Thursday, January 11, 2007

Funny Like a Root Canal

So, a few funny stories about cancer from yesterday:

1. First, how funny that I didn’t fool a single one of you with my claims of papaya juice and string cheese. Nah, you’ve known me too long! Plus, really, is there *anybody* that drinks papaya juice? I don’t know, that just sounds nasty.

2. How funny when my girlfriend Jadine called me a kiss-ass for commenting back to the comments in my guestbook. Ha, ha, yeah, funny like a root canal. Can I help it if I’m totally co-dependent? (PS I did it again today.) (PSS Jadine, you know that I *heart* you, pet rats and all!)

3. Ok, this really *is* funny. My dermatologist’s office called me to schedule my “surgery” to have the skin cancer removed. Why they insist on calling it a {finger quotes} surgery {/finger quotes} I have no idea, but they do. So the receptionist was transferring me to the surgery scheduler and I was on hold. This office also does a lot of cosmetic work, and I was listening to a recorded message that discussed procedures available for patients such as Botox, chemical peels, and even liposuction. This is where it gets funny. I was literally on hold, balancing the phone between my ear and my shoulder, LISTENING TO A PITCH FOR LIPOSUCTION, when I shifted in my chair, and disconnected the phone with my big fat chin!!! Ha! I hung up on myself!! I need liposuction for my chin!

4. REALLY funny story about the conversation Blaine and I had yesterday, about how we’re going to have to do some searching and find a place that has a cancer care clinic, and a stroke rehab clinic, right next door to one-another, so it will be easier for the kids to visit us on Sundays. And Blaine said, “Well, they just damn well better bring flowers and yogurt when they come!” Ha! How funny is that??!?!? It’s knee-slapping funny, that’s how funny it is! Don’t you think so?

Wait … What? You don’t know what I’m talking about? Oh, well, sorry. Let me fill you in. It’s a funny story, actually.

Immediately following Blaine’s surgery in Seattle in November, he noticed he couldn’t raise his left arm more than 90 degrees. Although they didn’t operate anywhere near that part of his body, but actually on his left-lower arm, he assumed it was some kind of muscle pain or weakness or trauma following surgery and it would go away on its own. When it didn’t, we started joking that maybe the nurses dropped him on his shoulder while they were transferring him to the operating table and he just didn’t remember thanks to the anesthesia. Which actually *would* be pretty funny, if you think about it. Of course, we thought it was funny to call Blaine “The Tuminator” when he was originally diagnosed, so maybe our sense of humor is a wee bit warped.

Tuesday night I came home from Kellen’s basketball practice, and Blaine said to me, “Come look at my shoulder …. Does it look right to you?” and I suddenly realized, taking a good look at it, and then touching it and feeling it and poking and prodding it, that no, it doesn’t look right. In fact, it looks deformed. Like a deformed chicken wing. And we realized, holy cow, his shoulder is dislocated … how did we not know that? Shouldn’t it hurt? But there’s a long sort of protrusion running along the back of his shoulder, that we assumed was his clavicle, just not where it was supposed to be.

For the record, it totally cracks me up because Blaine is like, “Is that my collarbone? Or is it a shoulder blade? Where is it supposed to be? Why is it sticking out like that? Is it sticking out on the other side? It should be symmetrical, right? Is it symmetrical? You took biology in college, and worked in a doctor’s office; you should know the answer.” He asks me these questions every time something is wrong … and given what he’s gone through the past four years, that means he asks me these types of questions, a lot. And I always want to remind him that yes, I took biology in college …. SIXTEEN YEARS AGO! I dissected a CAT, not a person! I was an INSURANCE SECRETARY, not a pathologist!!!!” Why does he always ask me these kinds of questions???? Do I look like Quincy??? But instead, I continued to peer and poke at his shoulder as if I actually had a single clue about what I was looking at. Then I simply said, “Hmmm. That looks funny.”

I’m not a doctor. Nor do I play one on the internet.

So, yesterday, he went to see his general practitioner. Who clearly indicated his overall level of interest in Blaine and his situation by greeting him with, “So, what’s wrong with you today?” when he walked in the exam room.

Because, you know, so many hypochondriacs and drug addicts have huge portions of the inside of their HEAD surgically removed, and then voluntarily undergo five weeks of radiation, for the fun of it. Whatever, with a big ole’ capital “W” with my thumbs and forefingers.

