Signing on

Oct. 1st, 2017 01:27 pm
gwyn: (yuletide lights)
Usually when there've been fannish aid auctions, I've been too busy with crazy deadlines to consider putting my hat in the ring, and only been able to participate by bidding on people (never won). But even though I do have some work now, and am still recovering slowly, I felt like I could participate in a new auction that hans bekhart started for Puerto Rico, [community profile] fandomlovespuertorico. There are more fans offering all kinds of works every time I check it, so if you have something to offer to help raise money for aid to Puerto Rico, take a look and consider signing up, or if you are interested in bidding, check out the ever-growing list of participants. (It's definitely heavy on the Stucky fans, so if you have some other fandoms or 'ships that you can offer, that would be cool!) Signups close October 15, and bidding will run on October 21. My offer is here.

Also, it's that time of year to sign up for Yuletide. I'm a mess about what to do--last year, I wrote in a really popular fandom, but my story just got savaged in some places I was reading around in and had some bad juju elsewhere, the whole experience was kind of bad, and I still am on the fence about whether to de-anonymize my fic. It left a really awful taste in my mouth, just generally, so I feel like I want to be super, super cautious about what I offer, plus I just have no idea what to ask for. The Adjustment Bureau, which I posted about the other day, is microscopic and dead, but you know, I would love that most of all; I could ask for more popular fandoms like The Good Place, but I also kind of feel like those fandoms won't be hurting for requests or offers. Plus I just now feel like there are things I cannot do justice to, that whatever I do will be…lacking.

I'm waiting for beta feedback about the next chapter of Celluloid Hero, and it was really really hard to get that thing out--it's not that I don't have all the thoughts rolling around in my head, but getting words out has been really difficult since I got home from the hospital. I kept telling myself every day "I'm going to write," but then every day I just kept looking at tumblr or watching TV, and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. My focus is limited, my mind's kind of all over the place…and now I have work, which is a very annoyingly badly written memoir, so that's adding to the malaise. But I want to sign up for Yuletide, and I have to find a way to make my brain work and make the words come out.

I feel like I've kind of hit a plateau--the incisions don't seem to be getting much better, despite trying to increase my intake of things like vitamin C, which is supposed to help wound healing, and make myself eat more good food. I did get out last week to a restaurant, which was the first time I'd been out since before surgery, and that felt like a big step. Yesterday I drove up to Shoreline and I was at a bash for four hours, plus the long drive, and that was most definitely a big deal. But I still feel like things just aren't getting better--objectively I know I'm better, but the incision that's a big seeping hole is still a big seeping hole, and the others just aren't closing completely, enough to take the damn steri-strips off, and my skin still hurts and I'm so exhausted after my walks. I don't need the cane when I start out, but even just four or five blocks and I lean on that thing so hard by the time I'm almost home. Sleep is just so difficult now that I'm off the dilaudid, nothing much seems to help. I know I am better, but it just feels, a month on, that I'm nowhere near normal, that that's hundreds of miles away.
gwyn: (middleman german film)
It's not like there are a lot of people waiting for updates, I realize, but I'm sorry it's been a while since I posted any news. I have bursts of energy and I still get drained really easily, or else I have weird pain that makes it hard to be in certain positions, or things like that. I've probably pushed a little too hard, too, on doing things just because I live alone and things must be done and there's just me to do them, but sometimes that leaves me completely sapped.

I've hit a depression valley, too. I don't know if it's similar to the post-surgery depression a lot of people get, and that I got after my gallbladder surgery, but that was also because I'd had a forced withdrawal from antidepressants at the time, I think I remember. This one feels a lot worse, and now the Republicans are trying to take health care away again, which is fueling my anxiety. I fucking told everyone they wouldn't let it lie, every time people were acting like it was a triumph last time I got really angry because I knew they wouldn't let go, and here we fucking are.

