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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

What It Isn't -- Because I Told You I'd Tell You

On my birthday, in addition to the goofy and self-indulgent, which I do here pretty regularly, I also revealed some rather private, rather sensitive information, which I haven't done so much, here. And a part of me regretted doing so almost immediately. And another part was glad that I did. That's the part I'm talking about today.

First, I won't tease you, I won't go for suspense: I'm OK. I am going to be just fine, and I think it won't be long now, like next week! But I didn't know that until very recently. And I want to thank everyone who has prayed for me, and thought about me, and written to me, checking on me. This is, first and foremost, a thank-you note to you.

A little background (I am going to be a bit medically graphic here; if you're squeamish, go to the next paragraph NOW): In late October, I saw blood in my urine. I had a fever, and I felt lousy. I was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI). I had never had one before. I knew they were pretty common; I think most people have had them before this point in life. I was treated with antibiotics, and the symptoms mostly went away, although I still didn't feel quite right. Just after Christmas, the symptoms reappeared with a vengeance. And with back pain and front pain so bad that I couldn't get out of bed. But still none of the burning, painful urination that most people with a UTI report. Back to the doc, for a very serious conversation. The symptoms were all there, but cultures revealed no infection, so nothing to treat with antibiotics.

Then there was the matter of family history. When my mother was just my age, and I was just LG's age, my mother had the same symptoms that I have. She was treated for UTIs for two years. She did't have UTIs. She had bladder cancer. She is still alive today. But her life, and my life, changed when she was diagnosed. Due to the illness, and the many surgeries, and the many drugs prescribed to deal with pain, my mother was largely unavailable to me for the remainder of my childhood. Following her diagnosis, my life went places it should never have gone. I experienced things that should not have happened. And I'm sure I didn't experience some things that should have happened. When she became ill, I grew up. I had no choice.

When I, at the same age, developed symptoms that were the same as the ones she had; and when there was no UTI, I became frightened. I was referred to the "Eurologist." That's where y'all came in. That Eurologist was not right for me, to put it kindly. He said to me, among other things, "It could be cancer. But if it is, it's no big deal. Bladder cancer is almost always treatable today." See, I think when you have cancer, you want it to be a big deal to your doctor. Maybe that's just me.

I scheduled the peepeecam with him, but a number of things happened that necessitated postponing that. And I was relieved. Which meant that I felt suffering with my undiagnosed symptoms was preferable to getting the tests I needed and getting treated by that man. Which told me that I really needed to find another doc. And I did. And she's great. I have had scans, and peepeecam, and X-rays and whatnot. And I have an "infectious kidney stone." I would never have an ordinary kidney stone, because I only do the medically exotic. Next Monday, I will go to the surgi-center, and, under twilight anesthesia, I will have the stone "exploded," as LG says. And then, after recuperating for a day or two from what they tell me will feel like I've been beaten up, I will get back to my normal life. After months of pain, blood, fear, etc. I am blessed.

Once again, I want to thank everyone who has prayed for me. After next Monday, you're off the hook there -- just keep it up a few more days. And to everyone who very tactfully, so very unobtrusively mentioned in comments that you were thinking about me, and to everyone who wrote and asked me what the hell was going on -- and everything in between -- thank you. And three specific Thank Yous:

The rockstar Nikki. Thank you for asking me the right questions, that helped ME ask the right questions, that helped me get to the care I needed. I have a good plan now and it's going to work. You are dear and generous and lovely, and I am more grateful than I can say.

And to Evil Uncle Dave, who has proven time and again to be a Master of Distraction. On the day I told y'all about this, I got an email with something like "this is probably the last thing on your mind," in the subject line. And he was offering to pimp my blog. And hell, yes, it was the last thing on my mind. But in weeks to come, over hundreds of emails, it became the first thing on my mind. With "what do you think about this," and "which of these do you like better," and I would just forget that I was frightened and in pain, because here was this strange person that I didn't know very well at all, spending hours and hours to try to distract me from my troubles, because he liked what I write sometimes. I got a shiny new blog, and a shiny new, and very dear friend. All highly distracting.

