Sunday, July 20, 2008

Home Again, Home Again Jiggity Jig

Max is en route from California. Thank goodness. I'll pick him up late tonight.

His brother is stable. He'll probably have to have the 3rd surgery this week, depending on the infection they're watching. Following that, he'll be moved from the ICU to the cancer floor. He'll probably stay there another week or so.

Max thinks he'll be home for about two weeks and then will head back out to help his brother put his affairs in order. I don't think there have been any decisions made about future treatment. I think Mike is likely to ditch the chemo and go live the rest of his days on an island somewhere. Really. Sounds kind of nice when you think about it.

I've already decided that I'm not going to weigh in on Wednesday. Everyone has been so kind ... taking me out for dinner, having me over, etc. I need about a week of normalcy to get back on the kinda lame track I had gotten on. I did get to watch one of my friend's toddlers spew carrots last night. That was a special time. For those of you who've been around a while, it kind of reminded me of last April when I was flying to Austin when the man in the seat behind me barfed all over my bare shoulder and hair. Ahh ... memories. :) That's still the most vile thing that I think has ever happened to me. Now, if it had been someone I knew, I think it would have been closer to okay. But, no, he was a perfect stranger with good aim.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Just Thinking About Tomorrow!

First of all, Annie was my absolute favorite movie when I was in 2nd grade, so I think I screamed/sang Tomorrow about a billion times back in 1982. I wanted to BE Annie, despite the whole orphan thing.

Max is supposed to come home tomorrow night. I'm so excited I can't stand it.

His brother is in stable condition for the moment but has to fully recuperate from his surgeries and possible infection from the fecal matter leak before they can assess if he can go through chemotherapy. They are watching careful for infection. If he has an infection, he'll need to have a 3rd surgery to, as Max puts it, hose him down. Gross.

Depending on the outcome over the next few days, Max will stay home for a few days or weeks before heading back out. I hope it's weeks. Their mom is going to stay there until the next step is known.

I have some great friends here. I had done a favor for a friend while he was out of town (had packages come to my house so someone could sign for them), so he took me out for dinner last night. Tonight, one of the girls I sing with (whose husband has befriended Max ... they go bowling together) has invited me over for dinner. Thank goodness. Those, plus Aida on Thursay, have really kept me from going stir crazy the last few days. I did try to sleep in the bed last night, but that only lasted about 20 minutes before I got all sniffly and headed to the couch. How totally pathetic and lame is that? Max thinks it's sweet. I think it's codependent.

So he comes home late tomorrow night, and then has to turn around and be at work at 6:00 on Monday morning. Actually, he's looking forward to getting back to his routine. With his overnights prior to his going to California, we haven't been in our regular routine since early June. The overnight project got completed while Max was gone, thank goodness. I haven't made dinner for the two of us in about a month. I didn't know how much I liked doing that (most of the time).

Anyway, I imagine you are all as sick of hearing about this as I am of living it. I'm going to try to refocus on me now. By the way, my house is almost completely ready for Max to move in except for the room of woe. Now I just have to scrub a few things and clean out the refrigerator, and we'll be ready to go. I started bringing over some random things of his yesterday. I can't believe this is almost ready to happen. I can't wait!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Nonami II

I've got to take today just for me. Is it selfish that I just want my boyfriend to come home? The bed is too big for just me, so I've been sleeping on the couch. Otherwise, I was finding myself reaching for him and crying in the middle of the night. How pathetic and yet sweet at the same time. So, tonight will be my sixth night on the couch. The first two, I tried the bed, and never actually got to sleep.

My friend is playing in the orchestra (violin) of a local production of Aida, so I went and saw that tonight. Then, I went and hung out with her and her husband at their apartment. I've met them through weight watchers. Her husband has lost over 100 pounds, and she has lost 40. They both look awesome! They're big fans of Max as well, so it was good to just get a night out of the house with some friends. Aida was very well-done. The woman who played Aida had an amazing voice, one you usually wouldn't find in community theater. I was pretty much blown away. She stole the show.

