Tugging on Superman’s Cape

I was originally going to call today’s post “Cut it Out!,” a title with dual meanings.

The first meaning refers to my patience level with this whole cancer bullshit (which has mostly involved talking about it endlessly) and my desire to just get on with the part where they cut it the fuck out of me.

The second refers to the part where doctors keep trying to scare the shit out of me and how I wish they would just cut it the fuck out.

Oh by the way, there is profanity in today’s post.  Sorry.  There are certain situations that call for profanity and this is one.

Anyway, back to the update and first things first: more talking, this time with the cardiothoracic surgeon.

For those who are new to the Rick Has Cancer saga, or for those who have been playing along but just haven’t been paying attention (and really, who could blame you?), the surgery that I’m going to have requires not one but TWO surgeons.  The first, Dr. Frenchy, will be going in laparoscopically and disconnecting my stomach from my esophagus.  The second, a cardiothoracic surgeon, will cut out the offending bits and reconnect everything via a big-ass incision just below the rib cage.

Cardio-guy’s waiting room was microscopic but nice, with shiny new wood floors, fresh paint, and lots of “Best,” “Most,” “Favorite” type plaques on the walls.  It was comforting, although I couldn’t help but feel as though it was sort of like the physical manifestation of Yelp.  I kept looking for star ratings and reviews by people who obviously have way too much time on their hands as evidenced by their six paragraph opinions of a Quiznos in Woodland Hills.

Speaking of Yelp, if you haven’t seen this, you need to:

Sorry – I’m easily distracted today… back to the update…

Henceforth we will be referring to cardio-guy surgeon as Dr. James Earl Jones, not because he looks anything like him but because if CNN needs a new person to do the “This is CNN” voiceovers, they need look no further than my cardiothoracic surgeon.  He has a rumbling, basso profundo voice that rattled the Yelp plaques on his walls.

Dr. James Earl Jones is a really nice guy, especially for a surgeon (who, as a breed are not usually the most cuddly of people) and he seemed rather bemused by me.  I was doing my best to be entertaining and ingratiating but that often comes across as desperate and irritating so one never knows how it’s going to turn out.  My only problem with him was that once again I was faced with a doctor who was trying to scare the shit out of me.

First, he explained the surgery in clinical yet lurid detail, which I will spare you.  Let’s just say that it’s even more disturbing to hear it spoken than it is to simply read about it.  “You’re going to cut how big of a hole?”

Then he repeated some of the same caveats that I heard from Dr. Frenchy and Dr. Wile E Coyote Super Genius, which included how they don’t often finish many of these surgeries because they get in there and see that the cancer is worse than they thought it would be and how 1 in 10 people don’t survive the surgery because of a complication and that there is a whole long list of complications (before, during, and after) and how the “cure” rate is 30-80% and on and on and on.

“Cut it the fuck out,” I thought as I pulled out the PET scan to show him, no, no, no, there will be none of that because the PET scan didn’t find any cancer anywhere else.

“That’s good,” he rumbled, “But it isn’t foolproof.”

I remembered how the PET scan could be thrown off by the consumption of a baked potato or a particularly engrossing round of Angry Birds and I could almost hear my anxiety level going back up again.  But I tried to remain nonchalant.

“Well,” I replied, “I’m just going to operate under the assumption that this is Stage 1B and that you’re going to cut it (the fuck) out of me and that will be the end of it until someone tells me otherwise, okay?”

He smiled his bemused smile and nodded.

Yeah, there are a lot of monsters lurking under this particular bed still and unfortunately monsters rarely respond to a request to “cut it out!”

So why did I call this post “Tugging on Superman’s Cape” instead of “Cut It Out!”?  Well, because when I got home there was a guy in a superhero costume (tights, mask, cape) and a guy in a wheelchair standing (and sitting respectively) in my parking space in my building’s garage.  The guy in the superhero costume was drinking a Big Gulp.  They stared at me.  I stared back.  I put my window down and the guy in the superhero costume asked if they were in my way.  I said yes.  They moved.  I parked and got out of my SUV.  The guy in the superhero outfit asked me what kind of mileage I got on my SUV.  I told him.  I walked away.

I was going to ask but I felt as though whatever the real explanation was behind a guy in a superhero costume drinking a Big Gulp and a guy in a wheelchair just sort of hanging out in my parking space would’ve been MUCH less interesting than the things I could come up with on my own.

