Lessons

It seems to me LONG BEFORE I started going to Burning Man, I was into costuming.

My birthday being so close to Halloween, I often threw dress up themed birthday parties with my friends.

And they have always been good-natured about dressing up.

When my boys were little, I used to drive them down Highway 1 from Santa Cruz to Monterey.

Along the way, we’d stop at specific places for food and fun.

Marianne’s ice cream.

Gayle’s Bakery.

And of course, Woodworms.

At Woodworms we were allowed to try on costumes and take pictures.

My sons and I had a blast getting all dressed up and posing for pictures:

We never left empty handed.

We always left with costumes in hand.

I just couldn’t resist.

I miss those days when my boys were “hostages” and had to do whatever I wanted to do.

Invariably we’d all pack into my truck and head off on an ADVENTURE.

I hope my sons learned something from those early days.

I hope they learned to exercise their imagination, to be adventurous, and to seek happiness.

Life is short.

Eat cake just because.

Dress up just for the fun of it.

And most of all, spend time with those you love.

Gavin

Gavin had his neurosurgery way back in the beginning of September, right after I got back from Burning Man.

He had his epidermoid cyst removed and his skull scraped to remove all traces of the stalk that penetrated the skull, but not the dura.

The dura is the outermost membrane covering the brain and had it penetrated, it would have required brain surgery to remove.

We caught it just in time.

The biopsy came back and confirmed that the cyst was indeed a benign epidermoid cyst composed of keratin, sebaceous material, and skin.

Whew!

Gavin was a trooper.

He was out of the hospital within a day and a half of surgery AND he was off pain meds in two days.

About two weeks after his surgery, he had 14 staples removed from the back of his head which were holding the incision together while it healed.

All in all, it was a stressful time for me.

I feel lucky that I had the opportunity to stay with him in the hospital and during his first few days of recovery.

Gavin is back to his usual self, playing video games and enjoying the company of our various pets.

I feel insanely lucky that we caught this cyst when we did and had the wherewithal to deal with it.

The surgery and subsequent hospitalization cost $57,000.

My share of the hospital bill?

$150.

Not too shabby.

The adventure never ends

I must be going to Burning Man.

I know that I’ve made up my mind to go because I bought a Burner Express ticket from Black Rock City to Reno/Tahoe Airport at the end of the burn.

Aaaaannnd I bought my flight home.

I will literally arrive at 7 am and immediately head out to my son’s final MRI to prep him for his dermoid cyst removal surgery.

And then his surgery is the next day.

I know what you’re thinking.

You’re thinking, didn’t she say she felt unbalanced and needed to equalize in order to go to the burn?

Why yes, I did say that.

I would not be going to the Burn if I felt like I wasn’t doing better.

I’m so high on anti-anxiety meds I can’t even worry about a hangnail.

Sure, this may impact my drinking.

I may not consume as much as I usually do when I’m on vacation, but that’s a good thing.

So here’s the plan:

Thursday: Load up the Motorbeast with Tejas.

Friday: Drive to Reno in the Motorbeast and stay with my sister.

Saturday: Head into Black Rock City as early as possible. Expect 4 – 8 hour lines, even with Early Arrival.

Sunday through Sunday: Enjoy Burning Man (check out Scotchfest, enjoy the Saunadome, visit my friends in Ali Bar Bar, watch the man burn, get my cocksucking certificate for the 4th year in a row, ride on the Partysnail, check out the Slut Olympics. . .)

Monday: Leave on the Burner Express bus to go back to Reno and stay at my sister’s house (enjoy the hot tub after a thorough washing in her waterfall shower).

Tuesday: Fly home at butt-crack-o’clock in the morning. . .

And then the work begins as I look after my little boy (he’s 6’3” but he’s still little to me).

The adventure never ends. . .

 

 

Update on my son

Well, lately good things have been happening.

First, we found out that the lump on the back of my son’s head is simply a dermoid cyst, a benign saclike growth present since birth created by leftover embryonic cells.

Of all the things that it could be, this is the best.

Then, there was a question of how much the cyst was growing into his skull.

If there was significant growth, then he’d have to get part of his skull removed along with the cyst.

This type of surgery requires a neurosurgeon.

Well, yesterday we found out there is no involvement of the bone.

Meaning, my son has a benign growth that can be removed without any removal of his skull.

Woop woop!

The neurosurgeon is still going to perform the surgery on account of the cyst’s location on the back of his skull, but theoretically a pediatric surgeon could perform the surgery.

Of course, no surgery is without risk.

Especially one that involves general anesthesia.

And there is the risk of blood loss since surgery on the head is usually accompanied by significant bleeding.

So in all likelihood, we will need to donate blood for his surgery.

But no cancer.

No bone loss.

And for this I am truly thankful.

Update on my son

Here’s the latest on my son.

He has what appears to be a benign dermoid cyst, a saclike growth present at birth.

