Kevin's Dead Cat

After surgery sliced off an entire tumor and 1/3 of my tongue, plus six weeks of radiation therapy, I've been re-learning how to eat, drink, and talk with my newly re-constructed tongue and coping with side effects. But the cancer came back and I don't know what's going to happen next.

My Photo
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I don't want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

First Day of Freedom

It was great not leaving the office at noon today. Good thing the treatments are over, because there was a lot of work to get done. There are some network/software transitions going on in the office, which means I won't have Internet access during the day. So for the next two days, you won't be able to reach me at my office e-mail account, just my Blackberry and cel.

Because I can't spend each month wearing one suit over and over again, I am determined to maintain the same weight for at least the next 30 days. Plus I'm afraid of losing "the girls" if I shrink any further.

Today's menu was
breakfast: lemon yogurt, 1 egg sunny-side-up, 1 biscuit w/gravy, BIG coffee
lunch: stir-fried tofu w/ground pork and peas, black tea, BIG coffee
dinner: cottage cheese, green tea

I tried eating the tuna burger that came with the cottage cheese, but my tongue picked that exact moment to start burning. The good news is that I was able to taste some of the tartar sauce before it turned into battery acid. It's a good thing I have a high threshold for pain otherwise I would've been bawling at the cafe. However, the heavy Codeine use and force feeding will commence.

I bought a refrigerator after work. It's a black Whirlpool with stainless steel doors. Matches the boots I got yesterday. I think I'm more excited about the Whirlpool than the clothes, though. It gives me hope that I'll start tasting more things sooner than later.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Roommate News

Takako's (Gazpacho's mommy) sculpture show opened last week, and you can see pictures of her exhibit at Shy Room. The artist herself is in the first photo.

Pictures of James' show last night are at "forest for the tree", the second exhibit down. It includes one of the pictures I took (the first one). And yes, that's a silhouette of me as well (the last one).

It's Over!!!

No more radiation treatments!!! Good thing because today's was the most painful one. I pretty much cried the entire time because of the mouthpiece pressing against my burned tongue.

I hugged "R" goodbye, Chris and Jody from the first Team Slingblade stopped by after my treatment to give me a hug, and Nurse Tess gave me a hug too.

I met with Dr. Rhoo (?) who told me that my tongue and face didn't seem to suffer too much from the radation treatments. The redness will fade, but the darker pigment will never completely go away. I may be able to wear make-up again in about a month. The swelling in my neck will go down in the coming weeks. My sense of taste will come back in it's own good time. I walked out with the mask and the dental stens, both of which I plan on barbecueing in the near future.

What I really wanted to do was have a cheeseburger, fries, and milkshake. Since that wasn't possible I went shopping. Scored a new suit (went down another size, which means I have to bring the last suit I bought to the tailors), a silk blouse, and (drum roll) a pair of black leather high-heeled, knee-high boots. They are sooooooo sexy. AND they were 50% off! Ding-ding-ding Jackpot! Honestly, I was only looking for a new pair of jeans.

Normally, that would've been a moment of rejoicing, but the Yee-ha! kinda rang hollow because I still would've preferred the cheeseburger.

So the holiday season has officially begun. I have a birthday celebration, a gallery reception, and a party this coming weekend. Next week my friend Eric is flying in to buy me dinner and teach me to ice skate at Pershing Square (I'm an island girl, I only do melted-water sports). Allegra, a former colleague who moved to New York, is also coming back to town for a visit next weekend. Guys, she's reeeeally hot (that's us in the photo above)... I'm so happy!

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Feeling a little better

Spent the morning stretching my jaw. Hellish considering I did very little talking and almost no eating yesterday. I spent some part of yesterday chasing after Gazpacho. I couldn't get a decent photo until I gave up the hunt. That's when she came to me.

I chugged a can of SlimFast for breakfast this morning. Big mistake. Ten minutes later I was doubled over on the floor when what felt like an arctic tidal wave hit my stomach. Then I got up a little too quickly and fell back on my ass from the dizzyness. That's about as wacky as the day got.

I helped James with the final touches on his installation for tonight's show, then had a bowl of tomato soup and hot tea for lunch. Again, I chugged the soup before the tomato broth started stinging. Success! Still hopeful, I stopped by Ralphs so I can make tofu soup with spinach and ginger.

I don't want to be too weak to miss my last zapping tomorrow, so no matter how much it hurts I have to get some food in me tonight.

