Have you ever had a conversation that ended up altering your life in many ways? Not just your perception on your life but the way you view that which you thought you knew.
I had one of those the other day. Actually it’s still affecting me three days later. And I have no one I can talk to about it. Well maybe one person but I am scared to. Perhaps because talking about it will make it real for me.
In some ways I was better off not knowing… or not fully knowing. I had an idea that something was up but being kind of in the dark was actually protecting me. But that is gone now and I don’t know where I am or where to go.
I just so very desperately want to rewind time back to when everything made sense, before all the events that lead to this happened.
Where am I supposed to go from here? Where are we supposed to go to get it back to normal, right, good?
“LIFE SHOULD NOT BE A JOURNEY TO THE GRAVE WITH THE INTENTION OF ARRIVING SAFELY IN A WELL PRESERVED BODY, BUT RATHER TO SKID IN SIDEWAYS, CHOCOLATE IN ONE HAND, WINE IN THE OTHER, BODY THOROUGHTLY WORN OUT AND SCREAMING… WOO HOO, WHAT A RIDE!”—Carol McCorkle (A wonderful lady I had the great pleasure to have known. May she be carried into heaven on the wings of angels.)
I’m running on empty here. I kind of feel dead inside right now. Maybe it’s preparing me for what’s coming but I don’t like it. I don’t know what to ask for so I’ll just ask that you make the coming events as easy and painless as possible.
Maybe a little help feeling the Christmas cheer I usually have would be good too.
A family friend is dying. She pretty much has been for most of this past year. The out look for how long she had has seemed to be given in chunks. Maybe till the end of May. Hopefully till Thanksgiving…
Well the final word has come… one to two months, maybe. Attempts at treatment have been stopped and hospice plans are being made. Also requests for what to put in a obituary have been asked for.
This is not my first dance with death and dying. As mentioned in a previous post I’ve lost my paternal grandmother. From the age of ten I have lost more people than I can count off the top of my head.
But this one will be a hard. I’ve known this woman for twenty seven years (just about my entire life) and she is part of our extended family. Another factor making it difficult is she is one of my mom’s best friends. It’s hard to watch the ones you love give up hope and resign themselves to what can no longer be avoided.
It’s also difficult to think about the family she will be leaving behind. Her husband, two kids (both adults now), siblings, nieces and nephews, in-laws and such. She has been the linchpin in the family, and a guiding force in her kids lives. I cannot imagine her family without her.
So as I said, you can prepare for this all you want. Even see it coming for almost a year. But in the end the loss will still hurt like hell.
It’s been one of those long, but not busy, kind of days. H had to go in for another biopsy today. His third since last December. And while in some ways this one was better, in others it’s a bit worse than the two previous ones.
This time H’s Urologist (Dr C.) seems a bit more skilled… or perhaps the better way to put it would be up-to-date on his techniques.
Back story: Dr D wasn’t terrible but has been in practice for more that 50 years (and is in his 80s). And while the argument can be made that he has seen a lot over so many years it has become apparent that he has not kept up on, or changed to, the methods being used by other Uros out there. Some other problems with Dr D is the fact he’s never seen bladder cancer in someone H’s age group (mid 30s) and doesn’t listen well or try and find answers to questions. The final straw for me in dealing with him came in April when meeting with me following H’s second biopsy (H was in recovery) he asked if we found out weather or not the cancer and treatment would affect our ability to have kids. We asked him that question in December and while I did say I’d do some research on the matter I figured he’d know better where to get answers from. Or at least look into the matter. Also that was not a conversation to have without H present.
H’s new Uro Dr C has been in practice for about 25 years, and unlike Dr D, he has had about a dozen patients in H’s age range who have had bladder cancer. (And a few of them had kids while dealing with their cancers.) He has also kept up with the latest advances and techniques being used.
So anyway, back to my original point, story, whatever.
H went in for a cystoscopy a few weeks ago- a much less uncomfortable process than at his old Uro’s office where it was not only rather unpleasant but made H feel like he was peeing razor blades for the two days following the procedure- and Dr C found a small mass. Being that H’s last cysto (in August) was all clear Dr C wanted to go in a remove the mass. Hence today’s current adventure.
Well the biopsy went well. It took less than an hour this time (FYI the usual time allotment for this type of biopsy is 1.5 hours in the OR and 1.5 hours in recovery/PACU) which I hope is a good sign. The mass, which measured about 2mm, was removed along with some other tissue samples. Dr C said other than the lump everything looked great. However, due to the nature of the cancer, along with H’s age (early for such a diagnosis) we would have more of these trips in our future.
