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!

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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.

“Busyness”

I have a busy period coming up at work, which is good. The way my home life is, I generally prefer being at work. It keeps me busy and keeps my mind off my own stuff.

I spent yesterday with my mother, helping her pack for the trip to visit my brother and his family. My parents have three grandchildren and four and a half great-grandchildren there; the newest one is due in November. I’m glad they’re going, although I always worry when I know they’re on the road. They spend a night in a motel, so the trip’s a little easier on them. It’s a nine-hour drive, and they like to do more than half the first day, so they can arrive by lunchtime the second day. They’re good about calling from the motel and then calling from my brother’s, so I know when to stop worrying. 🙂

Mama’s gotten some nifty things from Hospice, including a chair for the shower and a cane. She walks fine, but sometimes she can be a little wobbly. She hasn’t started using the cane yet, though. The best thing she got is some really good pain medication; she’s been feeling better in the last few days than she has in quite a while.

I met the Hospice nurse. My mother was in the bathroom as the nurse was leaving, so my Dad and I saw her to the door. She had familiarised herself with Mama’s chart before her visit, and expressed surprise that she was still mobile. My mother is strong and strong-willed, and even though she’s slipped below 80 pounds, and is finding it harder to move around, she still does as much for herself as she can. She just isn’t quite ready to give up her independence…but she’s getting there. I mean, she let me pack her suitcase, which was definitely a first. I love being able to do things for her. As I’ve told her, many times, I’ll never be able to repay her for everything she’s done for me.