Old Geezers Out to Lunch

Old Geezers Out to Lunch
The Geezers Emeritus through history: The Mathematician™, Dr. Golf™, The Professor™, and Mercurious™

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A deranged bird saved my life

Welcome back our talented guest geezer Sehr Wenig, the only female geezer to have graced these pages. Sehr writes today on a sobering subject that sooner or later touches the lives of most Geezers and their loved ones. Please wish Sehr well as she begins her medical journey. I, for one, am placing my bet on her. 


A deranged bird saved my life.

So did the dashing on a stucco wall on the building next door.

And my friendship with a Geezer I’ve considered my brother for more than a decade.

Some credit must be given to the fine and compassionate doctors and nurses and technicians caring for me now, but without that bird and that stucco and that brother, it may have been too late for their miracles.

Mine is not the kind of lump women are typically warned about, but a gradual thickening, a change in the density of the right margins of my right breast. The weirdness made itself apparent in early August, but I convinced myself it was merely my imagination run amok.

Daily inspections whispered a truth I wasn’t ready to hear – loud enough to make me check every day but quiet enough I could pretend not to hear.

I took to wearing a bra 24 hours a day, leaving one on the edge of the tub while showering so I could cover the developing dimple beneath my nipple before I faced the mirror to brush my teeth each morning.

And then a bird began beating itself to death against my bedroom windows.

Day after day, before the sun rose, that bird flew into the windows above my bed – over and over and over. I asked friends and colleagues how to stop its slow suicide, but no one knew how to help. One morning I moved to the second bedroom to escape the relentless thwacking, but the bird moved with me -- the one and only time it flew into any window other than the one above my bed.

About 10 days into the bird’s mysterious assault upon itself, I glanced out the window above my shower, contemplating the bird and its neurotic mission. There, shaped into the dashing of the stucco on the next building, stood the letters, WTF.

How could a contractor ignore such an obvious sign, I wondered as I slipped on my bra and turned to the mirror to brush my teeth.

Some weeks later, the bra was no longer enough to silence the thwacking of my own head against the ever-more transparent truth.

I called my brother to confess my fears. Exactly as expected, he urged me to go to the doctor. Exactly as expected, I edged closer to taking action. Leaving myself in fearful limbo was one thing; stranding him there with me was something quite different.

As the bird beat itself against the window the very next morning, I called my doctor. While the receptionist set up an appointment within the hour, the bird departed.

That first appointment set off a firestorm of tests and visits during which very kind professionals poked and prodded and scanned my breast from every angle. Ten days later, a biopsy confirmed my deepest fears, and we began making a treatment plan. I have every reason to believe that plan will be successful.

The bird has not returned.

WTF remains.

18 comments:

  1. It is good to note you are in the care of compassionate people who will treat and care for you and help you heal.
    Not sure what to make of the deranged bird, but admire that it helped sound an alarm. Providence can have its own eccentricities. I wish you all the best and a return to good health. Your story is an admonition to all of the women in our lives.

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    1. I'm not sure what to make of the deranged bird, either, Tom. The Geezer and I have spent many hours discussing "signs" and whether they are messages from the Great Beyond or simply details we notice and assign meaning to.

      The meaning I assigned to this bird pushed me into calling the doctor, and that is Good with a capital G.

      The story is meant as an admonition to all the women in our lives. Thank you for taking it that way, and thank you for your good wishes.

      xOOx, Sehr

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  3. Welcome to the tough old women's club, Sehr. A Geezer recently visited my blog, so let me give you a little back story. The woman in the first picture starts her third round against lymphoma this week. Come next summer we will be taking crazy trips together again. So WTF, welcome and carry on. We back here on the sidelines are cheering you to the goal.

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    1. Thank you for the welcome, Joanne.

      Please convey my very best wishes and all possible healing thoughts to the woman in the first picture. The tough old woman club is a large one, indeed. My mom is NEC, 2 years out from treatment for Stage IV lymphoma the first doc said would kill her in 3 months.

      And may I say...the cup on the bus story is priceless.

      xOOx, Sehr

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  4. Welcome (I guess), Sehr to our not-so-exclusive club. I've danced this dance twice now, and plan to be around for many more years to come. As will you, now that you've faced the bird and sent him on his way.
    So glad you listened to your brother. You're a remarkable story teller. I look forward to hearing more from you.

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    1. Thank you, Marty. Your optimism is contagious. I hope this is your last dance with this particular partner and you have many, many more delightful trips around the floor with others who have a better sense of rhythm and timing.

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  5. You sound strong enough to fight this battle and like a determined bird continue your search for providential signs for many years to come.

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    1. My greatest fear is that I will not be brave through this, so your faith in my strength helps more than you can know. Thank you, Tabor.
      xOOx, Sehr

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  6. I was fortunate to get early detection and I beat it. If I can do it, so can you. I just know it.

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    1. Congratulations on your victory and thank you for your faith. So many of us walk this road together.

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  7. Best of luck to you Sehr. I and others would like to hear from you again, and read how you're doing. My wife Cary had the same issues, there are some good treatment options out there. Depending on what part of the world you are in, I can perhaps recommend some oncology people I know from before I retired.
    Cheers,
    Mike

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  8. Thank you, Mike, and my best to Cary. I'm being cared for at UCLA, and the care so far has been outstanding. I'll write again when there are stories to tell. So far, it's been a waiting game filled with tests and questions, but just this morning I learned surgery will be in early January. Till then, it's a Merry Christmas in my world and, I hope, in yours.

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    1. Ah, I know Chris Cooper, he's still there I think, in pulmonary and critical care. If you'd like I'll ask him about oncologists there.

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  9. I wish you patience, bravery, determination and serenity in this battle. And love.

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    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. All will be needed.

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  10. Amazing how we receive messages, isn't it? I won't go into long detail, but I've had similar visits from non-humans that made my journey easier. Here's hoping everything will work out for the best. I'm saying a prayer for you.

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