The other thing that's fueling it is that I'm having a hard time with this idea of being a cancer survivor--I mentioned to [personal profile] killabeez that I was watching something and a person described herself as being a two-time cancer survivor and it hit me that that was what I am now. My experience with cancer has largely been that no one survives, not for long anyway. I have a few friends who have, but by and large the people I know don't survive, and it's very strange to think of myself as someone who has had a cancer and now has to think ahead about staying a survivor. (And of course, this is the mother of all preexisting conditions now, so if that goes away, I'm basically fucked.) I find this trippy and depressing and frightening.

Most people I'd talked to (not the doctors, but most other people) made it sound like it was cut-and-done: you had the surgery and they took out the section with the tumor and that was it. But it's not that simple, as I found out in my two-week followup on Tuesday--I see her again in a month and then they'll want to do six-month tests for a while, as they want to make sure no tumor cells are floating around, waiting to attach to the colon again and grow. So there's the year follow-up colonoscopy, and the six-months blood work tests, and check-ups as well. I can get an oncologist, or I can follow up with the surgeon; I'm inclined to stay with her since I know her and I like her. the big problem will be insurance, as my insurance company is leaving the ACA exchange and the only other semi-decent one in the network wasn't working with my clinic last year, which is why I ended up with the insurance I had this year. They're all crooks, but I have to find the crook that will cover things with the clinic where my doctor and my surgeon practice, which seems impossible right now.

Otherwise I'm slowly recovering--today was rough, I'm having really sharp pains in my lower abdomen when I move a certain way, and I took off the steristrips on the smaller incisions which on one was a mistake, because now I have a huge gaping wound there that's way too big. The steristrip was really gross, though, because it was seeping, but I traded one problem for another.

I had a lot of trouble in the hospital with bleeding and stuff like that, I won't gross you out by telling you about some of the more alarming things, but one of the incisions bled a lot and kept staining my gowns, which I could not get them to acknowledge for a couple days. It left me with this incredible gross huge scab, but the surgeon just peeled the steristrip and the scab right off on Tuesday and wow let me tell you that hurt! So I thought, well, I can woman up and take the others off…ha ha ha. Bad move.

Anyhow, right now that's where I am--just trying to get better, trying not to let the post-apocalyptic atmosphere I came home to (with the city choking on smoke and the heat that's finally, finally broken today) depress me even more, and just trying to keep going in the face of everything.
gwyn: (pussypad kerry beary)
Advice time: since I got home, I've developed some kind of numbness/pain in the right shoulder blade that radiates along my arm. You'd think it could pick one--numb or pain--but no, it's both, and it's really uncomfortable and making it hard to find a way to sit or sleep that's not too hard on my abdominal stitches or makes the shoulder worse. I can't twist, so I can't really get back there and poke at it, and I can barely reach behind me. I think it's like a pinched nerve or a pinched…well, can muscles get pinched? I don't know, whatever it is is definitely becoming problematic.

Can anyone think of a way I could try to work this out, or is it something I'll need actual help for? I thought about trying to find a way to put a yoga ball behind my shoulder blade and roll it around but I can't figure a way to do that in my current state, which is basically big baby ball of pain.
gwyn: (box o kittens rahirah)
I am hooooome. Home sweet sweet home. I thought they would spring me yesterday but apparently the two doctors didn't agree on my condition so they kept me another night. Friday night was actually pretty bad with a lot of bloody drama (literally--my IV and shit tons of blood) but I had massive nausea and struggled to eat all day Saturday , and had a little temperature plus low blood pressure

But today I got out and of course I was so excited that I left the discharge instructions in the room so killabeez had to go back up to the hospital to get them since it was a holiday weekend and wouldn't be emailed till Tuesday. And it's four fuckthousand degrees out so that's definitely a pain.

I got some really good news though in spite of everything:they were able to get lab results and the cancer appears to have not spread into the wall of the colon or the lymph glands. Which means, hopefully, that it's just followup care and rechecks later, not further treatment or surgery. So that was awesome and makes getting through these first days easier.

