An Explanation for the Silence

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I am taking a hiatus at least until the weekend, but I do want to say some things first. I'm not sure why I feel a need to, but I do, and I don't think I'll be at peace until I put these thoughts into something outside of my head.

After the surgery, the surgeon told The Fiance and Aunt Helpful that she was 99% sure that everything was normal. We knew that I had fibrocystic issues (that's what came up on the original biopsy 1 1/2 years ago), so when I heard her confidence, I assumed the best. I was still nervous because, well, it's scary to have your tissue sent to a pathologist for any reason. I knew that 1% chance was not the same as 0% chance, but honestly, I was confident that I would be fine.

I also had considered the options. I knew that there was that 1% chance that I had breast cancer, which would've, in a word, blown. And then there was the other 99%, which had benign written all over it. I had not, for one instant, considered that there might be something between completely benign and malignant. It just didn't really occur to me. So when my surgeon told me, at 24 years old, that I was going to have to be evaluated every 6 months for the rest of my life for breast cancer, I did not feel relief. I did not feel overjoyed to be cancer-free, I felt betrayed. I felt like reality bitch-slapped me.

At 24 years old, I have been told that for the rest of my life, I'll have to worry about this. My surgeon went as far as to say that the only way to avoid it would be to remove my entire breast. At 24 years old, this is a big fucking deal. It is. I'm sorry. It's not cancer, and I am thrilled about that, but my life doesn't just resume as normal. It doesn't stop either, in fact, that might be easier. I have to go back to my normal life with the understanding that I am not normal. That another part of my body has, or very likely will, fail me.

I am upset about what this means. I'm upset that I have to have this worry in my life now. I'm upset because it does change things for me. I won't be able to ignore any little lumps or bumps, I won't be able to go more than 6 months of my life without this reality re-entering my mind. I have not fit into the mold of "normal" for a long time, but there's something really deeply troubling and personal about having your breasts fail you. It's as if my very woman-hood is being questioned.

A few of you have sent me emails imploring me to seek perspective to realize that this is not the end of the world. Fuck your perspective. I know that this is not the end of the world. I know that this is not the end of my life or my happiness or my health. I know this wasn't the worst case scenario. I know that it is fantastic that I do not have cancer. But I also know that it sucks to be told that I am abnormal. You can't take that back. Tissue was removed from my body that was on track to be something really abnormal. My body is doing things it shouldn't, without my consent, without my approval and the only thing I can do about it, the only thing I can do to have any control in this situation, is to let a doctor wave an ultrasound wand over it every 6 months for the rest of my life.

I feel out of control. I feel upset. I feel overwhelmed.

I will recover, I will go on to be a happy person. I will soon get all mushy about my wedding and all things love, hearts and kittens. But I need a couple of days to be sad about the fact that my life is changing in a way that I did not want it to and I can't put on a happy face and pretend like it's not happening. I know you haven't asked me to (well, several of you have, but most of you haven't), but I feel some sense of obligation to be entertaining here, and I just can't be that right now.

I appreciate your understanding, and I do hope you'll come back when I return, which will hopefully be soon.

The Report*

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

So I saw the surgeon for the post-op appointment and pathology at 2 today. The Fiance surprised me by showing up at her office (despite his being on call today) and we got down to business. They did make me wait in that room for an excruciatingly long time and the nurse wasn't allowed to tell me anything. I'm fairly certain that this doctor is trying to kill me.

The pathology of the quadrant (= 1/4 of my already tiny boob) indicated:

-cyst on the surface (totally benign)
-fibrocystic changes
-ductal hyperplasia (can't remember if it was abnormal ductal hyperplasia or not, and that is apparently a pretty important piece of information, if you scroll down on the link it has information about both types)

We are celebrating, because it is good news, but admittedly, not the best news. The hyperplasia is not a fantastic thing to have, especially not at 24 years old. I'm not terribly well educated in it yet, but it would appear that it, at the very least, if it is "typical ductal hyperplasia" it doubles my risk for breast cancer. If it is "abnormal ductal hyperplasia" it increases my lifetime risk FIVE TIMES. Not only that, but it has given me lifetime semiannual check ups with the boob doctor. No really. She said the only way we could be sure there was none left behind was to remove all my breast tissue and that's just crazy talk.

She removed all but one stitch (um, yea, having stitches removed from your boob is not the most pleasant experience ever, The Fiance kept asking if I wanted to watch, um, no thank you. I can feel it just fine without seeing it), and I have to go back in a week to get the last one out (and I'll get the pathology clarified). I have adhesive leftovers over about half my chest which is leaving me ridiculously sticky. I can shower again, but cannot soak in the tub until the stitch comes out. At least my hair will stand a chance at not being a greasy mess and I can actually shave my right armpit. Yea, you're welcome.

Good news. Not the best news, but beggars can't be choosers and for now, this will certainly do.

*9pm afterthought- I'm not really as okay with all of this as I originally thought. As such, I am going to take a short hiatus for a few days. I am finding that I cannot rebound back to normalcy in the way that I think I should and I am tired of apologizing for not being better or happier or whatever superlative you want to insert here. It's not anyone's fault, it's my own expectations, I just need some time. I'm sure it won't last long, but I just need to take a breath.

Trophies and Thoughts

Monday, April 28, 2008

The humor is on its way back. Soon, very soon.

First, I just want to say a big thanks to Fred and Bessie for an award for my blogo-brainoversary. I'm honored, and I really appreciated everyone's comments yesterday. It was a pretty darn good day.

And now to the serious stuff, I want to ask (beg, plead, choose your synonym) for all the good thoughts you can muster for tomorrow. I called the surgeon today and spoke with her and she still would not give me any of my pathology report over the phone. She did let me stop the antibiotics that have caused me to lose 7 pounds in 7 days, so it wasn't all for naut, but still.

Tomorrow, at 2pm my time, I need you to think as many BENIGN thoughts as humanly possible. I will update as soon as I can, but until then, I'm having a hard time being alive, let alone humorous. So if you'll give me one more day, I promise that things will shape up around here.

Really.

Anniversary

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Today is a big day.

Not just because I'm not going to whine, but because today is both the 1 year mark for this blog and the 5 month mark from my brain surgery. See? Big day.

1 year ago, I decided to branch out and begin a blog. I had no real agenda, I just thought it might be fun and it might offer me a way to share more adult humor than the site I use for health updates. And I'm blown away by what I have gotten from this blog.

I have met several really great people in person, and made a bunch of online friends. I've learned all about the city I've come to call home and have really just grown into myself. I feel like I know who I am a little better than I did a year ago.

You've let me talk politics, religion and of course, hair. You have listened to my love stories, rants, my most unbelievable moments and allowed me to begin a revolution. Oh and how to insert links. I think I've got that down pat now.

I feel like this blog has given me the space to share good things and get support for the bad. I could not ask for a more amazing group of readers who have put up with my endless whining for virtually no good reason except that you're just good people. I didn't start this blog looking for fame, and I still don't strive for it, but what I have gotten has been worth so much more to me. So I want to thank you, the 37,682 people who have visited, because you've made this experiment an awesome success in my life.

Now, the other anniversary. 5 months since brain surgery. I don't have much to say except that, well, it rocks. My head is great, my neck mobility is almost normal, I'm officially finished with physical therapy and we've decided to ignore the hand thing altogether. All things brain are pretty much awesome and I can honestly say that I've hardly had even a moment of doubt in the decision I made. My life is so much better than I imagined it could be, and I didn't realize how much of my happiness was being taken by that condition. I feel like I'm finally in control of my life again, and what a freaking amazing feeling that is.

