What This World Is Coming To

Some years back, when Marriage Equality came to the forefront of the political scene, if you’d asked me my opinion I would have just shrugged.  It didn’t matter to me.  I didn’t think it effected me personally.  But I guess, over the years, as I’ve come to know gay and lesbian couples, it has begun to matter quite a lot.  It must, because yesterday’s SCOTUS decision made me so very happy.

As I was telling a friend, I work with two men, both of whom had to leave their home states to marry their beloved.

I also have wonderful neighbors who have been living together for over 20 years.  They are both in their 70’s and one of the ladies is very ill, without insurance.  How wonderful would it be if they decided to marry and her spouse could make end-of-life decisions for her?  Or even get her insured so her end of life doesn’t have to come so fast?

There are two arguments I keep hearing against this ruling:

  1. This should be a state decision and the Supreme Court should not be able to over rule it.
  2. Clergy all across the country are got to suffer/be arrested/be attacked because they won’t marry same-sex couples.

I cry bullshit on both of these.

  1. The Supreme Court is there to uphold the Constitution and federal laws.  I believe the pursuit of happiness is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence as an inalienable right.
  2. My father is an ordained minister. (Yeah, it is hilarious.) A while back he told me he was sad because he had met with a young couple who had asked him to marry them and he had to refuse.  Were they gay? No.  He refused because in his heart he believed there to be problems in the relationship.  Apparently, he’s done this more than once.  Now, to me, this is wrong.  Which is why I would never be a member of his church.  But he’s not going to get arrested for doing what he believes is the right thing.  And knowing how he felt, I would never go to him to marry me.  Nor would I go to a Catholic Church, because I know they wouldn’t welcome my divorced husband.  But I know Catholic people who are perfectly adorable.  I love some of them.  Just like I know gay people I love, but I wouldn’t expect them to trot to my Dad’s bible thumping church for a wedding.

Also, in the news, the Confederate flag is being taken down all across the South. Hell, Walmart is even taking it off the shelves and those are their people!!  I understand that the flag is a symbol to the South, but the Confederate Flag belongs in a museum right next the the flag with 13 stars.  It’s okay to teach about it.  It’s okay by me if you want to fly it off your porch.  (If you did, however, I would also assume you have camouflage and several automatic weapons.)  (Or that you were my stepbrother.)  But it shouldn’t be flying anywhere on government property.  Just like we wouldn’t fly the Mexican flag or the English flag.  That war was lost.  Move on.

Sidebar:  I really have no problem with the Ten Commandments being a feature in court houses across the land.  Where do we think laws came from.  That’s history, too.

I think it’s the worst kind of unfortunate that nine people had to die in order for this to happen.  I think the racial events of the last year will prove a catalyst to greater change in the future, but I don’t know if we’ll ever see the kind of racial equality that I would like to see.  The kind that is blind to color and everyone is judged by who they are.

But then I never thought I’d live to see yesterday.  So, who knows?  It gives me hope, at least.

Things Are Looking Up

So…Things are indeed looking up.

