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Friday, September 19, 2008

I am not a doctor but I play one on TV

I have raved a little about Sloan Kettering but basically if you dont know what it is, it is the number one cancer hospital in the country and maybe even the world. They have saved two special people that I know with the most rare cancers and that makes me believe that they are the best.

I am sure people have had experiences that make them believe that it may not be the best cancer hospital but I have to go on my own experience and it has always been amazing.

Except of course for the long hours of waiting and the fact that when you go there you have CANCER!!

So Hubby was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma in 1993. He had two fingers amputated on his left hand and he went to Sloan Kettering every 3 months for the first couple of years for checkups. Every time we saw Dr. Boland.

Doctor Boland is a tall white haired man with a thick Irish Brogue. As far as I am concerned, he is GOD. He is the rare type of doctor who cares, really cares. He sits down in the room when he comes in. He tells the truth. Good, bad or ugly.

So sometime during the first couple of years following the initial diagnosis, Hubby finds a lump in his shoulder.

Diagnosis at original detection... cut it out from wherever it is. If you can cut it out then its ok, fingers, arms, legs, feet ok

neck, hip, spine. death sentence.

Shoulders not so sure.

Dr. Boland, GOD, told us that most likely if the cancer came back it would be in his lungs. So he had a chest xray each time.

And when it came out fine... we went to dinner in Manhattan.

We discovered Brother Jimmys, which no joke has a flashing neon sign that says
Meat/Eat right over the neon pig. The floor is made of plywood and there are rude signs everywhere. But it has the best ribs you could ever eat, with mashed potatoes and corn bread and the most giant mind eraser drink you could ever want. It has a giant plastic shark sticking out of the top and is served in a fish bowl.

So now there is a lump in his shoulder and we are freaking out. For real because again shoulders, not so sure. He has learned at this point to do most things without the fingers but if he has to have his arm amputated past his shoulder, his career as an electrician is over. And hopefully just that and not his life.

So we make an appointment to see God and they take our calls like we are old friends because being one of only 8 people in the country with this cancer in this spot, we are kinda famous,

That and the fact that we used D3 as entertainment.

We get an appointment right away and we go in and Dr. Boland is really nervous. I can tell he thinks it may be back.

He comes in, examines Hubby, leaves, comes back, leaves again.... brings in someone else... leaves, comes back later and is like ok come with me.

We trust him, so we follow. He tells us that because we come from so far away and because he wants to take care of this immediately he wants to take the lump out and biopsy it. now. today. this minute.

He is not really supposed to do this so we are sneaking into an empty surgery room downstairs.

I am not kidding. We are looking around corners and sneaking around.

We go into the surgery room and he has an assistant and he is like Nancy come on in. So being completely obsessed with medical procedures I go in.

He has the assistant prepare his shoulder and then asks the assistant to go get something.

Now we know why the wait for Dr. Boland has sometimes exceeded 5 hours. 5 hours like as in our appointment is at 10am and at 245 we are called into a room.

We laugh when we hear first timers after 30 minutes of waiting say "Um I have been waiting for a half an hour, how much longer is it gonna be?"

Fact is... when someone is saving your life, you wait. With a smile.

So I am in surgery...

and Dr. Boland begins to cut into his shoulder.

he pauses.

"Where are my glasses?"

Nancy can you look in my jacket hanging on the back of the door?

I take out his glasses and he is like

I am already sterile Can you put these on me?

So I start to put his glasses on and he is over 6 ft and I am standing on my toes and poking him in the ears with the glasses and he bends down and I think...

this is a story I will tell for years.

So he takes out what appears to be a new tumor.

He puts it in a jar.

Nancy can you get me the anesthesia.


Yeah take that needle and stick it in that bottle and pull down and fill the needle up with blah blah blah. Then bring it to me.

He shoots him up with blah blah blah.

He leaves.

He comes back in and says "I am not sure". He leaves and comes back. He stitches Hubby up (like Frankenstein)The scar is gnarly. And he says "It may be back". We say okay. He says "Well it has irregular margins but you never know" "Well if its back we will have to amputate.... well lets see."

They stitch him up, shoot him up with anesthesia, give him a prescription for pain killers and send us home. We took the train and two subways to get there so guess what?

We have to take 2 subways and a train to get home.

So we go to Genovese to pick up the drugs, give him one and get on subway 1.

Now Hubby is bandaged and drugged and we get on the first subway and I am trying to shield him from the crazy New Yorkers.

And he is getting more and more drugged and I am not sure how to get back...is it the 6 train and then the E train? or the other way around? Do I get off at Lexington Ave?

We finally get back to the Ronkonkoma train station and we own a pickup truck that I have to drive home.

Princesses dont drive pickups.

I guess they do surgery though.

Ps. They called about two weeks later and said it was an infected hair follicle that turned into a fatty mass. but no cancer. I remember hearing the messages and falling against the wall and feeling so greatful. I try to remember that feeling of gratitude in times of stress.

