Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Survival: Year Six, Entry One

Summer is now half over...
The day the natives return to the educational camp is marked on the board in red. And it's not that far away. One of the natives has yet to have any enjoyment of his vacation due to finishing his work from the previous camp, and heading straight into summer school camp. He is working hard and hopefully will get a little bit of time away from school before he must go back. The other native is excited to start her new adventure at her new school. She'll be a theater major and can't decide which electives interest her yet. 
The major outlay of shells and beads for proper attire needs to happen, but not before we have some fun... Whatever we decide to do... 
Camp is so different this season. Obviously. The loss of the family patriarch has been rough and hard and we're still dealing. We've come together as a family unit though, and the result, while tough, has been good. We all enjoy spending time with each other and we actually enjoy staying with Mom and making sure she's okay. 
The youngest native and I are here with Mom tonight. We're all on our electronic devices - catching up, playing games, checking stuff, but we're together. Watching old television shows and laughing at them. It's late and I have to go to the day camp tomorrow, but I'm so far behind on everything...
The baby native was here with us earlier. We watched him while his momma went to another camp to do some stuff. He's so busy. I'm so so tired. 
There are natives in another country at the moment. K2 and J are on a mission trip to Guatemala. We miss them. We worry for them. They'll be back next week and I cannot wait. 
This journal used to be a lot more amusing...
Sorry about that...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I'm Coming Back...

My Dad passed away last Monday.
I'm still trying to adjust.
We had a very awesome weekend with my siblings and being home at the 'rents house. We had a lot of very good times, a lot of tears, a lot of food and beer, and a lot of making Dad laugh.
I will always remember that weekend as one of the best. I would never change it for any other weekend or memory. Even though we all knew Dad was dying, we were all there together - talking, laughing, playing music, telling stories, supporting Mom and each other. It really was an epic weekend.
I miss my dad. I always will. But I am so very grateful for the time we had together. I'm so glad I got to tell him how much I love him and that I could be with him every second in his final days.
Missing my dad sucks! I want him here. I miss him so much.
I will be back... I'm still trying to process and get my crap together... I appreciate your understanding through this horribly tough time...

Thursday, July 03, 2014

The Way It Is...

The siblings who can take shifts staying overnight at the 'rents. The spouses stay when they can. It's not ideal, but it's working for now. We can't leave Mom alone. We can't leave Dad.
He's restless and on heavy pain meds. Every day it's something different with the meds. And the pain.
I'm here tonight. That Man is here too, but has gone to bed because he works much earlier than I do and I had to give the pain med dose at almost 11. He will be up and checking things before he heads to work. My sister will be here before I leave for work. I can't remember who is on shift tomorrow night. Frankly, every day is running together right now. Wait. I think it's my brother since Friday is the 4th. We're having a cookout here and when I told Dad what we were doing he was happy and looking forward to it.
Tonight we rearranged the living room where Dad is so Mom's chair is right beside him. I also did some work in her kitchen to make it easier for all of us to cook and clean up while here. All of us kids (and our spouses) are very cooking oriented and the kitchen is kind of small. Space was needed. She was scared of my plan and told That Man and K2 that I was hiding all of her stuff. (ha! She cracks me up!) It looks good though! She helped and we talked and it was good.
Dad had a hair cut tonight. One of That Man's good friends is a barber and he came after hours to cut Dad's hair. It went well, though it took a while because he was "this" side of being a wholly mammoth. (ha!) He was sore afterwards, but pleased with the results. K2 and J stopped by. That was good. K2 was silly and made Dad laugh a lot.
We finally (I think) made him comfortable, but I'm waiting a few minutes before I try to go to sleep. I'll be sleeping in the living room with him, just in case. There is so much noise in this house I would never hear him call me. There are air conditioners, fans, fans, fans.... And it's freaking hot outside... Geeze!!
Tomorrow is everyone's Friday though. That's a good thing. A very good thing.
One day at a time...

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

So... Again... In Case You Didn't Know..

Cancer SUCKS!!!
My dad is dying from it!
This has all happened so fast! Dad is home with Hospice care now. It's in his brain, bones, liver... The doctors haven't given him a lot of time.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Still Processing....

