Thursday, February 8, 2024

Sledge hammers and litterboxes


  This has been a rollercoaster of a few months.  I don't know  where to start.  I feel like I really need to get some things out of me and on paper, so I have chosen to blog about them, since this doesn't get read by many anyway.  I take full responsibility for that, as I am such a hit and miss blogger the past few years. It is past midnight and I am beyond tired.  This past summer one of my nephews died of a heroin overdose. A couple of years before that, HIS nephew died of a heroin overdose.  My heart breaks for the brother that these belong to. It is brutal and senseless and so unnecessary.  The one that died this summer lived with us for a while when he was in HS. His life has been nothing but grief to his family these last years and it was inevitable. I tried at one point to get him into a recovery program, hooked him up with a nice young man close to his age, but he didn't want any part of it. It's heartbreaking watching the havoc addiction wreaks on the lives of the addict and everyone who loves them. Then just before Thanksgiving, my husband was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer.  We kept the news to ourselves for a while, as he tried to process it all. Then we told family members. I had confided in a couple of very close friends, but he was keeping it bottled up. Finally he told a few people and then it was out.  December was full of consults and dr appointmnets in St Louis and in the first full week of January, they started radiation treatments.  We're blessed to have one the nations top cancer centers here.  The medical care from the VA has been superb.  My husband has a great attitude and managed to work half days through the treatments.  After they were finished, the side effects began. He has missed the last week of work and is feeling really crappy.  (**it's weeks later now).  He missed another week and a half of work before he could go back.   He had a little down time before they started the chemo treatments, and on January 30th the first infusion was administered. The second one is coming up in 12 days. In between, he takes 2 weeks of chemo PILLS, one week off, then the next infusion.  Total of 4 infusions.  Then tests to see if they can do surgery yet to remove the tumor. He's had some strange side effects from the chemo, most are fleeting. He looks tired. He's worked 40 hours this week by the time he gets home. Last week he was able to work 20.  This stuff is not for the faint of heart.  Today is his 64th birthday. He doesn't want a celebration, but I'm making one of his favorite dinners of lemon chicken with rice and some vegetable.  He's lost about 8 pounds since this started, his appetite is different than normal.  I made some sugar free chocolate pudding with almond milk since he didn't want a cake. lol  The chicken is marinating right now. I've been a householding fool today, and managed to get a lot of things done, (like laundry and scrubbing out litterboxes). I have a little birthday bag for him with an Irish flag and a Celtic symbol on a chain that he'll probably never wear. But I liked it.  lol  

   So, in between all this, I had a bad diverticulitis attack that landed me in the ER.  They ran all kinds of stupid tests (as they are wont to do) and then ordered a post ER Ultrasound on my gall bladder. Seems I have developed gall stones. Sigh... not causing any real trouble yet, but they want to remove the thing before it does. Been a real clusterfork trying to get it scheduled because I need to do it around his treatment schedules and I want to do it half an hour from here instead of over an hour where they originally wanted to schedule it. It's all been frustrating. Oh, and did I mention that my brother also died rather unexpectedly in December, right before Xmas ?  At the same hospital they wanted to send me to ? can imagine my general state of mind. Top that with a new phone I got that will not work well...supposed to be "senior friendly" and I bought 2 and after much ado, am sending them both back and getting my $$ refunded.  Dropping calls, not opening apps, lousy reception and speakers.  Luckily I only set up the one to see how it worked. lol  So we still have one halfway dependable phone. 

  All in all, it's a wonder I haven't run screaming through the streets. But so far, I've been okay. We have lots of love and support around us and I am so thankful for everyone that has offered and done little things to help us. My friend Mary comes to mind, who said once... "Life comes at us like a sledgehammer sometimes.  No time to duck."  Whew. 


Anonymous said...

I love you Annie! 💕💕💕

Anonymous said...

Let it out. Boatloads of grief and anger at the injustice. Trust and believe that when you reach out your hand, someone will be there to hold it. Ask for help. Let others help. Much love for you and the Irish Gnome.

Anonymous said...

All I want to do (if I was able!) is to jump on the first plane and look after you both - what I can do from Downunder is try and support you both through prayer and long distance reiki- a very Happy Birthday to your Irishman and May the peace of all understanding descend upon you both NOW xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Love this! You are amazing

Wendy said...

Still read you. So take your time.
ps, my dad was 72 when diagnozed with colon cancer (he had an op), he will be 93 coming may :-).
Keep screaming if it helps, you are allowed.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that sledgehammer. But we keep on going and we come through. Love to both of you, my beloved friend.


Rita said...

So sorry to hear all of that has been going thing after the other. Yes, sometimes life comes at us with a sledgehammer. Or, like in your case, with repeated blows! Deaths, cancer, flare-ups, surgeries, and even your useless phones. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all better. I recently endured a battle with stage-4 cancer...brought tears to my eyes just hearing about your sweetie's tribulations. Not for the faint of heart, to be sure. I was lucky. I hope and pray your Irishman will be so blessed, too. Hang in there. No matter how horrendous and cruel life can be, it is also filled with those intense moments of love and joy that can take your breath away and stun your soul. Life is worth all of it. *love and hugs from Fargo*