Now We’re Cookin’

Another long day of medical stuff. Nothing really new or concerning. So, so much data from all the labs and pathology and whatever… some of the most recent stuff hadn’t even been interpreted so it was presented in its pure data form, but there was still enough “plain english” stuff for him to form his opinion and explain things very clearly. It turns out that not only was the cancer in my left lymph node, but they also found (after the fact) that there was a “micro-tumor” in the right one as well… so it’s good that they sliced them both out to be safe.

The thing that made the overall picture slightly better today is that they also tested the nearby lymph node and the results showed no cancer cells there. So, yeah, it’s just a test, it’s hard to say how accurate it really is, but I’ll take the good news… so we’re gonna go with that for now. Defective thyroid removed, and no cancer in the nearby lymph node. He also made some adjustments to my meds which should help me battle the lack of energy and accidental naps, and I’ll start taking those tomorrow.

The other positive thing from this appointment is that one of the bigger balls is now in motion. I doΒ have to go through the radioactive iodine treatment, which is meant to catch any random cancer cells that may still be hiding out, but there’s not a huge urgency to it – so I won’t start until this time next month. It had to be that way due to my other appointments and schedule, because there’s a 7-day period where I’m supposed to remain isolated so I don’t contaminate the unwashed public by my presence… so of course I wouldn’t wanna see Dr Walter and Nicole during that time.

The process will begin with me getting some sort of injection (to mask the effect of the thyroid medication) on Monday and Tuesday, followed by the actual radiation stuff on Wednesday. After that part is completed I then have to go for a full body scan. I think that’s the next thing that I’m actually nervous about. It’s meant to see if anything was missed, anywhere, and to have a scan to use as a (hopefully) successful baseline for another full scan six months after that. So yeah, it’s quite the glob of activity coming up here soon.

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Trip Report: Extended Edition

This trip to ‘da boat was one of the better ones that I’ve had in recent memory, at least since the times when me, Mom, and Dad all used to go together. πŸ™‚ Great weather on the way down and back (which is more important than you’d think), awesome lightning over the Ohio River during the couple of evening thunderstorms while we were there, and Cassi and I were able to play and play and play – and I still came home with the same amount that I took to spend, andΒ she was able to go home over $200 ahead and with some comp’d jewelry and goodies from the gift shop. πŸ˜ƒ

Oh, and of course we poofed ourselves on the awesome brunch buffet. Mmm… 🀀 not just theΒ regular buffet food, but also all of the important breakfast stuff at the same time. 😁 They must be doing alright, because the entire place is in the middle of renovations. From the giant entry way, to the lobby, to the hallways, to the rooms… everything is getting cosmetic updates. 😯 They’re still in the middle of ripping up all of the faux “stone” flooring in the giant common area and laying down “wood” strips… and for the rest of the hotel, the entire color scheme has changed. The only inconvenience in all of that was that the updated WiFi wasn’t working yet. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Our time on the actual boat was limited the first day, because the machines kicked our asses. πŸ™„πŸŽ° That was okay though, because the trip was as much about “just getting away” as it was for gambling. We got one of the nicer rooms with probably the best view of all of them, looking right out onto the boat, the river, and the outdoor patio area for the indoor pool. 😎🚒 And, as it often goes, we took our swimsuits but couldn’t muster the “oomph” required to go down and actually swim with the larger-than-normal amount of assholes already in the pool. 😏 (For some of them, I think it doubled for their weekly bath.)

Day two on the actual boat was much better. πŸ˜€ I hit a big enough bonus that I was able to set back (to take home) the amount that I took with me to lose, and still have enough to keep playing and to share with Cassi so she could do the same. πŸ€‘ And it wasn’t just that one win. (I missed catching all the winning “sevens” in that video… meh) But both of us kept hitting nice “little-big” amounts that kept us going for the better part of the day. It felt like a totally different experience than the day before. πŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸŽ‰πŸ’πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸŽˆ

It sucked to wake up after that second night, knowing that we had to head back home, but the winning came at a time and in a way that it let us both come home with a decent amount money, so we sure couldn’t complain. Besides, we were both anxious to get home to our kitties… especially me, since I knew that Maven was all by herself and probably wondering if I had permanently disappeared. 😿 She was happy to see me when I got home of course, but she didn’t even act grumpy… so perhaps I wasn’t as missed as I had presumed. πŸ˜„Β We absolutely had a good time on this trip… the last one we might be able to take for a while… but it was sure nice to be home again too.

