a detention at school or grounded at home. Like people who are drunk and foolish kind of silly. Yet most of this silliness happens over the phone lines, which makes for a much safer environment. Nothing gets broken and no one gets hurt. P and I talk often but only see each other about once a year. He comes out every summer for a month or so since his mom lives here as well as most of his friends. He is truly the highlight of the season. Each summer inevitably we'll come up with some sort of phrase or song or word that not only cracks us up his entire visit but also carries on over the year in emails and phone calls. Unfortunately, as with most silliness our little jokes are only funny to us. If anybody else would sing or say this exact joke to me I would NOT think it was funny AT ALL. P says it and I am on the floor in convulsions. And vice versa. I love that.

P and I have known each other for about 17 years. We worked together at a very trendy local shoe store for about a year and even though he has since lived out East for about 10 years we are closer than ever. I am a great corresponder and so is he. It works out perfectly. Anyway, this shoe store was pretty fun to work at. Because it was sooooo trendy we sales clerks were practically royalty in town. We never had to stand in a club line up. We would go out in a group and have people hang around our table trying to impress us. Can you say, “Free Drinks?” Oh yeah! Some of our fellow employees really lapped this up. But P and I laughed over the fact that all we did all day was kneel on the floor touching strange peoples’ feet and yet were considered cool by real cool people. People like big popular bands and actors etc. who used to shop at the store. What weird situation. It cracked us up.

On the job we would have music wars as I was really into punk and P was totally freaking on Gay Boy Club Shit. He and I used to almost tackle each other in front of the tape deck trying to get our preferred music queued up. Black Flag vs. Pet Shop Boys. We would talk to in high-pitched voices and give a running commentary on what new fuck-up the other had created. P would tease our homophobic co-worker who was always trying to peek at my tits. That’s my P – I know he’s got my front. We often had religious zealots canvassing the street so P would helpfully collect their pamphlets about Jezebel and give them to me. He would cross out the word “whore” throughout the literature and substitute my name instead. I think he also told these weirdoes about me as they used to lay in wait for me and follow when I left to get my lunch. P would be laughing his ass off in the window display. When P would come to work with a hangover I would run out to do fairly unnecessary errands so he would be left alone to deal with all the customers. I remember hearing his pained, “NOOOOOOOOOOOO…” as I ran out of the store. They were good times. There was always some new drama we could bitch about and if things were slow we would make something up.

So here we are in our late-ish 30’s and we still act like complete juveniles. Last night was no exception. P is a great mix of grounded and insane. His sense of humour is quick, clever and cutting. The more stressful or terrible a situation the funnier he gets. So when cancer comes into the picture I know I can count on him to cheer me up. If you follow the comments on Dooce you can’t help but encounter all the Monkey euphemisms. I personally use Monkey as a term of endearment. I have called P ‘Monkeyman’ and such for ages. When I realized that Monkey really means vagina to a lot of people in the world I knew P had to be told. I immediately sent him an email appropriately titled Dearest Vagina. Well, I had no idea how horrifying that word is to a gay man. I was promptly told never to ‘go there’ again. But trust P to take The Monkey and run with it. His mom is coming for a visit in the near future and since she is staying with P he has a 3-week period where he won’t be able to sleep over with his boyfriend. We’ve all been there! But how he actually relayed the tragic news to me was, “Cheetah’s going to be MAD!” I repeated that phrase in a funny high-pitched voice and all hell broke loose. Johnny Weissmuller, close your ears! I offered to make a sock puppet of Cheetah so P could use it to ask his mom for playtime. In that funny voice. You can guess where that went. Cheetah is a very bad boy! Both of us were hysterical.

So thank you Dearest Vagina for getting those endorphins raging through my body. That is just what the doctor ordered. And thank you everybody else for reading a post about private jokes. I know it was funnier for me than it was for you.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Now I Am Free & Unburdened!

Day whatever at home – it is messy now and feels like I never left.

Well, got my drain removed today. You may or may not know what this means. When lymph nodes are removed the lymphatic system has to readjust and while it is doing that fluid can accumulate in your arm. A drain is put in to remove this fluid while the whole system adjusts. I am not going to get into the nitty gritty of what dealing with this drain entailed but let’s just leave it at ‘nasty!’ Physically having this drain …um… INSTALLED is also gross and cumbersome. It is akin to carrying around an egg pinned under your shirt 24 hours a day. But this egg is also attached to tubing that is INSERTED into your armpit. An alarming amount of tubing is crammed in there, too. GAK! Do not read further if you are queasy or have just eaten. This egg and…um…spaghetti contraption (sorry carbonara fans out there!) is transparent so you can see what is going on inside. Can you say ICK? I knew you could. I have been all week. So that stuff is now gone from my daily routine. This also means something returns that I have taken for granted in the past but will forever relish and luxuriate in. As of tomorrow I can shower. As in immerse my whole being in clean water accompanied by soap and hair cleaning products. You have no idea…..