1 year ago today I began a new adventure and 5 months ago I started a new phase of my life. I think the best part is knowing that even though I've reached these anniversaries, they're really just the beginning.

So stay tuned, you never know what might happen next...

Day 4 (or 5, depending upon how you count it)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Yea, I'm gonna whine.

You have two choices right now- keep on reading and be nice to me, or click that little red box (or circle for Mac users) and go somewhere else.

It's been 4 days, and I will be the first to admit that the pain has not been even in the ballpark of what I anticipated, and for that I am so incredibly thankful.

That said, my throat still hurts something fierce and I'm still not sleeping well because of it. I've tried tea, cough drops, honey (blech), just about everything and yet it is just incredibly painful. It also looks disgusting because, who knew? if you cut the crap out of your throat it won't heal quite as easily as a scraped knee might. (And believe me, this situation will be discussed with my surgeon on Tuesday because this is not okay.) My voice has gone to shit and even if I had a reasonable appetite, I can't swallow anything that's got any texture whatsoever.

The appetite is another problem. I've lost 5 pounds since Tuesday. Granted, I wanted to shed 5 pounds before the wedding, but this is not the way to do it. I feel weak and run down and I can't imagine that it's helping the healing process any.

Today I have a headache, which I'm blaming on the weather. It's awesome.

And after 3 days of relative pain-free-ness, my boob is aching today. I'm icing it, but besides that and tylenol, there's just not much that can be done.

I want this to be OVER. I'm so done with it. Except, you know, it won't be until at least Tuesday afternoon. I miss being funny and witty, but I just cannot rise above this fog. I don't feel well, I don't feel like myself and I cannot seem to shake it away. I had a fantastically wonderfully relaxing pedicure with NOLA and then came home and crashed because I'm exhausted all. the. time.

I need this to end. I need my normalcy back. I have way too many things going on in my life right now to be incapacitated like this. I just want to be me again, and I don't see it happening until the surgeon shows me a report with the word BENIGN in gigantic bold letters. That's what I need most of all.

An open letter to my anesthesiologist...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Dear Dr. Anesthesia-

First, you demonstrated such overwhelming confidence when you spent 15 minutes rummaging around looking for a gigantic needle of anesthetic because you'd just found out about my egg allergy. It was written IN HUGE letters on the chart you've had since Friday. Really? Is it that difficult to read and figure that out not while I'm in the room waiting?

Second, give a girl some anxiety relief before the main event. Because when you injected me with the anesthetic and my tongue started tingling (which was apparently normal) I freaked the hell out and all you told me was to breathe. Though spectacularly helpful, the fact that you had just climbed the walls to try to find an anesthetic without eggs, I was 100% convinced that I was having an anaphylactic reaction and breathing did not calm that fear.

Next, this intubation stuff. I'm assuming you've done it before, perhaps once or maybe even twice, yes? I've had it done before, with no real problems, apparently, it can be done correctly. On the other hand, this last one, the one that YOU did, was really really really bad. Like really bad. My throat is ripped to shreds, I can't sleep at night and frankly, it hurts way more than my boob. Oh, and I can only take tylenol, which as you can imagine, is incredibly helpful.

Finally, thanks for the extra dose of anesthesia that I just found out about yesterday. Apparently, you are to blame for my jackassedry. If someone tells you four different times that they have problems with post-anesthetic nausea and vomiting, perhaps giving them extra anesthesia such that they still aren't able to fully eat 3 days later IS NOT cool.

I just wanted to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for making it impossible for me to sleep or eat. Because really, I needed something to keep my mind occupied while I waited for Tuesday to come.

Sincerely,
Katie

47 hours, 55 minutes

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Doctor said pathology would be back between 24 and 48 hours. It's been 47 hours and 55 minutes and I am losing my shit. The phone just rang a minute ago and I was sure it was the doctor. It was actually the salon that NOLA and I are getting pedicures at tomorrow (which I'm totally stoked for).

This stress is not helping the recovery. I NEED to know. Like now. Or within the next five minutes.

Is it a good thing to have the pathology take longer than quoted?

To me it seems bad. And thus, my Valium and I will be retiring to a different room to freak the hell out.


Editor's Note: just spoke to the doctor's office- they won't give pathology over the phone, so I have to wait until Tuesday at my post-op appointment. Holy freaking shit.

I swear, totally lucid now. Really.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

First, let me tell you that I proofread the last entry very carefully, then took a nap, then reread it and realized that holy grammar batman, I still wasn't quite coherent. I'm not going to promise I am now, but hopefully tomorrow will be better. I seem to be struggling short term memory-wise (Lanny complimented me on my taste in the comments and I had no idea what she was talking about until I went back and re-read a comment I left for her...durr) and my coordination is not great. I just walked upstairs to put on a more supportive sports bra and I ran into a small table that's been there for 2 years.

Yesterday, Aunt Helpful kept putting me on the phone with family members, so now through what they've told me, I was pretty damned funny. I also text messaged a fellow coworker with the profound message of "ap." Not sure when or why I did it, but I did.

The kicker of the day came in the form of an email from the child I berated about her grandmother's funeral. She just wanted me to know that she wouldn't be at school at all this week because now she has strep throat. God is punishing her for my deeds, I'm pretty sure.

Anyways, more tomorrow. I'm starting to go pretty stir crazy, so I'm going to need y'all to update your blogs a lot this week, mkay?

The Lucid 411

So okay, perhaps neither of my posts were done in a state of lucidity, shut up. I know it. It's the next day and I'm starting to feel much more alert, which doesn't mean much compared to yesterday. I still can't walk in a straight line, but that will hopefully get better soon. I might even proofread this entry, or at least a little more throughly because I swear I proofread the last one, and rereading it today, um, yea, not so good...

The surgery was scheduled for 10:30 and there was a big hullabaloo about my allergies to egg whites and iodine. The could not come up with an anesthesia to use, even though I had brain surgery with egg yolk based anesthetic about 5 months ago. There was also much arguing about betadine and whether they could use that instead of iodine. I told them I'd never had it because of the iodine reaction and I'd prefer not to have it again. So they got that straightened out shot me up with the anesthesia with NOT ATIVAN, the bastards and I genuinely believed I was dying at first because my tongue swelled up and it hurt to breath. Turns out that's normal. Who knew? At my brain surgery they gave me so much ATIVAN that when they asked me if I could count down from ten, all I remember saying is, "nope!" That was some good stuff.

Anyways, and one went the surgery, on time, astoundingly. And I was even discharged in the time frame they'd given me. T'was a miracle.

I was not around to hear what the doctor had to say (at least I think I wasn't), but I was told that she took out a piece of tissue about the size of an average persons middle finger (funny, huh?) and she thinks it looks good, but the pathology will be back in 24-48 hours- definitely by Friday.

It's a little more painful today, but certainly not the end of the world. I haven't taken anything including tylenol, so I'm just toughing it out. If the pain continues to increase, perhaps I'll take a few later. We'll see.

I have no idea what the incision looks like because it's bandaged to high heaven and I can't take the bandage off until Tuesday, oh and I can't shower until the either. I'm gonna smell soooooo good. Aunt Helpful is actually being quite helpful and, for perhaps the first time, genuinely nice. We're going to try a sink hair wash, but I have to bend over forward since I can't tip my head back for it. That's going to wait until tomorrow, I'm a little too sore for that right now.

