Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Conversations in a dental chair and other things

I had an appointment at the dentist yesterday to get my teeth cleaned. It wasn't my regular dentist or even his assistant who did the cleaning, but someone totally new. While she was cleaning, the following conversation took place:

(H = hygenist, M = Me)

H: So, do you have kids?
M: (oh we go again) Nope.
H: You're lucky.
M: We've been trying for 3 1/2 years.
H: Oh, so you probably want them.
M: (Duh) Yeah, but we can't have them.
H: You could always adopt. There are lots of children that need homes.
M: (oh my god...where do people get off?) Well, if I had $18K just sitting around with nothing else to do with it, I'd certainly contemplate it.
H: Oh my! I had no idea it cost that much!
M: Once you include lawyer fees and agency fees and all the paperwork and home studies...yeah, it does. It's only slightly less expensive to adopt out of country.
H: You'd think that with so many kinds needing places to go it wouldn't be so expensive. I personally know 3 couples who've adopted children from...China, I think.
M: (Congrats lady - I know a whole community) It's just not feasible for us.
H: Well, you could always borrow my 14 year old for a week. I guarantee you won't want kids after that.
M: (sits in silence so as not to scream at her about the teens living in her house, or the pregnant friend with her second child on the way or the pregnant lady living in her house)

Where do people get off? It's really odd that this conversation took place when it did because I had just gotten done reading this story in the local paper. It's about people who have large families and the looks/comments they get...and how society feels free to barge in on a personal decision such as that. Or the lack of children. If you have no children, people pity you. If you have one, people always ask when you are having the next one. If you have three, people make comments like "Don't you know what causes that?" or "Why do you have so many?" or some such. Society likes us having our 2 kids...and that's it.

Today is our 4 year anniversary! We're staying here tonight, in the Carriage Room (I think). Aaron took tomorrow off so we could spend the day together. Some days I can't believe we've made it this far. I'm so blessed to have him for a husband. He understands me so well...most of the time. Mom says he's the perfect husband for me - and I think she's right (as usual).

Life is so packed right now. In between work and school, the drywallers are coming over the next 3 days to put the wall back up behind my washing machine and dryer. Mom is coming up tomorrow and staying for 5 days. I have a lab exam tomorrow for which I am woefully prepared because I've been spending so much time trying to fix everything else. I meet with my back doctor today to discuss the next step in treatment...which involves putting leads inside my vertebrae and connected to my spinal column, which are then attached to a generator. The generator blocks the pain signal coming from the specific area that hurts. I don't know that I want to do this, but I don't have much choice anymore. Sometime next week the floor guy should be coming in to finish my kitchen floor.

Just 6 more weeks until Thanksgiving break...I think. Maybe THEN I can breathe a little.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Unresolved issues

I just got a call from mom. The good news is that the cancer isn't in her lungs, brain, liver or kidneys. The bad news is that they still don't know where it is. There is something going on in the left quadrant of her body, however. There is a mass in her left breast, but they don't know if it's a tumor or just scar tissue from when she had breast cancer 4 years ago. They couldn't do her MRI mammogram on Wednesday because they couldn't get her shoulders into the machine without suffocating her. She is coming up here on Thursday to get one done - there is a cancer institute here in Boise that has WAY better machinery. So she's coming up and will probably stay through Tuesday morning. She says "So the good news is that I'm not dying...yet". :) Go mommy and her sense of humor! Sorry I don't have any better information for y'all, but I'm passing on what I get. Thanks so much for all the prayers and kind words of means a lot to me.

On other fronts, I am trying to face the fact that my mother may not live to see me give her grandchildren. I've always kept in the back of my mind the idea that I might, someday, get pregnant through a miracle of nature. I know that it's not really realistic, but it's still a thought. Considering that I'm having a hard time still with dealing with the idea of not having children...I think I'm doing pretty well. But then I thought about mom dying and never getting to see the children I might someday have...and was almost tempted to start treatments again. IVF, IUI, adoption...whatever. Just please let me give my mom grandkids. Let them get to know her, so they don't have to know her through stories like I did for her parents. I am not ready to start treatments again though and am not sure I ever will be again.

Yesterday I held a baby shower for Wilma. Thankfully she and Giggles were the only preggos there so it wasn't too bad...although I was ready to kill her daughter by the time I left. In two weeks, however, life is going to SUCK. I'm holding a baby shower for Giggles on the 7th. She's planning on inviting a bunch of girls from her school. She attends a school for pregnant girls who want to graduate but can't go to regular school either because they are pregnant and will have to take time off, or because they had to drop out to have the child and can't afford daycare. The school had a nursery and daycare in it, so they can still go to school. see where this is going. I'm going to be SURROUNDED by women in various stages of pregnancy. In my house. Where I can't leave to escape. Ugh. I think I must be crazy. Oh well...I suppose I shall survive.

Ok...enough procrastinating for me. I need to go study and do some homework. Love all of you! *MUAH*

Friday, September 21, 2007

The waaaaaiting is the hardest part

/Tom Petty song

I went to the doc this morning and talked to him about my missing AF. As of today, she is 5/7/9 days late. The doc asked me about my stress levels...yes, they're through the roof but I've been here before and it's done nothing but make my cycles 28 days instead. I tried to explain that, and the 31 day chemical pg. As soon as he noted there was a little variation, he decided that we should give it another cycle to show up. If not, he'll do a progesterone challenge. A wha-huh? I'm going to assume Provera, since I can't think of anything else. Joy. I get to wait another month, which means that when she DOES show it's going to be a real bitch. I'm guessing that the longer you go without a cycle the more ick and the heavier it will be? I have no experience with this...I'm adrift in the infertility sea and I'm not used to that.

Also on the topic of waiting: I spoke to my mom this morning. They did her mammogram and the MRI mammogram on Wednesday - she should get those results on Monday. They also managed to get her in for that PET scan yesterday instead of next week. She will probably get those results on Monday as well. So the wait is on...just a few more days.

I keep getting ahead of myself with all of this. I"ve gotten myself totally freaked out, thinking "What am I doing to do with dad when she dies? We aren't exactly close anymore and I can't relate to him and he's not even remotely open about his feelings. How will I help him grieve? How will I take care of him? That house is too big for just him, even though it's a small house. He couldn't even manage to take care of it and himself when mom was in the hospital...let alone never coming home again. He refuses to pay the bills, even though mom told him what to pay when. He just saved it up and took it to her once a week so she could do them. How is he going to cope? Would it be better for him to stay there? Move to Burley where his job is? Move back 'home' to MA with his family? Move here with me? But if he does that I will feel compelled to check in on him several times a week. There's a reason my parents are 200 miles away. But he's my dad - it's my job to take care of him. Who is going to plan the funeral? Will mom want me to sing? CAN I sing? I think I know what she'd want me to sing but I don't know if I can do it then. It's hard normally! Where will she want to be buried? Where she's lived for the past 25 years? Flown back to MA and buried with her family? If she does that it means cremation - can we handle that? Will my brother attend the funeral? do I want him to? Will there be a will, since my father is still alive, or does everything automatically transfer to him? I'm sure he'll give me her clothes, since I'm the one who is her size...but do I want them? Can I make myself get rid of them, knowing they were mom's? What do I do????" (insert heart rending, soul searing wail from the core of my being here)

This is what's been going round and round and round in my brain since Monday. I know I'm ahead of myself...we have to get through the dx and treatment (if any) first. She may not die for years and years...or it could be next week. None of this is really my responsibility, but I always have to have a plan. Without a plan I'm lost.

I'm lost.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The results are in

Does it get much more negative than 1?

I took a test this morning because they told me yesterday that I wouldn't get my results until Friday when my CBC came back. I called this morning to ask them to please call the lab, because had I known it was going to be 3 days I wouldn't have wasted my money. They called me back with a 1.

So...I'm 3/6/9 days late depending on the cycle. I'm very obviously not pregnant. AF shows no signs of arriving. Color me really fucking confused.

Just the facts, Ma'am

I apologize in advance if this rambles a lot or has a lot of typos. It's almost 4am and I can't sleep. The meds I was taking to help me stay asleep have stopped working so I've stopped taking them. Once again I'm awake every night at exactly 3am...only I couldn't get back to sleep this time. As I laid in bed, trying to will myself back to sleep, I got to thinking about several things. I've decided to put these things down here, in an effort to get them out of my brain.

