welcome to the danger zone

Soapbox

Free At Last!! (At Least From The Horrors of the Tubes, Anyway)

I actually got ready early this morning, because we had several things to do be we left for my appointment at Hershey – which included going to vote with Andy and having a discussion about voter suppression, since once again, illegally, the polling place had a sign that said new voters had to show ID. I don’t know whether it’s blatant disregard that that no law was ever passed, or just ignorance developed from watching too much Fox News. Whatever. Not to mention that the polling place door is always surrounded by people campaigning for local candidates, making it somewhat intimidating to enter without being assaulted. But enter we did, and refused all the little cards the lurkers tried to force upon us to help up select our candidates. Really, if you don’t know who you are voting for and why when you get to the polls, you shouldn’t be voting at all, because you are clearly uninformed. I hate the way small town voting always seems shady, but our votes were cast and we received our stickers, which is my favorite part of voting.

After voting, we then had to hit the pharmacy because I was not going anywhere near that hospital today without being armed with a full prescription of pain meds. I wish I had had something for anxiety, because while the pain of the last tube procedure was just a memory for my brain, my body was fully remembering the trauma of the last visit, and on high stress alert. Not to mention that I couldn’t eat or drink anything for several hours before this stabbing, and I was nauseated by the Tamoxifen and shaky from not eating or drinking. My brain kept trying to deny that this time would be as painful as last, but my body was having none of that. Being sedated last time when I was leaving the Vascular Radiology department, I could only remember it was down the hall from Interventional Radiology, and wandered around lost in the bowels of the hospital trying to find it. I did find my friend Joanne, who works at PSHMC, and we then wandered together until I found it. I checked in and went to the waiting cell. As is typical at PSHMC, Fox News was on. I was doing okay until they started interviewing Donald Trump, and he began spewing outright lies, and no one even challenged him. At that point, I went and stood in the hall, because Tamoxifen raises my blood pressure and that asshole was making it worse. Not to mention all the crazy supporters in the waiting area who find him appealing as a candidate. And lest I forget, the man who spent his time reading his magazines aloud, then also audibly commenting on the articles he just read. I could feel my blood pressure soaring.

Finally I was beckoned to the dungeon, er, staging area. IV insertion did not go smoothly, and my very sweet nurse called for a vein whisperer after her first two attempts did not go as planned. My left hand is now going to be a large bruise. The second nurse got the IV started in my right hand after a few harrowing minutes when it looked like that vein was going to blow too. Settled onto my bed, I actually had a pillow this time instead of a fold-up blanket like last time. I tried to lie down, but I wanted to puke, so I asked the nurse to help me sit up so I wasn’t choking. She offered me Zofran, I wanted my herbal medication, and declined, and said I would deal with it when I got home. She said, oh do you drink ginger ale and I giggled and said, yes, but I also smoke marijuana. She nodded her approval. The Dr. then came out and told me that they had discussed my tube at their morning meeting and agreed that if they ran dye through my tube and it made it to my bladder, they would pull that sucker out. I agreed completely – then found out that since that was the plan, there’s be no sedation, no pain meds and no need for the IV so carefully stuck into my hand. However they left it in, and wheeled me into the procedure room, where in 15 minutes, my 13 weeks of torment were over. It was almost painless, but not really. I couldn’t wait to get a drink and some oxy to ward off any impending pain. I was wheeled back to my waiting space and released. Now to find Andy and my mango smoothie.

Andy and I hit the road after finding each other, and headed home. I drank my smoothie and ate my pills and was still cranky because I needed to eat. I wanted wings, but the wing place didn’t have any interesting flavors, so I settled for a jr. bacon cheeseburger, and some nuggets from Wendy’s. After my angry, hungry beast was fed, things were much better. We got home without any serious pain like last time. My little friend Erin was there to great me when I got home, and after a couple minutes of chatting with her, I headed to the tower, more pills, my medicine pipe, some advil and water. Having adequately medicated, I tried to sleep. Then the pain came. I guess I didn’t take my meds at the right time to prevent the last dose from wearing off completely, and just like last time, I couldn’t move my right side for without screeching pain with every movement. It’s since toned down a little, but that’s the main reason I am blogging tonight, because I need to get another dose in before I go to bed, so that I don’t wake up crying. My kidney spasms every now and then like it’s pushing small pieces of glass through it, and that my friends, is horrific. It lasts less than a minute, but it jolts me awake. Hopefully by tomorrow morning it will be tolerable.

The pain however was what got me thinking about blogging tonight was, because I don’t know if this happens for other people, but it does for me, when I am in pain I tend to hum, and then I hear songs in my head that are relevant to my situation. For instance, the song of the evening that is replaying in my head is Off With Their Heads’ Trying to Breathe. It’s my way of self-soothing I suppose. But I seem to have certain soundtracks to my life – like last month, I often heard one of U2’s earlier songs, October, over and over in my head. November is the month of the Jesus and Mary Chain because Joey’s birthday and the day he died are both this month, and the JMC is what reminds me of our friendship. And when the depression hits, I often turn to the Smiths and Elliott Smith to highlight my misery. When I was first diagnosed with cancer and I had to make the 4:30am drive back and forth to Hershey, I listened to OWTH’s In Desolation, to and from, every day…it got me through those six weeks and far beyond. OWTH is still one of my go-to bands for catharsis, and that’s the reason I try to see them as often as I can because there’s a sense of belonging among that crowd that I am not alone in my pain, fear, and frustration. It’s healing and cleansing. In fact, if you were to ask me about specific times in my life, there would be an album or a band that I would identify it with. R.E.M got me through being dumped during my pregnancy. I made mix CDs (and now playlists) of songs for seasons – there were summer songs, and loneliness songs, and dark brooding goth mixes with Black Tape for A Blue Girl. Some people enjoy music – my music gets me through the hard times, helping me put to words what I am feeling inside, and scream it out loud on winding back roads, helping me heal. There’s even driving music, which I have to be careful with because it seems to enhance my leadfoot. Then there were the new bands I discovered and would listen to when I first got to California and had to take the 2.5 bus ride to and from work every day – Husker Du, the Replacements and the Hoodoo Gurus to name a few. And Echo and The Bunnymen’s Songs to Learn and Sing. Andy’s first show was the very first Lollapalooza when I was 8 months pregnant. Most of my friends are clueless about the bands I listen to and love, but without my music, I’d be lost. It’s not just music, it’s my way to cope. Especially while I have been dealing with this C-monster that has me in its clutches. When I got the last prognosis, I spent hours driving and crying and singing my throat raw before I could pull it together to come home. I listen to classical when I need to focus; I listen to weird rhythmic pieces by Gabrielle Roth when I need to stretch, and I had playlists for the gym when I still had the strength to go. There was music for strength training and music for the elipti-hell machine. And there are songs that I will listen to on repeat until every ounce of pain has been expunged. And while I find peace in the bands I discover and love, there’s also music that makes my ears bleed – and gets under my skin like a festering splinter that I can’t wait to be rid of. Like when we went on the dinner cruise in DC, and the music they played on the observation deck made me want to leap into the Potomac or shoot out the speakers, or both – music can indeed make me miserable. Or it can make me laugh, like the song Bunnies by Pansy Division. (Go ahead and download that one) And for those who received them as holiday gifts – there are my impressive holiday songs collection, which have had some gems on them. It’s not just music, it’s part of who I am.

Music was the reason I was willing to put off chemo for two months so I could go to shows and festivals and see the bands I love. And while I made it the shows that mattered most to me, we all know how difficult the kidneys and bladder made following through on a lot of that was. In fact, going to shows made me fight a little harder to stay healthy so I could go. And it gives me a connection with Andy, that we enjoy a lot of the same music gives us something we can do together. In fact, my Christmas present is going to Chicago for the War On Christmas shows in December. Part of my “things I still need to do list” includes seeing bands I’ve always wanted to see live, which is a pretty short list these days, but there are still a few I haven’t seen.