  1. My main excitement is that Boy has been accepted to his art college of choice.  It’s going to mean he’s going to have to get Student Loans because – whew – hella expensive.  But I am so proud of him for going after this.  He did what we asked him to do.  He got an Associate’s Degree.  Now he’s going to do what he wants to do.  And I don’t think it will matter that he’s four years older than the other students.  He put in his application for housing yesterday and I really hope he gets it.  I always wanted to do the whole dorm/college thing.  Wish I had taken that route when I had the chance.  And he’s doing this all on his own.  I couldn’t be more proud.
  2. I buried the lead on #1:  He got a $10K a year scholarship!  That’s pretty cool.  It will help a lot.
  3. A friend of mine asked me to join her water aerobics class last week.  It’s a different class than the one I had been attending at the gym.  I liked it a lot more.  It was more challenging.  They have the class on Monday and Wednesday and it will cost me about $15 a week to attend both, but that’s okay.  It’s good for me.  And Husband has admitted that, while he’d like to have me home every night, I am much happier when I do these things.  I skipped Monday because of some threatening weather, but really wished I hadn’t.
  4. My second class was yesterday at the end of a very bad work day.  I didn’t want to go.  My friend didn’t show up cause she was sick, but her other friends were just as warm and inviting without her.  By the time warm up was over, I was feeling so much better.  And I was able to stop eating before I really wanted to last night.  This morning I woke up before my alarm went off for the first time in weeks and made it to work early.  I even parked farther away from the building.  One habit really does help me get back on track.
  5. I haven’t had a Coke or any other soda since Sunday.  I really want one.  But I’m not going to have one.
  6. My morning coffee habit (2 cups with about three tblsp of Hazelnut creamer) is almost gone.  I’m finding I don’t really have a taste for it anymore.  I’m more into water in the morning, which is better for me.  When I do drink coffee for the caffeine kick, I’ve been drinking it black.  I do, occasionally, treat myself to a iced Caramel Macchiato at SBUX, but only if I’m in the neighborhood.  (Those things are expensive.)

So things are looking up.  I am getting more into the groove with regard to my health and that makes me happy.  I’m trying to cook more, as that makes quite a difference.  I made the most yummy Asian Chicken with Udon Noodles and Peanut Sauce last week.  Even Husband ate it.  (Although I don’t know if he was kidding or not about adding a can of gravy.)  When food tastes good, I tend not overeat as much.

Work has been very difficult for me lately.

I have a tendency to feel “left out” of things when others on my team are in meetings to which I’ve not been invited.  Or when everyone knows what I’m working on but I have no clue what they’re working on.  Or when I have nothing to work on.  Or when I don’t understand something.  Basically, I’ve just been feeling like I don’t understand my job very well and people are not trusting me to do it.  Which is ridiculous because I’ve had several successful projects wrap up in the last few months and the stumbling blocks we’re having on the others have more to do with lack of communication than anything else.

Yesterday, one of my favorite people in the company hurt my feelings.  She’s a Director and is under a tremendous amount of stress.  We’re severely understaffed right now and she’s been forced to take on a lot of roles that she normally would delegate.  While I don’t report to her directly, she’s still a Director and her respect means something to me.  (Hell, it means something to me because she’s just an awesome person in general.)  We’ve been working on a project together that has a multitude of problems. It didn’t kick off right.  It wasn’t quoted well.  The President wouldn’t let me do a part of the job that I usually do, so I got my panties in a bunch and decided to only do what he told me.  (I really should have acted as if I was doing my part anyway.)  My vacation came right in the middle of the project and someone else had to take over.  Then this Director got thrown into the mix in the middle when the President couldn’t make time for it any more.

In the end, we’re getting done what needs to be done, but only because we’re altering things on the back end.

Anyway…Long story longer, yesterday there was an exchange of emails that basically asked me why I was doing something a certain way and my response of, “Because you told me to.” was met with defensiveness and when I attached the email I received telling me to do it that way – clearly stating I must have misunderstood it – she accused me of blaming her.

I started at least three emails in response and trashed them all.  I had a good cry about it and let it ruin my afternoon. I thought about calling her to work it out but decided not to add to her stress.  I’m glad I did, because this morning she apologized and asked if we could meet and discuss this tomorrow when she’s in the office.

I’m trying so hard to think before I act here at work.  And at home, too.  Maybe it’s working.  One’s never to old to learn,  I guess.

Another Reason

And I forgot the other reason why I don’t want to have more surgeries.

THEY ALWAYS SCREW SOMETHING UP SO I HAVE TO DO IT MORE THAN ONCE!

Just got reminded of that by the Urgent Care where I get my blood drawn.  She took 9 tubes of blood out of me on the 6th and the lab neglected to do the ParaThyroid test.  Kind of an important one for me.

So I’m taking some sick time this afternoon to go and get that redone.  Which is fine because I feel like crap anyway.

Still Climbing

My many attempts to climb out of this funk have had a 50/50 success rate.

