Method To My Madness

You may or may not have noticed, but over the past many weeks – especially in the time right before and after my scan – I’ve been posting a lot more entries to the blog than usual. Even if not in quantity, I’ve definitely been ramblingΒ more than I typically do. Now that I’m most of the way past that phase, I’m probably gonna end up slowing a little with my postings – not necessarily on purpose, but because as things start to feel like they’re returning to normal I have a feeling I just won’t feel like I need to post quite as much.

There’s no way to explain to someone who hasn’t gone through it, how it feels to sit with an unspecified amount of cancer in your body, jumping through all of the hoops for the tests, which includes gradually wearing down your energy levels to nothing, and then just sitting there, not knowing, waiting, worrying, hoping, etc. 😟 There isn’t an emotion that you don’t experience, ranging from hoping that it’s completely gone – to hoping that if it isn’t gone, that you at least get an expiration date… just to finally get rid of the uncertaintyΒ more than anything else. 😞 I suppose I can only speak for myself, but I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t feel most of the things / ways that I’ve felt. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

But my way of dealing with all of that (or distracting myself from all of that) was by posting here. Didn’t necessarily want to talk to anyone about it in person, or in any detail or whatever… but also couldn’t just sit here and stay all bottled up about it. So whether my posts had something to do with my medical stuff or not, it’s been a big reason why I’ve been so active lately. Now, I’m not saying that I’m gonna stop blogging… I mean, rambling is sort of my thing, it’s more that I just wanted to come here and finally explain.

Of course it doesn’t help when in the middle of all that, I get new “neck stuff” (unrelated to cancer) to eventually be concerned about. πŸ˜’ It’s hard to stay positive and try to get back to normal when just as you’re finishing up with one thing, something else fairly big comes along right on the tail of the last thing. And that’s what a lot of my postings have been, whether they seem like it or not… trying to find the silver linings, trying to reassure or even convince myself that I have the ability to take the good for what it is, and work around whatever negatives are left after that. (Bleh… that sounds cheezy.)

I’m still not back to normal, but I’m definitely getting there. I found out, thanks to the festival, that even though my energy levels are a whole lot better – there’s still a wall there to be hit, and I still don’t get a sign when I’m approaching it. I’m assuming that’ll just continue to get better though, because it has so far. I’ve barely been doing anything with friends yet, and still haven’t been on Facebook for over a month now… so I’ve still got a few of those types of hurdles to get over, but it’ll all come in time. πŸ™‚ I’m not setting goals or time-frames or anything like that… just trying to always make sure that I keep moving forward with all of it. And as for the stuff that I’ll have to face in the future, whether it is spine related or cancer related (or something as of yet unforeseen), I can’t let it chew up all my thoughts and actions between now and whenever that will be.

So whether it helps me because I’m just getting stuff out, or because it also helps to reinforce the positive thoughts… whatever it is, it’s just what I’ve needed to do during this more-uncertain time in my life. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But as I continue to get better, it should require less energy (or rambling about it) in order to keep the progress going. I made it up and over the most recent hill, so now I can hopefully start to coast a little more if that’s what I decide to do.

Meh… I could obviously continue with more on this topic, but this basically explains what I wanted to be explained. We’re all works in progress, and I’m no different. And if it’s not one of the issues that I’m currently focused on, there’s always gonna be something else that tries to damage my calm and toss some grenades in my life’s direction. 😟 I’m just hoping that I can take the things that I’ve learned from dealing with the current situations and apply them to those other things when needed. πŸ™‚ Maybe get a little better with the “ups and downs” since we all seem to come with an endless supply.

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Boring Dream Talk

Had several dreams last night that made sure my sleep quality was pretty shit, and while I can’t remember many of the details – I do remember the part that’s often a recurring part of my dreams. 😬 I’m sure I’ve written about it in general before, because I like that over the decades that I’ve been alive – there have been some fictional dream locations, plots, set dressing type items, fictional people, etc that I’ve experienced many times over again in separate dreams. πŸ˜―πŸ€“

Sometimes it’s all in one night, where I’ll wake up from a dream for a bit, fall back to sleep, and the dream will pick up right where it left off… but I’ve also had dreams as a kid, where the location didn’t get used in a dream again until decades later – while still being instantly recognizable to me. 😊 All of that subconscious stuff just fascinates me, especially when I have some friends who say they are never even able to remember their dreams, let alone experience familiarity in them over years and years. It actually makes me feel bad for them, not even realizing what they’re missing.

Last night didn’t have any of the “fun” flavors of familiarity though. I’m not sure if you’d call it a plot point or just a recurring experience, with it not even fitting in with the actual “story” of the dream most of the time, and it’s strange enough that I couldn’t even tell you where the idea originates. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ There’s no non-weird way to describe it… but I guess you’d basically call it “clogged mouth syndrome” or something.

