Monday, August 28, 2006

two days in limbo

It approaches surreal, being here. I've spent the last two days holed up in my room, except for my excursions for my injections and going to Mass. In a way, it's nice, because I have all my food from home, and good, familiar food is a comfort. In just about every other way, it's miserable.

Oh, the accomodations are fine, but I don't like being alone for such a long stretch.

Saturday I spent reading: DD's new book, The Tail of Emily Windsnap, which was adorable, the classic The Island of the Blue Dolphins, which I had somehow never read before, and then all 562 pages of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, which was brilliant but annoying with its obsession with sex and bodily functions. I had my iPod on all day, practically. It was awesome not having to listen to hotel sounds. Keith Jarrett's 6-disc set Live at the Blue Note, and Paul Crossley's Complete Piano Works of Debussy are perfect music to read by.

Sunday morning, my eyes felt like two coals in my head, so I didn't read anything and spent the day watching the Project Runway marathon on Bravo (DH: "Wow, you must know all the commercials by heart now." Yes, I do, and wish fervently that I did not.)

Both nights I stayed up late but when you don't have anything to do, you can nap in the afternoon, so I'm not concerned about it. I'm not driving, I'm not looking after anyone, so if I want to nap, I can.

The Thyrogen shots have made my already lumpy-feeling throat feel even more lumpy. The second shot made it feel even more lumpy and constricted than the first shot. Of course, this is freaking me out, but I'm trying to keep a lid on that. There's no point in panicking even if there is something bad going on in there. We'll just have to wait and see.

I'm going for my ultrasound in about another hour, but when I'll actually have it is a very fluid concept. Time, this visit, has been restored to the state of fungibility it had on my first visit here: one hour waits to be called, 45 minutes back in the exam room, another indeterminate length of time for the drugs or whatever to be brought up. It's kind of insane, and the major reason I wasn't concerned that I was 15 minutes late for my appointment this morning. As it was, I didn't get the RAI until nearly 11AM, two hours after my scheduled appointment time.

For the first time, I had liquid RAI. It tastes like water. The tech unscrewed the lid of the tiny vial, and stuck a bendy straw in it for me to drink, and then added water to make sure I got it all. It was easy. Since this is I-123, with very short wave lengths, and since it was such a tiny dose, only 5mci, I'm OK to sit here in the Internet room and type away.

While leaving Nuclear Medicine, I met another woman and her husband, she's having her scan tomorrow, too. We talked. It was nice to talk to someone who is going through what I have gone through, and more -- she has had external beam radiation and three surgeries, but she still looked fantastic. Coincidental or not, we have exactly the same doctors, so I expect I'll be running into her tomorrow again. It was very nice to have someone to talk to.

Off to get some lunch, now, and this afternoon is the ultrasound. I do not want to go, but I have to know what's happening, and so I will.

Last week I stood in the kitchen and said, I don't want to go.

And DD, all of seven, replied, You gotta do what you gotta do, Mom.


Later: The ultrasound went very well; the radiologist didn't see anything to warrant doing a biopsy. It was probably the fastest u/s I've ever had: click, click, click, the tech was like a sports photographer, racking up dozens of images in what felt like about 5 minutes. She asked me if there was a reason I would scarring along the upper right part of my neck, and I had to tell her about the right neck dissection, which I thought was odd -- she should have known about that, right? It's in my records. Well, I've said it before and I'll say it again: any day they decide not to stick needles in your neck is a good day. I'm hopeful.

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