And Jess. First a little background. Shortly after Christmas, JessicaRabbit wrote a post about how her mother had given her entire family not one, but TWO sets of matching St. Bernard t-shirts. They are a wonderful family; but they are not your matching t-shirt kind of family. The post was so funny, I begged to see photographs. Jess has always sent me pix when I'm feeling blue. NOT the kind of pix most of you would like to get from Jess. She has sent me pix of her giant puppy girl, and they always make me smile. Many of you know, Jess is rather well-known for various beautiful and abundant attributes. I want to go on record here today as saying that the largest and loveliest part of Ms. JessicaRabbit is her heart. So when I begged, she sent me -- you're going to be so jealous -- actual photographs of the people in her family, lined up in their dog shirts. When I paused from my howling laughter long enough to call Jif over to look at the monitor, he said, "The only thing that would be better than that is if the dog were in the picture." Don't you know that in the next picture, there was the big girl, Hermione, looking at them all like "WTF?" Not many people have such photos. But I do :)

I'm going to show you something, an email I wrote to Jess, that makes me look small and pathetic. That's OK, I was small and pathetic. I am usually a glass-half-full kind of girl. I do not tend to awfulize things; I tend to look for something to celebrate. But I was in pain. And I was frightened. I wasn't frightened for me, for my future. Even if the worst happened, I'm pretty OK with that; I believe what I believe and I'm good with that. But I was terrified for my little girl. Feeling that way, and having just cancelled most of our holiday plans, too miserable to have the parties that I had planned, or the company that I had invited, I sat there thinking of just how bad things could get:

To: Kitty Kat
From: "whatwasit@comcast.net"
Subject: please thank your mother
Date: Saturday, January 07, 2006 21:58:26

My thoughts this evening: I could have cancer. I could have just celebrated my last Christmas. I might not see my daughter grow up. She might be someone whose mother died when she was 10 years old. That will shape the rest of her life (tears come, panicked feeling starts) . . . then, an image comes to mind:

JessicaRabbit's entire family has matching dog shirts. . . .


So. Thank you, Nikki, Dave, Jess, Jess's crazy mama, and all of you. I see the light at the end of this medical tunnel. And I am very, very happy and thankful for what my illness isn't. And because you really seem to care -- God bless you -- I wanted to come back on here and tell you what it is.

40 heads are better than one . . .

Blogger JessicaRabbit said...

I am happy that my mothers fashion sense could help you through your tough times.

If your ever feeling down again, I have pictures of her frog bathroom... just so you know...

Im glad your doing well lady, for you and your whole family.

Would it be wrong for me to buy you all matching shirts with kidney stones on them?

Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Jesus, Jess - those frog bathroom pictures will just give Susie MORE stones.

Blogger JessicaRabbit said...

You know I was about to argue and say they arent that bad, but well, they really ARE that bad.


or should I say,


Anonymous Sharkey said...

Susie, I'm so glad they've decided it's nothing life-threatening. I know that pain/fear combination and the constant wondering, "Is this the last time I'll ever ____?" It's the worst. Okay, maybe second-worst after actually having all those fears come true.

I'm sorry for your mom's illness and the fact that it changed your life so dramatically. But I'm thankful that those experiences made you who you are today.

I've been thinking about you, wondering how you're doing. Thanks for posting the update.

Blogger Susie said...

jess, I'm thinking "no" on the stones shirts :)

bucky, yea, no, don't let her go there ;)


sharkey, Second-worst, for sure. I do know that. And I know what you mean about being thankful. Even though I would have written the script another way, I'm thankful, too.

Anonymous Daphne said...

We do care, even the ones of us who are kind of quiet and standing on the sidelines, watching. Caring even when we don't know what to say.

I'm glad you're okay, you are okay... I have heard kidney stones are "more painful than giving birth" but it seems for you they would be, oh, 1 million times worse because giving birth meant everything to you and being afraid of losing your ability to be LG's momma would be... undescribably bad. I felt that feeling with you there.

xox to you too.

Blogger Jim said...

Oh Susie Darlin' - I'm SO GLAD TO HEAR THAT YOU DON'T HAVE CANCER...even a 'treatable' one! And the email you sent - *sniff*

FYI - kidney stones ain't no walk in the park either. Even after they 'explode' them, you may still pee out pieces and that hurts like a mofo - but it's temporary and YOU, my dear girl, are PERMANENT. Yay!

Blogger August95 said...

Man oh man, big hugs and blove to you Susie. I am sorry that you have had to go through all of this. It must have been awful.

Thank you for sharing this, I know it can't have been easy. Now we can all come here on the day you have your stone exploded and be silly in your comments.

Blogger Traci said...

Susie, honey, I'm glad to know you are ok. I haven't been here for long so I had to go back and read the old stuff before I 'got it'. Medical scares are never fun and I am so grateful you can now breathe easier. Hug that beautiful girlie of yours and keep one for yourself. Peace.

Blogger Von Krankipantzen said...

Well whew! Not entirely perfect news but much better than worse case scenario. Cancer thoughts (especially the ones in the middle of the night) are frightening and sad and I am so glad you no longer have to fight those thoughts. Still, medical procedures are not fun but sleepy drugs are an alright way to go if you have to have one. Hugs to you and your fabulous family. Thanks for the update.

Blogger mrtl said...

Hurray! I mean, kidney stones still suck, but little favors, right?

Have a blessed day.

Anonymous katietoyboy said...

Three cheers for good news. So is this any relation to an 'infectious giggle'?? Cos you are definitely responsible for those!