On the next episode of “I’ll Eat to That,” Rick attempts to not be consumed by anxiety while the two surgeons go through the process of getting approval from the insurance company to perform the incredibly scary surgery and then try to coordinate their schedules.   So still no date yet, but it will take a couple of weeks to get it all sorted out most likely so we are probably looking at the week of the 13th at the earliest, maybe not until the week of the 20th.

Or we can just keep watching actors read Yelp reviews:

Vertical Expression of a Horizontal Desire

The above was the description of dance by either Robert Frost or George Bernard Shaw, depending on which attribution you choose to believe.  It was also how Shirley MacLaine described dance at last night’s Dizzy Feet Foundation benefit at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  She was honored with the organization’s Inspiration Award.

If you’re not familiar, the Dizzy Feet Foundation is a dance scholarship and community education organization started by several of the people from the shows “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing With the Stars” plus a certain former wife of Tom Cruise (the most recent one).  They focus on dance education in under-served communities, which is especially necessary in these days of massive budget cuts, which often take aim at arts funding first.

I’ve been whining a lot about how long all of this cancer hooha is taking, but one of the benefits of the surgery being delayed is that I was able to go to the Dizzy Feet Foundation benefit last night.  In addition to Ms. MacLaine (still looking fabulous, by the way), there were routines from SYTYCD and DWTS, plus pieces from the American Ballet Theater, Alvin Ailey, Desmond Richardson, LXD (look it up), championship ballroom dancers, and more.  It was incredible, so I’ve been on YouTube all day…

First, the reason why Shirley MacLaine is such an inspiration:

And then one of the biggest thrills for me (because I am such a geek)… Twitch and Alex reuniting to perform the Psychiatrist piece from SYTYCD.  For those who don’t know the back story… these two were contestants a couple of years ago.  Twitch is a hip-hop dancer and Alex was classically trained in ballet.  They did this hip-hop number and everyone was worried that Alex wouldn’t be able to do it.  Watch the video and then keep reading for the surprise twists in the story.

Right after this routine, Alex, who was the forerunner to win the entire thing, was injured and had to drop out of the competition. For the finale, they decided to do this hip-hop number again but to have someone else take his place… I couldn’t find a YouTube link that would let me embed it so you’ll have to go watch the video at the link below – trust me, it’s worth it:


Anyway, so Twitch and Alex did this routine last night plus, for SYTYCD fans, Melanie and Marko did the Statues routine and Melissa and Ade did the Breast Cancer routine.  Stunning.

I know all this has nothing to do with cancer or food or any of the things that this is supposed to be about but I had such a good time that I just had to share.

Asterisk II: Revenge of the Asterisk

The short version: it’s most likely stage 1B but there is some activity in the lymph nodes near the tumor that while not specifically cancerous are enough to put an asterisk on the 1B.

If you haven’t read the post about the different stages of esophageal cancer, you may want to do that but the short version of that is: stage 1 is bad but fixable; everything else is just plain old bad.

Now, the longer version… It’s been an interesting day.  I was wide awake by 6am and spent the next nine hours before I was to go in and get the results of my PET scan going back and forth between a shrugging Zen like state and almost paralyzing anxiety.  On the one hand, there is absolutely nothing I could do to influence the results so getting stressed out about it seemed like a waste of energy but on the other hand, “AIIIGGHHH!!!!!!! I HAVE CANCER!!!!!! I’M GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

So yeah, it was a bit of a roller coaster day emotionally.  Luckily I had lots of work to do but unfortunately a lot of it involved documenting my job so that someone else could do it, either temporarily or…. “AIIGH!!!!”

I went in to see Dr. Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius and was ushered in almost immediately even though I was a solid 25 minutes early for my appointment.  That concerned me.  Then I got even more concerned when I overheard the nurse calling the scanning place to ask them if they had the results of the tests in yet.  As much as I was worried about what the results were going to be (“AAIIGH!”), I absolutely, positively could not take another day (another hour, another minute) of the waiting so the idea that they hadn’t gotten the report was anxiety provoking for a completely different reason.

But then Dr. Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius came in and handed me a copy of the report.  Before he could speak I stopped him.  I pulled a bag of mint M&M’s out of my pocket and said, “Whatever it is you’re about to tell me, I believe it will require chocolate.”  He appreciated that and asked for some.  Have I mentioned how much I like this doctor?