So my post surgery appointment is on Thursday morning. I think that at this appointment I will probably receive the results of the pathology of my cancer lump and lymph nodes. I know that if all the tumour margins are clear as well as the lymph nodes I will have 3 weeks of radiation and then hormone therapy after that. This I can handle. If the cancer has spread then there is more surgery, probably a total mastectomy/reconstruction, along with chemo, radiation and then hormone treatment. This I can also probably handle but would rather not. So I need more good vibes out there for Thursday. I really think everything is going to be clear and after radiation I can get on with things. I am looking forward to that.

But life goes on and I think I have to start with physiotherapy on Thursday as well. I am still pretty sore and very stiff so I am not really looking forward to it. I know it helps, blah blah blah, but my normal pain recovery routine is lots of lying around, TV watching and junk food eating. Perhaps I can modify my stretching exercises to encompass taking potato chips from the bag and placing them in my mouth. Very vigorously!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Sun Slut Posted by Hello

Cozy AND Toasty Posted by Hello

Severe Flake Out Posted by Hello

The Story of Y

I often get asked to re-tell the story of how I got Yoshi. It is not a tale of adventure or peril. It is just kinda sweet. Most are, I believe. Whether you got your furchild on a whim, by chance or with much planning the moment of connection is always story-worthy. Everybody could put a spin the encounter to make a grown man cry.

About 7 years ago I was living in the basement of my parent’s house. I was very depressed over a looooong bout of bad stomach problems and was virtually housebound. My dad, who can pull of a curmudgeon act quite well, caved in to Mom-Pressure and I got a cat for my birthday. We’d had a cat in my childhood who was very sweet but very destructive and my dad was not keen to repeat that. So up until my birthday there were no cats allowed in the house.

Now when I say I got a cat as a gift it was actually a cat-coupon, as I had to track down one of my own choosing. I knew I wanted a Siamese as the destructive cat from the past, Tiko, was of that breed and despite eating all sorts of clothing and promptly barfing it all up again he was a really great cat. I figure you either love the Siamese breed or are deathly afraid of them. I love them and all their quirky shit. These cats are nuts.

I am a loyal supporter of the SPCA and tried without any luck for months to get a Siamese cat through them. It was a difficult decision for me to go to a breeder but I think if you are set on a particular breed then finding a reputable breeder is the way to go. But I was having a hard time with that too. There just weren’t too many Siamese cats that year. I would call a breeder and they wouldn’t have any. My timing sucked. I’d have to wait a year. I finally found a lady waaaay out in the suburbs who had some pure bred lilac point Siamese. She said she was a new breeder and this was her first litter. I realize now that she wasn’t a true breeder as none of the kittens were registered even though the parent cats were. But the kittens were vet checked and I was able to view the parent cats. And I was PINING for a kitten! So my mom and I got in the car and found the place after getting lost a million times.

We parked in the apartment complex and I was feeling really bad. My tum was killing me and I felt super nauseous. I asked my mom to just go in and pick a cat she liked and I would be fine with it. I just wanted to hide in the car. So my mom went in and explained my situation to the Nice Lady. She came out to the car, much to my initial embarrassment, and encouraged me to come in saying that she didn’t mind if I hurled all over her house. So I staggered in and as I was walking down the hall a little cat face peeked out from around the corner. Instant MELT! Gut wrenching sweetness! My nausea was forgotten. I sat on the living room floor and watched these kittens play with each other as only kittens can play. Freak out! I think there were 5 altogether and I couldn’t make up my mind. The mother cat was a Traditional Siamese with a round face and the father was an Extreme Siamese meaning he looked like he was formed in a wind tunnel. Very pointy face! One kitten was like Papa, 3 were like Mama and one was in between. My mom was rooting for the Papa look-a-like because he was very cross eyed and hilarious looking but he totally ignored my ass as only a Siamese can. I had this idea in my mind that somehow one of the kittens would make a grand gesture or something that would indicate to me that it was THE ONE! But none did. They all just played with each other like I didn’t exist. My mom started getting impatient telling me to pick ALREADY as I had been sitting there for a while but the Nice Lady told me to take my time. So just when I was thinking that none of those Movies Of The Week were realistic and that The Universe would not Show Me The Way one of the kittens finally detached itself from the melee and walked over to me. I was sitting cross-legged and that kitten just climbed up onto my knee and looked me right in the face with these violet Elizabeth Taylor eyes. That was The ONE! And it was the one with the in-between face.

