Thursday, July 17, 2014

You’ll never guess what happens next!

Based on the number of people on FB who actually repost those annoying Upworthy links, I’ve decided that they’re the key to catapulting my readership into the thirties of fans. So, next up: The Reasons Why Will Shock You, What Came Next Will Amaze You, and The First Three Sentences of This Blog Post Will Surprise You - The Fourth Will Change Your World.

You read it here first.

Anyway. I’m in an annoying state of limbo at the moment. I had hoped to start IVF in August, but my hysteriosalpingoramamagram (smartly just called the HSG test by the docs) showed that I have a uterine polyp (thanks Tamoxifen!) that needs to be taken care of before I can start IVF. The worst part of this is not just that I then have to wait 30 days after the hysteroscopy to remove it before I can do IVF, but more so that I have to actually say the word polyp. I fricking hate that word. Oh sure, I know some people have issues with words like “moist” or “slacks,” but they’ve got nothing on the word polyp. Yuck. I refuse to use it, and so, henceforth, because we’re really just talking about an annoying bunch of cells/tissue that are probably/hopefully not cancerous, I shall use the word clumpie to refer to said polyp.

So. Once I get Clumpie taken care of, onward it is. Speaking of words, I find it interesting how those of my friends who know what’s going on (which is all of them at this point) couch everything in such delicate terms. No one exactly asks anything along the lines of “So, how it’s going with the random invasive procedures and painfully shooting yourself up with fertility drugs and then dealing with the foolishly optimistic highs followed rapidly by debilitating and soul-crushing lows all while POASing even though you know there’s no chance in hell of success, all as you ponder your rapidly dwindling bank account?”

No, it’s more like “So! How are – you know – ‘things’ going?” With sufficient emphasis on the word “things” and a meaningful raising of eyebrows.

I tend to respond with equal vagueness. “Oh, well, same old, same old. Nothing new.” Because what else is there to say?

And I have yet to actually utter the words “sperm donor” – rather, it’s just “the donor,” as if I’m talking about someone who bequeathed millions to the Daughters of the Revolution. Because it’s just all so…unseemly, really. I’m a modest person as it is, and would rather we all just pretend that I’m preparing for a visit from a stork. Storkie. Yes, that’s it.

That’s how “things” are at the moment.  Waiting sucks, because I waver between thinking:

·       hey, surely this’ll work on the first try!
·       or, what the fuck am I thinking, stuff like this never works out for me. 

Followed by the vision of me and The Kone surrounded by cats, many many cats, yelling at kids to get off our lawn.

So there’s that.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Officially no longer PUPO

......or as I like to think of it, Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise But Even Though I Didn't Think The IUI Would Work I Still Find It Surprisingly Crushing To Get The Results.

I suppose PUPOBETIDTTIWWISFISCTGTR is a bit unwieldy though.

That is all.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Apple falls far

People somehow still seem to doubt the crazy shit that happens in my life. As if no one else ever bikes into the middle of a shootout in a small town, or runs across a rodeo in the middle of nowhere cornland on  a bike ride, or narrowly misses a tornado while….on….a bike ride. Hmm.

Anyway, the latest scenario happened NOT on a bike ride, oddly enough, but during the week recently when my computer when kaplooey. The Apple guys had told me it would take until probably that Satuday or Sunday to fix it, so imagine my surprise when I get a call that Friday.

Me: Hello?
Apple Guy: Hi there, I’m calling about your computer that you dropped off…..
Me: SIGH, yes, my poor baby. My adoring public is despondent over my inability to blog since I can't work on anything else.
AG: Umm, I’m sure. So, well, we did get the mothership (I think that’s what he said) replaced earlier than thought, so it’s ready to be pic….
Me: SQUEE! Omgomgomg you guys made it a priority because it’s ME, right? I mean I know you did, because I’m sure you thought about how unfair this all was to my fans and determinedly decided NAY this must not be.
AG: Well I…
Me: It’s okay though, it’ll be our little secret. We don’t want everyone else to know that they were unceremoniously pushed to the side like old mashed potatoes.

I change my plans and go to pick up my laptop, battling Friday afternoon traffic there and back, and am just walking into the house with laptop in my arms, kicking off a shoe to play Who’s Got the Shoe with Kone, when my phone rings. I hesitate, then ignore it, because I can easily see disaster ensuing if I try to finagle answering it. How important could it be?

Message: “Yeah, hi, this is Apple Guy from the Apple Store. You were in here a little while ago to pick up your laptop, and, well, heh heh, somehow we forgot to put the screws back in. So if you could call us to arrange to come back in…”

Say. What?

