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17 September 2010

What's going on with you these days? [More:]I know I've been lurking and not posting much, though I still love you guys. Lots going on (most good, some not so much). I hope everyone is doing well, and I thought I'd ask for updates for things I've missed. Here's mine:

1. Found out that X-Mr. V's cancer has now spread to his brain. His prognosis is not good - very possible that he won't make it to another birthday (he just had one the beginning of this month). This makes me incredibly sad. Even though he wanted to be free "for new things", I am sad for him because he is not happy; he's estranged from his family; he's driven his kids away; and now this.

2. In keeping with #1: My brother's mother-in-law has Stage 4 Breast Cancer which is now in her bones and liver. She's such a sweet person, this really sucks. My boyfriend's brother-in-law is undergoing treatment for Pancreatic Cancer. And my neighbor (and son's best friends mom) her cancer has gone to her brain as well, she's started radiation on top of the chemo, and she's not doing well. I freakin' hate cancer.

3. In good boyfriend and I are getting along very well. He was supposed to move in part time, but it's ended up being full time and it's been very easy. He's easy to get along with, we laugh all the time, and my kids love him. Amazing, since I never expected this. Work is okay, but my friends are wonderful, and all in all I love my life.

Cancer is the fucking worst, rv. So sorry to hear that bitch is in your family's life, even tangentially.

My 85 year old father is sick with COPD. He was discharged from the hospital last night. Yesterday the doctor spoke with us about starting hospice care in the home. I'm awfully sad about that. I can't even imagine how he feels about it.

I'm starting Wellbutrin, probably just in time.
posted by toastedbeagle 17 September | 10:19
Cancer is the fucking worst

Ditto on that. I was out with my sister last night; today it's been 14 months since she was widowed. Cancer is the fucking worst.

toastedbeagle, that's exactly what happened with my own father almost exactly five years ago. My sympathies are with you.

That said, once we got the home hospice routine worked out, we had a surprisingly pleasant few months, with Dad feeling pretty good much of the time, which seemed flatly impossible when he first came home. I know every situation is different, but it's possible that this will be a big Good Thing. It was for us, in the long run. (But for the first month, I spent the few hours of rest I got each night crying into my pillow, not sleeping. My heart goes out to you. Take advantage of every bit of help that hospice can offer.)

What's going on with me these days: I've been shutting down a little, battening down the hatches, pulling in my nets, whatever. I feel very low and vulnerable lately, and I needed all my energy to take care of ME for a while. Turns out, this has caused a little anxiety among the friends who rely on the support, the nets, the whatever, and are distraught that I'm pulling back for a bit. Predictably, I have complicated feelings about that.
posted by Elsa 17 September | 10:47
I'm coming out of a pit, myself (it does end - have hope). I've gotten my drive back, and I'm starting to enjoy things a little more, so I'm doing more, if that makes sense.

Work is undergoing an upheaval - stupid boss is leaving, but I don't know if I'll get his position.

I've been exercising and walking, and the weight is slowly coming off. I'm stronger than I was, so that's happy as well.

Not feeling really great today, though. Not enough sleep and cloudy and achy. Plus my mom's photostream is showing pics of her brother's trip to see their dad. It included pics of my grandmother's grave. She died of pancreatic cancer almost 15 years ago. Fuck cancer.
posted by lysdexic 17 September | 11:58
Echoing the big Bronx raspberry for cancer. One of my cousins - my mom's age - developed reproductive-system cancers last year. She's always been an independent type, and she decided to treat it using natural and alternative therapies. She does have allopathic medical consult, but still, most of the rest of us in her family find it sort of agonizing to read her blog about all these treatment centers, snake oil purveyors, herbal salves and wheatgrass routines that she has high hopes for, and just wish she would get conventional treatment. However, she is doing things the way she wants, and that's important to her right now. She has hospice lined up for if/when she needs it.

Meanwhile, 3 days before our annual family beach vacation last week, which normally aims to be stress-free and fun, we got word that my great-aunt, who was to be joining us, had gone through a physical in which a lesion was found on her lung, and she was also diagnosed with congestive heart failure. She dropped into a serious depression. She came along to the beach anyway, but it all was pretty somber. It's not unlikely to be lung cancer, because she's smoked for 50 years. And her mother (also my mom's mother and my grandmother) died of emphysema and CHF at only two years older than my aunt is now. I think this is hard on my mom, because her sister is her last living immediate family member, and also hard on her daughter, who's my age.

Both my dad's parents died of cancer, as did his sister, at only 48. Cancer is never far from my health-related thoughts.

In other news, been at my job 1 year now, and it's finally settling into a more comfortable and familiar routine. Starting to get it and not feel bowled over all the time. My "new" life is really different from life before this job - went from a 10-minute total daily commute (20 if I took the bike) to an hour- to hour-and-a-half daily commute. That's a lot of time lost, and I feel tired by it. It's nice to get the reading time back, but I feel like I'm never home, and a bit of a stranger in my new town. I have less time for volunteering/activism stuff, even though I still try to do a lot, further tiring myself out. My weight is much too high and I haven't got working out back into my routine. I need a fall housecleaning of my life, I think.

posted by Miko 17 September | 12:37
Another cancer "survivor" weighing in here. My mom's twin sister died from colorectal cancer (which metastasized into several other kinds) three years ago tomorrow. She was one of my best friends. But her death kicked me out of my stasis and got me to California, where I've had the happiest and most successful three years of my life since. So these terrible losses, they do mean something.

