Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Mondayist Monday

I always get to work at 7:00am on Mondays because I help with payroll and attendance and all the other things that have to happen in the beginning of the week to make the rest of the week go smoothly.

This past Monday, though, was different. Well, wait. Not different in that I went in at 7. No. That happened. But I was only there for an hour and forty minutes before I had to leave with some co-workers to go to an Excel class. That was great fun.

Only too bad for me, because while I was off having excellent great fun learning the basics of Excel (which, honestly, I kind of already knew…shhhh, don’t tell.) the work I’d normally have been doing during my three and a half hours away from my desk…well, that work was not being done in my absence.

Where the hell is my assistant?

So I worked ever so hard for the rest of the day to try and catch up on the work that didn’t get done from 8:40am to 12:30pm.

Only guess what? I didn’t even get to work until my usual 4:30pm that day because too bad for me, I had to leave at exactly 3:00pm for a 3:15pm physical therapy appointment.

The appointment was fine. I’m fine. My arm, according to my therapist, is feeling less full of fluid, so that’s good. She also said something about the tissue moving better, whatever the hell that means. I’m guessing it’s good since she smiled as she said it.

I have two more PT sessions, just so you know.

I had to go to The Walmarts after work because on Saturday, the VERY SAME WALMART did not have cucumbers. RED ALERT – They did not have any freaking cucumbers. Did you know that I eat a cucumber every single day at work? It’s the main part of my lunch. Why the hell am I still so fat when a fucking cucumber is the main part of my stupid lunch? Please let me take a moment to point out that the rest of my lunch is not pecan pie (blech!) or anything else that would be considered high in calories and delectable. No. The rest of my lunch consists of a half a cup of blueberries, a single, lonely string cheese and if I’m REALLY lucky, Tom will have left a half a tomato on the counter the night before after dinner and I’ll toss that into my lunch container the next morning. Lovely.

Anyway, I was at Walmart on a Monday afternoon. I not only needed (NEEDED!) cucumbers, but Olivia, the poor dear, was down to her last Klondike ice cream sandwich. WHATEVER WOULD SHE DO FOR A 9PM SNACK!?! Cue the fucking violins.

Woah there. I’m getting ahead of myself with the pissy tone of this post. I wasn’t even pissy while I was at Walmart. I don’t mind that place much. Just on Saturday afternoons when I’m trying to get through droves of people who should have had the sense to leave at least one of the seven adults in their party home to care for the twelve children they brought with them.

Monday afternoons aren’t that bad, even now, in the middle of laker season. Ahh, lakers, don’t even get me started.

So yes, there I was, bag of cucumbers in my cart, off to the ice cream section then back to the bread because Alyssa had band camp all week and needs to pack her turkey and mustard sandwich. I also wanted to get an assorted bag of individual bags of chips for her to pack to. I’m a great freaking mother, don’t let my children tell you any different.

After grabbing a Payday in the checkout line (and I was wondering up there why the hell I’m so fat…yeah.) I made my way to the car through the sweltering heat. OMG you guys, it’s so hot tgus week. It’s like living on the surface of the sun, if the sun had a surface, you know, since it’s actually just a giant ball of flaming gas.

I went home, still in a perfectly delightful mood, since my car is equipped with this wonderful invention called air conditioning.

I walked in the door and Olivia wanted to know if we were going to go swimming.

I declared that to be a lovely idea and we both changed into swimsuits and gathered towels and snacks. I didn’t realize until I got home that both Tom and I put two bottles of water in my snack/towel bag. No wonder that damned bag was so fucking heavy.

Before Liv and I left, Tom asked me what time Alyssa said she’d be home. I informed him that I had no idea since I wasn’t the one who’d been home when she’d left. He informed me that he’d assumed we (Alyssa and I) had discussed this the night before.

I told him we hadn’t. I also suggested that since HE was the parent who was home when she left, he might have considered, you know, talking to her and ASKING her or, hey, here’s a suggestion, TELLING her when to be home.

He, in turn, suggested I sent her a Snap and ask her what time she planned to be home. He said, all pompous-like, that as a responsible person, she should know that nothing later than 9pm was acceptable since she has band camp all week and has to be up by 7am at the latest each day.

Basically, he was attempting to trap her by giving her the option to be right or wrong in when she thought she should be home.

