Tuesday, January 31, 2012


It's just like when I'd get a smiley face on a paper in kindergarten.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Great news today! My M-spike is down to 1.5. I don't think it's been that low since ... well ... EVER. Let's pretend Bon Jovi is under there:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

World's Cutest Elderly Person

Yesterday was the 100th day of school, so the first-graders celebrated with all kinds of 100-themed activities. They had to bring in 100 of some kind of snack (WCK took Goldfish crackers), and stick 100 items to a piece of posterboard. (WCK did stickers). It's hard to believe that I've taken WCK to first grade 100 times now, especially since she still seems genuinely shocked every morning when I say she needs to put on shoes.

Anyway, as part of the 100th-day celebration, the kids had to draw pictures of what they imagine they'll look like when they're 100 years old. WCK has wanted to be a paleontologist ever since we took her to Dinosaur Park in South Dakota when she was two, so here she is at age 100, still digging bones:

Wow, she looks good!

I guess from this we can assume one of three things:

1) there will be some amazing medical advances in the next 94 years
2) WCK plans to become a vampire
3) WCK is going to forget to save money for retirement.

I guess it could be both #2 and #3. Even vampires need to be practical.

Monday, January 09, 2012

The new gym

For the last several years, I've been going to a gym for a strength-training class three times a week. I picked the gym because the class time worked great for my schedule, and it was really close to WCK's school. I was by far the youngest person in the class; most of the other people -- including the teacher -- were at least 30 years older than I am. I grew to love the class, and I didn't really realize how easy and gentle the class was, or how calming it was to work out to the greatest hits of the '60s, such as "Yummy Yummy Yummy I Got Love in My Tummy." Plus I liked hearing the other ladies complain about how their kids have been raising the grandkids all wrong.

About a week ago, without any warning, the gym closed down. We all got an e-mail that the gym was closed, and that was that. They must have had financial trouble, although I'm not sure why, since they obviously hadn't invested in any new music since 1968. I had to go sign up at the local Y, and I realized I'd been suddenly thrust out into the Real World of gyms. This is a world where classes are filled with people who are at least 10 to 15 years younger than I am, the instructors are tiny little people who yell at you, and the music goes "Thumpa thumpa thumpa." It turns out that when I'm in a class of 20-year-olds I'm not nearly as kick-butt strong as I appeared to be when I was in a class of 60- to 80-year-olds. My tummy isn't feeling the love anymore.

Today I went to something called "Body Pump", which hurts just as much as it sounds like it would hurt. We all get big barbells and the instructor plays different songs, and we spend one song working on one muscle group. Of course, all of the songs were new-fangled "Thumpa thumpa thumpa" songs that appeal to the kids these days. Just when I thought the Lady Gaga chest press would never end, it was time for bicep curls and a new song. The new song was -- YES!! -- Bon Jovi's Livin' On a Prayer! Finally, music for the elderly!

Just as I was getting into the music, the instructor, who looked like a very muscular version of Kelly Ripa, began adding completely deadpan, Saturday-Night-Live-skit commentary to the lyrics in an attempt to help us through the workout.

BON JOVI: It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not!!!
INSTRUCTOR: Oh, we will make it. And it does make a difference.

BON JOVI: Baby, it's oooookaaaaaaaaay!!
INSTRUCTOR: Yes. It is okay. You are going to be okay.

I can only hope that next week's class includes Dead or Alive.

BON JOVI: I'm a cowboy!
INSTRUCTOR: Yes. You are a cowboy. You are all cowboys!

I'd still be laughing about this if my entire body didn't hurt so much.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Bon Jovi review

A friend of mine mentioned my blog address in her Christmas newsletter. This friend has a world-famous Christmas newsletter, no doubt read by thousands. (I am not being sarcastic, here. I really do imagine her mailing it to thousands of people.) It just came in the mail the other day, and I spent a few days walking around, feeling important, wondering if all of these thousands of readers of the Famous Christmas Newsletter were actually going to visit my blog.

Then panic set in when I realized that the first thing they'd see is an unexplained photo of Jon Bon Jovi and the President singing an acoustic duet of "Born to Be My Baby." At least, that's what I like to imagine they're doing in this photo:

BARACK: Light a candle, blow the world away!!!
JON: Table for two on a TV tray!!
BARACK: It ain't fancy, baby, that's OK!!
BARACK AND JON TOGETHER: Our time!!! Our way!!!

Anyway. I decided I should go back and explain the Bon Jovi thing in case anybody new ever visits my blog.

I have cancer. I love Jon Bon Jovi. My type of cancer is an odd type of cancer (just as my love for Jon Bon Jovi is an odd type of love). My doctors and I have decided to manage it like a chronic disease (the cancer, not the Bon Jovi love), so I take a pill every day and I go to the doctor every four weeks to make sure the pills are still working. You'd think that after years of getting test results every four weeks it would be no big deal, but I still get really nervous when I get The Monthly Phone Call from the nurse. We track something called the M-spike. Low M-spike = good. High M-spike = bad. I spend the next four weeks feeling happy if the M-spike has gone down, or feeling freaked out if the M-spike has gone up.

One month, the M-spike went up, and I was feeling really depressed. I decided to post a photo of a shirtless Jon Bon Jovi on my blog just to cheer myself up. I mean, who wouldn't be cheered up by this?

After that, I made the Bon Jovi photo a monthly tradition. If my M-spike went down, he'd get to put on more clothes. If it went up, and I was depressed, he'd have to take them back off. The Bon Jovi photos are a visual aid to how my disease is progressing. More clothes = less myeloma. Fewer clothes = more myeloma, but at least we all get to look at shirtless Bon Jovi.

And even when he puts the clothes on, it could still be fun. I mean, leather pants:

So now, as you can see, I am doing so well, myeloma-wise, that Jon Bon Jovi gets to put on a turtleneck and a jacket and sing* with the President:

*Again, that's what I like to imagine they're doing in this photo.

BARACK: If we stand side by side!!
JON: There's a chance we'll get by!!!
JON AND BARACK TOGETHER: And it's aaaaaaalll riiiiiight!!!

They totally need to record that. I'd download it.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Hail to the turtleneck!

I'm behind on posting, but I got the call last week that my M-spike is down to 2.0. Yay! That's the lowest it's been since I started my Rev break in 2009. I searched for a photo of Bon Jovi in a turtleneck, and I found this one where he's bundled up in a turtleneck AND a jacket, AND he's hanging out with President Obama. I think this is a sign that it's going to be a good year.