I'm riding pretty high at the moment. I'm leaving for an ell-expenses-paid expedition in the Rub Al Khali desert in just over two weeks, and I'll be recording an interview with The Story on Monday about my Bulgarian trip in August. There's talk of another trip in the Black Sea in the springtime. It's kinda amazing getting paid to travel all over the world. I could get used to this.
posted by mykescipark 17 September | 14:11
Fuck cancer.

posted by gomichild 17 September | 15:34
I hate cancer. Hugs to everyone who is dealing with it.

Getting set for what looks like very fun weekend with my husband (play tomorrow night, brunch together at a pretty place on Sunday AM, baseball game Sunday afternoon) and a very grueling week at work next week.
posted by bearwife 17 September | 15:41
It was one year ago, 9/17/09, that I found out that I had a melanoma and it was thick enough to be a major worry. They cut it off on that day, and I have had many scans, palpitations, biopsies, etc. since and they cannot find any trace of it. This does not mean Mission Accomplished. It just means that they have not found it. Could still be in there. Or not.

Went to the dermo today for a full skin exam, which was clear. Also, sorta humbling, with the yound dermo and his two young nurses in attendance, all concentrated on my skin, every inch of it.

Work is really busy. I made a mistake, and my boss has the kind of personality wherein he is upset for several months, then back to World's Best Boss. Everyone here has been through that but it's also not fun, so I am digging myself out and should be back to golden before long.

Wife has had the summer off, so we are in conflict with how much DOWN time I need. She's rarin' to do something, go out every night, since she's home most days and all I want to do is read or just go to sleep. It's been a problem but her work (home tutoring for our sch dist of teen moms and kids with cancer) will pick up. Steady supply of both in our area, sadly.

Wife also just had something printed in a Chicken Soup book. These books are what they are but it is VERY cool to see her name in a book. I am proud of her.
posted by danf 17 September | 15:58
Yup, cancer is bad. I lost two relatives in 2009 to it. In reality they both committed suicide. My uncle was one of the first people to use the new Oregon law. My cousin (breast cancer) saved up her painkillers. My mum's younger sister got a "few months to live" diagnosis earlier this year. She probably won't see xmas. Those are only the most recent incidents in my family.

Fuck cancer.

Then there are my own and the mister's health issues.

In spite of all of that I seem to be coming out of a year long slump and am feeling better emotionally.

Big hugs to everyone.
posted by deborah 17 September | 17:17
Fuck cancer. I almost had a breakdown in CVS today listening to a woman talk to the pharmacist about not being able to afford her cancer meds. :-/

I've been doing all my adult-y things like going to a GP and getting blood drawn and renewing my drivers license.

Work has been slow, but apparently once I get my degree they want to offer me a gig as a manuscript archivist. Maybe. I've heard this tune before and it hasn't ended in my favor yet.

Have been put on Seroquel and told to stay at 10mg Paxil. Not sure how much good the Paxil is going to do considering the pdoc and I discussed trying Wellbutrin, but she is the doc and said we should try only fiddling with one med at a time. Maybe I'll get some sleep tonight.

School has been impossible to concentrate on for no good reason. I do not approve of this shitfuckery, brain. Start marinating in the correct chemicals or it's the q-tips for you.

And whuffles all around.
posted by sperose 17 September | 17:30
Fuck cancer. My (great-)aunt has been diagnosed Stage 3 or 4 (there are spots on the lungs they're not sure about yet) breast cancer within the past month. I'm not particularly close to her, but her daughter (my cousin) is exactly my age and we are close. I can't imagine contemplating losing my mother and I really feel for her. I don't even know what to say to her.

The kids are settling into school and it's going well esp. for older son who I was worried about the transition (from homeschooling). The activities start next week - Sunday, so routines and busyness which I am looking forward to. Daughter who has speech delay is trying to talk finally and that's great to see. I am moodwise not doing awesome but trying to work on it and better than where I was at a couple weeks ago I think. Part of it is chores/house rearranging/fixing shit that needs to get done and I just don't seem to have the time, the space, and/or the juice to work at it. I hate not being able to find stuff when I need it. I hate disorder.
posted by flex 17 September | 18:36
My mother's father and mother both died of cancer about a year about. My grandmother's husband died before that from cancer. I was about 10 to 14 when all of this happened. Recently, my grandmother's sister passed from cancer. I helped take her to the hospital, and she passed five days later. A year before that, my uncle (mother's brother) committed suicide, but there is much speculation in the family that it was cancer related, based on remarks he made to my mom after they had watched their parents die. My brother's mother died last year after her breast cancer relapsed.

I'm sure I'll see it some day. But I'm more afraid of my father developing (hypothetically) Alzheimer's, which is supposed to be linked to diabetes. I'm fucking terrified of that.
posted by gc 18 September | 08:09
That was all in the spirit of empathy, RV. Fuck cancer, indeed.
posted by gc 18 September | 08:10
I've had nightmares that looked a bit like this. || Still Cranish After All These Years