Saturday, November 27, 2004


Candy says I've come to hate my body
 and all that it requires in this world
Candy says I'd like to know completely
 what others so discreetly talk about

Candy says I hate the quiet places
 that cause the smallest taste of what will be
Candy says I hate the big decisions
 that cause endless revisions in my mind

I'm gonna watch the blue birds fly over my shoulder
I'm gonna watch them pass me by
Maybe when I'm older
What do you think I'd see
If I could walk away from me

- "Candy Says", Velvet Underground

Friday, November 26, 2004

Not so OK after all

My powers of denial only took me so far today.

I was at my parents' home watching TV, hanging with my brother when some of my mother's friends came by with a tray full of steamed crab. I love crab. But just the thought of putting anything near my sore tongue makes me go fetal. I know my brother said no as well only to keep me company in my misery.

When my mom asked if I was coming to the table, I said no because my mouth was hurting. Which was fine. But after they were done eating, my dad asked me if I wanted some corn soup. I told him no because my mouth was still hurting. Still feeling OK, but I could sense the edge was near.

So I was at the computer reading the news, when my dad asked me if it was cold enough. I asked him what he was talking about? He had placed a bowl of soup behind me, and was waiting for me to eat something. That's when I kinda lost it.

This has been an issue between my father and me ever since surgery. My dad cooks. That's how he takes care of us, shows he cares, pretty much communicates. And he's good at it. Because of this, the idea that some people lose weight when they're stressed out or depressed has always been the most alien concept. I grew up believing ALL food was comfort food. So I know how frustrating it's been for him that he hasn't been able to comfort me by cooking for me.

At any rate, I said for what seemed the millionth time that my mouth hurts and I can't eat, which itself was excruciating because my mouth was so dry. I brought the soup to the kitchen and nearly ran to my old bedroom before I started screaming in front of my parents' friends. I started sobbing, which was also painful because of my dry throat. What I really wanted to do was smash every piece of furniture in the room.

I wanted to scream, for all the turkey I couldn't eat, the mashed potatoes and gravy I couldn't taste, the wine I couldn't drink, the pecan pie I couldn't even look at the day before, and all the Codeine I have to take just to finish a can of SlimFast. Instead, I left.

My brother called me on my cellphone a few minutes later to check up on me. And he said the magic words, "Screw it. Let's go to Fry's tomorrow." I love my brother.

Since then I've been going back and forth between being angry at my dad and feeling guilty for being angry at him. This is why I stayed at James' instead of my parents' after the surgery. I didn't want to spend each day frustrating my father and myself by not being able to eat what he cooked for me. Each conversation would literally be, "What do you want for breakfast/lunch/dinner?", "Nothing I can't eat solid food.", "Okay... so what do you want me to cook?"

But it's been three months, and my dad still can't get his head around the fact that I can't be comforted by eating food anymore. Watching it on TV, reading about it in glossy recipe magazines and restaurant reviews, sure. But not eating it. It was actually my sister who pointed out the porn analogy: since I can't have food/sex I watch it on TV or read about it. I'd explain it to my dad that way, but that would just be embarrassing for both of us.

I don't know what I'm going to do.

1 more left

Since we had the day off from work, I just threw on my jeans before leaving the house this afternoon for r-therapy. I didn't realize until an old man in line at the reception desk gave me a dirty look that I was wearing my space monkey t-shirt (the one that says "I hope I never die"). The techs loved it, though.

Janelle told me I'd be getting a new team for my last day. I'll also be meeting with a radiation doctor after the final zapp. Then there's a follow-up one month later, and I get to see Dr. McNicoll again a month after that.

I haven't been able to have anything but liquids today, even with Codeine. The tongue-burn even makes talking painful. I tried some ice cream and the pumpkin part of this year's pumpkin pie, but no go. So I spent the rest of the afternoon stretching my jaw in front of the Food Network. It's my porn these days.

Thanksgiving was super. There were nearly 40 friends and family members at my parent's house this year, including two newborns. My brother also scored a copy of "House of Flying Daggers" on DVD, AND "Hero" is coming out Tuesday! Few things cheer me up these days like bad-ass Asian women.