Well now that I spilled all of that out there, it’s time for another round of pills. I’m still having pain, but it’s getting better – I will probably need my dressing changed in the morning – the doctor said that my kidney will seal itself, but there may be some discharge for a few days. I am allowed to swim and take baths again – they said 2 days, but I’ll wait a little longer, like when the hole is actually closed, and I don’t need a bandage on my back. It’s really the tape tugging at my skin that causes the most pain – there are scars around my back where the tape tore away my skin just like it did on my thigh. And it itches. But it’s almost completely over and I am so thrilled that I can’t even stand it. I rolled around on the bed just for fun, because nothing was tugging and pulling at my skin and kidney for the first time in over two months. I could literally feel the stress slide off after I got in the car to come home. I can deal with cancer, and I know at some point these things might have to be a part of my life n the months to come, but they don’t need to be here now. I just want to be able to do things and go places now while I can, without these encumbrances. Not that I minded taking the punk rock stroller to the shows, but I’d much rather be free of the attachments. No, that’s a lie, I did mind taking it, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

So now that my pain pills are slowly making their way into my bloodstream, I am ready to head to bed so that I can get up and get things done tomorrow, at least some laundry and maybe making dinner. We’ve been eating a lot of fast food, food other people have so kindly made for us, and frozen food. I haven’t had the energy to cook, but I’m hungry for jerk chicken and mashed potatoes and corn, and I know Andy would be grateful for his mother’s cooking again. The ladies arrive from CA here in Shenandoah on Friday, and Saturday morning we are going to Shady Maple for breakfast (and for the gift shop so I can get a new toy). I am so excited to see them all and spend time with them. And I am very thrilled to see all my other friend at the benefit on Saturday, and to score some of the good food that will be there, especially the stuff Lisa’s making, because that woman can cook. Best breaded chicken ever. My only hope is that my dad doesn’t over do the wine and drag up every less that optimal decision I ever made in my life. Presently, he’s blaming my circumstances on moving to FL with my much older alcoholic and drug addicted boyfriend when I was 17. That’s a long time and a lot of therapy ago. But that’s my dad. It’s still going to be a good time.

Before I forget, I did get my panda suit. It was very hot. I sat on the porch for over an hour waving at cars, but only 4 people total ever waved back. I scared Andy, Eric and two other people walking by. People showed the panda no love. If I saw a giant panda just sitting and waving on a porch, I would have stopped the car for pictures. Then I let Andy borrow the costume for a show he was going to. The panda body no longer exists any more because he was far too tall for it, and it showed. However, panda’s head is just fine, so I’ll just toss on my new security blanket, my OWTH hoodie, and sit on the porch as punk rock panda, and see if that makes a difference. Now it’s time for bed, and more water because we have to keep the kidney in good shape. Sweetest of dreams, I’ll probably be back after everyone returns to the West coast with pictures and stories to tell. Enjoy these last few warm days. And remember to give lots of hugs and tell people you love them every chance you get. You can’t do either enough. And sorry for the rambling, it’s the medication, I swear.

Advertisements

Pufferfish Takes Its Show On The Road

Joyeux après-midi, mon petit kangourou amis I’ve been putting this off, not because I didn’t want to write it, but more because I am mostly a miserable bitch these days, and I don’t like that part of me. There is no position in which I am comfortable – the best I can get to is tolerable, and that takes a special medication combination that usually ends up with me falling asleep while typing. Or forgetting what I was typing. Or both.

WARNING GRAPHIC DESCRIPTION OF THE PERILS OF THE PEE BAG AHEAD. If you want to skip over the gruesome details stop here and pick up at the word SAFE.

I just need to bitch right now before I get into the trip to John Hopkins. My thighs are covered in black and blue marks from the tape constantly pulling as it holds the vagina tail to my thigh. It makes me feel like I have to pee constantly. Today there was all sorts of blood and clotty strings in the bag – gross as it is, it’s kinda like a sick set of sea monkeys. This is somewhat alarming when you go to bed with normal pee and wake up to bag of fruit punch. All the walking I have done this week cause irritation in the urethra and caused bleeding. I called urology who told me to stay in bed and drink more water which is silly, because the more water I drink, the more often the sacks of pee need to be drained. Then sometimes it causes a spasm, and then there’s more blood and tissue scooting along the tube. It hurts. I try not to take opiates and just stick to natural cures, which helps most of the time, but the last few days it took the muscle relaxers, medicinal herbs and tinctures and opiates to try and get to a point of just calm. And the hot flashes are still happening, not as often, but dear dog, just let me sleep. The nephrostemy is a piece of cake compared to the catheter, although the last few nights I wake up with the nephrostemy bag ready to burst because that kidney works really hard at night. Rant over.

SAFE TO RESUME READING

Andy and I made the trip to Baltimore to Johns Hopkins to get a second opinion yesterday. It was actually a pretty easy ride, it took just under 3 hours and we did not get lost once. I had to super medicate for the ride, because I didn’t know what to expect being in a car that Andy is driving for that long in my present condition. Needless to say I was quite comfortable when we arrived at JHOC. Well not really, with my vagina tentacle currently holding me down, I’m not ever really without discomfort. I suppose I could really just say I had a really good attitude when we arrived. Andy dropped me off at the door and I found my way to where I needed to be. I found the Women’s Health clinic on the 6th floor – JHOC is huge. Kind of intimidating. You get a wristband as soon as you enter the building – it’s like going to a show. Then there are there touch screen check-in kiosks when you get to where you are going. I tried, but I couldn’t get registered that way. Of course not. When I finally did get registered, I was handed a questionnaire and herded off to the waiting area. And wait for Andy and my nurse navigator to find me. While I was waiting, another female patient came back to the waiting area escorted by a nurse; she was clearly unhappy and shouting about how she should have gone to another hospital because they aren’t giving her the help she needs here. I’m trying not to judge, but her whale tail draws my attention as she’s huffing and bellowing in a seat four seats away. What I want to say is, bitch this hospital is ranked 6th in the nation in treatment, where ya gonna go? But I just keep answering my questionnaire.

I am supposed to meet my nurse navigator here. She said she’s meet me at 1:30, and when I look at the clock it 1:40, and I realize my ringer is off. I rifle through my purse, and find my phone and sure enough I missed her call. I quickly call her back and let her know I’m waiting, when they call me back to the exam room…she’ll meet me there. The nurse brings me back to do my vitals, and the nurse navigator arrives, her name is Liz. Introductions ensue, and I do some deep breathing exercises and surprise surprise, the combination of herbal medication and meditation has kept my blood pressure low. I’ve lost more weight. I’ll take that. I confess to my use of plant medication, and then of the JHOC minions comes in to review my medical history (because she didn’t have time to go through the 5 discs of medical history I provided to them minutes earlier). I tell the sad sad tale of the tumor gigantica and the first series of chemo and then the emergence of the cyst and its current incarnation and end with me crying that the tubes are not letting me live my life and that I how is this quality of life. The minion is very compassionate. They teach bedside manner well here. I regain my composure and make jokes. The Pietkiewicz Way. When faced with horrible circumstances, make a joke. Make many jokes.

Andy asked me on the way what I was hoping to hear at the appointment. I told him best case scenario would be to have them say “we’ll whisk you into surgery tomorrow and cut that cyst right out” and worst case is that I leave the way I came. I relay this to Liz and the minion, Shanae. I just want to be able to walk and sit and sleep without encumbrances and pain. That’s all. I don’t even care that my days are rather numbered – all I want is for them to be good days. I don’t like the bitch this pain is turning me into, I don’t like that taking a shower or making a sandwich or getting some juice becomes a gargantuan task that requires a logistical plan to move myself and my coterie of pee bags without any tubes catching on something or dragging behind. I just want to not have to wear a long skirt to go out to hide my vagina tentacle I hate the spasms and gasping when the pain shoots through my bladder. I hate that I feel trapped and isolated and incapacitated. I feel cheated.

