If you are struggling today (or any day)…reach out for help.
And also, this article is helpful:
This past week I went to see my gyn oncologist for my annual cancer check-up. Oddly, the office was very quiet and they took me back on time. Normally the place is mobbed and we wait forty-five minutes to an hour to see the doctor. I’m not complaining, it was just so weird. As it was, my original appointment was at 2pm, but the Thursday before my appointment the office called to say the doctor was going to be out of the office at that time and could we move the appointment to an earlier time. We, of course, got there about twenty minutes early, and during that time we saw my doctor wandering around casually like he had nothing much going on. Normally he’s running from one exam room to another and never comes out to the front the entire hour or so we’re waiting.
I wasn’t sure if all this was a good omen or a bad one.
My blood pressure is always good in their office. This time, though, the wrist cuff they normally use wouldn’t stay velcro’d on, which was a bit upsetting because it made me feel like my wrist was too fat. I had to stop myself and change my inner monologue, because every other time we’ve been there the wrist pressure cuff has worked. I assume this particular one was losing it’s velcro power. So the nurse did an old-fashioned manual check and again my BP was pretty awesome. Normally I get white-coat syndrome and my BP is kind of high, but at the gyn/onc’s office it’s in the normal range…and I have no idea why.
Le Dottore came into the exam room wearing an awesome royal purple tie with white polka dots. Purple is mine and my mother’s favorite color, so I took that as a good sign. I even told him how much I loved his tie and he said purple was his favorite color. We did the exam–which took no time at all–and he pronounced everything “awesome.” I asked about my yearly CT Scan, because the original plan in 2015 had been yearly ct scans every July, and yearly paps every January. This last January he said paps every TWO years…and this week he said he saw no reason for a CT. I said I thought it was yearly CT’s and paps every 2 years. He said “no reason to do paps unless there are symptoms” and basically the same for the CT scan. He said my exams have been perfect and without symptoms, he didn’t see a reason to do the scan. I don’t know if their policies have changed due to new information or what, but it was kind of stressful to hear that they wouldn’t be following me as closely as I had been told. I said I was a little concerned about not doing a CT, but that I understood getting a CT subjected me to radiation (which can actually cause cancer), so the choice wasn’t cut and dry. He said it was my choice, we could do one now or talk again next year. He said recurrences happen most often in the first two years, but even that was a low number (he said 10% but I’d read 15%). But again, he was happy to give me a referral if I wanted the CT. I asked for the referral but said I’d think about my options.
I discussed this with Hub and with T, and in the end I think I’m going to get the CT scan. I’m too worried about all the bits inside that he can’t see or touch, where cancer could be growing without any symptoms or pain. (My mother had cancer recurrence and she had no physical symptoms that she spoke of.) If I didn’t do the CT when I could have and then something happened, I’d beat myself up something fierce. And since “ct scan radiation causes cancer” is actually NOT something they can prove scientifically–it’s a guessing game because they can’t subject people to CT’s to see if they get cancer–I’ll be taking what is an unknown risk versus the actual risk of missing something growing.
I’ll be waiting until after the wedding to do the scan so it doesn’t make me feel lousy or sick this week when I have so much to do. And I’ll have the relief of knowing there was nothing to be seen that could have been seen.
Two year cancer check achievement unlocked.
Hub and I have an evening wedding to go to in a few weeks. It’s a formal occasion, which I talked about briefly before when I bitched about having to find a gown and shoes. Hub had to buy a new suit, too, because the pants on his old suit were messed up…even after taking them to the tailor for the last big event we had. Anyway, I digress (already, jeez, I’m only in the first paragraph), because this isn’t about the wedding.
It’s about the dogs.
Technically, not so much Butthead, but more about Le Moo.
We’re hiring someone to come dog-sit while we’re at the wedding, mostly because we’re over-protective and we have to be forty minutes away just before dinnertime and who is going to feed our pups? The wedding is a family affair, so anyone who might be able to feed the dogs are all going to be with us at the wedding. So we’re going to hire someone to come to the house, feed the dogs, and hang out for a while to let them out and stuff. This means finding someone to hire, which means telling people about our dogs.
In theory, this is no big deal because we talk about Le Moo and Butthead all the time. You think your friends with new babies are bad? Yeah, they’re amateurs. We love our dogs, we spoil our dogs, we talk about them all the time and will happily explain how cute, adorbs, and completely disobedient they are (which they really aren’t most of the time). So it should have been a cinch to fill out the online profiles for the dogs when searching for a dog-sitter. Until Hub had to fill out their ages. Then he had to try really hard not to cry.
Both our dogs are large. Butthead is a svelte 76lbs…I wish she’d gain weight but she just doesn’t seem to be able to keep it on. I think she’s on the thin side but our vet says she’s a perfect weight. So at least I know she’s not sickly, since he’s happy with her physicality. Le Moo, on the other hand, is always on the…um, chunky side. She vacillates between 84-95lbs. At her highest, it was 95, now on a moderately strict diet she’s probably around 85lbs. She’s a big girl, but her (suggested) breed does indicate a bit of rotundness, so we’re all good with her size (except the vet, of course).
If you know dogs, you know that big dogs don’t live very long, generally speaking. Le Moo supposedly is part Great Pyrenees, and in looking up their life span it says 10-12 years. Le Moo is going to be 10 this fall. Although she’s not really slowing down too much (any slower than her norm and she’d be asleep all the time), we do see a moderate change in her personality. When my Mom’s English Lab got to a certain age, she changed from being completely ball-obsessed and independent to clingy. Le Moo is getting more and more clingy with every passing week. For her, that means she’s seeking our attention much more than she used to, and I find that she’s seeking out Butthead’s companionship more. At night, Le Moo used to sleep far away from Butthead, usually the complete opposite end of the room and sometimes hiding in the closet. Now, she will actively go and sleep right next to Butthead. And when we wake up in the morning, there are more days when she’s still there, rather than on her own bed or in the closet…or somewhere else away from Butthead.
Hub was incredibly upset to realize Le Moo’s age. I guess I’m more obsessive about these things, so I know her age and it’s difficult for me to forget it. I often find myself hugging Le Moo and whispering in her ear that she better not ever leave me. But it’s going to come and I am going to be devastated. I cried for months after we adopted her because I wasn’t over Sweet Pea’s death less than two months prior. As much as I wanted to love Le Moo–I’d picked her out and I’d made the decision with Hub to adopt her–I resented her because she wasn’t Sweet Pea. And she didn’t seem to need or want me in her life. She was so aloof and so independent and I was accustomed to Sweet Pea who was clingy and shadowed me everywhere.
When I realized what was happening and I began working through my grief over Sweet Pea, I came to understand that Le Moo was a different dog. And that she was the dog I needed at that time…and I had to be the owner she needed. Obviously I’ve become incredibly attached to Le Moo, although it is in a different way than SP, and I am terrified of the day she leaves this earth.
I watch her when she’s out in the yard, because despite her weight and size, she can move like nobody’s business. If there’s something to be chased, she’s fast and light on her feet. If there’s something REALLY good to chase and bark at, she’ll actually pogo up in the air like she’s on a pogo stick or a trampoline. It’s outstanding and amazing to watch! People who have met her and know her–she mostly acts like a lump–have actually stared in shock when they’ve seen her run or pogo out in the yard. No one understands how she can do it and most won’t believe it until they see it, but it’s true. And so far, she’s still chasing and pogo’ing, so I am happy about that.
I don’t know how she dares even consider leaving this earth, but inevitably it will happen. Hub and I will be devastated. Until then, we continue to love her (and tolerate Butthead) for every moment we have together. Borrowed time or not, she’s still my Ladybug, and I’m going to celebrate all that she is until and then some.
I stayed up reading last night until about 1 am, then fell asleep. Then I was up at 5:45 am and that was it, I was up for the day. I tried to fall back asleep, but couldn’t. I finally got out of bed at 7:30 and fed the dogs, then took them out. Then I went back to bed but was too restless to even doze. I had to be out of the house by 9:30 for my massage, so I just gave up and got dressed at 8:30.
I thought the massage would be good and relaxing–since I did ask for a relaxing massage and not trigger point–but I kind of felt icky and my head felt real stuffy and swollen when I was on my stomach. And my face felt swollen in the face rest thingy. Afterward I was so tired that I had trouble driving home. Then I had to feed the dogs their mid-day meal and take them out. I had hoped to rest after that, but it didn’t work out. I tried reading and watching TV, but the dogs kept wanting to go out so I kept having to get up.
On and off I IM’d with Hub as he was running errands and getting things ready for the wedding. He’s getting kind of irritated with his father at this point. They don’t really get along too well on a regular basis, and their politics are polar opposite. So Hub is feeling edgy and unhappy. He still has to get through tomorrow without going crazy, then tomorrow night late he gets on the plane to come home overnight.
Okay, so I did the dinner thing and fed the dogs and retrieved a wedding invitation from my mailbox from my cousin. I went to check in on my father to see if he got his invitation, then to remind him he needed to try on his suit, in case he needed to buy a new one. Then I came home, I took the dogs out, did their after dinner snacky, took them out again, then sat down to read and play some games on my iPad. I was able to stretch out the evening so I only had to take the dogs out again at 10pm before bedtime. So at 10pm I take them downstairs and outside. One goes one way, the other goes the other way, so I stand just off the deck on our small paver patio to wait for them. Then I see Le Moo sniffing at something on the patio about 3 feet away from me…and I step closer to take another look. It’s cicada time here, so I was thinking it was a live cicada and she was going to try to eat it–experience speaking here–and I was prepared to admonish her. And then I realized it wasn’t a cicada.
It was a goddamn fucking snake.
On my patio, right off my deck, right outside my back door. Last Friday I beat a smaller snake to death out in the yard after I nearly walked on it while picking up dog poop. Fortunately, I spotted it while still about six inches away and I hotfooted it back to the house and grabbed the hard metal rake that had been sitting on the deck. I found the snake in the yard again–out toward the back closer to the fence and the “woods” back there–and I beat that fucker to death. It took me like five minutes because the damn thing wouldn’t die…I think because there are ruts in the grass out there so I wasn’t getting good contact with it. When I was sure it was dead I used the rake to pick it up and I threw it out over the fence into the brush. I hurt my arms, my back, and the back of my legs trying to kill it.
Okay, so back to tonight. The damn snake is on the patio, brazen as you please, bigger than the one from Friday–at least 2 feet long–head up, glaring at Le Moo. Le Moo starts backing away and I order her to go up onto the deck. But Butthead is out on the other side of the snake in the yard, peeing, and she finishes and comes running back and she always runs on the patio. And of course she has to run right past the snake, which she does, but then she does a double-take and goes back… and I’m screaming at her to get away from the damn snake and she’s sniffing right at it because she’s STOOPID. So I finally order her away and both dogs into the house, and I rush into the garage to get a shovel…but by the time I get back outside the fucker is GONE. So now it’s either in the bushes right up against the house and next to the patio, or it’s in the grass somewhere.
So now I gotta go back out there tomorrow, wondering where it is. Is it lurking in the bushes? In the grass? Is it gonna jump out and BITE ME or the dogs? I don’t like killing things. Friday was the first time I’d ever killed a snake…or probably anything other than ants and spiders. Before that, Hub had killed two of them since we’ve lived in this house. We’ve never had snake problems before we moved here. I’m not happy about killing anything. But…
I hate snakes.
I have nightmares about snakes attacking me and biting me and all kindsa shit. I’m NOT good with snakes in my yard. Yes, I know they keep rodents away. Yes, I understand that the snakes in my yard are not likely to be venomous. Yes, I even understand they are not likely to actually bite unless threatened… but guys, it’s a goddamn snake and I am afraid of snakes. I’d rather let the owls and the hawks take care of the rodents and let the snakes go somewhere else. ANYWHERE ELSE. AWAY FROM HERE.
I ordered snake repellent from Amazon, to be delivered sometime tomorrow. It’s not likely to help, I’m aware, but I’m desperate to try anything to keep these things away from the house. I mean hey, live your life out there in the woods Snakey-snakey…just not here in my yard or on my patio or in the goddamn bushes next to my house.
So yeah, day 3 is done. I am managing but I’m damn tired. And I’m not looking forward to the snake nightmares tonight, or the anxiety of watching out for snakes tomorrow in real life. Ugh,
We dropped Hub off this morning at 4:15am for his flight. After I got home and let the dogs out, I instant messaged with Hub until he boarded the plane at 5:45. By then I’d already fed the dogs and gotten back into bed. I dozed for a few hours, then got up and went about my day. For the most part I felt like Hub was at work and I allowed myself to just be that way. I’ve almost read two books and I pretty much had movies on the TV all day, although mostly they were movies I’d already seen. I had Mama Mia! on the TV maybe three times at random points through the movie, because I like singing those songs and they passed the time more easily. Hairspray was on at least once, too.
I’ve done okay for most of the day. Unfortunately, around 9:30pm tonight, Butthead freaked out and had her tail tucked under and was barking hysterically while backing her way into the bedroom where I was reading and watching TV. I went out into the hallway and checked all the rooms up here (she refused to follow me and instead ran down the stairs), but I have no idea what her major malfunction was. I took them out in the darkness, but luckily it was a little rainy, so both dogs ran out and peed and ran right back to the door to go in. So we kind of settled into the bedroom at that point and after some treats and wandering around, they both have settled in. I suspect they are also exhausted from starting their day at 3am.
I’ve talked to Hub twice on the phone and a few more times on instant messenger. He seems to be okay but the last we talked about an hour ago, he was sounding just exhausted. I hope he’s going to sack out soon, even though it’s pretty early in the evening out there. He said he kept moving his legs around on the plane, even though first class wasn’t as roomy as he’d hoped, and that he felt okay when he deboarded. Is that a word? Deboarded? What else do they call it? Anyway, he says he felt okay and when I talked to him later he said he was feeling okay just tired from the long day.
I was happy to hear from my SIL by phone (I couldn’t figure out the damn facetime thing through FB’s messenger) after she opened my gift to her for her wedding. I crocheted her a blanket that turned out to be about queen size (the pic below is spread out on a king size guest bed) in these amazing colors that made me think of her. Hub’s father said she has walls in her house painted in yellow and orange, so I found this awesome yarn and went to town. Took me several months (and a lot of pain) to get the blanket done, but apparently she loved it a lot. Made me feel like the work was worth it.
I saw my father earlier when I took the dogs out this afternoon and he reminded me that I could stay at his house overnight or whatever. I said I was going to try to stay home, but if I had any issue I would just hike over there with the dogs and stay there. Around 8:30pm tonight he called to see how I was doing and how my day had gone. Then he reminded me that if I had any trouble I should just let myself into his house no matter what time it was. Then he gave me his late-night schedule so I would know how late he would be awake, but then he told me again to just come over whenever I need to.
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to sleep tonight or not. I still have some reading left in my second book of the day and a youtube video to watch for a channel I subscribe to. I dunno…I’m locked in the bedroom with the dogs and I’m sure I’m safe (even though I’m kind of worried that I locked the bedroom door and if someone needs to get in here to rescue me for some reason the locked door will be an issue), but it’s still weird. I kind of hope I’ll be tired enough to fall asleep at some point.
I had my regular soup for lunch and leftover takeout for dinner, so eating wasn’t a major issue today. I have more takeout again for tomorrow night’s dinner if I want it, and I (pressure) cooked up a fresh pot of my lunch-soup this morning so I have enough for the rest of the week. It’s boring, but I eat soup most days of the week for lunch because it means I don’t have to think about it. I dump it in a bowl, add some sauteed mushrooms, and nuke it…easy-peasy no thinking. Also, the soup is bean soup, so it’s pretty healthy…protein and fiber and veggies and carbs, all-in-one.
That’s pretty much it for today. One down, three more to go.