Ugh. I sent her a message, she said she’d be home by 8. I told her that since Liv and I were going swimming and wouldn’t be home until after 8, she could make it 8:30 if she wanted.

Then I grabbed that heavy-ass snack/towel bag and Livie and I were off.

For snacks I took cookies (Olivia at ten, I had three – oh, look at that, reason number 7426 why I’m a Fatty McBitcherson), blueberries, and Doritos, regular and Cool Ranch.

We swam from 6:00pm until almost 7:30, at which point, Liv asked me if I’d be mad if she needed to get out of the pool and use the bathroom.

I told her that of course I wasn’t mad that she didn’t take a giant dump in the pool. I was freaking proud of her for realizing she needed to shit and did the responsible thing (ie, GOT OUT OF THE POOL) and made her way to a toilet.

After she made use of the toilet, we went home, where Tom was sound asleep on the couch. Olivia woke him up by touching his face with her icy cold hands.

I heated up dinner for Liv and gave Tom the rundown of the messages that Lyss and I had sent back and forth.

At first he thought she’d been the one to push the time back from 8 to 8:30. I had to backtrack and tell him that I was the one who suggested 8:30 and then, I went on to remind him that he’d originally said 9, so, DUDE, she was still getting home earlier than he’s originally suggested, so give it freaking rest.

But then…THEN… she texted me about how she and N had gone swimming and could they run to Dairy Treat and then come straight home?

You know what?

I’m sick of being the go-between. I don’t actually care if she’s home at 8, 8:30 or hell, even 10 on a week night. She’s a smart girl.

Alyssa, if you’re reading this, you’re an amazing person. You’re smart, you’re responsible, you’re kind. You’re a wonderful friend, a delightful daughter, and even a great sister (I mean, you’re no Norah Porch but then again, Olivia isn’t exactly like Delaney Porch so you get a pass. I love you bunches and forever.)

Alyssa KNOWS how much sleep she needs each night. Going out and having fun with friends after band camp isn’t going to make her suddenly think she can come home at 3am and get back up at 7 for the day.

So.

When she asked about Dairy Treat, Tom huffed, “8:45, then, right?”

I texted back that she could be out until 8:45 but by then I was annoyed with the entire freaking world.

I was annoyed with Alyssa for proving her dad right and pushing the limits, even if the limits DID NOT EVEN MATTER.

I was annoyed with Tom for making ME be the one who communicated our annoyance with her.

I hate being in the middle. I HATE conflict and time management. Let her grow up!

Damn it.

After Alyssa finally got home (at 8:44, for anyone keeping track…TOM)I was upstairs remaking Olivia bed because…Olivia.

Lyss came in to say hi. I was short with her. I feel bad about that. I was just so done with that day.

I did apologize later and told her I wasn’t trying to be passive aggressive. I don’t want to be THAT mom.

I ended up going outside and petting our gross cat for a while on the swing in the backyard.

When I finally went back in I was still annoyed but not as bad at earlier. Tom asked me where I’d been. I told him. He asked if there’d been mosquitoes out there.

I shrugged. I don’t get bothered by mosquitoes; haven’t for years. Who knows why?

He acted all pissy that I didn’t get bitten. So freaking weird.

I can’t wait for his shoulder to heal and for him to feel better so he can get off the couch and stop watching Court TV and murder shows. He needs to get outside, get back to listing, get back to feeling productive because the way things are right now, he’s getting on my very last nerve.

And for what it’s worth, 99% of the time, I like the guy. And even when I’m annoyed with him, I still like him, I just want him to leave me alone while I stew in my frustration for a bit then I’ll be fine.

In the end, I’m always fine.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Okay, Fine

So a friend who is also a cancer survivor mentioned on FB that her doctor suggested she try and keep to a plant-based diet with minimal meat.

Yes, I know this is what my stupid doctor told me to do too.

So fine.

Fine!!!

I’ll try.

Really.

I’ll research the stupid Mediterranean diet. I’ll start eating more lettuce and fewer Suzie-Q’s. Did you know that they’ve changed the recipe and now add MORE filling? They’re even more delicious than ever! Thus, my hesitancy to give them up; why yes, I am a child, why do you ask?

