Tag Archives: cancer

My doctor wouldn’t know a brain tumor if it was growing right out of my skull

Luckily I don’t have a lot of time. Because if I did, I would probably spend a good 4-5 days a week at the doctor’s office because God knows that I am a very sick person who just doesn’t have proof of it yet.  My company gave us a week off between Christmas and New Year’s so I seized the opportunity to make an appointment with my doctor.

I told them I wanted to come in so that the doctor would give me something for my skin so that I wouldn’t have zits all the time.  I think it’s a cruel, cruel world when a 35 year old woman has to endure big ass zits on her chin and jaw line all the time even while on the Pill that is supposed to help acne.  I’ve already written about all my major issues around this before, but it bears repeating that my hormones are fucked up and because of it my face is a hot mess.  And I’m SO done with it.  So I’m willing to try whatever it is he can give me to make this all stop. And stop now. And soon.

But between the time that I made that appointment and the time it actually took place, I have had multiple reasons to believe that I have a brain tumor in its earliest form.  Here is the evidence, and you tell me if this doesn’t SCREAM brain tumor:

1) I love Pitbull.

2) I was on a plane and all of a sudden my vision got all blurry and sparkly and I couldn’t read my Kindle because my eyes couldn’t focus right. After about 20 minutes it went away, but isn’t that totally, “WTF?” material?

3) When I exercise (I know! I have begun exercising for the first time since 2002 because I paid mas dinero for a Disney cruise in February and I will be forced to spend significant time in a bathing suit) my left ear feels all stuffed up and it feels like there is water in there. I hear buzzing and beeping in there too.

4) Sometimes I wake up with a headache. It usually goes away after a few minutes, but I’m not a headache type of person even if I did polish off 3 or 4 glasses of wine the night before, so it seems unusual.

5) I have started to spell things wrong. I’m just typing emails and I’ll spell words completely wrong that I would never do otherwise. So I mean, Whoa! That sucker must be getting large  if it is enough to impair my generally impeccable spelling. (Although I will admit I never spell knowlege right – I forget the damn ‘d’ in there all the time.)

So as you can see, when taken all together, those symptoms show irrefutable evidence of a stage IV brain tumor.

I decided that if I actually came out and told the doctor I wanted a brain MRI, he would probably resist me,  so I thought I would give him the incontrovertible evidence of the brain tumor that I have carefully cataloged above and it would be so obvious that the next step was to do a brain MRI just for the physical evidence of the tumor.  You know, people like ideas better when they think it is their idea, so I figured I could easily get him to this conclusion on his own.  I mean, it’s quite obvious to me and I don’t even have medical training.

So the day arrives and I have carefully rehearsed my whole list of symptoms so that the doctor will see the gravity of my current health situation.  This is how it went:

Doctor: So you’re here about your acne?

Love: Yes. Well, originally, I was and we need to discuss that, but I have other concerns now that I think I should talk to you about.

Doctor: Like?

Love: Well, I have begun to work out and when I do jumping jacks, my left ear feels like its all plugged up…

Doctore: Well, let’s have a look-see… *comes at me quickly with that light-up teepee instrument and puts it my ear* Everything looks clear.  Are you having trouble hearing?

Love: Well, sometimes my kids say stuff when we’re in the car and I can’t really hear them over the music I’m singing along to.  I just nod and pretend I do. But I have no idea what they’re saying.  I just hope I’m not agreeing to be a room parent or something scary like that.

Doctor: Hmm. Well, I can give you a referral to an audiologist if you would like. He can give you a hearing test.

Love: Well, there is some other stuff.

Doctor: Like?

Love: Well, I was on a plane the other day and my vision got blurry and when I closed my eyes it was all sparkly instead of black.

Doctor: Hmm. How long did that last?

Love: Like, 15 or 20 minutes. But it made me very uneasy and I couldn’t really read my Kindle during that time, so it was very weird.

Doctor: And have you had anything like that since?

Love: Well, no….but that was two weeks ago. It could happen again any time.

Doctor: Hmm. Well, maybe go see your ophthalmologist about that.

Love: Well, and I’m not spelling as great as I used to.

Doctor: What?

Love: Well, I tried spelling ‘disintegrate’ the other day and I just totally fucked it up.

*doctor’s eyebrow goes up*. FINALLY! He is starting to grasp the gravity of the situation.

Doctor: You feel you aren’t spelling well?

Love: Yes. That is exactly what I’m saying.

Doctor: Hmm.  So about this acne? Your face looks a little dry. But I can see some of the cysts.