Then he cut to the chase with a simple statement:  “I have good news.”

Now, “good” in this case is decidedly relative, which is to say, I have cancer most certainly but there is “no evidence of metastatic disease and no metabolically active lymph nodes.”  What that means is that the cancer is stage 1B, invasive to the lining of the esophagus but it has gone no further*.

Yes, there’s an asterisk, but a different one than the first one.

Many of the lymph nodes near the tumor are “reactive,” which means they are pissed off about something.  What they are pissed off about is unknown.  It could be a result of the infection I had in my eye and mouth last week or it could be leftover from the cold I had a couple of weeks ago or it could be some other simple infection or a million other innocuous things.

It could also be that the cancer has started to invade the lymph nodes but hasn’t gained enough territory to show up as “metabolically active” (aka: cancer) on the PET scan.  The fact that the lymph nodes that are reactive are the ones nearest to the tumor and that the ones in other places (for instance closer to the infection in my head) are fine is enough to give one pause, but pause for only a minute because now it’s time to get serious about this crap.

Surgery is officially a “go” and there will be no chemotherapy or radiation beforehand.  I am meeting with the cardiothoracic surgeon next Tuesday the 31st and then he and Dr. Frenchy will coordinate schedules and figure out when they can tag team to Julienne my innards.  I’m guessing that the earliest this will happen is probably the week of August 13th.

When Dr. Frenchy takes out the offending portion of the esophagus and stomach, he will also remove those asterisk inducing lymph nodes nearby and they will be biopsied.  If there is some cancerous activity in them, then it’ll get more interesting again with talk of chemo and radiation but we’ll burn that bridge when we get to it.

It’s kind of ridiculous that I am relieved by the news today.  I mean, after all, I still have to go have portions of my body ripped out in a really awful, dangerous, and life-changing surgery but compared to the alternative (“AIIIGH!”), it seems like less of a big deal than it did when I first got the news.

Now, I’m certain that between now and the surgery, my “relief” will give way to “AIIGH!” again but for now I’m going to take whatever ground I can capture in this particular land war.

“You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is ‘Never get involved in a land war in Asia,’ but only slightly less well known is this: ‘Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.'”
Just popped into my head. Had to be done.

One more note which gives more evidence as to why I like Dr. Wile E Coyote, Super Genius so much.  At the end of our meeting he shook my hand firmly and said, “Congratulations” and then told me about this chocolate drink at Starbucks he was addicted to.  I said I didn’t need to know about something else chocolate – I consume too much of it as it is.

“No, you have to gain weight before your surgery!” he said.

“Really,” I said looking down at myself, “I think I need to lose weight.”

“You’re going to lose weight after the surgery,” he said, “Before, go crazy.”

So I stopped on the way home and got a double cheeseburger and fries with ranch dressing from Rick’s Drive In in Silver Lake.  I’m going to check out the Starbucks chocolate drink thing tomorrow.

My doctor told me to!

Radioactive Donuts

A donut is what I was craving after my PET scan.  You see, apparently this cutting-edge test that costs thousands of dollars, involves multi-million dollar machinery, radioactive isotopes, and advanced training to administer can be thrown off by a chocolate chip cookie or a baked potato.  Therefore, in advance of it, you are not allowed sugar, candy, alcohol, coffee, tea, milk (including non-dairy milk), soft cheeses, pasta, starchy vegetables, rice, bread of any kind… carbs in general are a big no-no.  The instructions also specifically call out gum and breath mints; even sugar-free.  Odd.

Anyway, a day without sugar for me is like a day without oxygen so by the time the test rolled around I was a bit cranky.  Granted, some of the cranky could have had something to do with the life and death nature of the test I was getting, but in my case it was probably just the sugar DTs.

In a previous post I was talking about waiting rooms and the one at the scanning center was definitely worth talking about.  It was furnished with items that I am convinced Liberace would have dismissed as being too over-the-top. Red walls, marble floors, black leatherette couches, gold-leaf trimmed chairs with animal print upholstery… Add a white tiger and it could’ve been Siegfried & Roy’s house.

Sorry for the blurry. I didn’t think the staff would be happy about me taking a picture of their waiting room so I could make fun of it later.