I’ll cut back on the Mega-Stuf Oreos (though, in my defense, I only eat the filling. I chuck the actual cookies out the window on my drive home…that’s few calories right there…just saying. And hey, deer and birds need the special treat that is a plain Oreo cookie sans stuffing, right? Uh, maybe? Okay, so I’m a wasteful bitch. Give me a break.)

I’ll pretend to like snacking on things like baby carrots and hummus and ignore my desire to eat raw cookie dough with a chaser of pickle juice to cut the sweetness of the triple chocolate chip dough.

I’ll try.

It’s not so much the meat I’ll miss when I attempt to adopt a plant-based diet. It’s the sweets, the carbs, the glorious sugar.

But I know it’s not good for me. I know!!

So yes. I’ll try.

And now that my stupid cold is almost gone, I’ll also get out there and walk again. That’s got to count for something, right?

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Taking My Own Advice

I was talking to a co-worker the other day about a friend who is always VERY busy with her daughter and her husband’s ‘hobbies’ and I wondered aloud what my friend does for herself.

The co-worker gave me a look and I laughed, saying, “Yeah, I don’t do a lot for myself either, do I?”

It’s hard when you’re a wife and mom and a full-time employee to carve out time to do something that is solely for you.

Right, Julie? J

But I know that we have to try because in fifteen years, when our kids are all grown up and living independently of us, where will we be?

I can tell you one place I won’t be and that’s in a strawberry patch picking strawberries. Nope. That is NOT me time.

But what would I do with my time if my husband and children weren’t a factor?

Ummm…

I’m not sure. I’ve been doing this wife/mom thing for over sixteen years. It’s just who I am. But I know that I’m more than that too.

I want to be an advocate for cancer survivors and for special-needs kids and moms. I’d love to either join or heck, even start a support group for cancer patients/survivors who are just trying to figure out their new normal, whatever that means.

I know that caregivers live lives of solitude and I’d like to figure out how to fix that.

I saw my cousin this past weekend. Her daughter had spinal surgery a couple of months ago for scoliosis. S has been bedridden ever since. The outing over the weekend was the first time S was allowed out of bed since her surgery. She looked great, by the way.

My cousin, S’s mom? She looked exhausted. I can’t begin to imagine the loneliness she feels being at home with a child who can’t get out of bed. She has her own health issues but I’m pretty sure she can’t address them right now because, well, see the above paragraph about a bedridden child.

I know that while I was going through treatments, Tom and my mom both had some moments of being overwhelmed by being my caregivers. And hey, I was never bedridden, so there’s that.

During my months off work, I didn’t get our house into shape as I’d thought I might. I didn’t get any painting done or cleaning or organizing. I did make a blanket for my brother that I gave him for Christmas. But sewing is not my passion.

I think I need to find my passion. I want to. Can I? Will I?

I guess we’ll see.

Monday, July 1, 2019

It's Official

Yay?

I mean, okay.

We caught it early, just like the cancer that led to the lymphedema.

When the nurse measured my arms, Leftie was three centimeters larger than Rightie.

When the PT measured them exactly a week later, either Leftie had shrunk or Rightie had grown because there was only a 1.5 centimeter difference.

So that’s good news.

Alas, once you’ve been diagnosed with lymphedema, you will always have lymphedema, even if your affected limb doesn’t balloon out to elephant proportions.

For what it’s worth, I REALLY like to avoid that.

Apparently, I’m lucky that my affected limb is my dominant arm. That means I’ve maintained better range of motion due to constant use of said arm. (Read: I wipe my butt with the hand on the end of that arm…holding toilet paper, let’s not be any grosser than I’ve already been in this sentence.)

Typing is also good for the hands that might be affected by lymphedema. So, go me for having a job at which I sit and type quite a bit each day. And yay for blogging, right?

Right.

My insurance company approved the consult with the PT but hasn’t approved the actual physical therapy yet. Huh.

The therapist said it’s usually approved so we’ll see how that goes. She’d like to see me twice a week for four weeks and by then, I’ll have hopefully learned how to do the massage portion of the therapy myself.

That ought to be fun…for no one.

I’m not really as pissy as this post comes across.

I’m more…resigned.

I mean, the cancer diagnosis was bad enough. The surgery and ensuing recovery was, well, it was exhausting.

Chemo was awful and radiation, while not as bad as chemo, was time-consuming and tiring.