It had a mark on its nose that the Nice Lady swore wasn’t there that morning but I didn’t care. We tried to figure out the gender of this kitty and decided it was a boy. So Yoshi was put in a box (like she stayed there for long!) and taken home. At a later vet visit it was determined that he was a she and only had little fur tufties instead of balls. So that is why she is named Yoshi meaning ‘Favourite Son’. She would have been called Diva had we immediately known her true calling. And that would have been a very appropriate name too.

Once we got her home and discovered that the horrible scar on her nose was, in fact, dried food Yoshi proceeded to follow me around constantly, earning a nickname of The Shadow. The story goes that the momma cat gave birth to Yoshi and her siblings under the covers at the foot of the bed and from the very beginning Yoshi slept under the covers too. Kittens have to be fed small meals more often and every morning at 5 am Yoshi would wake me up by sitting next to my head and gently poking my face. I would ask her if she was hungry and her stomach would audibly grumble in reply. I am not kidding! It was loud.

So that is the story of how Yoshi picked me. She doesn’t like other people and won’t let them pet her. Only my parents and I can do that. That is just the way she is. But everybody still loves her anyway. Actually, she really doesn’t deserve it but that is the power of her charm. She looks at me with total understanding when I talk to her and can comprehend quite a few words and phrases. I swear!

Here are some things she totally understands-

-Jumpjump - She will jump on my lap.
-Are you hungry? Do you want some din dins? – I know this makes me sound like an ass but her resulting excitement is worth it.
-Cozy and Toasty – She will climb under the covers for bed.
-Crunchies - Means her dry food.
-Have you been a good girl? (Perked ears and total anticipation) Do you want some TUNA? -Insane meowing and other cute noises
-No biting -Only kisses! - She will immediately stop biting and lick your hand.
-Come give your mama some lovin’! - She will come and stand on my chest and smooch my face.

Ok, how cute is that? This cat makes me laugh everyday. That is the important part. And yes, I talk to her in a funny voice! So call me weird, batty, freaky and pathetic but I LOVE MY CAT! When she is sleeping and I put my hand on her fur she immediately starts purring. I would do anything for her.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

This is about ANTM. Be alert to spoilage.

America’s Next Top Model!

Despite the fact I was feelin’ like hell I still managed to watch my fave show on Wednesday night. Since then I have learned it repeats on Friday so if I ever undergo surgery again on a Tuesday I don’t have to prop my queasy ass up to watch the next day. Good to know.

Right away I was particularly annoyed by the alarming amount of squealing following any sort of appearance or announcement. It gets worse every season. I can’t wait for the bikini wax lady to show up. Then they’ll have something to really scream about.

Never being a squeaky girl myself I have absolutely no idea why women do this. Screech goodbye to your dignity and credibility. Squeak hello to idiot status!

My Smut-O-Meter immediately perked up at the end of the show when they alluded to some sort of terrible medical emergency on next week’s episode. I have wondered how they manage to get a serious medical condition present on every season: Lupus, blindness, and eating disorders. Do they actively seek them out or is it just the luck of the draw when you gather a random (but gorgeous) selection of people together? Does one out of every 14 people have a medical issue? Hmmmmmm…or is it a question on the application form? What do you all think?

But we all know how the drama is overblown to get you hooked. Next week’s emergency may turn out to be a broken nail. Call 911!

I must admit that I was initially surprised that Brita was eliminated over Brandy because I personally think Brita is “Hot” and Brandy is “Trouble”. But that is just me. Once I thought about it and my past impression that a certain amount of insanity is not only tolerated but also encouraged the Brandy/Brita choice made sense. Sadly, Miss “M’man Ain’t Gonna Want Me No Mo!” makes for better ratings. I personally would have been thrilled silly with the nice young lady and her almost normal body weight. Once again, that is just me.

And what about all those really bad tattoos? It has been my experience that it is best to save up some cash for a really nice piece of work when you are having something PERMANENTLY carved into your body. Ahem! That’s just me.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Sniff Sniff

Day 3 at home!

Hi everybody. Once again, thank so much for all the sweet phone messages (Sorry! Not quite up for chattin’ yet) and emails and gifties! You have no idea how loved I feel right now. You guys ROCK!

First things first…

You can clear out the bomb shelter. We have some more time on this earth. I have consumed chocolate. All is right with the world.

