Sunday, September 28, 2008

Didn't I say so?

The good news is my brother is coming home on Monday. Maybe. Things can change in the blink of an eye.

Anyway, as I predicted, the SIL didn't call and ask for help cleaning until the last minute. That was late last night on Saturday. MyLarry has to go to work at noon. He offered to go over and help clean early, but no, the SIL has to go to morning mass. Mass? I'm sorry, but I think preparing a clean and sterile environment for one's husband takes precedence over church. I think God would understand (if there were a God). And I feel bad for my brother, he's asked me to ask for help from the burners, but of course it is all last minute and people are busy. So the SIL dragging her damn feet and not getting shit done has turned into my guilt trip. I am very angry at this point.

Oh, and she couldn't even afford the furnace filter? Then WHY did she call Friday night and ask what type of booze to buy for Jeremy's going away that the recruiters were holding? Did someone give her money for it? And Jeremy isn't old enough to drink anyway ... sure, none of my business. But it adds up, like drops of acid on my heart.

Maybe I will start believing in God so I can then believe in Hell, and wish the SIL would go there.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Boring is Good

No new news on the brother front, I couldn't get in touch with anyone. Not that I tried as hard as I might have done. No news is good news, and I sleep better if I don't upset myself right before bedtime, Ambien or not.

Yesterday I had a good chat with the nephew; he's so ready to leave for boot camp. Imagine, Navy boot camp is less stressful than his home life. Then again, it is the Navy we're talking about. He's worried about his dad, but at least the situation has improved. He's one smart and tough kid, well, young man. I never talked to him much, so I didn't know he was that sharp and mature for 19.

Larry is in Vegas, he sounds tired, poor guy. I had a nice boring day, did many chores. Finished the laundry. Not my laundry, the kids' laundry. Now they need to come get it. And some gas for their bug so we can take it down and get new hind feet for it so it will pass inspection so they can register it and we'll have less wear and tear on our vehicles. I don't mind, but I do get ... anxious. More chores, including scrubbing both bathrooms and the stove and a chunk of kitchen. Tomorrow: floors? Living room? The dreaded dusting? The *gasp* work room? Baking cookies for Larry fer shure. He lives on my big cookies when he's on the road. He loves my big cookies. Heeee ... that sounds dirty.

I did have fresh bread and Nutella for supper. The bread is a touch heavy, I forgot my dough relaxer; plus it needed a tablespoon or two of water. Too much wheat germ I suppose.

Good night!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Getting Better All the Time

I talked to the SIL last night. She's trying to get the house ready for when and if my brother comes home. With a compromised immune system, there's much to be done to sterilize his environment. Cleaning, plus sanding and sealing the wood floors; new grout, chemical cleaning for the one carpeted room, new paint, new furnace filter. And they have no money whatsoever. As in not a dime and had to ask Dad for gas money to go down to the hospital to visit. Except it was two of the kids who went to visit, she has a cold.

The news on my brother is good, he is making his own white blood cells now. This means the stem cell graft has taken. He isn't making red blood cells yet, so they have to give him platelets nearly 24/7. The ulcers in his throat are reduced, so he can drink water now. There's still complications, but the hospital staff has those under control. I feel much, much better about him now. He's not out of the woods by any means, but this is a piece of good news.

So now I'm still irked she doesn't work, but understand she's theoretically busting ass to clean the house. So now I'm in the position of "why aren't you helping?" and I have that answer. I'm not physically able to be of much help, painting and bleaching don't mix well with asthma, and if I helped, and ezpecially if I had MyLarry help, she'd drop everything on us to run off an do other things. Larry says we have spare filters if they'd fit her furnace. She's talking cleaning party, and I'm hoping to hell that isn't going to be the main body of work. I know the timing will be bad, it always is.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Blood Rain and Sleepless Nights

Why am I up blogging at four in the morning? Can't sleep, and no, it isn't the clowns.

I didn't take my Ambien last night; I don't have insomnia per se, but I don't sleep soundly because the Tamoxifen blocks estrogen and that steals my sleep. Sometimes I can sleep, so sometimes I skip the Ambien. Anyway, I was dreaming I wanted to commit suicide (no, I don't) and I was trying out my various swords. I settled on the Sword of Valeen because it is actually pointy and sharp (it is). I noticed playa dust on the scabbard, and when I pulled it out, it was covered with dried blood, and blood all down inside the sheath. Then I dreamt a memory of a dream in a dream ... some guy had been bothering me at Burning Man and MyLarry had my sword and ran the man through, left him in a puddle of blood on the deep playa. I was dreaming about bleach and DNA, which I learned from CSI, when I woke MyLarry up, telling him the rain smelled like blood. Which it did, it had begun to rain outside and the bedroom window was open. I almost went downstairs to check the sword.

So, what's this got to do with anything? Stress. I don't have nightmares unless I'm under stress. This bit with my brother is getting to me, I've been crying on and off at odd moments. I mean, my oldest brother died suddenly of colon cancer in 2001, I had two kinds of cancer in 2004, Mom died slowly of heart disease in 2005 losing all memory of us. Now my brother Larry has multiple myeloma, and if by chance he survives the stem cell transplant, he also has amyloidosis which means his organs will fail, blocked with protein chains. My third bother, the middle one, has polyps removed annually. We suck.

Now for the horrible part. My father is still alive, and is watcing his second son died of cancer after losing his eldest in less than a decade. Wayne was 57, Larry is 58. Dad's dad died of lymphoma in 1941, a painful, awful death when dad was 18. His mother died peacefully when she was 90, watching TV on New Year's morning. Mom's mom died watching TV in our living room with dad right there. He didn't know she was gone for a good twenty minutes when the dogs began whining. That's a lot for one man to bear, and nothing I do can cheer him up. No wonder he retreats into deafness and a daily Lortab. I can see the temptation, but I'm not into drugs, I have teh interwebs. TV will kill you, apparently.

Mom's dad died of "stomach" cancer when I was little; I bet dollars to donuts it was colon cancer. I've had an maternal uncle and two cousins died of colon cancer (brother and sister), had it myself. And that's just the family members I know about with any certainty. Wouldn't be surpsied if there were more, I have over fifty cousins. Can we say "cancer family"?

Seems like everyone on the skiffy board is having a bad time too ... death of a parent, death of a beloved pet, an alcoholic, injured family member, a husband at war, a slacker son, a pregnancy in tight times. How do we bear it all?

Today we will move hay from Ogden to Idaho, in the rain. So mundane, but it need to be done. How do you keep going in the face of all this? You do what you always do, each day after the next. You don't give up and you don't run away, you just keep on keeping on.

Rain that smells like blood and sleepless blogging notwithstanding.

(A point of clarification, my brother AND my husband are both named Larry.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cancer is Eating my Family

I am less optimistic about my brother's life than before. I talked to him on the phone, he sounds drugged up, which I know he is, and in pain. He's still himself, but so impaired, so diminished.

He's asked me to help find out how much his Zap Comix are worth, the old original printing of R. Crumb's underground comic books. Very valuable. Very. I was distressed when he'd sell off his antique toys and collectibles; and later his marbles, but now .... his Zaps? The last icon of a past life? His treasure chest of alternative life? This is the end. Even if he happens to get through this phase, the time after will not be long enough. Ever.

And still, the SIL has no job past a few hours of reading tutoring. She's still talking about going to Jeremy's pass in review; I understand the desire, but I've seen the airfares before Thanksgiving. (I'm traveling myself with MyLarry). She always talks about my brother's last chance to do this or that, so I think I understand the motives. But realistically, there's no money. None. She says she has to care for him, but as long as he's in the hospital, and it will be a long, long time, no she doesn't. He is being cared for by professionals. Is she capable of working? I don't know. She has a bad back, and I know how that is. Still, I'd never put my wants before the bills. Never. I just gave up my first convention so Larry could see his dad. I'd sling burgers if I had no other income. I'd hate it and bitch and whine and moan, but if Larry were incapacitated, I'd make my hands busy with something to bring in money no matter how much I hated doing it.

I am in a big anger phase right now, I am very angry with cancer, but I'm more angry with what seems to be selfish laziness on my SIL's part. She has a knack for spending what she does not have, and a complete inablility to grasp that bills and food and the mortgage come before trips and clothes and games. I don't care how bored a person is, they can't watch fancy TVs on the street. I may be planning a couple big trips or three (WV for Thaksgiving, Malaga, Rosarita) but the bills are paid and the mortgage covered.

I wonder if she knows this blog exists. She'll be pissed if she does read it. I think my brother would be too. I know he loves her, but this is my blog and if I want to be angry here, I shall. Sigh. Life is so very unfair sometimes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cancer sucks.

Updates on my brother with multiple myeloma (and amyloidosis) who just had the stem cell transplant and is still in isolation in the hospital. He had pain in his chest, turns out he has an ulcerated esophagus. Impressive lesions says the doctor. He has no immune system or platelets, so it will heal slowly. In the meantime, he can have nothing by mouth, not even ice chips. His GI doctor wants him in ICU, the cancer/transplant docs say no, he has to remain in the isolation ward. He's on some really heavy duty painkillers, so communication is difficult. He says he isn't dying yet, but he feels it may be touch and go.

