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.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

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

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Popping in, For now

The past four weeks have been a blur; eee-eye, eee-eye, ooo. This morning was the first time I woke-up with James out of the apartment; eee-eye, eee-eye, ooo. Still hating my life (clap, clap, clap). But hurting everyone would be worse (stomp, stomp, stomp).

So when I can no longer stand the mental torture and I can only palliative care, bring it on

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Kiddie Food Way-Back Machine

I'm very anxious because yesterday I had a bad time when I practiced drinking water the normal way. Today, my throat... it hasn't been misbehaving, but it's definitely today's squeaky wheel.

I've been distracting myself with fantasy meals and gourmet cooking shows, but that's not unusual. I tried encouraging people to eat total kid food, the stuff I used to eat before I ever knew what the word cancer was. There were wonderful things like Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches, Hostess Cupcakes, Blueberry Pop Tarts, bologna and cheese sandwiches on Wonder Bread, Welch's Grape Juice, Hawaiian Punch- oooooooh, I used to love Hawaiian Punch. Now I'm spending way too much time in the kiddie food way-back machine.

Anyway, there was a post a few months back on where a woman hadn't eaten anything in over a year because of her treatments. It's going to be as long for me when my chemo is over. Hopefully.

Since I've begun massaging my neck the past few days, mostly out of fear because it felt like the swelling was getting closer to my trache. The shape of my neck, jaw, and cheeks have been changing. It's probably just a re-distribution of fluid.

Karma Scrub

To make-up for the Wonka Cake request, here's one of my healthy breakfast alternatives:

1 c. blueberry juice
1 slice whole wheat toast with mascarpone cheese spread and either organic apricot or wild blueberry jam
hot tea

Which is a really tasty breakfast as well. But I mostly remember putting the apricot jam on my pinhead oatmeal with buttermilk. I was eating pretty well until the whole thing caved in on my head.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Wonka Cakes

I've finally found something to absolutely covet: Wonka Cakes. And it's so irrational. It's just the same Hostess Cup Cake that I used to eat bags of when I was a kid. But it's chocolate, the icing and filling is purple, and it looks like so much fun!!!

If anyone's up for it, I think everyone should think of me while eating a pack of Wonka Cakes and a drinnking a tall glass of milk.

Tour de France

So Lance Armstrong is spanking more poor cyclists in the French countryside who are still burdened with their testicles. What a bully. Why hasn't he single-handedly cured cancer with all the stuff going on in his foundation yet? But seriously, I hope he's having a good time.

There was a two-hour Tour de France special on the Discovery Channel a while back that featured all the wineries, restaurants, and castles along the route; you know, stuff that mere mortals would actually go to. Definitely what I'd rather be doing. Immediately I think of all the handcrafted chocolate shoppes and patisseries in the small villages. I'd also stick to brasseries and cafes 'cause I'm so poor. Then, there's all that cheese and wine. Sun, fresh fruit, herbs, outdoor tables with wine, cheese, bread, pate, and marinated olives. Aaaaaaaaah!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Magic Moments

I slept through most of last night. I had to bug James for a morphine shot at around 2am, otherwise, I was down for the count until 7am. I think it's the closest I've come to a normal night since day the trache tube was installed. Oh my, could I be feeling better?

I'm not sure exactly how I'm feeling better; whether my coping skills have gotten better, my body is reacting positively to the chemo, the Chinese herbs are doing their job, the mind-bending drugs are completely flushed out of me, or what. I'm almost afraid to say it out loud: 99% of what I'm feeling isn't despair and denial. But something has definitely happened. I'm sure James is grateful that he won't be waking up at 3am with my inner cannula lying next to my bed instead of in my trache are over. I'm grateful that James has a real shot at sleeping through the night now.

Then again, last night's Iron Chef America was Freakin' Incredible!!! Two of my favorite cookbook chefs had a pizza dough battle. For months after I got Todd English's Olives, I only made pizza dough his way. It was perfect dough: thin almost cracker-like but chewy and light. I only made this dough when I ate pizza alone, or with only one other person because it was very tricky to handle.