Overall, I am feeling rather fragile at the moment. I ate a little lunch, which will help my dozy head but in the meantime I am tired, light headed and SORE! I think I was all cocky about my EMMENSE pain threshold the other day but what has clearly happened is the numbness wore off a bit. I am feeling it now. Oh yeah!

So no more long posts for now. Must lie down and snooze. But I wanted you all to know that I am doing ok. No complaints. Well, except about my greasy hair and obvious body odour. A bath and shampoo is in my near future. I need help with that stuff.

And Yoshi says Hi! She is chasing her tail all over the living room. She has adapted well to my total neglect of her wellbeing and play needs by employing obsessive-compulsive self-mutilating behaviour. That’s my little monkey!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The End is Near!

Day 2 at home.

I had great sleep last night. I figured out that I can lay on my side if I hug a pillow. It supports my booby just fine. Unfortunately it also grossly interferes with Yoshi's access under the covers or her claiming her usual spot under my arm. This makes for very grumpy cat. So while I did have a great night's sleep my very early morning was heavily interrupted by much whining and moaning. Such snivelling! My mom stayed over and I was afraid she might be woken up by all the horrible noises. Here is some things I whisper-yelled at Yoshi to get her to SHUT UP!

-I am going to kill you, you little SHIT!
-What is the MATTER with you?
-Come here, RIGHT NOW!
-How can you be so cute and such an ASSHOLE!?!
-Don't make me beat you! I am not kidding!
-You are NOT protected by social services!
-Are you KIDDING ME?
-You know what? FUCK OFF!
-Yoshi, you are working on MY LAST NERVE!

Complete failure. No amount of hissing"Cozy and Toasty" at Yoshi, the usual command for settling down to sleep, would get her to shut her yap. And that makes for a very schleeeepy me.

I am feeling ok but still very tired and quite queasy. For those who know me I am the Quease-inator. I get nauseous a lot. After general anesthetic.....yuck. You have no idea. My mom has been trying to entice me with food hoping that I may eat a favourite meal. NOTHING could tempt me right now. As she lovingly describes every dish I usually crave it is all I can do to blink back the urge to HARF ALL OVER HER! Stop describing food to me! Or making me talk, think or listen when I am feeling so hurly. As a matter of fact, I have a GIANT Toblerone bar that remains fully wrapped and uneaten after 48 hours! The alarming concept that I have not eaten this treat is not only proof that I am not hungry but may be an actual sign of The Apocalypse! If this doesn't convey the magnitude of my queasiness, nothing will.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Hi Everybody!

I'm baaaaaack! Got home this morning and have been sleeping most of the day. Just wanted to say that I am doing fine and everything is good. I will get into more details later.

I am not in too much pain at all. In fact everything has been dealt with quite nicely with just a couple Extra Strength Tylenol. But I am sleepy.

So back to bed I go. I am feeling a little feverish but I am not sure if it is normal healing stuff, a little infection or this damned cat that won't GET OFF me.

I am really glad to be home.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Day

Here is a very short post. It will balance out the one where I tell my diagnosis story. That is one looooong post. If it was any other topic I'd be feeling guilty about putting you all through it. So I just woke up and now I must bathe and straighten my hair and get to the hospital. OK-here is a little lesson learned. DO NOT eat a very salty pre-surgery evening meal when you cannot drink anything afterwards! The sushi was delicious but I could guzzle a bathtub of water right now. I had dreams that I accidentally drank water. And that the hospital gave me a bad time because I wasn't dressed fashionably enough. Those thirsty dreams are killer.

So I am feeling good about everything and, frankly, looking forward to the IV so I can just get a little liquid joy. I will post again as soon as I possibly can.

B' bye cancer!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Deep Thoughts...

First off I want to send a big thank you out there to everybody who has been blog commenting, phoning and emailing good vibes my way. You have no idea how chuffed I am to hear from all of you. *sniff* I REALLY appreciate you all.

Today has turned out to be like any other day in my life meaning I am running around at the last minute doing stuff I should have thought about weeks ago. While I have a front closure top for my trip home from the hospital it didn't occur to me until this very afternoon that owning this solitary zip-front top is not going to serve me well for the rest of my recovery. I should have bought some more PJ tops or something way before now. I just didn't think. Typical. So tonight while I should be reflecting upon my life and transcending all my worries through zen medication and deep breathing I will be found at the local Wal Mart frantically charging up a whole lot of ugly loose fitting front closure tops. Frumpy tops I will never wear again after I can move my arm normally. Heinous tops that will have cost as much as that fabulous pair of shoes I actually need. Sweet summer shoes for walking on the front of cute boys.

