Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Saw Dr. Artemis yesterday, and whatever she did made it a bit easier for me to speak. She gave me some powders and tinctures for my gastrointestinal health and immune boosters, etc. And she did some cranialsacral hands-on therapy.

I have an appt. with the oncologist on Monday. M. is picking me up shortly for a visit to the surgeon.

Camilla has come back to sleep with me some. She still loves her new bed, but esp. when it is cool at night she comes back to cuddle with me.

I'm trying to be patient, with myself and others. I'm not planning on any great cancer insights. Just another in the long line of people who have to deal with this crap. My house back here in sort of the woods is a good place to heal, so quiet, so many birds. There was some fight at dawn outside the window, I don't know if it was racoons or 'possums or something else. Not cats, for sure. But loud.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Two sensory memories from last night, I think it's the percoset. Nasty little drug. Remember those soapy licorice-y tasting tiny grey squares called Sen-Sen? That one, and then some lemon cologne from many years ago, very specific, but I can't remember the name. Memorial day.

Stayed low all day. C & D came over for a while; they took my huge hibiscus tree outside for me, and put her in the shade. They brought me peach sorbet but sugary foods are still too irritating. They will plant the seedlings that P. left for me in the community garden.

Trying to figure out how to get to the naturopath today. Thought I would be able to drive myself, but not on these chemicals.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


So the thing on my tongue was cancerous. Hasn't sunk in yet, too many pain meds. Prognosis: curable. Don't know how I want to blog about this yet, if at all.

My garden of friends has been stellar; I decided I needed a lot of support, so I emailed everyone. Some people may choose to be very private about such a matter, but I feel inclined to be just the opposite. I need to not feel alone, I need to feel cared about right now. Uh oh, that's gonna make me cry, so I'm out of here.

4.30 pm

Just got back from the new Indiana Jones movie with R & F. I thought it was awful, but perhaps that was just the pain killers numbing me out.

Am making some boiled potatoes to mix with butter and milk and a little yogurt for more sustenance. Bought organic baby food. Yuk. I'm hungry.

K & S and Momo came over for a doggie romp which was great fun.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Oral Cancers

ENT Doctors Recognize Oral, Head, And Neck Cancer Awareness Week, 23 Apr 2008.

With more than 40,000 Americans diagnosed with cancers of the mouth, head and neck each year, the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) supports the Yul Brynner Foundation in promoting the need for education on these conditions during Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week (OHANCAW) 2008. OHANCAW, held April 21 - 26, is an annual health awareness event designed to alert the public and health professionals of the staggering statistics associated with these very preventable diseases. Nearly 13,000 patients will die from a cancer of the head and neck region and as many as 90 percent of head and neck cancers arise after prolonged exposure to specific factors. Use of tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, or snuff) and alcoholic beverages are closely linked with cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box, and tongue. In adults who don't smoke or drink, cancer of the mouth and throat are nearly nonexistent. New research is also just beginning to reveal the link between the common human papillomavirus and cancers of the mouth and throat. According to the National Cancer Institute, the incidence of cancers of the mouth, head, and neck have remained stable over the past two decades, indicating that many Americans are not aware of how preventable these diseases can be if they make minor modifications to their lifestyles and get screened annually. Fortunately, most head and neck cancers produce early symptoms. Knowing and recognizing the signs of head and neck cancer can save lives. Symptoms can include: a mouth sore that bleeds easily and doesn't heal; a lump or thickening anywhere in your mouth or neck; soreness or swelling in the mouth that doesn't go away; a red or white patch that doesn't go away; and trouble chewing, swallowing, or moving your tongue or jaw. During the week-long OHANCAW campaign, free screenings are being offered in communities around the country. To find out the closest free screening site in your area, visit the Yul Brynner Foundation website at or For more information on oral, head, and neck cancers and other related ENT health topics, visit and click "Patients". About the AAO-HNS The American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, one of the oldest medical associations in the nation, represents more than 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy serves its members by facilitating the advancement of the science and art of medicine related to otolaryngology and by representing the specialty in governmental and socioeconomic issues. The organization's mission: .Working for the Best Ear, Nose, and Throat Care.American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
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Friday, May 16, 2008


Having some new folks come clean the house today. Then appt. with benefits office to talk retirement options. M. and A. will come with. Then to 116 Crown with R & F, for R's birthday. We'll go see the new Narnia movie after, Prince Caspian I think.

