Monday, July 17, 2006

July 18, 2006

It's hot here. Even after spending the last two summers in humid Tokyo and Washington DC, Boston takes home the trophy for most sweltering. Because of the temp, I wear tank tops nearly every day-- thanks to Jaci and other friends, I have a good supply of cute tops that fit alright and make me feel at least half-way decent about my appearance, if I don't examine from the neck up (note: eyebrows and eyelashes are pretty essential to sexiness) or have one hand hoisting my jeans up so they don't reveal my desperate-to-reveal-itself gansta style.

I am totally digressing here but one more comment about body before I get to the point I was leading to with the weather. Ladies: my emaciation doesn't look that bad from the waist up, but my legs are grossly sticklike and skinny; maybe picture a 90-year-old man?... and STILL, when I flex my butt, (I say again) STILL, I have cellulite. So, don't freak out about a little cottage cheese; all the rice cakes and celery is not gonna chase those dimples away! Now you know.

Ahem. So, the reason for the todo about tanktops is that tomorrow I go in for a surgery that will implant a port into my chest. It will have two places for needles and IVs to go, so I can receive blood while I get chemo, get blood drawn while I get fluids, etc. It's everything a girl on the go could want. But I'm not a girl on the go. And I don't want a strange plastic thing sitting in my chest for a couple years, and I don't want to go under general anathesia tomorrow morning, and I don't want to see a tube protruding as it snakes over my collar bone, and I don't want to have a visible bump that looks like an alien third breast, and I don't want to wear boyish t-shirts and preppy polo button-ups every day, and I don't want two scars on my neck and chest forever.

Whew, so thanks for letting me get that off my chest. They say I'll "love the port", and I know it's unavoidable and not that big of deal in the grand scope of things. My veins are getting too scarred and stubborn for arm transfusions and I've got a long way to go. I'm not sure why I'm freaking out so much about this, really. As several people have pointed out, I've already been through much scarier obstacles. Who knows why the human mind can take a beating sometimes and not others? Perhaps pain and fear and feeling like a freak weighs cumulatively and I've hit my limit? I've gotten used to the looks, maybe even proud, for my bald head, but if I have a gross-looking lump on my body too? [Remember that awesome part in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when the greek Mom(?) talks about the growth on her neck? and her "bibopsi"? and how they found teeth and, yes, it was her twin?? Seriously, that scene/joke actually just might get me through this.]

On a much happier, even joyful, note, my older half-sister Linda has been visiting us for the past 10 days. Linda, Jaci, and me fell in into a giggly, honest, comfortable rhythm the moment she arrived. We all haven't seen each other in a decade, but after ten days, I feel like we've been best friends all along. She is an extraordinary cook. She puts ALL the wanna-be "Top Chef"s to shame. Seriously. So, we've been spoiled by her culinary prowess and just her gentle, compassionate, funny presence. It's so amazing to feel our connection and love; our Dad's blood certainly runs through all of our veins and his personality is aptly present our likenesses. She departs tomorrow, but, as I told her, there is honestly NOTHING I can say for certain about what I'm going to do after all this over, except that I will definitely go visit her on Galiano Island as soon as I can.

I should also mention that we've had another on-again off-again visitor. Luke has been a great help to Jaci and Linda, while being a sweet and fun companion for me. He's leaving for Atlanta on Wednesday and I'm not sure if he plans to come back anytime soon, but I hope he does. I will leave it at that, as I don't really like to write about my ex-fiance much in this blog, mostly because it's too personal (you're thinking- butt cellulite is too personal!) and also because our status seems more mercurial than ANY online publication could keep up with, and this languid blog doesn't even try.

One final thing, I have to add an addendum to the list of things that Lola and I have in common. You see, Lola is a very social loving puppy and when we leave her at home alone, she welcomes us back with various shredded items littered throughout the living room. Most of the time, it's kleenex or other junk, but she's ruined several pairs of shoes, a beautiful bracelet Jaci beaded herself, sunglasses, etc- not to mention all the food she's consumed that she shouldn't have. So, Linda offered Jaci a suggestion and it really seems to work. When Linda was telling her husband on the phone about their success with keeping Lola busy and happy during human absences, these are the words I overheard:
"They've been trying all kinds of solutions but i really think that the bone marrow is the cure."
well, i thought that was pretty funny, since a donor match for me and a cow femur segment for Lola are essentially the same remedy for our most pressing needs.

16 comments:

Abdul said...

Hi there Erica, it's Abdul. I've been meaning to write you for a while and I finally got around to it. Hope all is well with you and that things are going well.

I like the fact that you feel comfortable putting "personal" stuff about yourself on your blog; I might follow suit one day.

Anyway, I'm actually in Beirut right now doing my internship and, as you might have heard, things here could be a lot better. If all goes well we will meet up in Boston in the fall and have another excellent game of Scrabble.

In the mean time, make sure you take care of yourself and tell your mom, Jaci and Lola I said hi.

