...come back to us!!!
I heeded the call. It has, after all, been since Halloween. We had zero trick or treaters. ZERO. Nicht. Nada. Zip. Nothing. I was (vaguely) disappointed, but this is the Bible Belt...Or the buckle thereof. Pick your bit of the belt, how's that?
Then a zip through November, fraught with various illnesses and malaise, a trip to the ER for my painted man, headcolds and stomach viruses all around... I do work in a call center. It is on par with a daycare for illnesses. A good Thanksgiving was had (we had guests! J2&TRex(with baby bump in tow!) showed up unexpectedly). I think I should just get used to the fact that nobody RSVPs, and if I invite people over, I should just plan for a crowd and clean accordingly. Got responses on Samhain and nobody showed up. No responses for Turkeyday and we had guests. Go figure. So I'm just going to remember 'If you invite them, they may come', and not wait for a 'Yes, I'll be there' to run a vacuum and put up my laundry piles.
I also managed to complete another NaNoWriMo, and I'm still writing it. Reliquary of Dreams. Time travel. If you want the link, EMAIL ME and I'll hook you up.
So that brings us to December in this listing of things and stuff. December. Cold. I think of December and I think 'It's going to be cold. Very cold. All the light will go away and it will be cold.' The light goes away because it's at the wrong angle in the sky to begin with here... having your golden orb hanging about 10 degrees off what it should be (subjectively) isn't fun at all and messes with my sense of time. But it hasn't been cold. Up until the last 2 weeks or so, we've been warm. Warm. 60's warm. But I still got sick. Still have the chest part of it, too. I was an early adopter of this particular cold (one of the supervisors just came down with it), getting it on the 8th...How do I know? Because I stayed home on the 9th (aced out on that one-thought I was calling in sick only to hear there were system issues and everyone was home). Then I missed the 12th, too. Still ill. Then it settled into a chest cold (it's not bronchitis...not severe enough-just a continuing cough) and there it sits, still gathering & clearing my winter sniffles.
Then, my stress levels went through the roof. As if it weren't enough (not to sound like I'm whining, but it feels like I'm whining and maybe I am, but I don't want to-does that make sense???) that money is tight not only due to the economy in general-
tangent: Milk here, whole milk, is at $3.58 a gallon. WHAAAA? 2 years ago, it was $2.19 a gallon. shakin' my head, i'm shakin' my head...
-not only due to the economy in general, but I've been sick, Sic-un's been sick (including his trip to the ER), so hours spent at work are down-which creates less money- the circle means it's tight...
Then I get a call from my dad. on...the 15th? 16th? one of the 2.
Mom's in the hospital. She couldn't breathe, so they took her in. Admitted. They took two liters of fluid out of one of her lungs. Yeah. Hold a 2 liter bottle up to your chest. Now. Drain that from one lung. Yeah.
They run their tests. She tells me Monday they found 'spots'. No more information, just 'they found spots' and 'more tests'. My anxiety and panic attacks start. Brief little random attacks of the little guy in my skull freaking out on me...I breathe and they go away. So I'll be ok, Mom'll be OK, not a problem, we got this.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011, I found out my mother has lung cancer.
Here's your kiss and punch, kiddo: It has not metastasized, but it's very aggressive. Oooh, more passive-aggression: Your mother will be having chemo for Christmas, radiation on her birthday (NYE...grampa's little tax deduction). Per my father.
It wasn't until i spoke to my sister 3 days later that I found out what was really going on. Still a 1-2 punch combo, but not nearly as dire as Dad made it.
Yes, it's aggressive. No, it has not metastasized. It responds very well to chemo. Stage 1. Stage 1. Small-cell sarcanoma. Her lung started filling up with fluid again, so they sent her to ICU with a respirator and a drain. She was getting enough oxygen, just not expelling enough CO2. They started the chemo, it has been responding. All plusses. ALL PLUSSES. Potentially out of the hospital this weekend. She does chemo for 6 months on a 21 day rotation, light radiation to protect her brain and other internals from any radicals after the chemo is finis, she'll be good. They've found dead cancer cells in the fluids she's been getting rid of. The doctor says the fluid expulsion is basically her body fighting it the only way it can.
All is good on the Mom front, right?
I feel like I'm losing my mind. The anxiety attacks have become almost a daily happenstance. Out of nowhere, the little guy in my head starts screaming for Momma....My heart pounds, my breathing becomes labored, I start to sweat, my stomach knots, sounds go wonky and my vision blurs because I've suddenly teared up. This morning's episode lasted somewhere around 4 hours... About 15 minutes before I left the house, here comes the shakes and the thought 'Ok, slow down. Stop. Just be still, breathe' because I know all hell is about to break loose in my skull and I can't control it and it's going to go physio...
I have to coach myself through my calls so I don't start berating the customers. My smile is plastered on my face like so much makeup if anyone who isn't an intimate friend looks at me. I have to count my breathing because otherwise I start hyperventilating. People standing around me talking makes me want to curl up and scream with my hands over my ears. Little things are becoming big things. We're switched to stadium seating for a few weeks while reorganization of the teams takes place-Oh.My.God. It's just a seat switch, right? Not working for me. Not working at all. Other phonepads don't sound right. They have a buzz. This chair sucks, that one does too. This computer is slow. I want my old seat back. 'We switched to stadium seating' becomes 'Why the fuck did you let that snotty little fucking lisping cow sit in MY SEAT?!?!' Little becomes big. Someone annoys me, just their voice or mannerism or hell, they BREATHE and it kills me for a couple of days. I get a coaching ('you did this wrong') and I want to quit. The only thing that's preventing me from it is that I really don't want to go looking for another job, and, well... Back to money.
I can't afford missed work. I can't afford a shrink (even with insurance). I can't afford a doctor, frankly. I don't have a primary, so I'm left with the stupid 'take care' clinic that's great for diagnosing a sinus infection, but pretty much useless for anything else. So I'm self-medicating when I'm off work and aum-aum-aum-ing my way through each. fucking. workday. Because I can't call in to make myself better, and I can't afford a doctor to make me better.
And I still owe the hospital for my ER bill from JULY when I had my toe xrayed.
And someone ran into Lancelot while I was in the store getting sodas and beer a couple nights ago. Lovely little dent by the driver's door, towards the rear. Some old lady from 2 rows over said she saw it and 'he just drove away before I could pull out a pen for his license plate'.
Thanks. My one possession worth any money at all and now it's severely damaged. It was his best saving grace...He didn't have any body damage. Well, that's fucked now.
Christmas really really sucked this year. Sic-un did get me a new mouse. I loves it. HE got new slippers and a shirt and some new hats. I gave my other loves baked goods and candy. It's all I could really afford.
So stress is through the roof and the insomnia is worse and I feel like crap and I want to just huddle in a ball and cry for a month on my momma's lap.
How are you?