I need to spend a little time tomorrow making at least some weekend plans. I've been so ready to drop things at a moment's notice, that I have nothing to do this weekend. I have been going stir crazy. I expect to finish cleaning my house this weekend (all except the Room of Woe). All that's left is that I need Max to help me take the NINE bags of trash and 6 boxes of crap to the garbage and Goodwill, respectively. Then, I can actually clean, and we can start bringing some of Max's things over. I was going to start packing his things while he was gone. But, honestly, he's a total bachelor, and I'm hoping that many of his things never see the light of day in my house. We have a lot of donating to do.

He has some nice things. His couch and coffee table will eventually make their ways into the Room of Woe, and I will sell or donate the 10+ year old couch and love seat I have in there. I'm giving a coffee table and 2 side tables to the couple I mentioned before. Max is also bringing his desktop computer (I only have a laptop issued by the school), as well as a carpet steamer, a DVD player to replace my VCR, and his clothes. Everything else ... I could live without it. So, if I were to do all the packing, I think he'd miss a few things. I'll be a nice girlfriend and at least let him check things off on a list.

I've been meaning to write about this for a while. My very best girlfriend (lives here, but we grew up together in Texas) gained about 10-12 pounds. That means she went from about 115 to about 128. Poor thing. So, she decided to do Nutrisystem and buy a stationary bike. She's down to 115 again. That took about three months! So, she's stopped doing Nutrisystem. But, since she thought that it was 'just way too much food for her' she has a LOT of extras. She gave me some (like 10 dinners)one day to keep at my house for the very few times I'm actually there. They're actually quite good. When I mentioned how helpful they were to have while Max was working overnights for a few weeks, she gave me a ton more (like 30 dinners). It's been so nice to have that since I'm not cooking for anyone right now. Have any of you done nutrisystem? I know Julie from Flip this Body did, but she's the only one I know of. I'm not considering doing it ... just wondering about you guys.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Weigh-In Wednesday

I wasn't sure what this crazy week would have resulted in on the scales. Somedays, I had to remind myself to eat. Other days, I totally made up for that. So, when the WW lady told me I was exactly the same, I was surprised, but knew that it made sense. I have never been exactly the same.

I heard from my gynecologist's office today. They basically said the biopsy showed no signs of cancer or precancerous changes. I still have the HPV, and I'm supposed to have another Pap in 6 months. Phew! We needed no additional drama here.

No new updates about Mike's condition yet. They're supposed to bring him out of his induced coma today. Hopefully, he'll be coherent enough to sign the power of attorney while he's awake.

Unless Mike has a really bad turn for the worse, Max thinks it's best for me to stay here and take care of the cat. I'm totally cool with that. So, I'll be doing that and maybe even tackling the room of woe until then. Max may still need to go back to California for several weeks or months. We'll see what Mike's progress is or isn't over the next few days.

All I know is that Max sounded like himself today ... the first time I can say that in the past week.

Thanks for your continuing support and patience!

Kim :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


One day I will reclaim this blog to be about me. However, today's not the day. Sorry!

By the way, what follows might be a little TMI.

Mike had an emergency surgery today. It turns out that during his surgery the other day to remove most of his colon, he wasn't sewn up quite well enough. All this intense pain he's been in in the last few days wasn't all from the surgical pain. He's literally had fecal matter leaking into his body since last Wednesday. Max has had such a rough time getting the nurses to help his brother. There seemed to be a much larger amount of pain/psychotic behavior over the last few days than really should have been expected. It turns out there was an actual reason for the severity of the situation.

Mike is out of the surgery -- cleaned up, sewn up, etc. Things are very touch and go. They've induced a coma so he can get some rest and hopefully not feel too much pain. As you can imagine, Max and his mom are beside themselves. He could still die in the next few days -- infection, fever, etc. Max is also convinced that they're not receiving good enough care and enough attention from the nurse staff. I'm not there to watch the goings-on, so I can only listen and report his side of the story.

I think I'll be going out to California at some point before week's end. As Mike was in surgery, I packed a bag of nice (funeral) clothes for Max to take with me. I hope he doesn't need to use them.

I'm exhausted and a little stir-crazy. I had to get out of the house today. So, for the first time in days, I showered, shaved, and headed to the grocery store and to return some library books. As lame of errands as those were, two hours out of the house were great.

I finally called my gynecologist's office today. They told me if I didn't hear the results of my biopsy within 2 weeks to call. I left a message and no one has called me back yet. I pray it's nothing serious. We can't deal with anything else right now, thank you very much.

I'm going to try to go to bed now. That hasn't been so easy lately. The bed just seems so big to sleep in alone. :(

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Chugging Along

There has been a little bit of progress in Mike's condition. In addition to the recovery from the surgery to remove most of his colon, another big issue was Mike's psychotic behavior. He was pretty much incoherent for several days. He has started becoming more lucid, but he is in terrible pain. His surgery is recovering, so they moved him last night out of the ICU into a private room. That's a big progression. Yesterday was actually a great day. However, last night, Max stayed in the room with his brother. He says it was a horrible night. Mike was screaming and crying. My heart hurts just thinking about it.

What we basically know at this point is that Mike is going to die from this disease. We still are not sure how he's going to choose to proceed. If he chooses to go without the chemotherapy, he'll definitely be gone in the next twelve months. If he chooses the chemo, we thing he might last 2-3 years.

Honestly, at this point, I'm not sure which he'll choose. Other than Max, their mom, and an uncle, Mike has no other family. No girlfriend, no children, just an ex-wife. I don't think it would be selfish of him to choose against the chemo and to just live out the end of the days more comfortably.

Max feels like he needs to be out in southern California for his brother. At this point, I'm not sure exactly what that's going to entail. He's coming back here to Atlanta on Monday night. He wants me to go back with him next weekend. I think I'll go for a few days and then leave Max there. Someone is going to have to deal with the fact that Mike's house is under construction and will probably need to be sold, that Mike has his own wedding photography business that will probably need to be closed or sold, and that Mike doesn't have any important papers taken care of -- living will, power of attorney, will, etc.

Max is scared to death that if he spends weeks or months out there, I'm going to need to break up with him. That made me cry so much. I'm about 95% certain that we're on the same path here ... marriage some time in the next two years. If that's the case, then I think whatever he needs to do for his brother is fine. It will be hard work, but it's totally worth it to me. I think the only place I would draw the line is a permanent move to California. If Mike is still hanging on next summer, when I'd be able to find a job teaching, I'd consider going there for a year or so, but only on a temporary basis. Now we just have to figure out what to do about his job, insurance, etc. Since Max works for a national company, I'm hoping he can try to get a post out there and actually work a few days a week. Max's uncle has offered to be for 24/7 nursing care if the brother needs it.

So, not only would I not break up with him if he needed to stay a while, but I have several connections in the LA area. People who might be able to give Max a temporary job. People who might be able to bring meals. People who might be able to offer a helping hand. On my facebook account, I noticed that I have 17 friends in the LA area. I've never even been there! Most of them are college friends.

With Max's move to my house upon us, it's probably the best time for this to happen. I need Max here to move some things around. Even if he misses out on the actual move, I know I have friends who would pitch in to help pack, move, and clean his apartment if I needed them.

I think I'm going to have to ignore the room of woe for a few more weeks and tackle it after all this has calmed down. I'll get the entire house ready except for that room. Really, I'll just have to find a temporary space for Max's couch and coffee table (the only things nice enough for him to bring with him). I can squeeze them into my living room and move them as the room of woe empties out. I have a couch, table, and love seat in there that I was intending to sell once I had the room clean enough to see them. Max's furniture will be going in there.

The funny part to me is Butterbean the cat. A few years ago, I would have laughed at you if you told me I was going to be a cat owner. Now, I think I'm going to be living for a little while ALONE with a cat. Who'd a thunk it?

