Thursday, October 30, 2008

Early Christmas shopping

Hey....since Halloween is tomorrow you may as well start Christmas shopping. I went to buy the little spooks their treats for tomorrow night and the store was loaded with freaking wreaths, bows, wrapping paper and all the crap that goes along with the commercialization of Christmas. SO, I am offering you one hell of a deal.
A friend of mine gave me 24 (a case) of these mini purse/cell phone holders that she had left from a fundraiser event. They were given as door prizes and they had less people than expected. She didn't want to be bothered with selling them and since they were donated, the company didn't want them back.
If you are looking for a very soft leather cell phone case, black with white stitching and a silver buckle (the photos are just so-so ) let me know. I am selling them for her for $3.50 a pop with $1.50 for shipping. I have my phone in one (I have an Instinct) and it is great. The strap has a snap on the one side so you can loop it through a purse handle etc then re-snap it. (She said they retail at about $20 a piece). The measurement is approx. 6"by 2 1/2" by 1".
If you don't have a cell phone, this would also be a great gift for a little girl or a woman that just wants a little bag for lipstick and a license. Maybe even a teacher gift (by the way teachers are sick of anything with an apple theme). This would also be a great stocking stuffer for someone who has everything else.
If you want the whole load you can have all 24 for $80.00 and FREE SHIPPING :)
C'mon, you KNOW you want one :) Send me an email at and I will give you the paypal link and get yours off to you and help you check one gift off your list.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm Here....on the roof

Contemplating jumping but with the way things have been going I would survive but need every imaginable, non insurance covered test ever known to man. And it would hurt. We saw uber super doc last week and really came away with more questions than answers. He was a very academic type, really no personality to speak of, you could actually see his little wheels turning in his head, he never really answered a question but drifted off to other things that created more questions. When we left there for our 2 1/2 hour drive home BigD and I were so numb and confused along with disappointed that we barely spoke. It has taken me a few days of thinking to decide if I want to go back there. This physician is EXTREMELY well regarded in the medical world, it was a minor coup to be led into his kingdom after only waiting 2 weeks, (one of which he was circling the globe spreading his knowledge with lesser doctor beings). He has an air of superiority that I could have done without, he never sat for a second rather choosing to dominate his space lording over us mortals, while wearing a rather dapper $1000+ suit, probably hand made on his last trip, and gave off the definite vibe that we were lucky to be there. Maybe we were, but maybe we weren't. He spared no time in telling us that for the most part he felt that the CT, CT guided lung biopsy, and subsequent PET scan were all done in facilities that don't have the state of the art equipment that they have at his university. Ok, they probably are not the latest and greatest but they serve many many people and I would imagine meet whatever state requirement they need to meet. He went on to tell us that while the pathology report was negative for cancer, and the PET didn't light up like a Christmas tree, that it is still possible that BigD has the BigC. He wants to repeat the PET in HIS department to see if it differs from the PET done here at home. He is thinking that if this should show a change in mass size, (ie:smaller than original then it could be infection, or a couple of other things instead of a 4 cm solid mass) MY thinking is that two different machines with two different radiologists would quite possibly come up with different opinions and we still wouldn't know for sure if it was changing in size. He actually seemed upset that he was (as he put it) "perplexed that none of these indicators seemed to represent a definite cancer" as his thinking is that is still might be. He said he had no idea if the mass was related to the asbestos plaques that are scattered about BigD's lungs but that if in fact the mass didn't decrease in size, the mass needed to come out. He said NO physician would ever leave a 4 cm mass inside someones lung. As a side note this mass is also pressing on or possibly attached to BigD's diaphragm (I had one of those once, I kept it in the nightstand.) So I have no idea if we are talking about two different surgeries or one, or what the ramifications of this are since he was too distracted to answer my question. He also said this HAD to be done within 2 weeks because waiting any longer was not an option. The original PET was in the neighborhood of $6000 and insurance will not cover a second one..and only partly covered the first,,I still can't get an answer from uber super doc about why they can't just peek in there (they have scopes for this type of thing doc..)and see what they are dealing with. I understand that docs are comfortable with their own cronies interpretation of results and all of that, I really do understand as I am one of those people that would rather do something myself to be sure it is done right but at $6000 a pop is it really necessary? So, people talk me down from the roof. I really want your opinions. If any of you are doctor type people, feel free to leave a medical advice because I know that is not allowed, I know, but feel free to even leave it anonymously. As of right now, my thought is to find another uber super doc, closer to home (we are located closer to Cleveland than Pittsburgh) and start all over again. Crap. (as if this wasn't enough, S1 called this morning and told me that he has been keeping from me the fact that he has been hearing voices and becoming more depressed again and wants to restart his medications that he was weaned from a couple of mos ago. I love this kid more than life itself and it breaks my heart that he has to suffer AT ALL and then not want to burden me with it. He actually said "don't get all mom like and worry, I am fine, but it would be better if I straightened this out". Will this kid ever have any idea how much I love him?!) On second thought I might sit up on this roof for least till the wind and DAMN cold rain/snow mix makes me crazier!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


