Grandma’s Unveiling: The Night Before

gravestone

I’ve been antsy all day, for a couple of reasons, one of which is my Grandmother’s Unveiling is tomorrow.

That means my Aunt & Uncle and two cousins (one with wife and new baby as well) are in town.

We were going to have the ceremony and then brunch following . . . except that this afternoon my Aunt emailed us that she is ill, therefore they will be returning to the East Coast earlier than planned and brunch is cancelled.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m sorry that she’s ill.  And of course we all (but me in particular) now have to be careful tomorrow so as to not catch whatever creeping crud she’s got.

Plus, when tomorrow should be about my Grandmother (her mother), and maybe just a tiny bit about me since most of them haven’t seen me in many months (and, you know, I’m not doing anything interesting or difficult – it’s just Cancer Treatment), now it’s going to be about her with whatever transient illness she’s got.

Add to this the following facts that have not escaped my notice:

– after I was not able to commit two days prior to being at Thanksgiving and so did not see them on that occasion, not one of them has seen fit to check in with me at all – no text, no email, no phone call

– this is the first time in my living memory that I did not get a holiday gift from my Aunt and Uncle (it very well could be that they chose this year to change tradition because it was the first year there is a child in the next generation after me, which I can understand as a seemingly reasonable time to change things – still, the timing as to me is unfortunate and hurtful)

– I know the whole East Coast clan has been here certainly since yesterday and perhaps earlier in the week and there has been no direct contact whatsoever, let alone an invitation to get together outside the formal ceremony and related gathering tomorrow

Isn’t family wonderful?  (That one’s rhetorical.)

Am I being fair?  Maybe not.

Is my viewpoint a tad skewed toward selfish?  Entirely possible.

Does it still hurt me and piss me off?  You betcha!

Hopefully having posted this will help me sleep well tonight so as to be rested and ready to defend myself against further hurt tomorrow, but if this isn’t enough catharsis, I’ve got a full bottle of Benadryl and I’m not afraid to use it!

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SNL (1975-1980, 1985-Present): November 22-25, 2012

Who gets the reference?

Thursday:

– coffee
– reading in bed
– breffast with Hubby
– napping
– off to Thanksgiving Dinner

[At the house of one of Mom’s best friends since they were in high school, whose house I grew up in with her 3 daughters as much as I did my own – therefore kinda my second mom growing up.  Only the eldest of 2ndMom’s daughters was at dinner.  There was an interesting moment in the kitchen as we were finishing the dishes for serving: 2ndMom is an 18-year breast cancer survivor, so we were casually sharing tumor size, location, stage, treatments, side effects to treatments – you know, generally the basic get-to-know-you conversation for those of us in the club.  Her daughter said,” We don’t have to compare.”  (I think all that deeper than surface conversation was making her uncomfortable.)  Without even thinking I said, “You don’t have to be here for it, but yes, we do.”

Another thing cancer has actually brought me is a new aspect to my relationship with 2ndMom.  Our relationship first changed when I grew up and we started to interact with each other as adults instead of adult & child.  I appreciated her more then as I could see more than just the surface aspects of her (which were not quite as overtly warm as I was used to).  Now, with the breast cancer, the relationship has changed again, become closer again.  We share something that we both hope her daughters never know about like we do.]

Friday:

– coffee
– reading in bed
– knitting in bed while Hubby naps
– quick something to eat
– napping while Hubby works on continuing to put our garage back together from when it had to be completely emptied just a month before my diagnosis because our garage doors would not function anymore, so needed to be replaced – thereby requiring us to completely empty the garage 12-15 feet back from the doors (including overhead racks the full width of both the double and single doors, and fully loaded shelves on each side wall from front to back, including everything those storage systems carried – fun)
– vaping with Hubby

[We happened to be watching a food show extolling the virtues of burgers around the nation.  As we had napped on opposite schedules, I doubt either of us had eaten much that day (we prefer to eat together, and both sometimes try to wait for the other) so we were both hungry.  Obviously we were having burgers for dinner.]

– dropping off dry cleaning with Hubby
– picking up burgers & fries for dinner with Hubby from a delicious local chain

[I know tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, but we practiced that today.]