Enough of that. I went to a party last night. Mostly teachers who haven't seen each other since the end of May. I had lots of fun catching up ... hearing about the 7(!) teachers who are currently pregnant and due between October and February. I will not be drinking the water. I made a Cooking Light recipe that had good intentions but was pretty much taste-less. It was called Edamame-Garlic puree. I took that along with a tray of carrots, celery, broccoli, and pita wedges. Even with 10 cloves of garlic, it just tasted like a light green mush. Everyone thought it was tasteless guacamole. It was good to catch people up on what's been going on, have them miss out on seeing Max, and know that I have them as an additional support.

I haven't been doing a lot of eating. I guess that's a good part of this. I've been making mostly frozen dinners since it's easy, and I haven't been to the grocery store enough to have too many snack foods around. Plus the whole sitting around crying and staring at space thing has kind of been keeping me busy.

Tomorrow, I'm going to go home and get the entire house ready for move-in. Max comes in after midnight. We have a lot to do in the few days he's home. Go over what's going to have to get packed while he's gone. Maybe even get a few things packed. Lots to do.

Thanks for everything!
Kim :)

Friday, July 11, 2008


I grew up near a street called Nonami. As if the city couldn't come up with just one more name for one more street. That's how I feel today. I can't come up with a title ... so Nonami it is!

Not a lot to report that I have much control over. I went to synagogue tonight to
put in a good word for Max's family. It was nice to know that I had other people pulling for them as well. Of course, I know many of you are keeping us in your thoughts as well. Thanks.

I was going to try to make this post in someway not Max-filled. However, I don't really have much else to talk about right now. And, even though this may not be the exact right forum, it definitely feels good to get it all out there.

First, Max had a terrible experience yesterday getting from Atlanta to southern California. He was supposed to fly from Atlanta to Phoenix to Burbank. His mother was flying to Burbank and was supposed to land about 20 minutes before Max. Max's connecting flight got canceled (not delayed, but canceled). Three hours later, he took a flight to Los Angeles and somehow got the airline to shuttle him the one hour to Burbank. By that time, through phone tag messages, Max learned that his mom decided to stop waiting for him and take a cab to the hospital and hotel. When Max finally got to Burbank, rented the car, and called his mother to get the names and addresses of the hospital and hotel, his mother had TURNED HER CELL PHONE OFF! He was so frustrated and had no idea where he was supposed to go. Long story short, he finally found her, but he had to work very hard to keep his temper. Yesterday was a long day for everyone.

Here's the really sucky part. Max's brother, Mike, has been diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. Of the stages, four is the worst. We were 'hoping' that it was going to be stage 3A, 3B, or 3C (of course, hoping that it was nothing, too). There is basically about a 5% chance that he will live for the next five years. Max says it's a very bad situation. The cancer has spread to a lot of Mike's body already. He will hopefully be starting chemo in two weeks, followed by other treatments as needed.

Mike has other issues as well ... rheumatoid arthritis, Crohns, depression, etc. I don't know if it's because he's been off of his medications, but Mike is having some serious psychotic episodes in the ICU. Honestly, I don't know if he'll make it a few weeks in order to start the chemo. He is barely cognizant of his mother and brother being there with him, and they are starting to think that he may not gain a lot of lucidity back.

Max and his mom went to Mike's house today to start 'putting his affairs in order.' Mike is only 40, and though he owns his own house and business, I don't think he has a will or any of those types of things set up. Mike's house is currently being remodeled, and Max says it's a mess.

Max's mom is doing okay physically right now, but of course, she's having a hard time mentally with the whole thing. As I wrote earlier this week, she has breast cancer. I believe it's in remission, and I think Max once told me that she had had a double mastectomy a few years ago. I'm not sure what it is that keeps her in pain, but she has basically been in constant pain for years now.

I'm praying for all of them. For Mike, who probably won't live another twelve months. For their mom, who is having to watch one of her children die a painful death. For Max, who is trying to hold it all together and be the one who is holding all of the loose strings. I'm also praying for me. It may seem self-centered to do that, but this is also difficult for me. I feel like a total outsider who is supposed to feel like an insider. I've realized that all I can do is be there for Max and listen to him. I've realized that I can't fix this, and that I can't even attempt to.