Thank you for baring your extracorporeal shock-wave lithotrypsy to us ........ any plans to sell your kidney stone on the internet like William Shatner did?

Seriously though, I'm glad that everything is going to be just peachy.

Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

*thinking about that Dylan tune*

"How does it FEEEEL
to have an infectious kidney stone?"

Blogger Jomama said...

Oh Susie, I'm so happy you don't have cancer (which would have come as a terrible shock because I had no idea what you were going through was that serious). I will definitely keep you in my prayers.

Hugs and kisses :)

Blogger WILLIAM said...

I am glad to hear that there are other bloggers out there that have the same effect on you (positive and helpful creating smiles) that you have on us.

Blogger Hippo said...


I'm glad everything turned out ok. Do we now get longer Sunday posts?

Dr H.O. Potamus

Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Hey darlin! I'm all sorts of envious about the t-shirt pics of Jess' family that you have... you wouldn't want to share those with me, would you?

I'm VERY glad that you have some answers, and a plan now, Susie. That is awesome. Big, big hugs to you.

Blove you!

Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Oh, Soooosiieeeee... I sent you a couple of emails. :)

Blogger LadyBug said...

You are just so lovely and dear, Susie. I fell asleep last night praying for you and Cat and Deb and Kranki. You all are constantly on my mind and in my heart. I love you, hon.

P.S. I got your email the other day, and I've been doing exactly what you've talked about before, wherein I've been waiting until I have time (and wherewithal) to compose a coherent response. I shall respond, though! ... umm...eventually. :)

Anonymous M&Co. said...

I hope that "exploding" thing goes well. You will be in my thoughts.

Blogger ieatcrayonz said...

Whoo hoo! I suspected something was up, but you were very cool, calm and collected about it - kinda like the first doc, but that was in private and this IS a big deal.

How awesome am I feeling that a kidney stone popped into my head once you first described your symptoms? Okay, I missed the infectious part, but who knows? Maybe I'll quit my job and go to med school now. I may have you to thank for all of my power and fortune here in a few years. But then reality sinks in, and I realize all I really want to do is stay home and play forts with my little girl all day.

They make our lives so special, and incidents like this make us want to hold on to it that much more.

God Bless and props to the power of prayer...and to the blog family for caring so much.

Blogger abcd said...

WHOA-Thank God you are OK. If I had
seen the word cancer here. Well I would have plotzed for sure. It is so
sucky when we worry, and pace the floors, and worry, and did I say worry
yet. I sort of choked up when I read this. I am so glad for you and your
husband, and your daughter. And I am sorry about your Mother, and all "those things".

I did not know "Nikki" the rock star
helped you figure out a few things.
Even though she looks like Marie Osmond, she's a good egg. Nikki would never "toot her own horn". But
I can and I will. She is the best kind of physician, and if you make
her tell you why she became a "doc".
You would know what makes her tick.
She went to the ends of the earth for my sister, and she would do the
same for any human. OY VEY I am going to "cwy". I think it's time to
have a little sing-a-long. I think
we will make this our theme song
when we go on tour this summer.

So long sad times
Go long bad times
We are rid of you at last
Howdy gay times
Cloudy gray times
You are now a thing of the past

Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So let’s sing a song of cheer again
Happy days are here again

Altogether shout it now
There’s no one
Who can doubt it now
So let’s tell the world about it now
Happy days are here again

Your cares and troubles are gone
There’ll be no more from now on
From now on...

Happy days are here again
The skies above are here again
So, let’s sing a song of cheer again
Happy times
Happy nights
Happy days
Are here again!

I am oh so happy you are oh so OK.

Love MEAN Shoshie

Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Geez. Is this a first, that somebody is HAPPY that she has kidney stones?

Let's all hope they get zapped into little teeny weeny crumbles that don't hurt when they pass.

Way to be, Susie.

Blogger eclectic said...

At least they aren't Rolling Stones, eh?

OK, that was bad, I know, but I'm just so relieved that I couldn't stop myself! I'll try harder next time...

Blogger Circus Kelli said...

LOL -- Eclectic was "relieved" hee!

Blogger Squirl said...

Okay, Eclectic, I was trying to formulate some kind of Rolling Stones joke as I was reading through here. But here I am, too late to even make a bad joke.

So glad that it's not cancer. So hoping that those stones do come rolling right out for you.

Love and hugs, sis!

Blogger Amy said...

Oh, how humour helps us.

And on or off the hook, I will root for you Susie. With a trumpet and knee cymbals.

Jess is great. Love that kat.

Blogger abcd said...

Susie-please ban Shoshie from your site. I think Jessica Rabbit should take a bow, for providing the best Rx.