Mr Blues has barely paid attention to me. All he cares about is that he can go outside again. Food is a bit of challenge but watermelon chunks are one thing that doesn't fill me with existential dread and magically killa had bought watermelon before bringing me home! So I'm all set up thanks to friends and Jo has been watering my plants and today brought a huge bouquet of sunflowers and dahlias over.
gwyn: (spinaltap infinitemonkeys)
This is Gwyneth Actual reporting in from high atop the tenth floor of Swedish Hospital in Seattle. I am doing OK but still in a fair amount of pain. It's really hard to get up and down from the bed but after a really bad night last night things have improved a bit today. I can't believe how terrible it is to post from mobile on DW, geez. Between the gown falling off me all the time and the IV falling down and pulling it makes trying to type on this thing miserable. This is infuriating.

The surgeon says that the tumor was super small and that that everything went well. The results for what stage the cancer is won't be in till next week with the Labor Day holiday. Which is frustrating obviously because there're lots of questions about that and whether there's chemo or anything in my future.

The hardest thing at first was that I woke up in searing pain in my right eye--a cornea scratch that hurt far worse but that they couldn't be arsed to treat. I guess either they taped my eyelids over an eyelash or I scratched it or something who knows but it took forever for them to deal with it and the room was full of blinding light so that made it about 1,000 times worse. I guess they happen all the time, I was talking with a friend about what happened to her during her surgery, but I never had that before and I gotta say, it was pretty bad.

I've had lots of visitors, and mostly I'm just really tired all the time. This morning I had so much trouble keeping my eyes open and holding onto my phone. I basically had to wait all day to make this post because I'm just so out of it. They put me on a solid diet tonight, so I had some bacon which everyone thought was weird because it's very heavy, but I knew I wouldn't be likely to actually try to eat anything, so I better get something that I really enjoy the taste of. I think 2 1/2 pieces was actually pretty good!

I might get to go home by tomorrow afternoon or Sunday morning if I keep the solid food down and move to pain pills instead of an IV. That would be great.
gwyn: (steve rogers fullhouse)
I haven't really cried since they told me I had cancer; I've gotten a little leaky in the eyes but no real crying. Apparently all it takes to open the floodgates is to work really hard on a fic-podfic collaboration, even when I was trying to process the news and my original teammate went AWOL, and post it and get absolutely zero comments. Amazing. Just…nothing. I finally gave up checking email and went to bed when sineala was kind enough to leave one for it. It's a new record low, and apparently that was the stimulus it required to cry.

Just reminded me more than ever that I'm going through this alone. I appreciate the comments from my other post, I do, but the thing is, what I'm talking about is being alone in real space. Sitting at a computer typing into the void or texting or whatever are physically painful acts for me, so all the listening in the world doesn't change the fact that I don't have anyone here for me and I'm disinclined toward more physical pain just to whine on the aether. People lead busy lives, it's the end of summer when everyone has plans--and my plans just happen to revolve around something really unfortunate that has inconvenient timing. Almost everyone I know who's had cancer got through it with the help of a partner or family member.

In other news, the "advanced recovery" nutrition drinks are really as awful as everyone says; they're so grossly sweet on top of this weird musky-metallic taste, ugh. I have to drink three of them a day, and bring the log sheet with me to surgery, like a test. I bought the apple juice I'm supposed to drink day of surgery but apparently no one sells apple juice in less than enormous bottles, and picked up the antibiotics and laxative drink. I was so hoping it might be a different laxative drink than the one I had before, which made me vomitous, but it's the same thing. Someone told me you could put it in tequila mixer to make it more palatable, but it's not so much the taste the bothers me (it just tastes like bad gatorade) but the consistency. For the surgery they apparently want you to concentrate the drinking of it over two limited time frames, which makes it worse; it took me hours to get through it last time because I kept getting the heaves.

All this while I'm supposed to be laundering everything I own that will touch me after the special shower-soap showers. I'm not sure if it'd be better to just have the hospital hose you down in a Silkwood shower when you check in--for the gallbladder surgery, I'd spent six hours vomiting before going to the ER, where I had to wait in the lobby for over an hour lying on the floor because it was the only way I wasn't in searing pain. I figure that's about as unsanitary as it gets, and I seemed to be fine. I understand why they do this--my mom's death was probably caused by an infection, sepsis of some kind that she'd picked up in the hospital in chemo--but man does it feel like overkill.