We got back from Pittsburgh about 2 hours ago and I was going to post all about it but it is going to wait till I need a little breather of silliness. Deathstar is forcing me to think tonight so here goes: 1. Where is your cell phone? On my desk 2. Where is your significant other? Asleep on the oversized chair "watching" tv 3. Your hair color? Currently auburn 4. Your mother? Died when I was 33 5. Your father? Died on my 27th birthday-I barely knew him 6. Your favorite thing? Reading blogs 7. Your dream last night? I was in a garden area that was surrounded by a large home and I was frightened or at least uneasy about being there. 8. Your dream/goal? To be out of debt and pay for my kids entire college education so they can start out in life without debt.. 9. The room you’re in? My office 10. Your hobby? Reading, some tv, knitting 11. Your fear? Dying before I am ready and I don't think I will ever be ready. 12. Where do you want to be in six years? S3 will be in college by then so maybe have the house sold and live in a place near water 13. Where were you last night? Getting my nails done-french and it only cost 10 bucks! 14. What you’re not? At ease with our financial situation, I worry all the time. 15. One of your wish list items? An apple laptop (which I won't have because of #14) 16. Where you grew up? New York and Pennsylvania 17. The last thing you did? Ate lasagna that my kind SIL sent over because she knew I would be too tired to cook tonight 18. What are you wearing? Sweat pants, tshirt, zip hoodie and fuzzy sox. (yeah, the hot chick look;) 19. Your T.V.? always on for the dogs when I am at work-go ahead laugh at me, I don't care. 20. Your pet? Two dogs and one cat, all male. 21. Your computer? My lifeline! 22. Your mood? Confused about our visit to Pittsburgh doc that I will post about tomorrow..tonight I need to do something frivolous like a list all about ME :) 23. Missing someone? Always missing my mom. We grew to be very good friends once I realized how wonderful she was when I was about 23. 24. Your car? Small suv-I thought about selling it and getting small car but I really don't drive that far so it wouldn't make sense to change at this point. 25. Something you’re not wearing? any underwear--woohoo 26. Favorite store? Ebay or etsy 27. Your Summer? Over and it makes me sad. 28. Love someone? Yes, all my guys 4 human and 3 animal. 29. Your favorite color? Blue, peach or pink (none of which are in my house strangely enough) 30. Last time you laughed? a really good laugh a couple of weeks ago... the kind where you laugh so hard you cry. 31. Last time you cried? The day that the doc called and told me that BigD had a mass in his lung. Ok..I know most people don't like being tagged so I won't specify who I want to do it. Actually I would like all of you to because it is fun reading tidbits about people we don't really know and deciding if we would like to know them :) TAG you're it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

slow night??

then click on over to this blog and read some sassy writing from a very bright woman in her "senior" years....I want to be like her when I grow up. No news on the medical front...Tuesday is the PET scan, Thursday is the thoracic specialist. As each day goes by we have more questions than answers. I am planning on not worrying this weekend. I am reading a good book, have about 4 hours of actual work to do, a disgusting laundry room to gut, and would rather do all of those things than sit and worry about the "what if's". Oh, and I might shoot Helen off an email....I think we could be friends :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Last night BigD and I argued after the debate. We are both pretty convinced that each others candidate would be a rotten choice. We are coming at it from different angles. I am VERY concerned about health care especially in light of BigD's new found lung cooties. If he has disease X,Y,Z and for some reason would have to retire (he needs to be able to wrestle with scumbags and it is kinda hard to do when you can't breathe worth a shit) we are screwed when it comes to health care. He will have that ominous "pre-existing condition" that no insurance company will touch. So my candidate HAS to have the balls to really effect a change in this country. He needs to be smooth, intelligent, CALM (no finger on the nuke button), and not have a "hey ya'll" winky running mate. Oh and before you worry that BigD and I went to bed mad, he ended the conversation with "hey, you can't argue with me, I might have cancer". SO, I guess from now on he will have to be right about everything :) at least in his little mind.

