The Other Stuff

TRIGGER WARNING: This entry is gonna cover some of the other depressing shit that has also been filling my thoughts and influencing my mood recently. But I think it’ll help to explain why when it did hit me, about Mom being gone gone… why it was so easy for it to knock me down and keep me there.

About a year ago my best friend Jim lost his mom to cancer. At the end of last year, Brianna, another of my closest friends, lost her mom to cancer. And Christina was more than just “Bri’s mom” to me… she treated me like family. Rick, a classmate of mine, has been fighting cancer for two years now, and rarely posts to Facebook anymore, which seems like a bad sign. Then on the first of this month, another school friend, Stephanie, died in her sleep from unknown and absolutely unexpected causes. Her oldest son turned 18 just two days later. And then today, my “cousin-in-law” Gloria lost her sister Wanda to cancer as well.

Jim’s mom was in her early 70s, but Christina was only in her early 40s, Rick is my age, Stephanie was only two years older than me, and I think Wanda may have been barely into her 50s. And Mom’s best friend through the entirety of her adulthood, Cecil… she passed away within the year as well. I’m actually sitting here afraid that I’ve neglected to mention someone, because it seems like every direction that I turn – sickness and death is what I see, and in many cases – in people far, far too young for most to even think it’s a possibility.

(Oof… this is gonna be a downer of an entry, that’s for sure…)

And of course, having cancer myself… or at least having had cancer (fingers crossed)… all of the stuff mentioned above doesn’t exactly do a lot to put my mind at ease. A long life before passing… that is something that hurts, but we understand it. People dying at my age or younger, from things like lung cancer when they were very vocal non-smokers… those are the ones where it starts to make less sense. And then ones like Stephanie that are there one day, making posts about her dog and her son’s upcoming birthday, then *poof* … simply gone the next. No rhyme or reason, and I’m not good when it comes to shit like that.

But for my stuff, I did get another appointment with my family doctor at the beginning of this week, tried to sum up all of the things I’ve been talking about here, and told her that I’m not really comfortable with what (to me) feels like a lack of concern or urgency once my thyroid removal and radiation treatment was completed. I’m not being neglected or anything… but after the surgery, radiation, and scan – other than the thyroid guy getting my levels right via medication, nothing else has happened or was scheduled to happen until July. I realized that I’m not okay with that. “You have cancer. We cut the cancer thing out. We think we got all the cancer. See you in half-a-year.” Christina also got the “we think we got it all” speech after her first surgery as well (I was there) so… umm… no. Not good enough.

It would be another thing if I honestly just felt great, and all these other things were just spooking me, but that’s not the case. Without going into details, there are things that just feel “wrong” for lack of a better term, and since I’ve gone with the “flashy” insurance this year I would be dumb to not metaphorically pound my fist on the table and ask for a little more. So that’s where I’m at now… the start of “a little more” phase. Tomorrow I’m seeing someone regarding my come-and-go, sometimes excruciatingly painful back problem… and, thankfully, with the lab being in the same building, my primary care provider has ordered an assload of blood and urine tests to not only hit on the regular “physical” type stuff, but cancer indicators as well… so I’ll do those right after the back guy.

So yeah… I’ll admit that with all of this stuff on my mind, I’ve essentially disappeared as far as my friends would describe it. At least in person, I mean. One, it’s hard to want to go out and do anything fun or visit with anyone when my brain is so full of this shit… and two, more than half of the time I just physically feel too crappy to even consider it. Now that it’s going to be looked into with a little more detail, I’m hoping that with good or at least encouraging results I’ll be more likely to spend at least a few days trying to act like everything is fine, and hopefully trying to start living my life again.

I’ve been out to see Dad a few times in the past month and a half, but when it’s hard to make myself get up and do anything even on good days – I know that I’ve not been visiting as much as I should or as much as I want. It’s hard to explain “I just can’t.” to someone, when it’s hard for you to even understand yourself. I can’t remember the last time I’ve opened my e-mail app, but I’m gonna try to at least start doing that again. My biggest problem is that I’m not exactly some cheery ray of sunshine right now, and I’ll probably struggle to come up with e-mails to Dad that are any less depressing than this particular blog entry. I guess that’ll force me to really think about each day, or couple of days, to find the little good (or at least “okay”) moments that I’m sure are there. But yeah, that’s the plan for now…

(And I’ll try to limit the depressing topics here in the blog for a while after today’s posts. Wish me luck.)

I’m Tired, Boss

Nothing much going on around here… at least nothing good…

Went back to the dentist to get the last bit of my root canal done and was fitted with a temporary crown. A temporary crown which feels like it’s squeezing the life out of the little nub of tooth that it was mounted on. 😒 Jaw aches… head aches… I’m just hoping that the final version ends up fitting more comfortably than this one is. I’ve got to wait about  a week and a half to find out.

Shortly after that it’ll be time for the radioactive iodine treatment. That means in the next couple of days I’ll need to start my low iodine diet. I guess the thyroid tends to attract all the iodine that enters your body, so you basically want to starve it for a couple of weeks so when the radioactive stuff is introduced – if there are any thyroid / cancer cells left, in theory they’ll be destroyed. 😐 I’ve chosen not to google too much about all of this, so I’m not sure exactly how the full scan will go afterwards, or how nervous I should be.

But in preparation for that I went grocery shopping today and picked out some things that are on the “okay” list. I don’t really eat much anyway, and the stuff that I’ll be allowed to eat isn’t that bad… just different from the normal canned or boxed stuff that I usually eat. Fresh meat, salads, fresh vegetables, meh… it’ll be fine. Just more dishes than usual.

My friend that was diagnosed with lung cancer a little less than three years ago… she entered hospice care over the weekend. 😕 She actually had to go into ICU for a bit, but they got her stabilized enough to return back home. It just is what it is. And what it is, is scary… seeing what has happened to someone that was “fine” and just went to the doctor for a cough three years ago, having never smoked, having never had any serious health problems… and yeah… fast forward to today, three years later. 😞

An Awful Human Being

Over the past many months we’ve all become somewhat numb to the (insert negative adjective) things that come out of Donald Trump’s damaged old brain, but it’s like he has a superpower… the power to blurt out or do something even worse than the week before, which shocks, saddens, and angers the majority of the people in the USA and world despite the understandable Trump fatigue. 😞

Like a majority of the voters in the last election, I was one of the 65,844,610 people who knew ahead of time what we were going to get if he got elected. But even with all of the expected (and unexpected) awfulness that has come from him so far (whether through intention, indifference, or ignorance), waking up today and seeing what he’s tweeted… how can anyone not see him as anything but a horrible, irredeemable waste of flesh after today?

Through his own admission, which oddly sounded like boasting, Trump has accurately described the devastation to Puerto Rico from the recent hurricane. He’s talked about the destruction in a way where you can tell he doesn’t even really think it’s worth or able to be repaired or rebuilt, while (for some reason) talking about the billions and billions of dollars of debt the island has. 🤔😧 So, the scale of the tragedy is not in question, even by him.

Any news channel that you turn to, you see the nightmare. No power grid, hospitals unable to help or relying on generators with little fuel, food and water shortages, gas shortage, no AC, etc… you can obviously go on and on. The federal government has a lot of resources and people in place, and they’re doing what they can, but the mayor of San Juan has literally been begging for more help any time she’s been given the chance… because that’s what you do when you don’t want people to die.

But Donald Trump woke up in an apparent rage about it, and decided to attack her on Twitter. Claiming the problem isn’t a lack of resources or logistics to get it to the people, but because of her poor leadership abilities. 😐 But he didn’t stop with just attacking her. 😑 He praised his part of the response, the federal first responders, but then berated the people of Puerto Rico who are suffering – saying that they weren’t willing to help with the work, and that they wanted everything to be done for them. 😧

He continued to whine the she was “nasty” to him, which he said “the democrats” had told her to do, and then did his normal “fake news” complaints, apparently trying to make people believe that we aren’t seeing all of the things that we are seeing on all of the news programs. This is a sick, sick man. No joke. Sick. He’s tweeting these things from the comfort of his luxury golf club, while the mayor of San Juan has literally been walking through sewage-filled flood waters as they continue to look for stranded people.

The federal response was slow rolling out, he barely had anything to say about the hurricane damage for days after it hit, and once he did start talking about it – it wasn’t in the same “come together” way that he spoke about Texas and Florida. You could feel it… it was more like “Wait, they’re Americans? Fuck. I guess I won’t be able to get out of fixing up this third-world island for all of these poor brown people.”  He keeps bringing up their debt, he keeps talking about passports and visas for some reason… like he almost thinks they’re going to become undocumented immigrants or something. 🤔 Everything about his response has been disgusting.

An island with over 3 million people living on it has been nearly destroyed. People have died… people are still dying… and “our President” attacks them, their leaders, and pretty much everything about who they are. 😣 Oh, and he wants it both ways. On one hand he wants everyone to think that the roll-out of disaster relief is going perfectly, and what we’re seeing on the news is all fake somehow… but on the other hand he’s admitting that the situation is a giant clusterfuck, by trying to put the blame on the leadership in San Juan and the unwillingness of their people to work or help themselves. I wish I had more eloquent words, but it’s just fucking astounding. 😔 I didn’t think I could have less respect for that man, but boy was I wrong.