James' exhibit opens this Sunday, which is why he couldn't make Thanksgiving Dinner this year. So I'll probably spend the weekend helping him with the installation. Which means bringing him food, doing his laundry, and trying to make him laugh when he's exhausted. I can be a pretty good poor-man's-patron. God knows I haven't been much of a muse this year (I'm a terrible liar, so it's a good thing that he's talented).

E-mail me if you need directions to his show.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Top Ten Reasons Why I'm Thankful

Me and my cousin Jasmine1. A loving and understanding family
2. Caring and GENEROUS friends
3. Incredibly supportive colleagues
4. Skilled and sympathetic doctors (AND flat-out adorable)
5. The Cancer Weight-Loss Plan
6. (specifically bread, coffee, chocolate, yoga, Living in Egypt, and Our Man in Hanoi)
7. The Holy Trinity: Codeine, Morphine, and Leonard Cohen
8. Most of September
9. Maggie Cheung
10. I still feel lucky

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Deux it!

Far too much drama at the office this morning! Although it was great catching up with out-of-town colleagues, there was an unfortunate downside to the reason why they were in town. But enough about work.

There was a newbie at the waiting room this afternoon. "H" had breast cancer surgery and today was her radiation simulation appointment. "R" had already gone in for her treatment so it was me and "B" easing her into the circle. She's Spanish, I think in her mid-50s, and awfully sweet. She overheard "R" and I talking to "S" about her dinner last night at Versailles (Viva Cuba!). I sooo miss the taste of chicken.

Still in pain and not very hopeful about enjoying a Thanksgiving feast. So in my depressed state I ended up buying four more bottles of wine I can't drink yet. Two of them will be opened tomorrow. My cousin who gave birth this past July deserves a drink, and I'd been promising her a bottle of Chilean red and a chocolate bar. The other two I may open for a crush I promised to cook dinner for. At least I had him in mind when I bought them. God knows I already have plenty other bottles stashed in the safe already.

I also bought an issue of Food & Wine. There's a feature called "Overachiever's Open House: 21 dishes to wow friends". Does that scream me or what? Not sure exactly when this open house is going to be. But I've been toying with the idea of having a series of housewarming parties; keeping it small and casual. Maybe one Sunday brunch, a tapas night, a potluck dinner, and a pizza party. I've got a lot of wine to get rid of.

I was afraid that losing my sense of taste, even temporarily, would kill my ability to prepare a decent meal. But according to James it hasn't, and I've been trying out some new stuff as well. I guess after reaching a certain point, instinct just takes over.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


So I found out from Chris that the technician from yesterday, Patrick, is a newlywed, and his wife works in one of the treatment rooms... oh well.

I got sent back to Galactica today with a new crew. They were very nice, but I didn't bother learning their names. The burn on my tongue and the stiffness in my jaw have gotten so bad that simply inserting the dental stens is painful. It was the first time I had tears rolling down my face during the procedure.

Afterwards, I couldn't bear the thought of eating. But I had a carton of yogurt for lunch and another 3 hour nap. Hoping it would lift my morale, I did a light version of my yoga routine. I got a little light-headed at first, but I did feel better afterwards. Dinner was a can of SlimFast and codeine tablet.

I'm not looking forward to Thanksgiving. "R" and I were joking about my bringing a can of gravy and a milkshake this year. At least I'll get the nutrients. I told her about Jones Soda's holiday flavors: Turkey & Gravy Soda, Cranberry, Mashed Potato & Butter, Greenbean Casserole, and Fruitcake. Sounds disgusting, but why not? I can't taste anything anyway.

Monday, November 22, 2004


Today I was sent to "The Ark" (treatment room 2b). A very cute technician named Patrick worked the controls. He's been hanging out at Galactica for a week or so. I always wondered who he was.

Bush is in the White House, U2 has a new record out, and according to today's weigh-in I weigh the same as I did freshman year in college... my God it's the 80s again. Maybe I should start wearing all my concert t-shirts from back in the day. Is it true that Duran Duran is going to be touring soon?

I also had a consult with one of the Radiation doctors. He said that the redness on my face and neck would be around for a few MONTHS after treatments ended. He told me to stop using the aloe vera gel and prescribed some ointment called Biafine RE. I'm also supposed to wear a hat because the area shouldn't be exposed to direct sunlight. I don't look very good in hats. Maybe I should get a parasol, or I could score a coolie hat in Chinatown or sombrero at Olvera Street (I love Downtown LA!).