Dr C also did not leave a foley catheter in H after this biopsy. With both biopsies Dr D did H would have the foley in for two days and then have it removed. After the April biopsy the floey was removed in the usual amount of time but due to an increase in clots blocking the urethra I had to take H to the ER to get the a foley put back in for a few more days. That was not fun at all. So H is, or perhaps was, excited about that. To not have to deal with a tube hanging out of his penis sounded great hence the excitement. Now, well not so much on the overjoyed but still a bit happier.
You see what H didn’t fully realize was how much blood and how many clots he normally passes in the night and day following a biopsy. Since he had the foley in place after the previous two trips I was the one getting up close and personal with the collection bad and emptying it. So for the first dozen trips H has taken to the bathroom I’ve had to go and look in the toilet before he flushed to reassure him that what was in there was normal… for him anyway. Honestly I’m much more familiar with my husband’s penis and urine than I ever thought I would (or wanted to) be.
We won’t know the results of the biopsy until next Wednesday or perhaps the following Monday (the office is closed for Thanksgiving). It may very well not be cancerous. However, pretty much from now on any lumps, bumps, and masses seen in H’s bladder will have to be removed right away. It’s the nature of the beast so to speak.
If the samples are positive for cancerous cells then H will probably have to undergo BCG treatment again. It won’t be fun for either of us. Worse for H, but it will suck for me too as we will be fighting for bathroom time. (Me due to the baby bouncing on my bladder and H because the BCG makes you have to pee due to the irritation and increased fluids you have to take in.)
The weather has turned cold. I’m bundling up more in the morning and evening. But I still don’t trust the weather gods enough to say that fall is officially here. I’ve had too many random warm days the past few weeks to get lulled into the false belief that it’s time to put away my tank tops and short sleeves till summer.
However, while I might not switch my wardrobe over I will be upping my Vitamin C and fluid intake. Because the last thing I want is the “surprise” fall cold. I’ve already turned over control of most of my bodily functions to the little life that is growing inside of me. Let me at least attempt to exert some control over this.
My belly is getting big. Not that I didn’t have a belly before all of this but now it is getting bigger and it’s not cause I’ve gained (much) weight. And it will keep growing for the next several months.
For those who are slow on the inferences I am expecting, with child, knocked the f- up. Also know as being pregnant.
And right now I’m starting to feel… no understand better, that my body is no longer my own. My taste buds have changed. Some of my favorite foods no longer taste good. There is a pulling semi cramping feeling in my lower abdomen. For the first 10 minutes or so after I get up I feel very nauseated and need to lie down again.
I know it will all be worth it in the end. But for now I will have my moments of wishing my body felt like my own again and not feel bad about it.
It’s the time of year again when we get to relive the horror of one September day. This time it will probably be bigger. It’s been just about ten years now since that fateful morning. And much like the every other big disaster those of us that were old enough to understand what the attack meant will always remember how we heard about it, where we were, and what we were doing.
I remember being in a packed commuter lounge at my college and just about the only sound in the room coming from the TV. We stayed glued to ABC first listening to the GMA anchors and then Peter Jennings update us on what was going on. Most quietly crying as the news came in. Every professor canceling class for the day while we waited for the school to just make it official. Word reached us a fellow student became an orphan- both parents had been on one of the planes that hit the towers.
There is so much more that can be said and recounted about that day. But I think the a telling thing about that day is what has happened since. There are kids now who have never know the pre 9/11 world. They only know heightened security measures. They only know a world where the US is in a war that seems like it will never end. (They also only know MP3s, and a world where everyone has cell phones, which is also weird.)
Will the world stand still again, and rise up as one this coming September 11th? Is everyone going to think about and prayer for those who lost their lives that infamous day? I can’t speak for everyone else but I know I will.
I will probably ramble on about this again but for tonight I’ve babbled enough.
There is a member of my church who has complained about some of the children in our church. Their complaint- they are too loud and disruptive. The method of dealing with it?
No not the obvious one of speaking to the parents and saying “Hey I’m sure your kids are great and it’s wonderful the you want them to be present for the service to hear not just the lessons but the whole liturgy. But see I’ve got this hearing aid that picks up a lot of ambient sound so while they don’t seem bothersome to you they can annoy the heck out of me. What can we do to try and work something out?”
Nope this person’s preferred method is to go to the council and complain to them. Let them deal with it.
Well since we have taken the stance of not worrying about it unless the kid/s get so loud that you can’t hear a single word of the service for more than a minute (which never happens) we haven’t bothered to do anything.
Well our inaction has not gone over well with this member. Emails have been sent to the pastor, an officer of the council, and a member of council who deals with the financial aspects of the church. To paraphrase the message “I am leaving this church. There is too much noise for me to worship. Remove my pledge from your records.”