So the doctor examined him and immediately agreed that, “Yeah, uh, that doesn’t look right.” Good to know my observation skills are right on target.

Instead of a bone sticking out like we thought it was, though, he called it a mass. And asked Blaine to remind him what kind of cancer he had again????

And sent him for an x-ray and an ultrasound, both of which yes, did show a mass, but gave no further information. “Too fuzzy” “Not clear” “Fades out” ….. ugh.

A mass of what? Blood? Tissue? Bone? An accidentally left-behind gauze strip from surgery that has somehow traveled the entire length of his arm and lodged itself into his shoulder?

What the hell is it????

It is NOT cancer. I know that. Logically, I know that. The kind of cancer Blaine has rarely metastasizes, and if it did, it would go to his tongue, or throat, or somewhere up in the head-like-general-head area. Not down the back of his neck to his shoulder.

Plus, the timing is too fluky …. Immediately after surgery? Immediately, immediately following surgery? Blaine’s type of cancer takes years to grow large enough for manual detection, and this mass just shows up in one day? Wouldn’t that be a little Toooo coincidental?

Oh, wait. This IS our family we’re talking about.

So now, his doctor wants him to have a CAT scan. And naturally, the base hospital doesn’t do them. So we’re waiting, once again, for an insurance authorization so he can go to the imaging center here in town. So he can have a cat scan. So they can identify “the mass” and tell us they’ve finally located the missing Heart of the Ocean jewel from the Titanic, and it’s in Blaine’s shoulder. Stuck to a gauze strip and perhaps the surgeon’s watch and maybe even a speculum.

But in the meantime, we’re scouring the country, looking for side-by-side cancer care clinics and stroke rehab facilities. Because I swear on all that is holy if he gets diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his shoulder …………….


Isn’t that funny?


Anonymous said... I'll be praying for Tricare to come through QUICKLY with authorization so you all can find out what this new thing is and get it behind you! I love the new blog. My kids ask about yours so we should get together some time. Is Kellen playing Bball again? (somehow this *comment* has become a personal email....)

Naidne said...

I'm an admitted blog lurker, and have never signed before. My fervent prayer today is for the Escoe clan to finally get some relief from all variety of bizarre medical atrocities. I mean really... enough is enough, right??? ...oh, and I pray for unlimited supplies of diet Dr. Pepper at your imaginary cancer/stroke rehab village. Sending happy thoughts to you and yours!

Renee' said...

Oh shit, Kristie and Blaine. The mass isn't funny at all. Too. I'm praying for you guys. You are on the PERMANENT prayer list.

On the funny side, can you add a room next to yours for Keith and I? We'll be the ones that have eaten themselves into a state of having to lay in bed all day. We won't be able to get up so you guys will have to come visit us! I'm so sick....

Pamela Earley said...

I will join Lisa and Renee in the multi-use of period within a sentence and say:!! (But see, I added an all CAPS part in the middle of mine, so I'm not a TOTAL copycat. :-) )

This is unbelievable. I just hope that you have no plans to buy a house anytime soon - unless you have plans to do an updated version of "The Money Pit."

Sending prayers of 'enough already' to God and for quick resolution and for a taste of normalcy that lasts longer than a week.

Love you all,
~Pam Earley

Anonymous said...

Good grief. Poor Blaine must feel like he doesn't even own his own body. I'm sorry to hear this. We've got excellent treatment centers and research studies going on in Indianapolis to take care of Blaine's other needs (this new one CAN.STINKIN'.NOT be're right...too much of a coincidence), so promise me if you ever head up this way you'll let me take your family under my wing. Your kids can play with our kids and then you'll realize how completely sane your kids really are. Our Sonic closed down (which used to be Dog 'n Suds, which makes me even more sad) but I'm sure I can find DDP and styrofoam cups SOMEWHERE in this great city. Sending up some serious prayers for you guys, not that I think it's anything serious, but because your minds need to rest. Are you related to Job?

Claire in Indiana

Shelly said...

That. is. NOT. right! And bizarre. I pray that you're adjoining care facilities have a Sonic in between so the kids can at least bring you an ice cold Diet Dr. Pepper on the days that they visit. Seriously, I'm praying for each of you.

kim said...

