Sunday, August 15, 2004

goodnite philly...

this has truly been an exhausting day. we're almost all done and ready to go. we still need to get some cleaning done, maybe fill one or two more boxes, and then we're all packed. i get the truck tomorrow morning at 9:00 and from there we'll start loading things up. our current landlord is going to meet us at the house at noon to get our keys, and then we're off to pittsburgh--our new home.

jessie made me cry tonight. she's in town visiting a friend from high school and she said she had a present for me, so of course i pressed her to tell me what it is. it's her first edition copy of "franny and zooey". stean and i have these stupid "best friends" bracelets that i was wearing last weekend when she was here, and she said about giving me this book, "well, you and stean have those friendship bracelets, and you and i will have my first editions" (she's also got a first ed of "raise high the roofbeam, carpenters and seymour: an introduction". so, i guess this means that i'm kinda important to jessie. i got off the phone with her and just cried and cried. cried because i felt so touched; cried because jessie is important to me, too; cried because i'm leaving my home and even though i'm so looking forward to this new stage in the adventure, i'm aware of all of the wonderful things i'm leaving behind.

goodnight to you, philadelphia. goodnight, goodbye, god bless.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

jessie and me during the last big night in philadelphia Posted by Hello

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

warning and reprieve...

this morning i was late to work. about an hour or so later i got an e-mail from my boss saying that i need to make a point of being on time for work and if i can't manage to do that for the time i have remaining, then we need to talk about the consequences.

the consequences? i have eight days left with this company! i had half a mind to write him back and say, "look buddy, i'm running late ALL THE TIME. if you wanted to make an issue of it, you should have done so before i gave my notice!" it's a damn shame, however, that it doesn't matter that i work through my lunch break or that i stay after 6:00 not infrequently. all that matters is that i make it in before 9:00? ugh. i'm glad i'm leaving. the sad truth is that i've been waiting for these last few days since i accepted my job. back in november i knew full well that come august, i'd be out of there. at no point was my heart in it. but now that i'm leaving, now everybody expects me to give my all? um, sorry, but no. i have too many other things demanding my energy and attention to devote it all, or even a majority of it, to the job from which i've officially resigned.

so maybe this means i'm a big slacker with no work ethic. maybe this makes me sound like the laziest twentysomething in the free world. i don't care. the truth of the matter is that my name will be dragged through the mud regardless of how much i bust my ass in these last two weeks, so what incentive do i have to try to smooth over the wrinkles that have been there before me and that will certainly be there after me? i plan to continue the way i've been going-i'll do what i can, but that's it. i'm not going to be a martyr for the princeton review. no way.

in other news, i had my last visit with dr p on monday. she's definitely my favorite doctor ever. she's got these weird quirky things about her that i just love! like, she carries her prescription pad with all of these other papers all folded up and held together with a binder clip in the pocket of her doctor coat! and when she pulls her hair back, it's never back neatly, it's always kinda lumpy, in a total function-before-fashion way. and, she talks in double negatives--like, she would never say, "i think that's something that you should do", rather, she would say, "i think not doing that would be the wrong course of action." she's brilliant, a little disorganized, and i trust her completely. in some ways, she's what i aspire to be. i never thought that i'd find a role model in my neurologist! or perhaps i should say i never thought i'd have a neurologist.

monday morning before the visit, i worked myself up into a frenzy of panic and anxiety over what i feared would be the results of last week's MRI. i had originally wanted to go to the visit by myself, but i was such a wreck by mid-morning that i called stean and asked him if he would go with me. i had a really bad feeling that i was going to have very bad news, that dr p was going to tell me that there were many more spots on my brain as shown by this mjost recent MRI, and that would mean two very bad things: one, that the avonex wasn't working, and two, that my MS was still actively attacking my brain.

i even cried at work. i e-mailed my dad, and he called me at the office, and since there i share an office with three other people, my only illusion of privacy comes from turning around to look out the window. and i was upset--way upset. i was absolutely convinced that i was on my way to a discussion with my doc about further complications and alternate methods of treatment and i didn't think i could handle it. not now, when i'm so close to beginning school, when i'm so close to my goal. i was feeling overwhelmed, more so than usual, struggling for balance amidst work and packing and moving and bills and health insurance and a still-new diagnosis.

things are going to get better, right? they will settle down soon, yes?

so, as you've probably guessed, the news was not bad. when dr p called us into the examining room, she took one look at my face and said, "you look worried", to which i responded something like, "i have a really bad feeling about what my last MRI showed, so could you just tell me its results now so we can get that part of the visit over with?" and she said, "well, your last MRI looked pretty much like the one you had before." i.e., no new spots, so either the avonex is doing its job or the activity has ceased for now, and either of those options is great!

i'm sitting here thinking right now, with milo plopped in a heap of white fur sleeping on top of a box full of stean's stuff next to me, that if things had been different, if my diagnosis had in fact been a brain tumor, this moment could be something something else entirely. i would be on chemotherapy, possibly would have had brain surgery, meaning not just a little patch of short hair, but an entire head's worth, if my hair hadn't fallen out from the chemo. god, i could even possibly have died, if the tumor was particularly aggressive! i could be dead right now!

i just finished reading "middlesex" by jeffrey eugenides. it was very good. i didn't want it to end. there was this part in it that i keep thinking about, and in thinking about it i'm not as scared as i thought i would be, and i'm not sure what to make of that. the narrator is talking about the death of the grandfather, who has suffered a stroke and who has lost his ability to speak so he carries around a little writing tablet so he can communicate. his mental faculties are deteriorating and the book says, from the grandfather's point of view, that he had always believed that a person had a soul, but as he starts to see his ability fade, he starts to realize that his brain is an organ just like the heart or the lungs or the liver, and it has the same vulnerabilities. when the brain gets sick, the memory goes, or the ability to read or think or process information. in essence, a person loses who he/she is, and it causes him not to believe in god anymore. i've butchered the way the book says it entirely, but that idea is something i've been thinking about fairly frequently since this diagnosis. what if we don't go on to something bigger or better? what if we just stop? it wouldn't be that bad--it would be what it is. i can't decide if it's depressing or not. i just can't decide.

well, i should get to bed. even though one of my co-workers dared me to come in late again tomorrow, it's probably not in my best interest to do so.