Sunday, August 29, 2010

Belly Aches and Tom Robbins

Things were going pretty well until this past week when Wild Willybob Drennan came down with a bellyache.

That's what he calls it.

Which drives me crazy.

Because neither of the words belly nor ache are anywhere near specific enough to allow me to google-search a cure for him!

And when I start to "question him down," he gets mad purty dang quick.

Me: Okay, what do you mean by "belly"? Point to where you mean. Is it above or below your bellybutton, closer to your belly button or your ribs? Is it more in the center or the left or right, and when you say "ache" do you mean sharp or dull and if you say "sharp" do you mean like little pirhanas biting you or more like one piece of broken glass would feel if you might have swallowed it, or is it more like a burning cement block lowered slowly onto your stomach and by "stomach" would you mean literally your stomach as an organ, or would you mean your abdominal area in general and if...."


So being married as long as we have (21 years) and having developed certain skills with which to cope with the other's preferences, we rigged up a solution.

I can ask him ONE TIME per day how he feels, and for his answer, he has to use descriptive terms for no less than one minute.

That's our deal.

Okay, so you ARE on my side on this one, aren't you? You, too, want to know what I've gotten out of him so far, and "belly ache" would NOT do it for you, am I right? Wayyyyy too vague, right?

So here it is: It hurts enough to wake him up at night and goes on for some hours. It never really goes away. It hurts more after he eats. It feels like this:(and you can guess which one of us came up with this little description on the multiple-choice questionnaire I administered verbally this morning) It feels like he swallowed a bowl full of little pieces of broken glass and like they are rolling around in there halfway between his belly button and his ribs, in the very middle.

See? Now I DID get the kind of detail I wanted.

But I'm getting NO google results with the search: "feels like ate bowl of broken glass".

What!? People don't eat bowls full of broken glass and publish the results on the internet?

As for Tom Robbins...(who, speaking of cowpokes, did write the novel-turned-movie "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" starring Uma Thurman and Keanu Reaves)...


He was even born right here in Blowing Rock and lived here a while.

Here endeth this blog post.

And if you are waiting for me to somehow make a connection between Tom Robbins and Bill's bellyache, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I don't think it's possible.

Except that When Cowboys Eat Broken Glass, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.

(How was that?)

Love to you. Thanks for checking on us.

D. Lil

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wild Bill and the Croc

That lovely poster should pretty much tell you what we're STILL doing for fun as summer winds down for us (there's a Lake Placid 1, Lake Placid 2, and Lake Placid 3--so far...) (and yes, the above-shown paleontologist did lose her cell phone signal at a key moment).

On a website devoted to reviews of very bad movies, I found this list which was written to help you fully enjoy the first Lake Placid film:

  • 5 mins - Sort of a large and still lake for beavers, oh never mind, they're just mops of hair pulled along on a string.
  • 13 mins - What sort of firearm is that again?
  • 26 mins - That pickup line worked? I am going to Maine...
  • 32 mins - Whole lot of love here, whole lot of love.
  • 35 mins - It carefully gutted and ate the moose?
  • 44 mins - Well, it just ate the only Grizzly living in Maine...
  • 52 mins - I never thought I'd hear Betty White say that.
  • 61 mins - Let me remind you, it recently tried to eat your helicopter.
  • 69 mins - Kelly was submerged for just under one minute. Not bad for someone who does not exercise and is full of adrenaline.


In what, to me, amounts to the most heroic act so far by our cowboy Wild Billy Drennan, he--Wild Bill--will be returning to teaching at Appalachian State University this week!

Yes, he is nervous--about certain possible things that could happen while he is in front of the class--and I'm wringing my hands on his behalf, wishing he hadn't decided to keep teaching.

But I am in such admiration of him that it defies vocabulary. I am the scaredest person in the world, and he is the bravest man I have ever seen. He simply awes me.

And the students sitting in the class will have no idea that they are witnessing something miraculous--no idea what he has been through and what it has cost him to be there--as he talks to them about the "First Half of the British Lit Survey--Beowulf through Milton."

Actually, in that sense, maybe we should all go up to the top of this post and look at that poster again.

In what isn't THAT big a stretch of the metaphorical imagination--that poster actually IS kinda like our Cowboy's life--he's swimming for it--and something big actually did try to get him.

And he got away.

And his students will think he's just another Prof standing there with a syllabus.

Glory to God. It's so amazing.

Love to you all.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

THANKS for checking: no big news...except JARHEAD.

Apart from continuing to enjoy movies in which people's cell phones lose signal in deserts while monsters pop up in the back seat of their almost-out-of-gas cars, we have nothing much going on.

But to amuse you, because of our thankfulness that you came here to check on the cowpoke, I will put something below, from the news--something that you will probably enjoy knowing about:

This little bear in Florida--nicknamed Jarhead, for obvious reasons--got his little head stuck in a jar for at least ten days. He almost died because he couldn't eat or drink, but the animal dudes finally anesthetized his mother and got hold of him and pulled the jar off.

He's fine now.

We like good medical outcomes.

Love to all,

Your Cowpals

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday Post: Couldn't Resist

I know I'm not supposed to post until October something, but I can't stop!

