Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Counting My Blessings

My last post was so dark and doom-y, it should have come with an adults only rating. Reality sucks sometimes.

In a complete turnaround from that post, I wanted to share with you a revelation I made today, with the help of some good drugs.  See I had a colonoscopy today. Gross, I know.  But necessary to keep me healthy.  After making my toilet a VERY good friend last night, my Best Friend in the WORLD picked me up for the ride to the hospital.  Neicy took the day of work for me.  I am blessed by her generosity and love.  She loves to save her vacation time for, what else but VACATION, not sitting in a hospital listening to me whine.

She sat and listened to me whine about being hungry.  She even shared her dinner menu from last night to comfort me.  She laughed at me when I cried from the IV needle and quickly lowered the bed when I got lightheaded from it.  THEN she sat in the waiting room while they took me back for the happy drugs.  Waiting is usually the worst.  I've been there lots of times, just waiting for the Dr to come out and tell you everything went just fine. She waited and then drove the slightly drunk me home.

She loves me, I know this.  I am blessed to have her in my life.

On the way home, I realized I was blessed because the test came out perfectly clean and I don't have to go back for 5 years. My toilet is happy about that.   I am blessed that I am not going to succumb to the curse of colon cancer that seems to run through my family.  That curse will end with my mother.  She will have sacrificed herself for me.  I am blessed to have my physical health.

I am blessed to have my best friend, Janet in my life.  She contacted to check on me later in the day.  She knows what the test entails, the before, during and after.  She and I will celebrate my cleanliness on Friday with a Girls Night Out.

While my parents didn't have anything to do with me today, (dad was getting chemo and ESM was working) I am blessed to have them in my life.  I am so lucky to STILL have my father in my life.  There are so many that don't have either of their parents at my age.  I have my father who spoils me to whatever extent he is capable and a wonderful step mother who is a mother without taking over my mothers memory.  

I have been extremely depressed and negative about so much in my life and probably with justification. But there comes a time when you have to stop being stuck in your negative head and start looking to the positive.  I'm not saying that I will always be wine and roses, that there won't be down and dark days, but I am going to make an effort to look for the good in my life as well as deal with the bad.

I will make the effort because I am sick of being in my head.  Time to get into a new head.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Dad's Fight For His Life

I've mentioned on here that daddy has stage 4 stomach cancer with metastases to his liver.  He's also had two other cancers that he's beaten.  

He's been going for Chemo since September.  Around Christmas we got the good news that there was Shrinkage going on.  We were thrilled.  Dad was still having chemo and the side effects were getting to him a little more.  The cold winter really took a toll on him.  One of the side effects is that he's more susceptible to the cold, he's not even supposed to use ice in his drinks.

When it was time, he had another scan to measure the success of the continued chemo. These results weren't as good.  Things had started to grow again.  There was considerable growth in some of the tumors.  Enter more fear and worry.

The Drs have proposed a change in the chemo, with the drugs targeting the liver stuff more than the stomach stuff.  BUT, Daddy has been feeling worse and his blood levels have been out of whack so much that they were not able to give him the chemo for two weeks straight.  He's getting "Superman" shots to help build him up and regulate his blood levels.

There is a catch 22 happening here because the liver helps to regulate the blood levels but because of the liver disease his blood levels are out of whack.  They can't give him the chemo to help fight the liver disease because his blood levels are out of whack. If he could get the chemo, it would help fight the liver disease and help to regulate his blood levels.  Round and Round we go......

There are so many changes happening with Daddy.  I see him getting skinnier, weaker and more grumpy.  When he doesn't feel well, he's grumpy.  I feel for ESM because she is taking the brunt of his grumpiness.

Part of my problem is that I've watched all this happen before with Mom.  She fought for her life just as hard as Daddy is.  But this damn disease is horrible and fights back just as hard.  I watched Mom get skinnier, weaker and more grumpy and I know the outcome.  I am so scared for what I am pretty sure is coming with Dad.

I want to be positive and I usually am when I'm around Daddy and ESM and Jakes. But running around in my head are such negative thoughts, fears and worry.  Running around in my head are thoughts and plans for the end, who to call, what to do, where to go, etc.  Each week that he goes for chemo I worry that they are going to send him home with orders for Hospice.

I know there is probably a conversation I should have with my parents, like to lay out some plans and stuff but I feel that acknowledging that with my parents signifies that I am giving up on him and his fight.  I am not giving up on him and the fight but I think I am being realistic with the situation.  I am not ready to let down my guard with Daddy yet.  I don't want him to worry about me during all this, he has enough to worry about.

It used to be once there was liver involvement, you didn't have much time.  I am grateful that there has been improvements in treating all cancers.  But even with the improvements, Daddy is Stage 4 with metastases.  The Drs haven't said "you only have so long left" yet, but I am so afraid that it is coming and soon.

I have all these feelings and thoughts running around and I'm trying to make sense of everything while at the same time I'm spending as much time with them as possible, helping them as much as possible.  

Jakes and I spend at least one weekend day/evening with them.  I want to make sure that Jakes gets to spend as much time with his Gpop as possible.  I haven't decided what to do about Jakes visiting if daddy gets sicker and confined to bed like Mom was.  It was scary for me to watch Mom deteriorate, I don't know how Jakes will deal with it.  There is time to decide on that still, and Jakes is old enough to tell me what HE wants, if he wants to be with Gpop near the end or not.

