Christmas Eve

It sure would have been nice if there was some snow on the ground or at least some flurries falling… but we get what we get. πŸ™‚ And tomorrow, that will be 50 degrees and mostly sunny throughout the day.

I’m spending this evening watching a bunch of Christmas specials and movies, getting as much “in the spirit” as I think I’m gonna be able… plus during the day I’ve been texting with Dad, Genesee, Bri, Squirtman, and Cassi… so even though I’ve not been feeling good enough to go out and do anything – at least I’m still keeping in touch with folks. (I’ll assume Amy’s lack of reply today is because she has a house full of boys that will be awaiting Santa’s services, which may also be taking up a good chunk of her time and energy. 😏 )

This is the first Christmas without Mom, and that’s sure full of suck… 😒 but I’m doing my best to focus on all the good memories from my childhood, when Mom and Dad made sure that Santa delivered quite the elaborate experience. 😌 Remembering the music, the big old complicated tree, the bubble lights, the angel tree-topper with the cotton all around the base, hanging up all of the ugly ornaments that I’d make – including an “ET” alien, obscene amounts of icicles, leaving out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer, leaving a letter for Santa and getting a reply the next day, the little boot that got filled with M&Ms, and opening presents such as a Knight Rider slot-car track, my first Atari 2600, a talking KITT car, a little programmable robot that made all kinds of racket, Dukes of Hazzard BarnBusters stunt set, etc…

(Crikey… 😯 don’t look at how much that stuff is actually going for now… it almost hurts. πŸ˜… )

Back then it was probably 50/50 “about the presents” for me – but now, of course, it’s all about the memories surrounding everything. 😌 I hope that all parents do their best to see that Santa gives their kids at least half as good of an experience as I had – cuz even at that, they’d still be happy. It’s strange how few years the “Santa” years really were, yet Christmas still retained that same feeling all through the years. And those relatively few “Santa” years still feel like they went on forever back then. 😌

Lazy Sunday

Wasn’t able to fall asleep until about 5am this morning, but my alarms woke me up at 11am to see that Genesee had made it home safely without any further airline incidents. πŸ™‚ I’m glad that it’s sunny out, ‘cuz man did I wake up feeling like crap. In this case, I’ll take the nice view out the front window, even though I’m not gonna be going out to do anything in it. 😏 Same old story… a few days where I was doing more stuff than usual, so today everything gets to hurt more than usual – at least for a while. It’s fine though… nothing important on the agenda today, and I’ll gladly pay the “price of admission” (the pain, for the slow folks) whenever she wants to come for a visit. 😊 I’m really glad I don’t have to do anything today though. πŸ˜…πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Meds should slowly make things better in that regard, then there’s the race in Texas to watch in the afternoon, and while that’s going on I’ll probably dig through some old blankets and sheets in the basement to get the cat house done and put outside. I don’t really want an outside cat, but if he insists on hanging around, I figure that’s the least I can do for him. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜Ί Somewhat unrelated, I had another one of those weird, split-second thoughts about Mom when I was waking up earlier. I’m not sure what triggered it, but it just popped into my head that I needed to e-mail Mom to tell her about Gen’s visit. 😟 A thought so brief that you realize the problem with it, before that thought even has the chance to be completed…

I only mention it today because when I told Genesee about it, she said she had a similar thing happen when she was out with her friend and the horses. The natural thought of her wanting to stop by and tell her dad about the horses and show him the pictures when they were done. πŸ§πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸŽ It’s strange how that still happens, and makes me wonder if it will always happen… those instinctive thoughts that pop into your brain and stay only long enough to make you sad. πŸ˜• Not sad sad… because I’m confident that Paul had already been watching her mini-adventure, and that Mom has been happy about Genesee coming to visit from the moment I picked her up at the airport… but you know what I mean. πŸ˜‡ It’s a weird feeling.

But I’m gonna hop off here, tidy the living room, and then try to take it easy for the rest of the day – saving the “returning to my normal routine / responsibilities” stuff for tomorrow. 🀘🏻😎

See, I’ll Still Ramble…

I had a good day out of the house yesterday. Well, afternoon anyway… did some “chore” running that I had to do, stopped off at a couple thrift stores, and then went out to visit with Dad for an hour or so before heading back home. πŸ™‚ Did quite a bit, relative to the same time several weeks ago, and it didn’t take too much out of me… but I did fall asleep way too damn early yesterday. πŸ™„πŸ˜ It wasn’t that “drained” type of sleep… I just went back to the bedroom early, figuring I’d watch a couple movies before I sacked out, but I ended up actually falling asleep around 7pm. 😴