I feel I am keeping it together pretty well. My mouth is drier than the sahara and I am out of water. Finally the Dr. comes in. What is with the Drop Dead Fred look these days? He’s a much classier DDF. He sits down, and we do a quick review of my history again. He’s a really nice guy, and probably just 30 years old (Ashley F, are you reading this? I didn’t see a wedding ring, you could be a stay at home mom, like for unicorns or cats) He’s rocking a emerald green and royal blue ensemble, so he’s a man of fashion sense and confidence. I like him. Then I brace myself for what’s to come. No, surgery isn’t an option, and not just because I’m a big girl, but because the cyst is smack dab in the middle of the area where I received the radiation treatments when I was first diagnosed. I already knew that I had received my lifetime dose of radiation in that area, which is why there was none this go round. When you get radiation, it forever damages the tissues in the area. This makes them slow to heal and regenerate if you cut into them again. And removing the cyst would require clearing the margins around it which as we know means goodbye rectum, bladder, and vagina, and hello tubes and bags (not all that different from my current rig of hoses and external bladders). And that would entail the removal of a massive amount of tissue in an very damaged area which would be brutally slow to heal and would run the risk of massive infection. The risks of that surgery would far outweigh any minimal benefit and would likely shorten, and without question, diminish the quality of, my life. He would start me on a regimen of more Tamoxifen (boo) and Progesterone which has the delightful side effect of making me even fatter and more miserable emotionally, or since I am not a big fan of Tamoxifen, there is a chemo drug called Doxil which has had some success. Don’t google it. It’s terrifying, but it could work. There’s some other hormone therapy and medications that have shown some success. The prognosis isn’t going to change. I have recurrent endometrial stage 3b cancer, that shows signs of metastasis in the lungs. It’s got a super low survival rate. Recurrent endometrial cancer isn’t one you survive. That said, Dr. T said that the issues I am having now are not really a result of the cancer, and in fact, the cancer is slow growing, and is mostly contained, and that the cyst is the source of all of my woe. For this, we discussed the risk of putting a drain in the cyst for several months to keep the fluid from building up and the possibility of it seeding cancer elsewhere vs. suffering with a catheter forever the duration. As the brutal urine extraction device is painful and unwieldy, I would rather take my chances with the drain. Dr, T agreed that at this point the risk is worth the procedure and said he would recommend that to Dr. K in his notes to him. So hopefully, the visit on the 21st will begin with “let’s pick a surgery date for a drain”. Dr. T said that if Hershey’s interventional radiology still doesn’t want to do it, then give him a call and see is JH’s interventional radiology will. He said the other option is another nephrostemy, but not a really good option. Finally, he said there is the smallest of possibilities that I could participate in a trial that is currently showing promise at JH, and just was published in a medical journal, but he would need a slice of my tumor to find out if there are these special satellite cells in it, because my tumor would have to have them in order to be considered for the trial. Other than that, Dr. T said he would have done exactly what Dr. K did, and would alternate chemo with hormone therapy as my cancer is not aggressively trying to take over. He brought up quality vs. quantity, and I quickly told him that I’m on the side of quality – that being riddled with silicone piping in my excretory systems is not how I want to go out. I would even suffer the permanency of the nephrostemy tube, if only, oh my dog, please, if only I don’t have to live with this catheter.

He also said that I should just continue treatment with PSHMC’s Urology department too. We discussed the potential for self catheterization during the day, and with the difficulty they have had inserting catheters in the hospital because the cyst is in the way, why would anyone think I would have an easier time of it at home? He did say there is a suprapubic catheter that could be inserted into my bladder through my belly, and while there would still be a bag, it would not be brutal and painful like the vaginal one is now. Wicked cruel vagina pee serpent. All I know is that it needs to go. It’s like a fucking albatross, except it’s not around my neck, it’s shoved inside me. So there you have it – even though I left upset that there was nothing else to really do, that wasn’t already being done, I felt validated that my Dr. was doing all he can. I knew that in my gut already, because it clearly pains Dr. K to give me bad news, but now, I’ve heard the same things from another well respected professional, so I can just say fuck off to the next person who says “there has to be something else they can do.”

So I held my breakdown in check until I was in the car, and even then, Andy and I just made death jokes. Being told this kind of news takes days to sink in, the sheer magnitude of what it means is overwhelming. I know I’ve told a handful of people personally, but with shitty news like this, blogging about it is easier than texts or phone calls. I don’t have to hear people tell me their sorry. I don’t have to see sad faces. I don’t want to be around people who are saddened by this. I want to spend my days laughing when I can. I want to say cancer fucking sucks. So I called my little fucking hummingbird friend Debbie, and had the conversation that only someone else who has had to face cancer can truly understand. And at the risk of alienating people, I need to be brutally honest, just give me fist bumps, stop asking me how I am. I have cancer, I’m sick and in pain, that’s my fucking reality and I am tired of pretending that my fucking world is fine. Yes, I can still laugh and smile and appreciate the beauty of the world around me, but asking me how I am doesn’t help me or you. And stop talking about miracles and me kicking cancer’s ass because while it may happen, it probably won’t – and I am not being pessimistic, I am a realist. I’m going to do all I can to prolong my life as long as it fit in with what I want out of life. Please don’t tell me what you think I should do, unless you yourself have been in my situation. Because until you are here, you don’t fucking know. And stop talking about this being a battle, and being a survivor or keeping up the fight, because you what that implies? That if I die, I failed. That I was not strong enough to overcome this disease or that I didn’t have the strength or will to beat this disease. That’s a judgment on me that I don’t need. Bottom line is this: In a perfect world, I will live a long disease free life. In a perfect world, I will go to my next appointment and Dr. K will have a cure. In a perfect world, no one will ever have to go through this again. It’s not a perfect world, and while I am not giving up hope that things can turn around, I am also not going to live in fantasy land, avoiding the very probably outcome. And I am gonna make death jokes. Because I can. I know I’ve said some of this before, but it bears repeating. I am comfortable with dying; I’m not afraid of it, but I am not going to stop living to wait for it. I am not ok with what is happening, but I am not going to sit in the window and wait for death. Support me by spending time with me and laughing with me. I need as much laughter in my life as I can get. And there are only so many names Andy and I can come up with for the hideous hose that rules my life right now. (Thank you Deb, for the conversation that was long overdue, and for letting me rant and not trying to make anything better, punches to you my friend)

Well it’s taken two days to write this. Oh and one other thing – think about this whenever you have to talk to someone who has something unfortunate going on in their lives – don’t say “ I felt so bad when I heard” or “I feel so bad that I didn’t know” – you know what that does? It makes the person feel like they have to make you feel better, which is the exact opposite of what they need. I hate that people get upset when I lay out the facts, because I feel like I am hurting them, and what I should be doing is using my energy to stay healthy. Not trying to make you feel better about my disease. I know it’s all done with love, and with a pure spirit, but it makes me not want to talk to anyone because it’s hard work to make other people feel better about my sad news. And now that I told the story, and vented, it’s time to release the sea monkeys in the pee bags to the ocean via the toilet-ocean pipeline, and then take some more pills and go to bed. I plan to venture out in the morning with Andy to go get supplies, so I can stop suffering from the assault of this nasty tape that is holding on my bandage on my back.

On the positive side of things, you can order replacement catheter bags from Amazon. I got to have onion rings when we went to JH. It’s only three weeks til OWTH in Philly/Baltimore. And since I can’t go to Riot Fest, I can use that money to get my passport. Sleep well my friends, and visitors, and critics. Hug your people and tell them you love them, and tell them how much they mean to you. And appreciate your excretory system. For real. Love you all.


I Am Mad as Hell (So I Am Gonna Blog About It)

Unfortunately, I am curious. Some might say fortunately, but no, curiosity is curse for someone like me.

Why, you ask? Because I like to learn things. I read articles, watch “educational programs,” (and yes, my fair share of reality TV, including some Real Housewives and yes, Dance Moms, but only to increase my knowledge of pop culture, haha), I have recently added to my bucket list (note to self: find out the origins of “bucket list”) the task of reading 1000 books before I die (and with my current medical issues, this may be a more gargantuan task than normal). I love to listen to stories of people who have lived lives different from mine. I like to learn about opposing opinions when people can articulate them well, rather than resorting to what they learned from talking points. I like knowledge. But when I learn things, I get angry. And things I learned today made me super angry.

Before we go there, I will tell you a little story. I once had to read a fairly boring and dry book by and about some historical figure in graduate school. I had to be the person who presented the book and led the class discussion, but I stopped reading the book around page 400 of a 500+ page book because it was redundant and narcissistic (not unlike my blog in that respect) and it was unlikely that anything the author said in those last 100 or so pages was any different than anything he had not already said repeatedly in the first 400. I believe it was called The Education of Henry Adams – supposedly a book from the American Studies “canon”. This was the book that showed me that cemeteries are great places to read, because you have no distractions.*(see footnote) I believe the general premise was that Mr. Adams had the best education ever and every educational system that was not like his own personal experience sucked, and that he was the best educated person he knew. Anyway, that simple classroom exercise later influenced my teaching practices to include making my students read a book about a person they did not admire – and learn something from them. The point being, that even the things that we hate or despise or loathe, can teach us something if we force ourselves to see through the eyes of the things we do not like. To educate ourselves about the things we oppose in order to properly hold that opinion So with that in mind, we shall begin.

So the things that are pissing me off today are:

Homophobes, misogynists, men’s rights groups and their counterpart, father’s rights groups, racists, sheeple, badly designed facebook business pages, and their counterpart, shitty business websites, the health insurance industry, poverty, injustice, political corruption, poor education and standardized testing, the absence of the McRib (okay, that’s really not pissing me off, just makes me sad) cancer, mistreatment of LGBT foster kids, the apathy of Americans toward their political system and war. And sex trafficking. And genocide. And bad grammar. And the Oxford comma. And climate change deniers. And using religion to justify pedophilia, and hate homosexuals. And pedophilia and child abuse and neglect. And people who bully. And the labeling kids bullies, rather than just naming their behaviors. And child psychiatrist who just put kids on drugs instead of encouraging parents to step up and act like parents. And I am sure there’s more, but that’s enough for today.

