Biopsy Results

Welp. It’s not the best news, but it could be worse.

I didn’t catch all of the words that the pathologist had in the report. In fact, the surgeon needed to call the pathologist to see exactly what’s going on in my mouth.

It’s not cancer. It’s not precancerous. It’s the stage before that. It’s something that, if we leave it alone long enough, could become cancer.

So we’re not going to leave it alone.

I’m scheduled to have it excised on May 18. Two weeks from today. Then we’ll have to watch it from then onwards until we’re sure it’s not coming back.

So. Like I said, not the best news, but it definitely could be worse.

I have to fast before the procedure, because they’ll be knocking me out for this. Thank God. The biopsy was unpleasant enough.

Then, since my job is almost all talking — answering phones, calling doctors, helping people at the register, etc. — I’m taking Thursday, Friday, and Saturday off and hope to basically not talk at all for those days, then when I go back to work, it’ll feel better.

I’ve also bought 32 single-serving things of baby food. Stage 2, so that it has a bit of texture. I’m also going to stock up on canned fruit, pouches of tuna, and other soft food as well. I’m also going to order a new cup for my blender, so that once I’ve had enough of tuna and pureed mango, I can cook and then mash it up real good and, well, make my own baby food.

I wonder how beef, tomatoes, cheese, and taco seasoning would work? I’m sure it would taste like a taco. But would the texture be edible?

Stay tuned for “Mashing up Food with Olivia,” here on

Gratuitous Amazon Link time! Today we have The Glass Sentence, the first book in the Mapmakers trilogy, by S.E. Grove. The Mapmakers trilogy is set in a world where something happened and different areas of the world ended up separated in time. You can travel from one to another, but what used to be southern Canada is now the ice-age Prehistoric Snows, a big chunk of Oceania is “the 40th Age,” etc. And no one can agree when it actually is. I have to admit I haven’t read the second two books in the trilogy (I visit my local Half-Price Books in hopes of finding it, but haven’t had any luck yet), but this book is fantastic.

Tongue Biopsy Update

I had my biopsy on Wednesday. It’s Saturday night and my tongue still hurts. OMG.

The surgeon says that it doesn’t look like anything scary. It actually looks like a skin graft (N.B. Do not Google “tongue skin graft.” There are too many “before” pictures.). So we did the biopsy anyhow, just to make sure that it *isn’t* anything scary.

In other news, I’ve discovered that I subvocalize* when I write, but not so much when I read. I’ve been able to read pretty much nonstop without any pain, but even starting to compose posts is pretty uncomfortable.

I think that at least part of why my tongue still hurts is that I use it for so much. The surgeon said that there are no limitations on what I can eat, but some stuff hurts to eat because I move my tongue (like to scoop the food out from under my tongue) while I eat.

Also, my job is almost all talking. Whether at the drop-off window, the pickup window, answering the phone, or working “resolution,” I’m likely to have to talk to somebody — patients, doctors, coworkers, etc.. If I knew then what I know now, I would have taken Thursday off as well so I could rest my tongue.

I have a checkup on Tuesday and I’m going to try to go all day with minimal talking tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll feel better soon.

I’m trying to decide what I’ll eat once it is no longer so uncomfortable to eat. I’m thinking maybe a hamburger from either Culver’s or Whataburger. I’d hoped to make it a burger from Fletcher’s down at the Pearl tomorrow, but that’s not going to happen.

Today’s Gratuitous Amazon Link is West of the Moon, by Margie Preus. West of the Moon is the tale, inspired by someone that really existed, of Astri, who is sold by her aunt and uncle and escapes. Together with a mute girl and her younger sister, Astri begins a voyage from Norway to the United States.

*That’s when you move your tongue, larynx, etc. but aren’t actually talking.

