"Feral ~ from feminine of ferus wild: having escaped from domestication and become wild"...




Saturday

Time after time.






Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick and think of you
caught up in circles 
confusion
is nothing new. 
flashback, warm nights
Almost left behind
Suitcase of memories,
Time after 

Sometimes you picture me 
I'm walking too far ahead
You're calling to me, I can't hear
What you said 
Then you say go slow 
I fall behind 
The second hand unwinds

If you're lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you I'll be waiting 
Time after time

If you're lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you I will be waiting 
Time after time

After my picture fades and darkness has 
Turned to gray
Watching through windows you're wondering
If I'm OK
Secrets stolen from deep inside
The drum beats out of time

If you're lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you I'll be waiting
Time after time

You say go slow
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds

If you're lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you I'll be waiting
Time after time

If you're lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you, I will be waiting
Time after time

Time after time
Time after time
Time after time

                                                 
                                                                ~Cyndi Lauper, Songwriter



I tried to do the drive to the city, the appointment alone this time - the appointment again this last Monday - the scan with IV contrast & barium, the bloodwork, the appt with the Hematologist Oncologist...every 6 months since October 2011. The partially removed tumor for the very rare disease I have - Unicentric Castlemans, Hyaline vascular type - still sits inside me, clinging to my right iliac vein. Its curable if they can remove it all, but unfortunately they couldnt, and it can return, spread, morph into cancer - they treat it as a cancer. I also ended up with a permanent DVT from the surgery that i wear a compression sock for, and a permanent 8 inch Paisley motif scar on my belly; two reminders that i ignore frequently.  I go into the familiar radiology department and wait; then my name is called, and I see familiar faces. it takes 4 people, 6 tries to put a catheter in - they end up using an MRI machine to seek my veins, pressing down hard, trying both arms. and poking. and poking. Nerves are hit; my fingers pulsate with electricity and I yelp quietly, they apologize. and continue to poke. and apologize. and poke.  It took 90 minutes before I was put into the scanner- my arms ache - but i am obedient and lay down on the movable bed, raise my arms, iv attached, close my eyes, listening to the hum of the machine as it glides me through and listening to the disembodied voice tell me when to hold my breath, to let me know when the contrast hits my veins and I feel the familiar heat in my body wash through, the sensation of urination and the metallic taste in my mouth. it takes 10 minutes. They ease me up, make me sit because they could tell, tell that i wanted to run out of there NOW, like a pacing feral horse in a stall circling, wanting a way OUT. When they finally let me get up, I walked out as fast as i can, like the buildings on fire, pushing the swinging doors open - i dart for the main hallway - I hear my name called - I turn and look - my Foresterman is standing there, alone, his look of concern, his love for me written on his face. He   drove 3 hours to surprise me, because he knew. He just knew. My lifeline in a sea of strange surroundings, i rush to him and cling, feeling the sob that wants to escape from my throat. no. not here. I pull him off to the side and tell him I dont want to do this anymore. no. more. and he holds me with no words. Time after time.

But we have to run to catch the next appointment, no time to lunch even though my stomach is empty from last night's fast and here we are, once again at the cancer clinic, my full head of hair in a room full of people without. I feel awkward. I hate this. i hate this. I hate this. But they move people through respectfully fast here, they dont let us linger, we are important and time is important, to all of us who sit here and wait. Time after time.

My name is called, we both get up, i dont have to do this alone - we follow the nurse and go through the ritual of weigh in, chattiness on her part to fill the dead air of the unknowing (because thats why we are here, to find out results yet again), she comments on my high blood pressure reading, gets up and says Dr. W will be in shortly. we wait.  we talk about the questions we want to ask - about freedom - and in walks Dr. W. he is a quiet, unassuming man, stops to shake our hands hello in formality -  but he knows why we are here, so he sits at his desk, pulling up the results on his laptop right away, even though the test was just a half hr ago. We've all done this before. Time after time.

We hold our breath. and wait for him to speak.

"it looks good. all of it" he says, looking up smiling. I exhale like a deer does when they call out in warning "shhuuushh". Its good. all of it. Before we can ask our questions Dr. W tells me to get undressed and up on the table - he steps out - i shed my clothes quickly, tossing them at my foresterman like we are warming up 5 minutes before the game throwing softballs and stop for a moment to ponder the gown question again, tie in front or back? (time after time!) and before we know it hes back in the room, asking politely for me to hop up on the table and hes poking me and prodding all my lymph nodes and peering in my mouth and ears, making me take deep breaths...and i try so hard not to start talking because I know it will slow this process down.  my heart pounds - we have questions to ask - Time after time.

