May 3, 2008

I am Iron Woman.

Filed under: Deranged Denise — Tags: , , , , , , — denise @ 10:07 pm

Kory brought his camera this time… so, here’s the experience once and for all…

It’s been pouring on the way to the hospital the last 2 Fridays…

Final Destination:

I’m really excited!

The nurses at the Cancer Care Center are the sweetest, kindest, most patient and wonderful people.  Like The Amish, however, they prefer to not be photographed.

I have scored a private room the last two times – they bring me a warm blanket and wrap my arm in one, too.  It’s like a spa, really.  With less massage… and pedicures… and champagne…  and more drugs.

I am still coherent and  feeling ok.  The nurse called me back with a, “Come on, Birthday Girl!”

Kory is showing me all the goodies he’s brought for this outing… salsa and chips, crackers, dark chocolate truffles and Season 3 of The Office…  and the nurse brings me the first round of oral meds that begin the Woozy begin…  she puts my IV in and pushes the steroid that is hopefully going to lessen the hives this time around.  It stings pretty badly so she pushes it slowly and moves it higher up the line and it gets much.  Now we wait for the pharmacy to mix the iron and I fade in and out…

It’s big.  It’s black.  It’s Venofer.

It looks like rootbeer going through the line.  Gross me out the door.

“We” are “watching” The Office while we drip, drip, drip our way to happy red blood cells….

I’m totally out of it.

And then a few hours later — all done.  This one was rougher.  It hurt more.  I have to use heat packs regularly and got some cramps — but if the after effects are lighter, it’s worth it.  Super groggy and just looking forward to going home and going to sleep…

When I got home, I opened some great presents from The Teen (The movie “Juno”) and The Baby (“The Golden Compass and a new coffee travel cup) and Kory (candles and hurricanes/sconces that I loved)… and crawled into bed.

Just to round out the them of the weekend, today we saw:

iron man

My next move: Join the Avengers!

April 28, 2008

Send in the hives

Filed under: Deranged Denise — Tags: , , , , , , — denise @ 10:10 am

This is a hive:

red spot

These are the hives that appeared on my feet, ankles, elbows and knees by Sunday evening:

red polka-dots

These are the hives that appeared on my hands and stomach, as well, by 2am last night:

red polka-dotsred polka-dotsred polka-dotsred polka-dots

These are the pink pills I am taking every 2 hours to offset the horrible itchy hives (evidently, a delayed reaction to the iron infusion):


Consequently, I’m a bit groggy today…

I feel like this:

box head

April 18, 2008

Frank & Lou and the caramel apple with rainbow sprinkles.

Filed under: Deranged Denise — Tags: , , , , — denise @ 2:11 am

A few weeks ago, I discovered a lump in my abdomen.  I don’t know that “discovered” is exactly the right word since I was at least marginally aware of this lump and the fact that it was getting harder to ignore as it grew larger.  Truthfully, I’ve been aware of it on some level for probably 4 months.  The lump grew to size of an apple – I prefer to think of it as a pretty caramel apple with rainbow sprinkles…

Of course, in my mind it was a large horrible cancerous growth.  Like those people in the Enquirer who are like, “I had a 43 pound tumor removed from my face!“, I decided that I had some giant Cancer Ball in me. In fact, probably not even just one – but probably lots of them.  I figured that maybe I was just a big, walking, talking Cancer Ball Machine and I took inventory of my body and all the places that I could potentially be storing another Cancer Ball.   I could definitely be hiding one or more in each boob.  Certainly, a whole fruit bowl of Cancer Balls in my stomach… a few in my knees….  in my active Cancer Ball Machine fantasy, they all talk like those big gross boogers in the Mucinex commercials.

gamblor mucinex 2gamblor mucinex 2

“Hey Lou!  I think she finally noticed me!

“Fuggeddaboutit, Frank! She’s in denial. You catch the Cubs game?”


“Frank.. Frank… easy…  let’s go play some cards. We’ll smoke some stogies and put some porn on and just generally act cancerous.”

“Really, Lou? Ya mean it.”

“You got it, buddy. Anything for a friend.”

Cancer Balls are from Chicago, if you didn’t know.

So, I finally go to the doctor, who expertly pokes the lump and decides to send me to The Surgeon, which was not the most comforting thing in the world, but not unexpected.  Of course, best case scenario for me was that the doctor would go, “Lump? What lump? Lady, you are crazy and need extensive therapy provided daily at a nice resort/spa in the Bahamas.

Instead she said, “It’s a lump.  It could be a mass. It could be scar tissue. It could be a hernia. Go see the surgeon.”

What she didn’t say was, “It will be humanly impossible to get in to see the surgeon for at least 2 weeks, so plan to spend the next 14 days drifting blissfully between denial and terror.”

FINALLY….  yesterday, I had my appointment with the surgeon and he poked it and fondled it and lifted it and made me stand up and sit down and lie down and cough and breath and do a sit up and cough some more and then he gravely asked me to take a seat and I braced myself  (as did, in my mind, Lou and Frank) and he said,

“You have a hernia.”

And I jumped up and licked him all over his face with joy!

Ok.  I didn’t.  But, I was so happy to find out that I didn’t have Cancer Balls at all.  Not even Cubs fans ones.  I had a hernia, which a million-billion people have had and is a totally routine surgery to correct.  Yes, I’ll be out for a while after the surgery – and he doesn’t want to do it for 6 weeks or so to give me time to meet with my hematologist to get the red blood cells and iron all puffed up and happy… and yes, it’ll be tricky figuring out how to not lift The Baby while I’m healing…  but it was really wonderful news.

He gave me a giant comic book of pictures of what hernias look like and how they are fixed.  The pictures look mostly like this:

  but I prefer to still think of it as this:

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