Tag Archives: thoughts

Friday Five

1. After my first day of WORK, I am POOPED. I did not sit down all day. Really. Never. I also didn’t plan well so had no food or coffee. By the time I got home, I was teary, achey and emotional.

When I told Mom I was tired, as usual, she said, “Good tired though! You have a job!”

No. I am beat. I am just TIRED. Yes, I am so, SO grateful to have a job. It has zero bearing on my tiredness. I AM JUST TIRED, DAMNIT!

2. I love Thai food. I ordered takeout today after crashing and it was a good idea. I never get sick of it and I can almost always find vegetarian options. I definitely miss the amazing Thai food in Vancouver, but tonight’s food hit the spot. 

3. Tomorrow will be busy. Farmer’s Market,  ALL OF THE LAUNDRY and Target then home to clean.  My Mom and Stepdad will be visiting all day Sunday and Monday and staying with me! Then I work two full days and a Vancouver friend shows up that night for five days. I am excited to have another vegetarian here for Thanksgiving and I may brave the crowds to go to the Macy’s parade. We shall see.

I may want to crash in 8 days. I hope for no meltdowns.

4. I am back to reading Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. I read the first…17ish books and wanted to keep reading but it has been so long! I borrowed my first eBook and restsrted the series. I forgot how much I loved Anita. She is helping me get over the loss of other characters as a series ended. Do you get attached to serial characters? I do, then I struggle to get in a reading groove again.

5. Dad had a CT Scan this week to check the progress he is making. He had swollen lymph nodes in his groin, chest, throat and armpits as well as cancer cells in his bone marrow. I assume they are checking the size of these nodes.

He will find out Tuesday what the results of the scan are while he sits down for round FOUR of six chemotherapy treatments.  If you are the praying or thinking type – he could use some. We could all use some good news this holiday season.

What tidbits do you have lying around this Friday night?

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Oh crap.

It is 10:55pm and I am JUST now realizing I haven’t posted y’all! You see, I was so awesome that yesterday’s poat was scheduled ahead so I got lazy and out of the daily habit. Tsk tsk. It is only the twelfth, I’d better get my shit together eh?

I have a pretty good post coming up at some point, but the feelings, thoughts and emotions are still settling inside me. I will say that spending days in a small room with 12 other women, all talking about how strong, capable and amazing birthing women are – is life changing.

Truly.

I’m not sure, like I said, where I am headed just yet. I know that the experience has changed something inside me for the better. It has shown me a path. A better way. It has revealed strength inside me and purpose that I couldn’t find before.

That said, I can’t say I am perfect and that the path is perfectly clear. There is work ahead. There is brush to be cleared and trails to be tamped down.

If you have ever thought you wanted to get involved in birth support, or just supporting amazing women,  I highly recommend at least checking out Birth Doula Training.

It really is life changing. 

Words to Live By

Today marks the beginning of my Dad’s third round of chemotherapy. (In case you missed it, he was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma which is a Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.)  I texted him this morning and wished him luck and cheerfully reminded him that after tomorrow, he is half way through his treatments. Three down, three to go.

Guys, I honestly cannot convey how proud of him I am. I didn’t know what to expect at the beginning of this journey with him and very clearly, he didn’t either. Through the process so far, I have reconnected with my long, lost half sister to keep her updated, worked on getting them to talk again and have been in touch near daily with my Dad. My Dad, that I went 2.5 years without speaking to once. Not on purpose mind you, we just…didn’t talk.  I honestly cannot fathom that the way things stand right now.

I text him and email him regularly. I call him every couple weeks to check in and man, is he just kicking ass and taking names. Considering that he is getting some pretty strong shit and has no insurance so sees the numbers quickly adding up, I can’t believe how strong he is.When I talk to him, other than a few days post white-cell-boosting-shot where he feels like he has an AWFUL flu, he is just…tired. That’s it. He’s not ill. He’s not bemoaning how he is. He is outside ‘trying to be productive’. He is shopping with his girlfriend. He is watching his friends all chip in to help him with firewood and cooking. Dad said yesterday that he almost forgot he was sick during the last couple days, he felt so good, until he saw or felt the massive port on his chest. I mean REALLY NOW!? He has cancer cells in his bone marrow for crying out loud and he’s just all “oh yeah, I felt so good I almost forgot I had cancer.” He has such an amazing attitude about it all. Stellar I tell you. I just cannot explain my pride to you.  I have that DNA in me. How can I ever think of quitting when I have THAT in me?