– eating yummy dinner while watching Fringe marathon

Saturday:

– coffee (hm, pattern?  Oh yeah!)
– checking FB, surfing the net for chunky yarn hat knitting patterns
– blogging

– buying/downloading audiobooks
– emptied/loaded dishwasher
– did dishes
– cleaned out fridge
– ate lunch cooked by Hubby

[leftover Costco chicken breast/thigh/leg, shredded
3/4 can of green beans
1/4 cup chopped onions
3/4 can of corn
whole can of chopped tomatoes with juice

all sauteed in schmaltz from the cut-up chicken
with garlic powder
and served over brown rice with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese

Oh man, was it good!]

– blogged

– upgraded computer to Mountain Lion

[And it survived!  Yay!  Now I can re-engage Time Machine – my poor ‘puter hasn’t been backed up in over a month and I don’t like that at all.  So tonight it’ll do its first new backup.]

– blogged
– called Mom
– massage in my living room by Randy

[I lay there when we were done and it was a magical moment – I didn’t hurt at all!]

Sunday:

– blogging
– handling collected e-mail (filing, dealing with, etc.)
– brunch w/ Hubby at home while watching the Brazilian GP 2012

[Brunch was:

– smoked sausage
– parmesan and garlic coated potato wedges rescued from the freezer
– toast
– eggs scrambled with onions, cheese and basil

I’m not quite sure how we did it.  After a quick outing early Friday evening to drop off dry cleaning and pick up the hamburgers & fries that had to be our dinner, Hubby and I didn’t leave the house ’til Monday morning.  We also hadn’t done a serious grocery store run in quite a while, resulting in the fact that we kept running out of basic supplies, like, well, milk, in addition to other things we Always have around.  Yet, somehow we kept finding ways to have delicious, plentiful and dare-I-say-it relatively healthy meals all weekend!]

– vaping and hanging out with Hubby some more, while dealing with more email management

[One of my email accounts went from 800+ in my inbox (I Hate Not having empty inboxes) to 26!]

– actively, consciously and mutually (although I wouldn’t be surprised if Hubby gave it up to keep me happy) bailing on our previous notion of hitting the grocery store and filling the larder with all of Our Basics we were out of
– dinner w/ Hubby (fresh, premade shepherd’s pie w/ brussel sprouts in a light butter sauce) while watching the latest Castle

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Seriously, this Woman Knows Her Way Around a Vein – I’m Naming Names Again

So Monday [See “Radiation Treatment Journal – Day 16 – Monday November 19, 2012.”] I talked to my doctor about bruises I don’t remember getting.  While it is unlikely that I would get Thrombocytopenia from radiation therapy alone (without also having or having had, chemotherapy), it is not out of the realm of possibility, plus I’m on two other drugs that contribute to this condition.

So, in order to humor me (which is generally Not okay with me – I do not like to be “managed” as anyone who knows me offline will tell you – but in this case is okay, because a test that tells me there’s nothing wrong will set my mind at ease and allow me to let go of it), she ordered some blood tests.

Of course, Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so I wanted to get this done and get results before the world all crawls into the Thanksgiving hole this year.

Therefore, I tried to shoehorn getting blood drawn into my day Monday (See “Schedule: Week of November 19-23, 2012” to be published later this week).

[Hm, do I put Thursday and Friday of this week in the week’s schedule or the weekend’s schedule?  Dunno yet.]

In order to try to be less of a bull in a china shop, while at work I called the lab in the building across the compound (for lack of a better word right now) from the Disney Family Cancer Center to make an appointment.  No, they don’t take appointments.  And of course, the time just after work is busy because everybody Else who works and needs labs done wants to come when I do – between leaving work at 5:30pm and having my acupuncture at 6:00pm (or in their case whatever else they have planned for after work).

I will admit at this juncture, that my tolerance for other people’s scheduling issues is realistically, well, nil.  If you’ve been reading my schedule posts, that might make more sense to you, because when I say I don’t have time for this shit, I Literally Do Not Have Time for this shit.  In fact, I think I’ll make a new Rule for this – Rule #3: I Do Not Have Time For This Shit.  You may still think my looking at things that way is not fair or not okay.  And I’m not saying it is right or fair of me to think that way.  I am, however, accepting of the fact that at this point in my life, it is my reality.

