Monday, November 26, 2007

Out, damn'd spot! out, I say!

Sometimes a spot is just a spot. Or it's not. In this case, 'twas not a spot. Or it was, but upon further examination, it wasn't.

When my dad had his bone scan after his diagnosis from the biopsy, they found a spot, which they then x-rayed and determined was nothing after all. Meaning, the cancer is not in his bones. Which is good news. Damn good news.

This reality shit is exhausting. The physical exhaustion from the weekend was honestly cleansing. It felt much like I did after playing weekend soccer tournaments back in the days before the titanium toe. I'm fairly certain most people think I'm nuts, but I'm fairly certain they probably thought that before I answered the "What did you do this weekend?" question.

The exhausting part is all of the little lists in my head. Things to do, buy, decide. Work things, errand things, house things, dad things, and occasionally even me things. Apparently I have a habit of putting that list in the incorrect order. Ah, but 'tis easier to click through things that don't actually have any required emotion attached. (Kid things always leads the list, but that, now that, is not an exhausting list. That is the best list of all.)

And then, inexplicably, I have these people in my life who remind me that my list isn't always in the right order. And they say these really weird things like, "Yes, but how are you?" and "Are you going to be able to sleep or are you making lists in your head?" I like those people. They cut through my bullshit. And, inexplicably, I let them.

Today's exhaustion was knowing that while I was in San Jose at the dentist hearing, "Wow, that must really hurt, give it a couple of weeks to see if the nerve retracts on its own...", my dad was in Placerville at his doctor learning about "the spot."

Patience is good. HA.
Focus on work to kill time until you can get an answer. HA HA.
Care deeply about a page oh-so-close to the heart of a marketing guy not showing as high as he wants in Google. HA HA HA.
And oh yes, HA.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ah, Grasshopper

"I like grasshoppers because they catch the mean bugs in their wings and eat them.
Then they spit them out and put them in jail where they can't fly into my eyes.
Yeah, I like grasshoppers. They're my buddies.
They protect me from the bad guy bugs."
--@, Nov '07

As if "Adventures in Shredded Soy Cheese" on the kitchen floor wasn't enough. Or even the color commentary as Benny and George the lizards fought fires in the hallway. @ had one heck of a creative day.

In addition to lizards, cheese, and grasshoppers... He supervised my morning housecleaning (from his stepladder perch while wearing his bike helmet) and afternoon cooking (apple pie and chicken enchiladas to stock the freezer). He helped with the shopping ("Mommy, I want to get daddy a Bob the Builder t-shirt for his birthday"). He sat blissfully calm during his haircut while every other little boy in the place was screaming like a banshee in a beartrap.

Oh, and before putting on his jam-jams, my little goofball walked into the kitchen wearing nothing but the giant felt flower head I made to wear for Halloween when he was one and dressed as a bee.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Retreat to Monosyllabic Stupor

There may be something to the monosyllabic stupor idea. Certainly less responsibility. After all, if compound words are impossible, then surely no one can expect complex multiclause sentences or thoughts from my muddled brain.

Today's annoying realization? What I thought was the normal thundering descent of seasonal allergies upon my sinuses is a cold. Which ticks me off. Or, to be more grammatically correct about it, it "ticks off me." Yes, it's annoying to feel crummy (or have the "creeping crud," as my dad says). It's tiring, frustrating, and all of that, but I'm most annoyed because it's my own dang fault.

(No, I did not imitate Phoebe from Friends in an attempt to get my singing voice all sexy and low. And if you've seen that episode, rest assured that is not how I got sick! And if you know me at all, you know I CANNOT sing. Twenty years of Girl Scouts and I still sound like something caught in bear trap.)

Back to our regularly scheduled blog entry...

Although I didn't seek out the germs that are now vigorously tap-dancing above my left eye while wearing steel-toed workboots, I practically sent them an embossed invitation. Here we go folks, I'm going to work too hard, stress too much, move too fast, sleep too little, put up with getting verbally body slammed, and just throw open the barn doors for all of those things that thrive on exhausted minds and bodies.

In college, I got sick right after finals every semester. Like clockwork. I often had Kleenex in tow for spring break. I'd push myself to the limit and then as soon as my body got a chance to sit on a metaphorical park bench and check out a few passing clouds? WHAMMO!

I'm 39 years old. I should know better by now. HA!!! Old dog. New trick. Self-care. HA! Honestly, I am better at it than I once was. Or I thought I'd improved. But then I looked at my vacation balance online. Maxed out. No, I haven't used it all. I've stopped accruing because I haven't taken enough. I think the scientific term is dumbass.

All the self-deprecation in the world won't cure the common cold or buy a plane ticket to a warm beach. Or even a snowy mountain. Or a warm desert.

Once this cold finishes kicking my ass, I need to join in and schedule vacation time. Plan escape. Book a massage. Lose my to-do list (but not the one from this paragraph). Slow the HECK down. Ugh. Alas. Waaaah.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Emergence from Monosyllabic Stupor

I'm not quite sure when I'll get back to big words. Or complex sentences with internal punctuation. I'm tired. Quite tired. On too many levels.

The good news is that I am not learning the ins and outs of life at Starbucks, which means I successfully completed a major project at work. The project was exhausting, but energizing. I got to play a significant part in seeing something prominent emerge from a blank piece of paper. In a VERY short time. It's not so much, "look what I did" as "wow, it worked."

It has been a rough few weeks. There's work, but then there's that real life thing too. I've been spending a lot of energy being the protector, caretaker, advocate, etc. Don't get me wrong, it's part of what makes me tick. When Y went to the hospital, it was automatic to me that I should be there to make sure she had what she needed. And before I left each night, I wanted to be damn sure the nurses had her pain meds figured out.

But I'm tired and staying up late three weeks running because my mind is going too quickly to sleep. (In fact, I'm writing now in hopes of draining my brain of the circling thoughts likely to prevent snoozing.)

I spent much of yesterday in a panic. I'd been calling my dad for a few days and he wasn't returning my calls. Not a terribly big deal, except that I usually know when he's not going to be home and I knew he got biopsy results on Friday. I don't panic easily. After leaving a message that said, "call me within two hours or I'm driving up there to find you," he called.

He had been at the hospital getting a bone scan. Why? Well, they can't define a course of treatment until they're sure it (the now-diagnosed cancer) isn't also elsewhere. He gets results from the scan in a couple of weeks. WEEKS.

It's a brick to the side of the head -- my dad has cancer, but they don't know how much. I don't think he's scared as much as pissed. Being an engineer, he was fascinated by the full-body bone scan because he'll be able to see any past injuries, arthritis, or other damage -- hopefully none of it due to rogue cells being assholes.

Yes, prostate cancer is pretty treatable and generally slow-moving. But my brain isn't ready for that comfortable logic yet. It's just telling me my dad has cancer. And I'm both scared and pissed. And it's not often you'll see me admit either one.