The title of this post is an obvious reference to a Talyor Swift song, except I’m pretty sure she was writing about a guy. I’m using the title to write about my brain tumor. Despite that difference, Ms. Swift and I have a lot in common. By “a lot,” I mean we both know what it’s like to get unfortunate phone calls from men. A Jonas brother broke up with her in a twenty-seven second phone call, and I got a call from my endocrinologist last night in which he told me my blood work came back with bad news. Her bad blood was metaphorical, but mine’s literal. Let’s not compare our pain.
He was, after all, a Jonas brother.
The doctor called at almost ten o’clock last night, which should have tipped me off immediately that it was bad news. Doctors never call that late. If they do, it’s never to say something like, “Just thought I’d let you know – you’re totally and mysteriously cured!” or “I found a stray puppy and thought it might cheer you up; I’ll be dropping him off in ten minutes.” Nope. They always do that sigh where they don’t want to say what they’re about to say, but they can’t pass the unpleasant task off to a lesser minion. Then your heart sinks and you wonder, “Oh no, how bad is it this time?”
Is it bad that I am familiar with this process? That I’ve gotten enough of these calls to know exactly how they go? I could probably do them myself. I should tell the doctor, “Next time just e-mail me the numbers and save us both the trouble. I’ll call myself and break the news gently.” I might put my husband’s lab coat and square-rimmed glasses on my dog and pretend he’s the one telling me. Bad news would be less scary if it came from a beagle.
The bad news is that my blood results showed certain hormone levels four times above normal adult levels, which probably means that my tumor is growing. There’s a bit of irony there: I can’t keep plants alive (at all), there’s a good shot I can’t ever get pregnant, but my body apparently does a damn good job at nurturing a tumor. Thanks, body. You’re a gem. I’d rather you had the ability to grow some healthy cilantro, but I don’t get to choose these things.
Anyway, the doctor’s trying to devise our next plan of attack on this little dude. It’s not cancerous, it shouldn’t kill me, but it does a pretty fabulous job of messing up my life. It’s like I’m in a dysfunctional relationship. “It’s not you, tumor, it’s me. Actually, no it’s you. I think it’s time for us to break up.” Then, just when I think my brain is rid of him for good, the tumor comes back and my brain is all, “Come here, ya knucklehead. Let’s give this thing another shot.” Because my brain is frickin crazy, that’s why.
I have to go back on a med I was on a while ago, and I need to double the dose. I told the doctor that last time I was on that pill (taken once a week), I would be sick for the entire day after I took it. It was pretty bad, stuck-on-the-couch-waiting-for-it-to-end sick. I usually took the pill on Friday nights, spent my Saturday on the couch, and then recovered on Sunday to get ready for another week. The doctor says I have to take it anyway because we want to be “aggressive” on getting my numbers back to healthy levels. Now I’m supposed to take that same pill, and I have to take it twice a week. I’m supposed to torch two days a week for at least the next six months?! How am I supposed to do that? I think I’ll torch Mondays. Everyone hates Mondays. Imagine a wonderful pill that lets you skip Mondays! This is going to get complicated with work and everything, but we’ll figure that out later. Right now I’m dreaming of a Monday-less life. Who knows? Maybe this drug won’t make me sick this time. That was years ago. I’m practically a new woman now. Since that time in my life I’ve traveled the world, I’ve voted for a Democrat, I’ve learned how to make the perfect apple pie, I’ve dyed my hair purple, and…I’ve trained my body to better metabolize drugs?! (something like that…)
So. I’ve got bad blood results, but at least we have a plan. I lamented to Andy last night that with all of my health issues, my life expectancy has to be quickly dropping. I sighed and said I’m probably not going to live to see forty. “Don’t worry about it,” he told me. “Neither of us are even going to live to see thirty if Trump becomes president. The rest of the world will nuke us off the map.” And that’s why I love Andy – because he can make me laugh when I would prefer to kick a wall.
Keep your fingers crossed for me. New pills start this weekend.