Schwan Lake / El lago de los Cisnes

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

After all the complaining I’ve done over the past nearly 6 years about my sciatica, it turns out it’s not sciatica after all. It’s a spinal tumor — almost certainly benign — called a Schwannoma which grows from cells called Schwanns. It affects 3 to 5 out of 1 million individuals annually. Does that make me special? I love the name. It made us immediately imagine Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice peforming Schwan (Swan) Lake. “What are you gonna do, shoot the schwans?” That’s not exactly how she pronounced it, but we both immediately thought the same thing.

But, back to reality. Although I wish they could simply shoot the schwan[noma], I have to have surgery (and, as the neurosurgeon said, “sooner rather than later”). So I’m waiting for it to be scheduled during the month of July. The biggest shock for me was that I’ll have to be in hospital 5 to 7 days. I wasn’t expecting that. Cut out part of my spine, remove a tumor, reattach that part of my spine. How long could it take? I plan to keep myself very busy, and active, until the day comes. When we got home from the medical center yesterday evening, San Geraldo asked me how I was doing. I’m just feeling a bit overwhelmed. It will pass. Besides we both agreed my surgeon is kind of dreamy.

So, random photos today for a brain set on random. Above is me channeling San Geraldo (and his IKEA towel headdress, click here). I went out for a walk on the beach and forgot my cap. By the time I remembered, it would have taken me an entire 12 minutes extra to retrieve it. I couldn’t cope. I had just given myself a buzz cut the day before. The shirt easily attached to my velcro head.


Después de todas las quejas que he hecho durante los últimos casi 6 años sobre mi ciática, resulta que no es ciática después de todo. Es un tumor espinal, casi seguro benigno, llamado Schwannoma que crece a partir de células llamadas Schwanns. Afecta a 3–5 de cada millón personas anualmente. ¿Eso me hace especial? Me encanta el nombre. Inmediatamente nos hizo imaginar a Barbra Streisand como Fanny Brice interpretando Shuan (Swan) Lake (El Lago de Cisnes). “¿Qué vas a hacer, disparar a los shuans?” Ella no lo pronunció exactamente así, pero ambos inmediatamente pensamos lo mismo.

Pero, volvamos a la realidad. Aunque desearía que simplemente dispararan el schwan[noma] que crece a partir de las células de Schwann, tengo que someterme a una cirugía (y, como dijo el neurocirujano, “más temprano que tarde”). Así que estoy esperando a que se programe durante el mes de julio. La mayor sorpresa para mí fue que tendré que estar en el hospital de 5 a 7 días. No esperaba eso. Cortar parte de mi columna, extirpar un tumor, volver a colocar esa parte de mi columna. ¿Cuánto tiempo podría tomar? Planeo mantenerme muy ocupado y activo hasta que llegue el día. Cuando llegamos a casa del centro médico ayer por la noche, San Geraldo me preguntó cómo estaba. Me siento un poco abrumado. Pasara. Además, ambos coincidimos en que mi cirujano es un poco soñador.

Entonces, fotos al azar hoy para un cerebro puesto al azar. Arriba estoy yo canalizando a San Geraldo (y su tocado de toalla de IKEA, haz clic aquí). Salí a caminar por la playa y olvidé mi gorra. Para cuando recordé, me habría llevado 12 minutos más recuperarlo. No pude hacer frente. Me acababa de hacer un rapado el día anterior. La camisa se ató fácilmente a mi cabeza con velcro.