Questionable decor aside, the facility was just fine and the staff could not have been nicer, especially Jake.  That’s not his real name but it’s what I’ve decided his name should be because Jake is the name I always assign to the guys who are my boyfriend even if they don’t know they are my boyfriend.  Is it wrong that I developed a crush on the guy giving me a PET scan?  I mean after all, it has the word “pet” in it.  Thank you, good night!  Tip your waitresses and drive carefully!

But I digress.  After more of the annoying thing about cancer #37, Jake took me into an intimate little candle lit room… or maybe that part was just in my mind.  He explained the test (which can best be summed up as “tedious”), set up a butterfly needle line, gave me a little saline, and then injected the isotope.

“Okay,” he said, “You’re radioactive.”

“Neat,” I thought.  “I hope I get superpowers but more interesting ones than that whole web thing that SpiderMan has going on.”

Jake stepped out and I noticed a box sitting on the table that was labeled something like “Scanning Blood Test Set” and then underneath that a translation into German, which was something like “Schedenmachenhoistentestsetstein.”  While I’m making up the letters, the length of it I am completely serious about.  When Jake came back in the room I said, “Scanning Blood Test Set” is one word in German?

“There’s a surprising amount of German in this job,” he said with the utmost of seriousness.  I thought that warranted some follow up questions, perhaps over drinks later, but in the meantime it was off to the “quiet room” for me.

After becoming radioactive, you must lie quiet and still for about an hour.  No excessive movement, no reading, no talking, no checking e-mail or playing games on the phone – just lie there.  Because again, the incredibly sophisticated test could get thrown off by a spirited round of Angry Birds.

There was too much light and people and noise for me to be able to nap, especially since sleep isn’t exactly my strong suit these days, so I pretty much laid there and stared at the ceiling for an hour and got more radioactive.  I tried to think of the super powers I wanted but when I realized that all of the ones I was coming up with – flying, teleportation – were just ways to get around Los Angeles traffic, I gave up.

After the hour was up, Jake came to escort me to the scanning room.  It’s worth noting that in this big, high-tech room with the massive PET scan machine, there was more of the gaudy decor scheme on the walls.

The PET scan machine looks like a CAT scan or MRI machine only instead of one big donut shaped thing there are two.  I’m pretty sure this is where donut craving started.  Because the donut holes are fairly narrow and I am not, I had to lie with my arms above my head, bent at fairly awkward angles.  “You have broad shoulders, so this machine is going to be uncomfortable for you.”

Tell me more about my broad shoulders, Jake.

Because Jake is incredibly thoughtful, he provided a pillow case for me to put my arms in as they “rested” above my head.   I have since found out that some of the newer machines have arm rests but I always recommend that people take a pillow case with them in case they don’t – your shoulders will thank you.

Then it was about an hour of lying in the uncomfortable position and not moving while the bed slid in and out of the donuts.  It isn’t loud like a CAT scan or MRI or whichever one is really loud – in fact, it’s mostly silent except for a faint whirring noise somewhere in the distance and the sound of the air conditioning that keeps it cool.

At the end when I was extracted from the donut holes, Jake asked me how I was doing and I said, “Worst. Carnival Ride. Ever.”

A bit of sitting to regain my equilibrium and that was that.  The whole thing took about 2 1/2 hours.  Oh, there was another 30 minutes added in when I realized, as I pulled into the donut shop parking lot, that I had dropped my wallet in the facility somewhere.  The wallet was found and I got to see Jake again so it all worked out okay.

So now we wait… I have an appointment tomorrow with Dr. Wile E Coyote, Super Genius to get the results.  Perhaps I will stop and get more donuts on the way to his office.

We Now Interrupt This Program

I’m having the PET scan tomorrow at noon.  Wednesday afternoon I am meeting with the oncologist who will, effectively, tell me if I’m going to live or die.  I know that’s overly melodramatic and the results, no matter what they are, will require a more nuanced interpretation but that’s the charming little thought that keeps circling back into my brain whenever I am not preoccupied with something else.

So, in that spirit, I offer things to preoccupy oneself with… two of my favorite clips from one of my all time favorite televisions shows…

Annoying Thing About Cancer #16

Waiting rooms.

When you have cancer you have to go see a lot of doctors and get a lot of tests and inevitably, at whatever office or lab or hospital you are visiting, you will be forced to sit in a waiting room.  And sit.  And sit.  And sit some more.

