Fluid Pudding header image 2

Cancer and Coding and Sloths and Pizza

January 31st, 2012 · 14 Comments · Daily

As you know, I’m reading a book about cancer cells (and the woman who owned them). These cells have become a bit of an obsession for me—so much that I actually e-mailed my favorite scientist to ask if he has worked with them. (Go back to his website later this week. He’s going to update it! I promise! It’s worth a revisit!) One thing led to another, and he suggested that I queue The Emperor of All Maladies and suddenly I’m reading about cancer on my Nook and I’m reading about cancer on different scientific websites and then I’m reading about cancer on personal blogs and realizing that two people I’ve never met in real life but I feel like I know, along with one person I knew quite a few years back (along with parents of people I know and children of people I know and actual family members of mine) are in or were in different stages of several different types of cancer. And I hate that, because there’s not a whole lot I can do about it, and I like to feel as if I’m In Control.

(I *am* wearing a pink Chuck Taylor Re-Issue today on my right foot (and a pink jacket on my upper half!), but it’s not like I’m actively trying to make people aware of breast cancer. Until right now: Check yourselves, people. And for God’s sake, go get a mammogram. Seriously.)

All-Star

As Sir said, “It’s important to note that people who don’t get some form of cancer at some point in their lives are the anomalies, not the other way around.”

Also, “Everything is basically conspiring against us, including, unfairly, ourselves. This is because cancer is basically you. It’s your genome that’s mutated, but the 99% of your genes that aren’t mutated are still working normally. It’s that 1% that can be a butt kicker because cancerous mutations often result in molecules that disregulate the cell’s life cycle (cells are supposed to die on a regular basis; cancer cells don’t die). Cancer cells find ways to not die and evolve rapidly to allow it to escape your immune system or chemotherapy or anything else that tries to control it. Perpetually dividing cells aggregate in certain areas and voila! Tumors. Cancer learns and grows and figures things out. It’s like a second grader. ”

It’s like a second grader. The worst possible second grader ever. I remember that kid from when *I* was in second grade. I remember that kid from Meredith’s class last year! I’m already thinking ahead to next year when Harper will be in the second grade. I already have a few names in mind! (I’m terrible. I know.)

Anyway. I’m not sure where I’m going with this other than: Cancer. It’s in my head. Figuratively.

Also in my head? ICD-9 codes. Apparently, my insurance will not cover my bone density test because “827.0 Fracture” is not an approved code. Interestingly enough, “V69.0 Lack of physical exercise” IS approved. If sloth is what I have to go for in order to have 80% of this test covered, then sloth is what it is.

Speaking of sloth, please watch this:

We’re now off to basketball practice, and Jeff returns from San Diego in eight hours.

It’s pizza night. Take care of yourself. Dear Lord. I think this is the most depressing entry I’ve ever put up at Fluid Pudding. Jeff returns from San Diego in eight hours!!! Insert smiley emoticon here with a big sigh of relief over her head! (She’s eating pizza! With raw mushrooms on top!)

Tags:

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Carla // Jan 31, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    AND, NOPE! Despite your cutest *pink* chucks and custest *pink* jacket! NOPE! A mammogram is NOT the answer…do you know, Angela, the stats on misdiagnosed breast cancer and the grief and drugs, etc. etc. that follows…just because of THAT ridiculous MAMMOGRAM!!! yup…I will never ever in my long legged life get a mammogram and I sooooo do NOT have long legs!!! THANKS for the reminder I am completely an anomaly! YEP! NO fear mongering will sway me! WFT! LOL Enjoying pizza night! :)

  • 2 Amy // Jan 31, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    I had a mammogram today (my third) and a bone density test (my first). I sure hope they coded it with something my insurance company considers appropriate!
    I just lost a dear friend right before Christmas. Cancer is unimaginably cruel to those who get it and those who love those who get it.

  • 3 Nichole // Jan 31, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    My grandfather-in-law was just diagnosed with colon cancer. He’s almost 91, and he doesn’t plan to do anything to treat it. This has caused some consternation amongst the family.

