Friday, July 11, 2008

"Master Spreadsheet"

LifeTime Fitness tri is tomorrow. I'm excited and "ready" -- I think.

I have a larger issue occupying my brain today, though.

I'm a cat person. Hubby and I have four of them -- Lefty, Callie, Kirby and Gorby. We love those fur balls of wonderfulness.

Gorby and Callie were my cats; Kirby, Hubby's and Lefty is "ours". We adopted him after we were married.

When I adopted Gorby, he came to live with me and my first cat, Dinki.

Dinki came in to my life in 1977. I was going in to my sophomore year at Wisconsin and was moving in to my first "off campus" apartment. She was abandoned by her former owners and was hanging out near the porch of the apartment.

I took her in, we shared a lot of tuna (I was following the Weight Watchers program then as well...) and that was that. She stayed with me until she died, 22 years later.

Gorby came to live with Dinki and I during a very difficult stretch of time for me. My father had passed away and a very good friend of mine, Marlene, had been killed in an accident while we were on a trip to Chicago.

Yes, we. I was with her when she was hit by the car.

So it was a particularly bleak time in my life then when I went to the Humane Society and found Gorby. He was a very welcomed and loved addition to my life.

So I have a l o n g history with these animals. And, as any animal lover will tell you, they have a way of wiggling in to our hearts as true members of the family.

Gorby developed a mast cell tumor on the top of his head about a year ago. Typically, these tumors are not a big problem for felines.

I saw my vet and then took him to the University of Minnesota Veterniary Teaching Hospital -- an amazing place. Because of some additional issues with Gorby (a heart murmur and a bout of kidney disease), I opted to not have the tumor removed. It wasn't bothering him and there was no evidence of any other issues.

About two weeks ago, I took him back to the U for a recheck. The tumor had grown and I wanted to see what my options are. The doctor said the tumor was really not an issue, but went on to find a mass in his belly during the exam.

Gorby had an ultrasound on Wednesday and it revealed a large tumor, which is wrapping itself around his intestine. His lymph nodes were also enlarged. The Vet took some samples and I got the lab results yesterday.

The news is not good.

The cancer is "aggressive" and the prognosis is not positive.

At a minimum, he'll have to have the tumor removed. (If not, either the cancer will kill him, or the tumor will eventually get so large it will constrict his intestine or block it or rupture.)

The Vet said that surgery and chemo won't cure him -- but could give him 5 to 15 months. I am still waiting to find out more information from an oncologist about what treatment options are available, along with the risks, ramifications and issues treatment will bring.

I hate this part of owning a pet.

So what does this have to do with a "Master Spreadsheet"?

The year that my Dad was sick was obviously very stressful. It is hard to watch some one you love start to fail and everyone in the family was very worried about him.

I went to the bank one day to take money out of the ATM machine. I put my card in and when to punch my code in to the key pad and I could not remember my PIN. The same PIN I had had for many years.

No recollection. No hint. No clue. No nothing. That piece of data was permanently erased from my brain at that second, never to return again.

Yesterday, while waiting for the Vet to call me with results, I was composing an email to our Management group about reporting some information back to me for a project. I included an Excel spreadsheet that they could use to report their data.

I was trying to explain that they could use the spreadsheet I attached to the email for their data and then they could return it to me and I'd enter the info in to the......



"What do you call that again?"

The BIG spreadsheet? No..... The MAIN spreadsheet? No..... The one that is on the Web???? Noooo....

For the life of me, I could not remember what the dohicky was called.

I knew then that the same stress and preoccupation had returned.


At least my memory bank retrieved the word by the end of the afternoon.

The MASTER spreadsheet....

Doesn't really help with Gorby's health issue, nor does it help me understand the Master Plan...


Nat said...

Pets/animals are wonderful. They have a way of making everything seem okay. Thinking of you, hang tough (okay, not like New Kids on the Block Hang Tough but you know what I mean...). Good luck tomorrow! Thinking of you and your fam.

Steve Stenzel said...

Ohh, good luck with Gorby. See you tomorrow! Good luck!!!

WADDLER26.2 said...

Good luck tomorrow!

Dori said...

I'm sorry to hear about Gorby. That is the hard part about having pets, their relatively short life. My thoughts are with you. Call if you need to talk.