Shout-out, Shut-in & Sh*t I Don’t Understand

Unless you’re Laura Ingalls — why would anyone do this? File under Sh*t I Don’t Understand.

Shout out!

Geez. Two months since my last post?  I know, hard to believe, and me such a prolific poster.

No health-related reason for my absence other than, apparently, my mind has descended to the point where I am no longer able to multi-task, or even find the words to complete a coherent sentence. Hey! Who does that remind you of?

Other reasons could be . . .

— Ennui, perhaps?  In medical record notes they sometimes call this “anhedonia,” though the two aren’t really the same.  Smartasses.  Always gotta have some word they think nobody else knows. Well, I took Latin, bub.  I know what anhedonia means.

— Summer and grandkids make for stuff to do besides blogging, or even reading other blogs.  You don’t dare try to sneak a little blog reading time on your computer.  When you sit down they descend on you like locusts wanting to play some game.

— Whatever I might have thought to blog about couldn’t have been too important, or somebody else blogged about it better and I didn’t see a need to repeat it.

— Kidding aside, it’s been a time of struggle and sadness for a few family and friends.  My heart just hasn’t been into blogging lately.

So, in case you were wondering, no health scares. Still NED. Just the minor lifelong litany of ills chemo and radiation bestow on various body parts that can result in a periodic good day-bad day thing.

In September, I’ll be two years out from treatment. That’s when my chances for survival are supposed to increase “markedly!” “dramatically!” “exponentially!” Though I’m not sure about that last one, at least in a true mathematical sense.

Then again, I heard an oncologist say the other day that 28 months is the window for recurrence, so who knows.  I’m just glad for every extra day I get so that I can claw my way out of . . .

The Department of Sh*t I Don’t Understand . . .

Like everyone else I suppose, I’m just trying to survive whatever sick game your president* is playing with North Korea, though my gut feeling is it’s just his way of distracting us from Mueller’s investigation. Also, enduring the stench of raw sewage he calls his Administration.

If I had to bet on what would kill me first, today I’d say it won’t be my cancer.

It is beyond my comprehension that this overbooked ship of fools is still docked. Rather than evoke the 25th Amendment, Republicans in Congress are willing to risk the lives of millions of people — Republican people, I might add — to keep this psycho teed up.

For what end?

And back to first world . . .

Our AC went out at 5am.

High today here in Hell: 100 degrees.

Pulled out the floor fans, closed the shutters and drapes and blinds, cranked up the ceiling fans to High, turned off any device that emits even a joule of unnecessary heat and now trying to convince my dogs to breathe through their noses and not their mouths. Do you realize how much heat two big, hairy dogs and one medium-sized dog panting produces? Why aren’t they following my instructions?

I forbid all doors in my house to the outside to be opened and even a microgram of diminishing cool air to escape.  “In or out, we’re not air-conditioning the neighborhood!”

Yes, I suppose I could leave and go to an air-conditioned movie or bookstore or the library, but then my animals would be left to suffer while I’m enjoying myself in icy cold comfort.  What kind of person would do that?  Hey! I bet I know someone who would.

So, I’ll stay here with them l until the AC guy comes this afternoon; hence, the term shut-in.

Also, anhedonia.

Cat scans

Adorable Dora, who never grew past pixie size.

I was working on a post about the persistent, underlying, aggravating, self-absorbing fear that takes over your life when you have cancer, but I’ll save it for another day.

I have quarterly CT/PET scans coming up in a couple of weeks, and I’m in the midst of fending off a little bout of “scanxiety.”  It gets easier as time goes on, but it’s still very tiring and very annoying and there’s just so much you can stand of thinking about yourself, you know?

So… let’s talk about something else.

I know. How about cats!

My sweet neighbor sent me an email with the subject “To a great cat-saver.”  (Hmm, wonder if she meant “cat-saver” as in cat rescuer or if she meant “cat-saver” as in hoarder? Could be both, I guess.)

Anyway, it’s cute and it made me smile in between the aches and pains I just know are signs of explosive metastases.

My great aunt was a writer and a cat lover (also a Christian Scientist married to a doctor, but that’s another story).  She often wrote poems like this one, so it made me smile to think of her, too.

Stray Cat

Oh, what unhappy twist of fate
Has brought you, homeless to my gate?
The gate where once another stood
To beg for shelter, warmth and food.

For from that day I ceased to be
The master of my destiny.
While he, with purr and velvet paw
Became within my house, The Law.

