Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'd like to order a breakdown please

and can I have a side order of "feel like a bad person" with that as well? Oh...and to drink I'd like a glass of confusion.

I had a total meltdown last night. It wasn't really a bad day, but there were several little things over the course of this week that just added up. The last straw was only getting 2 hours of work Tuesday and another 2 hours yesterday. If I'm lucky, I'll get 4 hours on Saturday for a whopping total of 8 hours for this week. It's been this way all year. The housing market sucks and a lot of what I do is related to that, so my job sucks too. I got off work and asked my husband if he had time for me to have a breakdown - lucky for him he said yes. So...I went home, laid down on the bed, and sobbed for a good 15 minutes.

Later last night mom called to see how I was. I swear we have the ESP thing going. She always seems to know when I'm having a bad day. I told her I had a meltdown but that I was ok now, and she said "just try to relax. Things always work out." This is going to sound awful, and I feel awful, but I'm really starting to get angry with her for saying that. The anger makes me want to lash out at her, say things I know I'll regret and that will hurt her...such as "well of course they'll work out Mother. They always do. Of course there's a resolution. There always is. Because see, you having cancer 'will work out'. You're going to be dead and you won't have to worry about petty bullshit anymore. You'll be up in Heaven, playing your harp, walking your streets of gold, living in your mansion while I sit down here and worry about my life. You won't have to deal with it any more in 6 months or so." I feel like such a terrible person. I know...anger at someone because they're dying is a normal reaction. That's the kicker - I'm not really angry at her because she has cancer, or because she's dying. Her saying "it will work out" is nothing new - she's always told me that. I know it's just displaced frustration. That knowledge doesn't make me feel any better.

On an up side, her brother told her about a cancer center in Goshen, Indiana that is doing clinical research trials on liver cancer. A man he knows has done the treatment - they initially gave him 6 months and he's now past that and almost cancer free. Mom is going to look into it. If she has to pay for it, she won't do it. She won't have to, though, I'm certain of it. I've participated in clinical trials for stuff before and they usually pay you. They can't take money from their participants as it provides a conflict of interest. She'd have to move to IN for the duration of the trial, and I think she said they provide a place for her to stay...but she's still investigating.

This brings up the confusion and feel bad as well. One side of me is all "YAY! Clinical trials! Cancer goes away! Mom lives! WOOTAGE!" The other side is all "Oh for the love of all that is holy. Stop making me live this rollercoaster. This is the 3rd time you've had cancer in 4 years, but the first time I've actually had to prepare for you to die. Just...get it over with. I can't handle the grieving only to have you yank it away from me, because I know I'll have to do it again. It's like the boy who cried wolf, only you're crying death." I know this is the bitter side of me, the frustrated side. By no means am I ready for my mother to die. I'd like her to stick around for another 20 years. I am torn in two separate selfish directions - go go Gemini! - that of wanting my mom around and that of not wanting to go through all this pain again.

My sister is going to go spend the weekend with mom this weekend. Should be interesting to say the least. Tuesday I think mom is coming up here - dad wants to leave his silver with me so I can sell it for him when the price gets good. I can't wait to see my mommy, but I know it's going to be rough.

It seems that Thursdays are a good day for me to post, as I have several hours between classes. So...look here on Thursday afternoons if not before. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Unstable me....

God I am so tired of crying all the time. It seems that all I do anymore. Completely at random. In public, even, which is one of the worst things. I really really hate crying in public. (I hate using public bathrooms too, but that's a whole other story for another blog.) I feel like people are looking at me, wondering why I'm crying and if they should come find out. I know it makes them feel awkward and I don't exactly feel pretty sitting there with tears running down my face either.

I am seeing a counselor for all this. At the very beginning of the semester I went and talked to all of my professors. I told them what was happening, because even before knowing where her cancer was I had the feeling that she might not last the semester. I wanted them to be prepared so that when I came to them and told them I wouldn't be in class for a week or so they'd know why, and I wouldn't have this all come at them out of the blue. My biology professor, whom I love dearly and have had for three semesters in a row, asked me if I was seeing a counselor yet. I told her no, and she told me I should and who to go to. So...I did. I promptly forgot my first appointment and overslept my second. GOOD JOB ME! But I've gone every week for the past 3 weeks and cried in his office for the past 2.

I feel unstable. One minute I'm fine, actually giggling, and the next I'm sobbing at random. No real reason, no thoughts...just a sudden welling of sad that comes crashing down. Like when I'm still awake at 1:30 in the morning instead of sleeping, because the Ambien didn't work like it should. While I'm laying there trying to sleep, my brain refuses to shut down and it just keeps processing quietly until I start sobbing and wake my poor husband up. I start the day off fine, and then talk to mom and end up crying. My poor mother...having to deal with me on top of her own shit. She says it's ok - do I really think she doesn't know how I feel?

Oh God...I'm going to lose my best friend, the only one who has ALWAYS been there for me, the one who saw me through my teenage years, who prayed for me constantly through my self-destructive years after I split up with my first love/got engaged to someone else/broke up with him/got engaged and then married/got divorced and almost married 2 years later/to a guy who left me 2 months before the wedding. Until my husband came along and put an end to the vicious cycle. She still prays for me every day, but at least I'm no longer self-destructing.