Today the sun is shining and the blossoms are the cherry trees. Crocus and iris galore along the Sea Wall, located only a couple blocks from my house, beckon me. Instead I have a 4 pm appointment for a bikini wax so no good looking doctors and innocent nurses are traumatized by my nether bits. I have been assured by my dear friend TC, who called me from the UK! today, that nobody has any need to "go there" for any reason during my hospital stay. I think it is better to be safe than humiliated.

My mom popped by today and gave me a gift of lovely CK pajamas. So now I can slouch around and look cute at the same time. Thanks mom!

Tonight I am planning on eating a HUGE take-out order of sushi for dinner. We are talking about an INDECENT amount of sushi here. The restaurant normally encloses 4 sets of chopsticks in my order because they just assume it would take that many people to consume that amount of food. I have not enlightened them that it is only me doing the snorking. Shame Spiral! I seriously love sushi. It is better than all the meditation and deep breathing in the world.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Road Warrior

I just started taking some new medication that has grogginess as a side effect and I had to call my mom to tell her that I didn't think it was a good idea for me to drive her anywhere as I was feeling really out of it. So I picked up the phone and looked at the numbers....Couldn't figure out dialing though.....Just couldn't figure it out.....Hmmm? Ummm? Hmmm... Oh! I was trying to call my mom on the TV remote control.


My Posterior and The Supernatural

Surgery day, March 8th, is quickly approaching and I have not even remotely completed all the little things I wanted to have out of the way. My goal was to heal without distractions in front of the TV with plates of sushi around me and unlimited chocolate chilling in the fridge. Instead I will have to do my income taxes and other such goofiness.

I thought I would tell the tale of my diagnosis as it is a long one and my right arm is still willing and able. If anybody is not cool with me writing frankly about my breasts and other 'girly bits' just click that red X at the top right corner of your screen. I am going to be detailed here because I think it is important to tell the whole story.

I am not really sure exactly when I first noticed a lump in my right breast and thought about it with some concern. My boobs have always been lumpy and bumpy with hormone fluctuation and it was not uncommon for me to have a bump that would appear and disappear during my cycle. But I think it was in September 2004 that I first noticed The Lump and when it was still going strong in October I went to my family doctor for a check up. I should probably check my records for the exact dates but for now I will recite from memory. At that first visit my doctor felt The Lump and said that it didn't appear to be anything nasty. It seemed smooth to the touch and moved freely within the breast tissue without causing any pain. I have heard that cancerous lumps can feel gritty and uneven and may not move around at all. My doc believed that it was a normal hormonal cyst and suggested that I keep an eye on it over the next 3 months.

I decided in December 2004 that The Lump seemed to be a little bigger so I went back to my doc. He agreed but still didn't think it felt like anything bad. He suggested an ultrasound be performed to be safe but he still thought it felt like a cyst. After a mix up where my first ultrasound appointment was 'lost' a new one was rescheduled in January 2005. The results of that test indicated that there were several normal hormonal cysts in my right breast but The Lump presented as a Dark Area. Yet the radiologist said that it didn't deem to be 'aggressive' in nature and it did have some characteristics of a cyst as well. She suggested a fine needle biopsy to rule out any malignancy. I got a bit scared at this point and my doctor was very split as well. He assured me that it didn't seem to be cancer from the radiologist's report but he allowed that if his wife had this symptom he would be worried. I didn't really know what to think right then. So I was scheduled for a fine needle biopsy a couple weeks later. I hadn't told my parents about any of this because I had been assured that 80% of breast lumps are benign and at my age breast cancer was VERY rare. My mom's mom and my mom's sister both died of breast cancer in their mid 50's. Cancer is a very scary word in our house. My mom nursed my aunt through her illness and really got to see the nitty gritty of the whole process. It was a devastating experience for her. I didn't want to worry anybody needlessly. So I went for my biopsy on my own and, overall, it wasn't too terrible at all. Ladies, it just isn't that bad! Anyway, I am getting ahead of myself.