The radiation burn on my tongue is killing me! I can't eat anything too hot or too cold, no citrus, no spicy food, nothing crunchy,... which doesn't leave very much. About all I can stand to put in my mouth now are scrambled eggs, tofu, and yogurt. Even lentil soup is excruciating. And this afternoon's fifteen minute nap ended up lasting three hours.

Just four more sessions...

So, the shower at the loft is supposed to be installed tomorrow. I could be sleeping downtown as early as this weekend. There's a big sale at K-Mart, so I bought this insane Black & Decker toaster oven. It's all chrome and black, and soooo sexy. If I didn't like homemade pizza so much, I could probably make do with just that, my rotisserie oven, and my microwave oven. But I guess I would also have to buy a hot plate.

I stopped by the loft this morning to pick up mail, and discovered that the geniuses who painted the walls also painted over the safe door. So now I can't get it open without either paint thinner or a crowbar. Moments like these remind me why I shouldn't own a gun.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

The Final Battle

Today is the day I completely vanquish this cold I've been fighting all week. Basically, I'm staying in bed, drinking orange juice and tea, eating soups, and taking a bunch of online personality tests to pass the time.

So far:
Which of the Elements are you?: Fire
Which movie villain are you?: Good Guy Gone Bad
Which X-Man are you?: The Beast
Which Greek God are you?: Dionysus
Which Super Hero are you?: Batman
How Much of a Slut are you?: 60%
The Ninja Test: Wannabe Ninja
Big Words Are Sexy Test: Vocabulary Vixen

I love the Internet.

Friday, November 19, 2004


I didn't sleep very well last night. Gazpacho woke me once, and my itchy neck woke me twice. Part of my throat must be swelling because it's getting harder to swallow down the right tube. I literally can't walk and chew gum at the same time because nearly every swallow is followed by a coughing fit. I'm still playing tug-o-war with the cold, and I'm tired all the time.

I may have to go back on liquid nutrients because I'm not eating as much as I thought I was. The moment of truth came when I saw all my leftovers from the week in the refrigerator at home and at the office. Turns out I'm only eating half of the already small portions I've been preparing. It's just getting harder and harder to eat now that my tongue is sore, my jaw is stiffening up, and I mentioned the thing about swallowing earlier. I was told the last week would be the roughest. They were right.

Good news is the dizziness is gone now. I've been taking iron supplements for two weeks, in addition to these multi-vitamins I take three times a day. I'm still on the flaxseed kick from before the operation but I need to start juicing up again. Now before you start thinking I've become a complete health-freak, know that I'm having coffee and mocha cake right now as I'm typing.

Raffi, from the original Team Slingblade, saw me in the waiting room this afternoon. He grabbed my gear from Galactica and brought me to BillyBob. Chris and some new people were there, too. They had that song from "The Deer Hunter" blasting, "You're just to good to be true; can't take my eyes off of you..." while I was getting zapped. When the laser arm was rotating overhead it totally felt like a Kubrik moment. I guess we were laughing pretty loud because a couple of techs walked in wondering what was going on. I miss those guys.

I'm seriously considering ending the dating season before it begins. I ran into the architect and he turned into a toad right before my eyes. I asked Big Eric to intervene since they know each other, but you should never send a man to do a woman's job (yes, there are times when I enjoy doing the dirty work, especially when they pretty much have it coming). At any rate, there are two guys I'm crushing hard for right now, but I can't seem to get it together enough to get together with either one anytime soon.

And all I really want to do lately is sleep.

Thursday, November 18, 2004


As requested, here's a photo of Redbeard.

Thank Buddah for aloe vera gel, because it feels as bad as it looks. When I'm home I slather the stuff on every 15 minutes, force myself not to scratch, and try to zone out on DVDs.

This week's favorite is "Fishing with John". I just sit mesmerized as Tom Waits sticks a fish in his shorts in Jamaica and Dennis Hopper hunts for the giant squid in Thailand. The show is hilarious in a zoned-out, stoner way. Too bad there's only six episodes. Thankfully, I have a high threshold for repetition.

My speech is much better, but "t" and "s" is still a problem. Since the office subscribes to a few government-related magazines, I've had to take surveys on the phone during the whole renewal process. Just to amuse myself, I pretend that I'm deaf by waiting a few seconds before responding to questions, as if I'm reading from a screen.

