"Hi, there...remember me? Don't know how you really could have forgotten me, y'know. I am one of those life changing events you always read about on the Internet. Let me in. We need to talk."
Yeah. Biopsy, big, scary kind of word. One of those "oh shit, it just got real" words. Not that I was surprised...I have always done very badly on those physical kinds of tests...morbidly obese people have things others don't...and they are often in the wrong places, or covered over with layers of self. So having a mammogram repeated was not a new thing. But....
Processing. Bio. Easy one. Life. Psy. Mind? Ah. AG (After Googling), I find that psych is mind, and short old psy isn't really anything. But OPSY turns out to be associated with sight and vision. So they are looking for life. Well, shit. That's exactly what I am all about right now. Hot damn, there is something I can agree with!
Smiles are welcome, if warranted. You aren't laughing at me, or my pain, or my affliction, you are donating to my medicine. Thank you. And humor has always been my weapon and retreat when dealing with nasty shit. Years in the classroom taught me that making people genuinely laugh makes everything around all of you a little brighter, pushes back some of the gloom...I know. Fuckin Mary Poppins and her spoonful of sugar... but laughter and merriment ARE healers. If Hollywood got a hold of a good idea, and fucked it up for commercial reasons, well, it won't be the first time!
So part of this blog will lend itself to my rather dark sense of humor. I have had one since I first laughed at one of those nasty jokes kids whisper to each other at slumber parties. No, not the dirty ones, the dark ones. "What kind of wood doesn't float?" "Natalie".
Sorry if that slice offended you. Fair warning, one outlet for my inner darkness WILL be those kind of remarks. I have withheld them for decades, due to my 'position'. High school teachers don't ask their students "What kind of shampoo did Princess Di use?" "I'm not sure, but her head and shoulders were all over the dashboard"
Sorry if that slice offended you. You had fair warning. And I GOT the Princess Di joke from one of my students. He grokked beneath the teacher to the anarchist, as did some others. They rocked then. I hope they are rocking now. I miss all that.
Biopsy. So what will we talk about? Biopsy means, right now, today, unknown. There is a question that needs an answer, and biopsy is the means to that answer. OK. Been dealing with that kind of thinking all my life. NO problem. Got it.
The fuckin abyss opens up at the next step. Then what? Oh Holy Powers that Influence Shit Around Here - Whatever you deem him/her/it/them/us/ or other to be...henceforth collectively referred, for convenience ONLY, as gawds (all typable with the left hand. cool)
Then what? Oh Gawds. Who the fuck knows? There are three possible outcomes. The first is another inconclusive test, which means another session, more waiting, more... GAH. Please gawds, not that option. I NEED to know the simple answer - yes, or no. Did I pull the black pebble or the white one?Does my square of paper have the deep black mark on it? And are those stones in my breast or what? Suspicious calcifications. Hard words to type - harder to wrap around in my brain. Calcifications. To me - that means stones of some kind. I have had stones before, gall stones. Related? Maybe I just tend to have the calcium crank stuck in overdrive, and the spare calcium winds up deposited all throughout the storehouse. Which is a lot more cramped, now that I have downsized by more than half, so maybe all that crap stuck away over all those years is finally seeing the light of day - and is nothing more than another memory of twinkies at dawn, cheesesteaks that required two hands to squeeze shut...yeah. Could be just that.
Or it could be cancer. Type the word, Mel. Shit is now real. And if it is cancer?
Praise gawds that I am in the absolute bestest place on earth to have this happen. The Rogue valley grows the best cannabis in the world - naturally, organically, under just enough sun, cool nights and love and attention to thrive and spread their healing far beyond the valley floor.
The people of the Rogue Valley have hearts as big as those mountains that hold us in, and challenge us at the same time. There is a special group of cannabis warriors who have been drawn together by something none of us can define, classify, cognify, delineate, categorize, or other wise codify - but it's as fuckin real as each of us is, and we feel it and know it. Some of us refer to the Goddess, others have other names, some don't need a name, others have very formal relationships with this force, and if you feel this just went off the metaphysical end of things, have another hit. You aren't stoned enough yet.
