Ask A Stupid Question, Get A Stupid Answer

That’s what hubby said to me after he unrolled me from my fetal position. You see, I made two foolish remarks to the trial lady that I suppose I didn’t really want to know.

The first mistake I made was saying, “I didn’t think you can die from bone cancer,” …. to which the witch replied, “(long effing pause). “

The second mistake was saying, “hubby said I could live likes this for ten years,” …. to which she replied, “(long mf pause)….. (smile)…… “

So, voila. I mean… other patients have been on what I’m on for years and years! Anyway, my mother told me I should have asked for smaller increments… more like, “will you be alive in two weeks”.

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It Takes A Village

All I can say is thank G I have competent family members who can help me just be sick. Meaning… my mother handles all the appointment scheduling, maintains the medical records and notes, drives me to and fro appointments and reminds me what’s what. If I had to deal with the automated call technicians with, “press 1 to leave a message in the general mailbox… press 2….,” and make the appointment… well, I’d be incapable.

Hubby. Blind hubby. He drives forty-five minutes every eight weeks to pick up the forgotten discs he’s reminded me numerous times to retrieve. He helps to process the minutia and verbal sewage that has become my life. With his knowledge of patient advocacy, he lets me know what to do at every crossroad.

And then there’s my role in all of this…. to forget each and every instruction one of them gives me and then blame it on my illness.

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Tuesdays with Doctors

Sucked. I’d write more but I am drained.

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Truth Serum

My legs have been killing me. Really, it’s just my right leg (as always) and it feels like sciatica. For all I know, it could be that… but given the fact that my innards are at a Defcon 5, its more likely the cancer.

Remembering that my spine radiologist gave me a script back in June for a “joint” reliever, I decided to try it. It worked for a day, but I needed to take it again and by that time, the pain was too much and the medicine wasn’t working.

Knowing I had some special medicine both in cream and pill form- next to me in my night table, I decided to try two squirts of the medicinal lotion. While there was a minty aroma which did tingle, the cream was also not working. Now, I could have scooted on my backside off my bed and down the stairs to get Advil, but how would I get back up? After all, both hubby and my eldest were out of the house, my middle child wasn’t moving from the premiere of Grey’s Anatomy and my youngest- well, he finds it funny when I ask him to get something and then pretends he can’t find it. So… there.

Reaching back into my bedside table, I took a pill from the next medicine, as the pain was now reminiscence of post radiation (the pull/burn sensation).

Here’s what happened next, I was laying in bed perfectly fine, when my friend Face Time’s me.

Friend: Hi, how do you feel? Did the medicine work?

Me: I am still feeling the pain so I am not sure.

Friend: Really?

Me: (All the sudden, since I am now more up… it hits me) Yep, it didn’t work.

Friend: Hmm. Remember the dress I ordered for x’s Bar Mitzvah?

Me: (I can’t stop laughing at the thought ) The witch’s dress?

Friend: What?! I thought you liked it!

Me: (Uncontrollably lost it) It’s horrible

Friend: Great! Now, I’ll have to get another one! Why did you say you liked it?

Me: I do like it… I’m sorry

Friend: It will look great with …

Me: I lied, it’s horrible.

…Needless to say, I’ll be asking my doctors at my appointments next week to just give me something stronger.

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This evening, I noticed an unusual bag of candy on the kitchen counter. Intrigued, I casually walked over to the bag and found they were some exotic form of Skittles (or just not the normal flavor). Since I have no problem eating candy at my enlarged weight, I opened the bag and downed several palmfuls. When I was finished, I placed the remaining Skittles in a fresh ziplock, tossed them back onto the counter and sat down at the table with my daughter.

Next, hubby sees the bag of Skittles now residing in the clear bag, proceeds to eat a few handfuls and then tosses the bag back onto the counter.

Meanwhile, my middle child who’d been sitting at the table with me says, “Wow, you and dad just went over to the candy, my candy, and just ate it without wondering where it came from? Really?”

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The OG

The rule in our family is, if it is your birthday, you get to choose any restaurant to celebrate. My youngest wanted to celebrate their birthday at the OG.

Now, if you know me, you know that I don’t eat at the OG. Several months ago, my SIL wanted to celebrate her birthday there, and I went there… but I wasn’t happy. Just the idea of chain restaurants eek me out. Anyhow, my child wanted to eat there and while I silently protested to my hubby/bubbie, I simply couldn’t disappoint.

Upon arrival at the establishment (which I find horrifically grotesque), we had a short wait in the front area where a dehumidifier of sorts was blowing on my sock less feet. Imagining some type of water damage must have happened, that this industrial machine would be sitting there, naked at the entrance, I then could instantly imagine the moldy smell of the carpets and made a mental note to cut off my feet. Thankfully, they seated us before I opted to sit in my locked car.

Now, as far as I am concerned it is still Covid, but this original sized iPad was on the table, as well as the paper menus. Watching my spouse and eldest hold them with both hands as if first time drivers, I swallowed the vomit rising in my mouth.

As the waitress took our orders, I tried to calculate the F&B guidelines as well as the township health requirements, and prayed all was up to par. (Note to self, check post post). Amazed that the two ignoramuses on the other side of the table would just order as if at one of our preferred establishments, I ordered PLAIN noodles for my son (which came out with green flakes and still, the waitress shook her head at me- as if!) and I asked for soup and salad (just to be polite).

The first food came and hubby and eldest orgasmed over the all you can eat rolls, while me and Noodles sat staring. What I couldn’t believe is how vile my two pigs were, on the other side of the table- eating like we’re at home… and I continued to pray that the health ordinance passed.

When my youngest’s food came back correctly, he asked for salt. At this point, my mother came to sit with us as we were celebrating his birthday. Although I tried to milk the salt bottle with a napkin around it, the glares from the onlookers told me to just let him have it.