Like when Hubby is snoring.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm Back

Did you miss me?

Well I was sitting down to do my homework...

I even have the book right next to me.

Yes I am hoping it jumps out of the book into my head.

... and I heard through the grapevine (namely daughters 3 and 4) that I had a comment on my blog.

My first comment...I am touched. No really... dear anonymous commenter. It made my day.

I will admit that I was very sad that no one had commented but then I heard through the grapevine, (ellen and daughter 3) that the comment section was broken.

or I just set the page up wrong. either way no one is pointing any fingers.

but it is fixed and i hope that means more comments. hint hint

So how can I dissapoint my fans(fan)? That would be wrong to look that anonymous commenter in the face and say No I dont have time for you, I have to do my homework, you are on your own for procrastination activities. Not me people I am willing to sacrifice for my fan base.

Now I do feel somewhat guilty because Hubby so generously offered to take D3 to violin lessons so I could stay home and do my homework. And D4 wanted me to go with him because she said I would distract her from doing her homework. Do you believe that?

I am not a bad influence on my kids.

Hardly ever do I insist that we skip actual food and eat Ben and Jerrys for dinner.

FYI If you get NY Superfudge Chunk, there are nuts and nuts are protein, kinda, and there is cream which is calcium and dark chocolate lowers blood pressure. So its not soooo bad.

And only once or twice have I laughed so hard at a fart joke or when D3 says ASS in the clover voice, that I spit my drink out.

And maybe my little doggie knows that she can sleep on the chair when I am there and not Hubby because I hug her when she is on the chair and he screams in her face.

So what that I colored D4 hairs pink or took D2 to the tattoo parlor to get her ear cartlidge pierced?

Does that make me a bad influence?

Now because I am old and losing my mind, I had this great idea for a blog this morning but I worked on two papers that were due today and I booked my hotel room for DC this weekend and then I checked my email and then, perfect timing my friend called and saved me from doing any more work, but I forgot about the blog idea.

And now I have babbled and wasted my blogging time on stupid crap.

In the midst of all this blogging, D1 called with an itching crisis, D2 called on my cell phone which I ignored because no one ever calls on my cell phone at this hour until I realized it was her but when I called her back she ignored my call, D3 and hubby came back from violin and D3 had to check facebook for messages, and D4 cannot do her lab because she is just as bad of a procrastinator as me.

So... I am waiting patiently for Hubby to stop watching Led Zeppelin on TV so I can watch the makeover show on Americas Next Top Model.

And I can blog about the he/she who somehow wore a bikini last show? Color me baffled???

WEll every kid of mine has been in crisis mode tonight between decisions about money, health, homework and social activities. My blogging has been interuppted one time too many.

I just want cookies and America's Next Top Model.

I have lost my spark for writing in my blog because I am exhausted and emotionally drained from all this Superwoman stuff I am doing.

I will blog again.


I promise dear fans.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Microbiology and Cell Biology

Somewhere along the line I decided I needed to go back to school. It was somewhere around the time that I was sick and thinking I really need a career and not just a job. Caught between helping other people and wanting to do that for a living, I decided to go back to school for Genetic Counseling.

I went to Stony Brook University when I graduated high school.

Well let me just clarify that. I was accepted to Stony Brook, I registered there for classes and on the days when I had classes there I got in my '72 Cutlass and headed there from my house about 10 miles away.

What usually happened was by no fault of my own... my car would drive itself from my house, head towards Stony Brook, and then veer off at the last minute to the Mall. I would spend the day shopping at Lerners and then return home later with fake stories of my classes and people I had met.

So I wasted the whole first semester this way and then since I was already engaged, I officially dropped out, got a great job in a bank making 180 dollars a week and I thought, hell who needs college. I am making the big bucks, driving a hot little sports car(called a yugo) and about to marry the man of my dreams. Who needs an education? I just spent 13 years in school,faking my way through and fooling my teachers when I was learning absolutely nothing.

I went back to school in 1990 and I wanted to be an accountant. I know, the most boring job on creation, but it made good money and I always loved math. I took macro and micro economics, principles of accounting and business classes. But honestly the most valuable class i ever took was Oral Communications. I learned how to speak in front of a large group and honestly I have always felt comfortable since then speaking out loud.

OK so if you have known me in the last 18 years of my life you are like, sure Nancy, convince yourself you weren't always a chronic talker, but honestly, I could never speak out loud until that class.

I wanted to go back to school as soon as we closed the store but with the Fat Bastard stealing everything and not paying us a dime, I had no way of paying so I waited.

I waited until I was 40 and I couldn't wait any longer. I waited until I knew if I didn't start, I never would. And I just did it. I registered and took 3 classes and have continued for the last 3 semesters.

