Monday, January 29, 2007

“The one where I roll my eyes and say ‘Whatever!’ and make little jokes when inside I’m about ready to scream or punch somebody in the neck or both"

Because that's healthy and theraputic.

So, cancer.

Several of you have been kind enough to ask, so I’ll fill you in on our little corner of the world. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to share, it’s just that I don’t know what’s worth sharing and what should be ignored as putrid nonsense spewing forth from the chaotic mess I like to call my brain.

Kendrie: Still kicking ass and taking names, baby. A recent upshot I’ve learned about her treatment is that one long term effect of the chemotherapy is a tendency to soften teeth. Which, considering the crooked chompers she’s got coming in, and the years and years of orthodontics staring us in the face, is probably a good thing.

Me: Had my finger-quotes-surgery-finger-quotes last week at the dermatologists. Five minutes and ten stitches later, I am apparently skin cancer free. Although my career as an underarm supermodel has been cut tragically short.

Blaine: (sigh) One step forward, two steps back. I’m not even sure what to tell and what not to tell. Let’s go chronologically:

Friday Jan 19th -- had outpatient surgery scheduled to have a tube placed in his right ear. Due to the scar tissue buildup from all the surgeries, and the radiation on that side of his face and head, he can’t hear out of that ear, so its believed that a tube (What is he? Like, three years old?) will help him hear better. I’m all for him getting the tube because I’m sick and tired of thinking he is ignoring me whenever I talk to him and he doesn’t reply. Unfortunately, the procedure had to be scrapped because they couldn’t get an IV going --- not in his arm, his foot or his neck. Can you believe they tried to get an IV started in his NECK???? Who *does* that? {shudders} Anyway, apparently after being poked nine trillion times over the past four years, his veins have basically responded with an “Oh no you DON’T any more!” and retracted into his body. Every single vein. So, no tubes. Still not sleeping for shit.

Wednesday Jan 24th -- Finally got the referral from the insurance company, and was supposed to have a CT with contrast so they could get a good look at the mass on his shoulder. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, they weren’t able to …

Wait for it ………….. wait for it………..

Get an IV started. SO! They did the scan anyway, but with no contrast, which means the picture won’t be as helpful in determining what the heck is going on. But, they reassured him that regardless, the report would be delivered to his primary care doctor by Friday. Still not sleeping for shit.

Thursday Jan 25th -- awake at 3am (did I mention he’s not sleeping for shit?) and drove to Ft. Gordon in Augusta for his surgical pre-op appointment, which included an exam, consults with ENT and surgery, x-ray and bloodwork --- they did manage, somehow, to access a vein this day. Go figure. This is in preparation for the surgery he is having next month to have posts put in his implants -- one step closer to teeth! He requested they do a little (repeat) cosmetic work (collagen) on his cheek since it’s caved in …. Doctor said no, he didn’t want to mask any potential problems (ie, more cancer) that they will be checking for when he goes to Seattle for his next MRI in March. They do, think, however, that they can go ahead and put the ear tube in while he’s already in surgery. Discussed doing a picc-line so he doesn’t continue to have problems with IVs all over town. Appointment lasted all damn day long, and while driving home from Ft. Gordon that night, he was pulled over for what appeared to be drunk and reckless driving on the highway. Blaine’s reply? “I wasn’t drunk or reckless. I’m exhausted, and was just in a hurry to get home and go to bed.” Still, the police officer wouldn’t let him get back behind the wheel, so the kids and I had to go get him. Luckily, he wasn’t far from home and his pick up truck got to spend an exciting night in the Best Western parking lot. I’m sure later, we’ll laugh about the fact all three kids started crying when they saw the blue lights flashing and assumed their poor exhausted sleep deprived father was going to jail.

Friday Jan 21st -- found us anxiously awaiting results of report. Called primary care doctor not once, but twice that day, to see if report was in. Also e-mailed nurse twice. Primary care doctor didn’t call back that day; we gave up hoping he would call back when he hadn’t by 9 pm that night.

Can anyone deduce that I’m not having a pink puffy heart relationship with Blaine’s primary care doctor? I realize he’s not the boss of the report and if it wasn’t delivered to him, well, he can’t just pull the results out of his ass. But don’t you think the polite, professional thing to do would have been at least return the phone call to let us know he doesn’t know? To say “Hey, I’m sorry, I know you’re waiting to find out if the cancer has come back, but so am I. No news here either” --? Are my expectations really that unreasonably high?

So, in a nutshell, he’s been poked, prodded, jabbed and stabbed. He's sleepy. And we still don’t know any more than we did. Except he’s deaf, with retracted veins and a big lump on his shoulder. I guess we could rename him Quasimodo and be done with it. Just get him some church bells to ring and call it a day.

He’s getting discouraged and anxious, which makes me discouraged and anxious. Then I get annoyed with him for making me discouraged and anxious. I’m starting to wonder if therapy is far off. The kind of therapy where I put him in a big canvas bag with a lot of heavy rocks and throw him off a bridge into a river. Or the kind of therapy where I clear out our savings account and move someplace with a sunny beach and umbrella drinks and well-oiled muscular men to wave me with palm fronds. Oh, wait, there’s those pesky kids to think of. So I guess in the meantime I’ll just continue with my current therapy, which is eating my weight in chocolate and drawing mustaches and horns on photos of his doctor.

Because *that’s* healthy and therapeutic.


Cathy said...

WooHoo!! I'm first!! I'm never first at anything...and now I'm first!! I pathetic or what?

I'm sorry you are having a crappy time of it with Blain's personality challenged doctor. Keep calling! If you call enough maybe he will actually call the imaging center and get the report himself!

