Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This Just In: Cancer is hard on a marriage.

There.  I said it. And I was reminded of this fact today, as I internally blamed my husband for things he can't control.

Today was MRI day.  I get them every three months now. I actually wasn't nervous about the test itself.  And I won't know if I've dodged another bullet for another week.  Instead what I felt was lonely--and dizzy. Lonely-okay.  Dizzy--not so much. My husband does not normally go with me to my doctor appointments, as he is a working man, and I am physically able to take myself. 

But after being in a loud chamber for about 45 minutes, I felt a little disoriented, yet I had things to do.  I could only take so much time to get my bearings before getting back in my car and doing errands.

In a perfect world he would take me to my doctor appointments, but again, he's the working man, and in these hard times, he has other obligations.

Nevertheless, after hauling myself, my son and his friend hither and yon, and throwing together dinner, my husband said to me, "I had a shitty day today." I said sarcastically something like, "Well then, it's a good thing I don't have cancer."

"Life must go on," he retorted.

And that's just it.  From my view, he acts like he doesn't think I have cancer anymore. And to some extent he's right. We aren't in crisis mode.  Life should go on and it is. 
 However, I still have cancer, and all of the worry, chaos and uncertainty that go with it.  I was reminded of that today as I went into the cancer world for my MRI.

 I am very happy to live life, but I find it difficult to live it as I used to, or how others think I should live it. Some days just aren't that easy to handle. Daily tasks that others may take for granted as easy, I find frustrating. Like driving, for example, which I did a lot of today.

I will consider myself "cancer free" when a doctor says so, and/or when I don't need MRI's or other treatment.  

I don't see that day coming soon, but I'm also not quite dead yet. I'm perhaps the luckiest cancer survivor walking.

However, I still haven't decided whether the glass is half-empty or half-full.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Leaving Crumbs Much Too Small For The Other Who's Mouses.

I don't get it. In my little family of three, it seems no one wants to take responsibility for eating the last morsel of something--be it chips, peanut butter, or fruit.

We have the infamous bag, sack or carton that appears to be full, or at least not empty. The result: I don't put said item(s) on my grocery list, only to come home and find out that I should have bought it, as evidenced by the big bag of small potato chip crumbs, or the shampoo bottle with just a drop in it.

Post-its  and white boards are my salvation. I try to make notes to myself, every time I have a thought,  and place them where I can see them. I'll write notes to my son right on the fridge whiteboard to remind him of his homework.

 Still this is not enough. I must constantly triple check, re-iterate, and forget things to the point where I feel like the mythical person who was condemned to pushing a rock up a mountain, only to have it roll back down, just as it was nearing the summit.

Was I that bad?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

This is your brain on Eden.

I'm not sure what to blog about today.  A lot has been on my mind including the following:

My friend who has a grade 4 tumor;

My son, who got a good report card, but who answers every question I pose to him by mewing like a cat;

My MRI coming up on Tuesday; 

Getting laundry done; and

The notion of  trying to find a (paying) job, brain tumor and all, just in case?

When my mind has too many things on it, I tend to respond by doing none of them, as I am overwhelmed on some level. 

So today's a good day to read a book, while I do laundry, and think, and think, and think, and mew like a cat back at my son.

Village at Scholls Ferry update: A salon AND a census office have now signed leases for space there, but as of this writing have not moved in.  An interested citizen named "Ralph" commented in a previous post that he is hoping the "village" will boost his property value.

To be continued.......

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How Many Edens Does It Take to Make Dinner

Just one, but you better give her all day. Today brought another attack of my adult ADD, which by the way, isn't helped by getting brain cancer.

As I prepared to make dinner (I began it in the a.m. so it could cook in a crock pot) I had to decide what to do first: clean the already dirty kitchen, defrost chicken, cut vegetables or prepare sauce.

So I called my mother, as I was cleaning the kitchen.  

I said, "Hi mom, I'm multi-tasking."

And as I talked to her, I wondered aloud what it was that made me call her at that particular time.  That's the good and bad part about having a brain injury--no impulse control. I have been known to call people while I'm frying an egg, too.

Then I said goodbye, and finally I focused. While the chicken defrosted I finished cleaning the kitchen, unloading the clean dishes one dish at a time, and loading dirty ones the same way.

Again. Why? Why is it so hard for me to be efficient? And the thing is I'm "with it" enough to know that I'm not "with it".  I guess this should be comforting, but instead it's frustrating.

I miss my brain, such as it was.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sprite's smells

I'm starting to lose track of time, but I think our kitten Sprite is about five months old. Despite how young and cute she is though, she can emit smells even a cow can't produce. Truly my mind boggles.

I never watched the show "Friends" but I saw Monty Python's Eric Idle once say how much he liked the "Smelly Cat" bit with the Lisa Kudrow character and Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders). 