Oh, I forgot – pro-life groups. Stay the fuck away from women. We don’t need you to make our decisions. If we want you up in our uteruses, (uteri?) we’ll invite you.

*Intermission*

gppy

Okay, so I snuck out of the house with the car to go sit by a lake and blog. Against medical advice. And two days without effexor so if my flow is a little off that is why. I escaped the tower. I went and got my effexor. I covered a bounced check while I was at it too. Time for sharing. Effexor acts on your serotonin and norepinephrine parts of your brain. Now messing with serotonin is not that much of a biggie, like when you stop taking anti-depressants that just impact that neurotransmitter, you just kind go back to being depressed as the drug wears off, and your brain is still not responding correctly. The norepinephrine, now that gives you wiry brain worms if you miss more than a dose. What are wiry brain worms, you ask? Well, you know that zzzzzzzt sound an electrical short makes? Imagine that in your head ALL FUCKING DAY. Like your brain is short circuiting all day. What I did discover is that singing loud in the car will make that sensation goes away. However, I do not sing very well, but I do it loudly, and no one can just sing all day. Of course, the other way to make it go away is to take the medication, which is why I snuck out of the tower, because I could not go another day with my brain attempting to implode. Now I am happily medicated, sitting by a lake because I needed to self soothe and no one brought me a puppy or baby to cuddle.

(Note: I have a lovely car full of potential clients unloading next to me to have an outing at the lake. Grandma (obvious meth head, or salter) her barely 18 yo daughter and the daughter’s child, and teenage male all have sprags hanging out of their mouths ( not the baby, of course) and hot ashes are sprinkling the baby. Lovely. F bombs all around. Job security. OH wait, there’s another teen mom unloading. And another! Three teen moms all came out of a car clearly not big enough for three car seats. Damn it. Caseworker brain off, and they are here to have a photo shoot with grandma and child #1 on a dock at a boat launch with no safety floatation devices, (my guess is that none of them can swim) and if the child falls into the water, guess which great bald-headed whale is going to have to jump in to save said drowning child? Well on the plus side, it will at least soothe the child’s burns from the cig ash.

Back to my anger fueled rant. I am not going to point out the stupidity of any of the things that I am angry about today, but rather, since I did some “tuning into self and others” on my way here, I am just gonna ramble. First, there was a female college student who was apparently murdered because she turned her school’s rugby team into the administration for chanting a vile hateful chant about rape and necrophilia and it was caught on tape. The school disbanded the rugby team, whose members then decided to threaten this young woman’s life. When the young woman told the administration, they said there was nothing they could do ( I paraphrased here – here are some articles http://jezebel.com/entire-college-rugby-team-suspended-over-recorded-fuck-1692488876 and http://jezebel.com/college-accused-of-ignoring-threats-before-murder-of-fe-1703069555 – these articles do not link the two events, but others do) And now she’s dead – strangled at school. And men’s rights groups are cheering about it, with comments like “she took one for the team.” Disgusting vile pigs. Not men, beasts who think only of their needs and selves. And if you are one of those men’s rights assholevists, fuck you and your misandry. You have lost no rights, you have no fear of violence anytime you are alone, no one fails to take you seriously because of your gender, you still make more money, get more opportunities and have more advantages in this messed up culture than me. If you want to take on “reproductive rights”, then how about you make sure you don’t “accidentally” get us pregnant? Take responsibility for birth control. That is a right no one is interested in taking that away from you. You can’t expect a woman to include you in the decision about what to do about an unwanted pregnancy when you did nothing other than ask her if she was on birth control before it happened. Wrap your shit up. Not only does it minimize the likelihood you will become a surprise dad, it also shows you respect her enough to not give her whatever STD you had and forgot to mention. Oh, right…when you passed on those genital warts, you did really think about whether or not she would have cervical cancer because of your gift later in life, because there were no obvious symptoms for her, until she got that uh-oh it’s cancer biopsy.

Now right about now, those people who want to inform me that none of this is a logical or valid argument are like, I’ll set her straight. Don’t waste your valuable typing skills. I don’t care. I will delete it anyway. (for the record, meth grandma is back at the vehicle). I can be Judgey Mc Judgeyoants here, cuz it’s my blog. And truly, while I can be judgmental, and I will admit that, I do try every day to catch myself when being hateful and mean, like with grammy meth head. I remind myself that I don’t know her story, and I try to send thoughts of well being and compassion out to her. It doesn’t make judging her right, and I wouldn’t want to live in a world where we were all the same, but because we live in a culture that tries to make things fit in the right/wrong/black/white mold all the time, we grow up assessing things My job is about assessing things, particularly child safety. But sometimes I am that w. word. The one that rhymes with bong. My goal in life is to accept people without judging, particularly the people I disagree with. I can accept the person and I can continue to reject their philosophies/belief systems when they are detrimental to others, especially those who are culturally “The Other.” If you want to have a debate with me, I’m down for it, but blog comments or facebook posts are not logical debate forums, rather they are opinions. I like lively discourse, but I won’t tolerate pedantic statements and high brow insults. Don’t try to appear the sophisticated intellectual, because dude or dudette, when I turn my serious academic brain on, I will not back down.

*Intermission*

gppy

Well, I left the lake and returned home. Upon opening the laptop, I discovered I had accidentally deleted a large portion of my rant. I am sure it will come back to me another time. In the time that has passed, I was also re-angered by more cultural stupidity. Seeing that I have already blathered on for three or so pages and who knows how many thousands of words – I’ll end it here. I am really tired, and now that I am happily medicated, maybe I can fall asleep at a reasonable time. If you are wondering about the whole cancer thing, scans are Friday and I am tying to focus on other things until then, like, going to see that feminazi film, Mad Max. Oh, there are pictures of my trip today too. I am just too tired to post them now. Bed time.

anak kirik wengi sing apik!

*well, there are those squirrels, woodpeckers, bits of foil, grass, chuck-chucks (aka groundhogs), sticks, robins, chipmunks, lawnmowers, clouds, a breeze…

 


Of Mice and Mummies

There’ something dead in my throat. I am guessing it probably crawled in while I was snoring and became trapped and slowly met its demise. Whatever it is, it’s really nasty and it adds to the nasty metal taste in my mouth that I cannot get rid of. Apparently, I forgot that you don’t get used to chemo as you move further into treatment, you just get sicker. And I am – I am still not up to getting out of bed and driving to Hershey to do my blood work, but that will change tomorrow, because I can’t put it off anymore.

This whole chemo thing is getting boring. TV is boring, being sick is boring, drinking tea is boring and this weather? It sucks. If I ever get cancer again, it better be in the fucking spring, because somehow I think if I could go sit in the sun for a few minutes a day, I’d feel better but alas, I am trapped here in the tower of gloom and clutter with nothing to do but toss side to side and hope to slip into drug enhanced sleep.

The chemo is killing my sense of humor too. I suppose part of that is because I am trapped here in solitary. Of course, I crack myself up, but I am a captive audience. A captive audience with no energy to escape. I did manage a shower today – and I made some toast, so I guess that’s progress. I just feel like my brain is turning into jello – I haven’t had any serious academic conversations in days, nay, months. I feel like a jumbo hamster on a squeaky wheel, just going around and around, with occasional escapes into the real world, until I am captured by the chemo beast and shoved back in the cage. Even pinterest doesn’t hold my attention for things I will never make or buy the way it used to. Red pandas only amuse me for a short while, and alpacas, well they just make me long for a house on the beach. I have this list of things I could probably make while sitting here if only my eyes would agree to stay open for extended periods of time. I mean things have gotten so bad, that I don’t even turn off Hoda and Kathie Lee at 10 am anymore, I just suffer their stupidity. I even find myself watching the 700 Club more than once a week and that doesn’t bring any laughs either. Okay, well it did today, when the only man who I believe is Pat Robertson told some viewer that it was okay that their daughter did yoga, but only if she didn’t chant afterward, because that’s the worship of Hindu gods. The funniest part was the seriousness in which Pat Robertson tried to mimic the chant. I guess you had to be there.

