March 29, 2016

  • The Weekend

    Today's entry is being written in the waiting room of Northwestern Cancer Center. While I really haven't been nervous about all this, all of a sudden, sitting here in this waiting room has produced some anxiety. Still, not as much as my usual so I'm still doing well on my Ativan wean.

    I called my mom for her birthday yesterday. It was a sad but interesting conversation. My niece was there with her and she started texting me as mom and I were talking. Mom has declined markedly this year. She has forgotten all our birthdays and tries to cover memory lapses, but not very well. She knows she has some sort of dementia still lives alone and takes care of herself, her house and her dog. My brother lives a mile away and checks in on her, does her grass and snow, pays her bills. Physically she'll outlive us all. As much as she complained about how unhappy she is about this and that, she sounded pretty happy. Maybe because she can't retain those depressing thoughts? My niece texted as she was heading home. She said that mom gave her 2 of her hummel figurines and said, "You know Oma loves you even when I won't know you anymore." Ugh. Tear jerker for both of us.


March 26, 2016

  • Easter Weekend

    Today was about running errands and in a short while I will do some pre cooking for tomorrow. We really don't do an annual traditional Easter dinner with regard to menu. I'm going to bake today and make some homemade scalloped potatoes, one of those dishes that are even better the next day. Tomorrow I'll reheat it and bake the smallest ham I could find, with a pineapple glaze. Greens will be fresh baby asparagus and a multi veggie salad. The family has gotten smaller and smaller but I haven't adjusted my cooking enough. This is something I really need to work on as I'm not a big fan of leftovers, certainly not meat. William was the leftover eater in the family.

    There were only two of us at dinner, but I made a full dinner with sides and salad. It made it more special than any old day. Son works evening shift so I cook and he eats when he gets home around midnight. It was nice sitting and talking through the meal. We did acknowledge all those not at the table...both other sons/brothers and William. The rest of the day was pretty quiet, we both spent it reading.

March 25, 2016

  • Keep Writing, Keep Writing

    Let's see, what can I bore us all with today? Hm? My CT scan was this morning. I was to sit in the waiting room and drink a huge styrofoam cup full of contrast for the test. It was gross to start with, but by the time I managed to get half way down it is getting pretty difficult. By three-quarters of the way down I was starting to feel sick. Luckily the technician either took pity on me or I was never meant to drink the whole thing, but she said I didn't need to finish. She took me into the CT room and the whole thing was over in 15 minutes. This afternoon I'm feeling a bit headachy, probably just coincidental.

    On my mind mostly is actually not to upcoming Oncology appointment, but the fact that I am still only taking half of my tiny pill for anxiety. Just .25 mgs in the morning and I haven't had any withdrawal nor any accute anxiety. Woohoo! I will continue it for another week or two as I've done with each level of tapering, then I'll stop. My ultimate goal is to use them only if needed for panic attacks. Frankly, I'm surprised with how easily this has gone.


    I filled a large yellow padded envelope with Easter treats and used a green marker to draw grass on the bottom, which was as close as I could figure to make a bulging envelope look like an Easter basket. When I took it to the post office, the clerk said, "aw, grandson?" I nodded a polite yes Which seemed easier than admitting I was sending chocolate, marshmallows and gummi bunnies to my 39 year old son. As always, I hope it brings him a smile when he receives it.  Of course I bought two of everything and will give the rest  my other son on Sunday. I have a beautiful purple box that my brother made for me. In it are cards and letters to Dylan. A few trinkets too. The first Christmas after he died -in October- his friends still came to visit, bringing him cards and stocking stuffers. They're all still in the box too. Nowadays only I add to the box, not regularly, but sometimes...special days, birthdays, whenever.


    Happy Easter

March 23, 2016

  • Coffee and Chatter

    Most of Dylan's birthday passed uneventfully. I posted lots of pics and a couple of memorial videos on Facebook. There were a few tears shed towards the end of the day when I saw an update his brother posted. Sometimes I get lost in my own grief, forgetting he also had 2 brothers and a dad who love and miss him.



    This morning I was outside talking to my son about some home repairs when the neighbor across the street pulled into her driveway. We exchanged waves, but then she invited me over for coffee and cupcakes. She was carrying the bakery box.  I accepted and went over a few minutes later. Her home is a brick bungalow like ours, just a bit smaller.

    She was boiling water for her French press coffee maker while I was in the dining room chatting with her mom who was setting cupcakes up on a platter. Creamer and sugar bowl came out, coffee, cups and saucers looked to be fragile fine china. Her table was covered with a beautiful lace tablecloth. Old family photographs covered the walls and the furniture were antiques. It was such a different version of my house.

    It was really lovely to spend an hour chatting with other women. We exchanged phone numbers. Later in the day she texted and said I was very funny! The only set of China I have was given to me a few years ago and has never even been unpacked. My dishes are mismatched fiesta ware and my flatware doesn't match either. And no tea/coffee cups. Mugs only. All different colors. So when I return the favor I hope MUCH more casual will be okay. :wink:


March 21, 2016

  • The Day After

    It was fine.

    I missed the hubby, and my flowers, and the goofy singing of happy birthday, and birthday cake, and having someone acknowledge my special day in "real life."

    There were plenty of happy birthdays on Facebook.

    Son had to work but I managed a few hugs before he left. :wink:

    Hubby's niece was briefly in town, so I saw her for about an hour in the morning which was nice.

    When you have pets you're never truly alone.

    It's SPRING, how bad can it be?!

    So all in all, some good and some not so good.

    Tomorrow will be much harder, Dylan's 26th birthday. Forever 20 ½  and 12 days.

    It was fine.