I went to the lab for the biopsy and the techs and doctor were so great. They were very informative and let me know what exactly to expect. I told the doctor I was nervous and he covered my icy hand with his and told me I had nothing to worry about. He was very sweet. So this doctor took a look at the Dark Area with the ultrasound and said that it did look worrying to him. He suggested that we do a fine needle biopsy (FNB) as well as a core biopsy which takes a larger sample of tissue. I'd heard this core one really hurts. I was not looking forward to that part. He then asked me what my mammograms had shown. When I said that I hadn't had any done he immediately hussled me off the table and ordered some taken immediately. So I went across the hall where they took 4 films of my right boob. That, actually, was the funniest part. I have never had one before and the whole experience is very surreal. You kinda expect some film crew to jump out at you and yell PUNK'D because this x-ray tech/radiologist handles your boobs in the most impersonal way. It is so matter of fact - Nudge, poke, squish and then HONK! If I wasn't so freaked I would have been howling in glee. It was really that funny.

So after lots more waiting on my part the biopsy doctor returned to the room and told me that all my mammograms had come out totally clear! He said that he was only going to do a FNB and if those results showed any problems he would get me back in for a core biopsy later. I was so relieved to get out of the core biopsy. So he injected some freezing into my boob (Didn't hurt at all!) and as everything got all numb I started thinking. I had arrived early for a my appointment that morning and had been kept waiting for about 1 1/2 hrs. Then I had to wait again for the mammograms and I was really sick of waiting around. I'd been there over 3 hours! The thought of having to wait for the test results and then having to wait again for another biopsy appointment as well as waiting again at the actual lab if I needed to return started my Lazy Ass Beacon chirping quite loudly. I really hate waiting so I asked the doctor since my boob was all numb anyway and every freakin' tech in the lab had handled them already if he could just get the core biopsy over with so I didn't have to come back and wait some more. Mind you, as I am asking him this a little part of my brain is yelling at me, "Why are you asking for a painful procedure he says YOU DON'T NEED?" Ladies, heed those pesky contrary voices even if you think they are your Lazy Ass Beacon. You never know. So the doc agreed to do the test even though he thought it was overkill. His exact words not mine. Once again I must assure you all that the core biopsy was not half as bad as I thought it would be. Totally bearable and I am a complete wussy. Afterward they gave me a band aid and a little Barbie sized ice pack for my bra and assured me that all my samples looked perfectly fine. The doctor actually said that while they send the samples in to the lab regardless of his opinions he does these biopsies every day and can tell when there is a malignancy. My samples looked perfectly fine to him. He patted me on the back and I went on my way. I knew it would be a week before my test results came back and during that week I didn't worry at all that a cancer diagnosis was in my future. I was more alarmed at the horrendous bruising those biopsies caused on my poor tittie. Such colour I have never seen before! It was tragic looking.

But a week later I decided to make an appointment with my family doc anyway because I knew his office had just moved and his staff would be very slow to contact me with any results (good or bad) in the unpacking chaos. When my doctor sat next to rather than across from me in his big chair I knew something was wrong. He showed me all my test results. The mammograms had come out clear as I had been told before but my FNB results were benign as well. Only my core biopsy results showed cancer!!! If I hadn't listened to my Lazy Ass Beacon and not asked for the core biopsy at the appointment I would NOT have been called back for further testing with my TOTALLY BENIGN FNB results. I might never had been diagnosed. HOLY SHIT! That was a very spooky feeling. When I told my surgeon this story she was shocked. The look on her face chilled me.

What I know about my cancer, Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, is that it accounts for about 10-15% of diagnosed breast cancers. Rather than forming a tumour like the more common Ductal Carcinoma does ILC tends the cause the skin to thicken around the cancerous area. This makes it next to impossible to catch with a mammogram! So I encourage all ladies to examine your breasts and INSIST on a biopsy (core too) of any lump that seems out of the ordinary. BE PRO-ACTIVE! You just never know and I PROMISE you the procedure is not that bad. Lobular cancer typically affects women in their fifties. I was 35! I will say that I don't know my family medical history as I am adopted but most breast cancer is not hereditary anyway. I don't know if mine is or not. That is something I must find out.

So that is the eerie story of my diagnosis and the psychic ability of my Lazy Ass.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Random Thoughts and a Blast From The Past

It seems that my aura is rather clingy today. I went on a big grocery shop to stock up on lots of comfort food type products guaranteed to soothe my soul and increase my thighs. While walking down the store aisles food was literally throwing itself off the shelves in my wake. I am NOT KIDDING! I was not flailing about or making any grand sweeping gestures. I swear! I must have returned a dozen miscellaneous items to the shelves after hearing them hit the floor behind me. What is this about? Some poor guy even fell down but I think that was because he was old. I was pretty far away at the time. But still! Weird day.