I don't think we need to worry about you throwing a sheet/rock shrouded Blaine from a BRIDGE since don't you have a bridge phobia!? (ha)

Keep your chin up and continue with the chocolate therapy! I hear it (chocolate) is really good for you!! (well that is what I keep telling myself)

(I've gone on and on....I'm probably not first anymore)

Marci Connell said...

I just called you..LOL...I hope you keep your chin up and smile. Things always have to get better somewhere right?? Of course that statement never works for me but I pray it does for you..Hope to hear from you later and like I said you need a DIET DR PEPPER and some MASSIVE CHOCOLATE! Love ya, Marci

Kristina said...

I am totally feeling your pain...however on a lower scale! I have had 4 kids with strep, sinusitis and the flu since last Monday and now "the husband" has it and the world as we know it is coming to an end. I told him to finally take something and ALOT of it. I can't imagine what you are going through. Thanks for the update on Blaine and go enjoy a Diet Dr Pepsi in a styrofoam cup with rabbit pellent ice!!

Lisa said...

Thinking of you all every day - especially Blaine - keeping you in my prayers for a good outcome to the 'lump'.

JoAnn said...

I know what you mean about waiting for the news. Are they that freaking clueless that they can't pick up the phone and just say, "Hey, got your messages. Haven't heard anything yet but as soon as we do we'll let you know." Geez. Is that so hard?

I'm glad to hear that Kendrie is doing so well and that you got good news as well.

I think you do remarkably well given all you have to deal with. So you eat a little chocolate. I know its my drug of choice:)

Anonymous said...

God, how do you keep us laughing when things are so damn frustrating??? I think about you all, and hope that the results are coming today.. and they're the good news we're all hoping for.

Feeling a little frustrated here, and I'm feeding my frustration with food.. hamburger, fries, apple pie... not helping yet.

Keep us posted.......

Rosemary from Albany

Anonymous said...

Diet Dr. Pepsi?????? I


Shannon F said...

Oh, Kristi...what a crapfest you are dealing with. I hate when doctors assume you would just know he didn't have the they'll call when they do get it. Bleh...

Drink lots of Diet DP and eat lots of day you'll have to branch away from that :finger quote: DIET :finger quote: DP and get some of the real DP made in Dublin, TX...ya know, pure sugar cane instead of that syrup stuff!!! Take that in a Sonic cup with pellet ice...HEAVEN!!!

Rena' said...

Thanks for the update on Blaine. Hope you get some news soon. Keep calling those Dr's. You need a Carters Lake weekend with lots of Amaretto

jadine said...

OMG. Just how much, exactly, are you supposed to take??! Seriously, I'd like to know. I mean, if your particular family hasn't waded (hell, been *submerged* whilst breathing through a bug-clogged reed that can *just* reach above the surface) through enough sh!t, I don't know whose has.

I can't think of one single solitary thing to say that would make you feel the least bit better, so in closing, I'll be thinking about you and hoping that you get results soon and that it'll be clear sailing on the road to Blaine's recovery from then on, amen. (Pretend the part about sailing on a road made sense).

kim said...

Kristie--Oh, poor Quasi! Sleep deprivation is not a good thing, for Quasi or his wife!

This will be no help to you whatsoever, but apparently ALL doctors, EVERYWHERE, are the exact same. Apparently, yes, it is asking too much for a callback. And it's too much for them to sometimes dig a little deeper to find out what's wrong. And, apparently, they--NONE of them--care about all the crazed wives they leave in the wake of their thoughtlessness. Is it real obvious that I have some doctor issues of my own? However, this is what fuels my indignation when the same thing happens to others; in this case, you and Quasi. Don't give up. I sometimes think the only answer is to be so irritating, so bothersome, so unrelenting, that they will finally do what needs to be done, just to get rid of you. Can't hurt to try.

I am definitely feeling for you on this one, even if I'm not all that helpful. Now I've gotta go get some chocolate...

Sarah said...

This would be good therapy:
Picture of doctor with your art on it
shoot multiple times

I was in the ER yesterday with my 13 year old who had a ruptured ovarian cyst. Amaretto, tequila, SOMETHING was sounding good by the time we left.

It's not right that you haven't heard anything. Not right AT ALL.

Anonymous said...

Kristi, this is my first time signing in here, but I have been a "stalker" for quite a while. I had to post today to let you know how I finally got my doctor's office to call me back. I had blood work done on Dec. 26th. They told me they would have the results by Jan. 3rd. On Jan.4th I called their office and got this recording: "please leave your name, number, reason for call and we will get back to you in less than 2(TWO) HOURS". So I leave the info and wait. No call back. I leave the same info on the 5th, the 8th,the 9th, and finally on the 10th I leave the following message: "This is Debbie S. i am not leaving my number, chart # or anything else, go back & listen to your messages for the past week. Either have the courtesy to call me back or change your damn message to " we will get back to you when we want to". I'm happy to say I got a call back within 20 minutes. No she wasn't very nice but I did get the results from my test!

Kristin Hicks said...

OMG Kristie. I swear you can't catch a break.

The fact that you had to go pick Blaine up had me laughing so hard I shot tea out of my nose. That poor, poor man.

This whole post had me laughing even thought it isn't very funny when it comes to dealing with Blaine's cancer. I'm hoping upon hope that it's nothing and things will continue to go up from here.

(PS - I have tubes as an adult because my inner ear never formed as it should - I have the inner ear of a 2-year-old. They help me tremendously, so hopefully they will do the same for Blaine.)

Kristin from NC

Elizabeth said...

Kristie, I've been a "follower" for about 2 years, never leaving a message, but enjoying your site so much. I've read several times lately that there have been other "stalkers/followers" that have never left messages until now. I'm curious to know how many of us are out here, aren't you? Actually, you probably aren't because your plate seems full enough.