1) I have to face the fact that I may very well lose my mother this time. Apparently she and my sister talked about a month or so ago about what would happen if she ever got cancer again - before she ever knew about this. My sister told her that she felt like she'd given it a good fight; she'd done all the treatments and it keeps coming back. If mom doesn't want to do any treatments this time, my sister will not fight her on it. Mom already knew where I the same place I always do. I love my mother with all my heart and soul but I will not stand in the way of her decision. It is her choice and I will abide by it. I will not make it harder, I will not let her see how hard it is for me, I will not let her feel guilt for it. I will protect her from others to the best of my abilities and will be there whenever she needs me. She knows this - it has always been my role in her life. I am not ever going to be ready to lose my mother, but I have to learn to accept that she will not always be here. I mean, I've obviously always known that she wouldn't live forever, but it will always be too soon.

2) Giggles is going to have this child while living in my house. Her doc wants her to try very hard to keep it in for another week and a half and then she is permitted to have it. Regardless of timing, though, I don't think they are going to be out of my house before the child is born. I am going to have to come to grips with this. It's harder than I realized, but I can do it. I'm probably going to be angry as all hell, but I think I can deal with it.

3) I need to make myself focus on my schooling. I don't want to - I just want to hide - but I can't afford to. I need to stop procrastinating and study. WoW will still be there when I get done with my homework. (I just started playing a few days ago and I LOVE it!) My husband will still be there, the laundry will still be there (unfortunately)...and I can't afford to fail any more tests. I failed my first Bio test yesterday morning and have asked the prof if I can retake it because I just can't focus. Between the lack of sleep and everything else that is going on, I'm doing good to remember my name!

4) No matter what happens, I will live. Nothing I've listed is going to kill me. I may feel like it. I may be seriously overwhelmed. But I have a support network - my family, my IRL friends, and the community here. Thank you everyone for your words of support and love as my world tries to crash down and I dodge the debris. It is good to know that you're all still out there. Thank you.

Monday, September 17, 2007

My world

I'm sorry I left you hanging last time. Thanks a very whole big bunch and lots to those who left me words of encouragement, and those who didn't but might have been praying for me. It's been very appreciated. I left the comments in my inbox so I could go back and look at them when I needed a pick me up. Life hasn't been so good lately and I haven't been able to blog about it. Last post was 100...yay! So let's see...what's been up in the past big?

I'm on Welbutrin again. It seems to be helping. This is good, because life isn't cooperating.

I'm having my kitchen floor replaced and it's been a nightmare. The washing machine has been leaking and the floor is finally giving out. It's buckling, so I decided to replace it now rather than later. I got an estimate from Lowe's...almost $3K! WTF? We can't afford that, so I placed a claim with homeowners insurance. The lady came out on Friday to check it out and said the labor charge was WAY off. I called Lowe's back...and it turns out that the installer didn't listen to anything I said. He decided how he was going to redo my kitchen and that's that. I said "That shit ain't happenin' buddy" and they sent me a new installer today. Meanwhile, I called the adjuster back to let her know what the problem was. SHE decided she didn't like my wet floor being there any longer than it needed to be, so she sent a company out here to rip up my floor. UGH.

Meanwhile, Giggles starting having contractions on Wednesday. She went in to the L&D because she couldn't feel the baby move. They gave her a shot to stop the contractions and sent her home. Friday I had to take her back in. Saturday we almost did it again. Saturday night I had a total breakdown. It's a lot harder having her in the house then I thought it would be. I had really hoped that they would be out before the baby was born, but this may not be the case. She's only 32 weeks, but I don't think she's going to carry to term. I can't deal with this. I feel like a horrible person because I feel like I hate her. I resent her tremendously. I'm sick of people fawning all over her. I want her gone. And none of this is her fault. She's not doing it on purpose; I'm sure (100%) that she doesn't want to be having contractions either and doesn't want her child yet either. I still hate it.