In-fucking-credible. This news rates the f-bomb, even by your esteemed commenters! I've had root canals; they are nothing compared to this, and I! AGAIN, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! As a fellow Virgo, Kristie, I have no doubt that your head really would fucking explode, along with your gut, too, from the stress of it all. Now, I'm going to add a new element to your blog and comment to another of your commenters--renee, could we get a side-by-side room for those that can no longer move out of the bed? That way, we could share the cost of the crane it will take to get us out when the time comes. Okay, Kristie, be honest--does that make me co-co-dependent? I just love your blog, even when the news sucks.

On a completely serious note, I will be praying mightily!

Love from MN--Kim

Anonymous said...

Holy-Crap Sandwich, Batman! Kristie, I'm a lurker of both your caringbridge site as well as your blog, and I'm sitting hear with my mouth hanging open (which ain't a great picture for those walking by my office, let me tell you). Just know that so many of us are keeping the entire Escoe clan in our thoughts and prayers..

Anonymous said...

Have lurked around your Caringbridge site for a couple of years and sign rarely, but had to let you know that my prayers are with your family. Maybe even do a tribal dance or something for you too! Anyway, I hope that this is handled quickly and amounts to much less than a root canal!
Sandy in South GA

Anonymous said...

No, actually, it is NOT funny.

Sherri said...

I don't even know what to say to this entry.... Here's hoping your head doesn't explode. That the "mass" isn't cancer. That your family gets a break one of these days and gets to live a sort-of normal kind of life. Let us know what you find out when you get the scan done.

Sherri in NC

Anonymous said...

I have been following your sites for a couple of years now, but have never signed before. In fact, from reading your site and several others, I decided to volunteer at Camp Sunshine and was a camp counselor for the first time last year. But, I did want to tell you that I check on you and your family often and will be praying for you in yet another difficult time. Here's hoping that this is a simple problem that can be taking care of easily!
Savannah, GA

Patricia said...

Well, it there's ANYTHING that your family has doing for you's that you can find SOME humor in all your trials! I will certainly be praying that Blaine has simply a large, huge FAT mass that is nothing but tissue and can be easily removed and you can get back to life in general without having to worry about all this stuff. need a break.

Anonymous said...

I've had a root canal. I would prefer to have that done on every tooth in my head than to have to face what you and Blaine face each and every day. To be hit with the fear of cancer one more time is crazy. I am so ashamed of how I manage to throw myself little pity parties over nothing when I read blogs such as yours or the caringbridge sites. Kristie, my prayers are with you and your family! I love your style and admire your ability to put one foot in front of the other and face one disasterous occurence after another. Your sense of humor and candid expression of your emotions in dealing with your situation are amazing.
~an avid reader and Kristie fan

Jeri from Hawaii said...

Oh come on...enough is enough! Someone once told me God has a sense of humor, but I repeat ENOUGH ALREADY!

I echo the person that said you (and Blaine & the kids) have managed to make it to the permanent prayer list...and every prayer will end with "Please God don't let Kristie's head explode."

Denise Tidwell said...

What in THE HELL??? I mean seriously...what in the hell?

Care said...

Egads you just don't get a break! Hope the authorizations stuff gets worked out and you get some answers. Ones that don't start with the letter c.

Anonymous said...

There are no words at this point...
Praying for this to actually be funny.....

Anonymous said...

No way.. just no way. This has got to be some sort of fatty mass that can be removed quickly and painlessly..

I have followed Kendrie for so so long, and sign in every once in awhile.. but read every day. SO... just signing in to let you know that I'll be checking hourly to see what's the latest with Blaine....... Funny, I just signed in yesterday and said "How's Blaine", and I was looking to see if you'd answered that in the comments. Then I saw this. It's time for you all to catch a break..

You are amazing.. you really are. I try to remember how you handle things when my petty shit starts to seem big to me..

jeanette said...

Okay, ever the one to pump sunshine up some ones ass, may I be optimistic here and focus on the fact that it suddenly popped up, like you said, right after surgery? Wouldn't a "mass" take a little longer than that? It could be a muscle or dislocation...and wouldn't some papaya juice and vodka be good right now? Chins up girl!! :)

Liza said...

Are you sure you're not living in another "Love Canal"? Near power lines? Sheesh! Let's hope that it's no biggie.

Kathy said...

Hi Kristie,
First off, IF I were to go to a Dr. and he/she asked "And what is it today" I would "Jersey out" big time. Even though I do not live in New Jersey anymore, the east coast genes are with me for life.

Secondly, Being a medical person myself, I would sense the lack of professionalism and compassion in such a question and probably do an about face. Though, being military, I do not know if you have that choice.

