Continuing The Tradition

It’s my fault for not knowing about it, since I still haven’t managed to get my ass back onto FB since before my cancer scan, but yesterday my cousin Jim texted me to let me know that he was hosting the family cookout that night. He announced it in the family group on FB, but like I said… so yeah, maybe that’s what I should have done to try to keep myself awake longer last night – but having woken up before 4am that same day, I just didn’t have the oomph to put on my social face… and I also didn’t wanna concern people, with them noticing that I was low-energy and possibly thinking it was cancer related. I mean, technically that could be part of it, but I covered the real reason in the entry below.

But I texted him today to apologize for not going, and he said that turnout was relatively low. Mostly local family and then a couple of the extended family that live within reasonable driving distance. I gave him props for still having the oomph to host cookouts or bonfires now and then, because even without a kid and a job, I know how just the crap that I’m dealing with can often have me just wanting to stay at home and recover from whatever has been wearing me out.

Talked about how lucky we were as kids, when we’d have the reunions at Grandma and Grandpa S’s house… how all of us kids just always had a great time, and were blissfully unaware of any “shit” that the adults may have been dealing with. Maybe they were just a slightly tougher generation, but whatever it was – it let us all experience those moments and create the memories that we now can only hope to reenact for the younger folks in the family now. So hopefully when Jim has a cookout like last night, and turnout is light… we’re comparing it to how it was when we were little… so hopefully the younglings are still getting a similar good feeling and creating similar fond memories to look back on when they’re older – even if it didn’t feel like a complete success to Jim.

I told him the same thing that I told Toni a while back… just because I might not come to an event, please don’t stop inviting me. When I don’t show up, it’s usually not because I don’t want to go – but because the other stuff that’s happening or recently happened in my life just has me distracted, tired, or otherwise just lacking the oomph to make myself go. But I do have good days, and I do wanna go to those things, and sometimes everything works out where I actually make it… and of course I end up having a good time.

Last time was an impromptu trip out to Shannon and Chris’ house with Matt, Toni, and Anna… even though I had to drive out through the field and park right next to the bonfire since it was during the period where my right knee was almost unusable. And as much as I hate being the “man, he looks pretty messed up” guy, it was still nice to spend a couple hours out there with all of them. Meh… I’m rambling…

I did manage to stay up a little later last night, and woke up a little later as well, so at least that plan worked last night – and I’m feeling somewhat better because of it today. Still having crappy dreams, but at least last night they didn’t actually wake me up. But I’ve already done up the little bit of dishes, made some pasta w/garlic sausage sauce that I split up into three plates for easy microwaving later, the doors are open since the day is nice, and there’ll soon be a NASCAR race to play in the background as I decide to do whatever it is that I’m gonna do with the day.

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Makes Sense

I’m gonna make a non-bleh post today… I just have to work up to having the energy to do it. After getting dosed yesterday and coming back home, I honestly didn’t feel any worse… but my gosh, from yesterday evening on… man, am I feeling physically awful. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿคฎ I didn’t notice many side effects the first time I had this done, but I also hadn’t gone a month without thyroid meds, already having me weak and feeling like shit. So I should have been a little more prepared that things could feel worse than last time. ๐Ÿ˜ž

That’s not why I posted though. Next post is gonna be about me choosing my Korean name. ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ˜ And I know that sounds bizarre and random and “What are you talking about?” but when I do have the energy to explain it all, how it’s done, why I’m doing it… basically I just wanted to do something to distract my brain for a while yesterday, and later I’ll be able to make a post about it that will help me distract myself again. Hopefully. It’s actually a really interesting process. It’s a shame I don’t know any Korean people personally though, for them to tell me how goofy or old or weird my chosen name sounds. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

But I’m gonna lie back down and hopefully get a short nap to get rid of this headache, but hopefully I’ll be able to get back on here later tonight for all that stuff.

