29 October 2018

I need an accelerated life list

I need to redo this list for a shorter timeline.
  • Travel somewhere with my husband (Paris? Greece? Portugal? Iceland? Argentina? Somewhere). 
  • Take the babies to the snow (planned for December).
  • Take a trip with Gabriel (planned for December).
  • Travel with Molly (planned).
  • Get rid of the god damned elliptical machine.
  • Live long enough to see someone besides Donald Fucking Trump as our president.
  • Go to Santa Barbara with my mom again.
  • Pay off all of my debt.
  • Get my jewelry sized and repaired.
  • Try oil slick hair
  • Swedish Death Cleaning.
  • IDK if I will be allowed to get tattoos but if I am, finish the one on my leg and also get a bee and also get my family crest. 
  • Read all the books on my bedside table. 
  • And all of the ones in my kindle too.
  • And a whole lot more besides that.
  • Go to therapy (find a therapist).
  • Estate planning (made the appointment!).
It turns out I don't care whether or not I learn calligraphy or how to surf or how to make pie crust. When I think about learning a new skill, it makes me feel cranky. So I'm not going to do that.
I'm sad about not going to Russia, but I can't think of anyone who would go with me, and I feel a bit dodgy about Russia lately to be perfectly honest.
Hopefully I will knock all of these out and have years and years and years to come up with new ones. Maybe I'll go to Russia at some point in the future if I don't die. 

26 October 2018

Some things are harder when they are in writing

I have very lukewarm feelings about the oncologist I was referred to locally.
(I am going to the big city fancy specialists next week)
I feel like...well. I feel like I am maybe the second person she has ever treated with melanoma. Maybe she is great with breast cancer or colon cancer or something but she doesn't seem to know how to answer any of the questions that I have.
One thing I realized after my most recent appointment with her is that she has never SAID THE WORDS TO ME about what my diagnosis or prognosis or whatever is. She talked to my brother (I gave her permission to talk to my brother) and she INFERRED a lot of things but at no point has she SAID "you have x and your prognosis is y". So I messaged her through the portal and was like what IS my prognosis and to her credit she tried to call me three times and I sent her to voicemail three times and then she responded to my message with this one in the patient portal thingie:

Those words....are a bummer to read.  I mean I wanted to read them. But it sucks. This whole thing sucks!

One thing that specifically sucks is that you get all your brochures about what is melanoma anyways and they are like PREVENTABLE JUST STAY OUT OF THE SUN and also like IF YOU GET REGULAR SKIN CHECKS AND IT'S CAUGHT EARLY IT'S NBD. But....I am a fucking vampire when it comes to sun exposure. I go outside occasionally, with SPF50 and a large sun hat and sun protective clothing. And I go to the dermatologist every fucking year to get my skin checked, which is how we caught this fucking thing in the first place, y'know? And all of my pathology was like stage 0 clear margins clear margins again it's still no big deal and yet here I am with cancer that is a Very Big Fucking Deal.
And it's not like I think anyone ever deserves cancer or it would be fair if I had been soaking in the sun every day or ignoring suspicious moles but the fact that I wasn't and I didn't is just....extra. It feels like extra.

My parents had to put my childhood cat to sleep on Saturday. He was 19 which is a good long life for a kitty but fuck man, seriously?
Life is a bummer right now.

24 October 2018

Let's start back up with a downer

It's been awhile, hasn't it?

I have cancer. Metastatic melanoma.
A weird thing about having cancer (for me specifically) is that I don't feel ill (yet?), so there is a heavy element of cognitive dissonance.
A weird thing about having cancer, like just in general, is the way it comes crashing in and forces you to reprioritize your life, TODAY.
Will I live long enough that the baby remembers his mom? I should start getting in front of the camera. I should start recording my voice more places. I should start buying special books.
What special things have I always intended to do with my kids? Can I do them? Can I do them today? We should go to the snow. We should go to the beach. We should go to the city.
I need to get my affairs in order. Call estate attorney has been on my list every day for a week. I have the contact information now, at least.
I need to spend less time doing things I hate. The cleaners are coming weekly now.
I need to train my employees on how to perform my essential job functions.
Should I buy a camera? Should I buy a new phone? My phone is almost 3 years old, maybe a new phone would solve the camera problem.
Will the kids be okay?
Will Quentin be okay?
Will Quentin get rid of his fucking elliptical machine?

I already had the misfortune of learning this when Quentin was in the hospital, and on a smaller scale when people close to me passed away, but a thing about personal disasters is that they bring your friendships into focus.
I have been sending awkward texts.
"I have cancer. It's not good."
"I have cancer, a bad kind, I just wanted to let you know."
"This isn't a specific request I just wanted to let you know that I have metastic melanoma and I don't know what is going to happen next."
Some people respond well. Or "well". I have decided that the best response is some variation of that sucks and I'm sorry.
Some people respond in what feels like the wrong way to me, either with too much brightsiding or too much anger and grief directed back at me or with too much advice or in a way that makes me feel like I need to reassure them.
A weird thing about cancer is that every person you've ever met is secretly an oncologist, and knows more than your doctor about how to cure you.
Some people (just a few, but some) have not responded at all, and that is the shittiest response of all.

Some people have very good hearts but are so eager to help that it is overwhelming.

I have been getting phone calls from weird people. All of my uncles have called me. We don't have a phone call relationship. Two of my uncles, I mean, I have never spoken to them of the phone even once, in my entire life.

Anyway, I'm just going to end this here.

I have cancer, a bad kind, I just wanted you to know.