Worked in the house gardens here considerably yesterday. Even though I am renting, I still need to have gardens and dirt I can play in, and beautify. I'm trying not to spend too much money on plants and soil amendments, but enough to throw color and form into the mix. The lawn here is so damaged that creating a focal point of flowering plants will make up for the less than attractive lawn.

I bought a small bed for the cats, and Camilla has claimed it and now isn't sleeping with me!! Whaaa! I've put it up on a wicker hamper so she wont' be harassed by Bindi, and now she treats it as her throne. Misty is throwing up pretty consistently now when she eats too much too fast. I have to give her very small portions several times a day. The next round of doctors' appointments will be vets.

I'm tired.

Thursday, May 15, 2008



Tongue surgery on Monday. M. came with me to the pre-op surgeon appt. yesterday. R. came with me to the pre-op exam with the pcp on Monday. Y. was with me for the awful MRI last Friday night. Sis is coming on Sunday, blessed be. MRI was normal, thankfully. Surgeon thinks the tongue thingie is fairly superficial but won't know till she starts cutting. Uck. Told me to bring a cd for the OR. Should I take Nilsson's THE POINT, or Glenn Gould's A STATE OF WONDER, playing the Goldberg Variations? Or something else. I will be able to hear it unconsciously, I'm told.

After taking Y. to the train this morning, I took myself to Bread and Chocolate for one of their delicious raisin scones and a latte. Then I drove across the street to Lucien's, a florist/plant rental/interior landscaping business that was crazy beautiful and interesting. And they were SO nice. Had dinner at Midori last night with R & F, very good Korean/Japanese food, not too far from my house. THEY are so friendly, too. They know me by name now. Went to M's for the yearly May Day ritual, which is so sweet. We ate strawberries, little cakes, whipped cream, ice cream, and five young girls and R. wove the May Pole ribbons into it's chaotic and perfect pattern. M. has been doing this ritual for her daughters for 18 years now.

Y. and I went up to Northampton last Saturday, she to visit an old professor, and me to just hang about. We saw in the sky up there what we could only define as some kind of "northern lights." A glow of pink and green and yellow light in the clouds, kind of streaking/blending among them. It hadn't been raining, it didn't look like a rainbow, and yet was of course some kind of refracted light show. We were both entranced and in awe. I wonder if there is something geographic about the valley up there that produces such things.

The cyclone in Burma. The earthquake in China. The tornadoes in the Midwest. Uck. I can't bear to read the newspaper or watch the news these days. Way too much pain.

Photo is S's table in Naples. Mandala, of course.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Dandy Lion Picker

Have been obsessively pulling the dandelion blooms off the plant part itself so that they do not go to seed and proliferate. It's something my dad used to do in our yard growing up, and everywhere else in the world where he would see that yellow flower. Don't want to put too much effort into this beat up lawn here, but it's a kind of meditation to walk around the yard and pluck the golden headed monsters. In the fall is the time to apply corn gluten onto the lawn to prevent reseeding of dandelions the next spring, the organic way to handle them. I've got some poison ivy on the perimeter of the yard which I have to deal with, I guess with RoundUp which is not organic, but seems to be the only thing that works. Sorry, well water. Sorry, body.

Dream last night: I am travelling on a bus in Europe with a friend, not sure who, I called her Rachel, but she looked more like someone from my childhood. We stopped at a train station, but then were supposed to get back on the bus. I couldn't find Rachel, and asked the bus driver if he would wait a couple of minutes until I could locate her. He said yes, a couple of minutes. I went frantically searching, did not find her, went back to where the bus was, and it was gone, taking my luggage, my money, my passport, all my credit cards, and Bindi, all of which I had left on the bus. I was hysterical. Then I was in a hotel room or something, and I hear this wimpering at the door, and find Bindi, transformed into my previous cat Chiquita, who had returned with a very bad wound on her leg. I began to try to find the number of the Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine so I could take her there, but could not find the number, and just went. They were very busy. The attendant said, this cat is dead, I said, no no no, she's not, and truly, she was not, her heartbeat was still strong. They took her in and it seemed immediately that she was returned to me, with a bandaged leg, and x-rays done, and not as bad as I had feared.

These are the kind of dreams I have been having. Every night. All versions of anxiety.

My friend Y., Sri Lankan, but living in Australia, is showing up tonight to visit for a few days. I've been trying to clean and clear, esp. the guest room, but I need help, and I could not get my usual person to come assist. So not everything will get done. Considering my foot pain, knee pain, tongue pain, mental pain, and general fatique, I guess it's amazing I get anything done at all.

