Wednesday, August 29, 2007

tortilla chips: the aftermath

went in and got my stitches from my mole biopsies removed. the little buggers were embedded in there and the physician's assistant had to dig with a small trowel into my freshly-scarred skin to get them out.

i rather pointedly mentioned that i had yet to receive a return call with the results of my cytology [or a return call back about correct aftercare, but oh well i guess, right?]. the p.a.'s big blue eyes registered awkward surprise. after the sutures were plucked, he came back with the results. the beast on my back was totally normal, which i knew. the ones that were removed from my front displayed some dysplastic atypia, and while they're not cancerous, it was probably good that they're gone. he recommended i come in for a screening every six months.

as i left, my cell rang; a private call. it was the dermatologist? calling? with the results of my biopsy? she cutely described them as being a three on a ten-point scale of weirdness, and that i needed to come in once a year.

"josh said every six months," i muttered, petting my bandages gingerly.

"josh? when'd you talk to josh?" she asked.

"uh, just now? i just had my sutures removed?"

"ohhh... okay. six months or a year, whatever you're comfortable with."

i guess the million dollar question is: how comfortable am i with having small chunks hacked from my body? not very -- i will keep my six-month appointment.

anyway, the good news was that i don't have cancer! woot! how did i celebrate? sitting at the milwaukee/damen/north stoplight, i reached back with my blunted thumbnail to give the giant crusty scab on my back one last satisfying attempt at freedom.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

what a day

yet again this week, i have an ear infection gone systemic: i feel achy and have a low-grade fever. waiting for my dental dose of ibuprofen to kick in, i quietly churn out some work. casey emails me from the hospital -- still waiting for his appointment, and did i talk to the dermatologist yet about the biopsies? she called last night and left a message and i didn't know. the receptionist took the message that i returned the call and let me know that it would be after four when i'd hear from the doctor because "only she can let you know the results". it's only 2:30! i have at least an hour and a half to try and conjure up a mental image of the carnage that was casey's skin cancer removal and then superimpose that image on the tender skin beneath my small, sagging bosom. neat.

an email then pops up in my inbox entitled "tough one" from the coach of the team for which i've been choreographing since 2001. after a valiant campaign against a handful of bloodthirsty pom moms, she resigned this morning. the battle had been long and tearful, and this ragtag bunch of angry parents have effectively forced my friend's hand to write the letter ending her tenure. this is a team that was recently listed as one of the top 25 dance teams in the nation according to the perez hilton of competitive dance and was a hair from reaching the finals at nationals. now, sans choreographers [my co-choreographer and i have jumped ship], the entire program has been turned on its head.

this squad's losing its fearless leader is devastating to me on several fronts. from a professional standpoint, i've lost a key account, a big name, and an event host. yeah, in terms of personal finances, it stings a little bit: i am losing a little chunk of change not working for them as a freelance consultant, and at my age, finding a new program to work with isn't always feasable or even fun. what hurts the most is being robbed of something i love to do: seeing the ideas that keep me awake at night incarnate, connecting with young women and making an impact on their lives, and working hand in hand with another smart, diligent woman who also has a passion for seeing these girls reach their goals.

as cheesy as it may sound, it's heady stuff. i still harbor some residual addiction to the rush i felt standing in front of 800 dancers and directors, making them laugh, cry, and even yawn. they yawned on purpose of course -- i'd "command" them to yawn during a drill down and then i'd unleash a pent-up yawn and they'd follow suit, laughing at the same time. i taught for twelve years, and now that my ankles are wooden-stiff, my arms have lost their sinew, and my abs have given way to a pregnancy, this little team was my last bastion of creativity. lastly, i really enjoyed my friendship with the coach. we always laughed and gossiped and marveled at improvement together. after a few years, she learned what fueled me and greeted me with a bag of gummy bears, a black gas station coffee, or a diet pepsi when i walked in the gym. some of the parents were terrific, too. they'd pick me up from the airport and give me a hug. it was nice.

at 5:30, i figured i'd be a noodge and call the derma, anxious for the results. she'd already left for the day... without calling me back.

Monday, August 27, 2007

otto is one!

here are some shots casey took of otto's first birthday party. he took the pics and i added the cheesy captions: were a good team like that. enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2007

i never got into greek guys, but...

casey and i watched 300 last night. i have to say i really enjoyed it quite a bit. the story is really rather simple, and the cinematography is breathtaking, but i have to say i enjoyed feasting my eyes on some very fit, very attractive men.

i'm totally not one for beefcake at all, but good gracious, if women have a reptile brain, then by golly, mine was slithering. i kinda figured that the makeup artist had enhanced the faces and bodies of the actors, and at one point, when the light was just so, everyone's chiseled abs just sort of melted away. after seeing photographs of gerard butler, the actor who played luscious leonidas, i have to say the makeup artist should win an oscar. he's not bad looking, but he ain't no sexy spartan either.

here he is on the left, looking quite kingly on the set...

... and in real life. [yawn]

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

tortilla chips, anyone?

oh, moley moley moles. i had three chopped out today. less than fun. one was just a cute little "cocoa spot" that perched atop my pregnant belly. what will the scar look like when i'm knocked up with #2?

another was a slightly more sinister looking macule hiding out under what is left of my right breast, all stretched and sneaky-looking like a squinty eye. that one required two sets of stitches... yow!

the last, and certainly not least, was the great big colossus that itched the beejeebees out of me in the center of my back. they should ship it to africa and feed several starving villages with it, for chrissakes. roast it on a spit like dr. seuss's roast beast. it was unceremoniously shaved off and is now longingly stinging for its phantom appendage.

for the love of all that is holy, please make an appointment to have a skin screening, everyone. as the surgeon who removed casey's melanoma said, "we go to the dentist regularly, but no one ever dies from a cavity. yet, we neglect our largest organ."

go and be scanned!

Monday, August 13, 2007

ukrainian havoc squad returns!

at long last, i have curated the collection of photos from the family reunion for your viewing pleasure.