Monday, December 31, 2012

Extractions & Commitments

Remember that root canal that I had done?  Well, it didn't take.

The work was finished about a week and a half ago.  I was supposed to get a crown for that tooth this coming Wednesday.  Last night while I was eating dinner I felt the tooth crack.  While I was eating a piece of bread.  I called my dentist, left a cranky message, and stayed up until 2 in the morning worrying about my stupid tooth.  This morning I went in to see the dentist who gave me the root canal.  He only had to look around for a minute to come to the conclusion that my tooth would have to be extracted.  My tooth is no more.  It has ceased to be.

Now instead of a crown I may very well get an implant on Wednesday.  My regular dentist called later this morning.  She was disappointed at the news, but tried to put a positive spin on things by telling me that getting an implant is actually easier than getting a crown.  It could very well not be true.  She could just be trying to make me feel better.  Either way, I do feel better and am now just anxious to get it all over with.  I am so tired of dealing with this tooth.  I'd like to move on a bit in 2013.

Speaking of moving on, I have, sort of, with new music.  At Christmas I decided to break out of my rut and ask for a couple of new CDs.   Music that was actually released this year.  I know!  Making commitments to new bands and feeling good about it.

I got two new CDs in my stocking.  The first one is Celebration Rock by Japandroids.  Which I seriously love.  It's fun, it's awesome, and it plays particularly well at top volume.  The energy they create is amazing.  I may also have a crush on the drummer.

The other CD I got is Synthetica by Metric.  I've liked them for a while so I'm psyched to finally have some of their music.  Catchy, layered, brilliant pop songs.  Emily Haines has a fantastic voice.  It's a great album and I'm really looking forward to getting some of their older stuff.

Yea for new music!  Both bands hail from Canada, so let's hear it for the Canadians.  Between them, The New Pornographers, and Arcade Fire, I've been digging on the sounds from up north. 

Also!  It's New Year's Eve!  I'm heading out for a bit tonight with the family, but we'll be home to watch the ball drop.  Frankly, I'm in the mood to get pretty drunk on champagne.  I'm not at all sorry to see the end of 2012.  It's been a bitch. I have higher expectations of the New Year.  Fingers crossed that 2013 lives up to them.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


I originally started this post two weeks ago.  I was going to write about the frenzy of the holiday season, how behind I was, how tired I was with trying to keep up, not just with the holidays but life in general.  So very tired.  I didn't get far with the post and decided that I would just set it aside for the weekend when maybe I wouldn't mind staying up late to write it.

Then Sandy Hook happened.  It felt selfish to write a litany of complaints. Instead of writing I spent the weekend crying.  Not that we knew anyone personally effected, but it was such a tragedy.  So many lives lost.  It was hard not to think of the children, their teachers, their families.  I won't go into it too much here.  Many others have done that already.  I will say that we need less access to assault weapons and we need more access to effective mental health care.  Both needs are going to be hard to meet anytime soon.  Our priorities in this country are mixed up.  We are a mess.

I had a hard time getting into the holiday spirit this year, even before Sandy Hook happened.  We did all of our usual things.  We visited Santa at Phipps.  I took the kids to the Nutcracker.  We bought our tree and the kids decorated it.  I sent cards- much later than usual.  I bought presents for everyone- way much later than usual.  We went to Christmas parties.  I enjoyed seeing people, but I just couldn't get into it. I kept waiting to feel festive.  It didn't happen.

This week has been better, I think.  I'm not sure that I feel festive, but we've been visiting with a lot of people we love, and that's been so so great.  We saw my mother and grandmother for Christmas Eve & Christmas morning.  That was awesome.  Between my father and my in-laws it's been years since I've seen my mom and grandmother on Christmas.  Around Christmas, but not on the actual day.  So that was really wonderful.  We went to my in-laws in Hidden Valley for Christmas dinner.  That was nice too, since my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and his fiancee were all there.  The next day they all went skiing with the husband and the boy, leaving me to read a mindless mystery novel while the girl took a nap.  More awesomeness.

We're back home now and we enjoyed dinner out with good friends last night.  Their oldest spent the night and the boys have been totally geeked.  The kids had a great holiday and the boy and the husband have several more days at home before the daily grind starts up again.  I've decided to forget about my lack of cheer and look forward to New Year's Eve- a holiday I've always loved.  Getting together with friends, drinking champagne, I even like taking stock and making resolutions.  Resolving to be a better person and the different ways to try and achieve that.  It's not that I think I'll turn out perfect by the end of the year- even just slightly better is ok really.  But it's always good to try, and at the beginning of the New Year I always feel like anything is possible.  Maybe even some New Year's cheer.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Motorcycle Boy

Several days ago, the husband sent me this link about the woman who wrote 'Nine 1/2 Weeks'.  Ingeborg Day had a fascinating life and the article is a pretty interesting read.  I now know that the movie is based on a book- honestly, I had no idea.  Also, the book is based on a real life affair that she had in the 1970's.  While she was a single parent living in New York.  So, wow.  Maybe I'm naive, or catching up on what everyone else already knew.  But I was pretty surprised.  And that's only the half of it.  Seriously.  Go read the article if you haven't already.