I'm going to try to post the next chapter of the Hollywood Steve WIP tomorrow, but I've written down where I was hoping to take it, and the three followup stories I wanted to write, and sending to minim calibre in case something happens to me. I hate the thought of that not getting finished, and so hopefully either she can, or she can find someone else to, write the rest of it. If only I could find someone to finish the Buffy WIP I abandoned years ago after sis_r died. I figure things are in good hands with min, though. God knows she's listened to me blather about this, and helped me with it so much in beta.
gwyn: (al cheers)
Tomorrow I have to start the first steps for getting ready for surgery--they make you drink this Ensure-type drink called ImmunoBoost or something, three cartons a day for five days before the procedure. I guess it's supposed to help your body recover faster or something. Then by end of weekend I have to start a small diet change, and then take antibiotics, before I have to do the insane ritual special soap shower, which I bought today, and take the vile liquid they make you drink to clean out your colon (it's like drinking gatorade-flavored cooking oil). I'm confused about why you take antibiotics when you're just going to shit them out, but whatever. I also have to get a very specific carbohydrate drink for the day of the procedure. Just the laundering everything/special shower stuff is going to drive me crazy alone. (Also, I can't find any of the Popsicle flavors I want/am allowed to have, anywhere, and you can't eat these modern fancy pops because they're not clear liquids, they have pieces of stuff in them.)

I'm feeling really depressed, and as I was telling minim calibre last night, I'm having this constant erratic beating or pounding of my heart, and it's freaking me out because sometimes I'm so stressed I feel like I'm having a heart attack, and I worry this could be very bad for the anesthesia. Some of this is worry about my situation, but it's compounded by trying to help people I know who are in bad straits. I feel really alone, and a lot of the people who were there at the beginning are noticeably absent now, I guess it's no longer glamorous two months on--not to mention many of the people who do want to see me or talk to me aren't doing it because I want to, but because it's about making themselves feel good, like if I die they'll have done their duty of being a pal or something and mostly I just would be fine with them going away.

The times when I'm loneliest and most scared are late at night, and there's no one to talk to at that hour. The past few days, my lower abdomen has felt kind of bad, and it's making me worry that maybe the tumor has gotten bigger, that all this waiting's made the situation a lot worse. That's not helping.

Plus I get either the victim blaming or concern trolling (my diet, my weight, my lifestyle, my whatever) or the helpful information version of victim blaming: it's dairy (because it's not like people across many cultures have eaten other types of dairy like sheep or goat or horse milk for centuries, or even cow dairy, and didn't get cancer), it's carbs (ignoring the fact that carbs are actually an important part of diet and for some of us high protein/fat is actually dangerous, and there's a reason they make you drink carbohydrate drinks before and after surgery, and also, millions of people eat carbs without getting cancer), it's refined sugar (which, I admit, I use too much of probably, but since sweet is one of the few things I enjoy taste-wise, and millions of people eat way, way more sugar than I do and don't get cancer, I'm not buying it), it's gluten (which many people enjoy without getting cancer, and if you don't actually have physical conditions or problems with gluten, it's not going to give you colon cancer anyway), it's blah blah whatever thing you are currently believing all the bad press about.

Everyone seems to think I have some kind of team behind me, despite telling them repeatedly that I don't--no oncologist, no therapist, no nothing. I learned really fast that people don't listen to most of what I say, because I have to keep repeating myself. I'm kind of dreading going to the hospital because my ex wants to take me and it makes sense--he lives basically about ten blocks away, but he drives me bug-shagging crazy because he never listens and I have to tell him the same damn shit over and over, and he gets really fluttery and panicky. He texted me last night with "where do I drop you [at the hospital]? Address??" and I was like, okay, I've told you three times that it's Swedish on Broadway and James and you could look up the damn address yourself, and also, just because I said you didn't have to stay does not mean I want to be dumped on the fucking doorstep. If you don't have time or want to come in to the hospital with me till they walk me through reg, then let me know because I want to find someone else." I well remember his selfish, childish hatred of hospitals when I needed him, when we were together and my mom was sick. It was one of many things that led to us splitting.

