Location: one hour from Suffolk, Rockingham, and Scarborough, United States

I'm one of the co-authors of Point of Hopes, Point of Dreams, and The Armor of Light (which, contrary to some reviews is NOT a Points novel). Proud member of CoastLine SF, Piscataqua Obedience Club, and admin for Horseboard.

Friday, July 29, 2005

And of the day of the seventh....

Last Saturday, July 23, Lance Armstrong clinched his seventh victory in the Tour de France, and I was discharged from Dartmouth-Hitchcock for the second time in a month. On the 22nd, I had had a reservoir put in, so that I can have chemo administered directly to my spinal fluid, which had showed tumor cells in it. Lance's scar on his head is much cleaner and more elegant than mine, but what the hell.

We have tracked the monster to its lair. To its outpost. We will eradicate it. We will be victorious. I may not have Lance's drive, but I do have his determination to beat this shit out of this thing, and if I have given an eye for wisdom, so freaking be it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I'm back

Time to get back to posting. I had surgery on the 27th. Are you all sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

First, the thing we've been treating for the past year with radiosurgery seems to have been NOT a metastasis,but rather a benign meningioma. Benign being a relative term. Its presence was first diagnosed because it was up against the brain stem, causing me some double vision. But this explains why the radiosurgery didn't eradicate it. Breast cancer is very susceptible to radiation; meningiomas less so.

However, the pre-surgical MRI, done the morning of the 27th, showed a second lesion. So they added that to the day's agenda, and that little SOB did turn out to be a metastasis of the breast cancer. However, it was on the same surgical pathway as the one we were going after anyway.

The surgery ended up taking almost twice as long as expected. Melissa was, of course, there, as were her mother Elaine, and my sisters, Noralie and Dorothy.

I spent the entire first night in the recovery room; I was feeling pretty darned punky. The nurses there were outstanding, very caring, wonderfully efficient. And as it turned out, the recovery room at night was a lot quieter than my hospital room was.

Tuesday I was brought up to a room; Tuesday night at 10:00 PM, the floor nurse tells me they're now ready for my follow-up MRI. You have to admit, that's a pretty ungodly hour for an MRI. But apparently that showed that they were able to completely resect (remove) the tumor, and they got most of the meningioma. They didn't want to scrape or dig too much, since it was up against a nerve that was making me cough. And since it took, in all likelihood, 46 years for it to grow as big as it was last year, there's not a lot of concern about it growing back in a hurry.

I was discharged on the 30th, and we went back to the hotel; I collapsed into bed and luxuriated in the quiet. Hospitals are noisy places. And yes, every two hours, there was a nurse checking my vital signs. I know they have to, and I probably wasn't sleeping all that deeply anyway, but getting away from the constant noise, clatter, and chatter of the hospital was a relief. We drove home the following morning, and when we got in, I again crawled into bed and stayed there for a few days.

I had my stitches removed this week -- I may frighten only half the horses at Saratoga when we go -- and the various oh so lovely bald patches are growing in nicely. No, fortunately, it doesn't look as though I have mange. I think I look rather like Lance Armstrong, except our scars are different. Mine makes me look like something from an early Tim Burton movie, and quite the badass.