I Forgot That “I Know A Guy”

I was just gonna do a drive-by and throw those pet stairs out of my car as I passed Amy’s house… heh… well, maybe not quite like that – but I was gonna just set it in her driveway so she wouldn’t have to come out and deal with company or “outside” until she wanted to. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฉ But I ended up walking it up to her porch so she came out for a while, just about the same time that Rick got home – so we sat there for a while catching up on school stuff, kid/family stuff, medical stuff, home repair stuff, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, I knew that Rick is a handyman, and then some… but for whatever reason it didn’t even cross my mind to ask him what he thought about the garage door. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I think when I see something that makes me go “oof” so hard, it’s just something that I figure is beyond the typical person’s ability to repair. But that’s the thing, Rick’s not typical… the same way I’ve absorbed all sorts of nerd skills and knowledge over the years, he’s done the same with probably almost any type of contracting work that you could think of. ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ The other thing is that I subconsciously don’t wanna “put my shit” onto someone I know, even if I’m paying them.

But after looking at the damage in more detail myself, he might be right… a repair is probably possible – and maybe just the initial overwhelming aspect of it made me think otherwise. Replacing the door would be ideal, and will still need to be done at some point, but if I can get it fixed to where it works at least as well as it has been – then I think I’m gonna try to go that route. Lessen the “ugh” of another potential “big thing” to deal with, as I described it earlier. And he’d probably be out here tomorrow night if I asked, but I think I’m still gonna wait until after my dose and scan. It would just be a little too much “stuff” going on for my twitchy and tired brain to wanna deal with.

But knowing all the big projects that he’s done, either as part of a crew or completely on his own, hearing him talk with such confidence about all of it… it reminded me that I see problems a lot differently than someone with two well-functioning arms, let alone even more differently than someone who does that type of shit every day for a living. So I’m glad that Amy found that pup, which had me go donate the stairs, where I ended up talking to Rick, which now has me feeling a little more optimistic about my options. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Glad I’m home now, though. ๐Ÿ˜“ Didn’t take the extra socializing into account when I left the house (since it wasn’t planned) so by the time I made it in town, did my things, and got back home – it was taking everything I had to not yack up today’s lunch. ๐Ÿคข But it was still nice, hanging out with them for a bit anyway.

Creeping Toward The Finish Line

I figured I better get on here and make an entry while I’ve got the juice to do so. I know I said I wouldn’t bitch after doing that weed spraying outside the other night, and I’m not doing this to bitch – just to update… ๐Ÿ˜ but cripes, that little bit of work messed me up somethin’ fierce. ๐Ÿ˜“

Overheated, energy sucked away, yet even with my full compliment of evening meds I laid awake all night, until about 9am the next morning. ๐Ÿ˜’ I got a couple hours sleep at that point, but still feeling exhausted I actually took that day’s evening meds and went to bed at 7pm. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Had to be at the hospital for labs the next day, so I didn’t want to take any chances that it would be another sleepless night.

The whole night followed the routine of falling asleep for a couple hours, then waking up for one… lather, rinse, repeat. By the time I was actually able to wake up enough to get my day going the next day, I had spent a total of 15 hours in bed ๐Ÿ˜ณ yet woke up feeling more drained than when I originally went to bed the night before. It’s amazing how screwed up my body has become, from just missing that teeny tiny single thyroid function replacement pill each day, and obviously I haven’t hit the bottom yet.

But I made it to the hospital, got my blood drawn and labs started, and on the way out I actually ran into a friend in one of the hallways. She was on her way to see one of her family members, but I was so out of it I barely even realized when she waved as I passed her. She looked like she wanted to be there about as much as I did, and the way I almost just walked past her, I had to comment that we were like “The Walking Dead” just lumbering past each other. ๐ŸงŸโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ Not in any sense of the seriousness of why I was there, but more that I was just oblivious and drained and grumbling to myself in my head, to where I passed literally two feet from one of my friends and almost didn’t even notice.