This weekend, I went to an event that I didn’t want to go to.  I had asked Husband if I could just skip it, but he thought I should really go.  These are the people in my life I feel awkward around.  These are the cool kids and I am the giant girl with giant boobs in the overalls with the frizzy hair.  I was just not feeling it.  Somehow I had convinced myself that if I stayed home I would do something other than watch TV, play video games, and nap. (HA!)  But I went.

First we got up early, got breakfast and went to the grocery, like we do every Saturday.  Then I had an appointment to get my haircut where I made my hairdresser give me bangs.  Next time, I’m going to make her give me better bangs.  (It’s a little difficult to style as the short bangs keep getting mixed up with the longer parts.  But I like not having to wipe my hair away from my face.)

Then we headed out to event:  A tailgate with Husbands friends for his buds birthday celebration and then the game after.  I still didn’t want to go, but the weather was pretty perfect for me (70-ish and overcast), plus bangs.  I was feeling better about it.  I was surprised by the number of people there.  Last year, this same event had far fewer women and the tailgating consisted of beers and the one bag of chips and dip we brought.  This year it was a full on tailgate with chili dogs and vodka spike fruit salad and subs and cupcakes.  And it was fun to see everyone.  I met some new people.  It was great.

A few things happened that had me frustrated, though.

  1. The event fell on a week where I got paid on Monday after the week Husband didn’t get paid.  And we were extremely short of fun money after paying more medical bills.
  2. The parking, which Husband said would be $10 turned out to be $15.
  3. I felt stupid that we were the only ones there without food to share.  I don’t think anyone else cared, but I did.
  4. The tickets that Husband told me were “free” cost $40, which had to be forked over to the birthday boy in cash.  Thank goodness I had done an ATM.
  5. I had left my sunglasses at home (overcast, remember) and as soon as we got situated at the game, the sun came out in full force.  My face, head and eyes were non too happy about that yesterday.  Today only my nose is complaining.

And an interesting thing happened to me.  I was having a conversation with one of the ladies.  She not being one to hold back on anything, asked me when I was getting my implants.

HA!

Boy, she was surprised when I said I already had them.  And they were supposed to be D cups.

She’d had breast reduction surgery a few years ago, so I knew she was being sincere. And I told her the truth.  I’m not happy with them.  Which is the first time I’ve said that out load.  I’m especially not happy with them since gaining my weight back, but I wasn’t happy with them in the first place.

I think I was so intimidated by Dr. Plastic and so ready to just have it be OVER already, I didn’t want to say I wasn’t a satisfied customer.  And he didn’t offer any kind of follow up – which I find a little odd.  Not that I wanted any more surgery then, nor do I in the near future.  But someday I might.

And I’ve decided it’s not selfish or whiney to feel like I didn’t get what I want.  It doesn’t mean I made the wrong choice, either.  It just means I had the wrong surgeon.  Because he either didn’t explain it to me correctly or didn’t do what he was supposed to do.

It made me feel a little better to have circled in on one of the things that are bothering me.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Today I’ve had some time at work, so I did some research on Bariatric Surgery.

I’ve often said I wasn’t a good candidate for surgery, but I’m feeling desperate.  I like what I read about the program at my hospital.  There is a lot of pre-counseling and information and a lot of aftercare.  I was a little surprised that the hospital stay was 2-4 days.  (I hate staying at the hospital.  It’s impossible to sleep and so boring.)  And I did confirm the side-effects – one of which is loss of hair.  And you know how I feel about my hair.

Still, I was all set to call about their information seminar, when I thought I should research the cost a little bit.  I already know that my insurance will pay 50% of one surgery per lifetime.  I thought if the surgery were as much as $4,000.00 even, I could swing that.  But nooooooooooooo!.  The surgery runs between $25-50,000.00.  And I’m assuming that covers all the therapy, follow up, groups, etc.

So that put a pin in my balloon.  No way I can do that.  No way.  No how.

I guess I’m just going to have to do this the old fashioned way.

Time to suck it up, buttercup.