Monday, October 13, 2008


That is what the biopsy was according to the LG that I talked to an hour ago. But, before you jump up and down, he followed that up with "I'm nut shur eef de neele spiriation was well pleeced" so we need to follow up with a PET scan. Apparently cancer lights up if given sugar (shit, I do that too) so that is the next step. And yes, the LG is from another country, and yes, that IS what he said. Translated into English I believe he said~~ "I am not sure if the needle aspiration was well placed" BigD will have the PET and then follow up with the surgeon and maybe get whatever it is chopped out. I am supposed to be very relieved, why aren't I? I spent the whole weekend reassuring BigD that all was fine, that we would conquer whatever came down the pike, blah, blah, blah and believe me I was VERY convincing. He said talking to me made him feel so much better yet most of the time I felt like I was lying through my teeth. My mind kept drifting to thoughts of the boys. I don't want them to be without a father. Even though they come to me with most of their personal questions/advice seeking etc, they know that BigD is there if they need him and I don't want that to change. So we got "good" news but not the whole story so on we go. Thank you all so much for all your wonderfully kind words. It sounds nuts but it really made me feel less alone. I had to finally break down and tell BigD that I had a blog. He had absolutely no idea what that was. I told him it was like when his mother had a pen pal, except I have more than one and they live all over the world. When I told him how many wonderful well wishes had come our way, he didn't really get it and doesn't understand how I can call some of you friends when we haven't physically met. I tried to tell him we don't have to sit down and drink beer together to bond....he got it, sort of. Feelings are hard to explain sometimes and sometimes they are better left as feelings rather than put into words. Thanks.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Ok, today I started bargaining with God. I don't usually do this. I was raised a Catholic and now refer to myself as being in recovery. To be completely honest when I hear people talk about their unwavering faith I either think how wonderful it is, or I think they are a kook. I understand that faith is just You can't see it, touch it, smell it, taste it, but for many people it is as real as any of those things you can actually sense. I wish I had that. BigD does, his parents were very faithful. My family, well we are a bunch of degenerates. At least I don't usually tell God (and yes, we are on speaking terms, I thank him daily for my wonderful family and minimal problems compared to most people), I don't tell him that "ok, if you do this for me, I will promise to be nicer to people, etc". I am already too nice to a lot of people. I don't barter with higher powers, but if today for example, He would like to whip up one of his amazing miracles, that would be just super duper with me. We will probably get the path report back today. Yesterdays biopsy went well. The radiologist was hot so that helped (well it helped me, not so sure it helped BigD) and was very precise in his needle aspiration (he claimed he was 100% sure he was at the proper site) and was very comforting after. He was honest in telling us that most growths like this are typically cancer but that doesn't mean it can't be treated. Unless of course it is mesothelioma which is not treatable...i am whispering because i don't want to say it out loud... Even through all the weirdness of these events, there was a bright spot in the day. His name is Jimmy and he just had a stroke. He was BigD's roomie for the day. Jimmy was mostly aphasic (which means he was unable to talk) but the one thing he managed to blurt out repeatedly and LOUDLY was "goddamn nut". The fact that some of his timing was right during a conversation that we were having, brought us to near hysterical laughter. At one point the nurse came in to check a BP and she scolded BigD for laughing so hard after just having had his lung pierced by a large hollow needle. The one that really brought us down was when a commercial for Ob.ama came on and Jimmy loudly called out "goddamn nut" and BigD whispered through the curtain, "I think so too". Since I am voting for O.bama I wanted to hit both of them but I restrained myself. Thankfully Jimmy brought some laughter into an otherwise dismal day. Now, about that miracle...........