But the past 48 hours have made me toss away (for now, anyway) that urge that I always have… that I need to do something useful or productive each day, no matter how shitty I feel. Yeah, F that. I gotta be realistic, because with this shit there is no “mind over matter” that will allow me to pull energy from some mysterious reserve. ๐Ÿ˜• It’s really okay though – because now that it has proven itself to me, that there is no fighting against it or whatever… that’s just how it’s gonna be until I can get back on the thyroid meds. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It’s still indescribably awful… but like I keep reminding myself… it’s temporary.

But just so people aren’t concerned, I am still able to drive, so if there’s an emergency or I need to get food or whatever – Lancaster has plenty of drive-thru joints that I can go to without leaving the car… and if I really need anything beyond that I can always hit up Toni, or Genesee – who has reminded me that she’s still got plenty of people around here that would be willing to help out if needed. I mean, it won’t come to any of that (at least I don’t think it will) because as long as my labs come back the way they want – I’ll get the radiation dose next week and will only have to make it through that following Thursday.

Heh… how lame. ๐Ÿ™„ Sitting here, happy that I had enough mental/physical oomph to write this. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Take The Hint, Weeds

Waiting for the sun to go down so I can go out and spray some more poison on the misc that’s now growing up where the spirea bushes used to be. Despite the heat from a week ago or so, we’ve also had enough days of decent rain – enough that there’s all kinds of green popping up back there. Some of it, I’m sure, is the grass seed that I spread… but most of it looks to be random shit that’s been growing like, well… weeds.

Mowers avoided the area (with the new seed) last time they came by, but I’m gonna let Jason know that I’ve poisoned everything that’s trying to grow – so next time they’re out here they can go ahead and start hitting that area to keep everything knocked down. ๐Ÿšœ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒพ And I know from the little circle area out front, where Aunt C used to stack all of the branches, clippings, and other yard waste… once all of that stuff was removed, it now gets mowed like any other part of the lawn and doesn’t look that different from the rest.

So even if that back line isn’t perfect with grass yet, and even though all the random misc is gonna try really hard to keep popping up – if I go ahead and turn the mowers loose on that area, even if it effs it up for a while, I’m sure that by the end of the season it will look enough like “part of the lawn, but rough” that both me and the neighbor should be okay with it. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Gonna have to pace myself, of course, since just going out to the garage to get the new jug of juice and bring it in here to prep overheated me. ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜ ย (I can’t even explain how stupid and frustrating that is. The overheating / energy… not the way the poison is packaged.) It’s all zip-tied and shrinkwrapped and the little hose part has to be assembled, but once that’s done it’s just pump and go. I’m not gonna come here and bitch afterwards, and I know it’s gonna get done, so at least I can check off the “not totally worthless” box today. ๐Ÿ˜’

I Have My Reasons

Still hangin’ in there, still waiting through this process… ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ of which the next step will be Monday, when I’ll get (what should be) my final lab work done before they decide if my levels are where they need to be for the radiation dose the following week. ๐Ÿ’‰๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ“‰ I’m more anxious about the test than I am the dose later, simply because there’s a chance my levels won’t be right – which would mean going even longer without taking my thyroid meds, until they are. ๐Ÿ˜ Without elaborating, I really, really don’t want to have to do this a day longer than I absolutely have to.

Unless it’s unavoidable I’m pretty much just staying at home and trying not to move around too much, to keep from throwing everything even more out of whack. I can’t fake my way through feeling okay right now, so staying at home lets me feel how I feel, protects me from anything that might make it worse, and protects others from having to see me like this, acting how I actually feel. ๐Ÿฅบ My “game face” is out of order. (I haven’t even been on Facebook for days and days, and the last time was to just let everyone know I was okay. I really hate how this has been affecting my interactions (or lack thereof) with friends and family.)

And I don’t blame people for being concerned, or not knowing how to react, when the topic is cancer and there’s still more “unknown” than “you’ll be fine” at the moment. But this current craptacular phase of “bleh” isn’t (likely) caused by anything cancer related, but is actually due to not being able to take the thyroid meds that I need. But to everyone else, I’m sure it looks and feels as if cancer is kicking my ass, which leads to all sorts of difficult and crappy emotions.