It's not that I'm so invested in the story about 'Nine 1/2 Weeks'.  Or that I think that the movie is some cinematic gem.  Honestly, I haven't seen it since I was maybe seventeen?  But I mean, I was seventeen.  That was some pretty hot stuff for a senior in high school, and it made quite an impression on me.  There were a lot of things in that movie that, at that age, I had never, um, considered.  Or realized even that other people... considered those things.

Oh, but Mickey Rourke.  If you're not familiar with 1980's Mickey Rourke, then let me just say now that he is not the same Mickey Rourke from about the mid-90's on.  He can still act (see The Wrestler) of course.  But that face.  I was crushing hard on that face in 1986.

Yes.  This one.

Maybe the only other actor I liked even better as a teenager in the 1980's was Matt Dillon.  Rumble Fish came out in 1983, but it took me a couple of years to find out.  Oh, and I should mention that I was also a huge S.E. Hinton fan back in the day.  So the movie Rumble Fish?  With those two in the starring roles?  Cinema nirvana for me at the time.  Actually, I still love that movie.  Of the S.E. Hinton books that got turned into movies, that has remained my favorite.

(OK.  So this is not the video clip I would have chosen, but it's all right.  So many mash ups of Rumble Fish!  Which I guess is a form of flattery?  But seriously kids.  What is up with all the mash ups?  Old lady stepping off now...)

Maybe reading the article shouldn't have brought up memories of angsty teenage longing.  (Really, the husband was a little surprised when I finished reading the article that this is what I wanted to discuss.  What can you do.)  This is where my mind went though.  Which, now that I think about it, is not a bad place to be.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Metaphysics & Chewing Gum

It was last Thursday afternoon, right after school.  We were in the car, headed to Trader Joe's.  The boy was complaining about school, like he does.  Then the conversation took a sharp turn.

The Boy: "What I'd really like to know is, what makes us us?"

Me:  "I'm sorry?  What do you mean by that?"  The hell?  I thought we were talking about the trials and tribulations of fourth grade.

TB: "I mean, how'd we get here?  And I'm not talking about the Big Bang or evolution or anything like that.  I mean, what came before that?  What made the Big Bang happen?"

Me: "Hmmm.  That's a great question.  That's a question that scientists and philosophers have been trying to figure out for centuries.  Thousands of years.  No one knows."

TB: "Really?  Huh.  Maybe I can do that when I grow up.  Be a scientist.  Because I'd really like to know."

Me: "That's a great idea.  Really interesting..."

TB: "And Mom?  There's something else that's been really bothering me."

Me: "What's that?"  

TB: "Why don't you let me buy the kind of chewing gum I like?"

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

In the Clear

Last Wednesday I went to the endocrinologist to talk about my recent blood work.  Of course, thanks to the magic of the internet and email and such, I already had my results. My thyroglobulin was -0.1, standard range is 3.0-40.  And my thyroglobulin antibodies came in at -20.0, which is also standard.

I already knew that these looked good.  I remembered some conversation- probably in August- about these numbers and where my doctor wanted to see them.  So I was pretty confident going in to see Dr. E. that morning.

After I was checked in by a friendly nurse, who chatted away about sunglasses and her lack of spelling skills, Dr. E. came in.  He asked me a bunch of questions- have I felt any lumps, anything unusual, sore throats, etc.  Not a thing.  I've been feeling pretty good actually.  It was a quick and easy exam.

We sat down at the computer and went over the numbers.  Thyroglobulin is basically a tumour marker.  The only reason you would have thyroblobulin in your blood is if you still had some thyroid tissue left.  Nothing else can make thyroglobulin.  In thyroid cancer patients who have received treatment, they like to see the measurements below standard- as close to zero as possible- which mine is.  It's a good indicator that there is no more thyroid tissue left inside of me.  Which is awesome.  The antibodies are measured just as a way to check that the thyroglobulin measurement is accurate.  Very high or low numbers can indicate that there is an issue, although that's not necessarily always the case.  But for me the number is where it should be, so nothing to worry about there either. 

What this means for me is that I'm excellent really.  Everything is right where it should be.  They won't need to see me again until next August, right around the same time that I had my RAI this past August.  I'll have a week set aside.  On Monday I'll go in for a thyrogen shot.  That Wednesday I'll go back for another and I'll have blood work done.  Friday I'll finish up with an ultrasound and an appointment to discuss my results.  If everything goes well, and it really should, everything will look much the same as it does right now.  At that time they'll decide if they'll want to see me again the following August for the same thing- thyrogen injections with blood work & an ultrasound- or if I can get away with yearly blood screenings at that point.

The last thing we had to discuss before I left was my Synthroid dose.  I'm at 137 mcg and I thought that was working well for me.  My TSH came in at 0.33 and the standard range is 0.40- 4.5.  Again, they like to see thyroid cancer patients with a slightly lower value.  Dr. E actually wants me to take the same dose every day, but one day a week he wants me to add 1/2 a pill to my regular dose.  I'll get my blood drawn at the end of January and hopefully this will put my numbers where he would like to see them.

We were done.  I headed home, officially declared free and clear of any traces of cancer.