It’s a Fine Line Between A Rut and A Routine

One of the things I really hate about Bloggers is when they don’t update.

Yup.  Two months since I’ve updated.

Whatever.

Nothing is going right.  Nothing is going particularly wrong, either.  I am just not in love with my life right now.

When my husband declined to go on an Anniversary getaway, I booked a flight to Nugget-town, AZ.  After spending a wonderful four days with the kids and that precious bundle of lovin’, I thought I’d come home refreshed and renewed.  Instead, I came home sick.  Which is how I spent out 24th anniversary.  In bed. Sleeping off a fever.

Whatever it was, I must have picked it up on the plane because Big Boy’s family is fine.  I, on the other hand, am still feeling like crap and coughing up the occasional lung.   Thankfully, between Memorial Day and working from home, I didn’t miss any work.  (I didn’t go to the Dr. because I didn’t want to hear her ask me why I hadn’t done my blood draw yet.)

Speaking of Dr.s, upon my return I was greeted with $1,000 in medical bills from the stupid biopsy of the not-cancer. Luckily, we had enough to cover them and I didn’t have to borrow more money from Boy.  That made me feel like crap.

Speaking of Boy, he is the source of much tension and stress in our house lately.  When he graduated High School, he wanted to study animation.  We made him a deal that he could do whatever he wanted as long as he got an Associates in General Studies/Liberal Arts first.  That way he’d have the basics if he changes his mind. He could fill up all of his electives with art classes, too.

So he did that.  And graduated and did the whole cap and gown thing.  He is debt-free and has a tidy little nest egg.  (I did none of these things.  I dropped out of a handful of colleges and wracked up a mountain of debt.)

And now he wants to go to the College of Creative Studies and get the degree he wanted in the first place.  He wants to live in the dorm in Detroit and have all that culture at his fingertips.

Which is great.  I don’t blame him.  But it’s hella expensive. And they don’t have requirements for English, Math, Science, etc. so none of those credits will transfer.  He’ll have to do at least three more years of school (probably 4) and work at the same time, because I doubt he’ll get any type of financial aid other than loans.  We can’t help him because we suck at money and have been bleeding $$ for the last two years anyway.

So when he graduates he will do so with a mountain of debt, no savings, and a degree that’s only good in California, Florida, Chicago or New York.  (They say they have a 92% placement rate but I know of three people who’ve graduated such schools and are not working in their field.)

Husband is not happy.  He yells at me about it.  I tell him to talk to Boy.  Boy seems to have thought all of this through.  Still wants to go.  And I don’t blame him.  I wish I had gone somewhere with a dorm away from my parents and all their drama.  Plus there is a possibility he could meet like-minded people and make friends.  Even female friends.

Then there’s my job.  Which I don’t really enjoy all that much anymore.  (I think it’s working as a whole I don’t like, but whatever.)

And my efforts to make my life more exciting have fallen back to all of my bad habits.  Since my illness, all I want to do is sleep.

In my head, I feel like I need more time for creativity.  But I know that I have the time.  I’m just not using it for that.

For my birthday, I would love to go away for the weekend.  All alone.  And see if all I need is a time-out from my life.

Shit.  Why doesn’t this get any easier.  Why aren’t there answers.

It’s WFH Wednesday!

I’ve been feeling pretty good lately.  I think there are several reasons for this.