I go to look, and sure enough, out of 10 screws, 1 is in. One. You have GOT to be fucking kidding me.

The Apple Guy is probably lucky I had let the call go to voice mail, because the thought of having to head the hour or so back to the Apple store when I had so much stuff to do was less than endearing. I fumed and raged for a good, oh, 20 minutes or so, then thought ech, par for the course.

Besides, I can see how these things happen.

* * * * * * 

Scene: The Apple Store. Apple Guy is merrily finishing up work on Miss Tasha’s computer. I picture them as being somewhat Ed Grimley-like and twee.

“La la la, hi ho hi ho, what a glorious day to be working on….” (looks at slip) “….Miss TASHA’S computer! I can just imagine her joy when she gets it back, like a day full of rainbows and skittles and boozy fruit and those wonderful overcast-yet-brooding-days that give lie to the need for aggressively hot and sunny days. Huzzah!”

“Just have to screw the precious back together and……..ermagerd! SHIT!”

AG suddenly runs from the state of the art beautifully-appointed Back Room of Apple Miracles and into the kitchen.

“Oh no,” he wails. “I forgot about my So Manly He-Man Manliest of Days microwaveable dinner! It’s ruined! What to do, what to do…..”

Just then Apple Guy #2 walks in and sees what remains of AG #1’s nuked beyond recognition dinner.

“Whoa dude, what’s that? No, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know. You need to get yourself a new lunch.”

AG#1: “But I don’t want to take time away from my most important work. The little people are counting on me, on us!”
AG#2: “This we know to be true, but think about it man, think about it rationally, dammit! You’re no good to them like this, a weak starving shell of your former self. You need to fortify yourself to do battle in the Apple trenches – the people deserve your best, and it’s your duty to give it to them.”
AG#1: “Okay. See ya!”

AG#1 heads outside to the Tiki Bi Bim Bop Fusion Asian Grille Shoppe to get himself some food, then after eating gets distracted by the koi pond at the mall, then realizes he needs coffee as fortification, then goes to the candy store to get some jelly bellies and taffy.

Upon return to the Apple Store 2 hours later

“Hmm, I seem to recall I was working on something critically important when I left. What WAS it. Hmm.”

He looks up and sees his empty workspace. “That’s odd, I could have swore……oh. Oh shit. SHIT!”

His scream of anguish brings all his colleagues running from all over the store. As they stare at him in confusion and worry, he can only say this, as he looks at them with panic and a handful of screws:

“We’re fucked.”

* * * * * * *

So see, I get it. These things happen all the time. Especially to me, I might add. Not just the Schleprockian tales of things that happen to me and no one else, but also the forgetting. Still, the next morning when I was driving back to Apple, I was back to fuming a bit. Because I was running late and had a shit-ton of things to do that day and no reason to be wasting time driving to a MALL, for crikey’s sake, and they had made me make an appointment at the Genius Bar, which I’d surely be late to. I already had the dialogues planned out in my mind.

AG: You missed your time slot so we’ll have to pu…
Me: You were going to say you’d have to see me right away, because I’m only here to get the SCREWS PUT BACK IN MY COMPUTER. Yes?

AG: I’m sorry you’ll have to wait since…
Me: No. There will be no waiting. Because I shouldn’t even need to BE here today, wasting my time.

And so on.

So yes, I was ready when I walked in. Steely, determined, I walked up to the first check-in Apple person. Told her my name, she poked at her IPad, whisked me off to someone else. He similarly poked, then directed me to the back of the store to the main counter where “they’ll take care of you RIGHT away.” Then not content with that, he escorted me back there.

And I tell you, it was like the parting of the Red Sea. Words were whispered, people looked over, they started to cluster. Someone held up a plastic baggie with screws, and there was a slight hush. The girl tasked with taking away my laptop was, well, sheepish. They were all sheepish, wondering how in the hell something like this could have happened at THEIR establishment. It must be common though, right?

I see my old friend AG#1, who I talked to that first day that I handed over my computer for repair.

AG#1: You have to tell me, this wasn’t my fault, was it? I mean I handed off your computer to someone else, right? Please tell me I AM NOT THE ONE who did this.
Me: No no, you looked at it, it needed more work done, I had to leave it….
AG#1: Thank GOD. I couldn’t figure out how I could have done something like that!
Me: But this has happened before, right? I mean how DOES something like this happen?
AG#1: I…I just…I just don’t know. In all my years of working here, this has never happened before.