Here's one version of the song, done 80s video style.

Here's another, kind of done Pretenders style, but set to funny pictures of cats.

Ever since we adopted Sprite, I've been singing the song out loud, sometimes to her. It's also reminded me of a scene in the "Kentucky Fried Movie" that parodies an old cat litter commercial.  I found the clip from the movie but I can't link to it, as it was taken off You Tube pending a copyright dispute.  But the parody went something like this:   A woman prepares for her friends to come over.  As she opens the door, each makes a comment about the smell in the house:

Fried fish for dinner again?

Harry still smoking cigars?

Christ! Did a cow shit in here!

I think it would actually smell better if we had a cow in the house. Love Sprite. There is nothing like the unconditional love (and smell) of a pet.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Good Weekend

Updating the previous post--I haven't been out for a walk since I blogged about the trash.  I worked on Friday, and today brought true-to-form, bona-fide Oregon rain. However, I noticed as I was driving by my walk route that there was a group cleaning up the trash today, perhaps boy scouts, or middle school students 

After work yesterday (I volunteer at a local hospital), I met up with a former classmate for a beer or two--two to be exact. I reconnected with her through Facebook.  As I've mentioned before,  Facebook has been an interesting experiment. I feel like I can be myself in a way that I couldn't back in the day.

Today first thing, we witnessed our son "level up" in Taekwondo. He is now a brown-stripe belt, well on the way to a black belt.

The belt test is tough. The students (most of them kids) have to spend about two hours, demonstrating their forms, one-step sparring and self-defense techniques. Then they wrap up by breaking boards with their bare hands or feet.

After the belt testing, a ceremony was held, at which students could say a couple of words.  My son raised his hand and said:

"I'd like to thank my mom for helping me to do my best, and helping me with my homework, and getting me treats, even when I don't need them."

The instructor (Master Park) then asked if he had any words to say about his dad.

My son sounded like he was about to tear up as he said, "I'd like to thank my dad for giving me shelter, and playing with me when I'm lonely, and tucking me in at night."

We are so proud of our son for the commitment, focus (not to mention skill) that he has for his sport.  He can do anything he puts his mind to.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What I Found On My Walk

We've had some relatively warm days, so I've been walking for my workout--about three miles all told.

Lately going on my walk has been like doing a beach or dump site cleanup.  I've seen the usual suspect trash, such as empty beer or soda cans, cigarette butts, dog poop, and broken glass.

But nothing compares to what I saw yesterday--a pair of underwear. I was afraid to inspect them, but I think they were ladies' panties.  I saw them again today on my morning constitutional.

My mind boggles thinking about how and why they got left behind, as it were.

I may take pictures of all the items I find and post them next time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

World of Warcraft and Reefer Madness

My husband and I went out to lunch today, a rare treat, when he begins to tell me a little of his World of Warcraft adventures that kept him up late the previous night.

He says something like, "I've found out it's not just nerds who play W.O.W."

I'm anxious to find out what this other sub-group is.  Before I can ask, husband says, "Yeah, this guy me and Bill were playing with stopped us, because he said he had to go roll a doobie."


Then my husband explains this player had to "roll a J" about four times during their four hour session.  Whatever it takes to get into the fantasy realm, I guess. Reading a book sometimes works for me, but I'm not like most people.

I see (our friend) Bill later, and Bill says, "I thought that's why they invented pipes."

"The man has his priorities," I say.  "But maybe you're right, he should learn to multi-task.

Have I mentioned that I'm not a huge fan of World of Warcraft?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What's My Password?

I'm part of the technology age, I guess.  I have accounts with the following.

The Huffington Post
Yahoo groups
My UHC (the website for my medical insurance company)

There may be more.  If so, I can't remember them right now.  Which brings me to my problem with the above accounts: I can't remember my passwords!  I used to riddle my desk with post-it notes, but I got tired of the paper, so I added the accounts to my address book in Ical. It's helped a little. However, I need to remember what accounts I've entered into my address book and/or remember to add account information into my address book.  If I only had a brain.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dr. Who?

I love the conversations I have with my son in the car. Tonight's was about Halloween. I think it's only March, but never too early to plan.  

Austin informs me that he wants to dress up like Dr. Who? characters with his friends Bryce and Dylan. Austin's plan is that Bryce would be the doctor, Dylan would be the robot dog, and he (Austin) would be a dalek, a droid that goes around saying "exterminate".  Austin would say that instead of "trick-or-treat".  I told him that he couldn't expect much candy with an intro like that.

We both laughed.

I'm expecting he will have changed his mind several times before the day arrives.  He may even decide he doesn't want to go trick-or-treating.  He's changing and growing so fast.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bruce and Eden's Visit to the Planet Austin

Before Bruce and Eden could go the planet Austin, they had to explain to the planet's leader, why they wanted to visit, and prove they could endure the hazardous conditions there.

