Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hey baby, are you free tonight?

During the past week, all that snow from those storms last month really started melting. And that was when I discovered my formerly-always-been-dry basement wasn't always so very dry. Not that there was a lot of water, but just enough to make a path of the carpet damp. Not a huge issue but an issue that was going to have to be addressed.

And a couple days after that, it was obvious that the previous owners had cats.

Clearly, the carpet had to go. As soon as possible. The phone calls to the contractors began. Here's the thing with contractors. Remember how when you were in your 20s and there was this completely hot guy that you were just hoping and praying would ask you out. And if he did call you, you'd be ready whenever he wanted you. Pick you up in an hour? Sure, you'd be there. 10 o'clock at night at that place across town? Let me grab my purse. When you're a homeowner, contractors are That Guy. He's got one appointment this week between noon and 1: you'll drop everything to be there. Although, in all fairness, these contractors have come through for me. A swear, two minutes after he hauled away the carpet, the house already smelled better. (If he's smart, he'll hold on to that carpet and, if someone's not paying him on time, just threaten to leave it in their house.)
When these things happen, you just have to be grateful when things get back to normal. I was so happy when my house stopped smelling like cat pee. It just smells like my house again! And now I get to trust a guy who's real name is Stony to keep my basement dry.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Keep calm and carry on

The tests are back and all is (basically) well. This is good news. I still have a cough and have to see a pulmonary guy, but nothing serious. I have some small nodules and some scar tissue on my lungs, but these things show up on these sorts of scans, nothing to worry about. I'm probably more relieved than I am willing to admit.

I know I made a big deal about all of this, especially in my head, as I am prone to do, but there was always this nagging voice pointing out that some people do have bad things happen. Sometimes that weird thing on the x-ray that's probably nothing turns out to be something.

As I was in the CT machine, I was thinking to myself that this could be one of those before and after moments. I felt it was important to remember all of the details: going in and out of the machine, the little cartoon faces that light up to tell you when to hold your breath, when to breath again, that soothing male voice, counting down. I was thinking, "Today I am 'normal'; maybe tomorrow I'll have something."

I know I did a lot of worry for nothing, that there are people getting these scans who have obvious masses on their x-rays or can barely breathe. I can't imagine how terrifying that must be. I'm sure they are hoping that maybe that first x-ray was wrong, maybe the tech spilled something on it. They hope that it could at least be something they could fight, something that could be held at bay for a few years.

Luckily, now I'm off to less scary types of testing: blowing in tubes, a scratch here and there. I know that some day I will be faced with the bad results from a test. I'm just glad that today wasn't that day.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


The doctor says that I have a "prominence in [my] hilum on the left side." I'm not sure what this means. He says that it's probably nothing, maybe just the way I'm built. He wants me to get another test done. He tells me I shouldn't be worried, but, of course, I am. If you want to convince me that it's nothing, don't send me for more tests. I asked him to spell "hilum" (I can hear him thinking, "oh no, not the internet" over the phone.) I am shaking and crying a little bit. How can I not worry? He tells me that they didn't see any mass, that that's when I should worry. He tries to assure me with logic, but logic isn't going to win right now.

When I get off the phone, I'm crying. I don't want to be crying and worrying, but here I am. I'm mad at myself, upset that I'm so weak, so reactive. I google, as one does. Everything matches what the doctor says but that word, it does show up now and then. I need to stop researching. I guess I'm looking for that site that will say, "It's never cancer; it's never anything bad. In fact, people who have these usually go on to win the lottery and retire in France. And you're pretty." I do not find that site.

Everyone around me is supportive, echoing what the doctor said. Reminding me that the doctor said not to worry. Not telling me that this is silliness, overreacting to one x-ray. I appreciate it all so much. I keep telling myself that it's nothing. I have nothing to worry about. "But..." that voice in my head whispers (shouts!) Shut up, voice. I have too much to do. But then I wonder: am I coughing more today? Is that a new pain in my chest?

For now, I've made my follow-up appointment and I am trying to put it out of my head until then. I'm sure it will be fine, but, yes, I'm also sure I'll be worrying some.