"okay, we're done" Dr. W says sitting back at his desk, and me on the table and then I ask the most important question first.  How long will these scans last?  

"5 years total every 6 months".

my mouth drops involuntary and my hands grip the table im sitting on - I can see the surprise in his eyes at my reaction - "i cant do this-" my foresterman chimes in "she had a rough go of it today" . Theres silence in the room. Dr. W coughs, his polite hand making a fist at his mouth, and he looks at me again. "we could eliminate the contrast, but then the readings will not be clear..." his voice trails off.  the rest of it I could not hear because my mind stopped. It literally stopped. I interrupted both of them and heard this voice, coming from me, in control and full of power - "i was not expecting you to say this, and I need to think about all of this. But not now. we have time." They both stare at me, and somewhere inside of my being i felt strong. not sick. strong. Time after time.

So then the questions start. And Dr. W always gets a little smile on his face when we ask questions - "I want to go backpacking and live above 10,000 feet this summer on the mountains for a week, can i?" yes. "can she free dive while snorkeling, and how deep?" yes, 15 ft should be okay. more goofy questions, more serious answers. After this odd exchange that makes him smile our time is up. As he is leaving, he takes my hand, looks into my eyes, searching for me. We connect, and he says meaningfully "youre doing VERY good. VERY good." This word, "VERY" is new. I am doing VERY good. my foresterman and I both grin at each other after the door closes. "VERY good." 

we can make decisions later on testing, 
but today we are doing VERY good.



very good.

~

The picture of me above was taken by Mr. Foresterman in 2005. 
Its a special place off trail, above treeline and above 10,000 ft.
I am going there again to flyfish, this year.


and




who the heck has their own supply of barium?

(and its not a smoothie taste - trust me...)



~

VERY GOOD.

31 comments:

  1. Oh, my sweet girl!!! You scared me there for a minute!!! I am SO HAPPY for you, that I'm crying!!!! You are so incredibly strong and brave, but please let us share your load when we can. Believe me, if I could reach you right now, I'd be purely squeezing you in my hug!!!!

    My favorite Eva Cassady song is Songbird, same as the album.

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  2. That's such good news. Very good:-) Lovely Mr Foresterman. It can be so hard to endure these investigations and I can't begin to imagine the added stress when mortality is at stake. But you got the very best news. Wonderful.

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  3. Oh Woman! between your words and Eva Cassidy (not to mention your new header shot) you have me starting my morning off in tears. Sorry about the testing in your future, but as a kick ass woman I'm sure you will make the right decision. Keep thinking "very good."

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  4. OK with these darn tears in my eyes I think it was the Foresterman Love Story thing really. It is not about your illness or beautiful writing at all. OK that is a lie; this is beautiful how you can take something so horribly painful and turn it into something so beautiful to read where I can feel it all even those needles and pokes and I feel your tears even if you had none. Your humour has always made me laugh and today I laugh at your pain I do not know how you do that.
    I look forward to the day they let me across that border wondering what my motive will be while in the good ole USA and wonder if they will believe that I am only wanting to hug my friend and sit beside her 1000's of feet about sea level in one of the most beautiful spots in the world and talk about how "Very Good" life is to us both. Time after time:)
    HUGS I have to go now I need a hug from My Hero. HUGS B

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  5. Oof. I'm so glad you got good news, but your whole story. I worry about what would happen if something like that happened to me. And maybe we're stronger than we know, but I don't think I am. And I'm so proud of you for doing it. And I'm just babbling here nervously and trying not to cry about Foresterman coming to your rescue and now dammit I'm crying. For all of it.

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  6. Dat ziet er heel goed uit hopelijk heb je een hele goede conditie om zulke bergen te beklimmen ,ik kijk uit naar de komende foto,s

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  7. So very glad that your news was good!

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  8. oh, sweetie. one more down and with VERY GOOD reports! yay for foresterman! what a doll... i like your dr. w. too.

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  9. One of the strongest posts I have read today. So sorry you are going through this - but happy you are doing Very good.. Much love to you on your journey.

    Kelly
    I've Become My Mother
    I've Become My Mother facebook

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  10. I'm sorry that you have to go through this hell every six months for five years, but.... GREAT news!!