Toni and Shannon invited me out for a bonfire last night, and in my heart I wanted to go… but I wouldn’t have been able to conceal how I felt, physically or mentally, and I honestly didn’t want to be a buzzkill on their evening – which is what I likely would have been. ๐Ÿ˜’ If it turns out that the doctors weren’t able to remove all of the cancer, or if it has spread or changed or anything… that’s when I’d be more willing to let people feel bad for me, to treat me differently, etc. I do feel like hell right now, but I would feel like it would come across as “crying wolf” – since even though I know why I’m sick, that’s not how everyone else is gonna see it. I reassure people that I’ll let them know if there comes a time when they truly shouldย be concerned or worried for me, so I hope they know I mean that.

Meh… anyway… see what I mean about my mood? The same way I ramble about it on here now and then, I just didn’t wanna end up doing that to them last night. (Or to anyone, really…) Instead, thanks to Shannon texting me again this morning to let me know, they all had a good evening. Sharing lots of happy memories and stories about Mom, while still commenting on how it doesn’t seem real, how it doesn’t seem fair, and how as we all get older – how it’s getting harder to escape all of this type of bleh. Having me there, in my condition, certainly wouldn’t have helped to change that opinion.

But with any luck I’ll get to be one of those surprise cases in the future, where we’ll all be sitting around together, upset at whatever injustices we’re seeing or experiencing, but then someone will be able to say “But hey, you had cancer and you’re still here and fine now… so there’s always hope…” ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

Something Like That

This heatwave that we’re currently going through… it’s a pretty good way to explain how I’ve been feeling over the past few days. Just go outside, walk around your property for about 15 minutes, then stand there a while… and that’s basically how I’ve been feeling each day all day. Again, not bitching, just trying to describe it in a way that people can understand.

Thankfully I’m almost half way through the process, so at least there’s a light at the end of the tunnel that I can look forward to. No matter what results I get, at least I can get back on my thyroid meds after the scan has been completed. It makes me feel bad for folks who have suffered with thyroid issues all of their lives, because the constant nausea, overheating, and dizziness… it’s no joke. Not thrilled that it has been made crystal clear that this will indeed be a medication that I’ll be taking for the rest of my life though.

I’m a cheap-ass, so I usually wouldn’t do this, but last night I turned the thermostat all the way down to 68 when I went to bed. I knew I’d be sleeping at least part way into the day and the house would heat up quickly, but despite it staying that cool in the house – I woke up early and completely drenched in sweat again. (Also… gross.) That’s why I mention how far along I am in the process… because if I didn’t know that there was an end to this, it would be some scary shit.

I’ve been drinking a lot more water, so the muscle spasms and dehydration hopefully won’t become an issue. It’s pretty shitty though, that the insurance industry has decided that this is an acceptable thing for patients to go through while preparing for their second radiation dosage. The alternative way, staying on your meds and just getting two injections before the scan… that costs several thousand dollars, so I guess you can’t blame them for trying to find somewhere to cut costs in what has likely been a very expensive surgery.

Again though, knowing that this is a temporary thing for me, it really makes me feel for those folks who don’t have insurance at all, and even for the people that do but have a chronic condition that still isn’t covered by their plan for whatever reason. As with most things like this, it’s something that we don’t think much about until it starts to affect us personally. So, yeah… still feeling super awful… and I feel like it’s continuing to slowly get worse, but I’ll be good as long I just keep reminding myself…

“It’s only temporary. It’s the lack of meds, not anything more scary. You’ll have more answers soon. Just (n) more days and this will all be over. Consider yourself blessed that you’ve made it this far. Plenty of other people have it worse than you, and it’s not temporary for them. Yeah, it sucks… but don’t be a pussy. It’s only temporary.” etc…

I’m trying to stay positive. I need to stay positive.