Saturday, July 30, 2011

Countdown to My Knight at Wrigley Field

Two wasted days

I really haven't done much of anything yesterday or today. I guess I'm more upset about my upcoming surgery than I thought. I have no new news, I just left a message with my gynecologist this morning but haven't heard back.

Today (Saturday) started promisingly enough. I ran into a former coworker and her new husband at my regular breakfast spot and we blabbed a bit. I'm happy for her. Her man is nice looking, smart and nice to her. I'm glad to see her so serene in her job and her private life.

After that I just napped and blogged and played games and watched TV. I never even made it to the movie theater. I haven't even watched the Cubs play the Cards in St. Louis! Now that's evidence of low energy!

I shall try to make it to the health club ... Yawn ...

Image: Ambro /

A day in the city

My nephew is 11. That's a great age. He's feeling adult and is very smart and conversational. Yet he's still all boy, all childlike enthusiasm. So I really enjoyed spending Thursday in Chicago with him, and treasured it all the more because I know he's growing up and that this phase is so fleeting.

First we went to the Chicago History Museum. I loved all the surviving artifacts of the Chicago Fire, but he was more moved by the Lincoln Death Mask. And the lunch we had at the Museum Cafe. Between bites, he looked at me meaningfully and said, "Thank you for today," adding, "This is the second best sandwich I have ever had." (The first best was a burger in Muskegon, Michigan.)

Then it was off to Navy Pier. We rode the ferris wheel, played miniature golf and went through the Amazing Maze over and over again. He was impressed by the opportunity to ride a water taxi up the Chicago River and I got thinking of all the commuters, every day, who take it and take it for granted, reading their newspapers and texting instead of watching the river go by.

My vacation

God, I love this city! On Wednesday, I had some icky tests done and celebrated my bravery getting a pedicure, manicure and facial at a Gold Coast salon. I also had some yummy chocolate cake at this adorable little Belgian bakery, right there in the same building. I know, I know ... Dr. Phil says I'm not supposed to reward myself with food if I want to lose weight. But then Suze Orman says I'm not supposed to reward myself with impulse spending if I want to get out of debt. Well, what am I supposed to reward myself with? HEROIN?

Then I went into the American Girl store for the first time in a million years. I was inspired by a girl I saw on Michigan Avenue. There was a man wearing makeshift paper shoes going through a garbage pail, right there in front of Water Tower Place. And a young girl, maybe 11 or 12, carrying a big American Girl store bag (filled with a doll and outfits that probably set her parents back more than $150) placed a $1 bill in his hand. He said, "God bless," and she looked down, clearly embarrassed by his gratitude. I found this so moving. I hope her parents were proud.

When my niece was younger, she adored the American Girl dolls and books. In fact, this past summer, when she had a yard sale to raise money for college, the only toys she refused to part with were her American Girl "girls." Walking through the store, I understood why they spoke to her. The messages are plain, "American Girls are proud to work for their goals," "We're all American Girls," "American Girls are Smart and Nice." I could not be prouder of how my niece turned out in terms of drive, intelligence and social conscience.

So I bought two of the stories that she loved best, Kit and Josephina, for my Toys for Tots bag. Maybe this Christmas, two other little girls will be moved, the way my niece and that selfless little girl in front of the American Girl Store were.

Then on Thursday I spent the day with my nephew. More on that later ....

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: I'm Not in Love

1. Have you ever been in love but tried to deny it? Always

2. Someone throws a party in your honor. The only guests are your past lovers. You're current spouse or significant other is cool with this. They ask you to speak and say something good about those assembled. Would there be someone there you could not say something good about? Yes. But just one. Most of those assembled would be very nice men.

3. How long can you go without your cell phone? Do you own a so-called “smart phone”? I go days without checking my phone. And no, it's not a smartie.

4. Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance? I used to, but the "bad guy" of question #2 makes me question it.

5. Would you rather spend a whole day with your mom or your dad? (If either or both have passed, answer as if they're alive.) My mom

6. Tell us one thing about your first boyfriend or girlfriend. We have both moved on, and on, and on.

7. Has an ex ever written something about you on facebook or their blog that was nasty about you? No. We're all a little old for that.

8. What was the last thing you borrowed and never returned? I'm sure there's a book or two in my den that do not belong to me.

9. Who is someone famous that you've met? Does kissing Bruce Springsteen count?

If they're good enough for Holly Golightly, why not me?

Did you know that, after certain prcedures, hospitals won't release you, alone, to get in a cab? They consider it the same as driving yourself home and insist it's dangerous. Which means having surgery is even more stressful for singles, like me. Because I will have to ask a friend to take off work, just to pick me up from the hospital and deposit me at home. It's stupid.

Do Holly and Paul look like they're in danger? Of course not.

Well, at least this won't be happening anymore

Getting up at 4:15 AM to pee, that is.

My doctor explained the results of my ultrasounds yesterday afternoon. I have a very large (16 cm long) ovarian cyst, as well some less consequential, small fibroids on my uterus. She says the cyst is likely the culprit for all my complaints, is just over 6" long and not very wide. She likened it to a desk stapler.

The good news? The symptoms of an ovarian cyst are my symptoms:
• Dull pressure or pain
• Pain during urination and bowel movements
• Frequent urination (hence the timing of this post)
• Weight gain
• Fatigue

My GP is not a gynecologist and sent the films to him yesterday. I'll give his office a call in a few hours (not everyone wakes up at 4:00 to pee) and see what our next steps are. My GP did make it clear that if she was my treating physician, she would recommend a hysterectomy. My uterus is compromised and that cyst is too large to disappear on its own. Because it's so long, it's pressing the organs all around it.

And besides, I'm sick of all the symptoms above! That was the point of all this -- to isolate what's wrong and treat it.

HOWEVER, I don't want to be cut open. That means I'll have to inconvenience one of my friends -- right now, Kathleen looks like my lucky first choice -- to take me home from the hospital. I learned before they won't let you take a cab. And it could mean a lot of time (up to 6 weeks!) off work! I know they could get by without me, but do I want them to know they can get by without me?

However, I'm postmenopausal, which puts me at increased risk of ovarian cancer. So this has to be done. At the very least, that cyst has to be biopsied. My GP said I "shouldn't worry" about cancer, but that doesn't mean it's not cancer. That can just mean that worrying does no good. She doesn't know me well. Worrying is what I do.