Saturday, September 22, 2012 Jupiter is in Crabby

Posted on September 23, 2012. Filed under: Cancer, Family, Just fun! | Tags: , , , |

Whenever anything occurs to a several individuals over a period of time for no apparent reason, I blame the planets. This past week held lots of great events, but for some reason, I’ve been crabby. Not abusively awful, just grumbly crabby. So here a quick recap of the good, the bad and the ugly.

Sunday was fun. We had a wonderful lunch with friends and saw the play Equivocation at the Victory Gardens theater. I also met a group of poets from Paris at the Green Mill. They were wonderful and I read a couple of poems I wrote when I was in France. Very cool. Apparently not cool enough because on Monday, I still woke up crabby.

I had a blood test at 9 am, which is reason enough to be crabby, but I didn’t need a transfusion! Very good. Apparently not good enough because I was still crabby. My brother left for Dubai, so I got my studio back, which was good, but I haven’t had too much time to use it, so crabby strike two. In the evening I had a great conversation with my grandson. I told him he wouldn’t have been in school if he lived in Chicago because of a teacher’s strike. That inspired an explanation of strikes, unions and contracts. That inspired him to write a contract for his mom to sign agreeing she would not watch inappropriate TV shows when he’s around. That afternoon I got a call from the hospital saying my blood test showed my immune system was out to lunch, so I needed to pick a prescription for Cipro, a powerful antibiotic reserved for treating anthrax. Scott picked it up and I started taking it the next morning.

Fatigue has set in big time. I’ve even taken naps. I never take naps. Until now, I’ve been physically incapable of naps. Plus, I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for my hair to fall out again due to my chemo a couple weeks ago. I’ve been getting awesome compliments on my hair and I’ve been sad that I’m going to lose what little I’ve acquired. Blah.

On Tuesday, Scott and I met friends for dinner before going to the show at the Raven Theater that included the French poets from Sunday night. The performance was great…and sponsored by Chicago Slam Works, which I co-founded a few years back. It made me feel good about my involvement, but apparently not good enough because I was STILL crabby.

Wednesday I was tired, but I made it to art class. I’m working on a large field of sunflowers facing the horizon which means yellow, green, yellow, green, yellow, green, yellow, green…which is why I’m not a realist painter. BORING. I’m almost done though.

Thursday, I was back for blood work. I still didn’t need a transfusion, but I got the germ lecture about hand washing and staying out of crowds due to my faulty immune system. Funny, by Saturday I saw three plays filled with germs. And I’m still breathing. The appointment also included a new plan. I will start another three-day cycle of chemo on Wednesday, October 3. It’s always nice to have things to look forward to. (She says sarcastically.) I also managed to take a long walk by the lake with Marlene.

Friday…tada. My hair started falling out. The big chunks didn’t start till today, but it’s definitely going. Get out the scarves again. Urgh. HOWEVER, last night I saw my third performance of the week. Maybe I’m just tired of doing stuff???? That didn’t stop me for seeing another performance. A friend was in The Spew, a parody of the program The View. My friend Jane drove and we met up with Veronica. That’s when Jane confessed that she’s been crabby too. That’s why I’m blaming the planets. The show was really fun. I was even dragged to the stage to be interviewed by Barbara WaWa and managed to not make a fool of myself. Fun! Great performance!

Today, Christy and Tony invited us and Penny for brunch. It was great. They even hauled a trampoline a neighbor gave them into the backyard. Of course I had to try it. Of course I was out of breath in five minutes, but hey, I jumped on a trampoline! I try to forever be in touch with the four-year old within.

Now that I’m writing this, I’m thinking maybe I’ve kept myself busy so I could be in distracted from all the medical stuff. Maybe I just need to be miserable for a bit and let myself work through it. Maybe I need to just be nice to myself like I was last Saturday when I spent the day with myself. I shopped for a sofa, took myself out for crepes for lunch and bought some jewelry parts. Yes, I’m a great date.  Maybe i need to feel the gratitude for a week filled with good stuff.

I asked Scott if he complained about my crabbiness to his friends. He said, “No. No one would believe me.” Believe him. I can be crabby.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2012

Posted on June 8, 2012. Filed under: Cancer, Paranormal | Tags: , , , , |

Wow, the treatment has caused me to gain 10 pounds in the past few weeks. Since it’s mostly water, they threw a diuretic into the mix. Thoughtfully, they did it soon enough that “there won’t be any need to look for a gas station washroom every two miles on the way home.”  But get up every 30 minutes and drag the IV to the restroom…oh yeah.

This being my second Wednesday of IV arsenic for my leukemia, I fell on my face when I came back home just  like last week. Is Wednesday some sort of “hit the wall” day. I asked if the effects were cumulative and the med staff dances around before saying, “well, for some people.” I sound crabby.

After catching a second wind, I went to my office and filled out some disability forms, but not before spilling some of my sugarless lemonade on my laptop’s keyboard. I thought I’d cleaned it all, but did a back up, just in case. Sure enough, a couple hours later it was beeping and blinking like a carnival game. “Scotttttttttt, helppppppp!”

Scott worked his magic by tipping the machine on its side, which drained out a bit more lemonade. Then he put it in the dryer to sit on a sweater rack for 30 minutes at low heat. When the dryer beeped, my little Toshiba was too hot to touch. He put it on the dining room table with a hot pad—no trivet needed—and let it cool. A few hours later, it seemed to be recovered. Then Scott went to a Meetup on WordPress SEO.

Introduction to Emily’s Even Weirder Side: I decided to fulfill my daily obligation to walk a mile. That’s not the weird part. There’s an area in the park across the street that’s creepy so I thought I’d bring my phone that has the app Ghost Radar since it never shows anything interesting in our house. My 9-year old grandson recommended the free app on Sunday and I thought it looked fun. Really, spud pickles? Never mind that the app claims to detect anomalies in the atmosphere and put them on a radar screen. Never mind that words appear as they are supposedly picked out of the airwaves. I am of the belief that even if this app was authored by a band of Nigerian con artists, if a spirit wanted to use it as a communication tool, they might be able to do so. And, after many years of serious paranormal study, I am aware of the perils of creepiness. However, walking the park’s length and back is a mile, so it’s a practical destination. There’s also a hill in the middle that offers a great scenic view. I was determined to reach the top no matter how my heart pounded with arsenic.

OK…I get my phone going, wrap myself in protective light and Ghost Radar fails to pick up anything. Half way across the park, I decided to invite my dad to comment on my current battle with leukemia. Blip…I get a blue circle on the radar. “How do you feel about my current situation, Dad?” In relatively quick succession, the words “differ” “for” and “badly” show on the screen. Interesting. There seemed to be some sort of response. Was it a sentence with words dropped out? A few more questions yielded zip. I changed my strategy. Let’s talk to a friend who died of ALS last year. He was a beautiful person who knew how to appreciate life in every way. I questioned about my outcome, but “watch” and “mountain” appeared along with another blue light. It was time to walk to the hill. Cool.

I headed to the top with my head down because one never knows what one might step in. “Mountain” stayed on the screen. About half way up, I started getting breathy and “notice” came on the screen. I looked up and found I was exactly at a point where the evening sun hit the top of the hill and shown through the trees. It was spectacular, so I decided to take a photo. “Notice” was still on the screen. As you can see the photo revealed an aura around the setting sun—that was otherwise undetectable. “Notice” stayed on the screen until I was home. Nice message for anyone. I’m not crabby anymore either.

Séance anyone?

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    A writer and cancer survivor chronicles her renewed dedication to art and words..


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