Anyway, I am gonna keep this short, because being in the tower and watching reruns of Kitchen Nightmares and the Middle don’t really make me the wicked conversationalist. I did however watch some show on the History channel last night that has had me thinking all day. Apparently, mummies have enough DNA in the remains that once the technology is available, we can clone, or reanimate them. Now – stay with me on this – the scientists state we aren’t that far off from being able to do this. I mean we have already injected human brain matter into the brains of mice successfully. Reanimation could quite possibly involve retaining all your memories and experiences of your previous life, and then you would start adding new ones. Would that be a good thing? I wonder. I mean some things you want to forget. And if you remember the past, does it also mean that all your ailments and illnesses are also with you? What if you died a particularly painful death? Would you remember that? And would you be reconstituted in the same state you were when you mummified? Would you want that? Would you want to relive all the experiences you had all over again or would you want a fresh start? I tend to believe we are energy just moving from one form to another, so I don’t know that I would like a restart for this life, if I was already dead. Wouldn’t you always wonder if you were still the same as you were, or if something was missing, or damaged? No one who knew you would still be around, so how would you know? And isn’t the choice of whether you come back or not, taken from your hands by whoever manages to bring you back to life? It seems like an easy question at first, but it’s incredibly complicated when you really think about it. I know there are people who have passed in my life that I would never want to have back in my life again, and then there are people I would love to have back, but I’ve moved on, and would they fit into the life I have now? And what about these mice with human brain bits? What do they do with them and whose brain bits are they inserting in there? And what if they escape and start reproducing? Are these random combinations ever a good thing? Maybe we should worry less about GMO corn and more about these human-mouse hybrids. Think about that.

SmartMouse

Well that’s all for now my friends. I’ve exercised my brain more than expected today, and I have some ice cold killers in Alaska to watch now. Have a wonderful afternoon, and wish me luck on getting to Hershey for blood work tomorrow, because I need another sticker for my collection. Plus I am sure the vampires miss me. Until next we meet.


This, That and Other Random Stuff All Tossed Together

For the first time ever, I completely scrapped the post I was writing and decided to start over.

I’ve started and stopped writing entries several times these past two weeks, (there’s extra bonus writing at the end – a longer post I started and didn’t want to keep writing so I’ll just slap it on the end of this one as a bonus). I don’t know what’s keeping me from writing – anxiety, exhaustion, procrastination – I mean I know it’s not because I don’t have anything to write about. Sometimes I think that I avoid it because I don’t want to have to keep whining about this cancer nonsense. I just can’t help that the stupid monster inside of me just kind of pervades my thoughts every day.

I do think of other things – like getting a pet goat, what book I should be reading, how I wish I had a maid, how I am hungry for brownies, that the season premiere of Vikings is next week, how I would rule the world when I am Empress of the Universe, calculations for the diameter of watermelons at the store – you know, important things. It’s not that I don’t want to write – I do – but half of the time, I find myself slipping into medication-assisted sleep, and the other half, I nod off, unmedicated. Some days I am all fired up about some social issue, I get ready to write and then I get distracted and next thing you know, drool is slobbered all over my cheek and my own snoring wakes me up.

Which is exactly what happened after I wrote that last sentence – I fell asleep, laptop in lap, and woke up this morning at 7ish. I had my wonderful morning cancer killing tea, and just finished some yummy oat meal. I realize I have little to complain about this morning – I feel okay, I can make tea in my bedroom with my loverly keurig, and oatmeal too. I am warm, and comfortable, and I can just spend the day doing nothing, which is what Saturday is often about here lately. I’m still undeniably anxious and restless about next week’s events but I’m grateful that I have such amazing health care that I don’t have to worry about the financial side of this. This whole cancer thing does put things in perspective, but I’m still not in that “live every minute as though it was your last” mindset. I am still too scared about what is to come to get there.

But let’s move away from this cancer nonsense and talk about what is going on in the world. I am sure we all know it’s cold. Well those of us in the snowy areas of the northeast do. My county has finally established a foot hold for a shelter for the homeless, but it’s causing quite an uproar because the shelter is part of a store front in the business district of the biggest town in our county, or I guess what has been formerly known as the county seat. The frightened townspeople are afraid that the existence of shelter will lead to more homeless people. Really? Like a funeral home would lead to more dead people? I often wonder when stupidity and hatred became the norm. Why is there so much opposition – I mean there’s already a drug and alcohol rehab on the main thoroughfare, and we still have the same amount of salt heads as ever. The homeless are still gonna be here, people…they will just squat in vacant buildings or spend the day in the library or the night in a laundromat or Wal-Mart , doing what they need to do to keep warm and alive. How stupid people are that thinking helping people who are in danger of hypothermia or frost bite will lead to more people wanting to live on the street. I just have such a hard time reconciling the emphasis in this area on being good Catholic and Christians and then in the next breath not turning your cheek, but rather turning your back on the people who need your christian charity the most. I feel like hell when I am driving my fat ass to work and I see someone walking in this cold, and people here are too worried about their “things” than they are about another person. These are the same people who will wax poetic on the value of a fetus, until that fetus is born and homeless and grows up in poverty. Then they will call my office and ask someone to go out and “take those kids away” forgetting that this was one of those fetuses that they insisted be born into to poverty. End of soapbox tirade. I have others, I’ve just decided if I am going to post anything, it’s gonna have to happen quick.

Round 4 of attempting to finish this – this is just an example of how tired this stupid chemo makes me. This is my fourth attempt to finish this post. I fell asleep three different times. Even after I drank coffee This is why nothing gets done around here. I get all excited with plans, I get all the stuff out for whatever project I have planned, and then before I know it, I’m under a blanket, dreaming about being attacked by a vicious and violent kitten I am supposed to be pet-sitting. Needless to say, that did not improve my opinion of cats. But on a night like tonight, being warm in bed with many blankets is not such a bad thing. Of course, since Andy is out on the road somewhere with friends tonight after a hockey game, I am now awake because I am worried about his safety on this hellishly frigid night. I couldn’t fall asleep easily anyway, with this howling wind. My multiple layers of blankets on the windows isn’t even keeping the icy breeze off my adorable bald head. I don’t want to text him because I don’t want him checking his phone wherever he is driving considering there is little visibility with the blowing snow. I just hope he had the sense to stay put wherever he is. Motherhood. It’s like an itch you can’t get rid of.

Well, since I have failed at humor and don’t have much else to write about until after my Dr. visit on Monday, I’m just gonna put this lame excuse for a blog post out of its misery. But not until after I share this facebook post from a young man who was one of my students when I was teaching at Lebanon Valley College…it’s nice to read these things when I often wonder if I have made a difference in this world…and according to this, I apparently have:

Everyone please keep Diane Pietkiewicz in your thoughts, prayers, etc. I’m not one for religion, but I’m making an exception and praying to the big guy. Diane is the most memorable part of my Academic collegiate experience. Best professor ever. She consistently made me look at the big picture, taught me never to settle, and that the history of our nation is far from that which we’re taught in highschool lol. She is fighting a bullshit disease, and deserves all the support in the world!

And since Joe talks about praying, I just want to say this…all of you lovelies should know by now that I tend to follow Buddhist philosophy, rather than religion. I am not one for praying although I do chant daily but I do appreciate prayers, in whatever faith and form they come in, because I believe in the power of focused attention. For me, putting positive vibes and thoughts out in the world can’t do anything but good, so I am grateful for whatever words or thoughts you put into action. I spend time every day visualizing this damn puffercyst inside me shriveling up and dying. So pray on, or chant, or just think good things. As a matter of fact, I am really grateful for everything people have done/are doing for me while I endure this latest go with chemo – everything from offers to run things up from the netherworld of the office so I don’t have to, to sending me surprise packaged, to simply asking me how I am. And I apologize for not being as shiny and happy everyday as I have been in the past – I try, but as I’ve whined about, I am so tired all the time. In fact, today as I was rolling over in bed, I realized I would have made a damn fine bear. But not a polar bear, because apparently they don’t get to hibernate. But a grizzly. I would be a fine grizzly. I could be a panda too, but they aren’t really bears, and they also don’t hibernate – but they are pretty lazy, which if me right now.

And with that, I shall try get comfortable and warm in bed, while I wait to find out if my kid is safe. I tacked on the post I tried writing the other right at the end of this one – I promise to try and rein in my adult ADHD next time and stay awake from start to finish when next I write. So stay warm and dry my darlings. Bonne nuit.