Rosanne Borsch said...

Hi Erica,
Everything thing you said is true. It sucks having something surgically implanted in you that will remain there for months and months. I've had it done twice. Once a dual luman (two short cords) and a second time with a tri-luman hickman with really long cords. i hope yours are short, much easier to disquise. Try taping them together with silk tape and safety pinning them to your shirt so they don't hang or get pulled- ouch. It is however MUCH better than getting stuck a million times and your blood and meds can all go in at the same time so things go faster= less time in the hospital = good. The creepiest part for me was seeing the tube run from my neck to wear it exited out my chest. Very alien like. Just remember it will eventually come out and then you can celebrate like Pinnochio, "I have no strings to tie me down..." I don't know? Anyway, I'll pray everything goes well, it's a very fast procedure and you just have to make sure it doesn't get infected so you don't have it out and in again, by keeping it clean and dry. Is Jaci changing the dressing or nurses? Scott did mine everyday after the shower at home. Also make sure they give you skin prep to put on before the bandage each time, so the sticky from the bandage doesn't tear up your skin. some work better than others so if one isn't working ask for a different kind. I think that's all I have to say about that. Let me know if you have any questions. Good luck!

Sara said...

Erica,
I too had a port placed in my chest due to an infection that almost killed me. I developed the infection after having my wisdom teeth removed and it was mis-diagnosed by my surgeon. I had the port for over a year and had a home nurse coming to my house to change the needle and bring new medication. I was absolutely devastated when I was told that I would have to have this port put into my chest. I went through the same emotions you are feeling right now. I fought as hard as I could to not have it put in, but the reality was I just couldn't avoid it. I remember the day I got home from the hospital and the home nurse came over to show us how to flush the port. I cried like I never have in my life. I was depressed and couldn't believe what was happening to me. I was once an independent person and now was depending on my parents to help me through my daily activities. I had my port removed in 2004 and yes I still have a scar that everyone so lovingly comments about, they say it looks like a hickey. I've even had a stranger ask if it was hickey. I'm not ashamed of my scar I'm actually pretty proud of it because without it, I'm not sure I'd be here today. I know it's hard, but coming from someone who's gone through the same surgery, it does get better. I'm praying for you. You're so strong!

Nicholas Maranda said...
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Nicholas Maranda said...

Try stuffing kongs with peanut butter or a biscuit before you leave. It cuts down on their anxiety, since dogs always know what you are up to (leaving them alone).

This dog training tip for the day has been brought to you by the Owners Against Lolas Chewing On Our Stuff.

gmonkey said...

A port? COOOL. Can I get one too? Only, I want one on my head. And I'd like to make it so that they can dump info in there. Like how to draw. And how to use Adobe Illustrator.

I have a suggestion... My little scar is faint as all hell. I'm strangely bummed I never got to implement my plan when it was nice and purple. My suggestion (my old plan,) is start thinking about the COOL ASSED TATTOO you're gonna get right smack on your chest. I mean, what's held you back before? Practicality? Asthetics? POOF! Those stupid excuses are gone! You have two years to find/design/create the bitchin'ist tat ever seen. I can't wait to see it.
-gab

gmonkey said...

OH, also, I LOVE your cellulite rant. I'm sending it to everyone who's ever been silly about theirs!

artineh said...

So I heard there is this doggy radio or TV or something that you put on when you leave the house and it's really supposed to help (not sure how sound the research is). Don't know if it still exists but you might research it... Or you might think that's so stupid, you'd rather have your shoes chewed up...

Love the cellulite comment. I'll stop worrying about it right now.

Hang in there!

Christina said...

Erica,

It seems "wrong" to say this, but I love your blog.

I adore how you keep everything in perspective and manage to crack jokes about your whole ordeal. You kick major arse!

Good luck ;)

Clif said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Clif said...

Star Trek geeks will be totally enamored of your cybernetic implants.

Any time someone asks about it, just reply, "WE ARE THE BORG. YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!"

I myself had a PICC line when I was in the hospital.

Edited, because my implant didn't teach me how to spell properly.

JenSing said...
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JenSing said...

Well now, the only thing I've ever had implanted in me were a couple of wicked fangs from when my dog bit me. The nice people in the ER told me they couldn't/wouldn't give me stitches because there were too many and gave me betadine to soak in instead. I paid $300 bucks for them to tell me that. Next time I think I'll sic my dog on THEM.

Hmm ... I wonder if they ever got those fangs out anyways .... ;D

3:22 PM

slucas said...

I have a good friend with a tracheotomy scar and she ADORES it. Yours just might grow on you.

Andrea said...

I believe the site is

www.dogcatradio.com

it's cute...maybe it'll work.

Anmei said...

Hi Erica!

I surfed over here from www.aadp.org. Like you, I am half Chinese and half Caucasian. I signed up to be a marrow donor last week... maybe I will be a match for you. Keep on keeping on!

-Anmei