"How do you feel about not being in control?" asked the leader.

"I can't remember the last time I was in control," replied Eden, thinking this was the proper answer.

"I'm used to controlling everything!" stated Bruce, having no idea what he was in for.

"Okay then," announced the leader. "Go back to your home planet, write autobiographies about  yourselves, a love letter to the birthmother of your Austinling, and take lots of pictures of your house.  When you're done, turn them in and we'll arrange to come to your home and make sure it's suitable.  That'll be $2600 up front."

"Sounds easy," Bruce and Eden said to each other. Then they took the first space ship back to Earth.

The first thing they did was get a nice picture taken of them. One that made them look like a wholesome couple.  You know, an airbrushed photo.

Next they worked on the letter, describing how they were inspired to be parents by their friends who love their kids, how they wanted to share their love with a child, but couldn't produce one, and therefore, were willing go to the planet Austin.

In the letter, they also outlined what they would do with an Austinling, should they be blessed with one.  They would take him to the beach. They promised he would be loved by a close-knit network of family and friends.

Several trips were made back and forth between Earth and the planet Austin, so a contact there  could help them get the letter just right.

Physical exams of Bruce and Eden were required. Luckily, they were able to fool the doctors, and were given clean bills of health.

Bruce did a fantastic job of organizing photos that showed their happy extended family, which at the time included three kitties.

Bruce and Eden turned their applications in and waited, waited, waited. Finally they get a call from the planet to say they were accepted into the "pool" of potential parents of Austinlings

More money was paid.  More waiting, waiting, waiting.  Every phone call raised hope and excitement; the kind of excitement one gets when waiting by the phone for that special boyfriend or girlfriend to call.

Finally there was paydirt. Some expectant mother of an Austinling wanted to meet Bruce and Eden. A time was arranged for them to go back to the planet, meet the expectant mother, with the help of a guide named  Amber.

Bruce and Eden returned to planet to meet the young lady they hoped would give them the gift of a child.  She had lots of red hair, brown eyes and freckles. Understandably, she appeared uncomfortable at this first meeting. So were Bruce and Eden.  I mean, how do you talk to someone about giving you a child?

The young lady explained why she couldn't provide for her unborn Austinling, given that she was so young and inexperienced. Then Bruce and Eden took her out to eat, where they talked some more. 

All of this was part of the process called "first mediation".  Another fee was paid, and phase two of the process began.

Phase Two was kind of a "getting to know you" phase, which included more dinners together, shopping together, and occasionally going to doctor appointments. Meantime, Bruce and Eden attended parenting classes.

Bruce and Eden were so confident things were going to work out, that they bought furniture and decorated a room for their new Austinling, who wasn't theirs--yet.

Weeks before the child was to be born, Bruce and Eden were informed that young lady carrying the Austinling, didn't want them as parents, and had approached another couple. 

Devastated, Bruce and Eden again returned to Earth, tried to find the pieces of their broken hearts, and figure out where they went wrong. Nothing it seemed could provide them solace. Bruce tried Blue Oyster Cult music.  Eden cursed her bad genes, and the empty room with baby furniture in it. They both felt powerless. Eden was used to this feeling.  Bruce, not so much.

Bruce and Eden had no contact with the planet Austin, while the birthmother on the planet decided who she wanted to have parent her baby.

To make a long story short (and it is a long story), she chose Bruce and Eden. Then they all got together and worked on names. Bruce and Eden liked the name Nathan. Finally, all the of them agreed on a different name.

At the baby's birth, there was a small army of friends and hospital workers. And Eden was there, too. Bruce was in another room reading science fiction, at the birthmother's request.

A few days after he was born, Bruce and Eden got to bring him home and gave him the name Austin Kyle Jones. Kyle was the birthmother's contribution.

And the rest is the future.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Basement Update

I'm finally starting to see things get back to normal in the basement following our plumbing disaster of 2009.

We have ordered new carpet and flooring  and have created extra storage, and in the meantime de-bulked, albeit not enough. Sadly the new carpet and flooring are necessary due to the nature of the damage.

My husband, may or may not sell his model trains.  Lately, his hobby has been World of Warcraft. When I blog or get on Facebook, I work in the basement.  My calendar that keeps me from going over the edge is also on the computer, which is in the basement.

When a mini-disaster like this happens, my biggest problem is deciding what to do first in terms of cleanup.  Where does one begin?  Once someone gives me a push I can rock and roll, but don't ask me to figure out where to start..anything. The ability to do that must be in the part of my brain that's gone and has been replaced by space junk.

After a week of feeling out of control,  I now have a handle on this expensive mistake and project that resulted from the plumbing disaster of 2009.

Some calm until the next crisis happens. As crises go, I've had worse.