BONUS READING:

(I started this on the 29th of January, or so)

On the first day after chemo, chemo gave to me…so far, nothing that I can’t really complain all that much. I ate some chili (not always nausea friendly, but I am not known for always making the wises decisions), had some tea and ginger beer, and some nuts. No fever, took a couple oxycodone and a zofran (super effective anti nausea drug) and I am drinking water like a camel ready to hit the desert. Of course, that means I am spending a lot of time running to the bathroom, but if it means I don’t get sick, I’ll do laps. Andy cut off his dreads today and then I buzzed the rest of his head, because he wanted to show his solidarity in the current situation. He was pissed that I buzzed the last of the zombie grinch or some other weird Dr. Seuss character hair without him, but I explained I couldn’t go out in public to chemo looking like that…I love making and wearing funny hats, but hats get hot pretty quickly inside, and frankly, I love my bald head. It’s a weird time of year to be bald because it’s freezing outside, so when I am in the cold, I need to wear a hat, but at home it comes right off, and now that I don’t look like I wondered out of a nuclear bomb blast, I won’t be wearing hats indoors at all except to make my doctors, nurses and small children laugh.

The day was long yesterday, my doctor was running late and then I found out my co-pay went up, and I got to chemo late. It was quiet on the infusion unit yesterday, but the day was fun since my friend and co-worker Heidi took a vacation day to drive me to chemo and hang out with me. We played the Chupacabra: Survive the Night Game which could be very fun in you add alcohol and make it a drinking game. Otherwise, playing to best three out of five is enough. But between the game, and conversation and people watching, the day went quickly. My nurse had a bit of hard time getting my IV started…she didn’t want to go with the vein I thought would be a good choice at first, so she tried my hand – no go. She then decided to try around where I thought would work, and hit one, but today it has a huge bruise, which doesn’t typically happen for me, so on my point scale of 1-10 where ten is I feel nothing and 1 is “oh my god are you doing this for the first time????”, she only gets a 4.8 downgraded from the 5.2 or 5.3 she got yesterday. I knew I’d have a bruise on my hand, but I didn’t think I would have on my inner arm. (as of February 14th, I still have remnants of this bruise) It doesn’t hurt, it just looks ugly. But the doctor did say that my blood work looked good and I looked good and let’s just see what happens by the 3 cycle to see if this thing shrinks, and that it’s important for me to just stop what I am doing when I get tired, and walk away from it. I know I don’t now, because when I am at work I don’t think like “I’m sick” and just do the work, and exhaust myself so I suppose I am just going to have to remind myself my body is in a fight, and I need to put it first. Alas, I also need to work to have health insurance and to pay the premium. I am very excited about my first paycheck since December tomorrow. I am going to do something crazy with all that cash…like pay rent.

And speaking of crazy, a couple weeks ago, there was a contest on the facebook group, Saving Money, Living Smart, that I belong to…at Christmas, there was wish list to put on the items that you wish you could get for Christmas, and I put down a Keurig. Well a couple weeks ago, the group owner asked a few of us if we got our Keurigs, and then had a second chance contest to nominate someone who we felt deserved it. Well I felt I did…I mean, especially today, the day after chemo, and then next week, when Andy is sleeping after work, and I am too sick to get out of bed myself and I want a cup of hot tea and can’t go get one and have to wake him up. I don’t know if anyone else entered me too, but I told my story about how I found out about the cancer two days before Christmas and blah blah blah, and today, the FedEx guy shows up and what? Whoa. I now have Keurig from Saving Money, Living Smart and the Keurig Company. How awesome is that? As soon as Andy gets up from his nap, I’ll have him take a picture of me and my Keurig…what a great surprise and what perfect timing. (Even though I bitched all the way down the steps about who was knocking on my door because don’t they know I am resting.) This is fabulous…I can’t wait to take it out of the box and check it out once I get a picture. I just need to get one of those reusable cups for my ginger honey tea. I am excited. (and that’s where I fell asleep that time)


I Am Glad You Find Humor in That Fractured Eyesocket

Today, you’ll watch some poor animal in a “save these animals” commercial and you’ll cry. How horrific.

Today, you’ll read an article or see a news clip about a child abuser. You’ll be outraged and call for castration, death or whatever could be worse.

Today, some football player will deck his girlfriend, or the girl down the street will beat the crap out of her boyfriend, or a partner in a same sex relationship with assault the other partner. Or they will verbally humiliate them, or they will text them a billion times asking where they are, what they are doing, who they are with, demanding they come home. You’ll cringe. You’ll be embarrassed for them, and you comment on why they stay.

Or worse, you’ll make a lame joke about it. How the person committing the assault has a great left hook, or how if they stay they deserve another slap.

You won’t get it.

You won’t get how an abuser culls and primes the victim, grooming them, creating a cycle where every horrible act is followed by an apology and a promise that things will change. Flowers, or dinners, or gift, or vacations, or cards, or even just a kiss and hug. Begging. Pleading. And for the very same reasons you have taken back your partner after they lied, cheated, called you names, had a fight, you took them back and gave them another chance, a victim of abuse believes that the abuser didn’t mean it, is truly sorry and WILL CHANGE, YES, THIS TIME THEY WILL CHANGE. They won’t. But we all want to believe that things will go back to the way they were before the abuse started. We all remember what it’s like to feel like you are the center of someone’s world. We don’t want that to change. We want to be love, we invest in a relationship and we stay committed because we want it to work. Abusers don’t just start punching a person randomly one day, it’s a lot of little steps until the violence starts. And they spend a lot of time tearing away their partner’s self-esteem until they feel like they deserve what they get, that no one will ever love them like the abuser does. Abusers make them feel isolated, diminished, broken, unloveable, and when the violence starts, they may try to leave, but the promises that it will never happen again seem so real, so true, and they LOVE you.

I could go on and on about what the cycle of violence is, and how to break free of it. I can tell you about how I would never allow someone to hit me, until I did. And fortunately for me, it was only once. But the emotional abuse associated with that relationship was far worse. And I didn’t know what abuse was while I was in it. I thought it was okay because I saw it at home and I saw my friends in those kinds of relationships. We whispered about it and wondered why those who had it the worst didn’t leave. And it never hit home until a good friend’s sister was gunned down in the street by her abuser. Then it was all too very real. And the lives of three families changed forever that day. She did what everyone told her to do, to leave, get away from him. She did exactly that. And he killed her.

It’s not about love, it’s about power. And the abuser holds great power over the victim. It’s not like turning off a switch. Look at your own relationships when they end – even if it was your choice to end it – it’s not like your feelings switch off for that person. We hang on to the good. We try to forgive the bad. And we desperately want to be loved.

I will spare you my feminist diatribe about how our culture creates victims, and creates women with poor self-esteem. It does. But men are victims too. And women are abusers. But the bottom line is this – victims need you to be their ally. To be the ear, the shoulder, the hand, that is there for them, and let’s them know that you are afraid for them, but will be there when they are ready to make a choice that could save their lives. Yelling at them, threatening them, demeaning them will not make them leave. It’s what their abusers already do, and how effective is that to them. So instead of telling them to leave, let them know you’ll listen, and when they are ready to make a decision you will support it. Tell them you love them, you care and more than anything, you want them to be happy. Remind them they are strong, because they are. They are beautiful, because they are, and they are smart. Talk to them about coming up with a plan for safety if they aren’t ready or willing to leave. And let them know they are loved.

And to my friends who think this recent incident in the media is an opportunity to make jokes. I forgive you. I don’t excuse you, but I forgive you. It may make you uncomfortable or remind you of your own experiences, and maybe that’s why you make light of it. But know this, I am disappointed in the fact that you find one person hurting another person to be something to make jokes about. And I hope you never find yourself or someone you love in that situation. But the reality is that 1 in 3 women have experienced domestic violence in their relationships and the statistic isn’t that much greater for men.

Love doesn’t leave bruises (unless it’s by mutual consent with a safe word, but that’s something entirely different)

Educate your self and find out to help someone you love. AND MOTHERS AND FATHERS, READ THIS CAREFULLY – the cell phone is a dangerous tool in partner violence. If you child is receiving non-stop calls and text, and/or their phones mysteriously are being broken or lost, that’s a big fat warning sign. Talk to you child immediately, and keep talking.

Here’s a couple of links to with great information:

http://www.breakthecycle.org/join-love-not-abuse-coalition

http://www.loveisrespect.org/helping-co-worker-abusive-relationship

http://www.thehotline.org/

And if you don’t think I take this dead seriously, understand this…the season premiere of SOA started fifteen minutes ago…but I wanted to make sure I finished and posted this before I started my 90 minutes of joy. Because if I help one person at least think about the impact of abuse…then mission accomplished.


Sunday, Mopey Sunday.