Anyways. Tomorrow is also the day my fic and the accompanying podfic for the [community profile] pod_together goes live. I started this thing before the diagnosis, and to say it's been a wild ride is putting it mildly. I absolutely did not want to write the story I ended up writing, but it seemed like my original teammate didn't like the idea I loved, so somehow I ended up writing 6k of metal hand fisting, I don't even know. I never wanted to write a sequel to Man With a Plan, but here we are. The good news is that, because it was such a rollercoaster experience, and lifestuff happened with me and my teammate, [archiveofourown.org profile] reena_jenkins, who has created some wonderful podfics of my stuff before, came in as a pinch hitter a couple weeks ago and she did an amazing job. She suggested we turn Bucky's sexy playlist into a fanmix, so that'll go live with the story--she had some great song ideas to fill in the gaps of my '90s and early aughts knowledge, and it turned out pretty cool, I think.

She also, as a runup to our challenge pieces going live, recorded a podfic of Man With a Plan, the "you're keeping the outfit, right?" porn I wrote a few years ago. Which is so above and beyond the call of duty. If you ever wished you could hear a podfic of Man With a Plan, well, you can now, thanks to Reena's amazing powers!
gwyn: (beaten cap shield)
Man, I think I have to throw in the towel on trying to figure out what people will respond to. I thought for sure, what with Star Wars being a much, much bigger fandom in general than Captain America, that Battleflag would be the Vividcon entry that would do well out there in the world. But it's just sort of sunk into a void, and Chase You Down, which I thought was a weaker vid, is getting more hits and definitely has more notes on Tumblr and comments here. I was actually really happy with how Battleflag turned out, despite the difficulties, and I thought people would like it…

It's cool that people enjoyed Chase You Down, because I didn't think they would (I mean, admittedly I would have loved it if so many people hadn't qualified it with telling me how much they hate Bucky generally), but I just honestly thought Battleflag would be the one people would respond to.

Anyways. Today I went to see the doctor who runs the genetic testing office at my clinic, he's also a breast cancer specialist and surgeon. They were giving me the results from the spit-in-a-tube thing I mentioned a few weeks ago, to see if I had the genetic mutations for ovarian cancer (for those new here, my twin sister died at 45 of ovarian cancer complications, and so there was a concern that they should take out my ovaries during my colon cancer surgery at the end of the month). I've been…pretty much planning since sis_r died for it, that that was what I was gonna die from, or melanoma. So I was really surprised when they told me I don't have the markers, and my risk was not elevated.

There's a whole bunch of other stuff that I won't bore you with--other higher risk factors because of my sister and just my general body--but they asked me what I wanted to do during the surgery, if I'd prefer to keep the tubes and ovaries or meet with an obgyn surgeon and plan to remove them, and I didn't know how to answer. I was just gobsmacked: I've planned for this news for so long that I had no idea how I was supposed to decide. There's not a lot of time to meet with another surgeon, and I don't know if insurance will pay for this considering I don't have the gene markers, so I decided to just focus on the colon surgery and whatever happens after that.

I mean, to be honest, I'd love to take them out, but that's an expense I could absolutely not afford and considering what kind of bills I'm already getting for co-insurances and whatnot, I don't feel really positive about them paying for it, nor do I have the time and spoons to navigate the insurance maze. So I'm just staying the course, I guess. He outlined a bunch of breast health stuff for me, since my risk just based on heredity is higher, and I loathe mammograms but I sort of saw it coming that they were going to want to increase my frequency of them. God I hate them, I always end up bruised everywhere and in so much pain, and I hate being touched like that, ugh. But at least I don't have the genetic cancer mutations. Seriously, if it wasn't major surgery, I'd cut these things off happily.
gwyn: (8ball wizzicons)
Today's my least favorite day once again. The date I lost Miss Olive two years ago, and I'm not over it--I think about her every day, and miss her, especially now. I could really use her soft, soft fur and sweet purrs and funny little voice when she talked to me all the time. And it's the day we lost Sandy, which I'm never gonna be over, either. With Vividcon ending next year it feels even more like losing Sandy all over again.

Basically July 19 is just a terrible horrible no good very bad day.