Yes, I live an exciting little life.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


I had to wait over an hour before I got zapped this afternoon. Just before I arrived, they had a fire drill, so everyone's schedule was backed up. But I was able to chat for a while with the red wig w/breast cancer I mentioned before, let's call her "R". Her radiation treatments are ending the same time as mine. She had to get sliced twice, stay in the hospital during her chemotherapy, and now radiation. She's awfully chipper considering everything she's gone through. She's also much older than she looks, and she looks great.

Turns out I don't have to come in on Thanksgiving Day for radiation since the building is closed that day. Not that it matters since Turkey Day this year is pretty much ruined already since I can't taste anything. So my last treatment will be on Monday, November 29th.

There's another side effect to this whole cancer thing that I did NOT expect. Men are just popping up everywhere; attorneys, federal marshals, FedEx guys, even an architect. I know it's because of the weight loss, which is considerable. But even friends I've known for a long time are starting to, shall we say, pay more than friendly attention. It's disorienting. And I really need to come up with a more tactful response than, "Echhhh, that's like making-out with my brother!"

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


I was so tired after r-treatment this afternoon. Yesterday, I crashed pretty soundly during my unscheduled nap. But no nap today, too much to do.

I had to get the side of my car un-smashed in, spend some quality time w/Ali at Cole's, and try to find a Smog Test-Only site for my DMV renewal. Of course, I got stopped by the police on the way. Then the test-only place was closing early because the owner had some test to take... huh? Anyway, I hope I have better automobile luck tomorrow.

When I finally got home, I realized that all I had to eat all day was a half carton of yogurt and half of a chocolate croissant. Usually my body tells me it's been too long between meals via migraine. But this time... nothing. I was supposed to take Big Eric out to lunch for helping me w/my car, but neither one of us was hungry by then.

My face is feeling better after I started slathering aloe vera gel around my jaw and neck. It still looks red, but at least I'm not tempted to scratch it 24/7 anymore. My jaw is getting stiffer, and my tongue feels like there's one big sunburn at the tip. I may have to start taking codeine during the day.

I'll ask tomorrow how soon the side effects subside after r-treatment ends.

Monday, November 15, 2004


... more treatments to go.

In the waiting room this afternoon, I met the father of a patient who had the right side of his jaw replaced with titanium. His mouth cancer got his tongue and beyond. He got his tongue reconstructed, underwent chemotherapy, and today was his last day of radiation. Didn't get to meet him, though.

Despite two buffets this weekend and my best efforts at junk food all last week, I still managed to lose 2 more lbs. What the hell?

My saliva has been tasting wierd to me for the past 3 weeks, but I haven't been able to figure out what it reminds me of until this weekend. Thanks to the Alladin Hotel's buffet, I've discovered that it tastes like wild mushroom gravy! I've been told that most patients say their saliva tastes metallic to them. Team Slingblade thinks I'm BSing. I wish.

The fatigue really hit me this past weekend. I'm becoming more distracted, but thankfully less moody. I had a dream the other night that David Duchovny, who was wearing glasses, kept asking me if I liked his watch (Movado), while I kept insisting that he talk about something less superficial and more real. I think I kept repeating, "I don't want to talk to Mulder, I want to talk to you!"


Friday, November 12, 2004

Only ten more treatments left

I'm fighting the cold that's been going around, and mostly succeeding. But twice this week I had to interrupt the zapping procedure for a coughing fit. I'm not so sure I can go through with the Vegas trip planned this weekend, but now Ali is trying to round up more people to stay until Monday.

The side effects are getting worse. The area on my face targeted by the radiation is so itchy and sensitive I can't wear make-up or put anything on it except super-duper moisturizer or aloe vera gel. I don't miss putting on make-up every morning, but I look like the lower part of my head has been at the beach all month without sunblock. There are some brown spots showing up as well, so it looks a little like I have skin cancer. No zits, though! The swelling on my neck feels worse than it looks. I haven't lost any flexibility, but it always feels like I'm wearing a turtleneck.

The inside of my mouth still hurts to the point where I NEED to take codeine before I brush my teeth. My digestive system still isn't used to the solid food I'm starting to eat more of (had pizza last night), and the only thing that really helps the cramping is yoga. So I'm still losing weight no matter how much I'm eating. I explained to Team Slingblade what was up, so they're not hassling me about my weight anymore.

