June 2nd, 2006


Mom's Cancer Update

Hi Everybody,

Thank you as always for your endless supply of support and kindness. I love you gals/guys!

I'm too tired to write one of my usual long and rambling entries so I'll just say that things look pretty good for my Mom and I know that at least one of you out there is responsible for this. Admit it, someone out there prayed at least once, you know who you are.

Oh what the hell, maybe I'll ramble...

We went to Cedar's outpatient cancer center and were treated so well that it surprised both of us. My entire life my parents have always insisted that we go to Saint John's Hospital for anything requiring hospitalization. If a doctor insisted, or it was a late night emergency, then UCLA would suffice. I was born there, Beau was born there, Saint John's or nothing. I've never even been to Cedar's unless I was visiting someone. I hate to have to admit, that I think this is some kind of anti-Semitic thing, on the part of my parents. Now I don't even want to be guilty of this by association so writing this down here makes me feel a little bit queasy. Anyway, Mom's primary physician insisted on Cedar's, and God only knows why she's so devoted to him, but she is, so that meant we were headed for Cedars, heh, heh.

Wow, what a world of difference. No surly elderly volunteers, or overworked underpaid office staff to reluctantly take our money and vaguely wave in the direction of an elevator, at the end of a long, dark, hallway with grim paintings of nuns. Oh no, Cedar's has a crack staff of empathy workers to go with all the cool art on the walls. We were met at the entrance by a kindly efficient man who sped us through the registration process, then handed off to a gently and attentive woman who escorted to the waiting room, where we were handed over to another lovely woman who offered us coffee, tea, cookies, fruit, candy, and an assortment of things to read. Lovely people came out at frequent intervals to let us know how much longer our wait would be and how sorry they were. WTF?

There were lots and lots of people of all ages who were either bald or wearing scarves and hats, and many of these people were little : ( Mom can't hear anything so I go with her everywhere acting as a kind of translator. Our doctor had been called in on an emergency OR consult so we were held up for the shortest while and I kept Mom's spirits up by making jokes and coffee for her. I met and played with a couple of little kids with cancer and listened in to a conversation a woman was having with an Asian family about the treatment this young woman was going to have. Oh God, if you ever need to be reminded of how little you have to complain about, or how very lucky you are to have your health and the health of those you love, you should visit this place. It'll do you good, seriously.

Oh God one of the cats just farted...oh man this is bad...

So, basically Mom has a complicated cyst or tumor on or near her ovary that is about the size of two golf balls, (a five centimeter lesion)? It doesn't seem to be giving any indication of rapid growth, which makes it seem like this may not be cancer, but we can't know for certain because it's pretty solid. Her kind, (Who isn't kind in this place?,) and super successful oncologist, (bless his brain,) told us that if she was twenty he'd have her "on the table" the next day, but because of her advanced age, ("I'm not ninety honey, don't make me seem older than I am," says the woman who is only one month away from her ninetieth birthday,) he'd rather wait a few weeks and repeat the scans to see if the mass has grown at all. So that's the plan and I'm pretty happy and relieved.

Oh and in a moment of complete foggy sleep deprived absent mindedness I walked smack into a large metal parking sign and sprained or broke my elbow. I'll know on Monday, but for now it's hugely swollen, full of liquid, super painful, purple, red and yellow. It hurts to bend it. Unfortunately Friday is the one day my doctor knocks off at noon so I'm doing the ice/heat/Arnica plan and it seems to be working pretty well.

And finally here's a little bit of random funniness, or at least a small example of my weird sense of humour; When I want to annoy Beau I use our telephone intercom system, page Beau, and then put the phone up to Jake, (My wheezy kitty), when he's snoring, and this pretty much broadcasts these wheezy rhythmic grmmmph grrrmmmph grrrmmmph sounds throughout the house. Drives Beau crazy, and for some reason it makes me laugh like mad. Maybe because he's been torturing me for years with things like paging me and then farting or burping into the phone, (If you have wee boy children you had better get yerselves ready for this kind o' thing), and I've finally come up with something to get him back.

My neighbor Karyn is having a garage sale tomorrow. I LOVE garage sales, but I hate to get up early. I'm in a quandary. What to do? What to do? Sleep? Stay up until four? Hmmmm...okay I guess I'll go to sleep. I wish I could play Jake for you, my poor darling snuffling kitty.

Oh and I bought a tiny little black and white kitty toy for one of our tiny little black and white cats today. I showed it to her, petted her, put it down in front of her, which basically said, "This is for you," and she pounced on it and has been carrying it around ever since. Soooooo cute.

Oh God my elbow hurts.

Love you guys,