• Sunday, SG made another apple crisp (click here). Instead of a half pound of butter, he mistakenly added a pound to the “crisp part.” It was more like an apple cake, a buttery apple cake. We finished it Monday after my appointment.
• El domingo, SG hizo otra tarta de manzana crujiente (haz clic aquí). En lugar de media libra de mantequilla, por error agregó una libra a la “parte crujiente”. Era más como un pastel de manzana, un pastel de manzana mantecoso. Lo terminamos el lunes después de mi cita.
• While I took pictures at a flower kiosk in Málaga, this bee exited a white carnation and hit me in the head as it flew away. I’m still breathing.
• Mientras tomaba fotos en un quiosco de flores en Málaga, esta abeja salió de un clavel blanco y me golpeó en la cabeza mientras se alejaba volando. Todavía estoy respirando.
• I saw this guy in a gallery. I’d say I just had to have him, but not at those prices.
• Vi a este tipo en una galería. Diría que solo tenía que tenerlo, pero no a esos precios.
• Anyone interested in a healthy poke? It’s handmade.
• ¿Alguien interesado en un poke saludable? Está hecho a mano.
• I would like to say thank you to our desert roses. This one stem has already offered up 9 blossoms.
• Me gustaría dar las gracias a nuestras rosas del desierto. Este tallo ya ha ofrecido 9 flores.

Click the thumbnails to enlarge.
Haz clic en las miniaturas para ampliar.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

36 thoughts on “Schwan Lake / El lago de los Cisnes”

  1. Stay active and strong, it will all be okay. I am one of those special few, that was my medical adventure in 2015.

  2. Think of being pain-free…… will all be fine.
    I love that ‘steering wheel flying man’!
    And of course the Desert rose blossoms are lovely.

  3. Well, after all the years of sciatica, now you’re a schwan. I’m glad Dr. McDreamy figured it out and will get you taken apart and put back together!

    I have always adored a “handmade with love poke” [poke pronounced monosyllabically for the child in me].

    1. Bob:
      I don’t know about a poke handmade with love. But a healthy poke does sound good. My new internal medicine doctor is the one who finally looked into it. I told three doctors in these 6 years. One told me to try pilates. So grateful to have good doctors again.

  4. You’ll be in an out of that surgery lickity split. Now don’t get sun or heat stroke showing off your beautious noggin’. Lerve your desert rose. Must see if these are available here. I ventured into Decathalon 1st time since it opened in 2020. Looking for shorts and T’s. Plan on returning when the crowds subside.

    1. Ron:
      I think lickety split is about 4 hours, but I won’t care. That will be the easy part for me. I could spend a bundle on every visit to Decathlon.

    1. Thanks, Robyn:
      Named after Theodore Schwann. So glad they didn’t called Theodorroma.

    1. Debra:
      It’s almost always benign. They’ll biopsy it after the surgery and I’ll know for sure about that about 2 weeks later. But I’m not at all worried. Ignorance is bliss!

  5. Yep, David’s was 2015. He called when I was walking across campus to get lunch; it was right before final exams. I left almost immediately. My colleagues were fabulous. They quickly arranged proctors for my exams and sent them to me in DC. The surgeons–there were 3 of them–were brilliant. The accompanying songs were “My Sharona” which became “My Schwannoma” and REM’s “Orange Crush” which has the refrain “I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush”. All best for a smooth procedure and recovery! ❤️

    1. Wicked Hamster:
      We hadn’t gotten beyond shooting the schwanns. Your songs are brilliant. And now I’ve got my orange crush in my head. But, oh, My Schwannoma!

  6. Listen, Scoot, all you have to worry about is lousy tumor. Meanwhile, poor Dudo seems to be growing a human hand out of his backside! Seriously, hugs honey.

    1. Deedles:
      Dudo’s growth was removed painlessly. He had been in heaven with us both petting him at the same time. He wasn’t thrilled when I stopped to take a picture. Thanks for the hugs.

  7. Oh, my goodness gracious me! But, what excellent news that it is fixable, and that there will be a very positive result from the surgery. I’m so sorry that you have to have this to worry about, Mitchell — you’ll be taken care of and pampered in the hospital, and Jerry can bring you videos of Moose and Dudo every day 🙂

    1. Judy C:
      I’m expecting no complications or difficulties in recovery. But expecting Jerry to bring videos of Moose and Dudo would mean I’d have to teach him how to MAKE videos on his iPhone. Probably not something either of us want to take on…

  8. Yikes! Well, that is sobering news — but on the other hand, a cure is in sight and then (hopefully) you’ll have no more pain. Which is encouraging! We’re all with you as much as possible through this adventure.