March 19, 2016

  • The First Day Of Spring

    About a decade or so ago I decided to reclaim my birthday. I always thought the first day of Spring was a great day for a birthday. Rebirth. Shedding all of Winter's grunge. My special day.

    Unfortunately, while growing up it was not a day we celebrated. sure, Mom always baked a torte and there must have been some gifts, though I don't remember. What I do remember are my mother's tears. Not only were the circumstances of my birth out of wedlock shaming in the fifties, but it was also the date her own beloved father died when she was only a child. Yeah. Not much to celebrate.

    So as I said, some time ago I decided to embrace the day. I made no apologies for looking forward to the day and planned something special. Or allowed and enjoyed when others made special plans for the day. I didn't call my mother, and usually didn't accept her calls, choosing instead to call her on her birthday a week later.

    William was great at birthdays. He was definitely the romantic in the relationship. My birthday would never arrive without flowers awaiting me in the morning. And so, another first. Tomorrow I'll wake up to the first day of Spring and my 59th birthday. Oddly enough, I never thought about being a young widow. (Funny to think of 59 as young too. My sons would surely tell me that ship has sailed.)  I'm going to have breakfast with William's  niece who is in town for a wedding.  I'll spend the rest of the day being kind to myself.

    Happy Spring!

March 17, 2016

  • It's St. Paddy's Day.

    When I first started blogging here on xanga it was November 2004. My very first entry, as I recall, was about the Thanksgiving that had just passed.

    As the years went by I wrote stories, posted photos, documented our travels. In the mid to late oughts it became disproportionally about two of my kids and I started posting "protected" for  privacy so that I could still get the benefit of writing it all down but only have my friends reading.

    Now those archives have disappeared from xanga, though I did save them on my own. One of these day I plan to get them together, but not just yet. During the few years that I only Facebooked, there were/are big gaps. It doesn't compare at all. It certainly isn't helpful in a therapeutic sense.

    Today I went to have the second ultrasound done, the follow-up that the doctor wanted after last month's abnormal results, which followed the elevated CA125. I hope I don't need another done. There worse diagnostic tests, but this one certainly isn't pleasant either. The technician, of course, couldn't say anything about the test or the little red spot that kept appearing on the monitor. After she was through, she excused herself to go show it to the radiologist. Hey, wait a minute! That didn't happen last time. Unfortunately, the radiologist didn't come back in with her. I have to wait for the results to get sent to my doctor who will then discuss the results with me.

    I was so sad being there all alone being scanned for cancer too. I have sat in that hospital so often I don't even have to log in to their wifi. It automatically logged me in.

    Have I mentioned patience isn't one of my many virtues?



    Addendum: Test is done, results are back. Being sent to gyne oncologist. Appt made for March 29th.

March 16, 2016

  • Checking Off The Firsts

    Today I went out to dinner alone. I was in the mood for Mexican but not in the mood for cooking it. Mexican cooking is time consuming when you don't have ingredients pre made. It occurred to me that I haven't been out to eat in about 4 ½ months, since maybe  a month before hubby died. My son didn't want to go, he had a chiropractic appointment. I actually think he wants me to get all these "firsts" over with. So I went to a little Mexican joint that we sometimes went to. I got a booth and had Animal Farm with me to read. It was fine. One thing I did notice was how much more quickly you get done eating when there aren't two of you talking.

    I got home and looked at the photo of hubby taken at dinner a month before he died. He was still looking pretty well. Lots of weight loss of course, but not yet as ill as the last week or two. I smiled at the photo remembering where we were and why I took the photo. By then I knew our days together were numbered and I took lots of photos. I tried to remember what we talked about but couldn't. But most distressingly, the time has come that I can't summon his voice. I know it wasn't very deep, and it had just a hint of sexy raspiness. But I can't really hear it in my head. I tried to remember things I heard a lot and was finally able to envision both the sound and cadence of things I heard the same way for many years, like his outgoing phone message, and when he was out and would call me, "hi, it's me, I'm on my way back, do you need me to bring anything home?"

    Feeling better now.

    Last evening we had storms roll through. Not being originally from the Midwest and having experienced 2 close calls since living here, I have sort of a tornado phobia...if there is such a thing. It popped into my head that William was also my tornado warning guy! How would I know when to gather pets and head to the basement? Well the answer of course is that there are tornado sirens. They are ungodly loud but I was afraid I might sleep through it (ha!) so as a back-up, I downloaded an emergency alert app for my phone. There was rain and hail, lightning and thunder boomers, and heavy winds that continued on into today, but nothing alarming.

    And so life goes on and me with it.

March 14, 2016

  • Elections

    Someone asked me today why I will not be voting. Considering the interest I take in politics, and how actively I've been campaigning for my candidate, it's a very reasonable question. It just surprised me that she didn't know, we've known each other about 12 years.

    When we first moved to the US, I was a child. None of us spoke English. My dad learned the language in night school, my mom learned it from us. We, of course, learned it in the New York Public School system. My parents never became citizens, so as kids, neither did we.

    Once I was out on my own, it certainly wasn't on my list of things to deal with. There was school to finish, then a family and career.

    Once the kids grew up there was a time I contemplated citizenship. I studied the booklet to make sure I could answer all the questions, got finger printed, filled out umpteen forms. And then let them sit. I procrastinated for YEARS! But I dug it all out, determined to become a citizen so I could vote in this November's election.

    But now here we are. I don't recall an election cycle like this ever! Freakish. Scary. Certainly not funny. The amusement wore off long ago. I debated and deliberated and decided that my volunteer efforts would have to suffice, as I no longer want that citizenship. I'm hoping I'll change my mind soon, truly hoping it'll be after November. But as November looms, it gets increasingly more frightening. So we'll wait and see. In the meantime, I have a Facebook Page to run and I make phone calls and send texts. Be nice if I call you! :smile: