Cancer sucks; K update

I don’t even know what to say, so stream-of-consciousness time I guess.

My mother continues to decline. She is down to 70 pounds, more or less, and my Dad said for a few days last week she was losing a pound a day. She will probably be going in to Hospice this week so their nutritionists can work on a diet for her, because she hasn’t been eating enough to keep her strength up. She is still trying to walk around on her own, which is scary because she is very unsteady on her feet, and sometimes her hips give out on her. She’s very lucky she hasn’t fallen yet. My ex-to-be said she seems to be getting around okay, and I said yes, she gets around just fine right up until she doesn’t. She needs to start using the walker…the Hospice nurse didn’t order that in just to serve as a decorative element in the corner of the living room.

Daddy sent around an email a few days ago–Friday–saying she’d been spitting up blood that morning. My Aunt (Mama’s sister, a retired nurse) and I both responded asking if they’d called anyone to report this, and his answer was, “No, we just figure it’s par for the course.” I’m wondering if he’s thinking clearly.

I talked to her this morning, and she said Daddy had come back from exercise (he goes every day since open-heart surgery three years ago) feeling dizzy, so they’d had “a bite to eat” which for her was probably literal, and now he’s napping. Apparently he’s been forgetting a medication he’s supposed to be taking. She said she isn’t feeling well, that she is very tired and has very little appetite. I think at this point it would be good for her to spend a few days at Hospice, although I worry about my Dad being by himself, because she does help him with remembering things.

I spent a little time talking with the Hospice nurse, and she offered to go see Mama tomorrow rather than later in the week. My aunt will be there, which is good, because I’d like them to meet.

While all this is going on, we did get a bright spot of new “stuff” happening for K. She is going to be starting on some new medications, which should initiate further physical change and development to move her further along in her transition. I’m pretty excited for her because of that, but also because of this:

http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/federal-employee-health-plans-will-no-longer-exclude-transition-related-hea

…which means surgery will be covered! SO thankful for this!

Ever Wished That Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Would Return to the Comics Page? Well, He Just Did.

Pearls Before Swine

Bill Watterson is the Bigfoot of cartooning.

He is legendary. He is reclusive. And like Bigfoot, there is really only one photo of him in existence. 

Few in the cartooning world have ever spoken to him. Even fewer have ever met him.

In fact, legend has it that when Steven Spielberg called to see if he wanted to make a movie, Bill wouldn’t even take the call.

So it was with little hope of success that I set out to try and meet him last April.

I was traveling through Cleveland on a book tour, and I knew that he lived somewhere in the area. I also knew that he was working with Washington Post cartoonist Nick Galifianakis on a book about Cul de Sac cartoonist Richard Thompson’s art.

So I took a shot and wrote to Nick. And Nick in turn wrote to Watterson.

And the meeting…

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The Doctor is Out

I don’t know what to say about my friend at work, whose last day was today. The guy just gets it. Mid-20s, almost scarily intelligent; he can see through all the extraneous bits right to the core essentials of any idea, issue or topic. Insightful, thoughtful…and hilarious. I took to him instantly, and my first impression did not let me down. K came out to me about four months after I met him, and he was my first confidant. He is brilliant at helping me see things through a different perspective. He’s objective, so he calls me on my “bullshit”…and tells me when I should call K on hers. He always tells the truth, so I trust him equally when he’s on my side, or when he says, point-blank, “You fucked up.” (And even then…he’s on my side.)

I keep feeling sorry for myself because I’ve known him for just over a year and a half, and he’s going. I told him I feel I’ve barely scratched the surface with him. You know that analogy of people being like onions? You’re constantly peeling away the layers, and learning more and more? I said I feel I haven’t even peeled off the papery, dry skin yet, to get to the juicy interior. He laughed and said, “There’s really not that much there…I think you’ve seen pretty much all there is, honestly.” I doubt that!

I will miss him terribly, but he’s heading out west to an amazing adventure and a wide-open future. He’s thrilled to be going to live where he’s always dreamed of living, so I have to be happy for him. And I really am. I can’t wait to be able to say, “I knew him when…”.

Just…ughhh

Really hard to stay positive lately…probably why I haven’t put up anything new in a while. I meant this blog as a place to sort my thoughts, clear my head, vent, whatever. But when I noticed people were actually reading it, I got a little self-conscious and started worrying about putting people off with all my problems. I’ve just had all I can do lately to keep my head up and keep pushing through, and you (at least, I do) typically pull back and avoid communicating much when that happens. But yeah, I guess I finally figured, this is my blog, I need to get this shit out somewhere, so I’m layin’ it all out there.

Everything is just bad right now. I’m getting fewer hours at work, which is kinda okay because I’m able to spend more time with my parents, but bad because I’m not gonna be able to pay the bills. I spent this afternoon with my mother because Daddy had a doctor appointment. I unpacked her suitcase–they’ve been back for almost a week–and she talked to me about what she wants at her memorial service. She weighs under 75 pounds now. The last time I was there, I noticed they seemed short-tempered with each other, and hoped it was just a bad day. But I noticed it again today. After his appointment, and after Mama’s nap, he told us the doctor gave him anxiety medication. I hope that helps, because I don’t want to have to sit my parents down and have a talk with them about being kind to each other. After he told us about his appointment, the two of them started in on the topic of K and wanting her to be responsible and get a job. They kept using masculine pronouns and calling her by her old name. I explained K’s situation to them (again) as carefully but clearly as I could and felt fairly good about their attitudes by the time I left. It just felt like such a setback–I’d had the feeling they understood everything, and it was discouraging to have to go through all that with them again.

It’s bad at work because literally my three favourite people there, most especially the one person who knows about K and has been such a source of strength for me, all are leaving within the next few weeks. I’ve been putting in applications, but everything is done online these days and I have yet to receive a call from an online application in a solid year of trying. I seriously need full-time work (full-time pay) so hopefully something will work out for me soon.

But what’s mostly bad is the situation with my ex-to-be living back in the house. That’s probably why I’m having a much harder time staying positive. I have no safe haven, as I keep saying. The stress level in the house is so high. As Jayne said in Firefly, he is damaging my calm. I downloaded a hypnotherapy app that is supposedly helping me reduce anxiety and stress…if it has, I’d hate to think how I’d be doing without it. He doesn’t understand K and has very little tolerance for her, and K simply can’t stand her dad. For the most part we stay in our separate rooms, but every couple of days or so, he’ll talk to me about the same old complaints until I can feel the top of my head starting to blow off, then I make some kind of excuse and leave.

Yeah, I’ve written all this out and I can’t say I feel any better. And to think I was so positive a few weeks ago.