Just as an aside, cancer ain’t cheap folks. If you have insurance, or live in a country with a single payer system, please thank your lucky stars that you don’t have to heal and recover with hundreds of thousands of medical bills piled on top of you. It is a travesty, this system of ours, where one shot can cost $14,000 in one town, $7,000 in another and yet $4,500 in the same town but a hospital over. Or a whole $2,500 in Canada. I know, I digress but…ugh. My Dad. I worry.

I know I’ve written about Dad before on the blog.  Some of you might have even seen this piece that I am incredibly proud of. It’s just that our relationship continues to grow and morph into something I never could have possibly expected. A loving relationship with zero expectations.  Dad doesn’t expect me to call every 5 days or text daily. He doesn’t expect emails from me five times a week and doesn’t get bent out of shape if I don’t respond. I don’t expect any of those things from him either. We text, call or email when we are thinking of one another and it feels special that way. Nothing is ever a duty or a chore. It’s never something I have to do and because of that, it’s a joy. It’s a joy to text him or call because I know there are just no strings and no expectations attached.

That sort of relationship seems so rare. Even when you think something has no strings, there is guilt if you don’t keep the contact, or hurt when they don’t keep up with  you. It happens. I’ve had so much of that in my life. I treasure the friends that I don’t keep up with but when I call, they love me just the same and are happy to hear from me. This is what it’s like with my Dad.  He checks in before each chemo treatment to see how I’m doing so he has ‘good thoughts’ before he goes in. I am hoping I can help heal his relationship with my sister too, since the silence is purely due to issues with anxiety over expectations. When I spoke with her on the phone for the first time in over 20 years, she seemed shocked that I didn’t care about the 20 years. The truth was, I didn’t. What does it matter? I was just happy to talk to her and share our Dad’s struggles with her. Dad wasn’t expectant either that she rekindle her relationship with him. He was just happy WE were talking.  I spend a lot of time lately thinking about this relationship and how I can create or cultivate that freedom and that love in other relationships.

Just today, Dad and I checked in. He’s tired after the six hour treatment today. Naturally. He asked how I was and I was honest – I am anxious, tired and stressed. His response was so sweet guys, I have to share it with you. His words, knowing how soft he is, how loving and sensitive he is – actually brought tears to my eyes.

“Hang in there. Everything will work out with a little patience and understanding. It is all new. I love you. You will find your way.”

Thanks, Dad. I just love you a lot.

When Friends Hurt

There are always people hurting. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Sometimes they tell you, sometimes they don’t.  Sometimes it is physical, sometimes it’s emotional. Sometimes it’s obvious, but sometimes it is subtle, quiet and insidious.

No matter what it is, unfortunately, there is rarely anything you can do but love them and express that to them. They might not be in a place to actively hear it, but they will retain that. Even so, say it again. Over and over. 

You can tell them they are allowed to be weak and hurt, but that they are strong for just being there. You can help them let down if they need to and you can help hold them up if they need that too.

So often, none of that feels like enough. A friend spoke last night about FEELING the sadness of a neighbor’s house fire. Not just thinking, “oh that’s so sad.” and being able to go on with your night. I can so relate to that. I am grateful to every friend that expresses hurt or frustrstion. I want to hear it. It feels GOOD to recieve that little plea. Like…hey friend, I heard that. I’m here.

But I can’t stop there. I HURT on their behalf. I feel their ache. The darkness. I wouldn’t trade this gift or ever want anyone to stop sharing, but man. I feel it. I so often wish they knew how intensely I feel them. How genuinely I just really wish I could hug them, hold them and help. Even if we have never met.

The opposite is true also. I feel their joy and happiness. I feel their success and love. It’s a beautiful thing that makes me want to jump up and down with them, but the best I can often do is text, email, tweet or share my love and support in a comment. I hope they know how genuine my words truly are.

I’m so appreciative of those that share their love, support,  pain, hurt and their joy. It’s part of being vulnerable and I value that. Even if you can’t reach out and open up right now. Wherever you’re at, don’t you worry, I’ll protect that soft spot.

That’s what friends do.