Anyway - the group of which I am humbled to be a part are the strongest, most committed cannabis warriors anyone could ever hope to meet. They have endured calumny at the hands of the city council, criminal charges at the same behest, loss of income, inability to operate a non-profit, and the loss that means the most - the loss of our inability to easily and efficiently help patients - legal, registered, totally state legal patients - get the right cannabis medicine.
That sucks. But this group fights on, and knowing how they have bulldogged their passion since they assembled beginning in 2010, I tell you three times that there could not be a better krew at my back than these people. I love all of them, and if cancer is a part of my future, I know that they will be there. After my first catastrophic illness in Bethel, where Roger was my sole support, rock, anchor, knight in snowy armor...my big alaskan teddy bear with the beard of frost and the heart of gold, knowing another friend is 10 minutes away is healing power I am truly grateful for. Thank you my friends. Knowing he no longer has to be the one and only prop is a relief I cannot find words for. This year is challenging enough for him in his primary task, and letting him concentrate on that relieves me tremendously. Thank you for that as well.
I also want to express my utter astonishment with the medical personnel I have encountered thus far in the process. From everyone at La Clinica, to the staff at the radiology departments at RVMC and ACH, a most grateful thank you. I never felt dismissed, demeaned, made to feel as though I was the consciously responsible entity who created these issues, and how dare I walk through their doors and expect them to fix something I had so obviously managed to break all on my own...
Yeah. When you go to seek medical help and you weigh in at 337... that is what you get, that is how you are treated, that is the attitude, the help, the advice. I was never a pain patient - I was that fat lady whose poor feet understandably hurt.
I need to make something clear. The scenario I am describing in no way reflects anything done in 2014. I am speaking to the people in Bethel - and the people I encountered at La Clinica back then -2009/2010. Not all, but there were enough fat haters to leave a sour taste in my mind.
Now, at 160, I have had medical people congratulate me on medical progress, unrelated to my weight. Amazing. Now that is out of the way, I am being seen as a patient. Not a fat person. Way to make progress toward mellowing my hideously negative attitude toward the industry of Medicine as practiced in the West - practiced, I note, because many of them are STILL trying to get it right. Keep practicing. Ice it son!
Spent some time in the garden today - watered, cleaned out the butterfly bush...very reluctantly. It is gorgeous and does draw wonderful butterflies, but the medical garden pests are drawn by it as well, and I had to make the obvious choice. I will attempt to keep it alive at a very low bonsai level, as it is grandfathered in after that law against selling them was passed a couple of years ago - so these should not be lost - especially since I seem to have an unwarranted and unfounded skepticism about ANY law involving the prohibition of a plant. Some of those laws are defensible. Some aren't. And without the time to research butterfly bushes and their environmental impact...I will try and maintain it until I DO have the time. I can take it out if I find that is best, but I cannot restore it to life if I do that now, and discover this is another bad plant law.
Shoes were good about an hour today before the toe began being uncomfortable. Just enough time to get the garden attended to and get set up for a lovely and healing afternoon on the porch - listening to great old folk and cross stitching just feet away from some of the prettiest and happiest ladies in the valley. How can you NOT sit there and feel at ease? Here was the view from the porch 2 weeks ago.
Here is where I am waiting out the sunniest, hottest hours of the afternoon.
The brown and beige thingie is actually an led fountain. Led lights flicker under the water, which splashes down on rocks - which were lost when the fountain was stored. Lo and behold, I was recently at a fantastic outdoor wedding and found myself wandering a creekbed, picking up small stones, idly, curiously, no real intent other than I was there, and so were the stones. A couple of days later, Britt and I were discussing our enjoyment of fountains and I remembered this one. There were no stones, until I remembered those I groundsourced from Humbug Creek. They sound happy to be wet again.
The purple cup contains mint leaves. It used to contain iced tea and mint leaves. It was delicious. First fresh mint tea of the year - and from my own mint. The simplest things bring such joy.
I look to my right - and see the ladies stretching toward the sun. Each day. Blessed I am. Yoda, home go.
And the tour concludes with the view from my corner. It's a nice quiet corner, where one can collect thoughts, play with quiet things, or just look around inside your own head for a while. Nothing can hurt you there. Feel free to stop by and sit a spell. Anyone, anytime. Please. There is peace enough here for everyone. BYOBeverage, we are down to tea, coffee and water. Love to all who read this far, and those that did not.
Make today the best day yet.