Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hasta la vista, baby

This may be my last post for a couple of weeks. I leave for Mexico on Tuesday after I sort out all my medications, herbs, vitamins, head coverings, sunscreen, and eyebrow constituents.

Time in Mex is roughly:
  • A day or so at Lena's, then the retreat (Nov 1-9).
  • Tourism with Padmatara and Dawn for the weekend.
  • A week of hopefully working on my book. 
  • Fly back to parents' two days before Thanksgiving (Nov 20), and drive home at some point.
I drove down here to The OC yesterday while listening to Wicked (although tape #11, which is when she meets Dorothy at last, was tragically broken) and then to Patti Smith's memoir about her life with Robert Mapplethorpe, Just Kids. I was surprised by Patti Smith's midwestern accent. For example, 'drawling' and 'mira' for drawing and mirror. The seven hour drive south - only stopped once - flew by.

It's nice to visit my dad and Chris in this big house. Among other things, they are out of touch with popular culture in different ways than I am.

Here's the note I just sent to Dr. Nelson.
Hi Dr. Nelson,
At this point the best option seems to me to be CyberKnife, largely because ANY chemotherapy I might get seems to be a serious craps shoot as it were. I'm just gleaning info from the internet but I haven't come across any obvious contraindications for CK. It's also specially suited to lung tumors. If I remember correctly you spoke of it in terms of symptom control rather than survival (& I'll ask why when I see you!)
I don't have a December appointment with you yet and I won't be available by phone 10/30-11/20 (will have intermittent internet access tho'.)
Cheers, Suvanna
P.S. I noticed that on the CT scan report it incorrectly says I have vulvar cancer.
P.P.S. I looked around for clinical trials and found nothing!... I heard that my step-sister (lecturer at UCSD medical school) also did some research and found any case I have to say I am not feeling enthused about chemotherapy.
Secure emails to Kaiser doctors have to be less than 1,000 characters. Understandable, but difficult. It's been three weeks + 1 day since my last chemotherapy. And for the last two nights I have been able to sleep, no problem. Yay! My feet are still numb (maybe a bit less), my hair is still falling out, and there are various other issues. Boooo! I'd love not to have any more chemotherapy.

The "view" driving from NoCal to SoCal
including window reflections
An email I got this morning:
We have all heard of the stories of people with cancer being grateful that they have been able to focus on what is important. I read in your blog of a friend who commended you on your attitude while having cancer. The problem is that before you had cancer, you were already able to have a more positive attitude in the worst of times than anyone I've known. You didn't need cancer for that because you already had that. Maybe you see internal growth. What I see is the strengths you already had serving you well. That is my view from the cheap seats.
I like the last line. I hope my posting these complimentary emails don't seem too much like I'm blowing my own horn. Anyway aside from horn blowing...I'm noticing some things about my psychology. Like how often when someone helps me in some way, I get a vague feeling that I am taking advantage of them...a very strong need to feel independent, perhaps invulnerable. I often have a positive attitude as my friend above says. It's also true that when I don't, I feel that I should. Seems to be hard for me to accept my own sadness.

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