Third, If this shoulder "mass" came on suddenly, then maybe you might consider NOT waiting for the insurance crap. Get him in for the Cat Scan (with and without contrast please) or an MRI. Ask questions and fill out paperwork later ! Don't wait!

Fourthly, (I don't even know if 'fourthly" is a real word) I think this is a REAL shitty way to start out the New Year. I am sorry to hear about this, I know that no matter what it turns aout to be, it is still a stress and a worry in your home.

Our continued Prayers to you and your family.

On a funny note... Kristie... You didn't by chance get confused and take Blaine to see Dr. Pepper did you?

briana said...

Your family goes through more than any one family should EVER have to. I pray that Blaine can get the CAT scan soon and that the mysterious mass is nothing serious.

Lisa said...

Oh Kristie - Have a hug. Breathe deep and as stupid, stupid, stupid as it sounds try not to worry until you know if you've got anything to worry about. I've just read that back and it is soooo inadequate but I just **cannot** think of a single useful thing to say. I am thinking of you, you are in my prayers, and...and...and I don't know what else to say. Hold each other close and kick the insurance company to speed things up. PLEASE know there are SO MANY people rooting for Blaine, praying for him, sending him positive thoughts...whatever we each of us are all amazing and in our own tiny way we are here for you even though you don't know most of us. I think a psych department should be added to the cancer / stroke unit because goodness only knows the Escoe's deserve a collective nervous breakdown - but you wont do that because you show the rest of us how to deal with life's crap with the best possible outlook. Love and prayers to you all. Lisa Burt, England.

Pam Doughty said...

I truly can't come up with anything to say besides I'm sorry that you have to keep riding this rollercoaster over and over and over. 'clink' 'clink' 'clink' goes the chain as it pulls the cars up. And you have NO way of knowing what's on the other side of the top... a gentle curve, a gut-wrenching drop, or a total loop-de-loop. Adding an extra helping of prayers and looking for a really tight hat to send you.

Connie F-G said...

Good grief! Can you guys not catch a break for even one week!?

You know how us ladies have love handles on our hips? Could Blaine have one on his back and liposuction will take care of it?

I am going to pray that it is truly nothing. I'm going to pray that Tricare doesn't leave you hanging for weeks. If you don't get some action from them very soon, I'm with Kathy and you have the work done and ask forgiveness later.

Hugs and prayers,

Anonymous said...

I think you should buy one of those letters..."C" and instead of altering it with paper, ribbon, etc. you should decorate it with bullet holes and darts.

I don't even know what to say. You all are always in our prayers!

Lisa H.

Kristin Hicks said...

OH. MY. FUCKING. GAWD. You have to be kidding me. I am praying that you guys will be spared from any more heartache. Surely this won't happen to you again.

BTW, I meant to tell you on your post yesterday that both of my children have heelys. Can I just say one thing? If ONE more person in ONE more store tells ONE more of my kids to be careful that they don't fall and hurt themselves (neither have ever fallen in a store, certainly never broken anything or gone flying off into the shelving), that I am going to FUCKING GO OFF AND BE ON THE 5 O'CLOCK NEWS.

CRAZY WOMAN GOES INSANE ON HELP IN (FILL IN THE BLANK - TARGET, WALMART, BJS, MALL, GROCERY, ETC.) AND ASKS THEM WHO THE FUCK THEY THINK THEY ARE TELLING MY KIDS WHAT TO DO WHEN THEIR MOTHER IS STANDING RIGHT THERE WITH THEM. If I approve of the damn things and I am with them and they aren't doing anything dangerous (1/2 the time they are holding onto the cart), then SHUT UP! Whew - sorry. Thought maybe you might be getting some of the same. I'm not half as funny as you, but I am SERIOUSLY getting PISSED about it.

Kristin in Raleigh with heelying (is that even a word) Bailey and Jack

Amy from St. Pete said...

I read your update earlier today and I've been trying to think of something either funny or wise to write. I just don't know what to say.
I do know that I am very fond of your family and want nothing but the best for you guys. I'm here for you Kristie!
When you get the rehab village up and running I'll come and visit. I hope your planned on having a few shrinks too. I'll bring chocolate and DDP when I visit.
I'll be praying for some answers, and a break!!

Brenda said...

I'm not sure whether to laugh because you are so funny when you write or cry because of the seriousness of it all.
The "joke" around my work is that we need a sign on our door that says "Enter at your own risk" because of the non-stop "action", but I think you've got even us beat!
We'll kep you all in our thoughts and pray that things slow down!