Now that I'm in the women's circle at the Radiation/Oncology waiting room, I'm also finding out that I'm the only one in our time period that doesn't have breast cancer. AND we're all at least 10 years older than we look. A couple of them are/were undergoing chemotherapy as well. Today's discussion was all about MRI horror stories. I think I'm the only one who isn't claustrophobic. But I'm also not scoring the good stuff, like Vicodin and other stuff I can't spell/pronounce. I was too embarassed to tell them I was only taking lame-old-codeine (felt just like high school).

One of the group members has a daughter who is recovering from back surgery and has all this MORPHINE that she isn't taking. I'm working on scoring some of that supply. Now before you start judging me, let me tell you something. I went to Cole's Wednesday night and commiserated with a friend who will be going into labor in the next three weeks. When the rain started a couple of weeks ago, we both wanted a cigarette soooo badly, but no we did not indulge. No alcohol for either of us, but I got to sniff a double scotch (so pathetic). So why shouldn't I treat myself to a little hallucinogen? I've been behaving myself!

I've had three nightmares in the past two weeks. I usually only have them once a year. James said he heard me shouting in the middle of the night. I don't even remember what the dreams were about. I guess since I haven't had anyone to yell at lately I've been getting all the rage out other ways. The human psyche is an amazing thing.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Goodbye, Ms. Chang

I just found out that one of my favorite authors, of one of my favorite books (The Rape of Nanking), shot herself in the head yesterday. I almost bought her last book this past weekend, and was actually thinking about her the other day.

Sometimes, I would feel ashamed thinking of her because we're about the same age, and I can't even bring myself to finish any of the manuscripts I started in the past ten years.

I was really looking forward to the book she was working on about soldiers fighting in the Philippines during WWII. God, this really blows.

Author Iris Chang found dead

LOS GATOS, Calif. - Iris Chang, a best-selling author who chronicled the Japanese occupation of China and the history of Chinese immigrants in the United States, was found dead in her car of a self-inflicted gunshot, authorities said Wednesday. She was 36.

Chang, who won critical acclaim for her books “The Rape of Nanking” and “The Chinese in America,” was found along Highway 17 just south of Los Gatos, Santa Clara County authorities said.


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

I'd like to exchange my denial for some enlightenment,... please?

While I was in the exam room waiting for Dr. Blackwell, his nurse, Lydia, came by for a little chat. She's the one who told me during my last visit that I was the doctor's first off-campus patient. She had gone through radiation treatment herself six years ago. Her throat is always dry because they zapped all her salivary glands and she can't taste a damn thing anymore. "But, you know," she shrugged. "You do what you can to enjoy life."

Lydia is Filipina as well, I suspect in her late 50s, and we're about the same height. They didn't slice her up, she went straight to radiation treatments. I told her that a couple of my salivary glands weren't getting zapped, and that they expected my sense of taste to come back in a few months. She nodded her head as she admired Dr. McNicoll's handiwork on the side of my neck. "I couldn't even tell. The swelling is going to go down, and then-" she swatted the air and smiled.

A few minutes earlier, I overheard Dr. Blackwell talking to another patient. I don't want to get anyone in trouble by getting into specifics, but let's just say it wasn't good news. Basically, she could skip treatment and live another six months, or take treatment and MAYBE double the time left.

Up until today, I'd been avoiding making eye contact with the other patients in the Radiation/Oncology waiting room. I didn't think of it as being rude, more like I only had 6 weeks of treatments so why develop attachments?

I could tell some of them had known each other for a while since they were talking about relatives, work, and a lot of personal stuff. Or maybe they'd just met but didn't have intimacy issues. I just keep my face buried in a magazine or my Blackberry until my name is called, then make a beeline for the elevators once I'm done.

There's a woman who wears a short, red wig who's being treated for breast cancer. She's probably no more than 10 years older than me and she's really beautiful. I see her every day, I even know her name. She's always friendly with the newbies. Last week, she was so focused on comforting a patient that she didn't hear her name called over the intercom. I said hello to her today on the way out.

Then I went to my car and cried for a few minutes.

A lot of things in my life have changed in the past 4+ months. Why haven't I? I've been waiting for the epiphany. But... nothing.

I don't know what any of this means. Maybe it's not supposed to mean anything. Maybe we're supposed to just richochet through life, take our chances with whatever or whoever we collide against, then die. (sigh) But I kinda believed that before.

Screw it. I've gotten by pretty alright so far on "Be happy, try not to hurt anyone, and hope you fall in love".

