I am sufficiently upset to finally drop all the silly things I've placed before posting and actually write. I've been meaning to—about the craziness of April, books I've been reading, etc.
I've mentioned how odd it is for me to cry, and stranger still that I can cry over the deaths of perfect strangers. I read a story in the San Francisco Chronicle (my sister's employer) today about a woman diagnosed at 23 with a rare cancer which appeared on her hip and metastasized to her lungs. She died yesterday, at UCSF Cancer Center. Dr. Thierry Jahan was her oncologist, from whom I sought a second opinion in 2006. She lasted 5 years, dying at the ripe old age of 28.
How I can break out into sobbing the instant I read her story underlines the persistence of thoughts about dying that I've entertained for some time, and the apprehension and worry I feel towards friends in the same boat. Having just read a novel about ghosts, I was somewhat cheered by the prospect that we might flit about, haunting those we love and socializing with other ghosts. The idea of heaven and hell are definitely not as appealing as the idea of messing with people without being seen, and having fun on earth in the afterlife. But I digress.
I just saw the doctor and had a CT scan on the 21st. My right hip is excruciating, I feel wheezy, all the suspicious signs are present. April is month 8 of being on Tarceva (Erlotinib) as a single agent. Perhaps it's run its course and I've developed acquired resistance. The onc tells me results of the BIBW 2992 (Tovok) study will not be published until after its presentation at the annual ASCO meeting in June. If I could just hold out for a wee bit longer…not sure I want to do that Halichondrin B/Eribulin trial at UC Davis.
Another busy month gone, doing things I should've done years ago. My employer terminated me, I bought my brother Vespa parts for his birthday, spent some time with friends, did some admin stuff that I hate to do. In the beginning I wanted more time—to spend with my husband, set my affairs in order, help some people as much as I could. Then I would feel more comfortable dying, I thought. But I don't have my "affairs in order", my husband travels all the time, and I help as much as my energy allows, but I've spent a vast amount of time doing—what? Thinking and goofing off, I guess. Watching movies, cleaning house, walking, cooking, not working on some legacy to leave behind. Nope, all this will go away when I die. All the funny doodads in the house will be scattered to the wind. I must stop accumulating and start giving stuff away forthwith. Not sure I'm all that concerned about leaving any kind of mark. A bit late to be thinking about that, anyway.
Someone has again managed to steal the hubby's debit card number and charged up $2K at – get this – Walgreen's and CVS pharmacies. The last time this happened, he was in The Netherlands, and that person went to the mall in Alameda and bought children's clothes and went to Wal-Mart and Big Lots. Yep. (And of course, they don't check ID at those stores.) Now I ask you, would it not be difficult to purchase $1300 worth of stuff at a drugstore? Ok, my cancer drugs cost more than that, but seriously—Walgreen's? How do you spend $700 at CVS? I suppose they sell small appliances, cameras, and watches there. I imagine they'll try to return the items for cash. I hope they get nabbed. This is ridiculous. It seems to happen when he's overseas. ING has been good to us, but I'm getting a bit freaked out and think we should move our money elsewhere. Maybe to Gringott's Wizarding Bank, LOL. (What's the equivalent? Barclay's or Lloyds's?)
Life in the past 5 years has become maddeningly complex, and I partially blame technology for that. The "convenience" of online banking, debit cards, etc. has created secondary problems that make me want to revert to the old fashioned process of withdrawing money from the bank and using cash everywhere. It requires planning, but it's what we did until the early '90's, right? I'm weary. I've returned to the past—I buy organic milk in glass jars (from grass-fed dairy cows), I mix baking soda with cream of tartar to make baking powder, I buy exorbitantly-priced eggs to ensure the chickens are free-range, eat grass, and aren't debeaked…seriously, I just need to move to a farm and grow my own food. It's a full-time job trying to find food that isn't contaminated with engineered additives that have now been found to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, allergenic, or even healthy. I try not to be too much of a freak about it. There's no getting around eating or ordering out sometimes, and I'm probably not going to be making tortilla chips anytime soon (some things you just can't get around). Will any of it help me live longer or better? I don't know, but my oncologist is definitely on that track (and he admits it dents the pocketbook in a major way). Can't hurt.
We're still trying to move. The hubby thinks I need a new car, and I agree, but at this point, it doesn't do much for me to buy a really new car. I'd rather go to Italy, Spain, back to England, to the Great Barrier Reef. When the prospect of chemo looms in the distance, the idea of zipping around town in a cute car doesn't turn me on. It doesn't. In the end I care little for things—I'm all about experiences—the feeling of exhilaration I get when I see new things, especially things I've always wanted to see. At this point, a car is just a tool to me. They're fun for a minute, but the novelty wears off while the payment goes on and on. Maybe if I was going to live a long time. And maybe I will, but the car thing—that's a thing of the past. A Mini Cooper (which is what the hubs likes) is not a Nissan Figaro. So I should travel and see some ruins and stuff while I can still walk.
Rambling done, for now.
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