Reading Speed

I’m in an interesting place right now with regard to my reading speed. I’m sort of trapped in between two memes:


Today I’m leaning towards the first rather than the second. I realized today that I’ve read over 100 books since the beginning of NaNoWriMo last year and that’s by my calculation about 20% of the total hard copy books I own. I’ve got probably another hundred or so ebooks* and a few audiobooks that I haven’t listened to.

I may someday have to stop listing “tsundoku” as one of my hobbies.

Of course, probably 90 of those hard copy books are history books that I bought specifically to slow down my reading speed because back in the Before Times (there seems to be a dividing line right down my cancer treatment in 2001/2002 where my reading speed and cognition are concerned) I was going through books *so* fast that it was starting to get expensive.

So it may take another year or so to go through those 90 books. Unless my reading speed is picking back up to the point where it was in the Before Times. That would be interesting.

Not that I’m significantly impaired or anything. I’ve done a bunch of online testing and test pretty highly for my age group. But in my mid-30s, my mind definitely went from a laser to, like, a maglite or something.

I just stopped and took a cognitive function test and I’m “at or above average” for my age group. So there’s that.

For our Gratuitous Amazon Link, we have Heist Society, the first book in the Heist Society trilogy by Ally Carter. Heist Society is a series on the adventures of a “crew” of teen art thieves who get together to steal items that were originally stolen from their rightful owners. The Heist Society books are not a series with an overarching story, like Carter’s Gallagher Girls series, so it may stay at three books, but there may be further books down the line. I hope there are further books down the line.

* I just checked. I have 154 books on my Kindle.

Randomness, Because I Can* (November 1, 2018)

*Also because it’s the end of the first day of NaNoWriMo and I haven’t written a single word yet.

I’ve been doing work¬† with Amazon’s Mechanical Turk project for a few years and the thing I’ve been doing most often are surveys. I’m certainly not going to make my fortune doing this, but it gives me something to do when I’m bored and I’m making about $10 a year at it and if I can keep it up for another 100 years or so (!) it should add up to something fairly respectable.

The surveys, once in a while, ask me to check a box to prove that I’m not a robot and I’m, like, what if I am and I just don’t know it? Would I be able to plead that I’m not a robot, I’m an android? Or would that be splitting hairs?

Of course, I’m reasonably certain that I’m neither a robot nor an android and most of that certainty has to do with medicine. I mean, how many androids have wheezy lungs that respond well to albuterol and whose wheeziness can be prevented by daily doses of budesonide and formoterol? I mean, okay, “formoterol” does kind of sound like “for motor oil,” but that’s just a coincidence. I hope.

I’ve always been very mucousy in general (and my spell-check doesn’t like “mucousy”but Wiktionary has my back) which I don’t think that androids would be. I have produced so much mucus in my life that when I found that one of the key signs of cystic fibrosis is that people with cystic fibrosis taste salty because their sodium channels malfunction, I licked my arm. I’m not salty, by the way. Also, I’m older than 50 and the odds of a cystic fibrosis patient born when I was making it to 50 are slim.

Besides, I have humans who can attest to the fact that I have human insides. I’ve been cut open four times, I think (if having impacted wisdom teeth removed counts, then five) — a pilonidal cyst removal during my adolescence, a c-section, implantation of a subcutaneous chemotherapy port, and a lumpectomy.¬† Oh, and removal of my sentinel lymph node, but that was the same time as the lumpectomy, so maybe that occasion would be four and a half?

At any rate, that’s lots of witnesses — three surgeons**, at least three other doctors assisting, nurses and Thomas. He didn’t intend to see me cut open, but when he went to see Alex for the first time he forgot that I was cut open and when he turned around to come back to my side, there I was in all my glory. He found the process of them sewing me closed really fascinating, by the way. I’m sure if I were an android someone would have said something at some point. “Why are we cutting this android open? Androids don’t even (get pilonidal cysts, get pregnant, get cancer)?”

So, until it turns out that androids *do* get pilonidal cysts, get pregnant and/or get cancer, I’m going to continue attesting that I’m not a robot.

** The same surgeon did the lumpectomy and the port placement.