Funniest thing Bill has said all week:

I said to him, while I was chopping vegetables, "Hey, Bill? Wouldn't it be weird if, in our culture, when you got tired of your kids, you could break up with them and find other kids?"

Bill says, "Yeah. You'd write to your kids and say: Dear Kids, Mom and I think you should start seeing other parents."

WHY did I almost FALL on the floor laughing when he said that? He never even smiles when he says these funny things, and I nearly die of the humor.

Okay, in other subjects, he had an emotional experience: This past Thursday night, he started reading back posts on the blog--the ones from when he was in ICU and thereabouts, and he claimed that he either had completely forgotten them or never read them (or was ON MORPHINE?), and he seemed shocked at how out of it he was after his surgery. And how INCREDIBLY fragile he was when he first came home, with the home nurses whispering to me about HOSPICE and death and weeks to live and so on.

Then the very next day, after reading those blogs, (this past Friday) he went golfing with his friends and did 18 holes, no disasters. He was really moved emotionally when he came home, because he recalled thinking in the hospital that he would never golf again. I actually didn't think he would, either.

And now, you couldn't even tell he was ever sick. I'm not saying he doesn't have a handicap of 595. But still, he can make it through 18 holes on a hot day!

Purty purty cool. God is great, Sabu! (Line from "Out of Africa")

In more sobering news, he's been reading tons of posts by "ostomates"--people who have also had their bladders out and have ostomies from bladder cancer. There are hundreds of such posts a day one can read. If one wants to THINK about such things.

He told me one day this week: "Did you know that with my kind of cancer, I only have a 15% chance of surviving five years?" I said, "Bill! Point A: Those statistics do not take into account prayers. Point B: Don't tell me things like that!"

Then the next day, he read me the saddest post ever. A man in his 40s, seemingly perfect health, got bladder cancer, had his bladder out, got an ostomy, and so on, and had the same grade tumor as Bill had, but had a less bad stage. The bad news: the man had had his surgery only last year, and after several "all clear" checkups, one day they found it on his liver. Then this week, just one year after his surgery, he posted that this would be his last post, goodbye to everyone and thanking all his friends, and said, in closing: "I'm sorry. I tried as hard as I could."

If you're a praying soul, would you say one for that man?

And on that cheery note, I can't close without saying that despite all this, these are the best days of our marriage and our lives together. No question about it. Isn't that weird? I guess it's due to living with appreciation for each day and for all we have RIGHT NOW--what a trite and hoof-beaten cliche--and yet it turns out to be the whole deal.

Love to all!
Diamon' Lil

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bill's New (and I must say) Brilliant Form of Amusement

I don't know why he took the notion to do this...

Perhaps, in the lazy, restful days of having gotten a "no-cancer" diagnosis, post op, our cowboy has gotten bored with the anxiety-free life. Perhaps those corticosteroids your body squirts out when it meets danger can be addictive. (I totally made up that word corticosteroids.)


He has decided to rent an entire summer's worth of scary movies.

And he has figured out that the best IMAGINABLE way to find good scary movies to rent would be to simply google the phrase, "Hey, what's going on? My cellphone just lost all signal!"

On the theory that literally EVERY scary movie has a line like that in it.

So it led him to this Youtube called "No Signal (and Other Cellular Drama)," which has clips from all the scary movies, which clips show the dialog moment in which the hero loses cellphone signal--which occurs, always, just before doomsday.

Here are some of the lines from the movies:

"We must be in a sunspot or sumthin! There's no signal here!" Jeepers Creepers 2

"Oh, perfect! No signal!" Vacancy

"Wow, I'm fully charged, but there's no signal out here!" Detour

"Any signal?" "...Nope." Fritt Vilt

"Is ANYONE getting a signal out here?" Friday the 13th

"Any signal?" "No, no signal! Ninety-seven percent nationwide coverage and we find ourselves in that three percent!" The Hills Have Eyes

So what Our Cowboy does is write down the names of these movies and order them from Netflix.

It's genius.

And I'd say more about it. But it's kinda hard to type any more of this message to you from under the sofa, where I'm living until all these movies have been mailed back to Netflix.

Catch ya when he comes down with his next Big Idea...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

All is Well! (Sunday, August 1)

No news to report! All is well.

Bill feels great, has no symptoms, and is even going to try a golf outing this coming weekend at Jefferson Landing with his friend Jim from 8th grade and Jim's friends from Wake Forest University. I guess if El Cowboyo has an equipment failure, he will just step away and fix it. They would all understand.

I'm wondering now, since this entry says nothing new at all--maybe I should say that I won't update this until October when he has his checkup.

But if, God forbid, anything happened before then, and you didn't check, you wouldn't know about it. But is that over-thinking it? (Me? Overthinking something????) :)

Well, I guess I'll say I won't update until after the October checkup, which is on October 21st. I don't want to burn out your hospitality by making you check on Sundays, and seeing nothing but drivel.

Most of you are friends with us by email anyway.

So, apart from the occasional North Korean Komedy Kapers post, see you on October 21 or 22!

Thank you again for caring ALL THIS TIME!!! Bye for now.

I hug you!

Cowboy Willie and Diamond Lilly