For now, I am taking things one day at a time.  I cry in the shower most mornings and then find my strength to get through the day.  I have an appt with the therapist, am going back on medication and am working on my coping skills and meditation.  I know what I have to do to stay mentally healthy, its just so hard to do somedays.  One day at a time.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Garden

I've started a garden!  Of course, I had to move the garden into the kitchen the past couple of nights, thanks to Mother Nature.  Can someone get her a Prozac or something, please?

So I have planted Peas, Green Beans, Cilantro, Basil, and Oregano.  When the time is right, I will be getting some tomatoes and peppers.  All of these are going to be in pots on my deck.

My herb Garden from last year.  I'm getting a lot of "volunteers" this year
My peas, green beans, and new herbs freshly planted
the peas are growing nicely

The green beans and herbs sitting on my washer because Mother Nature
insists on keeping us COLD and SNOWY.

Have you seen pallet gardening?

I am going to get me some pallets and plant more stuff!  I have a perfect place for two pallets at the bottom of the steps leading to my apartment.  Fresh spinach, lettuce and other yummy stuff!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Temporary Buddy - WW

I stuck with this boot for a few weeks.
Dr thinks its a stress fracture from when I kicked snow out of my boots in early March.
I hate snow

Friday, April 11, 2014

Weakness vs. High Expectations

I feel weak. Not physically but mentally.Here I am whining about my life again.  This blog was started to be a therapy place for me but I also expected that I would be able to get past that and move onto a happier place. But here I am again, whining about being lonely, whining about my father's illness and so much more.

Since I haven't moved forward, I feel weak. I feel like I am playing a victim.  I am sick and tired of whining about my life.  I am just sick and tired of being in my own head.

I have a friend who insists I am the strongest person she knows.  I don't feel strong.  I feel that if I were strong, I wouldn't be whining about all this.  I wouldn't want to hide under the covers in bed and cry all day long.  If I were strong, I wouldn't have run and hid from this blog.  If I were strong, I would be able to find the happiness in my life.  If I were strong, I wouldn't....... there's just so many to name.

I want to be strong. I want to be happy.  I want to be a part of a couple. I  want to be out in the world with a happy and shining face.  There are so many wants that I have and I just can't seem to accomplish them.

Am I expecting too much of myself to think I can handle the break up/move+loneliness+Dad being sick?  Shouldn't I be able to handle all this, process all this and still be happy? I think I should be able to.  But then you have to add in disappointment in myself for being in this whining place again.

I have high expectations of myself and sometimes beat myself up for what I see as failures or mistakes.  

Right now I feel that I should be over the break up.  I mean I didn't "love" him and we didn't really have a relationship because he was stoned all the time.  We shared a house and an occasional conversation.  I don't miss him.  I miss the house and just the fact that there was someone else in the house making noise.  There were times when he would make me feel like we were a couple but those times were few and far between.

But once again, I failed at a relationship.  It doesn't matter that I worked very hard to make it work and the other partner in the relationship didn't want it to work, I am still disappointed in myself over the failure.  And I am still beating myself up over the failure.  I haven't moved on from it and that is irrational.  This is definitely something I need to work on, along with so much else.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Playing Fetch

I'm having doubts that Jethro is a cat.  In addition to getting along famously with Jaxon, I've found out that he loves to play Fetch!  Check it out:

Of course he also loves to play fetch at 3 am....... That's not as much fun for me.....

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Gone Missing

Yes, I've been missing for a long time.  I just haven't felt like doing this.  To be honest, I still don't but I need the therapy. I've missed making the rounds of my favorite readers but just haven't had the gumption. 

I need to come back.

I need the therapy of this space but I've been afraid to put anything "real" out here because I have family that I know read this and I don't want them to worry about my state of mind.  (I'm not crazy, yet) But I need to get somethings out of my head and heart.  I need this space to be MY PLACE to vent, cry and express what might be shocking thoughts in my head.  I need to stop being afraid of other peoples reactions to my crazy thoughts and feelings.

For the Family Readers: I want to put it out here that I am FINE.  Really.  This is mostly venting of irrational thoughts that keep bouncing around in my head.  I need to put there here to get them out of my head and to get validation that I am "normal" with some of these thoughts.  I am doing the best I can to cope with another crappy situation that life as dealt to me. These are my feelings and this is MY space to put them here.

This is just the start of my therapy and "real" thoughts/posts.  I will include some cute photos of the animals and Jakes.

Some tidbits of irrational thoughts:

Loneliness in the new place/life.  Yes, I am lonely in the new place.  I love the new place, I am safe and warm.  I am lonely.  I have wonderful friends who are doing their best to get me out of the house.  I am working on this.

Dad and Cancer.  Dad's cancer is growing, especially the liver stuff.  The liver plays a part in regulating the blood counts. If the blood counts are whacked enough, they can't give him the chemo that could possibly reduce the liver disease so that the liver can do its job to help regulate the blood counts.  Round Robin.

Did I mention I am not ready to be involved in another parents care through this wonderful disease? Not that I have much choice. But here is the old anger at this disease and God for thinking I can handle this.

Funeral Planning.  No, its NOT time for this but I can stand in the shower and think of the pictures I want to put out, the list of people who might be able to help carry the casket, all the other stuff that might be relevant to funeral planning.  Totally irrational and it needs to get out of my head.

Bridget Jones.  One of her favorite phrases "single-ton".  I am sick and tired of being single.  I want to be part of a couple. But I want it to be a healthy couple.

Bottom line:  I am a mess.  Again. And I hear my bed calling me.  I'll grab the tissues.