Monday, November 08, 2004

The Fiends on the 405

Had my first full day at the office. I went back in after r-treatment. It wasn't tiring at all, but the commute home nearly killed me. It's probably going to take me 2 hours to get to Westwood tomorrow morning for my appointment with Dr. Blackwell. Thank Buddah there's a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf near the medical center. And I get a fresh supply of codeine on Wednesday!

I'm going to need it. The Season is rolling up quick. But I'm not talking about the holidays. I mean the start of my brief but annual dating season. Now some of you who know me well are probably saying, "Qoi?"

Yes, I still hate dating, and I haven't forgotten Manhattan Beach guy from last winter (who was actually a rockin' 2nd baseman, but what kind of freak writes a poem with 'neoprene' in the title?). So why do I keep dating? It's like that old joke:

A guy sees his friend hitting himself on the head with a hammer. The guy says, "Dude! Why do you keep hitting yourself on the head with that hammer?" And his friend says, "Because when I stop, it feels so good."

So, yeah. For the rest of the year I'll be pretty content with my single status, assuming I don't fall in love Meg Ryan-romantic-comedy style. But nobody in real life falls in love that way, not even Meg Ryan.

Besides, I've yet to find a guy-to-date who can make me think, laugh, or care as much as the guys-I-hang-with do.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Over the Hump

Fifteen R-treatments down, fifteen more to go. I celebrated by buying books I don't need, and a T-shirt with a smiling space monkey floating underneath the caption: "I hope I never die". I'll wear it when I see Dr. Blackwell this week.

That's what I'm starting to feel like during treatments. They've been rotating teams among the different treatment rooms, and the team I had this past week is soooo slow. I suspect one of the members is a newbie. I understand they have to train people, but from what I could tell he hadn't gotten more proficient as the week went on. So I'm fastened to the slab with the stens in my mouth longer and longer with each day. Such a pain in the ass.

No new foods to report. No news on progress with the plumbing at the loft either. Maybe I should've gone to L.A. Trade Tech and become a plumber instead. The industry in general must be making a killing with all the new lofts popping up downtown. Does anyone know any single plumbers they can introdu...nevermind.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Depression turned outward

I mentioned a couple of entries ago that depression is rage turned inward. I think the opposite holds true as well because I've yelled at three different people in as many weeks and I'm definitely feeling better. Considering that my initial reflex was extreme violence I should find a better way to channel my "rage". But I think I've done a damn good job keeping myself in check, and out of prison.

I'm considering taking some sort of martial arts class. The last time I was in a high stress situation I took boxing classes nearly every day. But I also got in the habit of "playfully" hitting James too much back when we were a couple. Now that we're friends he's not as willing to take crap from me.

That's what I need these days... a big, easygoing boyfriend who can take a punch... and cook for me,... and eventually take care of all our kids. Can anyone introduce me to some single Samoan guys?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Tongue Tied

I completely forgot about my speech therapy appointment this morning. I was so distracted by Election Night that it slipped my mind.

I'm sure the codeine had something to do with it, too.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Codeine,... sweet codeine

That laser they're blasting me with seems to be proving its accuracy. The left side of my mouth is jacked. Brushing and flossing on that side is excruciating. My jaw (as warned) is starting to stiffen-up, so every so often I have to literally stretch my mouth open as far as I can with my hands, like a lion tamer, several times a day.

My sense of salty and sour are gone. Sweet and bitter are drifting over the horizon. I tried Indian food for lunch today. At least it was fragrant and spicy enough to register some reaction. I was able to remember enough of how it tasted like to fill in the blanks. I've been eating a lot of ice cream sundaes because chocolate syrup, caramel, and peanut butter are still detectable. Not good for the skin, but I think I'm drinking enough water to counteract any potential zits.

My energy level is back up. I think it's because I forced myself to continue with the yoga even when I was tired. Or maybe it's because Gazpacho is bringing out the goofy side of me. She's been seeking me out more often, so playing with her is keeping my spirits up a lot. Renting action movies helps a little, too. But now I want to buy a motorcyle and build up my own private arsenal.

I've started a new blog because November is National Novel Writing Month and there's a whole other side of me that has no business on Kevin's Dead Cat. I've called it "Perils of the Rational Mind". So if you're offended by my political views, emotional promiscuity, or opinions on contemporary culture... you'd best stay away from this blog (or get in my face on the comments section).