Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Wanna See Something Really Scary?

It's Halloween, or as they say at my son's school, it's "Scarecrow Day". We were busily assembling Jacob's scarecrow costume last night, and I couldn't help but think of the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz ("If I only had a brain!").

When my husband and I first started dating back in high school, we saw the Twilight Zone movie together, and one of the memorable lines from that movie was, "Wanna see something REALLY scary?" Earlier this month, as I was putting up the Halloween decorations, I caught a glimpse of the portfolio case containing all of my MRI films. For a brief moment I thought, "Hey - wanna see something REALLY scary?" And I wondered how creepy it would be to decorate the house with MRI pictures of my brain! I decided it was too creepy, so in the portfolio case they stay...under the couch...but the handle peeks out ever so slightly, so I know they are there...(shudder...)

I also can't help but remember the scene in Steel Magnolias, where (SPOILER ALERT) Julia Roberts goes into renal failure and collapses into a coma on Halloween, with her kid screaming nearby. My new chemotherapy puts me at risk for kidney problems, and a coma isn't a far stretch for a lot of reasons, so it's just an icky, awful association to have sitting there in what's left of my mind. It's sick and twisted and scary, but some people go out of their way for that kind of thing this time of year.

Finally, I can't help but remember my craniotomy every time I see a carved pumpkin!

This afternoon, after school, "Scarecrow Day" becomes "Halloween", and Jacob transforms from his scarecrow persona into a Power Ranger. We're taking on a Disney theme, as a nod to our vacation earlier this year. Our daughter will become Minnie Mouse, and my husband and I will be Donald and Daisy Duck--that is, unless the beanbag chair-sized duck butts on the costumes don't let us fit into our car, and we have to turn to our backup costumes of Mr. and Mrs Incredible (from the movie, The Incredibles). We have a "trunk or treat" activity at our church parking lot (where everyone sets up their cars in the parking lot as trick-or-treat stations and a zillion kids turn out in their costumes - it's super fun), and then we get to come home and play games and greet other trick-or-treaters that come to our door.

It will be fun, although as with any annual event (birthdays, holidays, etc.) there is a wistful thought that maybe this will be our last Halloween together. Maybe, or maybe not. And really, cancer diagnosis aside, this is the way it is for everyone. We never know if it's our last Halloween, or even if it's our last Tuesday. My mom is the picture of health, but I talked to her today as she drove down the street using her cell phone. We both acknowledged that we couldn't predict who was more likely to survive the day. Every day is a gift. And today - like any day on the calendar - is a day for having fun, despite the scary things that might surround us.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Krista,

Hey its your cousin Tim from Sunny Scottsdale AZ. I bumped into Mike in Cinci this weekend and it was nice to catch up. I enjoyed your blog today. We carved pumpkins last night and the girls are stoked for tonight. Sydne will be a strawberry (crazy costume she found in a magazine-todays marketers) McKenna is Elizabeth from Pirates of the Carribean and I will escort her as Captain Jack Sparrow. Rylie (Ruby) will be Cinderalla, reprising the role played by McKenna some halloween past and re-using a costume. I recall a halloween in Plano where Jake and I were Spiders. I still have my costume. What a blessing to be close to you guys for those three years. We love you. Enjoy the day.

Tim

Deanne said...

Hi Krista,
My husband is Robert who is also a GBM warrior and has posted a comment on an earlier entry. Thank you for mentioning the MRI decorations on Halloween and not earlier, had my hubby seen the idea pre-Halloween, our house would be fully decked out with scan images.
We just had follow up scans today. Robert wanted to give a Halloween treat to our shared oncologist by inserting a MRI picture of a pumpkin head in his MRI scans, but alas, the technology of film eluded us. Results of the scan were good, so far the Temodar continues to hold the growth of the latest tumor. (insert happy dance here) So he continues the intense protocol of 7 days on, 7 days off. Just as an FYI, several months ago I spoke with MD Anderson regarding options to Temodar, specifically the CPT-11/Avastin and immune therapy. At the time, they had not really started the immune therapy trials for GBM, they did share that they were literally blown away with the results they were seeing with the CPT11/Avastin cocktail. I asked the question, “Of all the trials, where are you seeing the best results?”. They responded it was with the CPT-11/Avastin, they had never seen the tumor reductions they were seeing in such a short amount of time.

Your blog is wonderful, I love your poems, quotes and insights into very genuine thoughts and feelings.
One of our favorite quotes is:
Piglet, “Pooh, what are you thinking about?”
Pooh, “I was thinking about breakfast. What are you thinking about?”
Piglet, “What wonderful and exciting things are going to happen to me today?!”
Pooh, “Same thing.”

That was a favorite quote long before GBM, breakfast is our favorite meal! Post GBM deeper meaning takes precedence. We celebrate every morning my hubby wants breakfast, it’s a marker that life is very, very good! Your being in the club insight is priceless and we pass we it on often.

Here’s to the journey and being a member of a lousy club with amazing people.

Deanne

Anonymous said...

Hey Krista,

My second time to post. My dad has GBM and is undergoing experimental treatment at M.D. Anderson.

There is an experiment taking place at Mt. Sinai in California that sounds better than any chemo treatment. Look into it to see if your a candidate.

I think of you often, and you are in my prayers.

Donna
Oxford, MS