And now we’re throwing lymphedema into the mix because why the hell not? I guess I haven’t paid my dues enough yet.

I know I’m lucky to be here. Damn it, I KNOW that. I don’t want to go all ‘why me’ about this. Why not me, right?

It just sucks.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Why?

Why do I open my stupid mouth and say things like, “I’m so lucky! I haven’t had a cold in over a year. I mean, I had a cough during my last chemo but other than that…I’ve been so lucky!”

I’m an idiot.

I actually said those words about not being sick. I said them out loud to an actual other person.

And guess what? Two days later, I was coughing. A day after that, I had a sore throat and the day after that, I was congested and miserable.

I’m so stupid.

The universe does not like smug people.

Smug people who brag about the thing they’re all smug about are just asking to be bitch-slapped by the universe.

Okay, Universe, consider me bitch-slapped. I’m sorry. Truly.

I will never, ever again announced aloud, all smug-like, that I haven’t had even a cold for a long time.

I will always bow down to the power of the universe and its all-knowing ability to slap me down and make me sorry for having a big mouth.

Now this cold can go away and leave me to my quiet peace before I crack a rib from all the coughing.

P.S. Did you know that having radiation in the area where I had to have it can weaken the ribs and just coughing can crack those now-weakened ribs? Yes, cancer, even in remission is the gift that keeps on giving. Or you know, it just plain sucks, even after it’s gone.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Reason #7064 Why I Need to Chill

Last week I suffered a great deal of angst over the whole physical therapy thing. I was stressed over having to drive five thousand miles on a regular basis just to have my stupid arm massaged to make sure it doesn’t balloon into a cartoon version of itself.

This was on top of the fact that my doctor makes me feel like Fatty McObesity.

So I was kind of a bitch at home for a few nights.

I skipped a few dinners to punish myself for being…well, me.

I also walked and was miffed when Tom and Olivia wanted to walk with me because, hello, they don’t need to be punished!!

I took a few breaths, slept pretty well for a couple of nights and ended up calling the original physical therapy place back to schedule a consult.

I figured I could drive the million miles for a consult. Consulting with a PT didn’t mean I HAD to go back for any more therapy.

Basically, I started to get my shit together.

The very next day after I called the clinic that is on the other side of the sun and scheduled an appointment, I received call from the rehabilitation center at my local hospital telling me they’d received orders from my doctor referring me for physical therapy for lymphedema and did I want to schedule an appointment for the next week?

This would require a drive of two miles from my work to the hospital for this therapy.

Yes.

If I’d just chilled my stupid butt out, it all would have worked out without a lot of angst and tears and pissing my poor husband off.

Sigh. I might never learn but I am going to try.

See, wait. To give myself a little credit, the scheduler (Sandy) at the doctor’s office TOLD me to call the PT office that I originally called. At first, she wanted them to call me once she’d sent them the doctor’s referral. She had my cell # but I told her I didn’t receive calls while I was at work and that I didn’t have any voice mail set up.

Since I’m technologically challenged, she said she’d send the PT orders to IPT (the original clinic) and I could call them myself to schedule the appointment.

When I first called, the day I declared I was NOT driving to Pluto for therapy, the person answering the phone did not see any referrals for me.

What I think happened is that Sandy called IPT, they told her that their clinic is in the Delta Quadrant (REALLY FREAKING FAR AWAY) and so she decided to call the hospital’s physical therapy clinic, which is practically in my lap. Since they had openings, she sent THEM my referral and, hey, would you look at that, they called me a mere two days after my original doctor’s appointment.

Whew.

What a mess. But really, the mess is only in my head and that’s clearing, just as I knew it would. It always does. Those first couple of days after the appointment are always so awful and I know, logically, that things always get better. I need to remember to just keep to myself for a couple of days and my stupid mood will even out, I’ll calm down and everything will work out.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Oh Nothing, Just Over Here Feeling Sorry for Myself

I saw the radiation oncologist the other day.

I’m fine.

Everything’s fine.

I show no outward symptoms of recurrence; which means he gave my stupid boobs a thorough rub down and all is well.

Except…I’m fat.

He was quick to remind me of all the studies that show that pre-menopausal women who develop triple negative breast cancer have a much lower recurrence if they reach and maintain a healthy body weight.

