Friday, July 27, 2012

Connecting Happy

One of my goals since the cancer, surgery, then the other surgery series of events, was to find as much of my happy as possible. I made mental lists; learn how to use my pressure cooker and use it, go to concerts, learn guitar, read more, listen to music more, get back to knitting and crochet, and the big big one is to go to Paris. Some of these are easier than others and the ones that may seem easy aren't as easy as I thought originally. Pressure cooker, done. Music, done. Reading, semi done. I have about three books going at the same time and none too soon to be completed; movies, television shows, rabbits, sleep, food, bathroom visits, doctor's visits, telephone calls and my body have interrupted my reading goal. Knitting and crochet were picked up and then dropped. I did go to one concert last night, with my intrepid and daring Mother. The experience was less and more than what I had hoped, or planned.

Let's start with how cool is my Mom? She braved the heat, the insolence of 20,000 assholes that showed up mostly late for a $5 concert in the park and she did it with a smile, curiosity and all for MY HAPPINESS. I started out the evening crying, just a bit (come on, my 61 year old Mom was going to a hot outdoor concert to sit on the hard ground with her arthritis to hear a band she had only heard of cuz I played them while we went to my chemo appointments, risk dehydration all because my friends have lives and don't like the same music as me.) The band playing was Band of Horses and I have loved them for quite a while. How can you beat going to see someone you actually like for $5 when Fiona Apple tickets are $45 for a show just next week? Concerts are different and people are different from when I frequented them, oh say ten years ago. I know this sounds like a "Kids these days" rant, and it just may be. 20 and 30 year olds at this thing wouldn't look you in the eye. They were rude, pushy and ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS on their phones. They didn't even seem to be there for a concert. Beer, food and showing off their asses (I mean asses, I saw more than a handfull of lady parts) as the hoardes walked by me. No one sat still to just absorb the show. I had so many humans rushing past me, stepping on my shoes (that one and only guy did say sorry) the others bumped or actually jumped over my Mother as she was lying on the ground. Yes, three prick males actually jumped over my Mother's head as she was lying on her back, I of course in protective angry mode yelled out "WHAT THE FUCK?" and they just kept on, being stupid, rude and oblivious. One insidiously dickish guy jumped over us with his skateboard in hand almost hitting my Mom behind me. I said right to his face, much to his astonishment "REALLY?"

I know my temperament might have been affected by the heat and my kidneys, but I was the ONLY one in our area singing, clapping and swaying to the music. I was the only one looking at the stage. I may have been the only one aware of the name of the songs playing or the words being sung. There seems to be this disconnect, and I can't connect to the gap to define it. What I can connect with is how much I love my Mom and how grateful I am for every moment that I have with her. I can connect with how much my family wants to protect me from even the little harms life incurs. I did get to connect with the music, for a few moments, while I closed my eyes and swayed, singing loud like no one else could hear me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Books have the same enemies as people: fire, humidity, animals, weather, and their own content. - Paul Valery

I just wish I could watch one movie, one television show, or read one book without someone dying, almost dying, having someone they love die, their dog die or the entire race of which they belong be on the brink of dying. I could go without being left at the alter, or cheating, or thinking of cheating, being abandoned, lying, being ridiculed, falling apart, having Alzheimer's, getting cancer, anyone at anytime getting cancer or knowing anyone with cancer, married too young, marrying the wrong person, marrying the wrong sex or never getting married when all they ever wanted was to get married, infertility, too much fertility, miscarriages, still births, kidnappings, murders, rapes, stabbings, shootings, bombings, bank robbers, hostage takers, war, the effects of war, PTSD, superheroes, supervillans, aliens, alien invasions, zombies, worldwide epidemics, prejudice, stupidity, hate, loss.

Guess I am left with "Winne the Pooh."

Monday, July 9, 2012

Water Works

Plumbing. It has been all about the plumbing. And pipes. And what goes through the pipes. On Tuesday I had my Nuclear Kidney scan and then after met with my Urologist. The test involved me getting injected with a radioactive isotope followed by a pretty strong dose of a diuretic that once it was introduced, it felt like my kidneys went into hyper-drive. I was SUPPOSED to lie under the machine for 20 minutes for the scanner to get results and my bladder to fill up as full as possible from the empty state where it began.... no such luck. I was determined, but I just couldn't hold out. The pain from just my kidneys overreaching and then my bladder to near balloon popping, I didn't stand a chance no matter my intentions. Then after a major pee and more pictures we went up to visit with the doc. He looked over the results and said that he would like to see the kidneys working as close to evenly as possible and mine are working where the left is 38% and the right is 62%. Not too unexpected this close to surgery but the biggest issue is the rate of how they fill up and empty. There is a magic number assigned, allotted for this filling and emptying and anything below and around 10 is great, anything higher is of concern and anything around 20 is surgery time. My left kidney is around 12, my right is a 16. There is also a small blockage up close to the right kidney which would not be due to any complications from the original cancer surgery. Speaking of cancer, they told me that the chemo was going to be hard on my kidneys. Is this what they meant? I could have been born with this and now that the right kidney has to do all the heavy lifting/filtering it is just too much.

In the room with my Urologist was a med student, standing well over six feet tall, rocking back and forth from his toes to his heels as we talked about all of this. He didn't know anything about me, didn't say a word until my doc let him in on the fun of me. My doc gave the student the scoop on the reason for the re-implantation; it was because of cancer, and then my doc spilled the Ehlers-Danlos and Thalassemia beans. The student said he recognized Ehlers from a test he had just taken (nobody recognizes it unless they specialize in the field) and then the kid got all bug eyed and said "Oooohh, I've never met ANYONE with Thalassemia before." I giggled, then counted out all of my ailments for him like he hit the jackpot and he interjected... "You should hand out pamphlets!"

My other set of pipes that carry the water throughout my apartment complex have been another issue all together. The main line sprung a leak, make that three leaks, and the water had to be shut off for the whole complex. I got this knock on the door from another tenant with a big orange bucket telling me to fill 'er up to use that water for the toilet! No running water for a night and day but I just peed and peed into the toilet, which is what I have been doing anyway. I pee so much anymore I only flush every other pee. No use wasting good clean water on my grey water.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


When Stephie was dying she started to give away her possessions. When she asked me what I wanted, there was only one item. A blanket. When we were young my Mom made the three of us these fantastic blankets called Snug Wraps. They were a kind of snuggie, homemade with quilt ties and velcro snaps at the appropriate places so you could basically wear your blanket. Me, Todd and Stephie loved them. They were all different fabrics and just fit us. Well, Todd being a brother borrowed mine (take it out of the closet cuz it was there borrow) for an outing with his friends and it never came home. So, when I knew Stephie was leaving this Earth I only wanted that one blanket; that was made for her, by my Mom with love, that looked like her and every time I smelled it I would think of her and when she gave it to me to sleep with the last time I slept at her house she was embarrassed that it had a stain, the one thing I wanted, but I just laid there and cried touching the stain over and over.

I have a lot of blankets, people have made them for me, I have bought them and many many have been given to me. I had one specifically sent to me by my Aunt Sue to use during my chemo that is wonderfully light and warm that makes me smile every time I see it. The one blanket I haven't been able to use during all of this is My Stephie blanket. I used to get so much joy in putting it on my bed, I would just smile when I would see it in my cupboard. Now, there is such grief mixed with guilt that if I were to cover myself with it I don't know how long it would take me to stop crying. I get to wrap myself in her memory whenever I dare.

The Bun

The Bun
If you don't like rabbits, you can suck it, shove it and then go soak your head.