Stoopy Tumor...
So, it's been months since I posted on LJ and even longer since I posted anything about my life.
Anyway, since the beginning of the year I've had some bothersome health news.  Last year I started experiencing some numbness and other odd symptoms in and around my mouth--I couldn't seem to taste things properly on the right side of my tongue, my chin and lower lip and cheek were numb--on the right side of my face.

I saw my dentist for my regular checkup in December and he suggested I see a neurologist because he felt I might have a small tumor on the mandibular branch of the trigeminal nerve.  So I saw my primary care doc in January and he referred me to a neurologist.  By the time I saw my pcp, the numbness had spread to the roof of my mouth and my gums, then up the right side of my face to my cheekbone.

By the time I saw the neurologist at the end of March, it had spread to my eyelid (and the surface of my eye) and my forehead and scalp.  The neurologist asked if I had any hearing loss.  I said that I did, but I had always attributed that to 40 years of playing the bassoon in the orchestra (starting when I was in middle school) and having all manner of brass players blasting at the back of my head.  Anyway, the neurologist suspected an acoustic neuroma and sent me for an MRI.

The MRI confirmed that I have a smallish acoustic neuroma--a benign tumor growing on my auditory nerve and pressing on the trigeminal nerve, which has been causing the numbness.  I then went on to see an ENT doc.
I had my hearing tested and I actually have "excellent" hearing.  My right ear has only a very minor loss of high frequencies and not the dramatic hearing loss typical of ANs.

But I do have to do something about this Stoopy Tumor, as I have dubbed it.  The ENT suggested radiation treatment in order to try to preserve my hearing, which, of course, I need in order to continue being an orchestral musician.  I also need to preserve the motor functions of my trigeminal and facial nerves in order to be able to continue playing.
I meet with a neurosurgeon tomorrow, but mostly to discuss the process (since a neurosurgeon is typically also involved even if you're having radiation treatment.  However, I am looking into seeing if I can have my procedure done at a facility in Phoenix that has a lot of experience with ANs.  I want to go somewhere where they have a lot of expertise and a good reputation working specifically with ANs.  The docs here are experienced and there is a radiation treatment facility here, but I feel that the place in PHX is a little more honed in on ANs.  And since my sisters live in PHX, I can stay with my younger sister while I'm being treated (it would take about a week) and it would be easier for my parents to get down there than for them to come all the way out here to be with me.
So, that's where I am these days.  It's funny because it's not as if I'm sick, in the conventional sense--I don't have a fever or a broken limb or even fatigue or anything like that, but it's not as if having a tumor the size of a small grape is nothing.  Right now I'm a little concerned about my eye--I need to make sure it doesn't get dried out or irritated since there's not a normal level of sensation there.  I have drops and some gel to use as needed.

Anyway, so that's what's going on with me.  I'm anticipating spending my summer vacation getting my head irradiated...

ETA: I ended up having my radiation treatments here in LR because of the limitations of my crappy insurance, but the facility where I had it done works with charity patients and was willing to work with me.  They were very nice and the treatments went well.

Another Big Bang ficlet
Another attempt in this fandom.

Title: The Excitation Experimentation
Author: phantagrae
Rating: PG
Fandom: The Big Bang Theory
Pairing: Sheldon & Amy (Shamy!)
Disclaimer: The characters and universe of this story do not belong to me. I just like to play with them.
Unbeta-ed and unbowed.
Spoilers: Everything up through the Season 6 so far.
Summary: Sheldon takes a step.

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A Little Big Bang Theory ficlet...
So, I'm all into The Big Bang Theory these days and I wrote a little ficlet about Sheldon...

Title: Sheldon's Big Bang
Author: phantagrae
Rating: R, for adult bodily functions, I guess
Fandom: The Big Bang Theory
Pairing: Sheldon & Amy (Shamy!)
Disclaimer: The characters and universe of this story do not belong to me.  I just like to play with them.
Additional Disclaimer: I am not a man, so I don't know if I'm being physically accurate in certain points.  Everything I know about such things I've learned from reading, including many an XF fic...
Unbeta-ed and unbowed.
Spoilers: Everything up through the Season 5 finale.
Author's Note at the end
Summary: Sheldon experiences something new...

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David Duchovny filming in San Diego
I'm getting excited about DD's new film Phantom.

Apparently they're filming in San Diego at the Maritime Museum, making use of some of their vintage vessels--especially a submarine.
Looks like DD's good friend Jason Beghe is also in the cast.

Thanks to jade1013 at the Haven for the pic!


Finally got a new kitten who will hopefully become a good companion for Puck.  For now they're a little tense.  Snug, the new kitten, wants to play and Puck was kind of playing with him earlier, but Puck isn't yet completely reconciled to the idea of The Usurper's presence.

Fortunately, Snug is pretty fearless and Puck doesn't seem to want to kill him.  Last night I had the kitten sleep in the bathroom (outfitted with food, water, litter box, bed and toys), but he cried a lot.  He's used to sleeping with people and was very sad to be sleeping alone.
But I wanted Puck to be able to sleep without worrying about the kitten popping up and I wanted to sleep without having to worry about Puck trying to kill the kitten OR ME!

Anyway, I really hope to not have to lock the kitten up, but we'll see how it goes.  Puck doesn't seem to mind the kitten roaming around the apartment, but I don't know how he'll feel about the kitten climbing into bed with me.  Puck doesn't cuddle up to me, exactly, but he usually sleeps on the bed near me.  If Snug cuddles up against me, Puck might take offense...

2011 is starting off kind of nice...

Finally some good news on the job front.

While I'm STILL working as a long-term temp, I just found out that since I've been with the temp agency for more than a year, I actually have a week's worth of vacation pay available through them.

This Christmas/New Year I went ahead and took the last week of December off, the way I used to back in the salad days.  I wanted to take that extra time to hang out with my family and my sisters and not have to rush back to work like last year (with The Great Burglary thrown in as icing on the crapcake that was 2009.)

Anyway, I just figured I'd bite the bullet and take a week without pay.

Since I didn't submit my weekly timesheet to the temp agency (I submit through Blue Cross's timecard system), since I had no hours to report, the payroll woman at the temp agency began to wonder if I knew I had vacation pay I could use, so the woman who placed me in my position gave me a call.  YAY!

So, I'm getting a check tomorrow for a week of vacation pay for last week, AND I found out that my pay rate will be going up by about 40 cents an hour!  40 cents may not sound like much, but every little bit helps, especially since I'm still more than a dollar per hour below what I used to make!

Plus, since my anniversary date with the temp agency is actually in June, then come this summer I will have another week of vacation pay.  Our family is probably going to go camping this summer (my dad is getting a new camper!) and that week of paid time off will come in handy!

I'm actually in a bit of a good mood now... ;0)

Puck slaughters an elephant
Got home from my Thankgiving travels Sunday night and found this...

Commited by...

Note the piles of styrofoam microbeads on the armrest and back of the couch (and in the corners of his eyes...)

La Llorona Part Twelve
Headers in Part One


Part TwelveCollapse )

La Llorona Part Eleven

Headers in Part One


Part ElevenCollapse )
Part Twelve


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