Watching him manhandle the actual salt bottle- touched by hundreds of people and undoubtedly, never sanitized, I calculated how much therapy my kids would continue to need if I grabbed the bottle from his now tampered hands. Another mental note, cut off his hands.

Meanwhile, the soup that had beans the size of the patrons’ acrylic nails, was sitting before me.

Bubbie: Rochelle, eat your soup.

Me: (STFU look) No, you eat, Bubbie.

Bubbie: I ate, but you enjoy.

*Bubbie ONLY came to see her grandson and would never have set foot either.

Thankfully, my eldest was still hungry and she ate the soup, while I grabbed hubby’s finished soup bowl and made it appear as if I’d eaten it.

If watching my family practically rub themselves in filth wasn’t enough, seeing them drink water from the glass threw me over.

No dessert! We’ll sing from home!

Needless to say, if just a few months before his next birthday my son tells me he wants to go back there, I’m canceling my life-saving prescription.

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Well, like I knew, working a 14 hour day has added insult to injury. All day I stayed in bed, unable to move.

You see, I know what I can and cannot do- yet, I allowed external influences to gently persuade me otherwise. I didn’t want anyone in my office to think that I was going to allow my cancer to take me away from my duties. Anyway, even with leaving work one hour earlier, it didn’t make a difference. It’s being “on” and upright that is the problem.

Now, when I say I couldn’t and still can’t move… I mean “bend.” For example, I am finally able to move my fingers. Fingers? Fingers. My hands have something called, Neuropathy. Basically, that means, they have an awful feeling like being “asleep” or lately, just unable to bend. I cannot even attempt to make a fist. Typing- no. Texting, no.

My arms can’t raise from being by my sides to above my heart. Say wahh? And my legs, well, at my knees, they cannot bend and at my crotch joint, they hurt to move from “legs together.” Imagine laying in bed, knees up. Now, imagine either of your legs in the “up” position, want to fall onto the bed (right leg goes right; left leg goes left). Mine can’t move more than 10 degrees before the pain from that joint gets me. Kinda like having a Charlie in your leg and that cramp not easing up.

I knew today would be bad, but not all day in bed, crippling.

So when colleagues ask how the evening meeting went, it hurt me.

Yet, I wonder again, if I looked more like her, if I’d be gently persuaded to perform the task?

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Excuse me, Idiots

Well, my cancer cards arrived last evening and I had them packed and ready for work! Unfortunately for me, I had just taken my cross bag off when I was on my way to a meeting.

Upon the way, I noticed a colleague- the same colleague I had just been emailing a clarification regarding scheduling.

*Put a pin in it.

(Sophia) Picture it, it was Sicily 1950…. Imagine you worked with someone who was in a wheelchair. Now, that person is extremely capable to do their main task: computer programming. Part of a computer programmer’s job is to plug in the cords for the other programmers. One place to plug in the cords is down the hallway, around the corner. The other place to plug in the cords is directly across from the wheelchair bound programmer. The head computer person wants Mr. Wheelchair to plug in the computers all the way down the hall and around the corner on the opposite side of the building.

As a human being- would you think it considerate? Would you, as the head computer person creating the task- assign Mr. Wheelchair to the furthest location?

Now imagine Mr. Wheelchair is now Dying Debbie. She is frail, bald and greenish from the chemo- would you assign her to plug in the cords down the hallway?

*Take out the pin.

Me: Good Morning Sir, I just emailed you!

Sir: Good Morning!

Me: I noticed I was assigned a task all the way over there…. I was wondering if that was a mistake?

Sir: No, it was not a mistake….

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The Missing Piece

My mother read my blog about needing a cancer buddy and called me in the morning to say she had one.

I was so excited- not that the person has cancer and in this club, but excited to have someone to go through this with. It’s kind of like being pregnant together with someone else… you can compare notes.

Anywho… I reached out to the person, spilled my guts… and got a quick, “thanks,” or something to the effect. I get it, newly diagnosed, needs time. Fine.

I tell my mom I reached out and she says, have you seen her post? She apparently started a vlog and is vlogging her journey.

So, I go online, I check it out…. and I see, we are not simpatico. While I understand everyone handles things differently and all cancers are not the same…. and sometimes people have an online persona vs. “what’s real,” but I just cannot.

You see, my cancer buddy and I thought alike. Well, she was very optimistic and positive and I was the polar opposite, but our feelings about things and the way we went about them were similar. We weren’t “ra ra” but we both felt that not all cancer is the same. For example, there are some cancers where if caught early, you cut and go about your merry way. Sure, there’s chemo and radiation for a long time… but in the end, silver linings. There are others, where there is no option to remove nor cut… and therefore a higher degree of screwed with not even a glimmer of shimmer.

In any event, if someone can find me a cynical person going through cancer… I’ll be waiting.

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This evening, hubby and my eldest were listening to Christmas music and it reminded me of my MRIs.

Rochelle, Rochelle, how did it remind you of your MRIs?

Well, during the enclosed, 45 minute MRI, we are given headphones to listen to music. Now, anyone having an MRI may listen to music- but when they’re extra long, I cannot just wing it with whatever is on Pandora. Many times I chose Frank Sinatra to listen to for he always makes me feel good. But, not every song was his happy, jovial type that I enjoyed. In fact, I did not realize that for every upbeat song he sang, there were as many depressing ones.

So, on a whim, I asked for Christmas music- always happy and upbeat. In fact, while there may be some sad holiday tunes, they never popped up during my MRIs.

From that point forward, every MRI had to have Christmas music for everyone (as the technicians controlling the machine are able to hear everything).

However, hearing it tonight, reminded me that now the ballads no longer have a happy connotation and it’s back to Sinatra.

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