What a mess. But I am eating pretty well, so that's a good thing. I'm going to a BBQ tomorrow, so I'm going to take a few WW-friendly things. I might actually go to the gym tomorrow too. I think it will help me clear my head.

Thanks again for just listening.

Kim :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Weekly Weigh-In

Thanks so much for all of your prayers for Max's family. He is currently en route to southern California (with a canceled connecting flight, no less). He's meeting his mom there and then heading out to see the brother. I think he'll be there 5 or 6days.

I'm realizing that I misread my tracker last week and I actually gained 3.8 pounds ... not 2.2! This week, I lost 3.4! That gives me a net loss in the last few weeks of 1.2 pounds. That's pretty good for not really trying. I didn't meet all the goals I set for myself, namely with exercising. However, I'm keeping the same goals this week. Maybe with Max gone and me not trying to adapt to his working overnight schedule, I'll get a better pattern going.

Sarah, I hate to tell you this, but there will not be a before shot of the room of woe. I asked Max to take my camera with him to California. I don't know if he'll actually take any pictures, but I told him to blame me. The only 'recent' picture I've seen of either his mom or brother are from his brother's wedding about 10 years ago (he's been divorced for several years already). If we have children, I want them to know their relatives, even if they are no longer with us.

This week, I'm going to focus on getting at least the entire house ready except the room of woe. Maybe I'll even tackle it, but that's going to be my 'super goal.' Wish me luck with all of it!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It's just not fair

I cannot seem to stop crying for more than a few hours today. At least this time, I know why I'm crying. Max got a terrible phone call yesterday that his younger brother was in the hospital in southern California. Today he had some sort of surgery to try to figure out what was going on with his insides. The doctor says that he has very advanced colon cancer that has already started to spread to other parts of his body. The doctors are going to start him on chemo very soon but the outlook is really bad right now. Max thinks he's going to head out there this weekend to help him put his affairs in order. I don't think most 40 year old single people with no kids even have wills. I imagine they have a lot of work to do.

Despite the fact that this totally sucks for the brother, what's really not fair is how hard this family has been hit.

Everyone but Max's mom has had a life-long autoimmune disease. Max's brother got the bad one, Crohn's Disease, which their dad also had. Max got off fairly easy with psoriasis. It affects him daily, but it's definitely just a skin thing. Thank goodness his insides are okay.
Their mom lives outside of Phoenix, and she has been living with breast cancer for a few years now. She's usually okay, but she has been in the hospital a couple times in the last year. Max's dad died several years ago from skin cancer. What the hell did this family do to deserve all of this? Even the cat has a thyroid condition.

I feel badly that Max's family isn't close geographically. I've never met anyone in the family, but I have spoken with his mom and brother on the phone before.

Is my family the rarity in that we haven't been plagued by disease? If so, thank g-d for that. However, it's just so sad that they keep getting sick. Will Max follow suit? Will his luck pass to me? After all, I haven't heard from the doctor about the lab work from my biopsy from last week. Can you imagine if I have to pile a bad report on top of this?

It feels good to just be able to put this out there without you all trying to stop my tears. I've been a big crybaby lately, and I just feel bad that Max has gotten the brunt of it. Y'all aren't going to dance around naked trying to get me to laugh like he does. Are you?

Weigh in tomorrow. At least I don't think I've gained. We'll see about the loss. Three different scales (mine, Max's, WW) tell three different stories. I'll cross my fingers!

Cleaning Frenzy

As I mentioned before, Max is moving in with me soon. We are usually at his house because of his cat. So in the 15 months we've been together, I think he may have showered here once. For the last six months at least, my house has just been a dumping grounds. I come home once or twice a week, check the mail, drop off clothes I'm not going to be wearing for a while, and that's about it. I have not cleaned house in months, and there is so much clutter (especially around the front door).

I moved into my condo almost exactly five years ago. It was pretty clean and organized once I'd been here a while. Too bad I really haven't deep-cleaned or reorganized as I've gotten new belongings. I am a collector of stuff. I wouldn't go so far as to call me a hoarder (I have two friends who are certifiable hoarders, and I'm VERY different). I have a lot of stuff that I have accumulated over the last 32 years, and especially in the last 5.

