Saturday, March 27, 2010

Meme me, me

Poly did a Meme, this thing where she selects five words that make her think of you and then you must then hold forth on said words, or topics surrounding said words. Look, I'm already plagiarizing her. Parenthetically, she has been an awesome friend, even before The Other C word, and in spades now as I bitch privately to her about this aspect or that. So, no further ado...


Hmmm. This one could go either way, and I know one reader who would want it to. (Yes, You. Behave. )

My mornings have always started out with a shower. When you get up at 5:45 and you stay up all too often until 11 pm, it's a convenient jump start. Hot water is therapy for my achy back and neck and wakes me up nicely. Thus the morning that I almost passed out in the shower recently made me doubly sad. I have had so many disruptions to things that I do, that thinking I would have to start eating breakfast all achy and half awake BEFORE my shower just made me pissy.

The shower is unfortunately now also forced time to contemplate my surface effects. I am, what do you call it in scrapbooking? Distressed. Not me, my skin. Roughed up. I look at the four scars in their purply-red state, and try to remind myself to put scar cream on them later even though I know I will forget. I am glad that they are healed now, and I don't have to cover this one or that one with blue press-n-seal Glad Wrap to keep the water off them (which never worked anyway). I bend over and I notice the dent carved out of the one side.

For days I scrubbed my scalp gently with my fingertips to try to loosen as many as the buzzed hairs as possible. I rinsed them off me, off the shower walls, the shower curtain. They were everywhere. My expensive shampoo for colored hair is put away now, and I use Dove. Doves mean peace, don't they? I'm still not at peace with the GI Jane staring back at me from the shower mirror. I don't recognize her as "me".

Yesterday I spent over 20 minutes carefully shaving away as much of the stubble as I could, using a clean new razor (terrified I'd cut myself and bleed like a stuck pig) and looking at myself in the plastic mirror hanging in the shower. I didn't do a great job on the back, but the annoyance of feeling that brush cut fight against the wig is vastly improved.


The day I started my "temp job" I noticed a peculiar white-orange fish about as big as my hand in a large, poorly maintained tank in the lobby by the elevator on my floor by the elevators. He was not looking all that perky and I swear his mouth is crooked like he has had a stroke. Hiding down behind the rocks, generally looking like his tide was ebbing away.

One of the Droids mentioned that he looked like he was on the bottom and seemed to be dying, and that the fish in that tank always died, and I was really fucking depressed by that. Keep in mind I hadn't even had my first surgery yet so EVERYTHING was looming over me and I really didn't need a damn fish dying and floating in the water to boot because who is going to take care of my son's fish at home and if THEY die will he freak out ?

On my third day of work he was VISIBLY perky and fine and Poly suggested calling him Jesus because on the third day he rose again.... I settled on J-fish. Now the other day I found out HE is a girl. (That's not the first time that has happened in my life. Oy. But with a fish, yeah.) I have a clever new name based on the name of the company and I hope I don't miss the naming contest (while I am working from home this week in and around my next chemo treatment) . I neeeeed to be the one to name that fish since I play with, uh, her every time I walk by, trailing my finger along the tank while she follows it and wags her fishy tail at me. Shut up. She does.


I am not a great Catholic. I don't say the rosary or go to confession and I don't really know all of the rules and prayers and... all I can say is that I married a Catholic, and he was happy in his church, and I started to go there, and it just slowly happened. I generally hide up in the choir loft and wish that certain things were different, like the manbased hierarchy and most definitely the abusive secrets and lies. But I love the music, especially the old Latin hymns, and I love this particular week of the liturgical year (between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday) because we sing and sing and some of my favorite ones get pulled out of the file cabinets every spring.

I have sweet friends in the choir loft who send me cards and call me honey when I drag my sorry self up there. Stanley winks at me and drops my solos down two steps so I can sing them. I have a dozen friends or so from school who have brought food to me while I have been in treatment. They are SO sweet and kind and encouraging and it's everything a Catholic school community should be sometimes.

Am I glad I went and sent my kids to Catholic school? Yes. They are consistently praised as good kids and have been surrounded by kind nurturing people who have expected good behavior and morals and volunteering and a host of other things. My daughter's high school teachers tell me repeatedly that they want to clone her. BECAUSE SHE LEARNED HOW TO BEHAVE in elementary school. She shows up at class and works hard and does what is expected of her. She doesn't put her makeup on in class or try to text or do some of the other nonsense she describes to me (after seeing it at school... like, um, a girl peed in another girl's shoes to get even with her for some stupid thing... wtf??? who DOES that???) I'm not painting myself as a better parent than ones who chose public school. To me the line of "do you care about your kid and expect them to behave and do what they're supposed to do?" is so much more important. Because are there some idiot parents and misbehaving kids in my son's school? Hell yeah. But as I said, I have some wonderful friends there who are being very supportive right now.


Oh, hell. That's my first reaction. Weddings are expensive. They are generally for the families, to stand around and sniffle and see time racing by, and not so much for the bride and groom, who can be too shell shocked and overwhelmed to really enjoy the day. Occasionally the wedding is for a spoiled little snotty bride, to show off and be even more greedy than usual. I think about the amount of stress my sister in law went through to have a "small" family wedding (about 40 people in the room) and to me, she had to do almost as much work as if she'd had 200. She had the dress the flowers the dj the photos the invites the cocktail hour and on and on and on. Am I jaded??? I don't think so; I watch Say Yes to the Dress often, and vow to be a good mom when my daughter is picking her dress, and let her pick the one she loves most, and I am looking forward to her dress shopping someday.

I am encouraging my sister to elope. Or, possibly, wait until I am well enough to travel down there and let my daughter be her bridesmaid in a REALLY simple wedding at the church. The kind with no invitations or programs or anything like that. So there. I think we're on the same page. She doesn't even want a bouquet right now. Definitely not a white overdone poooofy dress.


I love my ipod. It got me through the last year of my former job. I would play one particular track, an hour long recording of ocean waves, whenever I needed to focus and get some true work accomplished on a longer project. Sitting in the middle of cubeville with people using speakerphones constantly, I depended on having something to block out the voices.

Right now my ipod is tucked away. I can't really run right now. Maybe some people can while they're in the middle of chemo, but I was not really running regularly BEFORE I got diagnosed being that it was cold and almost Christmas and I make a lot of excuses.

My iPhone has really helped me get through the last 3 months. It was something of a consolation prize for being sick, but it was a great distraction while I waited for my first appointment with the surgeon. I bought app after app. (Most were actually free). In and around my surgeries, I read books on the Kindle app, played casino games, and even started a Twitter account. I am ashamed and amused by some of the really lame celebrities I follow, but it is entertainment, a distraction. Do not measure me as a human being by what I read on Twitter, or I'm sunk. More importantly, whenever I am feeling less than fabulous, I put a message on Facebook, and I get texts all day long from my supportive friends. It's awesome.

Enough? Enough.


onescrappychick said...

You. Are. Wicked. Super. Awesome.

(there, I commented in 5 words LOL)

Carly said...

Ok beth your words are drum, knit, school, run, garden.

onescrappychick said...

Awesome.. just posted. :)

Anonymous said...

It's anonymous Mitowa again. To get rid of the stubble, an electric razor works very well, and much safer than a razor. And don't worry, it comes back quickly after they stop poisoning you! Be prepared for fingernails to get ridged, too. This too goes away. Re-reading books I had read before was my comfort