Monday, June 23, 2014

Why won't cancer leave us alone? I'm a little late in sharing this here, but my dad informed me and my siblings on father's day that he has cancer in one of his kidneys. I guess I just don't know how to process it. I wondered why I'd been seeing so many doctor appointments on the shared calendar lately. When I saw an ultrasound followed by CT/PET scans, I began to worry. And rightly so, I s'pose. He thought it was kidney stones at first. I wish it had been.

Fortunately, surgery to remove all or a portion of his kidney should get all of the cancer. That's what the doctor's have said anyway. Apparently, neither chemo nor radiation work on the kidneys, so surgery's the only option. His doctor said that if he'd started seeing any symptoms other than the ones he was having, it would've been too late. Of course, he now has to wait til August to have the surgery. According to his doctors, two months won't make a difference in terms of the cancer spreading; I hope they're right and that they know what they're doing.

In other news, we're being sued by the hospital where I received treatment because I haven't been able to pay the medical bills I continue to accumulate with followup care. We received a court summons yesterday. Hubby promised we'd fix it, and we're sending out a cashier's check tomorrow. Since I have to continue getting followup care for the rest of my life, and since the cancer has made me paranoid about every little sniffle I get, I visit the clinic/hospital more often that I'd like. And since the only jobs I've been able to get since finishing treatment are measly minimum wage jobs, I can't afford to meet even the minimum monthly payment. I told hubby I wish cancer had never come into my life. I wouldn't have been fired from job. We wouldn't be on the verge of bankruptcy. I wouldn't have completely obliterated our credit. I wouldn't be a neurotic, depressive, anxiety-ridden freak if I hadn't gone through it. We would've had a better life.

Cancer's cost me everything including friends, jobs, piece of mind, etc. I haven't told anyone this, but I've wanted to give up several times. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope that things will get better, that sickness will stop plaguing my family, that hubby and I will someday be in a position where we can spend true quality time together on a regular basis. I'm sick of this shit.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I'm currently relaxing in a hotel suite in the 'burbs while hubby is in work training. He's here through Wednesday, and since I was able to get a couple days off, I decided to join him here last night for a little getaway. I'm sipping coffee and practicing Spanish on Duolingo, an app recommended to me by my multilingual nephew, who graduated high school on Sunday. He's already learned two languages, is currently learning a third, and plans to learn even more! A lot of it's thanks to good schooling, but he also does a lot in his spare time (as evidenced by the bookshelf full of language learning material he showed me Saturday following his graduation party). He does this for fun, people! He paid his own way to France last year (where he stayed with a host family), wants to backpack around Europe next summer, and eventually wants to live abroad and work as an interpreter. He has more ambition than a lot of kids his age, even more than most adults!

Anyway, I had a revelation last night as I was lying in bed: I feel more at home here than I do in my own home. Then it occured to me that I felt that way at the last hotel we stayed at, too. I think I like this room so much because of its size. It's small. It's enough. As I've said before, it's become painfully obvious that while I love the house we bought last year, it's just too big for us. I find I'm forcing myself to use rooms we don't normally use just so they don't sit unused. I miss being a few steps from everything. I miss the coziness of being in separate rooms, yet knowing your significant other is only a short distance away if you need them. I miss the ease of maintenance. Also, the dogs don't know it, but they'd be better off in a smaller house, too. While both have mastered the massive staircase, I worry that they're both going to take a tumble one day. One story was all we needed. WHAT WAS I THINKING??? Our house is this big old cavernous thing, and because most of it isn't carpeted, there's nothing to absorb the noise. So everything--every step, every breath, every bark--is extra loud.

I'll be sad to leave here, just like I'm sad to leave every new place I visit. I'm still waiting for our new(ish) house to feel like home. What is 'home' other than a safe place to spend your non-working hours and rest your head at night? Maybe I'm assigning a deeper-than-needed meaning to it. Maybe hubby's utilitarian approach is the right way of looking at things. His response, for example, when I express an interest in decorating the bedroom to be a sort of oasis or escape, is: 'It's where we sleep at night. No one else sees it anyway.' 'That's not the point,' I tell him. But maybe he's onto something.