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  11. Very moving.....I have to say, this is like reading my own lifes story. I know, exactly what you are going through...GOD is GOOD, He is the HEALER! I live with a "C" tumor. It was the size of a baseball in May 09. Can't do surgery because it is also on my main artery(s)...too dangerous. I have had NO TREATMENT since June 2010 (it was a chemo pill...only 30% chance of working and no hair loss would occur) My tumor is only 1 inch in size now after going every 6 months or more for scans etc. just like you described. The Doctors don't understand why it has kept shrinking, but I know why......GOD is my HEALER and GOD is your HEALER! I will keep you in my prayers........Blessings to you and your Foresterman~~~Roxie

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  12. Time after time... I remember Cyndi Lauper.....
    VERY GOOD. And it will continue to be VERY GOOD until it is PERFECT.

    Healer of our every ill,
    Light of each tomorrow,
    give us peace beyond our fear,
    and hope beyond our sorrow. (Marty Haugen Hymn)

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  13. Yay, yay, yay, yay! I know it's hard, but I am so thankful that you are doing VERY GOOD!

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  14. VERY good. Blogging is such a blessing when it can give us a vent for the steam and many shoulders to help carry the load plus lots of virtual hugs from friends we've never seen. Even though there is an effort to make most medical places less stark and more friendly they still can chill us deep to our core and leave us limp with dread. I'm so glad the news was VERY good and that you now have a whole summer ahead of you where you can, like Antaeus, gain more strength every time you touch the earth.

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  15. Very good sounds very good, so glad things are going well

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  16. I read this with tears in my eyes, you darling girl. Do you believe in prayer? Doesn't matter, I'm praying xx

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  17. {{{{hugs}}}} Very heartfelt post, and it is so good to hear the good report from Doc!

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  18. YAY for VERY good news and a WONDERFUL Mr. Foresterman! Looking forward to seeing pictures from your fly-fishing trip this summer! {{HUGS}}

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  19. Good news....great post.
    Love your new header.

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  20. Great big bear hugs coming your way. Keep it up, be encouraged. You are doing VERY good.

    Felicia

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  21. Touched my heart. Be strong, be courageous, you are doing VERY good. I am glad. For you. For the Foresterman. Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. xx

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  22. WOOOHOOO, dear woman! VERY GOOD!
    There are cheers in WV ringing all the way out west to you.
    Of course, testing is YOUR choice...but...if it helps..every 6 months to give you the freedom to dive..to get up there HIGH...

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  23. what a beautiful version of time after time......

    how awesome is mr. f., for coming and surprising you!! yay for very good, do the testing, it's soooo important!!

    sending you a big, warm hug from the jersey shore!!

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  24. Very good

    Two very simple words

    Xxxx
    With love x

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  25. Hope , a good life in the moment , a good man~ you make a difference in the life of others ... people care about you...very good. Hugs Willow

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  26. I came here to thank you for your long and encouraging comment, so thank you, it meant a lot to me. I've met such wonderful writers on the blogs that even though I know I can write technical stuff, telling a story is something else again. Just looking at you, at Buttons, at Dee Ready, and so many other wonderful writers. I'm just so glad to have met you all as I love to write and I am learning and will try my best to tell the story of my crazy life here in the U.S. come April.

    Then I read this and tears came, I was crying so hard I had to take a break from reading, even before I knew the results, and go feed the dogs. Having gone through some unpleasant tests myself recently, I felt, who am I to complain, my dye experience was about a minute, my BP is perfect, my veins are easily accessible, yes, I did pass out for a minute after drinking all that horrible stuff for my latest test, and I did bump my head, but then all went so well. And all my results so far have also been VERY good.

    I am so glad your results were VERY good! But you are young, well, compared to me anyway, so I hope you will take the tests, because I know you can do it. And it will keep you safer. But if not, I understand.

    Happy first day of spring -- renewal and all. Are you too drowning in the white fluffy stuff coming off your dog this time of the year?

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  27. that was beautiful. So happy for you, happy you have such a good partner to be at your side.
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

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  28. I know how hard it is for a feral one to submit to such indignities.
    I am so happy that you're doing very good.
    I will pray for you.
    Thank you for sharing.

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I am feral, so although I dont respond at all like most domesticated bloggers, I will try my best - Thank you for even wanting to leave a comment, as it may draw me out from the woods from whence I came!

Or under a rock, it depends most days...