Semi-Spoiler Alert! America's Next Top Model

How much do I love this show?!? You have no idea. I am looking towards my convalescence solely because I have this show to watch. I love this kind of smut. Cat fights, temper tantrums, lesbian undertones. This group seems more insane than usual. I am pretty sure a few were chosen for their personality disorders over their looks. Generally I am not a fan of this TV genre. I have not ever seen 'Survivor'. Missed 'The Amazing Race' completely. 'The Apprentice' left me cold. 'Fear Factor' bores me. But A.N.T.M. - LOVE IT!!! Tyra Banks (AKA: Miss THANG!) slays me with her model wisdom and beauty pep talks. Her forehead is fascinating. Is this wrong?

And Here Comes The Rant!

Actually many of those young women remind me of this particular classmate in high school. I won't divulge her real name but let's call her Scrag for this story. Scrag was in practically all my classes for a couple of years so I was privy to a lot of Here was this woman, and she was definitely a woman over us scrawny little girls, who was stunning to look at. She was what all us regular girls wished we were. She was a model. Scrag would fly to Paris during school holidays to work while the rest of us would go camping with our folks or slave at McDonald's. She was also very smart. Despite the fact she missed classes regularly for her modeling career she maintained a magnificent grade point average. She was also very popular. She dated all the jocks, hung out with all the cool kids and had all the best clothes. These clothes, despite it being the 80's, looked fabulous on her. Basically, her presence awed us all. But during the time I shared a classroom with her I saw something shocking to me. She, the woman among girls, who seemingly had EVERYTHING, went OUT OF HER WAY to shit on the less popular kids. She would encourage group harassment of other girls who were just trying to get through the day physically and emotionally intact. I was not one of her picked-on but I was well aware her spotlight could find me at any time. It was terrifying. But it was also very sad. I used to sit there and watch her do these nasty things with this witchy little smile on her face and want to scream -WHY?? You have everything going for you and have so much power when so many of us feel so helpless and you go out of your way to CRUSH somebody's spirit. Or whole school career for that matter. The stigma rarely left those she singled out. With all the possibilities ahead of her and all the talent and skills she had, Scrag chose to boost her ego by stomping on the little guys. It was a very magical teenage moment for me to realize that possessing beauty in it's many forms did not guarantee happiness and positive self esteem. It might mean a better life and more opportunities because, let's be honest here, beautiful people have it easier out there. But they don't necessarily have an easier time in their own skin. Where the counts the most.

As a result of this observation as well as the reality of knowing I couldn't ride on my looks alone, I chose to focus on improving my mind rather than my appearance. You know, hone my winning personality! I thought it would serve me better in life. And for the most part it has. And I thought it was all good. Until now! The first blush of youth is definitely gone. Try being in your 30's and still fighting acne. I can't believe how all of a sudden my ass ballooned out. Overnight! My face is sagging. I have 'the crepe' starting under my eyes. Can you say GREY HAIR!? Clothes don't fit me anymore. Or better yet - look ridiculous on me. You know that startling realization that you just can't wear those styles anymore without looking like an ass. To my knowledge I haven't been 'checked out' by a male for YEARS! No dates. No interest. Nothing. All those fabulous men out there can't see my brain and inner charm when they walk past me on the street. All they see are my scruffy sneakers and latest zit.

I guess it can go both ways.

The moral of the story - balance PEOPLE! Balance!

Thursday, March 03, 2005


Here is the thing! I am feeling rather conflicted. Why? I feel really fortunate that I live in Canada where all my health care is covered. I often wonder what would be going on right now in my life if I lived in a third world country. One thing for sure is I would have never been diagnosed properly. In fact, I'd probably be dead from something long in my past. Now if I lived in the states I probably wouldn't have decent health insurance or any coverage at all for that matter. With my history of depression my premiums could be higher than the G.N.P. of that aforementioned third world country. I have no idea what happens to somebody without health insurance diagnosed with cancer or some similar hell in the US of A. Somebody enlighten me! But I can't imagine it would be good. Either you bankrupt yourself or your family. Or you go without. Not pretty. Not much incentive to get better either. So you can only imagine how THANKFUL I was that I live in a polite/hippy/socialist/pinko country like Canada when I heard that word cancer - that word well in the Top 10 List of Words That Suck. While by no means is our health care system in great shape at least I know that even rich Canadians are on the same waitlists as I am. It breaks my heart to think that there are people in the world, without good healthcare or any at all, going through some major crisis KNOWING that if they only had a little more money or a job that offered a great plan that their overall care and future outlook would be much better. Knowing that the guy next door is getting better care than you (or your CHILD!!!) for such stoopid reasons. It would make me NUTS! And I am being polite/hippy/pinko here. There is nothing fair or right about this.