Most of the time it doesn’t fall into “nightmare” territory, but it’s definitely an uncomfortable feeling, and usually ends up with me waking up from it. 😟 Sometimes my mouth is clogged with some kind of food, but usually it ends up being either bubble gum or paper for some reason. 🀨 Last night was paper. πŸ™„ But it’s always the same thing – mouth is completely crammed full of whatever, so much so that I can’t swallow, can’t push it out with my tongue, can’t talk, etc… I mean, just picture ripping out pages of a notebook and cramming sheets into your mouth until you can’t possibly fit any more in, and there ya go. 😳 Fun, eh?

It’s almost always remedied in the same way. It causes a delay in whatever is going on, because I have to stop and use my fingers to dig all the stuff out of my mouth until I can swallow, shut, breathe, or otherwise have use of my mouth again. It’s a frantic feeling, but not like choking, and not like it’s gonna kill me or anything. All I remember from last night is that it happened while me and someone else were trying to climb up a ladder to get out of some situation, but I had to stop and dig all the soggy, spit covered globs of paper out of my mouth before I started the climb, because I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to breathe by the time I had gotten half-way to the top. πŸ™„πŸ˜„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

But yeah, that’s about it. Most boring dream recollection story ever, other than the amusing recurring things that I deal with… one that I’d be happy to give up, obviously. The other recurring things though, I feel lucky to have them. πŸ™‚ Absolutely fictional locations or people, that for whatever reason I end up visiting or seeing over and over again across the years. It’s like when you have a regular vacation destination that ends up being a familiar, true part of your life… having imagined locations and people, that have that same feeling of familiarity and real-ness to them, it’s just neat andΒ makes you wonder how and why it happens.

I Know It’s Weird, But…

I wish my day was ending on a better note. 😞 As you can tell from my couple of previous posts, I was trying to get (or keep) myself in the right frame of mind where I could accomplish various things, hopefully have my plans for the weekend go down without any issues… basically just trying to hang on to the “normal” while I was feeling it. (And believe me… just that in itself is a bigger challenge for me right now than you’d probably think.)

Now, as many of you may already know, one of the “weird” things about me is my near inability to talk on the phone. There’s a logical root reason to how I ended up this way, even if there isn’t as much logic to it now, but it’s something that everyone who knows me is aware of. Unfortunately, I have one family member who is apparently as averse to textingΒ through the phone as I am to speaking on the phone, so there’s obviously gonna be some problems when we need to communicate. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

So even when people do absolutely need to talk to me on the phone, they know to text me first to make sure it’s okay to call. Essentially it’s just giving me a warning that they’re gonna call, which helps my twitchy brain prepare for it, and usually making it something I can do. But over the past two days it’s been cold call after cold call, but at least this last time she left a voice mail saying that she had some good news and that she wanted me to call her.

So even though she knows I’m like this (we talked about it the last time she cold called me… heh), she’s got good news that she wants to share, so it makes me feel bad that this weird part of me won’t let me answer or call back immediately. πŸ™‚πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I have to “save up the oomph” to make a phone call. And yeah, I know that’s a really weird thing… there’s no debating that. I just hate when I’m doing my best to hang on to “normal” for a while, and something like this reminds me that I’ve still got a long way to go…

Of course I’m interested in her news, and I wish that I could just pick up the phone and call back right away, because I don’t want her to think that I don’t care… but now I’ve spent the evening being frustrated by myself, rather than continuing my forward progress. 😟 Dumb. But how many times do you have to tell someone that you don’t talk on the phone, or that if you have to talk to me on the phone – just text me and give me an idea that a call is coming? (Of course this doesn’t apply to anyone who doesn’t have the ability to text me.) I’m not asking people to understand why I’m this way, just that they understand that I am – and that they respect that unfortunate fact and don’t get hurt feelings if it takes me a while to call back.

Gah… okay, I gotta stop dwelling on this. It’s just how I am right now, I’ll talk to her tomorrow, she’ll share her news, everything will be fine… I can’t let my defects erase any of the positives that I’ve been actively working on lately. And I’m gonna keep reminding myself… as hard as it is for me to take or make phone calls, it could be just as hard for her to text – and it could be just a difficult for her to explain as it is for me.

It’s all good… it’ll be fine… I think I just needed to vent.

Rough Night, Rough Day

Not a great day today. Was only able to get about three or four hours of sleep, and during those few hours I had two distinctly awful nightmares. First one had me inside a somewhat empty mall that was having its grand opening during the middle of the night. Everything was high tech, including the bathrooms – which for some reason, had circular, computerized urinals that all the guys had to share in the middle of the room.