I'm trying to get things done in anticipation of the surgery and whatnot, but it's really hard. Not only is there a lot to do, the bills are starting to come in, and I'm getting really depressed about it. I haven't had enough work so far this year, but even though I suddenly have a bunch of stuff coming in, it's not going to be paid for a while yet. Even with the ACA still hanging on, this country is majorly fucked up about health care costs, and it's pretty easy to go bankrupt even with insurance.

Last night we went to see the documentary Score, about composing music for films, at this teeeny local theatre that was the first art house in Seattle way back in the '60s. I hadn't known it was still in business--it's run by vounteers now, and the lobby is now a restaurant so the actual theatre is about one-tenth the size it used to be. The movie was great--if you have a chance to watch it, you should: there were some really good reminiscences by directors and other composers about some of the legends, and interviews with all kinds of fascinating film composers, plus a glimpse into the process of recording film scores.

My only complaints were one I shared with feochadn, which was that a guy went on and on about King Kong (the first real movie score) being cheesy and stupid, and that the music was the only thing that helped audiences get over the cheesy and stupid, which is utterly, patently false and doesn't understand the audience dynamic at the time the original King Kong was released. And my second gripe was that as they talked about modern scores and unique or avant garde approaches, they interviewed and spent quite a bit of time following the guy who did the utterly forgettable Age of Ultron score instead of spending any time with Henry Jackman, who did the Winter Soldier score, which most people I know still talk about with a certain amount of awe. Especially because I think it would have dovetailed nicely with talking about the "game-changing" soundtrack for the Social Network by Trent Reznor (I'm not one of the people who think it was game-changing, but whatever), and they did talk to Henry Jackman, but only for a microscopically short time. Plus, they didn't list Winter Soldier in his credits, and that was…weird to me. And it's not my own blind prejudice for anything related to Winter Soldier--I've read so many people talking about the amazing things he did with that score, especially regarding the Soldier himself, and it just seems like a huge missed opportunity in the modern section…and instead we got fucking Ultron. I'd defy anyone to remember anything unique or special about the music in that movie. But I still definitely recommend seeing Score if you can, and stay for the credits and James Cameron's dicussion of James Horner's score for Titanic. (It's in a couple cities right now, and rolling around other parts of the country for the next few months--you can find out where on the web site linked above.)

I wish I knew how you find a therapist. I am very lonely and depressed, and there's no one to talk to here, but I just don't know how you go about finding someone you mesh with, and who's competent, and one you can afford (the importance of either can be switched). I mean, I've met some truly shitty people in RL who I find out later are therapists and it's like O.o so the idea of going into this cold doesn't thrill me.
gwyn: (middleman german film)
::glares at [personal profile] kore for getting Gap Band stuck in my head::

What a weird day today. It started by getting up earlier than I would like, especially since I couldn't sleep last night, to talk to the people who help me out with the ginormous garden that I can no longer manage by myself. Then I had to go off to an appointment with the genetic counseling specialists, who were going to do an intake evaluation before setting up an appointment with the doctor later. I thought it was just going to be me answering questions about my history (my repetitive answer: I don't know, because outside of questions about my sister, I have no idea what my family history is as I'm adopted) but it turned out to involve all this strange stuff.

First they asked me questions and the nurse doing the interview was…odd and not a very effective communicator, and then they told me I'd have to do another blood draw and I was very unhappy about that, because one of the reasons I'd gone in for a blood draw after the CT scan was so they'd be able to run all these tests. It's nearly impossible to get a vein on me and I just finally got rid of the awful bruises from the last one and the CT scan and I'm really sick of them, and she didn't seem to understand it well but there was an alternative that involved spitting a lot, or at least she seemed to think so. We agreed to that (like, I had to tell her three times that yes, I would prefer that test), and then they make you watch this little video from the genetic testing company, and then call the number on the phone there where you'll talk to yet another person about the same sorts of questions.