    I love pizza like Kristen Bell loves a sloth.

  • 4 Cairn // Jan 31, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Which kind of bone density test are you getting? Some are better than others.

  • 5 Mary // Jan 31, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    to add to the cheeriness, in the past couple of months my best friend was diagnosed w/ stage 3B melanoma (she has a 3 yr old, and a 20% chance of survival), my 28 yr old cousin was diagnosed w/ stage 4 melanoma = 2 brain tumors and 1 on his lung, and my 30 something yoga teacher with leukemia. I feel like our environment is out to get us. On the plus side I had my 1st mammogram ever and it was “normal”, and all of this sickness amongst my much loved circle is making me respect my healthy (knock on wood) body more and I’m making changes in my house – instead of meatless Monday we now have meaty Monday and none the rest of the week. My friend has gone vegan in an attempt to help her body fight the fight and she’s changing the way I look at things too. Blah blah blah. I also read about Henrietta. So cheery this evening!

  • 6 Mitzi // Jan 31, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    I’m thankful that there are many more cancer detectors and diagnostics and preventions, etc. But, my theory is that sometimes it just happens, no matter how good you take care of yourself. I’ve x-rayed and scanned many children and infants and toddlers with cancer. Should people stop making babies because of that? It does us no good to worry and fret about it.

    Sometimes, you just have to have a little faith.

    I’m a little worried about you lately, you are definitely in a different frame of mind. I miss the light hearted, silly Fluid Pudding. :(

  • 7 sarah // Feb 1, 2012 at 3:59 am

    Just wait till you read about parasites and come to understand that they control almost everything about your behavior. That’s depressing.

  • 8 Ruth // Feb 1, 2012 at 9:02 am

    My son and I read “Henrietta Lacks” last spring. It was fascinating and sad and disturbing. “The Emperor of Maladies” is on my to-read list.

    Poor Kristen Bell. “Why would you DO that?!?”

  • 9 Shannon // Feb 1, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Cute shoes!

    I need to figure out what to do with my pink ribbon stuff. I was a huge supporter before but now that the Komen foundation has pulled their funding of Planned Parenthood, I just can’t advertise for them anymore. I want to be a part of an organization who’s primary focus is women’s health not political friendliness.

  • 10 Elizabeth // Feb 1, 2012 at 11:10 am

    My husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer over Thanksgiving. No symptoms or signs until his bowel ruptured. He just turned 48 in Nov. so he wasn’t due for a colonoscopy for 2 more years. It is an insidious disease for sure. Many other “orphan” diseases are just as bad but don’t have the political/media clout that cancer does.

  • 11 Ani // Feb 1, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Yep Cancer is awful. My father has Pancreatic. His Oncologist(2nd) says he will not make it past this September. Such a long story but the PET test did not pick it up. That is how tricky(to say the least) Cancer is. And it has been a nightmare do deal with. He was first diagnosed with Perotid Cancer at first. It was in his face in his salivary gland. He was beating that when the Cancer showed up in his Pancreas. We needed several biopsies done.

  • 12 Gemmit // Feb 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    My mother died of Pancreatic cancer eight months ago after being diagnosed three months prior to that. She was my best friend and I miss her everyday. I Hate Cancer.

  • 13 Carroll // Feb 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    And boy readers, check YOURselves too!! (Ladies, if you are friendly with a guy, be sure to pass this message along — or heck, do it for him :-) If something feels amiss with your “stuff”, do not for single second feel too macho to get it checked out professionally. Time is of the essence for certain treatments, and “manly pride” can sometimes be your downfall. Testicular cancer doesn’t get the press that it perhaps deserves, but it’s the most common cancer for men under (I forget whatever age — 30? 40??) Be aware!

  • 14 Carroll // Feb 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    PS: I know two doctors who did their academic research with those HELA cells, Angie. Pretty amazing story, eh?