My insides are wailing like a banshee from time to time. I want to scream, howl, beat things. I'm teetering on the edge of darkness, I can see it coming. I've been here. I don't want to go here again. My brain easily sees the bad in everything, sees bad when there's no bad to be seen. Living in my brain is a scary, scary place these days and I remember this all too well. It's part of the reason I ended up getting divorced the first time (the other half being that he found someone else he loved). My husband has been really cranky lately and last night he explained to me why. It's hard for him to watch me go through all of this. He wants to fix it and he can't. He can't any of the shit i'm going through away; he can't handle any of it for me; he can't do anything and it makes him feel helpless. Typical male fashion, when he feels helpless he gets cranky...even though he KNOWS that's the last thing I need on my plate. I need him to support me, I need to lean on him...not want to run far away because he's one more thing I can't handle and it makes me want to shriek.

Thank you to those who have already found me. Thank you to those who have left messages, even if you weren't sure what to say. Just knowing that you're out there helps a bit. The comments make me smile and give me a warm fuzzy. I'm going to go call mom now.

It's just me....

This song has been rolling in my head since yesterday. I couldn't quite figure out why, until I got home and really listened to it again. I've now listened to it 4 times since I got home at 9pm. The first verse isn't terribly relevant but the rest is. This isn't the official video, but that's because a) I couldn't find one and b) it's the words that matter. Just...listen. I included the lyrics below.

It called "It's just Me", by Blue October, and is a hidden track on Foiled Again.
I lost a piece of me in you;
I think I left it in your arms.
I forget the reasons I got scared,
But remember that I cared quite a lot.

You see but lately I've been on my own.
Yeah one, but one by choice.
You see, thats a first for me,
There's only me, yeah theres only me,
And now I realize for once,
It's just me.
It's just me.
It's just me,
And I'll find a way to make it,
There's noone left to stop me.
Here I go.
Can we take it from the top?

So why so long?
So sad, I wanna be strong.
Don't try to take this from me.
I'm already spent living half my life undone
So why so long?
So sad, I wanna be strong.
Don't try to take this from me.
I've already spent my life living half undone.

I've been talking to my aunts and uncles, mom and dad again.
I've been finding out that I have what this world calls friends.
I've tried to push them all away,
They push me back and wanna stay
And that's one good thing I have.

I'm gonna feel a peace in me,
I'm gonna feel at home.
I'm gonna make this cloud above me disappear, be gone.
I wanna feel a punch inside, my heart beat on the floor.
I don't wanna hurt no more.

Yeah it's just me.
It's just me
And i'll find a way to make it.
There's noone left to stop me.
Here i go, can we take it from the top?

So why so long?
So sad, I wanna be strong.
Don't try to take her from me.
I've already spent my life living half undone.

So why so long?
So sad, i wanna be strong.
Don't try to take her from me.
I've already spent my life living half undone.

I used to be the one who won before.
I used to smile but dont no more.
I'm living just to watch it all go by.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Begining

I suppose I have to start somewhere, and the beginning seems like a good place to do that. Perhaps if I start at the beginning I'll figure out how to go forward. Right now I feel very stuck. Please bear with me as this first post is going to be very very long.
In September 2003, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had gone in for her annual mammogram and there was a small lump. The radiologist said "Well, we can't really tell what it is because it's so small. Come back in six months." My mother, whose mother died of breast cancer when my mom was 17, said to hell with that. She walked next door to her regular doctors office, told him what happened, and told him he WOULD do a biopsy and find out. He did, and it was cancer. It was very small and encapsulated, however, so the biopsy removed it all. She did radiation therapy, just to be on the safe side.

Fast forward one year and 4 days, and she is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I had gone down to my parents place for Labor Day weekend. Sunday morning, after breakfast, mom went and laid down. I went to check on her and she was sobbing and couldn't breathe. Dad called 911, I handled her (and him) until the QRU (quick response unit...small town ambulance) arrived. They took her to the hospital where they drugged her and did some scans. That day they finally found the source of the abnormal bleeding she's been having - a tumor the size of a baseball. They sent her to SLC to have it removed...and by the time she had surgery on Wednesday, the tumor was the size of a cantaloupe. While my mother was still drugged from the surgery (which was BEFORE I arrived on the scene), my sister guilt-tripped our mom into doing chemo by telling her that if she didn't then SHE could explain to her youngest grandsom why she was choosing to kill herself.

I could have murdered my sister when I found out. My mother told me about it at the time but no longer remembers this conversation. How dare my sister do something like that?! Mom did indeed go through chemo and she was lucky - it wasn't nearly as bad as she thought it would be. Little nausea, no hair loss...

We made it through last September with no cancer. This September, however, her CA125levels were elevated. CA125 is something in the blood that indicated the presence of ovarian cancer. It had come back...only with no ovaries and no uterus, it chose a different place. Usually lungs or brain, so that's where the docs looked first. Nothing. They did full CAT and PET and MRI's but could not find the cancer - all they knew was that her numbers were coninuing to rise. Mom opted for chemo again, because she wanted to go on a trip with dad this spring. Her first two treatments were fine - but then she had an allergice reaction to the carboplatin, so they had to change her meds. At that point...she lost her hair, she started having "accidents" (which I will elaborate on more later - this is already becoming a novella), lots of nausea and loss of energy.

I got a call almost 2 weeks ago, on a Thursday night. The good news is that they found the cancer. The really bad news is that it's in her liver. She will not be doing any more treatments. My mother is going to die and no one knows when...but she and I both figure about 6 months. I'm not the type to stick my head in the sand, no matter how much I want to. I also don't want to face this, but I have to. So this blog it my first step towards facing it and dealing with this fact. Please bear with me as I work through all of this.