At my pre-admissions appointment yesterday I was interviewed by two very lovely nurses who took down all my pertinents so nobody would have to do it the day of my surgery. Now everything will be streamlined and every contingency covered on the big day. How cool is that? They gave me info for my after-care so I wouldn't get overwhelmed when I was groggy and sore after my operation. They provided access for FREE, I repeat FREE, physiotherapy designed specifically for partial mastectomy patients. They actually apologized that I wouldn't get home care to deal with my nasty post-op drain as I happen to live only a couple blocks from a clinic that will change my dressings for me. For FREE! Apparently the FREE home nurses are over-booked so they are primarily assigned to elderly people who are not so mobile. How can I complain about that? Without sounding like an asshole, that is? I can walk! I can get to the clinic! It's cool! Let the older folks get the home care! And to make me practically WEEP they are arranging for a woman who has had the same surgery as I am going to get to call me and tell me what I can expect afterwards. AND they are looking for somebody close to my age so I can identify with them better. These women are volunteers. They also try to come to the hospital as well to see how you are. I live in the coolest province in the coolest country. I just can't believe how nice everybody has been.

What I am conflicted about is that with the healthcare we are offered it will have been a whole MONTH from my diagnosis to my surgery. I have had the whole month to think about this cancer growing inside of me. Knowing that this cancer has been growing for at least 4 months prior to my diagnosis because NOBODY thought that it was cancer. No doctor I saw even mentioned cancer. (Soon I will post the whole tale of my diagnosis that shouldn't have even happened if it wasn't for me and my lazy ass.) I hate to think what this delay might mean for me. In fact I avoid thinking about anything to do with my cancer all together. And I am wondering why I am having such bad panic attacks. DER! So I am here thinking that if I had money and I lived in the states I would have had all this dealt with the very next day at the fricking MAYO CLINIC ALREADY and be cancer free as I sit here today. While I am thankful I have healthcare I wish it was a bit better and faster. That sounds pretty greedy knowing that most people don't have what I have, but when a person hears the word cancer in relation to their body or the body of somebody they love they start to really want the medical ball rolling - FAST! My doc said she sure wished she had a MRI of both my breasts but since the waitlist for a MRI in Vancouver is about 15 months that is not practical. I was offered the option of going to a private clinic (those sneaky few in this town or across the border) for a scan at the measly price of $2000. Mr. Visa says Noooooooo! And it may not even show anything. I've heard a rumour that there are such things as PET scans which are better for imaging cancer. But they are but a fairytale in this country. I don't know if they even are available here. And if they are I don't have the 5 year wait to spare.

So that is my conflict - being so thankful I am being taken care of so well and being angry that it could be much better and that there are other human beings who get the best available healthcare possible or get absolutely nothing at all.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

ANOTHER Birthday?

Yep! Today is my birthday. I am 36 years old. I was asked if I felt any different and this year I really do for a change. First of all I am starting to feel the pull of 40. While I am still technically in my mid thirties that next milestone seems very close. Normally I don't pay much attention to such things but when I allow myself to go to that dark and judgmental place I really get depressed that I have not achieved as much as I would have liked to by now. However, I have decided that I am a late bloomer and those things will come. And I will appreciate them so much more for everything that I have gone through before.

I would have liked to have had a very established career that I love by now. In these times I know that most folks have had to change careers and that starting over is more common than ever. I am not alone. But MAN! I wish I had my student loans paid off at least. I don't own property, I have no retirement fund, I don't have a great job and I am not married with kids. And I have cancer. Basically, I got what I don't want. And I am definitely too young for breast cancer. I thought I had at least another 15 years before I had to start worrying about that kind of shit. It is frustrating to look back and know the reasons I have not accomplished many of my goals are because of health issues. And just when I am feeling better than I have in years and have this great "Plan For The Future" all set up I am totally boned with another health crisis. It makes me want to kick something...HARD. What I am trying to do is think about the lesson in every difficult thing that comes my way. You know, what I can learn from it. Tough going for a control freak like myself. Crap! I am starting to get all serious! I am sounding all old or something. I must beat myself about the head! Stop it! Anybody got a good fart joke?

Anyway, tomorrow I go in for my pre-admission appointment at the hospital. My surgery date was moved up to March 8th. A week from today. The plan of attack is a lumpectomy and then 3 weeks of radiation. That is if the lymph nodes are clear. If not then probably a mastectomy, chemo and then radiation after. Then Tamoxifen (or some such thing) for 5 years. I am actually looking forward to the surgery because I want this cancer OUT!!! Ew ew ew ew. Icky. You know what I mean?