Once I have something, it's very rare for me to keep it really clean or to get rid of it. Case in point ... I cleaned out my pantry. I threw out FOOD that expired in 1999. That's the year I moved to Atlanta (and 4 years before I moved into the current location). Granted it was just cocoa powder, but there were things that were more perishable that expired several years ago.

I'm really afraid that Max doesn't realize just how much STUFF I have. He really doesn't have much ... doesn't want much either. So, I'm trying to get rid of some things (purge isn't the right word, but it's close).

I have been a busy girl. Max still has his weird schedule in which he is working a lot of overnight shifts (yuck for both of us). So, I came 'home' for a few days to work on getting it ready for him. So far, I've tackled four closets (linen, coat, etc.), the pantry, and the kitchen. I have gotten a LOT done, and I'm proud of what I've gotten through. I still have to clean out the two bathrooms. I am certain I'm going to be throwing out cosmetics I haven't used since I moved in. I need to clean out my drawers and make space for his clothing. Thank goodness he doesn't have much.

However, the part I'm totally avoiding is cleaning out what I call the 'room of woe.' I am not looking forward to this. The room of woe is the dumping grounds for everything. The door has a lock on it, so therefore, it is almost always locked when I have people over. Max has never seen it. I haven't decided yet, but I may take before and after shots.

Around 4:00 this morning I was still lying here awake, so I decided to get up and work. I worked until nearly 9 a.m.! The kitchen is like a new being. The coat closet doesn't have many coats (I do live in HOTlanta after all), but it's organized with all my shoes and purses. The linens are all being washed so I can reorganize the linen closet. I feel like I got a ton accomplished, and I'm so thankful that I'm a teacher on vacation. So, I'm off to bed for a few hours. Will get up in a little while, take a load to Goodwill, and start all over again!

Later today ... bathrooms, one more closet, and bureau will be done. I might just tackle the room of woe. We'll see.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A few pix

I've been taking lots of pictures with my new camera! I'm going to post a few of Max, me, and our cat Butterbean.
I have another new blog below.

July 4th in Atlanta

My dorky boyfriend

Butterbean trying to hide in the covers

A fun-filled weekend

Not a whole lot to report except that I had a good weekend with lots to do.

Started on Thursday with some fireworks in a suburb here in Atlanta. Lots of friends. We met up for dinner beforehand. I didn't do so good at dinner, but the good thing was I didn't snack during fireworks.

Friday, we met some other friends for different fireworks. Hit up Subway on the way and brought some snacks with us as well.

Saturday, I worked most of the day making my house Max-friendly. I have so much crap I have accumulated. I don't know how in the world I'm going to make my home seem like it's his as well. I have a huge project on my hands here.

Today, I met up with some friends to go out to dinner (yummy Thai) and go to a play.

The week coming up doesn't have a whole lot to it. Max is working some overnight shifts, which means he sleeps during the day. I'm going to spend some time at my own house working on it. Yuck.

Hope y'all have a great week to come!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Still getting back on track

Here's what I think it takes to get back on track:

Going to weight watchers: check
Actually weighing in while I'm there: check
Posting new blogs: check

Reading others' blogs and commenting: half-check

Counting points: not really
Practicing self-control: not really
Exercising: no

I'm on my way. Baby-steps. I overwhelmed myself before and basically made zero progress in the last year. It's time to take charge again.

Weight change: +2.2 lbs this week

Goals for this week:
exercise at least twice (gym at least once)
count points 4 out of 7 days
post at least three new blogs
comment on a least 10 posts
weigh in next Wednesday
revisit this post in a week to check up on goals
post this list in a place where I can see it

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What a difference a day makes!

I didn't cry at all today. What a novel idea. Thanks for your kind words about my post from yesterday. It totally made it worth it to get it off my chest.