Prepared

Cassi sent me a text a couple of days ago to ask if I’d wanna join her for Thanksgiving again this year. First thing that flashed in my head was that it sure didn’t feel like an entire yearΒ could have passed since we made our premiere attempt, throwing together a (surprisingly edible) Thanksgiving dinner for everyone in the house there. (With neither of us having any bird cookin’ skillz to speak of.) 😏 We were pretty proud of ourselves.

This year she stepped up her game. 😯 She did her research and the bird was prepped, seasoned, in the oven, and half-way done before I even got there – so she alone gets the cookie when it ended up turning out amazing. πŸ˜ƒ It’s weird how the turkey was almost half the size of last year’s bird, but we somehow ended up with way more “good” meat this year… and it was every bit as good as anything that we used to have at family holidays. I was impressed.

Honestly the only tasks that I had were making the cornbread and then making the gravy, and most of the rest of the time I just tried to stay out of her way. πŸ™‚ Oh, I did the carving too… but even that I can’t take much credit for, as the bird basically fell apart in a way where all of the “good stuff” separated itself from the “ick” in nice big chunks. I didn’t let them know that though. 😁 I mean, I gotta appear useful for something.

I’m glad that I went. And it wasn’t a definite. It’s not easy to leave the bubble and go out for something uncertain, even if I know it’s gonna be at least an okay time. 😐😟 But agreeing to it when she asked “locked it in” so that even if I wasn’t feelin’ it today – that alone would have made it harder for me to cancel. Oh, and Aunt Sharon left a message about our local family’s gathering today – but she left it at 8:00Β am, I didn’t get it until I woke up aroundΒ 1:00Β pm, where I learned that “we’re gonna eat” at noon. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Another example of how my inability to conform to human schedules kinda messed things up. But, while I love my family and love that they still invite me, our family gatherings are just shadows of their former selves these days. 😟

Bed and Breakfast

Over the past few days I’ve had 24/7 company here at the house. 😯 Genesee’s friend Tracie flew out to NJ for an extended visit with her, and then Gen provided the return trip home, depositing Tracie at her house and then starting her little break here in Ohio. I’m not sure it was really a break, now that I think about it, because she had plenty of people to see and lots of things to do. But yeah, for a few days I had her and Nesh here. πŸ˜πŸΊπŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Of course it was impossible for me to adjust… wait… let me start by saying that I was totally glad that she was here, so I’m not bitching about that at all… but when I have trouble just existing by myself here, trying to maintain a sleep schedule that doesn’t have me feeling like death, of course it’s gonna be challenging having company in the house. 😬 But the way I looked at it, the benefit outweighed the complications, and I knew (hoped) that I’d be able to regenerate after they left anyway.

Maven wasn’t thrilled about having a horse in the house, so she generally just avoided us… but on the last day she came into the living room and sat next to me, knowing that I’d keep him away from her if he tried – as if she was thumbing her nose at him. 😏 She’s been up my butt ever since they left… heh… I mean, even more than usual.

With Genesee’s help I finally sorted away all of the boxes of memories from Mom and Dad’s apartment. They’ve been stacked in an extra bedroom for months… but having someone “in the loop” to look through the pictures, school stuff, baby stuff… it just made it so much easier to stay motivated. 😎 She was a big help in sorting out the “old old” photos into a box for Aunt Sharon to go through. Most aren’t labeled… photos of what would be my great aunts and uncles, third cousins, etc – people that really only Aunt Sharon will be able to identify / tell stories about. πŸ‘΅πŸ» I’ve already told her this is the plan, and she’s hoping to make a scrapbook for her kids so the family history doesn’t get somewhat lost as it goes down the generations.

 

Survived Human Exposure

Not stoked that it’s 1:30a and I’m not even remotely tired… but it’s probably because I ended up having a pretty decent day out of the house, so my brain is still working to process it all. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ That’s my guess anyway, because I got up stinkin’ early and I should be sacked out by now. Meh… it was nice to have a non-crap day for a change though.