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Gimme a sign

Tom the tumor is having a hollow needle rammed into his head on Thursday 10-9 at 9 am. Ironically that day would be my mothers 90th birthday if she were alive. She looooovvvved BigD. She thought he was funny and naughty. My mom liked naughty and loved a good filthy joke at the same time she was pretending to be horrified. Sign? Also yesterday BigD got some crackers out of the vending machine at work. They were tasty so he went back for another package and blinked twice..the number was B9. Sign? Are the moon and the sign in the right spots? Sign? I am grasping at straws here folks. I spent the morning on the phone doing other peoples jobs. Scheduling things that should have been scheduled last week, arranging for the CT to be burned onto a CD, faxing reports etc. I got a referral to a "famous" thoracic surgeon in the next state and even talked to the insurance people and got the go ahead to see him. This appointment was in no small part due to the fact that my BIL is a VIP with VVIP friends. I can't give details because those of you that are up on your worldwide companies may be able to figure out who, what, when, where etc and I am not up to going public. For most people though, you would never have heard of BIL so it really doesn't matter so don't even bother trying to figure it out, he is a VIP but not THAT VIP. So, if you are just hanging out, cleaning your belly button lint on Thursday morning, give a nod to whoever you nod to and wish for BigD a simple Tom rather than a complex Tom.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Update on Tom

When I got to work this morning I called the LG (lung guy, remember?) and told them to dial me at extension 1234 today as I was in the medical center next door, to tell me what time the biopsy would be scheduled. I figured if they called home and I wasn't here to get the call we could possibly miss the appointment. The front desk girl, the one with the nose and eyebrow piercings said "oh, ok" and we hung up. They didn't call before lunch so for sure they would call not long after. 3 o'clock came and went and still no call. Then 4, then 4:30. I would never dream of keeping a patient waiting and worrying like that but then again, I don't work for them, miss piercings does so they may be a little more laid back than I am used to. I left work at 4:45 and decided to go to the south medical building, I work in the north, and see if miss piercings had done her job. When I got there, and very politely asked if she had had a chance to set up the biopsy, she told me she didn't know how to do that. HUH?! Well right before I was about to fly over the desk and rip out her brow ring, the doctor walks out of an exam room and I made eye contact with him. He remembered me and muttered something about how he tried on Friday to call the radiologist but never got through (yeah, right and I bet you have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell me too buddy). I politely said that I would be happy to wait if he wanted to get it set up RIGHT NOW (I wanted to add "you stupid asshole, don't you know we are scared out of our minds that BigD has a malignant Tom in his lung"?) I gotta give him credit, he picked up the phone, dialed radiology and talked to Dr. Xray. The only thing was that he held the phone away from his ear so I could hear both ends of the conversation. I heard some things that I wish I hadn't heard. LG: Pull up the CT on BigD and tell me what you think. DrX: It looks like a probable malignancy. LG: That's what I thought too. DrX: You should probably do a bronchoscopy and biopsy. LG: But because of the plaques, I would be doing a "blind biopsy" and wouldn't be sure if I had tissue from the mass. Could you do a needle aspiration? DrX: Can the patient lie on his stomach? LG: Yes. Do you think you could aspirate that way? DrX: I think I could get to it that way with CT guidance. LG: Ok, we will fax over the order and you can call the patient and schedule. Oh my god. I am so glad I am not allowed to be in the room. I can feel the waves of nausea coming over me just thinking about my husband laying on his stomach while they pierce his lung from behind to take a chunk of Tom out for pathology. So, while I was hoping that this would be scheduled for tomorrow, chances are it will be later in the week. This is all so surreal. Two weeks ago we didn't have ANY of this knowledge and now it is all I can think about. There are so many what ifs. My biggest fear is that Tom is related to the asbestos. I can handle it if we need to get rid of Tom and a portion of his home. We can deal with chemo, hair loss, puking etc. I can't deal with the thought of losing my husband. Hell, it has taken me 27 years to get him just the way I want him.

Friday, October 03, 2008

His name is Tom

With the roller coaster of feelings this past week at one point we found humor. BigD is known for his bizarre humor, some would actually call it sick. I think it comes from so many years working in law enforcement and seeing unspeakable things. Sometimes you need humor to offset the sadness. and fear. Tonight BigD told me he has named the tumor. He is calling it Tom the tumor. Sounded out phonetically he is actually calling it Tomass a combo of Tom and mass. Clever guy that BigD. We saw the lung specialist yesterday and he wasn't able to bring up the CT scan on the computer because of the new change over to digital that just HAD to happen this week in the radiology dept. So, we left his office with really no more information than we had going in. We left at 3 and he was going to go to the hospital to look at the CT himself and discuss it with the radiologist. We didn't hear back from him so we split a bottle of x.anax and went to bed. I managed to wait till 11 this morning to make the call to his office and they told me he wouldn't be in till 1 so we waited a bit more. Finally at 3 the lung guy (who will from now on be known as LG) called. He discussed the scan with the radiologist, viewing it together, and the game plan they both feel is best is a needle aspiration followed by a PET scan if the aspiration doesn't tell them what they want to know. He told me that the lesion is at the base of the lung (which I knew since I have a copy of the report)and it is 4 centimeters. In the tumor world that is considered small. I don't know, I guess it is small for a tumor but a great size for say, a diamond. He said it is better to have a 4 cm lesion at the base of the lung than a 1 cm lesion in the middle. Whew, thank goodness for location analysis, I feel MUCH better now. not. We know that BigD has the asbestos screwing up the top of his lungs and my biggest fear is that this tumor is related to that. If it is, it is fatal. Now it is 8:30 on Friday night. This whole bad dream started two weeks ago. As of right now, we don't have a date or time for any of the upcoming tests/procedures so we get to spend another weekend thinking about the "what if's". When we were lying in bed last night we covered about every topic imaginable and if nothing else this whole event has been a rude awakening about how ill prepared we are if something happens to one of us. We did wills 25 years ago, before kids, before anything. That needs to be updated along with living wills, power of attorney etc. One of the 12 forms we had to fill out at the LG office was about all that....we just looked at each other and simultaneously said 'shit". Both SIL's (even the evil one!) came over today and brought ham, fattening potatoes, seven layer salad, brownies, coffee cake etc....if nothing else I won't be losing weight through this whole ordeal. We didn't plan on saying anything to the boys until we knew something concrete but since S1 came home from college today for a doctors appt for a sinus infection, he was here when I was talking to LG about BigD so I had to put on a positive spin and tell him that it was probably no big deal and then because he knew, I had to tell the other two so they wouldn't think I was hiding anything from them. I am hiding something though....I am hiding how worried I am. Being the child of a horrid alcoholic I learned very early on to hide my emotions so I can internalize my fears and they don't show to the outside world. Of course it reeks havoc on my system and the stress comes out in other ways but at least I feel confident that nobody else is affected by my fears. I am so tired and feeling very impatient.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The beginning of something but I don't know what

Well the CT was Monday. This morning the doc called to tell me that he didn't have good news for me. The scan read similar to the xray in the indication of pleural plaques because of asbestos exposure but the kick in the gut was the following sentence: "4 cm right lower lobe parenchymal mass worrisome for malignancy". Shit. Through a few connections I was able to get him an appointment with a pulmonologist this afternoon (they first offered an appointment 8 days from now--sorry but you just can't expect normal intelligent people to sit and worry for a week--you know all about the squeaky wheel...I can squeak with the best of them) This blog may end up being my venting spot. I have no idea where we are headed but knowing me I will have to vent somewhere and this will probably be it. So, if any of you want a blog that is constantly full of perfume and roses, this probably isn't the one for you. We see the pulmonary guy at 2 today....keep a good thought.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

waiting is a pain

in the ass. BigD had the CT on Monday morning and it is now Wed night and we still don't have the report. The hospital decided that this week would be a perfect time to implement a brand new system in the radiology dept and now things are all backlogged. Believe me, I have tried all of my connections. The doc even went online to see if he could snag a report and it has been dictated but not transcribed. In the meantime, BigD isn't sleeping, is having bouts of tears (he NEVER cries) and is a complete wreck. If we don't get a report by tomorrow around lunch time, I may have to go visit the radiologist and tell him HE will have to come to my house tomorrow night to console my big man. As for the NYC photos...for some reason my laptop is not working and all my photos are in there. I put in a call for my tech support (and threatened to withhold my next monetary transfer into his account for his beer money---uh, I mean lunch money so he should call soon;)