Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I have nothing prepared

…owing to the fact that I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, and then my mother and I ran an errand or two. I was kind of wiped by the time I returned to Rancho Yesteryear so I spent the remaining amount of free time staring at TV reruns (Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer) and the computer…though not at the same time.

Yesterday was the first time I saw the doc since after my surgery in April. In the past, he would refer to the parathyroid glands he removed as a “mass”—which is kind of confusing to me…I was raised Catholic, and that word means something a tad different in the vernacular of the Church. But yesterday was also the first time he used the “C” word—apparently they sent the “mass” (well, samples of it, I’m guessing—I’m sure he didn’t pack the whole “mass” in Styrofoam and ship it like with UPS or something) to an “expert” in Pennsylvania who confirmed, sure as shootin’, that it was cancerous.

The doc’s office made an appointment for me at the oncologist’s—whom I’ll see tomorrow morning early in the a.m. He (the surgeon) is pretty optimistic that he took all of it out (and I am, too) but it doesn’t hurt to hedge one’s bets. I won’t lie to you—when I heard the “C” word the ol’ Yesteryear sphincter got a bit tight. But, hey—life is a gamble and the days are just so many decks, as Tom T. Hall once observed. There’s not much I can do but just wait and see and in the meantime play the hand I’m dealt.

(For the record, the doc told me that cases like mine are exceedingly rare—there are only about five a year…worldwide. It’s nice to be special…but I don’t think I’m comfortable being that special.)

On the way back from the doc (after we dropped off a pair of prescriptions at Walgreen’s) Mom and I stopped by Bell’s—a little hole-in-the-wall supermarket that sister Kat refuses to go into, for—as she states—“hygienic reasons”…although it’s really not all that bad. (I will say I was rather impressed by the array of tattoos sported by a woman working in the bakery…and I swear I’m not making that up.) Publix is twice the size of Bell’s…and yet Bell’s carries items that Publix doesn’t. To illustrate, I saw Faygo sodas on sale when I walked into the front of the store. (I wasn’t even aware the Faygo people were still in business. I'd link to their website but when I was there earlier I was nearly knocked down by the site's audio blasting through my computer's speakers.)

I ostensibly went in for a loaf of bread, some sugar-free Kool Aid (again, Bell’s the only place here in Athens that I’ve come across that still carries the product) and some chocolate syrup in case I get a jones for some chocolate milk. I ended up carrying out about seven bags of groceries, and I have my mother to thank for this. She has an interesting habit of walking down the store aisles and picking up random products, asking “Do you want some of this?” A can of Spam. A can of Manwich. Two cans of Spaghetti-O’s. Chicken egg rolls. Sausage biscuits (well, they looked tasty). Peanut butter crackers. Diet IBC root beer. A bag of Munchos potato crisps (another product I didn’t know was still around). The list goes on and on. I told Mom, “I’m not going shopping for a loaf of bread with you ever again.”

And finally, in the better-late-than-never department, I got a phone call last night from my other sister—sister Debbie—who informed me that she sent my step-grandmother a Mothers’ Day card…and received a reply from my step-aunt apologizing for taking so long (she wrote Debbie that “Mom corresponded with so many people,” prompting Debbie to ask “What am I, her freaking pen-pal?”) but that my step-Gran passed away in February. And yes, this was the first time any of us heard about it. If it wasn’t so tragic it would almost be funny—though I did joke that at least she didn’t wait until sending out the Christmas cards (“Mom’s been sort of quiet this year—owing to the fact that she died in February. Joyeux Noel to all!”)…

Oh, I forgot to mention this yesterday—but Monday marked the 60th anniversary of the release of the Humphrey Bogart-Gloria Grahame film classic In a Lonely Place (1950). Ed Copeland was nice enough to let me rent a little space in his hall to talk about it, which you’ll find here.

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Flickhead said...

I always marvel at your menu. But how, pray tell, does diet soda and diet Kool Aid fall into the mix when everything else is a blatant demand for diabetes and a heart attack?

As for the dreaded "C" word: if we're talking prostate, and if there's any chance of it being an infection instead of being cancerous, take antibiotics before enduring a prostate biopsy. The latter is extremely painful and quite humiliating. I had that biopsy two years ago and told the doc if we ever have to do it again, I'm gonna score some crack beforehand. There's simply no other way to deal with it.

Pam said...

Ahhh... step-family stories. This didn't surprise me given the other episodes I've heard. I have to admit that this is one of the better (worse?) ones.

I'm sorry about your "mass" news. I, like you and your doctor, am optimistic. Karma kicks in and on that front you are second to none, my friend.

You did have to mention [shudder] milk. Ewwww!

Peter Nellhaus said...

Faygo? Really? It seems like decades since I've even seen that brand which I associate with summers with my cousins in Detroit.

Laura said...

Sending you positive thoughts and prayers, Ivan!

Best wishes,

Stacia said...

Oh Ivan, I wish you only the best, which I'm sure you already knew. As always, if you need anything, just ask. It's been a while since I sent cans of Spam through the mail, but I'm up to it!

Bill Crider said...

Fingers crossed here in Texas.

B said...

Best Wishes. I'm hoping everything will turn out A-OK.

Linda said...

Ivan, I had thyroid cancer, which I also was told was very rare. The doctor kept asking if I had had a lot of neck x-rays as a child. I had radioactive iodine to get anything the doctor missed. Not sure if parathyroid does the same thing. If you do get radioactive iodine, you stay in the hospital for two days. Do not take anything to read that you want to keep because you will have to throw it away. Visitors can only stand in the doorway. When you get home you have to drink a lot of water for several days to wash the radioactive iodine out of your system. The worst part of the whole thing is that for several weeks afterward you get a metallic taste in the center of your tongue and everything tastes nasty.

Jeff Overturf said...

Here's rooting for you. I've decided I'm going to be as confident as you and your doc that it was all taken care of.

Tom T. Hall's right, BTW.

The Derelict said...

Heh, well since I live in metro Detroit, Faygo never went away. :D We still bottle it here in Michigan, as far as I know.

It's always funny to see what foods are available in different regions. Btw, you can't call Faygo "soda." It's POP. Always pop. ;)

Do you guys get Vernors pop down there?

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Yeah, we do get Vernors pop. I think Vernors is owned by the Cadbury folks, and their product (A&W root beer, 7-Up, Orange Crush) is sold in most of the stores in this area...except for Sun Drop, which Publix removed a while back (I never did learn the reason why).