I’ve only been dealing with this whole cancer hooha for about a month now and I can already count nearly a dozen different waiting rooms:

  1. General practice doctor, who just moved into a new office in Burbank.  Nice enough room but really uncomfortable chairs.
  2. Specialist in Glendale.  One big open area for a bunch of different doctor’s offices.  Bad fake plants that brush against the back of your head and magazines that talk a lot about the Olymics… in Beijing.
  3. Gasto-Guy in Burbank.  Very small room with only a couple of chairs and so sometimes there aren’t enough places for everyone to sit.
  4. Outpatient testing facility in Burbank.  All the chairs have plastic on them and the TV plays way too loud.  Oh and this is the place I waited for 30 minutes before they told me they were too backed up and couldn’t run my tests.
  5. Admitting waiting room at St. Joseph’s in Burbank.  Lots of chairs but they all face each other in sort of a circle so inevitably you are sitting there looking at some other sick person and wondering, as they most likely are, which one of you is sicker.  Go at the right time and there will be a piano player in the nearby lobby playing easy listening tunes.  They apparently think this classes up the joint.  I think it makes it feel like a hotel lounge near the airport in Topeka.
  6. Surgical waiting room at St. Joseph’s. This is a big open room where you wait after you have been admitted.  It is adjacent to the elevators and another major hallway so there’s lot of traffic and little chance to try to find your Zen place before you go off to have done whatever it is you’re about to have done.
  7. Alameda Surgery Center in Burbank.  Another very small room with not enough chairs.
  8. Pre-operative testing waiting room, St. Joseph’s.  This is where they stick you when you are waiting to get stuck… by needles, to have your blood drawn.  The room at one point must have been an x-ray room of some type because there is one of those little closet with a window type things in the corner where the technicians can step into during the tests.  It now has a couple of mismatched chairs, a battered coffee table, a sad looking plant, and a couple of pictures of Jesus.  I think it’s supposed to be comforting but I just sat there feeling guilty for reasons I was unable to identify.
  9. EKG waiting room at St. Joseph’s.  This is where you wait before you have your EKG or EEG or any of those types of tests that involve electrodes being put on various parts of your body.  It’s a fishbowl with windows on 2 sides looking out to busy hallways.  Not at all uncomfortable to sit there (insert sarcasm here).
  10. Dr. Frenchy’s waiting room.  There are actually multiple waiting rooms here and they were all completely full when I visited – not a chair in sight.  The rooms themselves are done with very cold, white, grey, and black furnishings and lots of frosted glass.  On one wall there is a long triptych style painting that is all black – three black panels – in front of which sits a chrome and glass sidetable and a stainless steel vase.  I wanted to bleed on something just to give the room some color.
  11. Dr. Wile E Coyote, Super Genius’s waiting room.  This is in the same building as Dr. Frenchy’s but it’s warmer and actually has windows and a fish tank.  I like the former but the latter kind of creeps me out.  I felt them judging me just like the pictures of Jesus.

So what would I want in a waiting room?  Comfortable chairs, number one.  They don’t need to be barcaloungers (although that would be nice), but comfortable padding on both the seat and the arms and, most importantly, enough spacing between them so that you don’t feel like you are right on top of the person next to you.  Light is important and I know that windows aren’t always an option architecturally but at least go for something other than harsh fluorescents.  Nobody looks good in fluorescent lighting.  Plants are fine but make them real and keep them healthy.  Artwork – keep it simple yet colorful and evocative.  If it were up to me I’d go for photography  – cityscapes and landscapes – identifiable landmarks that will make the people in the room think, “I need to get better so I can go there.”  A TV is fine, but please do not have it tuned to the news or those stupid health network things.  Reruns of the Golden Girls and Designing Women – that’s TV comfort food.  And forget the silly magazines unless you are committed to keeping them current.  Last, but not least, a solid, public WiFi signal.  The bulk of people in waiting rooms want to look at their phone or tablet while they are waiting, so let them!

‘Cuz You Got to Have Friends

I told my friend Jeff about the whole cancer thing and the part that horrified him the most was what the surgery meant for my future eating habits, or lack thereof.  The idea that I would not be able to eat many of my favorite foods simply did not compute for him.

In the mail yesterday I received a box from him containing M&Ms, Chips Ahoy, Double Stuff Oreos, Funyuns, Doritos of multiple varieties, cheetohs, potato chips, and a 24 ounce can of Miller Light.