Mario Batali's Babbo is just a gem. I call it Italian soul food because he has stuff like tripe, roasted beets, sardines, and stuff no one else I know wants when they come over for dinner. But it's definitely the stuff that I adore.

I still fantasize about my dream dinner if the miracle happens. And in every incarnation, there's sure to be a recipe from either Olives or Babbo.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Other details

The blood tests before Chemo showed some mild anemia. So now I'm on Procrit. Nurse Marilou was very excited about it. She asssured us that it would really help with my energy level. I get an injection once a week.

I've been sleeping comfortably on my right side for the past few days now. It feels so great. But I'm still not sleeping through the night. James says I've gotten up a couple of nights still dreaming. That's the new goal, sleep through the night without waking up.

I missed Ali's very special party at Cole's this past Friday. I think I got a little too eager, and ended up wearing myself out. But Ali came by the next day and filled me in. Sorry I couldn't make it, everyone.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Chemo, part III

Even though we got a late start because there were fewer staff this morning, the IV bags flowed like the Nile and we were able to get out of the Chemo Clinic at a decent hour. Maybe time flew because my body has become faster at absorbing stuff because of the feeding tubes. Dr. B is still pleased that I haven't had any nausea. I'll probably get my next CT Scan after the next Chemo Cycle and we'll see if there's been any shrinkage of the tumor.

New activities: practice drinking water in the normal way, artificially clearing my throat in the most efficient and pain-free way, and being happily back on the Chinese herbs in a big way. I also got a new pair of glasses, so I won't have to worry so much about my eyes. I was also able to meditate for a good 15 minutes. My sister came over in the afternoon to keep me company, and my cousin in the Bay Area sent me a beautiful bouquet that reminds me of Van Gogh in the South of France.

Today was a good day.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Game

So let's talk about medication. Never liked it; always tried to avoid it; can't really now; but dammit I am so grateful to just be taking a sleeping pill so I can simply sleep!

I have a new theme song. It stops me from howling uncontrollably while I wait for the morphine to drop my pain level from 7 to 2. It's "The Game" by Queen. There's just something about the guitar solo; simple, slow, classic. But don't panic. I just got it this morning. Maybe I'll wake up with a new one in my head tomorrow morning.

I need a good book, too. I've been watching too much TV. But for some reason, I'm hooked on "Felicity" on the WE Channel. It's the season where she's got short hair and she's dating Ben (finally!). And no, I haven't gotten around to watching an episode of "McLoed's Daughters." I hear it's a not bad series, but I don't know.

Anything on the Sci-Fi Channel... not so much. Which is a very good thing. Can you imagine the hell of being awake at 3am every morning hallucinating anything having to do with my cancer from "Star Gate: Atlantis", "Star Trek:TNG", or "The X-Files"?!!! Hell, I was up all night once after making the mistake of watching this very cheesy 90s miniseries called "Bella Mafia", and it was not a fun night.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

OK, so here's your new post Agnieszka

I haven't been posting most of June because the drugs they've been giving me after the stomach tube made me disoriented, and worse. I can tell when I type because the spatial orientation of each letter is different as I'm typing them down on white. But I've been weening myself off the drugs, which is a damn good thing. They made me disoriented, delusional, paranoid.

Right now, I'm climbing out of a deep blue funk. The stomach tube is great because I'm finally getting strength back. But the throat trache is still a pain in the ass.

My next chemo session is next Wednesday. I really need something drastic to happen after this next session. I haven't been getting sick (nausea, vomiting) but I really need this tumor to shrink, or do something. I'm so angry most of the time. Nothing really bad is happening, but I want some sort of sign, any difference in my condition that will tell me that the drugs are making some sort of difference.

I want shrinkage of the tumor, to be able to get rid of the throat trache and stomach tube, and have a Teriyake Burger at Islands with a large Diet Coke.