Sunday, August 31, 2008

excuse me while I step outside...

Take a walk, talk a breath, step outside yourself.

I used to be so good at that.

I guess that's one of the abilities we lose as we get older. I've become anchored so firmly in now, in the daily bullshit that commands my attention, I am no longer able to easily step outside myself, step outside my life and exist in a state of limbo, hovering somewhere between this world and another.

That escapist nature allowed me to cope with an awful lot of shitty life circumstances that would have broken me otherwise. Granted, it also caused me to be slightly out of touch with reality at times and put up with a lot more bullshit than I should have.

Perhaps that's why we lose our escapist tendencies as we get older. Time starts running out and we no longer have as many years to waste by stepping outside ourselves in order to put up with the bullshit.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

stupid cancer II

As long as I'm on a roll about the stupid bullshit related to cancer, here's another thing really griping my ass at the moment.

It's a royal pain to try to live a normal life when your schedule is full of appointments with specialists an hour away.

My biggest worry today has not been whether or not I'm told Tuesday that the surgery was successful, but whether what I'm going to do about Tuesday if I'm offered this job I interviewed for yesterday.

Freelancing simply isn't paying the bills, especially when you have to pay over $700 a month just to keep your health insurance, a necessity at this point. So, I've decided to scrap the freelance/work part-time and finally go to school idea and find another full time job. Yesterday I interviewed for a great job in the district attorney's office. He is supposed to make his decision this week because he's hoping he can have the job filled next Tuesday.

Well, therein lies the problem. Let's say I luck up and am offered this job. Now I have to explain the importance of my keeping a previously scheduled doctor's appointment, preferably without having to disclose my condition. I mean really, I know there's laws against such discrimination but who really wants to hire someone with cancer, regardless of the fact that I've only had two surgeries over the past two years. My Lord, each surgery requires at least three separate doctor's appointments, not counting the actual surgery itself.

Meanwhile, I've got some other things I need to look into and take care of, but I can't hardly risk taking any long lunches any time soon, IF I do luck up and land the job.

Sheesh...life was so much simpler before the word "cancer" was ever uttered.

stupid cancer

Cancer.

The word is haunting me today.

I really don't like that word. I don't like the morbid thoughts it brings with its every utterance and I particularly don't like the bullshit you have to put up with when you have it.

The second surgery is now behind me. I won't find out until next week if it worked, but until I'm told otherwise, I'm assuming it did. I was right in assuming this surgery was minor compared to the first one, it was. However I did get a surgical site infection immediately that kept me extremely uncomfortable for much longer than I should have been and led to a stand off with a bitchy nurse in the oncologist's office.

"Well how do you know it's an infection," she asked in a condescending tone usually reserved for small children who insist on jamming things up their noses. "What does it look like?"

Um, the hole left from the surgery is now filled with yellow pus.

"Well I'm going to have to see you before I can prescribe any antibiotics."

Um, could you just pass the information along to my doctor...."Well, SHE is going to have to see you too so we can be sure this is REALLY an infection."

This went back and forth for 30 minutes as I tried to explain to this woman that I was in extreme pain and had been doped up on Percocet for a week, so I was pretty sure there was no way I was going to be able to make the hour drive to the doctor by myself, and since, she had waited until one o'clock in the afternoon to return a 9 a.m. phone call, I was pretty damn sure I couldn't get anyone who could make the 30 minute drive to my house to haul my ass down there.

"Well, I guess you'll just have to wait until Monday," was Nurse Ratchet's huffy reply.

Um, lady, I'm thinking it's not real smart for me to wait through the weekend knowing this infection is only going to fester and worsen.

"Well, we don't know that it IS an infection now do we," she shot back.

Um no lady, YOU do not know it is an infection because you obviously think I'm a friggin' idiot. I, however am not an idiot, am certain it IS an infection, am also certain I will contract some sort of friggin' blood poison if I sit around and wait until Monday and am quite frankly tired of having to arguing the point with your rude ass. I'm sorry you've obviously had a bad day, I hope it improves for you and that you don't have to explain to the doctor on Monday why I'm back in the hospital. Have a nice day, goodbye.

Sheesh! Luckily, I'm not an idiot and I have a very nice family doctor, who was willing to work me in that afternoon. So, I hauled my sorry ass into the car and drove the 30 minutes to his office for him to take a look and confirm that yep, it was an infection and it was probably a very good thing I hadn't tried to wait until Monday.