Also, my mom just called. They think she has cancer again. It's September; I shouldn't be surprised. See, 4 years ago on September 5th she was diagnosed with breast cancer. They caught it early and she did radiation. The following year on September 5th, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It was not an early catch, but as early as they could feasibly catch it. The damn tumor was 18cm! She had chemo and has been ok. We made it through last September with no cancer, although it was a tense month, only to pay for it with her problems this past winter. And now, it's September again, and her CA-125 is elevated. That gets elevated when ovarian cancer is present. Well, mom doesn't have any ovaries any more, or a uterus. This means that there were cancer cells left and they've metastasized. While the docs don't know where the cancer is just yet, when OC metastasizes, it usually goes to the brain or lungs. Y'all...I'm terrified this time. Those aren't terribly operable places. I'm not ready to lose my mommy but I have to face it this time.

She wants to have a family meeting once she knows more, with my sister and her boys as well as me. Aaron and my BIL can come if they want, I don't know if my brother will be there. I am on my mother's side, regardless of what she decides to do. She didn't want to do chemo last time, but my sister guilted her into it by saying "Fine. You don't have to do chemo. But if you don't, you have to explain to Daniel (my nephew who was 12 at the time) why you are choosing to die instead of live." Of course, she chose to do it when I was out of the room or there would have been hell to pay. NONE of us have a right to tell mom what she has to do. Of course we don't want to lose her...but we don't have to live with the effect. She does. She's 60 years old - old enough to make her own damn decisions on what she wants to do. I will stand by her and protect her from my father and sister.

AF is late. Today is CD28 and she's not here. The last time I had a cycle that was 28 days was when I had that chemical pregnancy in July of 2004, the one that sparked everything. I haven't tested yet. I don't have any tests in the house and I don't have time to deal with a positive anyhow. If she still hasn't arrived by Wednesday I will test in the morning, provided I've found time to get to the store. If not, I will see if the doc can fit me in for a beta while I'm on campus. This would just be a kick in the pants. I know there's a lot of stress in my life and stress can delay AF...but this isn't funny. Not even remotely.

To top it all off, I have been missing classes because of dealing with the house. I have an exam tomorrow that I am woefully unprepared for. And the final blow? Robert Jordan died yesterday.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I'm worried about me

(just as a forewarning: this may take a few posts or edits to complete as I am doing this in between classes)

I"m really starting to get worried about me. I feel as if all the joy has left my life. I rarely laugh any more. I might giggle...maybe...but I can't remember the last time I really, truly laughed. I don't feel alive. Anger, frustration and irritation are the only emotions I feel any more. This has been the case for a while but it's getting worse. I feel like I'm dying inside. All I want to do is drink and sleep and drink some more. I'm not...yet...but I want to. My heart isn't in my classes this semester and it's already showing. I can NOT make myself buckle down and do my work. I blame it on not having any space alone or time alone, but even when I do have time or a place I find something else to do. Like surf the net. Or read another book instead of my school books. I'm depressed and I know it...and it's worse than it's been in a long time. I can't remember when I last wanted to sit and drink...not to get drunk, but just to be more mellow. I want to run and hide and never come back out and it scares me.

MIL still hasn't stopped smoking, shock of all shocks. Her claim that she wasn't going to buy more smokes? A lie, as usual. I'm a sneaky bitch and counted the smokes in her pack yesterday, thinking that maybe she was just cutting back slowly and it was still the same pack she'd had and knowing the only way to find out was to count them. There were 12 in that pack yesterday. I counted this morning and there were 15. That means she smoked 17 yesterday...and that she's buying more packs. I had the thought that I would write her a letter, letting her know how all this makes me feel. I should have done it last week when I was fully angry, but I didn't. And now I'm having trouble making myself care. I know it won't make a difference...why should I bother?

I'll be starting back on my antidepressants once my mouth heals from my latest dentist appointment this afternoon. Last time I was swollen for 4 days and could barely eat pudding, let alone try to fit pills in my mouth. I don't think they alone are going to do the trick, though. I know they can only fix so much. Chuckles and Giggles might be moving out soon - they are going to get a list of income-based housing from one of the girls that Giggles goes to school with. That will make things a little better still, as I will not have him constantly irritating me and will give me a place to hide again.

I feel apathetic, but know that I'm not truly because I still care that I don't care. As if THAT makes much sense.

(ok, time for class. I'll finish this later, if I can bring myself to care enough)