Love: I’m sure I’m hormonally imbalanced. I don’t want to be on the Pill but if I get off of it my face will erupt in the angriest *air quotes* cysts *end air quotes* you’ve ever seen.  It is crappy.

Doctor: Well, sometimes that happens. Nothing topical can really help the hormone induced acne, but I could give you some topical antibiotics and a referral to a dermatologist.

(Does this fuck know anything? He has mentioned every kind of specialist except the one I need, which is the McDreamy neurosurgeon.  I’m starting to lose patience).

Love: Okay, but maybe we should do blood tests or — I don’t know — maybe some sort of procedure just to be safe about what might be happening.

Doctor: Hmm. *he types furiously on his computer* So I’m going to write you a script for the antibiotics and some Flonase for the ear thing.  I’ll also give you the number for an audiologist, dermatologist, gynecologist for the hormones and I’m sure you have an ophthalmologist?

Love: Well, don’t all of these things I’m telling you…you know, when taken together…suggest something? I mean, I’m no doctor but they all seem like maybe something in my brain could be wrong?

*Doctor chuckles condescendingly*

Doctor: I don’t think what you’ve told me suggests that at all.  Your ear is plugged, you have acne, once your vision was blurry and sometimes you spell a word wrong.

Love: *desperation is setting in* WAIT! I forgot to tell you I have headaches some mornings. And I never have headaches.

Doctor: Some mornings? How often? How long do they last?

Love: I don’t know. Maybe three times a week? They last about 10 minutes.

Doctor: What is your pain level and where is the pain?

Love: Well, its kind of hurty. And its in my head, like I said.

Doctor: Do you take Advil for it?

Love: No, because it usually goes away before I have time to take one.

Doctor: Hmm. My nurse will be in to give you your scripts.  See those specialists and we’ll work through these issues.  Have a great New Year!

Love: Wait! But wait! I mean, you don’t seem concerned that I may have a…..a…..BRAIN TUMOR.  (It was time to spell it out for this ass clown.)

*doctor LOLs and backs away toward the door*

Doctor: You’re funny. Have a nice day.  See you in six months? Hope the antibiotics work on the acne…

Love: (mutters under my breath) Dude, I may not be alive in six months. Thanks for nothing.

Maybe I should’ve told him about Pitbull too. Maybe that is where this all went wrong but I just couldn’t trust that he would understand the significance of that data.

So here I am. MRI-less. With a brain tumor (probably) and all I can do is write this blog and then when my brain collapses in a couple of months I’ll have this entry to show everyone “I told you so!”. But then I’ll die and I won’t really have time to tell my doctor about how terrible he is for missing such obvious signs.  I bet if Oprah was his patient he wouldn’t have taken this so lightly.

But I do have a Plan B.  I’m going back to my psychic in February and although it is her policy not to tell you that you have cancer if you do, I think I can get it out of her if the dead people are corroborating my suspicions.  Dead ancestors don’t lie.

And by the way, my zits are still here and my ear is still plugged. So much for modern medicine.

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Tater tots nearly killed my family – don’t let them kill yours

Seriously – my husband, my children, my dog and I narrowly escaped death two days ago, and all because I was trying to cook up some nutrient-rich vegetables, namely tater tots,  for my children. But actually that is only the middle part of the story, so let me try to rehash what happened with my remaining brain cells which have not been altered forever by this unfortunate mishap.

Okay, so we’re planning to paint the kitchen this weekend, and by “we”, I mean BD.  BD is very methodical person, so he has been readying the kitchen walls by fixing any holes and spackling and sanding and cleaning and other stuff to get ready for the big painting day. But BD is incapable of doing anything without first removing all items from a room before he begins his work.  He and I could not be more different on this point. I say, leave everything as it is and throw a tarp over it and do whatever you have to do.  He says, take out EVERYTHING in the damn kitchen, including shelves, rugs, the 800 random papers magneted to the refrigerator, and anything necessary to cook anything.  He gets his way since he is doing all the work.  We’ve been married long enough that I no longer ridicule his methods, because at the end of the day everything gets done just so and he does a good job. Oh, and because it gets me nowhere.

While it’s a pain in the ass to have all the kitchen clutter now cluttering the dining room,  I was secretly overjoyed he didn’t remove the microwave. Seriously, it made my day. I’m not sure why that appliance was spared, but THANK GOD. But now he’ll probably read this and be like, “Why didn’t I remove the microwave?! Perhaps I should”. And then I’m S.O.L. But actually I’m pretty confident I’m safe because he has a reason for everything so I’m sure that he weighed the pros and cons carefully and there must be some reason it remains. Maybe because 50% of his diet consists of Hot Pockets and he might starve to death without the microwave.  I digress.