Thanks for the thanks. Being sick
and having symptoms is just plain
scary. Combine the above with your
own Mother's history, I understand why you were anxious.
What I will never understand is why
some of my peers think it is OK to
be "mean". Being noncholant with someone's health is uncalled for and
in my eye's beyond unprofessional.

I usually do not say "bad things" on
people's blogs. I figure Shoshie says enough for the whole group.

However I hope his pecker falls off.


Anonymous lawbrat said...

I'm so very happy for you. This is fabulous news.

Blogger momo said...

I'm so glad to hear this news, you have been on my mind and in my prayers. I will continue to pray that you will get through this without to much more pain, and a thank you for it being as minor as it is.

Love and Hugs!

Blogger Andrea said...

Very, very, VERY glad to hear that everything is going to be OK.

And have you looked at your Google ads today? :)

Blogger Nina said...

I tried to post all day yesterday and blogger wasn't letting me.

I am glad that it has turned out well. I am very happy that you know what it isn't. I am sorry that you have had to go through that fear and pain. You are still in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous kalki said...

Here's to you and your kidney stone, too!

I'm glad for you.

Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I’m glad you didn’t end up with the worst possible scenario. I hope all goes well from here.

Blogger hellokittn said...

Best wishes in your upcoming procedure - may relief come on swift wings!!!

Don't forget to mention your pre-diagnosed conditions. Your doctor is going to need to know all about the booty flies prior to going in for the kill!

Blogger Susie said...

hi, everybody, haven't been around much, getting my ducks in a row to take some time off next week :)

daphne, thank you so much; it has been tough, but I've been through tougher, and hopefully I'll be done with it soon :)

jim, HUG. I am permanent, huh? Why does this bring to mind the phrase, "a bad perm"?

august95, thank you. That would be fun, to have silly comments that day. I leave early in the a.m. and they tell me I'll sleep all day from the anesthesia, so I probably won't get to post.

traci, thanks for the hugs, always welcome :)

kranki, thank you, and please forgive how much I SUCK at email. I am going to switch actual letters to a new address, I think, because I keep losing them in the comments that also come to that box. Thank you for your love and concern.

mrtl, the Jesus in me loves the hell outta you, baby ;)

katieboytoy, thank you for that excellent idea. If I get a big enough piece of it (OW OW OW), I will sell it :)

mrB, what an insightful comment; I always thought Dylan sang like he was constipated, but NO. Now I realize, he has lifelong kidney stones!

JOMAMA!, thank you :) I guess that was a little startling if you didn't know about the "threat"

william, are you silly? YOU have that effect on me. Always have, since you first commented here :)

hippo, um, yea, NO.

ck, I could only share those with permission, which I don't think Jess would give. She did do Play-Doh re-enactments on her site, in early January, though. And your emails MADE MY DAY. You are gifted and talented ;)

ladybug, I won't be bitching at anybody about being slow with emails (well, almost nobody), because I keep saying, I SUCK. And I have to go see whassup with Cat, I wasn't aware . . .

m&co., welcome, and thanks very much :)

crayonmouth, props, indeed. And of course you are brilliant. When you are rich and famous, please do thank me :)

mean shoshie, thank you for the song. I think you have a beautiful voice, no matter what THEY say ;) Nikki teased us here about a week ago, that she would tell us how an early experience shaped her life. But she hasn't told us; she's just a big tease like that.

hoss, thank you, and yes, thankful for kidney stones is perhaps unusual. I seem to have a lot of experience being thankful that things could be worse ;)

eclectic, CK made me a "rolling stones t-shirt" kinda thing. So wrong, but so funny :)

ck, eclectic doesn't even know how funny she is :p

squirl, thank you, and I thought of you with Earl last night, too. You know what I mean ;)

amy, you sound wonderful, with your trumpet and knee cymbals ;) Thanks for that.

nikki, nikki, nikki. I cannot describe how much your comment made me laugh. If that happens, I am sure it will make the local news, and I will definitely let you know. "Eurologist's Pecker Falls Off!" Film at 11.

Thank you, peaches! I can't stop calling you that, now. I hope you don't mind.

momo, your prayers are SO appreciated. I'm counting on you ;)

andrea, I know, the google ads are a bit much, aren't they?

nina, thank you, that means a lot to me :)

kalki, I'll raise my glass of cranberry juice to that ;)

Thank you, ssnick, I think all will be well, now.

chchchchia, thanks for the reminder. I'll be sure to tell all.

Anonymous lawbrat said...

I like the nickname peaches! You can call me peaches all you want!!

Blogger Traci said...

had to move my blog.


Blogger Cori said...

I feel so supremely behind-the-times but I didn't want you to not receive my heartfelt and tears-in-my-eyes happiness that you are alright and that something so scary for you is being resolved so well. {{{Susie}}}

Blogger Annejelynn said...

hope you're hangin' in there okay ~


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