Anyway, the plan for today is to sit on my ass. I'm going to send The Fiance to the video store later, though my mom sent me Juno (which I will be watching soon) and she says that she has another surprise for today. She rocks, so does he.

I guess that's it. Certainly not as amusing as the previous two updates, but hell, who doesn't like a good drunk blog?

The boobectomy

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Okay, so perhaps I wasn't lucid at all when I typed the lsat post. I've since slept for like 4+ hours an am not quite there.

I know at one point talking to my dad on the phone, zoning out and him asking me if I had a priest (for our wedding) and being laughed at hysterically when I told him that we'd found a minister AND a Rabbi. I'd say that the anesthesia has quite an effect on me. Or perhaps it was the copious quantities of anti-emetics, and anti-psychotics they used to calm my stomach down.

Either way, I was kind of a mess. But on the upside, no narcotics, no tylenol, no real pain which is so awesome If I could just remember how to write, that would be awesome.

Since I dozed off 10 times writing this, I think I'm done for the day. Thanks for the good thoughts, and have a good laugh at my expense.

Not Lucid

but home. More later when I rea-lean two to erad

Off...

to the hospital.

Back in a few hours-ish. Will update when lucid.

Distraction Action

Monday, April 21, 2008

So it's tomorrow. I think I've done everything I can to prepare myself and now it's just time for distraction. I took my Anatomy Lab final exam (blah), I cleaned the house and now I'm watching tv, pretending like tomorrow isn't happening at all, except, you know, that's all I can think about (or it was, until 5 minutes ago when I found out that my dad had to put our dog to sleep today, rather without warning I might add.)

So now, internets, it's time for you to distract me. I am asking that if you are reading this, that you take a moment to comment and answer the following 3 questions, even if anonymously, because I'm going to have a lot of free time on my hands and I think these questions may aid in my recovery. No really, I do. And because I want to read things, so provide me with material.

1. What is your favorite rentable movie?
2. What is the best book you've ever read?
3. If you had someone coming to your house to cook for you, what meal would you request (specifics here would rock)?

So now, dance internets! Dance!

Scenes from a NOLA Restaurant

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Fiance and I decided to go out to dinner tonight, as sort of a final dinner before the surgery and Aunt Helpful arrive. We have a gift certificate to one of our favorite restaurants, Le Crepe Nanou, so we headed out to eat, fully expecting to see a huge crowd and to sit and wait a while for a table. When we approached the restaurant and saw no people waiting outside, we realized that it was Sunday, the day of crepe rest. It should be noted that this is not the first, nor probably the second or third time we've done this at this restaurant, but whatever. Note to self, no LCN on Sundays.

So we considered our options and remembered that we had a gift card to Cheesecake Bistro, which is good, (though no LCN for sure), so we took off down there. We were promptly seated, ordered and began eating, he the shrimp platter, me the angel hair pasta (and about half his shrimp platter). We were at one of the small booths, or as The Fiance calls them "lover's tables" (incidentally this is also what he calls the sweetheart wedding tables...), and it was a nice evening.

Both of us have been under a tremendous amount of pressure lately and our relationship has been suffering for it. We haven't had the time or energy that you really need to put into a relationship and it seems like whenever we do have the time, it is used for wedding errands or bickering, both of which I excel at, by the way. So really, it was truly lovely to be able to spend an evening with him, though admittedly, it was not the romantic affair that we usually have at Le Crepe Nanou.

I realized that the romance was really missing in the middle of the meal when The Fiance, with a large mouthful of toasted bread and a huge grin asked me if I thought he could whistle.

The point was further driven home when walking to the car I pointed out a spot that I had accidentally gotten on the boob of my dress, to which he responded, "well, we'll just have to get you home and take that boob off." He swears it was a slip of the tongue and not a reference to the surgery. Convenient excuse if you ask me, not to mention that it was on the good boob.

But in all seriousness, it was just nice to be us for a while, no pretense, no overwhelming need for good manners, just us. And aside from getting the supremely obnoxious song he got stuck in my head out, I couldn't ask for much more than that.

Ready or not...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

here they come. Just 2 tiny hours to stuff 100+ invitations. And no, I did not lick the cockroach eggs.

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(beautiful quality picture courtesy of my cell phone...)

Foot and Mouth

I don't have much time to type out another spectacularly boring post like last night, but I did want to leave you with a little jewel of my week while I head off to study my weekend away.

Yesterday, I was trying to get everything put away to get off to the pre-op appointment and a student came into my room. I won't lie, generally speaking, this kid bugs me. I know that sounds terrible, they're all little angels, but some of them make me want to scream and she is one of those.

Student: Ms. Mylastname, I've missed your class a lot this past week.
Me: Yes you have.
Student: And I'm going to be gone on Monday.
Me: You have a test coming up, Monday is the review.
Student: Oh, well, I won't be there. Or Wednesday either.
Me: (with obviously frustration) So where exactly is it that you have to be?
Student: My grandmother's funeral.


Yea. I know. It was pretty bad. Really bad. Perhaps on the verge of bitchy. Hard to say.

A day in the life...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Today was a Katie day. One where, to the common person, things could've been almost easy and surely normal. But because I live in a parallel universe where everything I plan turns to crap, well, I'm sure you can imagine. Or better yet, I'll just tell you.

First, I'm a little cranky. I could not sleep last night. And then when I got tired, the cockroaches started quite literally crawling out of the framework all around me. I kid you not, there are no less than 10 dead cockroaches around the house today. Don't challenge me on this, I have photographic evidence and I'm not afraid to post it.

So almost no sleep made the morning rough. I got to work and did my thing. I don't usually teach 3 classes in a row (block schedule so one class is one and a half hours long), but this is one of those days where I teach 3 and then get out an hour early, which is pretty sweet. So I taught. Imparted knowledge if you will.

After work I ran to the little post office place because I need stamps for my wedding invitations. It turns out that all they have is the Liberty Bell ones, and those just don't say, come to my elegant wedding and reception (which by the way, is actually in 7 weeks. me = not a good counter). So I didn't get stamps for the second day in a row.

From there I headed to my pre-op appointment at the hospital. For anyone New Orleanian reading this, for the record, I hate Metairie. Nothing against the folks residing there, but the traffic is just plain ridiculous. I went 3 miles in 45 minutes and there was no wreck. How can the road construction not be done already? So I was slightly late for that, but it's a hospital and nothing is on time there anyway.

So I did the pre-op, which was a little like pulling teeth. I had to pee the whole time but I held it because I assumed I'd have to pee in a cup for a test and then didn't, so I just suffered the whole time from that. They did my vitals, etc (had a small fever, weird, right?), medications and then past history including surgeries. It occurred to me while I was spelling the word Chiari phonetically for her and after she asked me to explain it in "smaller words" that perhaps they don't do a lot of brain surgery in the outpatient surgery department. Anesthesia also looked at me like I was certifiable when I told them I'd had brain surgery and she seemed astounded that I knew was general anesthesia was. Does not everyone know what it is?

So by this time it's like 4:30. I had to be back at work at 6 to chaperone an event, which meant I had literally just the perfect amount of time to go home, snuggle with The Fiance, check my email, and go back to work. So I head out into the traffic mess. I decided to take a highway that's not the main interstate, and somehow, even though there was a big sign that said NEW ORLEANS pointing to the left, I forked right, heading under the big sign for HARAHAN. I essentially ended up at the airport (I know what you're thinking, no, I still do not have any sense for where things are here) and oh, my gas light was on while I was stuck in not moving traffic.