Okay, so my kitchen has been all fucked up for the week, which I’m actually pretty okay with because then I have so many more excuses to just order in.  I loathe cooking, so it’s working out really well for me.  But Wednesday I felt guilty because I hadn’t made anything in a while, so I wanted to do something really fancy.  So out came the frozen chicken nuggets and nutritious tater tots.  The nuggets are supposed to be cooked at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  The tater tots, on the other hand, require a temperature of 450 and must cook for 16-18 minutes.  I’m not trying to brag or anything, but it takes a very experienced cook to bake both of these foodstuffs on the same cookie sheet in a single oven at the same time and have them turn out awesome, like I can.  So it was a really fancy dinner, like I said.

Okay, so I decide to preheat the oven to 425, the average of the nuggets and tater tot recommended heating temperatures.  Oh SNAP! See, how that just happened? Now I’m giving you all of my closely guarded culinary secrets. And this isn’t even a foodie blog, but look at all the super tips you can learn!  But seriously, this isn’t for the novice. It may take you a few tries to get it just right. Just be careful.  Because you might wind up killing your whole family, as I almost did.

So when I turned on the oven it wasn’t but 20 seconds or so when I smelled something a little funny. I couldn’t really figure out what it was, but I know that BD put a new drywall patch in behind the stove, so I thought maybe it was kind of heating up for the first time and giving off an odor.  Instead of checking out my hypothesis, I just shrugged my shoulders and took my place on the couch to watch the Polar Express with my kids for the 573rd time since December 15.  Looking back on this, I don’t think just shrugging my shoulders was the appropriate response.  However, I cannot change the past, so…my bad.

Okay, so then about 10 minutes go by and my dog starts running around in circles and kind of being annoying and just as I begin to chastise her for this weird behavior, two alarms go off.  One is the oven alerting me that the oven is preheated.  The other is the carbon monoxide/fire detector.  My first thought is:  “We have a fire detector in the kitchen? That’s awesome. How safe are we? I must give BD a fist bang for his thoroughness”. Yes, though all objects used to cook or serve food with were missing from the kitchen, he did not remove the fire detector.

I quickly snapped out of the blissful mood caused by this discovery because the fire detector going off isn’t usually a sign of good things.  I run into the kitchen and there is a weird fog in there and it smells pretty gnarly.  I hadn’t even put the damn food in yet, so what could be causing this craziness?  I throw open the oven and – Holy. Shit.

You know those plastic tub things with a matching pitcher to put beverages in that they give you at the hospital? I don’t know if we’re the only ones who took ours home after each of the boys was born, but they make really good vomit bins (I’m pretty sure that is their sole purpose in the hospital?) or soaking tubs for other stuff. Well, one we use for the first purpose, the other one we use for pre-soaking our dishes.  Apparently it must have been in BD’s way, because he decided a good place to put it would be the oven.  Not the dining room with the rest of the shit. In the oven, on the top rack.

And now. Now it was melting all over the racks and dripping plastic into the bottom of the oven.  “HOLY SHIT!” I screamed, not only for the sight in the oven, but from the toxic cloud that came out of it when I opened the door.  BD ran in at that moment and he too exclaimed “HOLY SHIT” (though it would have been more original of him to drop an F-bomb. Just saying.) and it quickly became clear his mission was to save our oven from being ruined with melted yellow plastic all over the bottom.

Okay, so to recap, I try to make tater tots but in the process I cook a 13″ by 9″ by 5″ plastic bin at 425 degrees instead. And then my kitchen kind of resembled what I can only guess Chernobyl looked like minutes before it spewed radioactive waste all over Russia. The smell!! Oh my God. My eyes were watering and my throat became raspy.  Luckily, even a fire alarm and two swearing parents did not seem like a good enough reason for my sons to avert their eyes from The Polar Express and they didn’t come running in to inhale the nastiness that used to be the oxygen in my home.

BD immediately got down on his hands and knees and started scraping the oven while the plastic was still hot.  I stood there swearing and repeating several times that I didn’t think this was good. Nope. Not good at all.  I managed to open all the doors and windows to let the snow and 23 degree air in to ventilate the house.  Then I did the most important thing of all – I Googled “burned plastic fumes danger” to see if I might get a hit or two.  I read the first few things that came up and everyone was pretty much in agreement that either cyanide or deadly dioxins or carbon monoxide was being released into the air and that me and my family were about to die.  If not immediately from asphyxiation, then later from cancer.