Duh.

I know that.

I KNOW THAT.

And yet, there we were, me in a stupid hospital gown, talking about diets and exercise and blah blah blah.

I was able to tell him that I’ve been walking thirty minutes each night for three weeks. I’ve lost four pounds since my late April appointment with the chemo oncologist.

Alas, that’s not nearly enough.

Did you know that muscle burns fat even when you’re sleeping?

Yeah, me too.

But Dr. R was quick to remind me of that fact as he suggested adding a weight resistance routine to my walking.

Okay, see, I know that walking isn’t the best exercise there is. I also know that I’m not going to go to a gym. I’m not going to join a yoga class (OMG, can you even imagine? Picture my fat ass in a pair of yoga pants and a sports bra in a class huffing and puffing amongst a group of strangers. Oh, that’s right, THAT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.)

So walking is the best I can do right now.

And let me state AGAIN that I will never, ever take on a weight-resistance or lifting routine again in my life.

I showed Dr. R my biceps as proof that even with minimal weights, I put on bulky muscle. He admired my stupid muscles and said he was jealous.

I eyed his scrawny arms and told him I was jealous of his.

Oh yes, I did say that. I am not even making that one up for story-telling purposes. Nope, I told my skinny doctor I wished I had his peewee arms.

Tom told me that Dr. R was probably not flattered by my statement.

I deadpanned, “I didn’t mean it as flattery.”

I’m sure you can figure out that once again following an appointment with this doctor, I’m in a REALLY shitty mood.

I hate myself so much right now.

I hate that I let him get to me. I hate that I’m so fat. I hate that being this fat could cause my stupid cancer to come back. I hate that I hate exercise. I hate that I eat too much junk food. I hate that my body is so gross. I hate that I’m a brat and an antagonist. I hate that when someone makes a gentle suggestion, I take it to heart and then just want to cry my stupid eyes out.

Oh… and even better still? My left arm is three centimeters bigger than my right arm.

Sure, I’m left handed, so…makes sense right?

Apparently this could be the first signs of lymphedema. Joy!

Dr. R wants me to start physical therapy on my left arm to at least keep the lymphedema at bay.

Okay.

I called the clinic near where I work yesterday. I was in the process of giving all my information when the scheduler said something along the lines of, “As of right now, our lymphedema clinic is at the Dupont Hospital campus. But on July 1, they’re moving to Clinton Avenue.”

I stopped her right there, “I’m not driving that far for this.”

I was probably bitchier than I meant to be but I was already in a horrible mood and being told that I’d have to drive a minimum of 40 minutes one way for this therapy pushed me right over the edge from annoyed to furious.

I held back the tears that threatened as she tried to assure me that the clinic wasn’t moving that much farther away than it already was.

“Are you familiar with Dupont?” she asked.

I am. I take Olivia to the dentist in that area.

“Do you know where Leo Crossing is?” she continued.

Nope.

“How about The Rusty Spur?”

I told her that I am not familiar at all with Fort Wayne and so nothing she was saying was ringing a bell.

I then told her I’d have to call her back. I was going to go home and research lymphedema and see how important this stupid therapy really is.

I think I apologized and told her I wasn’t trying to be difficult but going all the way to Fort Wayne on a regular basis simply wasn’t something I was interested in doing.

I mean, come on! Even if I had a 4pm appointment, I’d have to leave work at 3:00 and if the appointment lasted an hour, I’d not leave for home until 5, and because of traffic, would probably not get home until after 6.

No.

So after spending a little time on Google I learned that the therapy involved in treating lymphedema is 75% massage. They also wrap the affected limb and teach the patient how to care for their skin.

I got home after all this and had to take a minute before I could talk about it with Tom without crying.

I’m such a freaking baby.

Tom tried to help. I know he did. But he really just made it worse for me.

He followed a link from the site I found about therapy that talked about surgery. Right. Sure. Let’s just jump right to surgery.

The morning after the doctor’s appointment he said something about how I could drive to Fort Wayne once to meet with the PT and see if it is something I even really need.

I could. I might.

I need to calm down first though and get my head straight.

On the bright side, I don’t have to see the radiation oncologist for another year. That gives me plenty of time to get out of my funk and maybe figure out how to motivate myself to lose some freaking weight.