Eventually I righted myself, but since I now also had to stop for gas and was in stand still traffic, I could not go home at all. I had to pick up dinner and go directly back to work, until about 15 minutes ago when I came home for the first time since 6:55 this morning. My ears are still ringing from the insanity that was the dance and I feel like I might be in need of a new lumbar spine. Humans were not meant to stand for the better part of 16 hours in a row. We just weren't.

And does anyone know if it's a truth or a myth that cockroaches like to lay eggs in envelope paste? Because I need to send these wedding invitations, but I have the biggest case of the heebie jeebies about licking cockroach eggs. That's not okay. It's just not.

Aunt Helpful

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I got a call today from my mother, informing me that my aunt is coming to New Orleans to "help" us out with this surgery. I use help in quotations because while she is well intended, she's probably the least helpful person I know.

She came and helped my other aunt right after she'd had her daughter. After about 10 minutes of Aunt Helpful yelling about how Aunt JustHadABaby was SMOTHERING the baby with her boob and that THE BABY CAN'T BREATHE, Aunt JHAB growled at us "to get her out of the room right now."

Well intended? Yes. Well executed? Never.

She and The Fiance also tend to not get along very well. It's mostly because Aunt Helpful, like the rest of my family, is extremely good at finding an insecurity and then poking it overandoverandover. She honed in on The Fiance the first time she met him, telling him that he was not a "real Jew" because he had not had a Bar Mitzvah. She's the same aunt who told me that I probably had health problems because I was unhappy. Nevermind the whole cranial malformation thing. Do you see my skepticism about the "help" she's offering?

So besides 10 trillion wedding errands (holy shit I'm getting married in 6 weeks) and studying for my anatomy lab final exam (which is Monday), I now also have to clean up the cockroach carcasses, reinflate the air mattress, put sheets on it and generally clean the pig stye that is my house.

I also have to find some way to keep The Fiance from smothering her in her sleep. Though if it were to happen, I honestly wouldn't blame him, we'd just call it self-defense and anyone who knows her would probably just nod and agree.

Why can't this just be over already?

Failure to communicate

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm not really proud of this, but I just, literally 5 minutes ago finished telling my dad about the surgery. Yes, the internet knew before he did. Yes, I probably should've called him a week and a half ago, er, two weeks ago, but I'm sorry, it's my dad and my boob and those two things just do not go together.

I explained to him what they were doing and the following conversation occurred:

Me: so yea, um, it's going to be on Tuesday.

Dad: Okay. How much are they going to be taking out?

Me: 1/4th of it (meaning 1/4th of my total breast tissue on that side).

Dad: Wow. Why only a 1/4th? Why not just take it all?

Me: ....what?...because, I mean, why would they take it all?

Dad: Well, if they know it's bad, why not just take it all out?

Me: Dad, it's my boob! They can't take it all out.

Dad: WHAT? I just meant the lump, take all of the lump out.


And that, among a host of other reasons, is why you just don't have boob conversations with your dad.

In other news, I just killed two cockroaches and burned the shit out of my finger. Oh Wednesdays...

(editor's note: Make that 4 cockroaches and counting. Please, someone shoot me.)

Scheduled

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

So had the doctor's appointment. Got a lot of questions answered. Found out that removing a duct amounts to removing about 1/4th of that boob (not that it was big to begin with). Not so cool. Surgery is April 22nd. One week from today.

I now have a prescription for 2 different anti-nausea drugs so that hopefully I won't spend the entire day of the surgery with violent dry heaves. She said that since she began using one of these anti-emetics, she hasn't had a single patient get sick after surgery. I believe that was a challenge. Considering that I wretched on and off the first day after surgery with not one, not two, but three different intravenous anti-emitics, I'm not holding my breath for this one.

I am going to try really hard to make it through this without prescription painkillers at all. The Fiance has made it clear that he will drug me if I refuse them and am in substantial pain, but the doctor said that since I was able to make it through a tonsillectomy at 20 and brain surgery 5 months ago without narcotics (okay, one day of codeine for the brain), that I should be able to. It's probably a stupid plan, but I do not like painkillers and if I can avoid them, I'm going to.

And now I just have 6 days to do everything that needs to be done for the next few weeks, saving myself a substantial amount of time to freak the hell out.

Join me, won't you?

Gulp

Getting ready to head to the pre-op appointment where I have to ask all the different questions I didn't ask last week.

I'm not gonna lie, a lot of these questions, I do not want to know the answers to.

Wish me luck...

On her 52nd birthday

Monday, April 14, 2008

So, my mom doesn't read this blog, which is probably the best birthday gift I could ever possibly give her, but since today is her birthday, I wanted to honor her a little bit. I think often she doesn't always get the highest of praise, but truthfully, given the things that have happened in her life, she's done a remarkable job at not just surviving, but thriving. And, if I do say so myself, she managed to raise two successful and independent women, mostly on her own.

My mom was the third child of 5, the first girl and was always given the role of the "smart" kid. She was the valedictorian of kindergarten, 8th grade, high school and graduated Summa Cum Laude in only 3 years of undergraduate work. She now holds two Master's Degrees, and three different Teaching or Administrative Credentials. She's nothing if not incredibly intelligent.

She married my father when she was 22 years old and had my sister when she was 25. I was born when she was just barely 27. She worked full time as an elementary school teacher until we came along and then she worked part time as a reading specialist for the school district nearest our house. When we both were in full time school she became the full time reading specialist, splitting her time at 2 different schools each day.

On their 17th wedding anniversary, my dad moved out of the house. I was 12, my sister was 14. On what would have been her 20th wedding anniversary, my mom sold the only home I ever knew to pay for my sister's college expenses. We moved in with my grandparents to save money until we could buy a new house. We eventually found on, and it was ours, hers and mine. We went together to pick out tile and carpet and she and I became each other's whole worlds.

She didn't parent me in the way that most parents do, but I'd like to think it's because she instilled in me good enough morals that she didn't have to. I didn't do wrong things because I knew they were wrong. I didn't test my boundaries because I knew what they were and I knew why they were there. She was literally my best friend, my confidant and my hero.

Moving away from her to go to college was one of the most difficult things I've ever done and I know it tore her to pieces as well. Everytime I came home we both were reduced to tears at the idea of me driving the whole 90 miles back to school alone. Like I said, she was my best friend. We both grew a lot that first year after I moved away. In time she found someone to fill the void and 2 years later, married my step-father.

She has stood by him through prostate cancer (surgery was performed on the same day her mother died), through economic swirls and through his general obnoxiousness (oh, did I say that?). She is no longer a teacher as she was long ago promoted to the county coordinator for all things language arts related and she's damn good at her job.

There are times when I wish she fit the mom outline that other people have. She's not the queen of advice and she's been known to coin phrases like, "you're responsible for your own guilt." But she also said that she'd pay 400 dollars to fly out here for 4 days for this surgery if I wanted her to, which doesn't seem like a big deal until you realize how much money she's loaned or given us for this wedding and how big of a financial hole she's in. She just loves me.

She has her faults, but many of my favorite and most lasting memories from my adolescence involve me and her, sitting around the coffee table eating a gourmet feast of mac and cheese and ceasar salad while watching Friends. We carved out one hour a week that was just "us" time and it will always be something I'll think back on fondly.

So, on this, her 52nd birthday, I raise a glass to the woman who helped me to be the person I am. She gave me strength, intelligence and perseverance and those lessons are ones that I know I never could've experienced and grown from without her.

Simply put, she's my mom, and I love her. Happy birthday lady.

MedProm 2006

Sunday, April 13, 2008

First, there's nothing like 3 posts in a day, but frankly, I think I've been too down on The Fiance today, so I thought perhaps it was time I share a story that was both funny and flattering to him. Because, though he has a warped sense of humor, he is still a really fantastically good guy and I think sometimes I forget to mention that.

You may or may not have heard about this really big hurricane that hit the New Orleans area in 2005. Well, that bitch forced The Fiance's medical school to relocated to Houston for a year. To say that he was unhappy there would be like saying that brain surgery felt like a paper cut, it's just not quite strong enough. When we found out that there was a med prom being held, I booked a flight to leave Friday night to Houston and returning home late Sunday night. We both needed to see each other and just spend some time relaxing.

He picked me up from the airport Friday night and we immediately got really lost. At one point we reached a sign for Austin, but about an hour later looped back around to Houston and found our way to his temporary apartment. I was jet lagged and tired, but I slept like a rock that night, which I remember clearly because I did not hear him get up that morning and do something fantastically wonderful.

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Yea. That's right, chocolate covered strawberries were made while I was sleeping. And when I finally dragged myself out of bed, he was already cooking breakfast to go with the strawberries. I made the pancakes and he took care of everything else.

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It was wonderful. We spent the rest of the day relaxing and just enjoying seeing each other. At that time we were living 1500 miles apart and I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but that sucks, to put it mildly.

That night we got all dolled up for the MedProm. We went to dinner at a Brennan's owned restaurant in Houston (it might have been called Brennan's) with some of his friends, most of which I'd never met, most of which are now good friends. I ordered the gumbo and an entree that I don't really remember (after the appetizer, much of the evening was a blur). My gumbo was awesome, The Fiance's Turtle Soup was lovely and I even ate one of his fried oysters (there had been some in my gumbo, but to my knowledge I did not eat any). About 10 minutes later I knew something was wrong. Having food allergies, I can tell pretty quickly when I've eaten something I shouldn't. But the thing was, I hadn't eaten any eggs or pine nuts or star fruit, or demerol for that matter, so I did not know what was wrong. It was far too soon for food poisoning, but I felt as though I was possibly dying.

As dinner progressed, I was sweating from head to toe, with chills, cramps and the most horribly itchy throat ever. I managed to make it through dinner, but on the way to the MedProm (which is held at a museum), the situation became, um, urgent, to put it mildly. Thankfully, just as I was approaching the point of having a really serious problem, we got to a museum with a bunch of people in the general area where our event was being held. We valet parked and I literally ran for the bathroom. Where I stayed for the better part of 45 minutes. Thinking all the while that I was dying. With the Fiance standing outside the ladies room the entire time.

When I finally emerged, now with hives in my armpits and pretty much covering the entire surface of my torso, The Fiance informed me that we were actually at the wrong museum. Yea. He spent 45 minutes standing outside the bathroom at the wrong party. Not embarrassing at all.

We did eventually get to the correct party, but between the anxiety meds I was popping and the allergy pills (the anxiety meds actually help significantly to make my colon chill the hell out, not to mention helping me with the entire body chills), I was pretty out of it. I know that there was alcohol, which I didn't have, and I know that there were a lot of people, but otherwise, I remember virtually nothing.

I know that he took super-good care of me, got me home and tucked me into bed where I slept in a benadryl induced coma for probably 12 hours. When I woke up he had heated up the leftover breakfast for me and had planned and bowling miniature golf trip (if I was up to it, which I was) all in enough time so that I'd make my flight that night.

So MedProm 2008 may not have been his finest night (in all seriousness, he was joking, though in all seriousness he knows that he was being an ass too), but MedProm 2006, despite the sucktacular nature of discovering publicly that I was allergic to oysters, was one of those nights that I'll always remember.

He's a good guy and in 56 days he'll be a great husband.

About Time

Perhaps it was reading the obituary of my next door neighbor who died on Thursday.

Perhaps it is the stress of the paper I am failing to write.

Perhaps it's the fight I picked with The Fiance that served virtually no purpose but to make him feel bad (I'm really sorry and it is my fault).

Perhaps it's knowing that I may never get through my to-do list in time.

Perhaps it's reality setting in about the surgery I'm having in 9 days and all that it could mean for my future.

Regardless of why, it seems that I've finally found my tears.

So last night was MedProm, the third consecutive year I've gone. I will share the MedProm 2006 story soon, but I feel I need to recount last night's shenanigans before I forget them, though given the fact that I'm not speaking to The Fiance right now, I doubt that'll happen soon.

(I should probably preface this with the fact that I do very much love my Fiance, but he has been known on occasion to be a, what's the word? Oh yes, an ass. This is one such situation.)

As I had mentioned, I wasn't really stoked about the idea of not drinking because a) everyone there is drinking (for FREE) and b) for whatever reason everyone seems to think I'm pregnant (which I am NOT, for the record). So we had dinner with a good friend and her boyfriend, and I don't even know how exactly it came up, but literally at the first opportunity, The Fiance told our friends that I wasn't drinking because I was pregnant (which I am NOT).

So for the next like 20 minutes, they talked about how, you know, since we're getting married in less than 2 months, that we could just pretend like it was a honeymoon baby and be surprised when I delivered at 7 months and the baby the 7 pounds. They would. not. let. it. go. I pulled out every bit of proof I had (without telling them why I wasn't drinking), but it's not like I could take a shot of tequila and prove it. I was not thrilled to put it mildly.

So we go to the actual dance and find some of our friends and he told them too! Bah. Only we're not really close to these friends, so it was about 3 times more awkward and more difficult to prove that it wasn't true because they didn't realize it was a joke initially.

These friends told another friend and even though I did my very best to dissuade all of them, not one, not two, but three people came up and RUBBED MY STOMACH. Seriously. And when I freaked out they told me it was fine, that's supposedly good luck. Hi, I just got all dressed up and tried to look pretty and all you people are telling me that I look pregnant (WHICH I AM NOT, have I mentioned that part yet?). It helped that The Fiance thought they were rubbing my stomach like a Buddah belly. Please, please insinuate that I am fat, unrelated to the imaginary pregnancy.

I wanted to die. And to burn my dress. I think we pretty much guaranteed that I won't be wearing that again.

The real highlight of the evening was just before we were leaving when The Fiance was being obnoxious (I know, given this story, it's hard to believe that's even possible) and was talking with half a spring roll hanging out of his mouth. I, without even thinking, pulled it out of his mouth and threw it at his forehead. He walked around with gunk all over his face for a while before someone cleaned it up for him (not me).

Of course, that isn't even the tip of the ice burg of crap I have planned for him, but boy did it feel good. So please, join me in telling him that it is NOT COOL to tell people that your Fiancee is pregnant when she's a) not; and b) dressed up in a formal dress.

Looking Forward

Friday, April 11, 2008

It seems that things are finally starting to get better. In fact, I'm pretty sure I laughed today, and not the kind you do to try and pretend like you're not crying, so that's a start, right?

We got a "provisional" refund from our credit card for the airline bumblefuck, which is really great. We even got our 14 dollar expedia fee back, which I'm thrilled about. I also think I have secured my wedding officiant and we are about 10 paces away from having (free!) limo service and hotel rooms blocked off. Indeed, it seems that the world has begun to spin once again.

