Archive for June 2013

Thinking and changing

I feel again like I need to get my health in order, among other things.  I sit around a lot, feeling like I deserve free time to do nothing, but I should be using my time more effectively.  I’ve been trying for the last couple of weeks to make more time for myself, but I haven’t been doing it very well.  This time for myself should be at least partially used to make myself healthier.  No question I have to lose weight and eat better.  If I took an hour a day and focused on those two things it would be a tremendous help.  I’m pretty sure I can dedicate two hours a day to that.

I told a friend today that I felt like I was having a bunch of little epiphanies leading up to something.  I told her it was an interesting conundrum.  After she sweated me for using big boy words like that, I tried to wonder where this thing I’m feeling was leading, and I have no earthly idea.  My mind isn’t racing.  There’s a lot going on that keeps my attention but it’s not going a million miles a minute.  I can take a moment and focus on a thought and move on.  I’m not sitting on it, which is unusual for me, or at least it used to be.  For as long as I can remember I’ve been very introspective, but now it’s almost like I control it instead of the other way around, and being in control of anything these days makes me feel better.

In a way, I am controlling my emotions as well.  I don’t have an unrealistic view of myself, and that makes things much easier.  Part of that leads back to my first point in this post.  The rest of that isn’t anything I’m going to share with you.  This post is purposely vague.  I’m still protecting myself.

Living, because I didn’t die

That title is a quote by my good friends in my shitty widowed club.  I sulk.  I cry.  I get fucking pissed off.  But I’m still here.

They’re safe. I’m safe. She’s safe. They’re all safe.

My days are fucked up.  Sometimes they’re good and bad.  I never know what will come or what it will do to me.  They all leave me wondering.

I’m not over.

I’m still here.

I’m trying.

I feel… I don’t know how I feel.

The Downward Spiral

Yesterday ended up being a real turd of a day.  It started with high hopes, although the lingering feeling of not wanting to get out of bed made it’s daily visit.  I fought that one off well enough, but I still didn’t want to do a thing.  It was hot outside, and I had a shit-ton of things to do, and I just wanted to kick the air down to 65 and be a worthless pile of flesh for the day.

Instead, I found time to clean up a bit and finish filling the dumpster I got for my recent basement flooding.  Oh yeah, the basement.  Some of you know my basement decided to flood last weekend, and it took four days to figure out why it was flooding.  Also in that time, my dog got sick, hurt her foot, got an ear infection, and continued to generally be a pain-in-the-ass, gotta-pee-at-3am-then-relax-in-the-mulch black lab.  The shit was piling up deep and my shovel was broken and my boots leaked.

It all came to a head yesterday.  I spent a good portion of Saturday night talking with a friend who just happens to be a single 28-year-old.  I had no intentions or expectations and really enjoyed spending that time with her, but afterward I started to think about the day that will come when the single girl I’m talking to isn’t a friend, and I’m hoping for more than that.  That started my downward spiral for the weekend.  By Sunday night I was sobbing over cancer meds that remain in her bathroom cupboard.  I snapped at the cats, the dog, and the seven-year-old.  It all went to shit in a hurry.

Today felt like a hangover.  I was tired and again didn’t want to do anything.  I managed to get to the office for an hour or so and did a few things, but still felt guilty about not putting in the time that I expect my employees to put in.  I ran some errands.  I went to the car dealer to talk about a car. Yes, I just bought a Jeep a few weeks ago, and I’m not getting rid of the Jeep.  Yes, I know.  I had lunch and a couple drinks at the new Pub, and the day has been improving.  I got a text from the other person in my shitty widowed-at-40 club and she and I are gonna go out Thursday and eat and drink until we share cab fare.

I’m taking a break from Twitter.  I’m slowing Facebook.  I’m finding more time for myself and more time for my responsibilities.  I’m not asking for more help, because I choose not to ask for more help.  The days aren’t always better, but this day is getting better.

Protected Posts

This post is just to let you know that there will likely be protected or private posts in the future.  I want to do some journaling, but I don’t want everyone to see it.  The reasons for this are not important to anyone but me. If you see a post that you can’t read, it’s likely protected.  You’re welcome to ask me to read it, but I may not allow you.  It’s nothing personal.

On Dignity

If you didn’t know Dawn, you probably thought she was, at best, overly optimistic about her condition, and at worst, completely oblivious to it.  The fact is, however, that she was more aware of her fate than any of us and she knew it was just how it was going to be for her.

The Melanoma Research Foundation will give you all the statistics you need about this disease.  The following is all statistically speaking.

How many people do you follow on Twitter?  I follow just over 1500.  MRF tells me that of these 1500 people, 30 of them will develop melanoma.  They won’t be alone, because eight minutes later, someone else will be diagnosed, and every eight minutes after that.  Every hour, someone dies of melanoma.  Another 270 of the people I follow will develop some other form of skin cancer in their lifetime.

Going back to those 30 who develop melanoma, pretty much all of them will survive at least five years if the melanoma is discovered and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes.  An annual visit with a dermatologist is the most effective way to stay on top of this.  If the melanoma spreads to the lymph nodes, 10 of those 30 won’t survive five years.  If it spreads beyond the lymph nodes, 25 of those 30 won’t survive five years.

This is the reality we lived with for almost four years.  Dawn watched a mole and the second she noticed a change, she was in the dermatologist’s office.  Was she too late?  Fact is, probably.  Could she have done anything sooner about that one mole?  Fact is, probably not.

Fast-forward to her last hospital visit.  The tumor in her abdomen was bleeding, and it was attached to the bowel, and we knew in the back of our minds that this might be it.  Our oncologist delivered the news that confirmed our worst fears.  From that point forward, the hospital didn’t focus on Dawn eating, or really anything else that would keep her from going home.  It was obvious they knew, too.

She was home about two weeks when she passed, and she did so with no worries about dignity or accommodation.  She had her boys around her and she ended her life how she wanted to within the confines of her physical ability.

She wasn’t oblivious to her diagnosis.  She wasn’t ignorant of her fate.  She wasn’t happy her life was ending.  But she wasn’t going to let that beat her.  I said she didn’t worry about dignity.  She didn’t have to.  It just came naturally for her.