The $84 antibiotics he prescribed had me feeling much better by Monday when I called the nurse back to inform her of the diagnosis. Bitch.

Now I'm sorry, I know from having worked in a doctor's office that doctors and nurses hate it when people self-diagnose, but I also know, from the same experience that nurses have no right to make such judgments on their own, without the doctor's input. I can't help but worry about the patients who look to their doctors and nurses as Gods of some sort and always trust their judgments. I wonder what becomes of them and figure they probably have a much higher death rate.

how odd

I just noticed I do not have a label for "fate," a point which struck me as very odd, seeing as how fate, or rather my belief in fate, has played such a key role throughout my life.

I've made many a weighty decision based on the notion that I wouldn't be confronted with such a decision at all if fate had other plans. I also spent a great deal of my life firmly believing that by doing so, I had fucked up whatever plan fate had once had in store for me. That thought caused an unbelievable conundrum within my soul as I struggled to rationalize how an ignorant human could fuck up fate, if it truly were inevitable. I labored over how the idea of free will played into fate and wondered if maybe I had simply misinterpreted my fate all along.

After all, it's not fate if it has to be forced right? But if that's true, than why on earth does it seem so forced to do the other and take no action on that which I've always believed was my fate?

And yes, I'm rambling. I blame it on the rain. But at least now I have a post labeled "fate."

ho-hum

Today has been one of those completely off the wall days when I'm filled with conflicting emotions about anything and everything. One of those days that made me argue up and down with a shrink that I had to have been crazy.

He maintained I was merely damaged, I maintained I was nuts. How in the hell do sane people run the entire gamut of emotions in a single day and NOT be crazy? Or, perhaps it would be better to ask how one could do such and not GO crazy?? Sheesh!

Of course, I can trace most of my problems to a complete unwillingness to let go. Ever. Of anything.

I've always been a bit proud of the fact that I'm a "forever love" kinda girl, meaning that once I love you, I will always love you. The one problem with that is that the object, or objects of your affections never seem to be around forever and you're left with your love and your memories. I suppose I finally understand the statement, "forever is a long time." At the time I first heard it, I thought it to be utterly cruel. I now understand the compelling truth of it, in spite of it's cruelty.

Forever is indeed a long time.

However, I must confess that, as long and grueling as forever may be, I would still choose forever over never.

Friday, August 8, 2008

beach trip breeds irrational fears

Wait. These two things are not supposed to go together. The beach is usually a source of relaxation and rejuvenation for me, what the hell? How could the beach trigger irrational fears? We'll chalk it up to poor timing and a subconsciousness entirely too adept at putting two and two together.

I spent the last week of July at the beach with my husband, son and my husband's sister and her family. It was the longest stay at the beach I've been able to enjoy since '99, the summer before my first husband died. Enter, subconscious deductive reasoning, followed quickly by an irrational fear that my current husband's death must be imminent.

My conscious self, not being nearly as clever as its subconscious other, didn't catch on at first. I came home from the beach, suddenly trapped in this whirlpool of morbid thoughts regarding my husband. During the day, while he was at work, I kept waiting for the phone to ring, a strange voice on the other end of the line informing me of his death. When night came, I caught myself listening to his snoring, growing alarmed if it altered the slightest bit, and jumping up to make sure he was breathing if it actually stopped.

Alarm bells went off in my head, warning me that this was not normal behavior.

I was a bit antsy about his health when we first began dating. Not long before we got married, he twice made the comment that he was certain he would die young and was promptly sent to the doctor for a complete physical. I was sure to remind him that I had already spent one marriage with a husband who insisted on reminding me of his belief he would die young and oh yea, hey jackass, he DID die! Don't ever say that to me again.

He hasn't. He is in relatively good health other than recurrent kidney stones. So why was I suddenly so afraid he was going to drop dead any minute?

Suddenly I was on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" and was stumped so I used a life-line and phoned a friend, who promptly began laying out the facts of the case.

Fact: The only other time during my adult life that I have been to the beach for a week was with my first husband and our son - during the last week of July. What a coincidence. He died the following May. We had been married for five years.

Fact: Come September, my husband and I will have been together for four years and we will begin working on our fifth year.

Needless to say, within a few minutes the answer was clear. Duh! Sometimes I think I'm a complete idiot, especially when it comes to grasping the obvious.

My logical consciousness tells my subconscious self to shut the hell up and relax, all the while keeping a wary eye on the calendar, ticking off the days until we reach the comfort of June.