Moira’s Cancer According To Seinfeld

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January 26, 2009: MORTY: “All right, all right, Let’s go already. They keep you in here a year. They don’t give a damn. I could die in here. . . . Excuse me! Excuse me! What’s going on? I’m here twenty minutes. Could somebody please help me?”

40265701denn_20020320_00353.jpgToday. My last chemo. It’s at a new location, connected with Memorial Hospital, since for some reason my new insurance doesn’t cover it being done at my oncologist’s office. This place is larger, one big room with about 7 treatment chairs. You can bring a friend here—at Oncol, the rooms are too small for that. The nurse is nice; very chatty but professional as she swoops around to each patient. We talk about my treatment, and IVs, chemicals, administration. I’m surprised at how knowledgeable I am about this stuff—a year ago; I only set foot in a doctor’s office for an annual exam and nothing more.

 

I was a little depressed last night. I picked up my anti-nausea meds, which solidified the fact that I would be ill. I have been feeling so strong that I just am bummed that I have to be sick again. But I am so, so very happy to know that this is the last one for this treatment. I am telling myself, in 5 days, you will be on the mend.

 

How odd it is, to sit here amongst this bank of strangers, all sitting next to humming machines that pump poison into their systems, and know that we all have this connection? God I hate this shit. Already I can feel the subtle onset of the chemicals. My mouth is dry (we are supposed to drink quarts of water the first day to flush out as much of the toxins as we can). As David Puddy says, it’s gonna be rough…

January 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

January 25, 2009: KRAMER: “Oh, I’ll take a vet over an M.D. any day. They gotta be able to cure a lizard, a chicken, a pig, a frog–all on the same day.”

Since the last treatment, I had an appointment with oncologist Janet Reno. You know, she is much more affable and light-hearted each time I see her. Maybe she has decided that she actually likes me—or maybe she’s happy that our time together is half over. At any rate, she gave me a few smiles during the course of our visit. She had the results of my mammogram and ultrasound which were done on New Years Eve. It was kind of interesting waiting with the other gals who were having theirs done, because for me, there is no worry. The rest of the women who are sitting in the “holding tank”—the area where they put the patients to sit in their cloth gowns, trying to keep the gown’s front from flapping open, as they wait anxiously for their turn. I was talking to a nice lesbian lady, and she was a little tense. She asked me why I wasn’t. I told her, I could relax; after all, it’s not like I don’t know already that the lump in my boob is malignant.

 

Janet Reno said that the results confirmed what she already knew—the tumor was shrinking, but nothing to write home about. It had gotten slightly smaller, but even with the new chemo, was not significant. A lumpectomy is out of the question. But I knew that. And I’m totally ok with that, too. At this point, I want it over and done with. I did ask if she thought I’d be a candidate for a skin-sparing mastectomy, which is awesome for reconstruction. She said she didn’t know but she did think I’d be good for immediate, rather than delayed reconstruction. I’m hoping for that; meanwhile I have my first official appointment with the City of Hope surgeon on Feb 2. I’m so happy that it’s scheduled and I will be officially her patient rather than the Lopper’s. Reno said that we would just finish with our sixth cycle of chemo, and then go to surgery. Sounds good to me. I will begin cutting out photos of good boobies to show my new doctor.

 

I have slowly returned to my workout routine. My weight training has improved a bit and I’m even getting a little more stamina. That will change with the next chemo, but it’s great to know that the muscle memory is there—that once I have surgery, I can work up to where I was before. Ty thinks it’s really important to prepare for the surgery as well, so that I can weather the after effects easier. So as soon as I am feeling up to it, we’re going to train as much as we can. But first have to get the last cycle done. Yuk.

January 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January 23, 2009: ELAINE: “Oh, it’s coming in already! Wow, you have some very nice little seedlings here.”

I have small bits of downy fur on my head. I don’t think they are my real hair growing in; it seems more like baby hair, which will probably fall out and be replaced with the permanent hair. My eyebrows and eyelashes fell out, but already the eyebrows have made a comeback. Not surprising, since we Armenians don’t lack for body hair. When I was in college I was in a car accident where I pushed out a windshield with my forehead. I was told that because of the amount of glass I had in my head, I would need my eyebrow tattooed on. The damn thing started growing in before the stitches came out.

January 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January 19, 2009: Kramer: “You’re a rabid anti-dentite! Oh, it starts with a few jokes and some slurs. “Hey, denty!” Next thing you know you’re saying they should have their own schools.” JERRY: “They do have their own schools.”

Ok, I know I haven’t put an entry into the blog for some time. Simple explanation: writing about my cancer treatment makes me think of my cancer treatment. But since a lot of you kind people are concerned about what is going on, here’s an update.

Since my last chemo, which was 2 days before Christmas, I’ve had two root canals done. Evidently, treatment may destroy your teeth. Now, all the books tell you to go easy on your oral care because of the tenderness and mouth sores that patients get. One even advised foregoing flossing because it can make gums bleed excessively. But to any other cancer patients out there—don’t listen to them. My dentist notes that chemo dehydrates the body, which reduces your ability to cleanse your own mouth. That, coupled with a compromised immune system, sets up a perfect storm for bacteria to set up shop and just decimate teeth, unabated.

So, three visits later to an endodontist, and two to my regular dentist, and about four grand later, of which the insurance covered half, I can almost chew on that side. Well, I always wanted to be British—now I have the teeth for it.

January 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment