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.)