I'm still not sleeping well, I'm still stressed and worried and all the synonyms I'm unwilling to look up right now, but it seems more manageable today, and that's a victory I'll happily take. The Fiance is likely able to get days off more easily than he anticipated and that has helped ease a big concern. Not the biggest one, but again, even small victories are taken here.

Tonight, I relax and recover from the week. Tomorrow is paper-writing and MedProm, only the non-alcohol version, which is sure to put a damper on the situation. I really need to come up with a good reason to not drink because somehow I see that whole (NOT TRUE) pregnancy confusion re-emerging if I don't drink. Frankly I don't feel like telling everyone it's because my boob is jacked up.

So good non-drinking ideas are welcome and appreciated. And if they're really good, I'll tell you the terrible tale of MedProm 2006. Also known as the night I found out that I was allergic to oysters.

Full

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I am finished with tests for a full week and a half, which is lovely. I have a ridiculous paper due the 16th, but it's not even being thought about until Saturday. The relief brought by finishing this leg of the marathon is immeasurable.

I'm in such a weird place right now. The blog might read that way for a while.

On the one hand, I feel like things are flying past me with a velocity never before seen by humans. I can hardly keep up. I haven't even had the chance to read any of y'all's blogs in almost a week because I was studying, or working or otherwise busy. When I'm not reading blogs then you know that I'm seriously otherwise occupied.

That said, I also feel like everything is stagnant. I've had the same conversation about 12 times now and come to the same lack of resolution. I've run the timeline of the next two weeks in my head and have not gotten any more comfortable with it. I have tried to sit down here and tell you one interesting thing I did today, and there's just nothing.

Because my brain is completely full. Nay, I suppose it is probably overflowing.

I have one section full to the brim with school stuff. I have my anatomy practical a week from Monday, which essentially I have to get 100% on to have a hope or a prayer at an A. And I mean literally a hope/prayer because I technically can't earn it.

I have one section full of wedding things because OH MY GOD are there about 10 trillion things waiting on me. And I haven't done a single one of them recently (I did read through the first dance suggestions, but so far none of them are giving me that ah-ha feeling, know what I mean?). Oh, and the wedding is officially in less than 2 months. Holy. shit.

And the rest of my brain is a big mush of worry. I'm hardly sleeping and what sleep I get is not restful. I have nightmares about the surgery, about having cancer, about missing my wedding. I wake up sweating and nauseated several times a night and every single morning. I have so many anti-anxiety medications coursing through my veins that I'm pretty impressed with myself for being conscious. I want answers, but I'm not finding a lot of information. What I really want is the clarivoyance to see into the future and make sure that I'm doing the right thing. A little reassurance that I'm going to be fine wouldn't hurt either.

I feel completely full and at the same time, completely empty. I feel like a shell of the person I'm supposed to be and instead of me standing inside it, it's chock full of anxiety, worries, stress and all those synonyms. I feel like I'm carrying a burden all by myself because I have no one to go to right now. I don't have the vast resources I had with the brain surgery and though I'm not alone, I really am feeling that way today.

No matter how many times I read about it, think about it, or talk about it, it's just not getting clearer. If anything, I think I'm more confused than I have been before. And at this point, all I keep thinking to myself is whether or not this is ever going to get easier. Because right now, it does not feel that way.

More Information

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Test is done. Not my finest performance, but arguably better than I'd anticipated. Thankfully the professor took about half his multiple choice questions off the online quizzes I took like 12 times. I don't want to hazard a guess on my grade and I know it's lower than what I'd like, but such is life.

I spoke with the doctor's nurse today and the surgery is scheduled for April 22nd. We're doing a pre-op on the 15th so that I can assault her with questions and make sure that I'm doing the right thing. For the next 13 days, in preparation of the surgery I can't take any advil, aleve, motrin or alcohol. No, I'm not joking. It's like a sick little jab. Ha! You're having surgery that you're panicked about. Let us take away painkillers and booze and watch you have a big gigantic unmedicated cow.

Anyway, I'm off to my lab and then home and to bed. Even the promise of 5 bonus points on my exam tomorrow (that I have done precisely zero studying for, by the way), isn't enough incentive for me to stay an extra hour here at school. I just want to sleep, relax and give myself some time to process this because I'm operating on pure ignorance.

Which may not be overrated. You know, ignorance is bliss.

This Week Part 3: Health Hell

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Technically this situation I'm about to explain is a problem of this week, but it's one that has weighed heavily on my mind since last week, which is why I'm lumping it with that crap. In truth, only today did it reach critical mass.

Before I go on, I'm going to give you a disclaimer. I'm going to talk about very VERY personal things. Girly personal things (though, let me state VERY clearly that I am not in any way, shape or form, pregnant. Not pregnant. Not even a little bit.) If you are a man, you probably want to stop reading now, if not a few minutes ago. If you do decide to keep reading, you have no right to bitch, I've warned you.

Seriously, stop reading. Save yourself.

In November 2006, I found a lump in my breast that my gynecologist was also concerned about. She sent me to a specialist and in December of 2006, I had a biopsy done on that lump. Thankfully, it came back normal, simply fibrocystic tissue, nothing even hyperplasic or anything of that nature.

I had a follow up appointment at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and then most recently, at a year. At the 1, 3 and 6 month appointments, everything was peachy. The scar is almost invisible, though the lump was still there (they took out A LOT of tissue in the biopsy). At the 12 month follow up, she ultrasounded my boob and found that the lump had grown back bigger than its original size. She couldn't determine the composition, but she decided she didn't want to jump back in and said we needed to wait a few months, unless something changed. I have/had an appointment for early May to check it back out again.

Well, something changed. That, actually falls into the too much information category and I'm not going to delve into it. But anyway, I met with the doctor today. My appointment was for 11:15, but due to her being supremely behind, it got rescheduled to 2:15. She did a new ultrasound, pushed, prodded, read through notes, and talked to me for a while. I had totally prepared myself for the possibility of a new biopsy. It wasn't pleasant, but I've been through so many worse things, it doesn't even rank in the top ten.

Which is why I'm finding myself still speechless at what she said. The doctor wants to remove the entire duct that is involved in the problem. This involves general anesthesia, a wire through my boob, an hour of surgery and a scar (that I don't really care about, but is important for dramatic effect). Oh and at least 4 days off work and 2-3 weeks of discomfort. Oh, and did I mention that she pretty much wants to do it, um, now? She's calling all the hospitals she has privileges at tomorrow to schedule it asap.

I'm sure you're wondering what the concerns are (aside from the obvious), what the risks are, etc., but I cannot tell you because I said almost nothing the whole time. When she asked me if I had any questions I believe my exact response was "I....fiance....later....call....questions...." She seemed to get the idea and said that either of us could call her with any questions tomorrow.

I think that about rounds out the stories of how the last couple of weeks have blown. I will not know anyhing further until tomorrow, and in the meantime, I really need to be studying for my test, which is in less than 24 hours. That one that I'm totally and completely unprepared for.

Assistance

Monday, April 7, 2008

Okay, first and foremost, I want to apologize to Laura. I read her comment this morning, right after I got up and I was like, oh not she didn't and so I shot off a quick reply. I got in the car and headed to work and realized, that oh no, she really didn't do anything. See, folks, right here is a clear example of why I don't do anything before 8 in the morning. Not only am I grumpy as hell (The Fiance can verify this, I wouldn't be surprised if he broke his commenter silence for this one), but I also almost never think very clearly. Or rationally. So Laura, I am sorry. I was unnecessarily bitchy when you were just expressing concern.