AG#1 and I agree that while it might be tough for them to have an actual BAR at the Genius Bar, they should at least have a stash of whiskey for when such things happen or they have to tell some poor schmoe that they lost all his data. I’d hope they’d at least have gift cards for such occasions and that I would be graced with one, but alas, no such thing is forthcoming.

At least I have my computer. WITH screws this time.

* * * * * * * *
In other news, I seem to be notpregnant. And it’s my 6-year Cancerversary. Normally I SadCancerFace my mom into treating me to dinner, and we go someplace where the server invariably is impressed by my rock$tar cancer-ass-kicking nature and brings me free dessert and heaps of maraschino cherries for my fruity cocktail. Alas, this year I’ve been abandoned by my mom, probably due to the fact that I’m an orphan (I don’t think the fact that she lives in Chicago has anything to do with it), and no one else offered to take me out to wine and dine me (obligatory self-pity note), so I’m celebrating by hanging out with The Kone, working, and slugging down a cocktail. With the more expensive kind of maraschino cherries, so there.

I am nothing if not a party animal.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A wrinkle in time

I could be knocked up! But probably not. I went for my IUI on Sunday; I’m basically 100% sure it won’t work, so I’m ready and waiting to move on to IVF. Not pessimistic, just realistic, though I have ridiculously high hopes for IVF and assume that’ll work out just fine right away.

In the meantime, I’ve been checking out various message boards, in particular one that my dear Ukrainian-Finnish friend Motya passed on to me a while ago, They have lots of message boards there for fertility stuff, including one for the 40+ contingent.

I have to say, it’s pretty fucking depressing.

Basically anyone going on there as a newbie being all “hey, so nervous, no idea what’ll happen!” is shot down pretty rapidly and told yeah no, just go straight to donor eggs. Do not pass go, don’t even bother with your own old crappy eggs. Great.

Which has all got me thinking too much – and certainly not in a good way – especially since this is Cancerversary time for me, and normally I’m all woo hoo, bring on the charred meat and maraschino cherries and FUCK YOU CANCER! This year, perhaps prompted by my new onc who asked me something like “So how do you feel about how cancer affected your life?”, it’s a little different. Because I could only rather bitterly think about how much it totally derailed it, in this death spiral of surgery, treatment, more surgery, more treatment, crazy medical bills, being unable to work, trying to recover from all that, etc. And oh yeah, losing 6 years of fertility, just to top things off.

So yes, I’m a little bitter.

It’s especially obvious to me this year because the days line up with the dates, so Friday July 4th back then was when I found the lump, July 10th was biopsy day, aka what I now think of as my official Cancerversary. Oh sure, I’m sure people will say, but Miss Tasha, it could be worse, at least you don’t have mets. And this is true. But I could also have not gotten cancer in the first place. And I’m not a big believer in the lowest common denominator approach, because then none of us could complain because none of us are starving orphan Biafran refugees with AIDS, so it could always be worse.

(If you’re the one Biafran refugee who’s found my blog, then okay, you get to complain.)

This isn’t to say that I’m not generally a happy person, in spite of my curmudgeonly demeanor. I am, probably in part because I have such craptastic luck, that I bounce back pretty quickly and can find humor in almost anything. But I still grieve the parallel life not lived, the one where I kept on with my hockey and triathloning and working and found PerfectMan through a Meet Cute involving our dogs and a duck pond and we lived happily ever after.

Of course, I could have also been mowed down by a Mack truck, so there’s that.

Anyway, I’ll do the POAS (Pee on a Stick – I’m getting hep with the fertility lingo) on July 10th, because if this were a feel-good Hollywood movie of the century, I’d find out I’m pregnant on my Cancerversary. Of course my life’s not that movie, so it’ll be negative, and that’s that. We move on.

On a brighter note, today is also the anniversary of the day my little Koney-Chunkers was brought to my house for me to “foster” – hahahahahaha. The girls and I went up to Wisconsin that 4th of July weekend to hang out and do some bike riding, and I still can hear clearly as day Annette saying “Look at how great the pupems is – you need to keep him.” Even my mom described him as “meek.” Hahahahaha. Such a little conman. We marked today with a trip to the reservoir, then lots of toysums, treats, bones, snuggles, Fun Waters. In other words, the usual.

So while I often think along the lines of (paraphrasing) I’ve taken the road less traveled, and have no idea where the hell I now am, overall, in spite of the bumps and turns my life has taken, this much is true:

Being (seemingly) cancer free is a beautiful thing.

Being alive is a beautiful thing.