I was supposed to meet up with someone afterward, and when I finished watching the video I had to send them email saying I wouldn't be there at the appointed time--which, ha ha, turned out to be unnecessary because the little video tablet was an hour off; I'd seen 3:08 and wondered how the hell it had been over an hour when it turned out it had only been about 40 minutes. It's…annoying to have to keep explaining my situation over and over, and then listen to the obligatory sympathy. It's not that I don't appreciate their kind wishes and their condolences about my sister, I do, I really do. It's just that, I don't know, I thought all this paperwork was going through and instead they were asking me why I was there/calling, as though this was satisfying curiosity on my part or something. I had to keep explaining that the surgeon wanted to see if I had genetic markers for ovarian cancer so we could determine what, if anything, should be done while I'm in surgery for the tumor removal.

Anyway, after a lot of fumbling and confusion, they brought me this little kit, and I had to spit into this funnel to a certain line, and then mix it with some kind of liquid. It…is really, really hard to generate that much spit in a short amount of time. So, lesson for using it as lube in slash stories--unless your human is super drooly, they're probably not going to be able to do that (and spit is terrible lube anyway).

She didn't seem to know what she was doing, and so I'm not confident about this, but it goes off to their lab and then supposedly they call me and we move forward. I kept asking about insurance, and no one would really talk to me about it--they said that once they call me, I can decide to go forward or not, but if insurance won't cover this, I know it's very expensive and it's not something I can really think about, considering the costs I'll incur from major surgery. But it was frustrating, because no one was committing to what had to be done re: insurance, and how I find out whether this is covered or not. Since my insurance company is weaseling out of the ACA exchange next year, I have this terrible feeling they'll be a lot less willing to approve things for those of us who get our insurance that way, because they're evil sons of bitches and should all die in a fire.

So I finally got out of there with very dry mouth, and traffic both ways had been kinda hellacious so my back was really screaming a lot, but I couldn't meet up with my friends, and just went home. I'm trying to get rid of stuff lately, purging a lot of things, and I had this very expensive thing up on Craigslist for a good price, and this woman kept jerking me around about coming to see it, but finally she showed up at 8 and then proceeded to push me into a corner on the price and I felt just tired and bad enough that I went, fine, whatever. I took an instant dislike of her, and she wanted to know about this nearby restaurant but I was thinking, ugh, go away, take the damn thing and stop talking to me about how cute my neighborhood is and how you want to move to West Seattle and what a hard day you're having.

All I could think was "bitch, I have cancer" and that made me want to laugh. So that's my new mantra, and I'm combining it with something a friend told me to do, which is start making a list of, like, all the dog breeds you can name in your head when people are talking about things you don't want to hear, which they are doing A LOT of lately. I'd forgotten, since it's been a while, how much everyone loves to tell you what to think/feel/do when you get sick.
gwyn: (bucky confusedface)
Keep meaning to post, but haven't had the spoons. I saw the surgeon on Thursday, and she seems pretty cool, as doctors go. My own regular doctor is so amazing she hasn't taken new patients in years, because none of us will leave her and we bond in the waiting area about how afraid we are of when she finally retires, so she's a hard person to live up to, and I'm not fond of going to doctors anyway.

It'll be a lot more invasive than I thought--I'll be in the hospital for 3-5 days. She said she has patients who live alone all the time, but that it's just helpful to have someone to do things like cat care or take me to appointments or just go get me a sandwich, because I won't be able to drive for a few weeks. There are tons of risks, of course, and that's mostly all I can think about, even though everyone keeps telling me about their relative or friend who had colon cancer and is fine now. Your mind just gets into a loop. She was interested in sending my information to the genetics lab there to see if they thought I should consider getting my ovaries yanked; the fact that my twin sister died of ovarian cancer at 45 was of interest to her and she said it's only just extra time in surgery to remove them, nothing else.

Apparently they can't stage the cancer till it's out, so no, I don't know what stage it's at and won't till after the end of August. And she was fine with me going to Vividcon; with the genetic workup it'd be a few weeks anyway before they would do surgery and that wouldn't allow me enough recovery time to go to the con, and she said she's had patients who were taking around the world cruises and things, so it wasn't an unreasonable request. If I was angling for three months, then she'd get worried, but I feel like I'm pushing it with two months. Her vacation schedule and mine overlapped, and the next available appointment after she got back wasn't till August 30, because all the surgery days were booked. Who knew colorectal surgery was such a booming business.