Now, for the rest. I need help. And I'm not sure The Fiance will condone this 100%, but sometimes it's easier to ask forgiveness rather than permission (I totally see that phrase being thrown in my face in the future). We need a 1st dance song. We sort of have one, but it's very one-sided. I'm not going to tell you what it is, because if we do decide to stick with it and someone bad mouths it, well, that'd be awkward.

So here are my qualifications: not-onesided (i.e. can't be a man just singing about a woman or vice versa, though duets are not necessary), not-rap (bleh), preferably current-ish (one of the things I like is that you can tie your song back to a certain time, and I'd like to tie it back to now), a danceable rhythm, and as my aunt put it, "no references of carnal knowledge" (if you know what I mean).

Suggest away. And in the meantime, I promise I won't comment in the mornings anymore. Also, I have a semi-important appointment tomorrow and I could use good thoughts. I know I'm being vague, but it's completely not brain related, but still rather um, serious-ish.

Good thoughts and good music- those are what I need right now.

This Week Part 2: Education

Sunday, April 6, 2008

So apparently my memoir didn't blow you all away either. The Fiance said it was lame, and made the point that he could replace the word "change" with "breathing" and it would be equally profound. Perhaps I'll revisit it another time, or perhaps I'll just punch him in the face and move on. Hard to say for sure.

Another suck-tacular part of the last week was a test that I had on Wednesday. See, the weird thing was, that until Friday afternoon when I got my grade, it was pretty much the highlight of the week. I really felt good about it, I really felt like I knew my shit and I was really proud of myself. The last test I took in this class I had only made an 80 on, so I was very confident that I had improved by leaps and bounds.

As it turns out, I improved by a big load of almost nothing. I got an 83. And yes, I realize that this is not a horrible thing, I'm not failing, I'm not going to have to retake the course, but I put in a lot of time and effort and now, regardless of how well I do on the final exam, I cannot make an A in the class. I suppose hypothetically if she was to put 10 extra credit problems on the test and I got every single problem right including those, then I'd be teetering on the edge of a 90, but um, it seems unlikely. It just pisses me off that I've put so much time and energy in and am not seeing the results.

It also just puts me in a place of serious self-doubt. If I can't get an A in anatomy lab at the undergraduate level, how on earth am I going to survive a doctoral program's version on anatomy? I feel like I've hit a brick wall where I'm doing everything I know how to do and I'm just not succeeding. It is really frustrating. Not earth shatteringly bad by any means, but in conjunction with the wedding, weather, honeymoon and health stuff (that's Tuesday's edition, I have an appointment then that will very much dictate the tone of that post) it just sucked.

But wait, there's more.

So, I have to register for my summer and fall classes tomorrow and I was trying to put my schedule together for next year. I have 5 classes left to take before I'll have met most of the various programs' prerequisites and I have the summer, fall and spring to get it done. So I got myself all sorted out. I'm going to take my last chem class in a short summer session July 1st to July 24, M/T/W/Th from 7-9:55pm (incidentally, if you don't hear from me in the month of July, that could be why), child psych in the fall and I have to take an intro Bio class that I've been putting off because it's a prerequisite and it's a requirement for the Micro class to be taken in the spring (along with public speaking, which I'm like 8 shades of bitter about having to take. Waste. of. my. time. (and money)). So with my plan in hand, I check the course listing to see the times and get it squared away. I'm good for Chem, Psych is online but as with every other semester I've tried to take this class, the intro bio course is only offered at 3 in the afternoon, which, if I ever get a job for next year, will be a problem.

So I emailed the head of the biology department asking if there was any chance they'd push it to a later time. It happens often- the anatomy course I'm in now was slated for 2 pm and got pushed back to 4:30. He replied with an emphatic NO. But, if I wanted to, they'd waive that requirement and let me take Micro in the fall instead and I could figure out what to do with the intro course in the spring. Great! So I look at the schedule, Micro is only offered at noon. Seriously. So I email him again, asking the same question, and shockingly got the same answer. As well as the response that "at some point [I'll] have to come to school during the day like everyone else." Hi, head of biology department? Go sit on a tack.

So I have a conundrum. These are non-negotiable classes, both have to be taken this year if I want to get into any program. The only solution I've been able to come up with is one that I'm not happy with. There is a community college here that offers both classes that I need online (and with evening labs). It's a really lousy program (no offense to anyone local who can deduce which school I'm talking about), but if my choices are, take it at a community college or not take it at all, it's not really a choice at all. So now I'm in the throws of registering at 2 different schools, taking out 2 different loans to pay for the semester and trying to negotiate times that won't interfere with each other. Not to mention making sure that my loans are still deferred since I'm still half-time in school. It's a big, gigantic, hairy mess and it's still not all straightened out. I haven't been able to register at the community college yet, and the class I need has only one seat left. If I had to play the odds, I'd say it's unlikely that it's going to stay open for me, that just doesn't seem the way that the universe is rolling these days.

____________________________________
As an footnote to part 1, we spent most of Friday night on the phone with Expedia, who even if I wanted to book a flight with again, probably wouldn't ever take my money since I yelled a little. Or a lot.

They sent me an email Friday (actually, they sent me 2, the first one was confirming my reservation, nevermind that whole bankruptcy thing) telling me that I could rebook with one of 5 airlines who were working with them, and upon talking to those airlines, we learned that that was only for flights in the next month, so we have to go through our credit card company to get our money back from the bankrupt company (I'm not holding my breath on that, we did also dispute the 14 dollar expedia service charge because if those pigfuckers aren't going to help me, I'm not paying them a dime) and then rebook a flight, which will be at best, an EXTRA 200 bucks now.

And yes, we could go somewhere else, but frankly, I don't want to. This is where we decided we wanted to honeymoon. It took a really long time to come to that decision and if we have to eat more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches than meals out when we're there so that we can afford it, so be it. And we can't push it back because The Fiance has already scheduled his time off and his schedule won't (nor will mine) allow for more time off later.

I'm off to study, because I have not one, but two tests this week. To say that I'm ready to throw in the towel would the understatement of the millenia, but I push forward. Not because I want to, but because I'm a compulsive grade whore.

Meme-Memoir

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Flea has tagged me for a very interesting Meme. I thought since some of you are getting tired of my whining, that'd I'd switch to philosophical for a day or so. I've also spent the entire day working on a study guide, so I really really need to type up something that doesn't involve the words "gastric juice" or "partial pressure" for a while.

Anyways, the challenge of this Meme is to write a 6 word memoir. 6 tiny words to express something important that has changed or shaped my life in a big way.

Here are the official rules:
1) Write your own six word memoir;
2) Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like;
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere;
4) Tag at least five more blogs with links; and
5) Don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

I'm tagging/challenging NOLA, Scarlett, Pete, Kate and Ness for this one. Good luck.

Without further ado, here's my memoir. Though I reserve the right to try again later when I'm not studying for multiple tests.


The only real constant is change.

This Week Part 1: Family Matters

Friday, April 4, 2008

So, I've left out some bits and pieces of the story of this week, only because I was waiting to see how they panned out before I came and ranted with my jazz hands of anger.

(editor's note: leaving anonymous comments telling me to "get over" myself is fairly unnecessary. Trust me, I'm over me. Now I want to kill you instead.)