Woke back up at midnight, watched the 2nd and 3rd Matrix movies (since I watched the first one again a couple days ago), then fell asleep near the end of the last one and didn’t wake up until around 10am this morning. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ So it’s 11pm now, I’m in bed, and I’m tired – but not sleepy – so I really have no idea when I’m gonna fall asleep or when I’ll wake up. πŸ€ͺ Luckily the only thing on my agenda tomorrow is going out to see Bri at some point. She’s one of my friends that I didn’t want to see me in as bad of condition as I was for those several weeks, especially considering that she lost her mom to cancer last year. 😟

Two totally different kinds, so any symptoms shouldn’t be compared at all – but I just know that if people saw me during the really bad week or two, they could definitely get the wrong idea about how good or bad I was doing. 😳 But anyway, I’m feeling “better enough” now that I don’t think I come off as “concerning” anymore… at least no more than usual. 😏 So I’m 99% sure I’ll still end up seeing her tomorrow, it’ll probably just be later in the day than I was thinking when I talked to her earlier. She’s great though… and a little frustrated with me at the moment… because like she repeatedly tells me – she’s been through the worst of the worst with her mom, so she doesn’t want me to feel like I have to hide anything from her for her sake. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

But my little thrifting trip… it was productive as well. I got a couple shirts, picked up some cheap stereo speakers for Cassi’s receiver that she got, and then found this strange, lone drinking glass with the silhouette of just a woman’s black hair and old-school glasses. 🧐😯 It immediately reminded me of Mom… from a few of her photos when she was really young… and when I showed it to Dad, unprompted, he immediately saw the same thing that I did. 😊 So that was kinda neat, and such a random thing for me to have spotted on a shelf where I normally wouldn’t have even been looking. I’ll have to take a better photo of that glass and then find one or two of the pictures of Mom that it resembles. πŸ™‚

Even more random, Genesee was heading back home from a trip she had taken with her family over the long weekend – and at the same time that I spotted that glass, she sent me a photo of an exit sign that they had just passed under, showing that they were only a couple of miles from the Atlantic City Expressway. 😊🎰 So, yeah… even though I think about her every day, it seems like Mom wanted to make sureΒ that she definitely got our attention that day. πŸ™‚Β And it worked…

Nuclear Medicine

Had the same lady as last time give me the radioactive iodine dose today. I’m not sure if they all act this way, but she’s fun… not intentionally, but in the way that she makes it feel so dramatic. 😏 And I get it, she works in that department every day, so a person’s gonna want to keep as far away from all the radioactive stuff as possible, so I don’t blame her. πŸ‘©πŸ»β€βš•οΈΒ …Β πŸ₯’πŸ’Šβ˜’οΈΒ Β πŸ€’Β It also has the side effect of making it seem like this pill is reallyΒ going to be doing something, whatever that something may be.

Before they even bring the pill in, she had me go through a practice run – having me put my hands exactly where they need to be, telling me how to get the pill out of the container without touching it or anything else, and then how to gtfo while having to pass near as few people as possible. Of course once the lead container is opened and the pill is out, she stays as far away from it and me as possible – but, probably just from habit, that’s mostly how she acts even through all of the tedious paperwork and talking beforehand.

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Don’t mind how dusty my entertainment screen is (or the custom commands 😏), but I’ve decided to take this as a sign… this was the first song that played (at random)Β in the car as I left the hospital parking lot. (Video Link: Back to Life – Hailee Steinfeld)Β I’ll even give credit to Mom, since I was talking to her on the way in, asking that if she was able to give any help guiding the medicine during the process this morning, that I’d be happy to take it. 😌 Oh, and they remarked how shit my thyroid levels are (in a good way, for the dose/scan anyway) and it’s no wonder I feel like utter shit and fall asleep all the time. So, there’s that. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜Ÿ

Still can’t start up my meds until after the scan, and until after the doctor has reviewed the results to make sure that they “came out okay” for lack of a better term. It’s a typical long test where you have to lie still in a tube for about 45 minutes, so there’s always a chance there could be some sort of blur or error or something, to where they’d wanna do it again in a few days or whatever. 🀨 But with any luck, by this weekend I’ll be on my way “back to life” at least in as far as my thyroid and energy levels are concerned. πŸ€πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™‚

Unfortunately, I’ll have to avoid stuff likeΒ this until I’m less radioactive. 😟 Wish she could understand.

I Have My Reasons

Still hangin’ in there, still waiting through this process… 😟 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. πŸ’‰πŸ˜¬πŸ“‰ 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. 😐 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. πŸ₯Ί 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. πŸ˜’ 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 shouldΒ 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…” πŸ™‚πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™πŸ»

I’m The Right Wrong Person

Being a critter person is awesome, but man can it also be really rough at times. 😟 Maven’s fine… in fact, she’s hogging my recliner right now, zonked out and oblivious to the activities of my day. Unfortunately though, one of my friends has a cat that had a litter of kittens… and well, sometimes everything doesn’t go like you want it to, like youΒ thinkΒ it will, or how you know that it should. πŸ˜₯Β I hate even thinking about it, let alone typing it out and making it feel even more real, but the sad fact is that two of them didn’t make it.

