In every spare moment, you have been aching to know the origin story of Lizardinlaw. I know this. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Oh. That's the Shadow, not me.

My little sister was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months after getting engaged, apparently publicly online, to some "noder" Brit. He had flown over to California, she had flown to England and they jumped over a damn broom. They both wrote on some weird fucking ass writing site called E2 and that is where they met.

My sister called me after her MRI. "Katy, I saw the films. One side looks like white netting and the other doesn't have any! I'll have to have a mastectomy, won't I?"

"Yes. If they look that different, yes." I am a family practice doctor. I don't read breast MRIs either. But if they look that different, yes, bad.

The British noder was Wertperch, aka Kevin. He dropped everything and flew over when Grundoon got the news. She was scheduled for a mastectomy. I flew down for the week of the mastectomy.

And met Wertperch. Now, he is a nice person, so his version is no doubt different. I felt rather like a cat that is in a strange place under stressful conditions, meeting another usurper cat. Stiff-legged and fur a bit on end, that's me.

I also felt useless. I was at Grundoon's house, here's my support, and we're sort of waiting for the big event, mastectomy, ick, on Thursday. So I needed something to do and being an introvert, I cannot talk to a stranger continuously. Yuk, strangers, and worse yet, a stranger engaged to my sister.

Luckily, my niece's room was trashed. A shelf full of clothes had fallen down and the room was rather knee deep. I am a terrible packrat, but pale in comparison to my parents. My daughter does not have the packrat gene and has been ruthless about getting rid of stuff since age 2.5. She considers me a trial. My niece has the gene.

I asked for permission and started cleaning up the room. My niece was with her father. There were lots of clothes, multiple sizes and intermixed with toys. I love toys. I played with everything and organized it. I started finding lizards.

They were the shiny rubbery lizards which probably are made of toxic chemicals and off-gas, but I love them anyhow. I made a lizard pile. A sensible person would probably have tossed them, but I have a deep silly streak that I attempt to hide when I'm doctoring. Mostly.

I made nice progress on the room and had a pile of five lizards and a frog. Now what?

The next day, Wertperch got something out of the rather full refrigerator. He pulled out a lizard, looked at it blankly and put it on the counter. Grundoon did not see this. I squirreled the lizard for later. That afternoon, he pulled out another leftover container and again found a lizard. He showed Grundoon, "Why are there lizards in the leftovers?"

"That would be my sister," quoth Grundoon, laughing. They dug around in the fridge and found them all eventually. We played with the lizards. We joked about regrowing a breast, just like a lizard regrows its tail.

The day before the mastectomy, I went to an art supply store. That night, we put vaseline all over Grundoon's chest and used casting material to make a cast of her chest. It was rather messy and funny and sad, too. Saying goodbye. We talked about making champagne glasses from the mold. It came out quite wonderfully.

The next day she was in surgery. One of the lizards came with us to the post-operative room, in a bag of potato chips. We had a very sweet kind nurse. Grundoon came through the surgery very well.

On the second evening, the kind nurse was back and a bit stressed. She'd gotten two post-operative patients at once and was running around.

We waited a bit and then Grundoon needed to call her. She came in looking anxious. "I'm feeling some swelling," said Grundoon, pointing to the bandage. Our nurse looked more anxious and began unwrapping the gauze. She took off a layer and then stared blankly at the shiny lizard on Grundoon's bandages.

"A lizard?" she said and we all started laughing. We told her about the lizards and gave it to her. Apparently it popped up all over the ward after that. A cleaning person came in and said, "Are you the lizard people?" Yes, we said, we definitely are the lizard people.

After that, Wertperch started introducing me as his lizardinlaw. We bought a hundred of the shiny lizards for their outdoor wedding and they were in the bouquet, the corsages and all over the beautiful yard. And a friend taught all the children to make long grass stem slipknots and slip them over the heads of the real lizards. By the time the reception was in full swing, most children were walking around with a plastic cup containing a small live lizard, all of whom were later freed.

With the help of Wertperch and Grundoon, I posted my first writeup on Everything2. I then was enveloped by the horrible computer electronic medical record at my job. The hospital went live with A4 in November of 2005 and it took me 3 years and two months to write a decent patient note. Tech support at our organization was nicely described by my nurse: "If there is a problem, it's a user problem." I was missing Grundoon terribly, so in Dec 2008 I returned to E2.

And that is the birth of a Lizardinlaw. Nuff' said.

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