Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Three More Weeks

I’m in the fish tank waiting for my blood work to come back. I’m putting my money on low red because I’ve been out of breath and emotional all week. It seems nice and quiet here today and I could use some nice and quiet. I forgot my fuzzy socks today, it’s always freezing here and fuzzy fleecy socks are my comfort item, but at least they have blankets so my feet and I will survive. It’s extra cold today, I can overhear the nurses complaining about it too.

I had a stormy weekend and I’m finally feeling the calm that follows. I’m completely content in my recliner today, despite the tubes sticking out of me. My troubles involved a teenager that I love beyond description, a teenager making consecutive, poor decisions resulting in heaps of exhausting nonsense landing in my lap needing attention and action, along with a relentless series of, if it can go wrong, it will go wrong. I got so overwhelmed, so fraught and over my head that a friend, a spectacular friend, a friend who I wouldn’t be getting through this without, came over and calmly assessed the situation. She consequently, delivered small boy to her house to spend the day with her son {his best friend}, and drove three kids, none of which were hers, or mine, all the way back to camp. The entourage, included a sweet, scared boy from out of town with 103° fever {despite handfuls of advil}, and frayed emotions who needed either the camp infirmary or the emergency room which I didn’t have in me to take him to, it’s level of germitude too scary. My own son was off playing football for the day at some passing competition I only heard about the night before, and hence unreachable.

My boy came home to lots of serious talk and sadly more poor choices were made and I’m resolved that when he’s home from camp, there will be serious changes in our lives. I can’t keep taking the path of least resistance and blaming my inaction on fatigue. I keep thinking everything is copacetic because my teenager isn’t angsty and surly, he’s straightedge, boundary-oriented, smart and charming, but there are still long-standing issues and it’s time to get serious, I’ll be launching an adult into the world before I know it and there’s work to be done. Ain’t gonna be pretty.

Results are back, I was right about the reds, the trusty oxygen carriers, so it’s transfusion plus chemo today which will mean a really long day, and also only three weeks left.

At the end of my dreadful weekend, I had dinner with some folks who hadn’t contacted me since my diagnosis, despite having been good friends for almost two decades. I wasn’t mad because I knew going in, that’s how this would work. Some people disappear and others step up, but in this case for everyone that’s disappeared, five have emerged, so I’m making out really well. Lately they had reached out and so I was happy to go over for a visit. It was awkward, having to catch people up after so long when so much has happened, but I filled them in best I could and told them that for more detail, they could check out the blog if they wanted. I always feel weird doing that, it’s such a narcissistic thing, hey, read this thing I write all about myself because I’m the center of the universe, but besides the narcissism, it really is functional for the purpose of explaining the situation. One of the couple sounded kinda pissed or annoyed and said he just doesn’t read blogs, it’s not his thing and he did read a bit of mine early on and while he’ll admit it was well written, it was too damned depressing. He’d had a rough year too, very busy at work, and really, the last thing he’s going to do is spend his free time reading this really depressing blog. Ouch. Then she looks at me with a big smile and asks sincerely “so what would you do with your life if you only have five years to live?”

Paralyzed, frozen, horrified, eyes welling, but restrained, thank goodness. I managed to blurt out “I just can’t talk about that kind of thing, I can’t go there.” After an awkward silence I said something to the effect of “so how about that Mitt Romney, what do you think his chances are?”

At that moment, I just felt so depleted, exhausted, deflated, alone. In retrospect I’m still speechless, this was a smart women, does she not know that post-diagnosis trips around the world are for affluent couples in their eighties who are still in love. Travelling to tibet or renting a place in Italy for a year is fiction-fodder.

I have children, I’m most definitely not independently wealthy. If I have five years to live I’ll keep doing what people do. Raise my kids, pay bills, enjoy the simple things omni-present in life and do the best I can to get through the day, same thing most everyone else is doing, and hopefully not having weekends as sucky as this one.

I’m really looking forward to next weekend because I signed up for one and only one show this year, ArtBeat in Somerville because it’s always my best show of the year, and not by a little, ArtBeat rocks and I didn’t want to skip a year and risk losing my spot, plus I could use a wad of cash right about now. I love my spot, right near Johnny D’s with the air conditioned bathroom which comes in quite handy on the usually sweltering day. I offered half my space to a friend in exchange for her bringing the tent, tables, weights, everything, and she’s so swell, she’s bringing me too! I’m so looking forward to seeing some of my crafty friends, many of which have been so kind and supportive during this period and who are people I just plain like an awful lot, and don’t see often anymore. Definitely bringing a chair!

So here’s to next weekend and the one after that and the one after that.


  1. arrrrgghhhh. i despise stupid, inconsiderate people. we should not have to suffer such fools. your compass will guide you and the teen on the right path...
    congrats on doing the show! wish i was there
    be well!

  2. It's as if that couple decided to punish you for getting sick thereby "obligating" them to get back in touch. Good riddance; especially him. I hope he DOES read this and recognize his own self-loathing ass!

  3. No, these people are not bad or stupid or with any negative agenda. My point is that different people have different limitations and a lot of this blog has to do with humanity and human foibles which we all possess. Was I happy about how the evening wound up, not a bit, but i'm not angry either, i'm just again amazed at how different and flawed in different ways we people are. Self included no doubt. there is a lot of stuff I can't deal with, have been known to say stupid things when I'm nervous and peeps just plain live and operate on different wave lengths. We all endure moments with people that leave us speechless, we all have different p.o.v.s and perspectives and if someone thinks my blog is depressing that's their right and I brought it up so you gotta be open to criticism. Just sayin' it felt bad and that was part of my sucky weekend.

  4. i do not think your blog is depressing at all. i find it very inspirational. i am glad that you are doing it so that i (and everyone else) can know how treatment is going and maybe understand a little bit of what you are going through. and of course, it is exceptionally well-written!


  5. divorce brings on some of the same type of behavior...people don't talk to you cause they think your hardship; cancer, divorce, etc; is catching....they are afraid. afraid of seeing their own foibles and cracks....
    your blog is inspiring, funny, sad, happy, etc...in other words...life!
    very well written! i enjoy every entry!

  6. i probably have confessed to you that when i had my first friend with cancer, i asked her something along the lines of...did she feel like she had any insight into what's important in life and she said no, but that her parting advice would be that i should get a microwave because they're good for heating up all of the food people bring over.

    i agree with everyone. your blog is not depressing! i hope the dinner people read it. welcome, dinner people!