  1. I’ve attended two Support Group meetings and it makes all the difference in the world to be able to sit with other cancer survivors and talk about what’s bothering us.   We’re patient with each other and everyone has a different story to tell.  I didn’t go this week because it was Husband’s birthday and I wanted to make him dinner.  But that’s how it works.  People come and go as needed.
  2. Spring is here.  Even April snow showers haven’t defeated it.  Last weekend was beautiful.  The birds are chirping.  Flowers are blooming.  The ice cream truck comes around.  It’s wonderful. A couple weeks ago I went on an impromptu walk with Bestie. Last Friday it was in the 70s and I spent the evening sharing margaritas and pizza with a good friend on their deck.  We stayed out even after dark with the help of her gas fire pit.  (Although it’s a little nippy when that sun goes down.)
  3. I booked a flight to visit the kids in Arizona.  I’ve been missing them so much.  All of them.  And the Nugget is growing so fast.  I can’t stand the thought of her walking around and my not seeing it.   A more intelligent person would have put it off to build up the savings first, but screw it.  It was making me too unhappy.
  4. Work is going well since I decided not to worry about being promoted.  It’s been nice to sit back and sigh and do the work that’s assigned to me.  And leave on time.  My mind is clearer.  I’m able to do my job better.  Lather, rinse, repeat until this lesson sinks in.
  5. I’ve been drinking lemon water.   A friend suggested it for my reflux.  She said it really helps her.  Since my insurance no longer pays for the script I was taking and I cannot afford to buy that much OTC meds, it thought it would have been a nice alternative.  It’s actually working pretty well.  I can still tell when I’ve been eating too much spicy, acidic foods, but I don’t wake up at night with my throat on fire.  Plus I’m pushing the water which makes everything else work better.
  6. I found a new PCP doctor.   He came recommended by a friend and gets good reviews online.  So when I saw her Saturday I asked how long the wait was and she said she hardly ever waits more than 15 minutes.   I haven’t made an appointment yet because I want to get my blood work on file first.  Then make the appointment.  Then do the insurance company thing.

Who knows, maybe this weekend we’ll even make it to the dog park.  Bobo would really like that.

Progress Not Perfection

So much for keeping up to date.  It’s been a crazy busy month.  But I like it.

I took my mother to Frankenmuth for her birthday at her request.  It was a nice trip and a long day.  We left at 9am and met the boys back here for dinner at 5pm.  I think it was 8pm when I dropped her off.  That’s a lot of having my arm slapped every time she thought of something new to tell me.  But it was worth it to see her enjoying herself.  And she’s becoming so frail.  More and more I notice it.  I think it frightens us both.

I haven’t been doing as well on the weight loss front as I’d like.  These meds are making me so tired.  Or maybe it’s the fat and lack of exercise that are making me so tired.  I’m trying to do better and am, a little.  Been keeping better hours at work. Been pushing the plate away a little more.

This week has been an interesting one.  Around the holidays I notice a lump in my right “breast”.   When I saw my Oncologist we agreed I should have an ultrasound and see my Surgeon to have a look, but since I have no actual breast tissue and my recurrence numbers are so low, it was most likely nothing.   Both the Ultrasound Tech (Anne, who is wonderful, but who I should not know as well as I do) and the Radiologist thought it was nothing, but wanted my Surgeon to look at it to be sure.  And my Surgeon thought it was nothing but wanted a biopsy to prove it.  I had the biopsy on Monday and I could tell by everyone’s attitude it was nothing.  I got the call from my Surgeon this morning telling me so.

So all is well and good. Except this every six months panic was one of the things I was trying to avoid with the mastectomy.  And the lump I’m feeling is a lymph node that is fine now, but they want to keep an eye on it.  Which means it’s going to be in the back of my head for six months.

I attended my first support group meeting last night.  I’ve rearranged my day working from home to accommodate my needs, for a change.  It was a very small meeting, which was great for me.   The facilitator is very warm and inviting and the three members I met were very open with their stories.

One woman went through two years before she got a diagnosis and each doctor kept telling her there was a 1%  chance that it was any kind of cancer and it was absolutely just a benign tumor.  For two years.  And not only was it cancer, it was a type of cancer for which there is no treatment and almost always recurs. She’s two and a half years out but will have to have period scans for the rest of her life and each time the probability of her having a recurrence increases.

That’s the part that I need help with.  The fact that no matter how many doctors tell me it won’t come back, I won’t ever believe them.

But it also means that I am determined – no matter how many times I have to start over – to not let my job interfere with my health and to rid myself of some of the bad habits I’ve let myself return to in the last year.   And I’m trying to balance kindness to others with kindness to myself.

It’s a work in progress.