I got to spend some much-needed down-time with Max today. He's had a rough schedule lately. As a security guard, he usually works from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Some contractors been doing an overnight job in his building for two weeks now. Max's job has been to watch them not steal things from peoples' desks and make sure they keep the building clean. What a horrible job. He's worked with no days off from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. for nearly two weeks. Hopefully, they'll finish this coming Sunday.
Thank goodness I'm on vacation. Otherwise, I'd never get to see him. He says the overtime pay is worth it. I'll be glad when it's over.

I bought a new digital camera -- the Canon PowerShot A590 IS. So far, I love it! I've only taken a couple of pictures ... Max and the cat. I'll post a few when I've got some new ones of me.

Also, some of you know that I'm a (somewhat) professional singer. For several years, I've been singing in a Jewish women's a cappella group. Talk about a niche market. However, we keep pretty busy, get paid to perform, and have a CD out. One of the girls in the group is engaged to someone who is in a blues band. He's asked three of us to be their backup singers. We had our third rehearsal tonight. AND, our first show with the rest of the group is later this month at a really cool bar. Definitely not a place the Jewish ladies usually perform. I'm so excited!

Not a lot going on otherwise. Has anyone read the new novel by Janet Evanovich? I don't know the title, but it's something with the number 14 in it. Is it worth buying, or should I just sit in the bookstore for a few hours? I'm #66 on the waiting list at the library. :(

Feeling the Pinch

I haven't talked about this with any of my friends besides Max yet, and this isn't exactly the place for it. However, I'm going to tell you about the biopsy I had today.

At my annual gyn visit a month ago, I had an abnormal pap test. I was told over the phone that I tested positive for HPV, the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus. I was also told that I needed to have additional tests done since it seemed irregular even for the HPV.

First off, the sexually transmitted part of this is a horrible thing to think about. Neither Max nor I were virgins when we met. So, somewhere along the way, one of us got this virus. The totally unfair part of this, as far as I can tell, is that symptoms don't manifest themselves in men, there is no test for a man to be able to tell if he's a carrier, and there is no treatment available for men. So basically, men can have this without knowing and continue to pass it on. For women, on the other hand, HPV can eventually lead to cervical cancer. That doesn't seem quite fair, does it? Most HPVs usually 'disintegrate' over about two years. That is the hopeful outcome here.

So, today I went in for a colposcopy ... basically a closer look at my cervix. The 'colp' part of the word comes from 'womb.' I've been doing my research. First, right there in the room, they did a test of my cells which came back as positive for some unknown something. Then, they pinched out some of my cells as a biopsy to be sent for further testing. I should know something in about 10 days.

I've spent a lot of time crying. First, this makes me feel like a dirty whore. Second, I'm worried about what I've done to my body and how things might be affected in the future (childbearing, cancer, etc.).

It's slightly comforting to know that HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease. It's also slightly comforting to know that one of us may have had this in our bodies for years and it's just manifesting itself now. It is not, as my doctor explained, a recent transgression from my boyfriend like other STDs would imply. However, the truth is that if I'd never had sex, I would not have this virus and these possibilities.

Max has been awesome. He took me to my appointment today and has promised me that we'll get through this. I'm confident that he's in this for the long haul, and that I have his total support. I have cried, huge sobbing shaking-shoulders tears, and he has been there. For weeks. The worst part has been waiting. It's been nearly a month since I made today's appointment.

I'll share this with some of my friends when I know something concrete in a couple of weeks. For now, it's just so good to get this off my chest without having to inundate Max with my tears AGAIN. He's so cute and clueless, but he's been totally amazing. I'm lucky to be with him. It's sad that he's blaming himself for women that he slept with before me. We've made the decision that since we can't tell which one of us had this in the first place, we've got to move on from blaming ourselves.

As for weight, I'm pretty afraid of Wednesday's weigh-in. I've been snacking a lot just because it keeps me from thinking about what I've got going on inside of me. That's a terrible excuse, so I'm going to make a true effort to not have those types of eating 'episodes.'

On a totally unrelated topic, can you believe it's July already? I decided to use some of the money I made from teaching summer school to buy a new digital camera. I can't wait to go pick it up tomorrow! New pix soon!