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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

$#!% just got real (Part One)

So yesterday (Tuesday) started out as a typical, hilarious morning.

We woke up at 6, well "woke up" isn't exactly the right word, I hadn't been to bed the night before. I needed a nap on Monday and slept till about 7. "Well what do you do up all night"- you ask? Good question. I read, I blog, I enjoy the peace and quiet and if I'm really lucky, I skype ;)

So, I got up, actually put on what Natalie described as my "socialite" outfit, complete with a long green and white maxi skirt, white lulu tank (because anyone who knows me, knows I live, legit LIVE in lulu lemon), white cardigan and my pride and joy Kitson scarf from LA. We hit Duncan Donuts (I miss Tim Hortons so bad its not even funny) and then we were on our way. Thinking back on my outfit, I said to my mum:
"I always wear white when it rains, like always and not on purpose! Its almost as if Mother Nature is telling me to be in a wet T-shirt contest."
It was going to be one of those days....

We left an hour early just to be safe with rush hour traffic (even though it really only should have taken us about 30-45min.) We got about 15 minutes out and then the heavens opened from above and cried their eyes out. It was a torrential freaking downpour. I'm not talking about a little rain, I'm not even talking about a lot of rain, I'm talking about so much damn rain that you could have gone swimming on the high way. The traffic was INSANE. What should have been a quick trip to Lankenau Hospital in Philly turned into a two hour adventure. I could have gotten to Scranton PA in two hours under normal circumstances. The puddles were so large on the highway, we were worried our car wouldn't get through them. Some of the cars next to us almost didn't. The radio and news stations were forbidding people from driving through the puddles because cars were getting swept away and causing accidents. They were shutting down highways left and center but we were on a mission to get to my docs, and although it took us two hours, we damn well got there, and had some fun in the car too!

Mom mom was on a roll. I now know where I get this whole thinking I'm hilarious thing from because she thinks shes hilarious too. The actual difference, is she actually is. Thank goodness too, because in these stressful times, its nice to laugh. Laughter is the best medicine after all. Some of her zingers... I can't even remember the complete context behind them (damn you chemo brain.)
"Well this is new, taking an arc to get to the hospital, should have worn my water wings."

She'll kill me for this next one but it was so funny, I almost peed. I feel like a lot of the things I think are hysterical are those "You have to be there to get the full effect kind of stuff". So she says...

"So all I'm thinking about right now is 2 girls and a cup."
...Oh no where was this going?
"Ummm mom, do I even want to know?"
I was getting a little nervous.
"Well I have to poop! Theres a cup, and we're two girls. Courtney, I NEED to have an evacuation."
"Mom that is wrong on so many levels, and have you even seen that video, I haven't and don't want too, let alone recreate it."
I love how open our family is. When it comes to poop, well I am asked every day by doctors about my BM's (Bowl Movements.) Its something you get used too, REAL fast!

So our family, super open, about everything. I mean I had a friend text me yesterday and ask about my previous blog post,
"Do you let your dad read your Rated R blogs?"
I was like Absolutely. My dad wasn't born yesterday, he knows I'm going to have sex. I am a 25 year old girl, there is nothing wrong with it. There was recently an article written by a father entitled:
"Dad Writes Open Letter To His Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex."
I think this is one of the most excellent reads I have read in a long time. Now don't get me wrong, I love scaring the $#!% out of new boyfriends by having an intimidating father, but deep down, he's a huge teddy bear.
(Note to future suitors: Mess with me and he will beat you with a hockey stick and he has a mean slap shot! Don't give him a reason too, and you'll actually have a new best friend!)
The point is, as clearly evidenced by my blog, I don't have a filter, but I don't want to have too with my family. Especially my family. I have always really appreciated the fact that I can go to my mom or dad with anything. Obviously some things I prefer talking to my mother about, but I know if I didn't have her, I could talk to my dad too. Boyfriends have asked me in the past
"You didn't tell your parents about this/that did you?"
My response is always,
"Assume they know."
Odds are they will, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

So back to our trip to the hospital, I guess I kinda tend to do the whole running off on tangents thing, oh well. We finally arrived, and our agenda for the day included a consultation with an interventional radiologist, and to meet my Radiation doctor. Then a second opinion with an Ob/GYN Oncologist at Cooper Hospital, in Voorhees which is right next to my house, so would be super convenient.