Ok so be it. Sorry you feel that way, may you go in God’s peace. <- that was my initial response. Then after the meeting a member of council who couldn’t make the meeting told the pastor and I that ‘I’m-outta-here’ contacted them. I guess the response pastor sent wasn’t expected. They tell this council member “I’m not gone… yet. But if I do go I am taking the $_000.00 I’ve offered to help the lagging donations with me.”
Yep folks they are trying to bribe the church to get what they want. To which I’d love to say one of a few things. These among them: “don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you on the way out” and “we are not Catholic and these are not the good old days where you can by forgiveness for your actions.”
But I won’t say that. I am sure the pastor will have enough to say when the response to the latest email goes out.
Mama Cloth: Ramblings on comfort, cost, ick factor and the enviromental impact of my period.
OK first and foremost before reading on please be aware I will be talking about my “lady time.” I’m not going into detail but consider yourself warned.
I’ve been lurking on an eco-friendly message board and seeing posts about “fluffy mail.” It turns out that the term is used to describe most mail that is of a soft nature, i.e. not bills or the other grown-up stuff that usually comes in. Mostly it seems to refer to cloth diapers and mama cloth.
What is ‘mama cloth’? It seems that it is to maxi-pads what cloth diapers are to disposables ones. Generally they are made of a soft cloth, often come with wings that snap, and are filled with an absorbent material. They are washable and can last for years. They are supposed to absorb as much as disposable pad. And they can be very pretty, or cute, and much more visually interesting than the typical disposable.
Other things being said by the pro-mam cloth posts/reviews/etc. were that they: 1) didn’t chaffe 2) no adhesive to get stuck to your skin 3)were much more comfy 4) didn’t get the smell that comes from the chemicals in the disposable ones 5) no perfumes to irritate delicate skin 6) don’t bunch/shift as much as their plastic cousins- this last one doesn’t come up as often and depending on the seller the same can be said about mama cloths. A few other comments also indicated that some women had less cramping and shortened periods. I’m not sure about the claim that mama cloth shorten periods, most likely it is more coincidental.
So it got me thinking about my most common complaints during my period. Aside from the sucky part of bleeding for several days most of my complaints relate to the pads I use. Yep pretty much all of the ones I listed above. (Yes I do use tampons too but I switch back and forth depending on what is on hand.)
Looking at the info that’s out there I was starting to get interested. But what about the ick factor- cleaning and keeping them someplace till washing, getting used pads home from work?
What I found tended to vary depending on the person and their preferences. Overall the say do a cold water rinse (either by hand or in the washer) and then wash on warm with your towels. Tumble dry on low without fabric softener. Why no softener- well it absorbs into the pad and decreases it’s absorption abilities. As for the transporting back and forth there are ‘wet’ bags. Cloth bags made from, or with an interior of, water resistant fabric. Just place your used pads in there and bring them home to wash.
I started thinking you know what this doesn’t sound too bad. The ick factor is a bit higher with mama cloth than disposable pads. But the comfort advantages to mama cloth sound like enough to out weigh the ick part. There is another advantage to consider- it’s eco friendly.
I know there are all these statistics out there about the impact of disposable diapers on the environment. The statics on maxi-pads are not as easy to find but probably along similar lines. Maybe I can use the desire to be comfortable during my period to help the environment as well.
The eco friendly thing is something I’ve been starting to get into a bit more. I’m not fully immersed in the movement but I’ve been taking small steps here and there and mama cloth seems like the next logical one for me.
So my first set of mama cloth came in the mail today and of course I gave them a quick try on. The do feel nice next to my lady bits. A bit thicker than my ultra-thin disposables but no where near as bulky as some of the other disposables I’ve used in the past. Think thin pads circa 1990s and that’s what the this set of mama cloth feels like. I’ve got another set on order from a different seller to try out as well. For once I’m kind of looking forward to my period.
I’ve heard it time and again. Often from newly married women. That as soon as the wedding is over they get sick (or something similar from other stressed out folks). As if they had so much stress (both admitted to and ignored) in their bodies there was no room for cold or flu viruses to enter, take hold and multiply.
This was true for me too… well to an extent. I caught “Swine Flu” from my dad (during the early part of the ‘09 flu season). I was married on Friday night and by late afternoon Sunday I was stranded in bed with chills and a raging fever.
So why bring this up now? Earlier this week the pathology report came back informing us that my husbands bladder is cancer free. So obviously a good deal of stress has been lifted off our shoulders. And now I am in bed with a wicked sore throat and congestion that can’t be blamed on my seasonal allergies. I think I see a pattern.
With any luck this will clear out before next Sunday. I get see my cousin and her four-month-old baby on Easter and I don’t want to risk getting the munchkin sick. Besides I could use a “baby fix.”
The first two hours home from work on Mondays are spent marking time in fifteen minute intervals. Then the next six hours tracking the frequency and time my husband goes to the bathroom. This is how the next four Mondays will be spent.