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She lives in an apartment complex, so she doesn’t have anywhere that she could bury them (which she obviously wanted to do) so I guess I was the first person that popped into her mind, when it came to somewhere that the two little ones could rest peacefully and undisturbed. 😞 She’s devastated about it… just like I would be if I was in her shoes… so despite the miserable heat and already feeling run down – I got dressed, went ahead and picked them up, and brought them back here with me.

It’s the least I could do… I mean, there’s no way to make someone feel better when something like that happens… so helping make it a little easier for them and sharing in their pain, those are about the only things a person can do. πŸ₯Ί The older I get though, the less I’m able to absorb this kind of sadness. The curse of being a critter person… you can’t just turn it off and on, and with each critter that you lose (or experience losing with someone else) you end up feeling it that much more each time it happens. πŸ˜₯

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With the tone of this entry, I’m sure you’re looking at the pictures of the double rainbows and wondering what the hell they have to do with anything. 🧐 Well, that’s what I got to see during the last ten minutes of the ride back home. I know that they’re “just rainbows” but in that moment it made me smile, thinking that maybe Mom, God, and all of the other “critter people” were up there recognizing this sad moment, giving me something so brilliant and peaceful to literally follow home, where the little guys will be staying. 😊😒

Here Comes The Rain Again

It was interesting, yesterday at the pharmacy, as I tried to get all of my medications processed through the proper insurer, etc. When the lady told me that one of my WC meds had been denied again, I sort of jokingly apologized for my situation being such a pain in the ass for them each month – and said that I could pay cash for it and hope to be able to get a refund once it does get approved, but that I was sure there are probably dozens of other customers just like me and that I didn’t want to be even more hassle than I already had to be. 😏 The interesting part, and this isn’t the first time that someone there has at least hinted this towards me… but she said that in general, they don’t have many problems with workers comp customers, and was surprised (looking at my records in their system) how I seem to have the same trouble almost every month. πŸ€¨πŸ˜’ So it’s nice to feel like the complaints in my head are justified, but it doesn’t help when I want to reassure myself that it’s “nothing personal” against me. πŸ™„ Yeah, the appointment coming up this week, the requirement that my WC adjuster be contacted personally to approve the same meds I’ve been taking for years and years… it’s hard to pretend like it’s all a coincidence. 😞

But in the evening I managed to fall asleep relatively early, and then woke up in a cold sweat about an hour later after another awful nightmare. πŸ˜₯ Dad and I were out on Shepherd Hill, it was late in the evening, a storm was blowing in, and we were walking along the fence-line of the property… where everything was all overgrown, as if our houses there had been abandoned. 🀨 My cousin Jim was at our house, and was helping to pack up all of our valuable things before the storm hit… but Dad and I were still out in the cold and wind, looking for Mom. 😟 As it turned out, she was actually out in the garage, making a safe space for all the kittens to hide and safely ride out the storm.

By this point Jim, Uncle Jay, and some others had already taken their carloads of things and left, and Dad and I were trying to get Mom to come inside the house so we could get the last of our things and then leave as well. But having grown up in that house, she didn’t want to leave… and as the storm hit, it turned into a tornado. Pieces of the walls started giving way, window were breaking, parts of the floor were being pried up from the beams and thrown into the air, and the three of us took shelter in the doorway between the foyer and the kitchen – and could only watch as the house was being torn down around us. 😒

It was then that I woke up… so I didn’t actually “go through” the worst of what would have happened if I had stayed in that dream, but it was close enough. And it was one of those dreams that felt so real that the noise and wind blowing from the fan in my room… it took me a few seconds to realize / remember that it was just my fan, and not that storm blowing things around still. Luckily I’m still exhausted… not only from the past few days, but also from that nightmare… so I think I’m gonna be able to go back to sleep fairly easily. I just hope I don’t drop right back into that dream.

That’s one of my “talents” that I usually appreciate… being able to “resume” interrupted dreams, or having dreams that take place in certain fictional locations, but locations that are always the same in my dreams, making them seem as real as if I was sitting on my porch and looking out at my back yard. It’s usually a comforting feeling to have these made up, but specific dream “destinations” over multiple decades… but that’s not even how it was this time. This was our old house, it was the house that Mom grew up in, and it was too fucking real. 😣 I have “good” Mom and Dad dreams too, but I’m really learning to hate these bad ones.

Used to be I could be screwed up during the day for whatever reason, but at least I could count on “sleep” as a time where no matter how stressed, depressed, or screwed up I was feeling during the day – it would all go away at night. But these past couple of months, more often than not, the “twitchy” of the day just follows me into my dreams. A lot of days when I wake up, my first thought is “I can’t wait until this day is over so I can go back to sleep.” but, at least right now, I can’t even say that and mean it. 😞

I’m tired, boss…