So, no appointment made (because they don’t do such a thing there), I walk into the lab lobby to find it completely empty!  Seriously, this holiday light stuff is finally working for me!  I signed in and headed down the hall to the actual lab as directed by a receptionist in that office’s lobby.

And I walk in, admittedly, like a bull in a china shop – because I needed my vein tapped, taped and me across the way in 10 minutes to make my acupuncture appointment on time.

Okay, so I was there 12 minutes instead of 10.  In that time Nick (dude, you rock!) managed to take my bad attitude and turn it around so that I was smiling and thanking (them both) on the way out.  For you being able to do that alone, thank you.  Yes, you talk the talk “[his] job is to help patients, not to be an additional burden to them,” and you walk that walk, seriously.  🙂

And then there’s Prudencia.  I’m here to tell you, if you ever need to get blood drawn for labs anywhere close enough to Burbank that it makes sense to go to 201 S. Buena Vista, Suite 125, Burbank, CA – make the trip and ask for Prudencia.  This woman took hold of the butterfly dealie they use, I felt one tiny stick, looked down to see no blood in the micro tube connecting the needle to the catch-tube-container (yeah, not very medically precise, but you know what I’m getting at, and if not, check out the pic at the top of this post), and watched her connect a tube at the collecting end and it sucked my blood right down there with no further pain at all!  Two tubes later, she removes the needle, covers the microhole she made with a gauze pad, attaches the red self-adherent gauze I provided to her (See “I’ll Take Red Please“), and I was on my way to acupuncture.  Since then I’ve had no pain there at all, and the next morning I had a tiny little red mark beside what may be a tiny little bruise – about the size of a pea or so.  Today, no bruise at all.

I mean on the one hand, with what-all this cancer shit is putting me through, so what if one needle stick turns out to be an (Capital-E) Event?  That would pale beside some of the other things I’m getting to experience (yup, that was my tongue in my cheek, you aren’t wrong).

On the other hand, with what-all this cancer shit is putting me through, does a simple blood draw need to be an (Capital-E) Event?  Because really, with all that other stuff do I need something More to be bigger than it has to be?

Thanks to two great people, last night mine Wasn’t.  🙂

I thanked you guys Monday night before I left, but if you ever land on this page, thanks again for helping me shoehorn that into my schedule and even though I came in the door snarling, for sending me back out of it smiling.

And yes, I now believe this cancer journey is maybe making me just the tiniest bit crazy – I just wrote almost a thousand words about getting my blood drawn <facepalm>.

Well, if you’re still here, Happy Thanksgiving to all – please be present with thankfulness about something in your life (even if what your thankful for doesn’t make any sense to anybody else), and tongues explicitly permitted in cheeks during this exercise.

SNL (1975-1980, 1985-Present): November 10-11, 2012

Who gets the reference?

Saturday:

– coffee
– napping

[When I say napping, I was back asleep by 7am and slept until 12:30 pm (after sleeping from 10pm Friday night to 6am Saturday morning).  Now, I’m usually a two-hour napper (the 20-minute power nap never did anything for me), but 5-1/2 hours?  I think the fatigue is here, at least for the moment.  So far, I’m making it through my workweek before collapsing.  We’ll see how long I can continue to do that before I can’t.]

– lunch
– watching TV off DVR in bed
Ways for dinner (we do a 4-way in our house) with Gold Star Chili while watching something off the DVR
– then back up to bed

Sunday:

– coffee
– watching Firefly marathon on TV in bed (not sure I caught the very beginning of it this morning – might hafta start over at the very begining on Netflix through my Apple TV)
– brunch (picked up by Hubby and brought home to me from our local Denny’s)

[Otherwise known as “something to have Apple Blossom Honey or maple syrup on.”  This seems to be a comfort-food weekend thing.  But, I figure if I’m not gaining weight (which, after quitting smoking CFT 76 days ago, that I’m not is a miracle in itself), I figure my body can use the extra calories to repair the damage caused by the necessary radiation therapy.  So when Hubby asked what I wanted for breakfast, my answer was one of the following three items: waffle, pancake, french toast – and some protein to go with it.]