I spent yesterday marking inches of snow, shovel fulls, and plow passes. Eight inches to fourteen to twenty four. Last night marking the protest of my mussels with each shovel of snow hoisted over the four foot drift. And then the slow release teased from them in a too hot shower.
Today I’ve been marking time in four hour intervals. Knowing when the last half hour had arrived by the increase in the frequency of my hacking cough and intake of Halls. I felt the vague soreness as I went about my day and I realized I should have called my coworker whose boyfriend has a plow. I will now admit that, like my husband, my body wasn’t up to the nor’easter that slammed into us.
With any luck I will spend this year marking time in better ways than these. Have happier events to pass my days with. But only time will tell.
“May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand”—Celtic Blessing
Well here I sit with my hubby not long after watching the ball drop to welcome the new year. 2010 has been a long year. Most of the long part having happened in the month of December. I will probably need to write about that sooner than later but for now I will leave you with this:
May the coming year bring you happiness, good health to you and ones you love, and a sense of peace and well being in your heart and soul.
Dream chasing (or geting the best and worst Christmas present).
I’m sure it’s happened to you… you’re having a really good dream that gets interrupted by something (the alarm clock, phone, your bed buddy-either human or animal) and try as you might you just can’t get back to the dream. I hate when that happens, especially this time.
Last night, or more accurately this morning, for the first time in I don’t know how long I had a dream about my brother. It was one of those dreams where you know where you are but things are kind of wrong. Like I was home but I wasn’t, where ever I was my bedroom was there (all be it with a mix of furniture that has been in my room at some point but not all at the same time). And there was a meeting of some sorts was happening and I had to be there, thought I’m not sure why. But before I could figure out what was happening I felt something change in the air.
Now I haven’t seen my brother in person since I was 10 (or maybe for a minute when I was 11 but that doesn’t really count) and I’m 29 now so those of you quick at math will find it’s been 19 years sans sibling. So it’s no surprise that in this dream where things are slightly off he doesn’t look quite right (*see below for an explanation). All I know is that when he hugged me I went weak all over. For so many years I’ve been telling myself and others that I hate him. That I wouldn’t do any thing for him no matter what. That I would scream at him for nearly giving our mother a nervous break down. And yet in my dream I was clinging to him like the 10 year old I was when he left. And even better, or worse now that I’m awake, he was hugging me right back! Trying to crush me like he did when we were kids. I wanted the world around us to just stop and have this reunion last forever.
I was so happy to see him that I went to try and get out of the meeting but the people I was with wouldn’t let me. I was going to tell Josh that I was suposed to stay but decided to skip it when he wasn’t there. Before I could panic he came in to the house laughing and happy to see me! And we just started joking around like we were kids… but it only lasted a moment.
Just when I was about to ask him why he was there the alarm went off for my husband to go to work. And try as I might, I couldn’t get the dream back. I was so desperate to see him again to have one more moment but he’s gone again. And nineteen years later it still leaves me empty with an ache in my chest. Though now it’s just a dull throb, unlike the sharp stabbing it was the first time he left. So to whoever, or whatever, gave me this dream thank you. It’s bitter sweet but I take it and enjoy those few stolen moments. Maybe one day my dream will come true, but I know better than to hold out for hope.
*How would I have an idea of how he should look after 19 years? Well he was 16 when the emancipation became legal (a few months after I turned 11), and a guidance counselor at the high school he went to is a close friend of the family and got us an extra year book for his senior year. And try as he might there have been some photos of him on the internet as an adult. Yes I may hate him (though in light of my dream it seems like I’m lying to myself on that one) but he IS my brother and I want to know he is ok.
Ok so some how in my family there’s gotten to be a link between finding dimes and my grandmother’s spirit being around. Not sure how much stock I put into this theory.
I put more weight into finding Canadian coins either in my change or on the street. You see my Nan was born on Prince Edward Island and live there till she was about 13. It was her favorite place to be. So to me Canadian coins make more sense (yep I just honestly considered typing ‘cents’ there but I’m not that hookie).
Anywho, every time I find a Nanny coin I look at the year and try to think of my best memories from then. Some have Nan in them some are just random happy thoughts. If it happens to be from a year I wasn’t around for then I use the last number and think of that many happy things. It’s a bit Alice in Wonderland based… that whole six impossible things idea.
It seems to be a good way to think about those things we either forget or don’t appreciate enough.
Why is it that on many occasions the picture of a completed dish doesn’t sync with the steps in the recipe? Last night I was reading a recipe for a zucchini ribbon salad that had a picture of broad thin strips of squash and zucchini. And yet the recipe says to cut the strips again so they look like linguini. I just don’t get it.