Touch and go? I am going to eplaya where I can swear in the F*ck thread. !%$#@*& (%&$ &^%( &^%$#&#@&^ (*&* $*&^% %^ ^%^$@$^%&^ oh. And Fuck Cancer.

Monday, September 15, 2008

pugly, poor pugly

Yesterday evening while we were doing yardwork, a little pug came running up the street. We called her and she came right over. She had a tag on her purple harness, but it only had an old Ogden City number on it. We kept her overnight in a kennel, she didn't cry or whine, just watched us or slept. Friendly and active and peed a lot on all the wrong things, spilled Larry's coffee and just adored him. Poor thing was hungry, still, we could tell she was young and well cared for ... except she was running loose without tags. We asked up and down the block, but she's not from this street. If I see a Lost Dog sign, I will feel bad, but there's only so much you can do.

Hopefully her parents will call animal control, we didn't want her to run loose, she'd get hit by a car or worse. Worse being our good backyard neighbor* was walking her two dogs and two dogs ran out and one attacked her while the other killed her Chihuahua. Her big dog (I forget which breed, unusual mastiffy hunting thing that's not a mastiff at all) protected her but the boxer picked up the tiny dog and shook it to death. The police came and told her they had to take her dog, the owners of the attacking dogs hadn't even seen the little dog's death. Bastards. She still has her big dog, Annabelle. She comes over and barks at us through the chain link fence for a few minutes, then satisfied we know she's there, she goes and stretches out in the sun. The dog, not the neighbor. Like most dogs, she likes Larry. *We also have a Bad Backyard Neighbor.

Anyway, no way we could care for the pug for more than a short time, she was waaaay too bouncy and our cats were super freaked out. Cricket was jealous. I wish people were more careful about tagging their dogs. She wasn't microchipped either. Nice dog, but I'd never want a pug of my own. Hyper! If her owners don't call, she'll go into the permanent adoption program. She won't be put down as a stray, she's too sweet of a dog. They promised. I'm sure a family would love her to pieces. Someone will miss her an awful lot. I already kinda do.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Okay, so I haven't deprocessed Burning Man yet, that blog is forthcoming.

I am however, very upset. I'd asked my neighbor ages ago if she could watch the house and the dog while we were gone. She said yes, the acted surprised when I reminded her of it. She told me she was going south for a few days, but her husband could do it for a little while. She never mentioned she had a vacation planned, nor asked me the dates of mine. I made the mistake of assuming she knew; we'd been gone the very same week every year for eight years.

So we get back and Trent is watching the place; he's the neighbor on the other side. We'd given him a key, but the copy didn't work, he got the one from Rowena. So she's upset about that. This morning was the first time I'd seen her since we both got back. She did this horrible frosty cold shoulder thing to me, chewing me out for never saying thank you for all the stuff they do for us for free. Excuse me? For free? Um, yeah, but we do things. And then she frostily told me she didn't appreciate that I'd yelled at Glenn. Excuse me? I didn't! I was upset that he'd put the dogs out back after I'd specifically said never to do that. Smoky digs and tore up my new calla lilies. Was I venting? Sure. Was I yelling at him? Hell no. Yelling at people involves adjectives such as stupid mother-fucker. Anyway, that bit with the dogs happened when we went to Dark Skies more than a month ago! If it was bothering her, why didn't she SAY SOMETHING THEN?!

If she couldn't watch Cricket, why didn't she say something outright? Did I miss hints? I could have made other arrangements.

I HATE this passive-aggressive martyr act. I hope she can let it go. This blog is my way of venting, of taking the first step of healing myself. I wrote her a nice formal apology letter, although I don't think I'm entirely in the wrong. Still, the ball's in her court.

I suppose I get too familiar with people I consider friends. I may have forgotten my formal manners with her. Obviously a mistake.

Now I'm worried that I've failed to properly thank people I know. If anyone feels that way, remind me. I'm not thankless, I do appreciate the good people in my life. Don't just let things slide if you think I'm wrong, freaking tell me so I have the chance to mend my ways.

Thank you all for being my friends, for doing all the things you do for me and mylarry. Thanks for hugs, for good thoughts, for kind acts, for smiles and sticking by me when I'm a flake or being tired and cranky and petty. Thank you all for being the vibrant wonderful people you are.

I have a fucking headache.