Amy Finkler said...

That just sucks. I would try the .to. thing, but everyone already took my good ideas. If Tricare doesn't authorize that MRI within 48 hours, I would be sitting on the wing commander's desk down at the 78th med when he arrived for work. Just a thought. I hope everything goes well...and if it ends up being the surgeon's can always call Lester. At my office "Thank you Lester" is our motto.

Anna in IL said...

No f-ing way. I don't know how your head has survived this long. Mine would have blown long ago.

Anonymous said...

I'm mostly a lurker too, but have commented once or twice. You guys just cannot get a break! I pray that this is nothing serious, and that Tricare Prime will move very quickly! We deal with them here at Rucker, and know how frustrating they can be. You are in our prayers!

JoAnn from MN said...

Seriously???? Seriously??? I just don't know what to even say! I think I'd bury my head in a vat of chocolate and call it a day!

I'm just going to give you a virtual hug and pray that Blaine gets his CT scan ASAP and that its nothing- just a weird mass of nothing.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you guys.


Sherrill said...

Freakin enough already! -- I am so sorry that you AGAIN are having to endure the 'wondering and worrying' of the unknown.

Will continue to hold you all in my thoughts and prayers.

With love and abiding faith...

Marysienka said...


Guess there's nothing else to say...
Sending good vibes your way!

Renee in Canada

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! Even in the midst of chaos in your still bring humour to my life. Just know that your "cyber" friends are still out there and praying hard for you!
Brookville OHIO

Stephanie said...

Kristie and Blaine,
Step Away from the Crap Sandwich Buffet and walk away!!!!

You have had too many Crap Sandwiches....walk away....


Pam said...

Papaya juice rocks! Such a nice change of pace from OJ. Try it!! Don't be a papaya juice hater!! :)

Denise Ward said...

You'd think after all your family's been through, you'd be guaranteed smooth sailing from here on in. I hope that your husband gets to have that scan as soon as possible, and will be praying that it's going to turn out to be something completely benign, like a fatty cyst or something. I don't know how you manage to keep your sense of humour and perspective, but I certainly admire it!

Anonymous said...

No, no, no, no, no! I can not believe this! Praying it turns out to be nothing.

By the way I do drink papaya juice and I love it. I would try it if I were you, and add lots of vodka.

Postcard Cindy

bay said...

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
This was just posted on the USA TODAY website:

"For a fee, fliers won’t have to shed shoes" USA TODAY
A new machine will allow some air travelers to avoid a major post-9/11 hassle starting Friday - taking off shoes at a checkpoint.
Orlando International starts using the ShoeScanner Friday morning but only for people who pay an annual fee and pass a background check.

This is probably the only *good* news you’ve heard in a long time, eh? I think the least we lurkers could do is to start taking up a collection for your annual fee!

From one of your biggest fans~
Bay in Indiana

Anonymous said...

Just a quick comment from another 'one who lurks' and has followed Kendrie (and your family) for a while now. There really are no words that go far enough in covering just how much this sucks... I hope this does turn out to be funny - that you're right about the Hope Diamond or that Blaine was smuggling a 6 pack of Dr Pepper around as a romantic gesture to you! Seriously, I'll be thinking of you and looking forward to the good news - which I hope comes very soon (to save any head explosions).

Thinking of you, Nic

Lisa said...

I read your blog yesterday and honestly couldn't post because I was in such disbelief. I've been praying for y'all often and will keep it up. I've also been praying that the healthcare provider Blaine saw will take a "sensitivity pill" before he sees more patients. :)

Cathy Morrisey said...

First off let me start by saying Holy Sh*t!! I can't believe this is happening.

Secondly, how did you luck out and get Dr. McPersonality Disorder as your primary care provider??

Thirdly....tried Papaya juice for the first and LAST time today....egads I thought I would vomit!! (of course adding vodka probably would have made it a whole bunch better...but can't do that at school!!)

Lastly...Holy Sh*t, I can't believe this is happening!!

I really hope you have that scan by now! Please know we are praying hard up here in Suwanee for you all!!

Pffhhhtttt...I just popped open a DDP and toasted to Escoe good health and good news!!


jeanne said...

What is with all the "stroke" talk? Did I miss something over the years of following Kendrie and the gang?????
Jeanne ..Phila
(Moose's Mom)