We went to the I.R. apt first, we were so late from the tsunami that they switched our appointments around. I love how accommodating and friendly Lankenau is. As we're sitting in the waiting my room, my mum was like, you should probably get your insurance card and license ready. I looked down into my bag, and then back up to my mum like a child does when they've been caught coloring on the walls, she looked at me and said:
"Whats wrong?"
To which I stammered:
"Um so I left my other wallet, the important one with the important stuff at home because it was the wristlet I used for the concert and this is my Canadian wallet, but I have toonies!"
My mum laughed and was like
"well, do you have any photo id?"
My purse was jammed fuller than a hot dog eating contest winner in booty shorts, I had to have something. I started riffling through my wallet and started naming things I had. I sounded like that Sunny D commercial, you know the one that's like
"'Hey man what do you have?' 'Well we've got some oj, some purple stuff, OH YES SUNNY D!"
But I digress, my list went a little more like
"Ummm so I've got my Mac Pro Make Up artist license, no photo, my bartending certification, no photo, OH my boaters license!"
To which my mom responded,
"Well that would have come in handy this morning driving the arc? I feel a lot better knowing you have that when we go back out there."
I don't know why but I was dying laughing. She was on a roll today. Eventually I found my Queen's U student id.
"Eh, this will do."
Long story short, they believed it was me and we got in. I make it sound like Lankenau is this hot new club and I'm underage, it's not.

We got into the consultation room which was really boring. Something about it bugged me. I just didn't like the feeling I got from it. I'm very OCD and little things bug me, but the doc's had pics of themselves framed on the walls in articles. It was different though, the Cooper docs, have their
"SJ's BEST Doc ::insert field here:: of ::insert year here::"
, but those are accomplishments. These just seemed staged. There was an empty brochure holder on the wall with the Staples: Office Depot sticker on it. My OCD was raging over this and it took everything in my body to not take the sticker off. I instead opted for putting a random brochure in it, one which ironically enough was from my mom's company's competitor, we don't like them. The Physicians Assistant came in to talk to us and let us know the doc wouldn't be joining us. This was weird, this man is supposed to be performing a surgical procedure on me and I wasn't going to meet him until the day of, this erked me. She explained that the point of the procedure was to biopsy the lymph nodes that appeared cancerous on my PET scan, however this was extremely difficult and dangerous because of their location. The original surgeon who was supposed to do the surgery turned it down, because he didn't think he would be successful. Dr.B who is also the chief of the I.R. dept, said he thought he could.
"So he's basically like the Mc.Dreamy of you all, not in his looks but the fact that he can do the impossible."
Great, something about this just did not excite me. We booked our appointment and left for our next, but I'm just so over surgery. Especially knowing that I'm only receiving sedation and not full anesthesia.

We then headed to the radiation/chemo dept. where I would be receiving my radiation. We went to the waiting room and once again: visual overload. There was a horse. Yes a horse, no I was not on meds. It was a full size paper mache, painted white and pink with breast cancer ribbons, quotes and rhinestones all over it. I had the sudden urge to climb it and ride it, it was beckoning to me. We sat down, and there was a pen on one of the chairs across from me. One lonely pen, sitting all by itself. A. my OCD was being driven insane but B. it was a metaphor for the people that have to come to these appointments alone. It made me really sad, and so appreciative that my mum was there, poop jokes and all. The paintings were driving me nuts too. I know that they are usually donated to these units but come on, lets pick a theme people. There was a cottagy one with flowers, another that looked like an Italian scene and then a wannabe Monet. It was visual overload, including the horse.