    Yay for the desert roses, finally pulling their weight.

    As much as I love Barbra Streisand, I have never liked “Funny Girl.” I found it incredibly boring.

    1. Steve:
      Yes, I was relieved and disappointed at the same time. Now I’m just happy to be having it done. Don’t know when yet. It’s interesting about Funny Girl. I loved that movie to the point of obsession when it came out. I think I was 15. I didn’t see it on stage, but my parents did. I recently tried to rewatch it and I also found it boring. Also, I’ve read a lot about Fanny Brice and NIck Arnstein in the years since and didn’t enjoy the fact that the story was pretty much a fabrication.

  9. I hope all goes well with your procedure. It’s nice to know what exactly the issue is but anything with the spine scares the shit out of me…with so many nerves located there. But just think of your sponge baths you’ll het from a cute male nurse!!!!!!!!

    1. Mistress Borghese:
      Yeah, the idea of them sawing out a section of my spine and then screwing it back in with metal plates is creepy. But I’m excited to have it done. It’s apparently only impacting two nerves.

  10. “Can’t you see when you look at me
    What a lovely creature is a schwan – yo hoo!!”

    It probably isn’t that lovely – but “better out than in”, as my Nana used to say! Admittedly she was talking about farts, but same difference; something noxious needs to leave your body…

    Fingers crossed for the op, and fingers crossed that there is air conditioning in that damn hospital if you’re in for a week! Jx

    PS Love the desert rose, love Dudo “striking a pose”, and I would like a healthy poke please 😜

    1. Jon:
      I never had a “nana” that talked about farts. Vithas in Benalmádena is like a hotel — or at least it was when I overnighted there some years ago for hernia surgery. Modern and good AC. Yeah, I’d like a healthy poke, too.

  11. Well, even if the surgery is looming, at least it means that you’ll be cured of the pain! Please try not to worry. I’m sure you’ll be better than ever when it’s over. Sending you a hug.

    1. Jennifer:
      Oddly not worried at all. It’s in other people’s qualified hands. All I’ll have to do is sleep through it and then recover. Thanks for the hug!

  12. I sure wasn’t expecting that! (and I don’t guess you were, either) I’m glad to know it can be surgically resolved.

    I enjoyed your random photos and I’ll say no thank you to a poke, of any variety!

    1. Kelly:
      No, definitely not what I was expecting. But I’m pleased it’s being addressed so quickly (after 6 years). I wouldn’t mind a healthy poke.

  13. Benign is good. Surgery? Well, if it cures long term pain, then it is for the best. Know you’ll be in our hearts and minds (…what little I have left of the latter). xo

    1. Mary:
      It’s almost always benign. Still they’ll do a biopsy after the surgery. I’m surprisingly not stressed anymore. It’s in a team of, I assume, competent hands. I’m hopeful all will turn out well — and I’m glad we’re not waiting for anything to go wrong in the meantime.

  14. Wow! That diagnosis is a surprise. It will be great when it’s over and the damn pain is gone, but for the moment if you aren’t nervous and worried, then I’m a little nervous and worried for you and my eyes are a bit wet. I think I need you to comfort me. If I’m going to get a poke, though, I don’t know that I want it to be all that healthy.


    1. janiejunebug:
      Don’t be nervous and worried for me. I’m definitely not. I’m confident all will go well and I have Nurse San Geraldo to come home to once the worst is over. He’ll keep me in line. I want a healthy poke (and by that I mean vigorous).

  15. Oh, my, what news! I’m so sorry this is happening to you, but glad that you will soon be free of pain.

    1. Chrissoup:
      Always nice to have a word from you. Thanks. Not worried at all. Just looking forward to getting it done.

  16. At least it’s not Loopner’s Disease. Poor Mr. Loopner, God rest his soul. He was born without a spine.

    But seriously, folks… Hope all goes well. Stay healthy!

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      You made me laugh. I can just hear Jane Curtin in that Chicago accent (although she was from Cambridge, MA). I loved those characters. Thanks.

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