First, I’d like to just put my personal opinion out there: Ladies, I’ve grown used to seeing your naked pregnant bellies popping up in my newsfeed. I’m happy for you, I personally loved being pregnant. I do not however, have any desire to see your vagina. Not now, nor during childbirth or the 3d image of your unborn child. Babies grow in a dark womb for a reason, if we were to admire them during their spawning, they would mature outside of the darkness. I will see plenty of pictures of your offspring once it arrives, let me have the excitement of not knowing what it looks like before it’s done. Birth is a miracle, I know, but it’s a yucky, creepy, messy miracle, and if I wanted to see it every day, I would have become an obstetrician, instead of investing tens of thousands of dollars in a master’s degree in American Studies which I don’t use daily to earn the fear and hatred of scores of families as I invade their homes to protect their children from poor parenting. Please let me defer the joy of meeting your child on the interwebs until after they are detached from the placenta. Your cooperation is appreciated.

<

Advisory: I am still in the black void of depression. You’d probably be better served eating ice cream. Or watching Netflix. If you continue, please remember that this blog isn’t a cry for help or attention, it’s my therapy to work out the shit that’s in my head. I enjoy you sharing my world with me, but not because I need you to do anything about it.

<

Alas, the joy sucking depression continues to oppress me. I enjoyed another Saturday in bed yesterday, although I managed to leave the comfort of my completely uncomfortable bed to shop for food. Today I sprayed toxic chemicals in the shower. And tried to kill the giant fly that has invaded my space to torment me. I wake up crying. I peek out the window at the sun shining and wish for rain. I think about leaving the house and really only want to go sit in the peace and quiet of the cemetery so I can be one of those people that people visiting in the cemetery wonder why that person is sitting there in their car. It’s quiet there and there are very few people who will try to engage a stranger sitting in her car in a cemetery in casual conversation. Cemeteries also have squirrels and crows to entertain you. At least it’s out of the house.

<

One of the hardest parts of feeling like this is trying to get past the whole belief that it’s a mindset and not a chemical imbalance. Like I could somehow just think positive thoughts and shit would magically change. I want to believe this. I spend a lot of time thinking how much more fortunate I am than the people who lose people they love, have to hide who they are, are homeless, have physical disabilities, are dying. I see these stupid movies about people who are dying and have this great zeal to live every minute and all it does is make me feel bad that I can’t turn this shit off and be like that. Why can’t I just be enthusiastic about every fucking thing? And the self-loathing increases a hundred-fold. Because not

only am I in the throes of depression, I am a completed and abject failure because I live a fucking mediocre life and don’t do amazing things. Or even semi-good things. Or even things. Unless you count blogging and watching Snapped: Killer Couples marathons as things.

<

Ugh. I can honestly say that this isn’t the worst it’s ever been. I’ve been in far darker abysses (abyssi?) than this. I’ve hated happy people more bitterly and I’ve felt less human. I guess that could be considered a positive. Ironically, I continue to do some of my best life coaching for others while I hate everything about my own. I really want this fly to be dead. I really want no advice or consolation. I just want to go to sleep and wake up with enthusiasm to face the day. That’s not to say that I don’t have any desire to do things – one of the great benefits of depression is that in the attempt to escape the horror of one’s current predicament, one often finds themselves dreaming of what they should do to make their life better by choosing rather impractical solutions. Like quitting one’s job and buying a houseboat. Or a tiny house. Or taking to the road in a car and living in it. Or getting a dumpster and throwing everything you own into it. Or spending an inordinate amount of time on how to transform one’s life, because you know you have no desire to do it. Or doing digital jigsaw puzzles, hoping that this time, the picture won’t include some kitten that you just want to smash with a hammer. Or wishing you could live in a commune with people who laugh at your nerd jokes and want to talk about books and philosophy and raise organic vegetables and alpacas and pigs.

<

Ultimately, you get up, take your pills, suffer through another day, knowing that one morning this seemingly endless slog through the days will have ended, and you get an awesome day, where you laugh and cry and make amazing memories. And then you’ll have another hurdle tossed in front of you and another setback, but you’ll make it through, marveling that other people have lives that aren’t lived in spite of the blackness. In the meantime, I’ll feel guilty that I can’t be like other people and that the way I feel right now makes other people feel uncomfortable, and that I can’t just turn it off.

<

Or maybe I’ll take a shower. And move my contemplative angst all the way out to the front porch.

<


Goats and Bones

I am so starting to believe those people who claim they can tell the weather changes by the pain in their joints and bones. Because the last three days, mostly painless, in spite of walking and standing more so than usual. Not even a tylenol pm. Nada. Nothing. Okay, well there was just normal pain, not like the kind I am enjoying at this moment, which has led me to distract myself by blogging. Nights like these I’d like to cut through layers of fat and flesh to get to the ganglion that is responsible for this torture and sever the shit out of them. With a bent butter knife. As much as I loved the joyous torrential downpour and lightning, I might even consider sacrificing them, to have a much lower level of pain. (I really don’t want a pain pill tonight…so I am toughing it out. RAWR!)

.

This bloggy bit is also a distraction from my emotional anguish. No, not the raging urge to pull out my soap box and give a lecture on gender inequality, gun-control, feminism and humanity. (I do believe my self -control at avoiding a gut-response to the California whack-a-doodle’s heinous acts is commendable) – that can wait until I can rationally address those topics. While I thought Friday was hard, I think harder still is having my fears confirmed on what would happen next. I’m being cryptic because it’s work related. It’s just that inside there’s the mom in me that doesn’t understand and the scholar who understands all the reasons why and why it’s not unusual for things to happen the way they do. Nevertheless, some days the mom fucking kicks the scholar’s ass until she’s unconscious, and I struggle with how and when people became so indifferent to others.

.

I don’t understand how parents, moms or dads, can spend nine months obsessing over a pregnancy, only to pop that kid out and lose interest in being a parent in half the time it took to incubate the spawn. I will never understand how you can be so selfish as to bring a helpless fragile child into the world, and when you are tired playing dress up, or want to go out with your friends, you can put what you want before what a child NEEDS. I don’t understand how you wouldn’t move fucking mountains to do what you need to do to make sure the child you brought into this world has what they need to survive physically, emotionally, mentally. And I am not just referring to work related things here, I mean our culture in general. (And I have been watching “Intervention”.) I do know that once I was pregnant with Andy, I knew that “me first” was over and my life changed dramatically. In 12 years, I had maybe two drinks because I was afraid that if I had more than that something tragic would happen and I would have to take him to the ER and I would be “that drunk mom” waiting to be assessed for child neglect. I worked two jobs and manage to still find time to spend a day a week helping out at his preschool. I fed, washed, dressed, educated, and most of all loved that boy. And I am still doing it 22 years later. Well, just the feeding and loving part. I believe he’s old enough to wash, dress and educate himself. And I don’t actually feed him, I just put the food in his path. I’d still do whatever it takes for that kid. And for the other kids he brought into my life by way of school. I’d pretty much do it for any kid, bred by me or not. I don’t understand people who don’t and they are all around all day, everywhere I go.

.

Damn Epictetus and stupid logic. I also know what they mean when they say ignorance is bliss. I think I am going to see what it takes to be a Panda Nanny. It looks like the best job ever. And I like chinese food so living in China would be okay. Fortunately for as much horror there is in the world, there are also stories like this Goat Reunited With BFF. (Seriously, click on this heartwarming story).

.

And now that I have dragged you with me to a morass of sorrow for the fate of humanity, I’m going to bed. Sweet dreams!

.


the “a to “aw screw it already” challenge” aka I really should be doing work

I guess you expected another alphabet challenge entry. As predicted, I got to k, and have decided that for me, having to write with a prompt just is no bueno. I have too much going on in my head at any given moment to be limiting it to a single character to capture it all.

_

Ironically, the next letter I would have written about was the letter L. Which is the type of work I am avoiding right now as I blog instead. Legal. I should be preparing my court questions for my hearing tomorrow. Or completing affidavits. I loaded up the flash drive on Friday to get this work done over the weekend. I was all about about doing work at home. I was….really. That said, because I knew I was going to do paperwork, I made a ham, cleaned my bedroom, organized my yarn. organized my art supplies, read some magazines, drank coffee, made a scrumptious salad with the ham, did laundry, napped, stacked books, watched tv shows I tivo’d, surfed the internet, pinned some shit, and made four hats. Procrastination 1000, Work 0. I will eventually get to the work stuff…probably at 11, and then I’ll get up at 5 am to do some more, because as my fellow baby snatchers know, the night before court is one restless night. No matter how solid your testimony is, no matter how much you have prepared, if you have to be at court, it’s usually because you are about to make one of the parties unhappy. And baby snatchers are disliked enough without having to deliberately make people more miserable. That’s not to say what I do isn’t necessary, and in the interest of keeping kids safe, but it’s never like anyone is all like…”hey, it’s CYS, hey how ya doing? Good to see you, I was just saying, I wish CYS would come by and visit, and uncomplicate my life” “oh we’re going to court? And you are going to testify against me and argue why my kids aren’t safe in my care? Well, come on in and let me bring you some cake!” So anyway, that’s why I will be up all night, tossing and turning – already I’ve got the burning knot in my stomach – and I actually enjoy testifying. I can only imagine what it is like for my co-workers who are uncomfortable with it. At least I now have a computer that has all the necessary keys present on the key board and isn’t possessed, throwing the cursor around wherever it wants and devouring whole manuscripts never to be recovered from the hell files again.

