Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Drink until your hair looks good

Despite my tendency to be dramatic, I am not very interested in getting all worked up about my tumor. I mean, he’s my buddy right? Last night I was feeling pretty fragile—I have a tumor, my biopsy hurt like a bitch, I have a cold… I was sniveling in my room and suddenly it occurred to me that I have Vicodin for my upcoming foot surgery (Feb. 8) and that I was in pain, so taking pain killers was not out of the question. I have never taken pain killers before. When I had my wisdom teeth out I only took ibuprofen… So anyway, wowy, it took the edge off. According to my medically-inclined housemates, it’s a rare person who can get good and stoned on Vicodin, but I am that person.

Fast forward to this morning. The internet makes not worrying difficult. For about 20 minutes I was sure I had finally come upon the answer: I have fatal, Merkel cell, skin cancer. I couldn’t be dissuaded by the fact that the average Merkel cell patient is 69 and has suppressed immune system problems (HIV, organ transplant, etc.) I was sure that I was actually one of the 5% (of 1200 annual cases) of people under 50 who get this kind of cancer. It grows quickly and metastasizes to your lymph nodes and I have a lymph node poking out!

You can imagine my relief when I found out that Merkel tumors are fixed and mine is not!

Lesson: stop google-ing scalp tumors! My doctor told me the name of what I probably have. It’s something like “truculoma.” But that is not google-able. Also, “benign scalp tumor” yields nothing of interest. Here is the info I do have: this is a rare kind of tumor, it is benign, it occurs in the scalp, it’s not fixed, and it usually runs in families. I won’t know anything else until next week when my biopsy comes back. Until then, I’m not going to act like my mom and emotionally manipulate people (in a loving way) into thinking things are more serious than they are. Sorry if you felt emotionally manipulated by the second paragraph, I can empathize.

No skiing today: the pass is too snowy. Boo.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Misunderstanding of Little Buddy, part 2

Misunderstanding, part 1
Little Buddy, as it turns out, is NOT a cyst at all! Little buddy is a tumor. And he’s an unhappy tumor right now, having had 2 holes punched in him today for biopsy. Don't worry, no pictures.

My new dermatologist thinks all will be well, that LB is benign, and that he can finally free LB as soon as we ascertain that LB is indeed, benign. At least I can stop taking these stupid antibiotics.

And in other news, my GRE came back and it turns out I got worked on the writing section which I think is total bullshit. My percentiles for the other two sections seemed alarmingly skewed—but in a good way.

I don’t really care. My head hurts. Life is dumb. Love is a lie. I am supposed to go cross-country skiing tomorrow, but if that’s true I have to go out in public and rent skis tonight.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The misunderstanding of Little Buddy

For those of you following the Cyst Saga, I have some bad/good news. “Little Buddy” was supposed to be removed yesterday, but the steroids that were supposed to make LB shrink made him grow even BIGGER!!! Little Buddy is not like other cysts. He is a real little person/sentient being and he FEEDS off steroids. This is me doing a visual interpretation of Little Buddy and his rage:

And here is what he looked like for real on Monday night at Dinner Club:

Side note: how great are my friends that they will do a cyst photo shoot at dinner?

And here is the cat that I talk to on my way to work many mornings. Of course I still talk to cats!

So now the cyst is bigger than it was before. My dermatologist was concerned. “What do you want to do?” she asked me because I also have a medical degree and know a lot about sentient cyst-ial beings.

For fun, she cut into it. Nothing happened. LB is solid. She gave LB 6X as much Cortizone and sent me home looking puzzled. I feel really good about things.

So anyway, it’s been a rough few days between the cyst, the insomnia, and work being pretty lame. I am feeling a little defeated and I know that now I need to buckle down and work on my graduate school application so I can eventually GET THE FUCK OUT.

My plan of action is to abstain from: g chat, thinking about insurance companies, taking work seriously, and worrying about my solid cyst. I will: learn thousands of vocabulary words and do remedial math problems until I until I can make that GRE my bitch (average practice score currently: 1420). Oh, I also have to write a “personal statement of diversity.” Whatever.


Thursday, January 03, 2008