It's just…very weird to know you're walking around with cancer growing inside yourself for two months. All of a sudden everything my body does seems terrifying and suspicious and potentially deadly. People kept telling me the other night that there are all these people who can come help out around the house after I get home, but then five minutes later were talking about their trips that are happening at the same time, so that's something I still have to work out. All I have is a couch to sleep on, there's no real room for any kind of mattress, it's just not an ideal situation here. Not to mention it's all just so gross and horrible.

OTOH I now know more than I ever wanted to about the systems down there. And my god, the prep for surgery is so freaking complicated. Special drinks, special soap and showers to take, all this stuff to think about. I have to start calling around and finding out about insurance, too, after the holiday--I'm sure that'll be super fun. There are so many little things to think about--I have to elevate the bed, and fix the windows so that they're easier to open and close (it'll be hot out and we don't have AC much here) and probably make it more accessible to feed Blues on the counter. And I remember after the gall bladder removal how I had no appetite for weeks, and how slow it felt to get back to normal.

In the meantime there is work to do, and fic for different things. I'm going to add a tag so that if you don't want to read see these updates on your dash you can filter out "the cancer" and not read them. Last weekend was especially lonely and depressing, but I imagine there'll be more, I'm feeling extremely alone and hopeless, and I can't promise I won't write about that, so feel free to filter.
gwyn: (8ball wizzicons)
[personal profile] goss has created a cool new community for fan artists called Drawesome. If you're an artist or just interested, go check it out. I keep thinking about trying to learn to draw--I'm completely wihtout talent, I can't even draw stick figures, and I really don't know how to even go about it, but I'm surrounded by artists and they're always grousing at me that anyone can learn, you don't have to be born with talent. I don't believe this, but I still want to learn, at some point.

Drawesome on DW
[community profile] drawesome: A Drawing Community for Fan-Artists



___

I haven't been making this public much yet, but I feel like I have to, just so everyone knows what's going on. They found a cancerous tumor during the colonoscopy Thursday, so…yeah. Guess who has cancer. Did you guess me? You're correct!

It's weird, I've been expecting this for years, but not this one: I figured it'd be melanoma or the thing that killed my twin sister, ovarian cancer. This one is my ultimate nightmare--I'm phobic as hell about bodily functions, and there's so much awful stuff that results from colon cancer that I'm completely freaked out about.

I don't see the surgeon till Thursday so right now I don't know much. I had a CT scan yesterday to see if there's more cancer anywhere else and additional bloodwork, and then I had to put on my everything's normal face and go do a guest lecture at the UW. This one woman waited till I was saying thanks goodbye to pop up with a question, and to say she had resting bitch murderface is to put it mildly; I wouldn't be surprised if her whole family was axed to death and they're buried in her basement. And she asked this totally angry, pissed off question and I just didn't have spoons to answer so I was like a deer in the headlights.

Anyway, my biggest fear is that this means I can't go to Vividcon. Like, I care way less about my life, especially these days, and am totally willing to wait till after so I can go. I have a feeling they will not like this. But it's the one thing keeping me together. Not to mention very expensive nonrefundable tickets. The doctor kept stressing how early they'd found it and how good that was. But he also smiled when he said I might have cancer so who knows what's going on with him. Oh and also I got notice that the insurance I have through the ACA is going away next year--the only reason I was able to afford the colonoscopy was that this insurance was really good, and the only other decent one doesn't work with my doctor and clinic. So even if the fucking republicans take everything away in two years, I'm out for 2018 just when I need it most. (And they're such fucking liars, they blame this on market volatility and say it was such a hard decision…no, it's not, you just want more money lining your bonus pockets.)

I'm turning off comments, even though yes, I am really sad and depressed and feeling very lonely. My family's all gone, and most everyone lives far from me or useless (like, I love my BFF, but he's useless) so it's a lot to expect of people. It's been hard just doing day to day stuff like I'm fine. But I have a lot of this in my future so I have to get used to it. I hate the not knowing the most, though.

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