Fuck. So then I told BD that we had to evacuate the kids and the dog and ourselves. “You go! I’ll stay! Save yourself. Get the kids!” He yelled, valiantly.  He’d be damned if he’s going to leave and let that plastic harden on the bottom of the oven.  “No seriously, YOU are getting cancer right now!  You may already have it. The Internet said.” That didn’t move him. “You are about to die of carbon monoxide poisoning! By the time you feel it, it will be too late. We’re all going to die if we don’t leave soon!” That is about the time when he decided to finally abandon the oven, but it was more because he had already pretty much cleaned the whole thing up — it just happened to coincide with my promise that we were all about to die.  After we pried the children away from the TV and quickly put on their boots, coats, mittens and hats (so like, 20 minutes later) and were sheparding them out of the house, I had a great idea for dinner.

Oooh! It’s free pie Wednesday at Baker’s Square! “Honey, can you go back in there and get our gift certificate? We should just bring the kids there for dinner and by the time we come home, maybe the carcinogens will have left our home and traveled into the atmosphere and then we won’t have to worry about them any more!”  He went back in the cancer fog and got it. And we went to Baker’s Square and got our free pie. And thankfully, nobody died. But we probably will all have cancer in a few weeks. I’ll let you know, but I am being responsible and taking out more life insurance on BD stat.

When we got home, it still smelled terrible, but the chemical smoke/fog was no longer there. I think most of the dangerous chemicals probably just adhered to most of the surfaces in the kitchen and were no longer in the air anymore, so I figured we were safe.  Except there on the counter were the lonely, forgotten tater tots. On the cookie sheet, looking forlorn, just waiting to be cooked.  And I thought to myself: “I could save these, right? Just put them back in the bag and freeze them up? I’d hate to waste nutritious vegetables…”, but then I remembered they almost just killed my whole family.  And there were more in the freezer. So I threw them away. But not without some regret.

This is the part where I try to be positive

I promised myself that my blog wouldn’t be a cesspool of all of my sarcasm and judginess. Hence, this blog is not called Hate Mail To Self.

My issue is that I’m one of these people who is all about trying to find true meaning in life.  So I read self-help books.  Yes. I am a junkie. I like the books that are all about the Law of Attraction and a bunch of other Laws they make up. But these books are all about positive thinking and attracting what you want and all this stuff. I get all lathered up about it when I’m reading thinking ,”I will never have a bad thought again! Oh crap! I said “bad thought” when I really need to say “I will never not have a positive thought”” because you know, the Universe in its infinite wisdom will bring you whatever you think about, but it doesn’t understand the word “not”.  Thats kind of weird. Because my two year old understands “not”, but the Universe doesn’t.   So if I keep thinking “I SO do not want wine right now”, I will only attract wine.  I SO do not want a glass of wine right now.  Ah, I think I’ll let it breathe for a few minutes.

The other books I read are all about being “present”.  Of course I had to read “A New Earth” because Oprah said to and that book was all about just don’t think anything really except about whether you can hear birds singing in the trees and focus on that.  So I’m not sure whether I”m supposed to think all these good thoughts to attract good things or if I’m supposed to think about nothing so I can just live in the moment. But I’m sorry, most moments in my life are pretty damn boring — they aren’t really moments I want to live in. Not that I don’t want to live in them! Either way, I’m attracting “life” right now – do you see?

The Law of Attraction people have all these caveats. They tell you that everything in your life is directly brought to you because of your thoughts, so then naturally people are like, “I’ve been thinking about making as much money as God FOREVER, and I’m not rich”. And then these guys say, “Well, you really have to believe it”.  And then you’re like “I BELIEVE it!” and they’re like “No you don’t. If you did you’d be rich. Like me.” Hm.  Oh, and then there is the whole sickness argument. They say that if you get sick, if you get cancer, you actually attracted it to yourself. I thought if you smoked 2 packs a day or went tanning everyday that you attracted cancer.

But I can’t help but be the skeptic when they say stuff like when kids get cancer, it means their parents attracted it through their thoughts. Umm…that is crazy talk.  I had cancer as a kid and I’m pretty sure my parents didn’t do it. But you know, I was young, so maybe they did and I just don’t remember.  I sure hope they aren’t attracting cancer to me now. I really don’t have the time or the patience to kick its ass again. Besides,  I have to save my energy for wading through bogus jobs on TheLadders.

Crap. Maybe just by saying that I’ve now attracted cancer to my kids. I’m the meanest mom ever.  I think this glass of wine has done enough breathing.  If you’ll excuse me…I have to start my healthy heart wellness program with my glass of shiraz.