I had to fill out some paper work while waiting. I probably get asked the same questions, by every doctor, nurse, P.A., Nurse Practitioner, and tech, 1000 times a week. So I've managed to simplify some of my answers.
"Why are you here?"
"To fix my $#!%."
If I'm feeling a little classier I'll respond with
"To fix my pooter."
Considering its very rare for someone my age to be dealing with this, like VERY rare, they usually don't know how to handle me, and by me I mean my personality. I love it when they just laugh. So, this was a step up for me, responding so honestly on paperwork. Question:
"What do you expect radiation/chemotherapy to do for you?"
.... Hmmmmm well
"Cure my $#!%."
Obviously, thats kind of a dumb question. Next Question:
"Is there anything else you would like to say?"
This was a new one, but the amount of things I would like to say are endless.... so I just put the link to my blog.

My mum was reading the biography on the doc while I was filling out the paperwork.
"OOOh he's an Eagles Fan, A seasons ticket holder."
Well at least we like the same football team.
"Note to self mom, we're not coming in on Mondays."
She laughed and then said,
"Oh how nice, he coaches his son and daughter's sotfball teams."
I started laughing and responded with
"I'll be he doesn't get thrown out of them for throwing softballs at the ref."
::Backstory:: My mum coached my softball team in kindergarten when we lived in LA. She was slightly competitive so during one of our championship games, she might have gotten a little heated over a bad call. She got so mad she threw a softball at the ref and was thrown out of the game. Luckily my soccer coach at the time was there and she took over, but I'll never forget it.
It was the exact moment I knew I had the BEST mom of all time. I mean she would go to war over anything for me, and that was exactly what I needed right now.

We met the doc (Dr. D2 as I'll call him because my OB/GYN oncologist is Dr.D)
"How fitting, You have the double D's treating you."
haha my mum really was on a roll today. Dr.D2 explained a lot of what I already knew. He talked about vaginal dilators and told me I had an 80% chance of being able to have sex again after this. I was like
"WOAH DOC, hold up. A. a vaginal dilator is a fancy name for a vibrator right? and B. 80%, what about the other 20%."
This was when my day started to go down hill. We talked some more and I wasn't feeling as funny and vibrant. When I'm upset I get quiet. I don't want to cry, I don't want to yell, and I sure as hell don't want to talk. I want to retreat into my blonde safety net and hide.

I went to do my scan and met two of the "therapists" as they call themselves. They were super sweet. I really did like the staff in this department. My mom instantly favored D, one of the RN's because A. she had great lips and B. was shit szu obsessed. I went in for the scan and the girls explained how I was going to be getting tattoos. I was like
"I'm sorry WHAT?, Today? Are you sure?"
I really should have taken a xanax. The tats were so that when they did the scan, they could line it up exactly the same way each time. I once had a really good guy friend tell me,
"Don't get a tattoo, the fact that you don't have any is what makes you different and I really like that about you, its sexy and pure."
Every time I've almost caved and gotten one, that comment has stuck in my head. So I finished the scan and it was tat time. They are three dots, which actually look like nothing more than a freckle. One on each of my hips and one on my gunt. (No thats not a typo, its my gut above my C***, the female version of a gut). They placed the ink on my skin and then pricked it with a needle, not even a tattoo gun. Isn't this just dandy, my first tattoo, and its done like a jailhouse inmate, in the most un bad@$$ of places, a doctors office. How me.

When we finished we were off. I was starving and really nauseous. We headed back into Jersey and luckily had no traffic. We went to Panera's, because Tuesdays are my fav day for their cream of chicken and wild rice soup with greek salad. It was so yum. We then went to target to kill some time before we headed to our next apt. I knew if I went home before the next appointment, I would be out cold. I was getting exhausted, mentally. If you had have asked me at this point in the day I would have said, its been great. Little did I know what was about to come....

I guess now that I have a tattoo, I might as well get the one I want. .... here it is.


  1. Courtney, I am at work reading this and laughing out loud! You're a riot! You'll pull through this because you create so much positive energy and have so much of it around you! :) I hope your arrow launches soon and you soar past all this $@#*. Have a great day!! :)