– blogging
– made cranberry sauce

[Yup, homemade, from scratch, and all that stuff.  Seriously this stuff is easy, put it in a pot, cook for 45 minutes, stirring & mashing up every 15 or so, then cool & eat.  The most time-consuming part is cutting up the oranges.]

– watching more Firefly marathon on TV with Hubby
– dinner

[So, when I got the stuff to make cranberry sauce, I also picked up a turkey breast and a couple turkey thighs.  I made a triple batch of sauce this year because a couple months ago I had 1 cup left over from last year’s batch which got defrosted and eaten over my morning yogurt on two mornings and it was damn good!  So I figured cranberry sauce is Not just for Thanksgiving (and neither is a turkey sammich with mayo on one side and cranberry sauce on the other Only for the Day After), so I made a triple batch and bought some turkey to go with it.  Hubby picked up that gauntlet and made the yummiest dinner: turkey, garlic mashed potatoes (nuked from frozen), brussel sprouts (also nuked from frozen), and pan-drippings gravy, with my cranberry sauce.  Happy tummy!]

So things were going pretty well, I wasn’t really feeling caught up on rest, but Monday morning was nearly nigh and I’d go for it anyway, until…

I called my Dad (like I do with both folks every – or as nearly as possible – day): See “My Last Anchor to Childhood – And My First Ativan.”

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Upcoming Appts – as of October 11, 2012 (and Probable Holiday Impact)

This morning when my physical therapy was done, my PTher and I reconfigured my upcoming physical therapy appointments to coincide timewise and medical-needwise with my upcoming radiation therapy (which, conveniently, I have chosen to have at the same facility).  When we had rescheduled my upcoming appointments, she printed out a schedule for me so I could be sure of what was what and when was when.

My first glance at the sheet of paper must have had me looking very confused because I was very confused.  Then my PTher reminded me that it showed not just my physical therapy appointments, but all my upcoming appointments for that facility.  The sheet is attached below:

In case you’re missing the import of that – every single line on that sheet of paper is a separate appointment, all mine, and the last radiation appointment is currently scheduled for Tuesday, December 11, 2012.  This is my upcoming schedule, of course, if and only if my RSurg releases me to begin radiation treatment on Monday, October 29, 2012 (because I have healed from my two surgeries to her satisfaction that the radiation therapy will not seriously damage me), which RSurg appointment is currently scheduled for Friday, October 19, 2012.

If she does Not release me to radiation when I next see her because I have not healed enough for her to do so, then every appointment in the above image starting with the October 22, 2012 appointment to do a CT simulation of the radiation therapy and get my tattoos (see upcoming post “My Boob Is Not the Mona Lisa!”) and continuing to the bottom of the page will be pushed however many weeks she decides I still need to heal before starting this next phase of treatment.

And now we get to the second part of this post’s title – Holiday Impact.  Please take notice that while I will (hopefully) be aware of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas as they come and go this year, I likely will be spending the majority of the next three months or so attending doctors appointments and treatments, working, and sleeping.  I therefore will likely not be:

– giving candy to the kiddies on Halloween (OK, because of where I live I really don’t ever do this anyway)
– giving any thought whatsoever to a Halloween costume this year
– participating in any Halloween parties at work or elsewhere
– cooking a full Thanksgiving dinner (OK, another thing I don’t really ever do anyway)
– cooking anything at all to take to any Thanksgiving dinner I may manage to attend
– bringing a Hostess Gift to any social occasion at all I manage to attend
– buying, writing, stamping and/or mailing holiday cards
– OR
– choosing, shopping for, buying, wrapping and/or delivering holiday gifts – for anybody at all in my life

In other words, I’m giving myself this Holiday Season off – I simply don’t have the time or energy.

And for anyone who is hurt and/or offended by the above comments, or thinks it’s not a big deal and I’m being a wuss – you’re welcome to come keep me company at all thirty-two (32) of those consecutive 8:00am weekday appointments (not including physical therapy and other doctors’ appointments during that same 6-1/2 week period), and then we can both go do a full day’s work after that.  Comment and leave me your email, I’ll share the location with you privately.  🙂