The Way Things Are



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Parts of an email...
2005-04-07, 11:55 a.m.

Parts of an email from my BIL (my beloved DishWasher’s brother) yesterday. The notes in [ ] are mine:
”…I went in for my yearly physical about a month ago and they ran a PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test as part of all the normal stuff... cholesterol etc. Everything was fine except the PSA test came back "slightly elevated” for a man as YOUNG [he’s 45] as me.

…so next week I go for another test (a biopsy) so they can determine if the elevated levels are normal for me or if it is a sign of early stages of Prostate Cancer.
PSA levels from 4 to 10 ng/mL are borderline. About 20% to 30% of men (20 to 30 men in 100) with PSA levels in this range have prostate cancer…mine is 4.4.... so ultrasound [transrectal! yow!] and biopsy [hey! cut that out!] next week…”

He emailed this to me, DW, my in-laws…and since I’m pretty sure I’m the only person sitting at a desk waiting with bated breath for my next email, I called DW immediately, told him to check his email (they office in a primordial swamp, with dinosaurs and dial-up), read him the contents of Robert’s email, and demanded that he set up an appointment for a check-up to get his bloodwork done IMMEDIATELY. And I’m not joking, mister. He had the nerve to be FLIPPANT with me about it, said something about God’s will, and I swear, I reached through the phone, grabbed him by the throat, and the voice of Zuehl told him to do as I say NOW. I don’t know if that is how you spell the Zuehl from Ghostbusters, but that’s how you spell the exit off I-10 East. There is a real live community in East Bexar County called Zuehl, and it scares me a little whenever I drive by that exit.

Anyway, if sexual acumen were an indicator of a perfectly functional and healthy prostate, I’d give DW the all-clear. I’m sure his doctor has a different test, though. Or does he? Hmmmmm.

Hey, what is a “ng” anyway? Is that a nanogram? That’s tiny. It know, it is bad manners to be talking about mad sex skillz in one paragraph, and then saying the word “tiny” in the next, but sometimes those two just go together. Like peas and baby carrots. Ooops, I did it again.

Remember my friend whose unborn grandchild was quite certainly going to be born with Ed*ward+s Syndrome? And it was tragic, and there was much weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments? Amniocentesis reveals that all is clear. Baby girl is perfect. The mom’s blood has some kind of something in it that gives a false positive for this extra chromosome. There is much rejoicing. Yay!

And other, sadder, housekeeping update. My second friend Lisa with breast cancer. It’s Stage IV, which is of course, very grave. You don’t know Lisa D (unless you are Trudi – in which case hi) but please, say a prayer or light a candle or burn some sage (but don’t kneel too long and black out like Lil Guy did this morning in the school's rosary for the Pope) for Lisa D, her family, and especially her young son.

I have had a continuing stream of emails with my BIL about God’s will, and we both agree that killing people with cancer is not part of God’s will, if there even is such a thing. Is there? Is there a God’s will? If there is, it’s way too complicated for us to understand. It’s definitely way too complicated for morons to dismiss tragedy by saying things like “Well, I guess it’s just God’s will.” Bullshit. You don’t know. You can’t. Don’t give ever give up – and don’t ever blame it on God’s will. It’s dismissive.

I promise that I will quit droning on about my preoccupation with death and cancer. Pinky swear. Y’all choke me in the shallow water.

Just to make it all better, here’s April’s inspirational quote from my Flavia daytimer calendar page, made even better and not-so-sweet by the application of the fortune cookie rule: “When we BELIEVE in the wonder of LIFE, every new day is a GIFT to behold in bed with monkeys.

I want you to keep that in mind today. Behold the wonder of life in bed with monkeys, y’all hear?

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