So being the biggest procrastinator with an incredible idea that I am superwoman, I registered for 16 credits this semester and ordered my books in June so I would have the summer to work on half the credits.

Can you guess what happened?

I know I cant believe it either. The whole summer went by and I didn't work on it as much as I would have liked.

OK OK I barely worked on it at all. Well first I was just taking a short break... then I was remodeling the house... and then... you know... the blog took over.

So it is with a heavy heart and a sadness that I never thought possible that I must take a small break from blogging.

I have 6 Cell Biology Chapters to read in the next 3 weeks and 6 Microbiology chapters. I also have 4 one page papers and 2 6 page papers due for Health Psychology and Multicultural Social Work.

And all I do is blog. All I want to do is blog and I wonder... do I want to be a writer? I have never even thought of this as a possibility. maybe its like singing... maybe I like to do it but maybe I just suck at it.

I think I should stick to Genetic Counseling. Disease and medicine... that appeals to me more than writing... It is solid and there is no genetic counseling block that could stop me from doing my job, plus I could start diagnosing people and prescribing medication legally now instead of as a hobby.

So check back soon but for the next few days... i must study, for real, not how I fakely do each day and really blog instead. I must read about cells and the endoplasmic reticulum and the mitochondria(the powerhouse of the cell) and stop reading the blogs of note.

For now I will DVR my shows, prison break, the biggest loser, survivor and all the other reality shows and I will only turn on my computer to check my email and my bank balance and I will become the expert on cells. And then I will blog more intelligently about how cells work and maybe I will discover a cure for a famous disease and they will name it the Nancy disease.

I like that the Nancy disease. Maybe I will learn to like my name then.

maybe not.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Someone stole my identity

Ok so its no secret if you live with me that I have been less than content with the fact that no one reads my blog. Even my family who once pretended to find it interesting is just getting bored of the same old stuff I have to say.

Granted they have heard these stories multiple times or that I am constantly droning on about something at every moment but I still feel sad that I am not the interesting person I thought I was.

So today I am about to sit down and try again to do my homework which pretty much means Time to Blog and I saw blogs of note and thought the title was catchy, Clever Girl Goes Blog.

I started reading her blog and realize, wow, this girl has stolen my identity. I haven't read all the blogs because lets face it I do have some sort of a life, or really I just promised my family my famous chicken parm, but what I have read, scary.

I mean OK I don't really love cats, in fact when I see a dead one I am like Woohoo one less cat in the world and I haven't been divorced because... well I just still love my husband, but her love of 80's movies, yeah that's dead on.

Now I do realize that alerting people to her blog will make them stop reading my blog but then I remembered that no one is reading my blog anyway so its really fine.

I did really identify with her being two different people, the blogger and the not so blogger. Problem for me... I have great stories, from work, from family, from things I overhear all the time... and yeah I am a little bit of a creepy stalker that way.

I have been known to stay quiet hiding behind my backyard tree, real stealth like, to overhear the neighbors across the street talk about their son in rehab. Or to gaze out my dining room window as I pretend to clean them in order to see what the newlyweds are fighting about or why they don't even seem to like each other.

But I worry that the stories will hurt other peoples feelings or that someone reading them will think I am more nuts than I really am.

Like wishing cats dead or relating all my life experiences to a song.

So her blog is about her life and her thoughts and it is really good.

And I know I have a lot of interesting thoughts too. And while I was eating the best chicken parm I have ever made I came upon a realization about why my blog is not as exciting as some others I have read.

I am a mother. That's why. Everything I say and do comes under scrutiny of the most critical eyes in the world. My children. I have read blogs about sex, drugs and rock and roll along with opinions on gay marriage and other hot political topics and I realize... my kids would be horrified if I gave out this much information about our lives, their lives, etc etc.

I have incredibly amazing stories about Hubby and I over the years, how our love has changed and grown and how still after all these years he looks at me like he did when we were 18 and newly in love. In his eyes, the years of fat and grey hair and wrinkles and wear and tear melt away and I am standing there with my Madonna fingerless lace gloves and lace headband with my red pumps and my rabbit fur coat arriving for our secret honeymoon in Disney world.

Some of these stories are sharable some of them can only be told in the cone of silence that I will refer to as the basement, where since Mario left, there are no topics that are off limits.

I have stories of my mothering, things I am proud of, things I am horrified about, that can never be spoken of in a public forum for fear my kids would use it against me at a later date. Remember that time you forgot D3 at gymnastics? 3 times?

Friends and family that have disappointed me so greatly that the stories are tragic and heart wrenching, but again, there are kids involved and that wouldn't be fair to them. You can read that on another blog Silhouette of Hope.

So for now I guess my blog will have to go on being unread, a little boring and mostly admired by only me when I forget what I have written about and amuse myself with my own stories.

Thats the great thing about losing your mind. Everything that was old seems new again.

Hey maybe I will start a blog.