This is gross, but it’s all just dream fodder, so yeah… for whatever reason, I ended up pissing blood, freaking out everyone else in the bathroom, to the point where alarms started going off as if I had done something wrong and someone was coming to get me. I left the restrooms and went into the main area of the mall, which was still mostly empty, so I could look for a doctor’s office or urgent care center. While I was doing this, I noticed that mall employees were following me – and sometimes actually running ahead of me, like they were making sure that I didn’t touch or contaminate any of the new things in the new stores in their new mall. One guy even said so. He said he was supposed to make sure that I just left the property, but that he wasn’t going to force me.

Woke up around that point for about a half hour, but when I fell back to sleep it basically picked back up with the same general plot and activities. Instead of a mall, it was now a fancy “state park” type lodge, the alarms were still going off, and every elevator that I tried to get onto was already filled with people who were fleeing the building. I was able to find a service elevator though, despite it only being big enough for one person to stand in, so I was at least able to make it to the ground floor and out into the park.

It was still the middle of the night, so the parking lots were the only areas that were dimly lit by creepy, flickering, florescent lightning. But all of the cars had been towed away for some reason. As I stood in the empty parking lot, the distance between me and the lodge began to expand… and before I knew it I was alone in the middle of the woods and the only thing I could make of the lodge was a few lights far off in the distance. I couldn’t see them, but I could hear people shouting for their kids, wondering where everyone went… and then I woke up from that one as well.

And yeah, I know there’s no way to ever describe your dreams in a way that can make other people “see” or feel what you were experiencing… but they were shitty dreams, just take my word for it. So I woke up early, my mood was shit, my energy was shot, but I could see that the beast was visibly annoyed by some itchin’ on her butt – so I used my little bit of energy to brush her out, comb out a few fleas, and then start grooming her with the shaver – this time, sans guard.

I had already made a nekkid spot on her neck to put the flea treatment, but to give them as little area to hide as possible I decided to go ahead and start trimming her shorter than I ever have before. She still loves the attention, and I think she knows and appreciates what I’m trying to do for her. (It’ll still be a couple day process though.) And even knowing that, I still had to take an unwanted nap in the afternoon.

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But since she does have some fleas, and flea dirt – each time she lets me spend a few minutes erasing big sections of fur, I then have to sweep it all up with the broom, and then vacuum the rest up with the vacuum (which is working again, yay) so I can eliminate as many of the little buggers as I can. It sounds like nothing, but it’s using up every drop of energy that I’ve had today. And of course getting her back, chest, and neck is pretty easy – so that’s what I’ve hit first – but I’ve still got belly, legs, and butt yet to go… and I just don’t think I’ve got the oomph to finish it all tonight.

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Hopefully sleep will come easier, and she’s already happier with what I’ve gotten done so far, so she’ll be fine waiting for tomorrow for the rest of it… if tomorrow is even enough time. Depends on what kind of mood she’s in and what kind of night I have tonight. But if that’s the worst of my complaints for today, I guess that’s not too bad. Meh. Unrelated question, as I watch the end of the Bristol truck race tonight… did they even sell tickets to this thing? Just noticed as they were taking the checkered flag that the place looked literally absolutely empty in the areas of the stands I was seeing.

Oh C’mon…

Getting a half-way decent night of sleep didn’t do anything to recharge my batteries for any significant use today. Of course I do have a little more on my mind than usual, but that wasn’t what was bothering me today. Actually, I didn’t realize that anything was bothering me today – until it did. Around noon I went outside to use my little air compressor to air up my tires, since that was something I could just do in the driveway without having to drive into town or anything. Figured that was within my ability today.

Spent about ten minutes doing that. It was in the sun, yeah, but it wasn’t like it was actually that hot out. But yeah, so I was just waiting in the normal sun as my slow compressor topped off two of my tires… and when I went back inside, I fell asleep within minutes and didn’t wake up until almost two hours later. So bizarre. I wasn’t tired, wasn’t sleepy, and that’s all that I did… but *ploop*… I was out.

It’s still frustrating, and it still bothers me… but being so close to the end of this phase, at least I can think about it at the end of the day and smirk. It would be terrifying if this was just “how I’m gonna be from now on” but that’s not how it is. But knowing that something so truly small can trigger the “nope” button in my brain, which effectively shuts me down, it’s such a weird thing. Not a fan.

Hoping that I can get one more solid night of sleep under my belt tonight, and that maybe that will be enough to at least avoid any unintentional spontaneous naps tomorrow.

Crazy Cat d00d

She’s probably one of the very few things that have kept me sane lately… 😏

Be warned, there’s almost 18 minutes of clips in this video, but it’s actually a good representation of how we usually get on. I should have gotten a couple more clips showing her actually enjoying her grooming, because she actually does, but yeah… life would be a lot different here without the spoiled beast. πŸ™‚

A regular entry will possibly be coming later this evening…

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…