Monday, August 23, 2010

Look For Cardinals and Live Like Bryan

When "we" first got the diagnosis of RCC, I thought I would have penned a fantastic eulogy by now. Google stats aren't encouraging. It've had everyone in tears, but leaving with a sense of goodness and calm and acceptance and peace. Have we run out of things to talk about? Hell no. Besides, this blog is what I do when my laundry pile becomes daunting.

We just need to talk about larger things, weightier things. All the comments have ceased to exist. My followers are bored. Therefore; I now switch to WEIGHTY PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVE. I might stay in this mode for a while. I might not.

I called around for suggestions for this evening's entry. Dad agrees with the switch. I'll get the latest scan stats out of the way. I'm afraid now that I'm setting up the latter part of the blog too grandly, and I hope that I don't let down.

Anyway, Sutent Stud went for scans on the 19th. Everything came back stable. The radiologist got a little careless on his report, and reported the size of one met (the scrawny one) as 1.2 x 0.1 when it measured in at 1.2 x 0.7 three months ago. CHECK YOUR WORK, SUCKER! Now, many people don't appreciate math like we do, BUT, if those numbers were correct, and not a typo, then that woulda been an 85.714% reduction in the scrawny met. I mighta wasted my money and taken Dad out for dinner because his met shrank?! Hmmm. Baltzy said it was a typo. I'll forgive the radiologist in time.

Mom thinks its funny that they always report that the right kidney, is, infact, still missing. She also says, or used to, that "God is Math." I don't really know what that means, but it got all of us kids thru some calculus homework back in the day.


I think about the bigger picture alot. Dad told me that today while he was driving to work (before he helped himself to a largish spread of breakfast items at 1pm in a Waffle House- why the hell not?!) his thoughts wandered to "well I wonder who died today?"
I do wonder- how many people died today? Some of them might not have been noticed... how sad. Some of them will be missed profoundly... how sad. Some of them were thankful that their suffering was over... how sad. Some of them decided that the best bet to stop their pain was death... how sad. Where am I going with this? Death, the universal equalizer. It's going to happen to us all. This is getting cliche'.
I'll switch.

Rachy's input was about cardinals. The cardinal is Dad's favorite bird. I don't know why we know this, or when it was spoken, but it is known. Hell, maybe it isn't even true?! She said that when she sees a cardinal, she thinks (now), that the cardinal will remind her of Dad when he's gone (not gone like- in the bathroom, like gone-dead). I have had the exact same thought when I've seen a cardinal post-diagnosis. Rachel added that today, though, she realized that when she sees a cardinal, it already makes her think of Dad, and that she shouldn't have to save it for when he's dead. We've already picked out our posthumous icon for him. That's creepy, not philosopical.

I'm not a philosopher, apparently. I can't get my words out. Bottom line, is that lots of people are suffering. Lots of people are living in a body that will fail them tomorrow. We're just fine. I'd say we're better than fine. He's just fine...he'd say better than fine. Perhaps the best measurment of the fine-ness is that he woulda stopped for a largish spread of breakfast items at 1pm at Waffle House two years ago. It had nothing to do with "livin' it up" just in case. He's always lived like that.

Look For Cardinals, Live Like Bryan.
Good thing I'm not a philosopher,


Hayley said...

Thank you for commenting on our blog. I'm praying things go quicker then 8 hours. That sounds awful! I read a few of your posts, and it sounds like more then one person in your family has cancer, right? So sorry. I'd like to hear more about your husbands case. How long has he been on Sutent? Is that the only drug tried? Where are his mets? I know, nosy, nosy, nosy...It's nice to find a fellow fighter. Good luck!

Jenny said...

Hey, Erin! I missed the last three posts... I think my blogroll wasn't updating correctly. Anyway - I didn't know that about the cardinal. Now, they will probably make me think of him too. I'm OK with that. :)

erin oliver said...

Hayley- I sent you an email. Sometimes spam blocks my google mail account, so let me know if you don't get it.

Debbi said...


I am a former member of the kidney listserv family. I used to have a blog a few years ago after my mom was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Your family reminds me of my own..going at this thing with information, tenacity and lots and lots of humor. I'm rooting for you all. you write beautifully...debbi