He scratched the furniture and shed
And claimed the middle of my bed.
He ruled in arrogance and pride
And broke my heart the day he died.

So if you really think, oh cat,
I’d willingly relive all that
Because you come, forlorn and thin
Well . . . don’t just stand there . . . come on in!

Franic Witham

Am I still here?

Well hell. It looks like it.

In that case, might as well try a new look for the blog so you won’t notice that I haven’t written anything in a month.

The Two Things page may not get updated anytime soon because now that a walking mental disorder and his presidential* shitshow have invaded our national psyche like a black, fetid plague, I’m having trouble piecing together even one good thing to enjoy about life, except going to sleep at night so I don’t have to think about the havoc he’s wreaked on decency and democracy in less than a month.

So, random …

. . .  For Cancerland residents (think of us as a retirement community in Arizona), tonight’s ALCF Living Room (Addario Lung Cancer Foundation) had an informative session on liquid biopsy.  Even if you aren’t a resident and you like science, it was interesting. Biology is a thrill, I tell ya, a stone thrill.

. . . Today my grandson wrote a letter to NASA asking if they could build a cloning machine. If they could, would they please send him one as soon as possible so he could “clone mommies.” This after his mother could not extend their Legos session to forever because she had to cook dinner and was just one person and, therefore, could not play with him and cook at the same time.

. . . When you get old, here’s what you spend your money on:  car repair and plumbing, and the occasional grocery sack or two of food. Over and over and over again.  That’s it. That’s your life.

. . . Oh wait. I just thought of one good thing:  Melissa McCarthy on SNL. Brilliant.

. . . Oh, here’s another:  Maru the cat.  (H/T to Roxie D. at Zuzu’s Barn)  Note: You might not find this funny or even remotely interesting if you do not have a Scottish Fold cat, or if you are not a cat person, or if you are not addled and strange like me, a shell of a person now reduced to sharing cat videos.  If so, you are excused from watching. No hard feelings. I understand. However, my daughter has a Scottish Fold and they are the comedians of cats. Really, they’re hilarious.

. . . Oh, and my friend Jerry’s Greek Lemon Rice Soup. Stuff’s addicting. I don’t eat animals, so I use Edward & Sons Not Chick’n Cubes, which my husband cannot discern from chicken broth and I don’t tell him.

So, there are three good things, but that’s it. That’s all I got today. Well, it’s not all, but it’s the best of what I got today.  Trust me, you don’t want the dregs.

The Moon and You

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For you, Maizie…

What do you say, Percy?  I am thinking

of sitting out on the sand to watch

the moon rise.  It’s full tonight.

So we go.

and the moon rises, so beautiful it

makes me shudder, makes me think about

time and space, makes me take

measure of myself: one iota

pondering heaven.  Thus we sit, myself

thinking how grateful I am for the moon’s

perfect beauty and also, oh! how rich

it is to love the world.  Percy, meanwhile,

leans against me and gazes up into

my face.  As though, I were just as wonderful

as the perfect moon.

—  Mary Oliver, The Sweetness of Dogs:  Dog Songs

 

 

Rescue Me

Friday morning my phone rings at 7:30. It’s my neighbor. She’s on her way to work and sees a dog running down a nearby busy street. She knows how much I “love helping animals” and she knew “for sure” I’d “want to know about the dog so I could try to catch it.”

She can’t stop because she’s on her way to work.  Nevermind she’s the owner and can show up whenever she damn well pleases.

She can’t stop, but she’s SURE that I would want to get out there in the traffic at 7:30 a.m. in 40 degree weather because she knows how much I LOVE HELPING ANIMALS.

Oh my yes.  Let me tell you.

Let me tell you how much I love fishing a litter of abandoned kittens out from under a rat-infested shed in the middle of a Texas summer.  Or how much I love darting in and out of traffic trying to get to a terrified dog in the middle of the street before a car does.  Or how much I love sitting in a car on a cold night, away from home for hours trying to trap starving cats and kittens so they won’t freeze to death.   Or how much I love spending my own money for vet care.  Or how much I love getting up in the middle of the night to bottle feed a litter of kittens.  Or how much I love worrying about the animals I couldn’t help.

And especially — how much I love having my goddamn heart broken over and over because animal overpopulation and suffering caused by human irresponsibility and cruelty never ends.  Never.

None of the people I know who “love helping animals” do it because they love it.  Not one.  They hate it as much as I do. They do it because they know no one else will.

p.s. —  Please spay or neuter your pets — and other people’s, too, if you can get away with it.