This is a person who knows me.

Things That Go Bump in the Night

About a month ago I developed a painful bump in my lower left eyelid.  This is nothing new – I get styes on a distressingly frequent basis.  What was new was when half of my face blew up like one of those things that flaps about outside of used car lots and I resembled something like the Crypt Keeper only without the impish grin.

Antibiotics got rid of the puffy part but the stye remained.  Shortly after the pills ran out, the puffiness returned.  Eye drop antibiotics commenced and the puffy went away but the stye remained stubbornly there.

I refused to go to the eye doctor because I knew he would want to stick needles in my eye as he had done in the past with previous styes and quite frankly, I’m just not in the mood.  I have cancer, I shouldn’t have to have stupid eye things.

On Wednesday of this week, I noticed that the roof of my mouth near the gum line in the back was tender.  I thought maybe I had just burned it on whatever Food Bucket List item I was consuming the night before.

By Thursday the pain had intensified and had moved to the outside gum line.  By that night, I had developed another bump, this one more commonly known as an abscess.  If you were to draw a straight line down from the stye in my eye, it would intersect with the abscess in my mouth.  I found this suspicious.

Off to the doctor I go who then sends me to the dentist who then attacks me with shots and cutting and draining and blerg.  More antibiotics and an anti-microbial mouthwash have followed.

Then comes the kicker.  They took an x-ray to make sure that his was not something that was involving the nearby teeth and good news: it isn’t.  Bad news.. there’s a shadow. It’s above my gum line in the soft-tissue near the sinus.  It wasn’t there on my last x-ray.  The dentist doesn’t know what it is.  Probably nothing.

Did anyone check under the bed before we turned out the lights?



PETting Zoo

My PET scan has finally been scheduled for Tuesday, July 24th.  What is a PET scan, you may be wondering.  I knew I was.

Actually I knew of PET scans from my friend Mary’s long tribulations with breast cancer but my knowledge of them was limited to a vague concept of it being sort of like an MRI or CAT scan only of the whole body and it shows problem areas and I’m not talking about love handles.  I certainly don’t need an expensive scan to point those out to me, thank you very much.

PET stands for positron emission tomography and no, that really isn’t supposed to mean anything to you and if it does, you obviously got some book learnin’ in ya.

A radioactive isotope is injected into your blood stream and then you are put through a CT style machine.  The isotope reacts to things like cancer and will show up on the scan.

The cost for a PET scan runs upwards of $6,000.

And now I shall begin thinking of all of the things I would rather be doing with $6,000.  Most of them involve Vegas.

But this will, theoretically, solve the staging question and settle the bet that I envision was placed between Gastro-Guy, Dr. Frenchy, and Dr. Wile E Coyote, Super Genius about whether or not I have Stage 1, 2, or 3.  I also envision that said bet was placed while the doctors were in the hospital break room in between dramatic surgeries and sleeping with interns but perhaps I have watched too much Grey’s Anatomy.

Ambivalent Indecision

At work, I have always been known as the “get it done guy.”

At home, I am a master of sitting on my ass and doing nothing.

How do I reconcile these two seemingly dichotomous personality traits?  Well, it’s like this.  I can embrace the sitting on my ass and doing nothing portion of the program if it is my choice to sit on my ass and do nothing.  When I am forced to sit on my ass and do nothing, I get cranky, and crazy, and filled with anxiety.

The decision to get the PET scan instead of the CAT scan was made on Friday but said scan still has not been scheduled because it costs thousands of dollars and the insurance company has to pre-approve such expenditures.  It’s Wednesday, so that even if it gets approved this week, it probably won’t get done until next week, which means that decisions about next steps won’t happen until next week and even if it is surgery, it’ll probably be the first of second week of August before that can happen.

Cranky, crazy, and filled with anxiety.

It’s interesting.  Gilda Radner wrote about it as “delicious ambiguity” when describing the unknown in her battle with ovarian cancer.  I don’t find it delicious.  In fact one of my favorite quotes is from Postcards from the Edge: “Instant gratification takes too long.”  I call it ambivalent indecision.  It is that dead zone in between knowing that you have to get something done and being able to actually do something about it.

I found out about what was thought to be cancer with an asterisk more than a month ago and it will be approaching 2 months by the time we actually do something about it.

Cranky, crazy, and filled with anxiety.