My first intended stop was Great Clips, but I drove by and noticed that my cousin’s car wasn’t there – and I wasn’t ready to make small talk with some random chick as she cut my hair. 🀨 I should have texted her first, but whatever… I’ll get there eventually. After that I hit a couple of thrift stores and came away with a whole lot of nothin’ despite my looking. I’ve been having a dry spell… not only with game or collectible/sell-able stuff, but even with clothes.

Having finished my overnight cat-sitting duties, I returned the kitties to their home. They’re not the biggest fan of car travel, and they were hollering and letting me know it as we drove, but all’s well that end’s well. I also stopped off at Toys R Us, a place I haven’t been for easily a decade, because I wanted to pick up one of the Tiny Arcade machines out of curiosity. (I want them all… heh) It’s weird… same building/location as when I was a kid, but totally different inside with zero familiarity. Impressive selection though.

How Did You Get Here

Regarding the entry below, I said “of course” I’d have to run in to those things that I did, because lately I’ve been subconsciously evaluating the people that I’m connected to on Facebook and noticing how they affect my mood. It’s called a “friends list” but I wouldn’t go that far. I do have a handful of actual friends on there, and a handful more that I consider friends even though we haven’t met… but then there’s that fringe area of people I only somewhat know, or only connected with due to mutual friends at the time.

I’m probably going to start weeding my list a bit. I mean, everyone that I’m connected to on there… they do have redeeming qualities, but there are quite a few that probably have more “con” than “pro” to them at this point. Excessively trashy people, ignorant yet mouthy people, superficial and petty people… the longer you have anyone on your list, the more you discover what they’re really like over time. And sometimes those people just don’t mesh with your vibe.

It’s cheezy, but there was an NCIS episode where there was a jumper on the edge of a building, and Jimmy Palmer was out on the ledge with him, trying to talk him down… and one of the things he said, when the would-be jumper was talking about all of the bad in the world, was to “Stop looking for it!” The whole episode was trying to be motivational or inspirational in that sort of way, even though it’s not quite that easy… but basically, weeding out the negative people in my list will be my way of “not looking for it” when it comes to the stuff that brings me down.

 

Why Am I The Way That I Am

Sometimes I get down on myself for being as screwed up as I am, often without any way for me to control it, but today I was reminded that I could be a hell of a lot worse. I don’t know if “worse” is the right word… but I sure know that I’m different than what I saw on display from so many people on Twitter and FB over the past 24 hours.

For Mom it just came naturally, but for me it takes a considerable amount of energy… but I still do it. I approach each day without judging people unfairly, and when I go into a new situation I keep an open mind and I give people a chance or the benefit of the doubt by default. And even if those people do end up letting me down or screwing me over, or if I find out that someone is pulling some bullshit on someone else, I don’t make it my absolute priority to find an outlet to shout and tell everyone what worthless pieces of shit they all are.

Look, I’m not wanting any fucking cookies or anything… but I can honestly say that I go out of my way each day to be polite, kind, considerate, respectful, empathic, helpful, forgiving, entrusting… generally just acting the way that humans are supposed to act towards each other, at least as far as my anxiety issues will allow it. That’s why it’s hard for my brain to process how the humans can be so nasty, so quickly, with so little facts, when it comes to things like that Joel Osteen issue from the past few days.

People screaming to the world, with such passion and need to do so, about something that they’re only postulating about at best. What the hell is wrong with these people? How did they get that way? Were they once like me, and just ran out of energy from trying to “act right” themselves, while getting emotionally smacked down from their own experiences along with the things that they’ve witnessed in their lifetime? As weak as I can be at times… how is it that I’m able to stay different from them?

It would probably be a lot easier if I was one of those jerky, mouthy, angry people. Where facts aren’t important, and neither are other people’s feelings or opinions. But I’m glad that’s not how I was raised. Somehow Mom and Dad prevented me from becoming just another generic asshole to encounter along the landscape and I have to think that the world is better for it, even with the extra weight that I sometimes feel from it.