Sunday, December 11, 2016


The week of November 28 through December 4 was painfully arduous, to put it mildly. It's taken me this long just to type it all out.

Randy will officially be able to drive on December 31st, which my mother doesn't think he should do because, you know, New Year's Eve. Because it's not safe to drive ANYWHERE AT ALL on New Year's Eve, even during the daytime. Seriously? Yes, it's how she rolls. So I'm still the only driver in my house, making me responsible for getting boys to school for a 7:45 am start and a 2:00 pick up (except one day a week when they get out at 1:30). I take them to Hapkido; it provides them a constant and a security that they've known for over 5 years. I am the primary person who takes Randy to his medical appointments. And in between all of this, I've got to go to the grocery store, cook all the meals, do all the laundry (the boys have started folding and putting away; it's amazing what they'll do for a nickle or a dime. Sometimes if I'm feeling generous, or it's a bigger job, they'll get a quarter).

The last week in November was also the end of the quarter, and I gave my final exam. As my colleagues know, the last week of the quarter somehow causes some students to think miracles really do happen. This isn't 34th Street. This is reality: the work you choose to submit, or not submit, reflects your grade. It's more like Die Hard.

This isn't a plea for help. We ask for help when we need it. I'm using my blog to vent, which is what it's for. Mostly.

So, here we go. This was my week. I hope you're sitting down. My head is still spinning from trying to type it up, let alone living it. It was a week that overflowed with appointments.

Monday 11/28 7:45 am drop boys at school. Go home and get Abby to vet at 8:30 am for a blood draw to prepare for teeth cleaning on Thursday 12/1. Then at 12:45, drop Randy at the Sequim Cancer Center for a PET Scan to prepare for meeting with medical oncologist on Thursday 12/1. Thank you Zion for picking him up and bringing him home.  Pick boys up at 2:00 from school. Home, snack and a show, then into Port Angeles for Hapkido at 4:15. Home about 5:30; boys in bed about 7:30. N needs medication or his brain literally will not shut off. It's an autism thing.


Tuesday 11/29 7:45 am drop boys at school, go back home, and eat breakfast. Then take Randy to a 9:30 am physical therapy appointment in Port Angeles, which lasted about an hour. Home for lunch, then pick up boys at 1:30. At 3:00 and 3:30, they had dental appointments in Sequim. Then home and dinner and all that jazz.

Wednesday 11/30, final exam launches at 12:00 midnight, will be available for 72 hours (also known to some as "serious prayer time"). Take boys to school at 7:45. Randy to mental health appointment at 9:00 am in Port Angeles. Take myself to Renaissance and get some delicious food and a hot tea...and a much needed mental health break. Pick Randy up at 10 am to take him home. On Wednesdays I volunteer at the boy's school from 11:30 am till 2:00 pm. It is something I enjoy and I find refreshing; otherwise I wouldn't do it. At some point Randy for a call from the Cancer Center saying he needed to get his blood work done before his appointment tomorrow. WHAT THE FUCK?! Apparently they forgot to put in the goddamned order and so now he's got to go to the hospital lab for his labs. Fucking Christ. At least they remembered before his appointment with the oncologist tomorrow. So, after school, the boys had a snack and watched some TV at home, then we dropped Daddy at OMC, I took the boys to Hapkido, went back to the hospital about 30 minutes after I dropped him off--he was done shockingly early. Finally home, dinner, bed. Bitches. Mom's getting tired. OH! And dont' feed Abby after 10pm because she's going to have anesthesia in the morning and we don't need to deal with dog puke. 

Thursday 12/1, most important: don't let Abby have any food or water! So as the boys were getting ready for school, Isaac said he didn't feel good and then he threw up a little bit later, resulting in no school for him. I took Nathan at 7:45 and he did amazingly well on his way to school without his brother. Sometimes, you just never know which direction his autism is going to take him. Isaac threw up again while I was taking Nathan to school; fortunately he was at home with his dad, who was mentally preparing for a meeting with our medical oncologist in Sequim at 10:15. But first, I had to take Abby to the vet at 8:30 for her teeth cleaning. So I dropped Nathan at school, went home and got Abby, dropped her at Dr. Carmen's office, then home, grabbed a few gallon-size Ziploc bags, put a couple of paper towels into each bag, made sure we had plenty of towels of various sizes, loaded Isaac and Randy up for the drive to the Sequim Cancer Center, and left. When we got to the Cancer Center, Isaac put on a face mask (we prepped him and he was as ok as can be with it) and he and I sanitized our hands and went and sat on a comfy couch in the library, which was fortuitously empty. Randy met with the doc on his own, which is something I struggle with, both as a survivor and a caregiver. Because I never went to one appointment with my medical oncologist alone. Because sometimes, you need someone you trust on a gut level. But my kid needed me. So Randy went into the meeting alone. And I'm thankful that he received the awesome news that he is in remission. While we were confident going into the meeting, there's still so much fucking anxiety when you meet with an just never know which way shit is going to go down. We left the Cancer Center and headed home so Isaac could spend the rest of the day laying on the couch, running to the bathroom to throw up, because he'd rather puke in the toilet than in a trashcan next to the couch. Whatever. I get it. Just make sure you try your best to get there, little dude. I picked N up at 2 and took him home. Then at 4:30, he and I went to pick up Abby from the vet, where they removed four molars, two on the upper part of her jaw on each side. They showed us. It was disgusting. But, that's life. She also had an infection, so she needed antibiotics twice a day for a week, and pain meds once a day for 4-5 days, and we needed to soften her food for about a week, too. Thank you MasterCard for that one! See, Mom? I only use my credit card when I really really need to. And, Abby, Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas for the rest of your life, pup. We love you very much.

Finally Fucking Friday 12/2, Nathan makes another solo trip to school and does great. Isaac's down for the count. No fever, but still puking, which is reminiscent of the illness I had that lasted for 3 fucking weeks in November (which is the main reason I haven't blogged in a long time). So, I took him to the doctor at 10:40 am...just going into the weekend...wanted to be sure I wasn't missing something with Isaac's health...or loosing my mind...I know about Munchausen syndrome and Munchausen by proxy syndrome. Sometimes, being a Health Educator and a woman with high anxiety caused by Jewish heritage can suck and make me slip into a rapid downward spiral, resulting in extreme made up situations in my mind where I cause my own clusterfuck in my head. Remember my above comment when I said my mother said my 48-year-old, adult, capable husband shouldn't drive on  New Year's Eve, even during the day? Ok, not that she said that, exactly. But you see my point. Clusterfuck myself. And no, as a cancer survivor and a cancer caregiver, I don't automatically jump to my kid having cancer. I try not to go there. But I did convince myself that the dog had a brain tumor because when I'd pet her head before her surgery, she'd pull away. Tumor. Obviously. But, nope, it's her four cracked and infected teeth. Anyway...So at the doc's office with Sir Isaac, the new to us nurse practitioner was awesome. And pretty, and young, so Isaac instantly liked her. And he LOVED when she said, "to keep him hydrated, maybe try Popsicles" which, I forgot about because my brain is pretty full. We made a special trip to Safeway after his appointment so that he could pick out Popsicles. We stopped by the pharmacy drive-thru, but his 'script for his anti-nausea meds wasn't ready. Took him home, and I ate some lunch with Randy. Then went to pick up N and we went to Country Aire for an afternoon snack of a bowl of clam chowder for him, and a few other groceries. Then we went back to the pharmacy and got Isaac's meds. Then home, dinner, bed. Two trips into Port Angeles that day. Oh and Abby was feeling much better as evidenced by the fact that she spent quite a bit of time outside, barking at her new boyfriend who just moved in across the street. He's a big brown lab. They're totally twitterpated. Who in the goddam gets twitterpated in the fall? With snow on the ground? Whatever. But, she told him all about what horrible parents she has because she had oral surgery the day before. What an ingrate.

Saturday 12/3, this is the day after my final exam was to be completed. And all I can really say about this is, no amount of begging, pleading, whining, or crying is going to convince me that you "forgot" when the due date of the every single assignment, including exams, was given to students on the first day of class via the syllabus. And, as it turns out, it's not quite so easy to get an A in a college health class. You can email me as much as you want, but, no, late work is not accepted. My syllabus says so. And my boss supports me. So, please, feel free to contact him and plead your cases.

Sunday 12/4 and Monday 12/5, Isaac was still sick and decided to say home on Monday to rest and give himself a chance to recuperate from all the puking. Nathan made a total of 3 trips to school by himself and did great. Like most siblings, they feed off of each other and do better when they are separated in certain situations.
OK. So, anything else universe? Because I'm pretty much tapped out. Can we just be done with the shenanigans? Thank you for considering my request.

I want to sit the fuck down for more than an hour. Alone. In a quiet place. And not have to be anywhere at a particular time. Or take anyone anywhere. Or really be anything to anyone. 

But I am. And I get to. And I need to. And I'll keep going. One fucking moment at a time. 

And please don't tell me to "Just keep swimming" like you're Dory. Because stop it. Thanks, but I got it. It's not a cute thing to say to a person who is in crisis.

I'm doing the best I can do. I've been doing the best I can. Even in the many moments I've found myself curled up in a fetal position on the bathroom floor, screaming and crying hysterically because of the stress and the pressure I'm under. Because no amount of higher education can prepare a person for what my husband, my children, or I have been through. There's no textbook. There's not even a pamphlet. I mean, what the fuck do you even call something like this other than "the clusterfuck of health"? Or maybe "how to survive a dual cancer diagnosis when you're already a parent of children who behave like tornadoes"?

The best thing you can do is keep an eye on your own health. And really, if you want to do something, light a candle and send positive vibes out into the universe for all of us. Not just me and my family. All. Of. Us. 

Or meditate. Or get down on your knees before you get in bed and pray. Whatever the hell you wanna do, just be healthy. And happy. That's what I'm trying to teach my sons. 

And please be thankful that you don't have 8 medical appointments in 4 days for 3 of your family members. Because I'm thankful I made it through all of it in one piece.

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