On Sunday we got a phone call from The Fiance's parents. A week earlier I had socialized with the MIL and listened to her talk about their upcoming trip to NOLA for Jazz Fest and we had discussed the restaurants we'd eat at and all the "fun" we were going to have (seriously, I was extremely polite and kind). Which is why it was surprising that she told us in this phone conversation that they had cancelled their trip. They decided that they wanted to do something more relaxing and so they were booking a trip to Puerto Vallarta.

After she told us about the trip they were planning, we informed them that we had booked our honeymoon and they became intrigued with the idea of Maui. They asked for our hotel information and prices, etc. This is probably where I should've suspected that everything was too good to be true. They weren't coming to New Orleans and we had booked our honeymoon successfully.

On Monday, The Fiance called his dad to find out why they really weren't coming out for Jazz Fest. He initially gave the same story, and then called back 10 minutes later with a guilty conscience. Apparently, the MIL does not feel comfortable coming out here, she does not feel welcome (weird, right?) and she doesn't want to start any big arguments right before the wedding. And while I appreciate that on her part, I also wonder if for her, starting an argument is some sort of reflex where like, if things get going too happily she has to ruin everything.

We decided to let it go. Except that then they decided that they really liked our idea and they cancelled their trip to Puerto Vallarta and booked one to...you guessed it...Maui! They're not staying at our hotel (it's a Condo, did you know that they won't even have room service or turn-down there? The HUMANITY), but for all intents and purposes, they are going on our honeymoon, just one month ahead of us.

I realize that this may not sound like a big deal, except that we will have to listen to all of her sage wisdom on Maui and all the things we have to do, shouldn't do and can't afford. She's going to pre-screen my honeymoon. I'm sorry but this IS NOT OKAY. Seriously, as a parent, if your child called and told you that they had finally booked their honeymoon and were really excited would you then book a trip to the EXACT SAME PLACE one month earlier?

So then yesterday happened and we lost our flight to Maui. The MIL called today to whine to The Fiance about how she needs to find some travel insurance because woe is her, what will she do if something happens to her trip? Not one little tiny iota of sympathy for our honeymoon being fucked over by the universe. No, it's all about how we're stupid for booking through Expedia, it's not cheaper and they're going to screw us over in this whole debacle. She actually uttered something along the lines of, well, you won't be able to afford it now, we'll tell you all about it when we get back. You should look into Puerto Vallarta, it's much less expensive.

It's just a damn good thing I wasn't on the other end of the phone because I'm pretty sure I would've completely lost my shit. As is, I'm still trying to figure out where I misplaced it.

She also called to talk to us about the one teeny tiny wedding thing we let her control. I once suggested that we get personalized Mardi Gras beads as wedding favors, and was met with mediocre response. She then came up with the same idea a week later and has been unwilling to let it go since. So we told her that she was welcome to buy them and we would give them out as favors, in addition to the treats we've already procured. Our intention was to get them personalized, you know, with our name and wedding date on them and put them on little racks so they could be grabbed on the way out of the door. We don't really want every picture of our reception to be people with beads on, we've spent a lot of money to have a really nice reception, this is just not the way we want it to be remembered for all posterity.

We just got off the phone with the MIL again, and she's ordering Champagne glass beads from somewhere in Gulfport, only, she's not ordering them or paying for them, we're supposed to go drive there and buy them from the store. So, she's not buying them, they're not what we want (according to her, the personalized and wedding ones are "so tacky" but these say "it's a party." She even went so far as to say that if someone gave her the personalized ones, she'd throw them away as soon as she got home), and she keeps referring to them as table decorations, which they are decidedly not.

Please, please add more shit to my growing pile. I'll be over here, throwing it into the fan.

And while we're on the topic of shit and doing stupid things, I have a new hatred of all things airlines because the 5 companies still flying to Hawaii are outright, douche-baggedly taking advantage of us. Our tickets were in the neighborhood of 500 a piece when we booked them on Sunday, not cheap by any means. If you look today, you'll not find a flight under 800 dollars and the vast majority are more like 1000 a piece, and not even for direct flights. It's just not necessary, people are still going to fly to Hawaii, you're still going to make money, why is it that you have to be assholes?

So now we're sitting at a coffeeshop, The Fiance is yelling at an airline's automated voice system and I'm seriously considering the option of sedating myself for the next few days. That seems to be the only way to control the rage I have pouring out of my veins. Though the mojito I had with NOLA last night helped considerably.

And friends, this is only part 1, of at least 3 I can think of off the top of my head. It has been the worst week arguably of my adult life. And that light, the one that's supposed to be at the end of the tunnel? It just got snuffed out.

With a cherry on top.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

We booked our honeymoon this past weekend. It's something that we've been working on for a while, going back and forth between destinations, and after much deliberation, we finally we decided upon Maui. So Sunday afternoon we booked our flights and hotel. All was well and we were very excited.

Until this week, when every single piece of shit has hit every fan in the universe.

Interestingly we were going to fly ATA. Not so much anymore. So we thought maybe we'd fly Aloha. And now, frankly, we're just wondering if we can afford it at all.

Really, just the cherry on top of the crap-cake that has been this week.

My Life as a Sitcom

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

You know you're having a bad day when someone asks you if you think your life has turned into an episode of Seinfeld.

If I didn't know better, I'd really think that God did not appreciate my post about religion earlier this week. Yesterday, I got to physical therapy and literally, the nanosecond I opened my door to walk across the parking lot, it started POURING. I'm talking drops of rain the size of those bouncy balls (I feel like they're called superballs, but like that phase seems inappropriate). I'm pretty sure the sky was actually falling.

When I went to make my appointment to leave physical therapy yesterday, it immediately started pouring, such that I had to walk back to my car in the rain and the grocery trip, also, in the rain.

I arrived at school to go to my open lab to study for my lab practical, I put the car in park and it MOTHER FREAKING STARTED POURING. I actually went into the bathroom and wrug (rung? wrang? rang? wrunged? runged?) out my shorts. It's not like it rained all day yesterday, it rained in short bursts whenever I walked outside. I literally felt like I was in a Prozac commercial.

Fast forward to today, where it of course starts raining about 2 minutes before I'm ready to leave for the day. And it pours and pours and pours. And I haven't learned and started carrying an umbrella nor to check the weather to see if it's a miserably bad idea to wear a white shirt with a not-so-lined bra. Not being able to see your boobs through a shirt is totally overrated.

I had some time to kill, so I went to a coffee shop to get a cookie and something to drink before I went to class, noting that the rain is probably as bad as I've ever seen it. The gutters are all overflowing and there's water everywhere. So I park, next to one of the overflowing gutters, get out and walk in the coffeeshop (I did find a sweater, which helped with the, um, boob issue). I ordered and walked out into the still pouring rain.

I get to my car, go to put my key in to unlock the car door and I dropped. my. keys. In the overflowing gutter, which had an amazingly strong current, leading to a storm drain about 5 feet away. Thankfully, after practically diving head-first into the gutter, I got my keys. But in this process got so wet, you'd have thought I'd showered. And my keys were all covered in gutterness. And I poured out my entire drink because I was so focused on my keys.

The rain did not let up when I got to school, but at that point, what did it even matter? Except that I walked in through the rain and realized I left half my papers in the car and had to walk back through the rain again.

And what's great is that doesn't even begin to skim the surface of why the past two days have been pretty sucktacular. That, my friends, is an installment for another time. So in short, yes, I feel like I'm living in an episode of Seinfeld. The one where they all live in a water-filled hell.

Untitled

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I wish I had a more creative or witty way to say that today sucked.

But I think that I'll let this three sentence post speak for itself.

Tomorrow absolutely has to be better.