No big deal.

The problem with his cyst is that it’s compromising his skull.

Meaning a portion of his skull will need to be removed with the cyst by a neurosurgeon.

According to the pediatric surgeon, this is a challenging surgery because

  • The cyst is on the back of his head which means he has to be operated on facing down, always considered a riskier surgery.
  • It’s also considered a high blood loss surgery (so family and friends may need to donate blood for him).
  • There’s always the risk of infection (gah!).

I am personally more than a little freaked out about this.

I looked up dermoid cyst on the internet and found out it’s a type of teratoma (a tumor made up of several different types of tissue).

A sacrococcogeal teratoma is exactly what caused the death of my son Douglas way back in 1998.

I don’t think I need to explain the fear that is coursing through my body right now at the thought of another teratoma threatening the well being of my child.

If you are the religious sort, please say a prayer for my son.

And if you are not religious, please send good energy and positive thoughts our way.

We’re doing better but we’re not out of the woods yet.

Scared

My youngest son visited the doctor yesterday.

He has a lump on the back of his head that has been slowly growing.

It is now 3 cm by 4 cm.

Not tiny, to say the least.

I, thinking it was a lipoma, was nonchalant about the whole thing.

Well, as it turns out, it MAY be a lipoma or a cyst but it may also be a brain tumor.

This, from the doctor.

My son now needs to get a scan to determine if his brain and skull are involved in this growth.

If they are, then a neurosurgeon has to operate on him.

It’s not a simple surgical procedure.

You can imagine, I am a little worked up about this.

To the tune of two cocktails a night.

It’s not every day a doctor tells you that your son might have brain cancer.

And just when I got over my own gynecological cancer scare.

WTF is happening?

The WORST part of all this is that the scan has been set up for A WEEEK FROM NOW.

Which means I have to survive a whole week carrying around this fear.

So, if you can, spare a thought for my little one.

Even though he’s not that little anymore.

We could use some good mojo.

What I love about Valentine’s Day

I don’t 100% HATE Valentine’s Day.

Although I should.

There’s something about a day where you can tell people you love them that just tugs at my heart strings.

After all, I have two teenage boys whom I adore to pieces.

Always my babies.

And since they’re usually adverse to me hugging, kissing, and snuggling them, Valentine’s Day is a good day to GUILT TRIP them into letting me do it.

This year, I got them each a funny card:

And since Duncan’s hobby is gaming, I got him THIS shirt:

Which I think he has more than enough attitude to wear when he’s out and about.

Gavin, on the other hand, is the daddy to two parakeets – Ross and Smokey.

They are his pride and joy, to say the least.

So I got him this colorful parakeet tee shirt, which I think he will like.

As much effort as I put into training the boys to remember to get me cards or presents on holidays, I think that I will be forgotten this year.

I’m not expecting to get anything from them. . .

. . .unless I HOUND them.

And that’s a possibility since I’m doing a piss poor job of teaching them to remember their loved ones on special occasions.

Happy Mommy

It’s not often that I get to share a moment with either of my sons.

They’re 16 and 18 now and a little “too grown up” for that sort of stuff.

They’re more likely to tease me or jump out and scare me, than they are to share a real moment with me.

But seeing as how I was gone for over a week at Burning Man, I think my youngest son missed me a little bit, because I found him to be awfully snuggly when I returned.

Here is my 6’3″ son leaning his head on me at the dinner table.

It doesn’t matter how old they are, they’re always our baby!

Love you sugar pie!

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to my baby

I have been pregnant 6 times.

The fifth pregnancy resulted in this OUTSTANDING human being whom I love very much:

It’s not all that often that I talk about my youngest child.

He is by far the sweetest, sassiest, most sensitive of my boys and I’m so lucky I get to be his mom.

Happy 16th birthday Gavin!

Now learn to drive!

From the mouths of babes

I hoard certain things.

Makeup.

Shoes.

Evening gowns.

Costumes.

Lingerie.

I think it’s very odd that I hoard these things because the truth is (other than the costumes), I BARELY use any of it.

I just feel compelled to buy it.

Take lingerie for instance.

I have five drawers FULL of lingerie.

I used to have seven but I downsized.

The other day I bought aqua, lavender, and pink camisoles for an outfit for Burning Man.

You’d think the shopping was finished after I bought those, but you’d be wrong.

I had to buy matching lingerie.

Why?

Will anyone ever see my lingerie?

I certainly hope so, but it’s not very likely.

The last opportunity I had to show off lingerie was with the Swede and instead of trying to (drunkenly) get into a teddy held together by delicate little straps and lace, I opted to sleep IN THE NUDE.

My son came into my room as I was buying a push up, pink racerback bra.

He glanced at my computer screen, saw the description of the bra, looked me square in the eye and said. . .

“Do you REALLY need a push up bra, mom? Isn’t that being a bit redundant?”

From the mouths of babes.

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