_

Anyway, I was pretty fired up this morning when I realized that if I touched my computer I might be required to work, that I decided to wait a little and see if the passion subsided. As those of you who have delighted in my work for the last couple years know, I love to watch the Sunday morning political talk shows – specifically Meet the Press, and Face the Nation. If you have read this blog long enough, you will also know that I am a liberal of the worst kind…an uber bleeding heart socialist who believes that the wealth should shared in this country, guns are unnecessary, death penalty is inhumane, people come in all shades, sizes, languages, belief systems, gender identities (or not) and love who they love, kum-bi-yah (fill in the rest of the typical derogatory references to my political ideology here). I am also able to see past “belief systems” and see the person, which is why, despite my super left leanings, I also have a number of conservative friends who love me and I love as well. OH SHIT, I forgot to say I’m also a feminist with minor in women’s studies and a thesis on Feminism in the Colonial Period, which also makes me an intellectual elitist. For those of you still reading after this disclosure, I should also add I am fat and poor in material wealth, and also non-christian. Whew.

_

So back to Meet the Press. The recording artist,Will.i.am, was on Meet The Press today. He’s a big supporter of the power of education to change lives. He has his own foundation. Of course all the political shows were heavy with people of color due to that nut job Sterling, but Will.i.am was not playing into it. He asked the politicians on Meet the Press, why does our country not care about making our children the smartest in the world and emphasizing things like project based learning. Then the politicos would open their mouths, and based on their political leanings, would blame the lack of funding for education by the Right or the stomping on State’s Rights by the Left. Of course, Obamacare is also to blame. And the Christian Coalition.

_

Now, I suppose you’ve dozed off by now, but I will continue writing. Because here’s what I found fascinating. Will.i.am’s only question was why are we doing it, not who is to blame, and if we really want to foster American’s exceptionalism, why is it that we don’t capitalize on American creativity, and make it easier for our own citizens to get solid educations and hands on learning? He asked if we all believe in the same thing, then why don’t we do something to make it happen? And that’s when the light shone bright on how screwed up our nation is and why we border on the edge of the decline of Western Civilization. No one walks their talk. I find it hard to believe that every Republican politician believes in his or her heart that abortion is evil, we should let poor people starve, and that God should be forced into our education system. Nor do I believe that every Democrat believes that guns are the root of all evil, we should never say the word God in public and that socialism is the only answer. Yet, once we elect a “democrat” or a “republican” – they have to toe the party line and object to anything the other party asks for. No more acting for the good of the electorate. Make sure you don’t act outside your limitations. Don’t live your beliefs, adopt the beliefs of your party. And of course, it once again made me lose hope that anything will ever change, as the questions continued and each politician in turn, didn’t answer the question, but said why the other political party was foiling all of their ideas. And so another day, week, month, passes in America, and teachers are forced to teach kids to take tests, and try to squeeze actual learning and creativity in and around the indoctrination. Sigh. I did however, enjoy the jokes from the White House Correspondents Dinner, and yes, I am a science and political nerd. Add that to the list.

_

I have so many more things that have been brewing in my brain to write about, and were stymied by following rules. Not that it wasn’t a good idea to start with, and I learned some new words, but 26 letters, that’s a lot for one month. While I have your attention however, or if you just skipped to the last paragraph to pretend like you read this, I encourage you to go to iTunes and download Ryan Young’s Anxious and Angry podcast. In episode 4, he interviews P22, the California mountain lion with mange from eating poisoned rats. I wish I would have emailed a question, to find out why they call him P22, and not ML22. Seriously though, its a great podcast, with very interesting discussions it’s swell being able to listen to Ryan talk with his guests and find that their lives are not entirely different from our own. It’s also quite effective in calming you down when you want to explode with rage at coworkers. Not that I ever would, but sometimes I am seething on the inside, and I wonder if they can hear my thoughts. Or if sometimes my thoughts are actually coming out of my mouth in a mumbly sort of way. So go download it. You can do it here. You should probably buy something on the website too. I mean, he went after a mountain lion with mange to try and reunite it with its family. That should make you buy a shirt. And be careful with the box, because there may be a note inside that you might almost recycle because when you tore the box open to get your shirt and flexi out, you weren’t paying attention. (Thanks for the note Ryan! – I will let you know if the flexi did its job in July – Harsh Realms is one of my favorite songs from Heart Burns btw) And there’s a link to the Anxious and Angry website on the right sidebar too. Just in case you forget to go here.

_

Time to get my life together for work tomorrow…here’s a picture of the flexi and the awesome note I almost missed – I would have take a picture of the shirt too, but it’s currently in the spin part of the wash cycle…

_

Oh, and before I forget, I believe the birds nesting outside my window must be eagles – they came swooping and screeching down this morning…definitely not sparrows.

 IMAG0092The almost lost note and the healing flexi disc

 IMAG0088ZOE_0006-004two of the 4 hats I made  – these went to a baby shower.


Cynanthropy, cromnyomancy, cell phones, crepitus

well, I kind of fell asleep right after work the last two days. Of course then I wake up in the middle of the night, panicked that I didn’t do my blog entry. Well, not exactly. Tonight it was the pinging of a message on my cell phone.

.

If you know me, you know I don’t obsessively check or text my phone like some people. I usually can’t even find it or I left it at home, or forgot to charge it. Part of the reason is because it’s old and small and not very useful for much other than playing words with friends, text messages, taking pictures and checking the weather. Nine times out of ten, to do most things I have to restart it and wait. So I’m useless in an emergency.

.

I clearly have a love/hate relationship with my cell phone. I know I need it for emergencies, and it can be useful to communicate with people when you can’t say things out loud, but sometimes when I am with people who are constantly checking their phones and texting it makes me feel like I am somehow boring them or less important than whatever is popping up on their screen. I know it seems like forever ago, but there was a time when you could go out to dinner with people and no one had a phone to check. And conversation ensued without interruption. And the world managed to go on without you while engaged in human to human contact. I like conversation, and I hate having one where the other person is looking at a screen while I am talking to them.

.

There’s something more evil about cell phones though…

.

No filter. You can type shit and hit send and nothing can stop those words from flying through the ethers and hitting the screen of the person who is the unfortunate recipient. No filter, no second thoughts, no pause button. Your nonsense is now in my hands. You will regret sending it tomorrow, but for now, I’m reading it and having to respond to it. Or not. Typically, I don’t really pay much attention to the phone once I am home. If you want me, you will call me. But late at night, (and maybe this is a mom thing) if my phone is pinging or ringing after 11pm, I’m sure it’s an emergency. Andy will attest to that – I immediately switch into panic mode. So if you ever want to get my attention, send me a text at one am. And make sure it is vague but threatening and able to make me fearful of what your intentions are. Make sure that when I respond with care and concern, you reply with some drunken nonsense and tell me to fuck off. Because you are the one who texted me in the first place. Drunks and cell phones don’t mix. It reduces a normal adult to an insecure, moody, unstable 14 year old in a matter of seconds. And you can’t take your text back. It’s now in my phone as a reminder that you should never ever drink. Ever.

.

Dear readers, please do not drink and text. No good can come of it. Not for you, not for the recipient. Just say no.

.

This was a public service announcement. I am crawling back into bed, and will return tomorrow with the letters d and e. Unless I remember there’s a Game of Thrones marathon on free HBO. Be well my sweet peeps. (get it? Sweet peeps. Because peeps are marshmallow and marshmallow is sweet?) Hey, don’t judge, it’s three am.

.

Creatophagous – carnivorous, flesh eating.

.

Clinophilia – passion for beds

.

20100330-Whataburger-burgerand finally – chevaline

.

I am realizing the English language has an awful lot of words which normally we are unaware of and will likely never use. I for one am adding chiliomb to my daily vocabulary as soon as I find a reason to use it in a sentence.