Planted some caladium bulbs, and will put the morning glory seeds in the ground today, which have been soaking overnight. That is supposed to make them germinate faster.
The photo is of a cherry tree outside my bedroom window. It appears to be a weeping cherry and a regular white cherry grafted together a long time ago, and it is very strange looking. Kind of like this whole house, it is a glom of various parts stuck together, but somehow manages to still be charming.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Power of Schmutz

These two photos were taken of signs in a dry cleaner's window, but I wasn't thinking of dirty clothes when i saw them. I was thinking of my mind and body and all these awful doctor's appointments,

and the drugs and the surgeries and the exams and the general messiness of aging. Not for sissies, it's said! So friends and family, take care of your bodies, and hope you don't get sideswiped by genetics.

The more power someone has, the more they fear losing it. That's a paraphrase from a line in Star Wars: Return of the Sith, which I watched about 15 minutes of last night.

Big gardening day yesterday and other stuff. Took Bindi to get her nails clipped at ABC and she was less nervous this time cause I just let the cutters do their thing and did not try to hold and comfort Bindi while she was having her nailed clipped. So it was done with no drama in about 20 seconds. And there was no line! Usually, there is a long line out the door and we have to wait and wait, but for some reason yesterday was a very slow clipping day for ABC. Then I took the other stained glass window to the woodworker. They should both be framed by the end of next week. What a wonderful mother's day gift to myself.

Then I went to the coffee shop and got a latte and bagel, and sat outside the shop with Bindi for a few minutes. I had her leash tied around the arm of the chair, but a big dog came along and Bindi bolted for him, untying the leash, and after a couple of seconds of sniffing him quietly, she launched into barking and jumping on him aggressively, something she has done way too many times now. That big dog was freaked out, as was his owner, and I was deeply embarrassed and apologized profusely. Bindi doesn't bite, just goes nuts sometimes, but not with all dogs. She loved Momo upon first meeting and they played politely together.

Then I went to the garden center looking for wave petunias. R. gave me four big planting boxes which I have put by the driveway, and since I know I won't get around to painting them anytime soon (the currrent paint on them in peeling) I'm going to plant those vining petunias which will hopefully cover the whole box with bloom and last all summer. Stopped somewhere else and bought straw hay, thinking it was salt hay, but put it in my community garden plot anyway. Salt hay is the one without seeds, and staw hay is just the regular hay stuff that will sprout weeds, which one does not want from a mulch. Then to the community garden where I did some more weeding, without my gloves and proper weeding tool so got a blister on the palm of my hand, and chatted with P. She has doctor horror stories too and various conditions she's trying to manage. Ah well, misery loves company.

Friday, May 02, 2008


This is the one of the 2 stained glass windows from my old house, photo taken in my current front yard. Imagine it horizontal hanging in my current home's front windows. I took the window to the woodworker this morning, and he's gonna do the job, for a reasonable price. I think I would have even paid an unreasonable price.

S. was here for a sleepover last night, as her mom was away. I picked her up from school, then we went to get "night crawlers" for my garden, those big fat worms my dad used to find in our back yard with a flashlight at night, to use as bait for fishing. $2/dozen. I got four dozen. Then we went to the community garden and put the worms in the soil in my allotment. I had purchased several new herbs for the herb garden, which we also planted: gotu kola, herba buena, a kind of vining eucalyptus, stevia, and lemon thyme. Then home, dinner, watched a Wishbone video and craved for Bindi those cute hats that Wishbone wears as Robin Hood in the movie, R & F came over briefly, then reading stories, then me singing songs, then me telling made-up stories, till I finally said to S., time to fall asleep. She was out like a light.

Woke up at 5.30am, got up, S. got up shortly after, so we just got our stuff together and I took her to school for 8.00am. Had an ENT appt. and the doc scared me to death about this tongue thingie. She was very upset I hadn't come back to see her sooner, tried to stick some tube down my nose to my throat to see what this tumor was up to, I freaked out, sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. So instead of all that she has ordered an MRI to see how it has changed or not. It was very upsetting. I'm exhausted. Going over to R & F's now.

Had a dream last night about my mother. A photo of her was in an old newspaper or magazine, when she was a teenager maybe. The date was 1924. Was that the year she was born? Someone in my family was speaking badly about her as we looked at the photo, and I lashed out defending her.