Every day it's something different....
Dad has had some stomach issues - not sure if it's the same bug that has seem to hit most of the family, or something else, but he's feeling better now.
There's been a few episodes of AFib - where his heart stops for a few seconds and then starts again. We think that's been going on for a little while and is only noticed now because his heart is being monitored. New meds have been ordered. He may have a pacemaker in his future.
He had a bone scan today. The results were that he has some lesions in a few spots. I did some research and while it could be related to his spinal stenosis that he's had, it could be other things too. We were told that they just don't know for sure, but our follow up is with the oncologist. He has blood work in the morning. Then he moves to a rehab facility for strengthening.
All I know is that my siblings and I are pissed. We want answers. We don't want to have to wait another two weeks for them. It's ridiculous that we're on this information finding quest when it's quite clear that the doctor's already know. Just freaking tell us already! And way to make the consult appointment on the most inconvenient day. No one can take off on July 3rd at this point unless they have seniority! Way to screw 90% of the family!! (yes, I'm angry... for many reasons!)
It's been another long week. And it's only Wednesday.
And I still have to do what I have to do...
Yesterday K4 had an orthodontist consult. She needs braces and oral surgery. We have another appointment in a month to do xrays, scans, and write another huge check...blah blah blah. And then the next month we hear the treatment plan and how much it will cost. Whatever. We'll do whatever we have to do for her. But oy!
I'm trying really hard to write. I have less than two weeks to turn this book in and I'm close, but not close enough. I have been working as much as I can, but my "as much as I can" is not good enough in my mind. I will be putting the hammer down over the next few days, because I will meet this deadline!
Our kitty boys are getting big! Not too much bigger, but they're putting on weight, which is good. And they now have free reign over the downstairs while we're in bed now. Noisy! They love the stairs! Elsa is so good with them. She loves them and they don't want to play with her yet.
Elsa got herself in trouble by leaving the yard today. Note - the reason she left the yard is because no one was watching her! Some people forget she is still a puppy and not Abbie. We've taken care of that knowledge, but Elsa is walking around here full of guilt. How weird is that? I wasn't even home when it happened and she's still sucking up to me...
And tomorrow is our town's huge street fair. I have to leave when it's just getting started and will be home during the thick of traffic... OY! I hate it! Next year I will take off to be here just so I don't have to leave! But suck! What a pain!
At this time last year, we were saying goodbye to That Man's brother and family. We'd had a successful and awesome bridal shower for K2 and were gearing up for the wedding.
This year sucks so far. Though we are looking forward to some things...
Everything is just up in the air...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I'm Doing All I Can...

There won't be a Feel Good Friday this week, because there's nothing to feel good about. (which is really not true because there are a few things, but...)
Right now, though, there is just suck.
My dad has cancer.
In his bladder and it's inoperable.
We have no prognosis or anything. It's a wait and see thing at the moment. We have to get him stronger so he can manage chemo. He may go to rehab this week, but we don't know when. The only thing I know with absolute certainty is that we will fight this SOB Cancer with everything we have and we will kick its butt. Because, guess what, Cancer, you don't own us and we're bigger, stronger, and meaner than you will ever be! And there's more of us, no matter what you think! Stupid Cancer! You Suck!!
I am not processing well though, despite being determined. I don't know what to think, what to do, where to be...
My kids are not processing well either. They are each very interesting in how they attempt to take the information in. I see myself or their father and our coping mechanisms in each of them. They are all very freaked out. Pop Pop has always been a huge part of all of their lives. He was there for them when we lost That Man's dad. He's always, always, been there for them - to help them, teach them things, and hang out with them and make them laugh for their whole lives - just like he's been with me. They don't like this. I don't either.
Where am I supposed to be? I haven't arrived home until late all week because I've been at the hospital every night. I missed the last day of school joy. Twice. I've missed the kittens adjusting to their new home. I've missed my grandson. (though I did stay with him for a while last night. We jumped in puddles and did silly things. And I did get to talk to the younger K's for a few minutes, but not long enough and we didn't know anything last night.) I've spoken to my granddaughter on the phone, she's hysterical and so adorable, but we didn't get to have the ice cream date we hoped for. I've missed talking to my kids - especially the ones at home. The kid who now has his first car and so wanted to show it to me - only I didn't get home until well after he went to bed. And the girl who brought her beater truck home to be worked on in the hopes that it will be ready for when she gets her permit, but I was barely able to fully check the truck out so far. It's not fair to them, but how can I be in two places at once? I can't keep up with everything. I barely know my name right now. Yes, I have guilt. I know everyone is okay and fine. I was home for a little while today. We had a family meeting and were totally available for questions and conversation, but...
I had a lengthy conversation with my mom about it tonight, but I still have a crap ton of guilt. I have to be at my day job because I'm new and have no paid time off and can't afford to lose hours. Besides, Dad would kick my butt if I took unpaid time off of work. (which is one of the only things keeping me going) And I work a later shift now. And it sucks.
I need to be there for my mom. I know my uncle is in right now, but she still needs me to be there. I spent the night with her last night. Which was good in a lot of ways. But I feel like I should be there tonight - especially. Mom is an amazing person. She is one of the strongest people I know. I am proud to be her child. I'm also proud to be a part of this amazing family who has always been there for each other, no matter what. Even if we're being stupid silly in the face of bad news, we're there for each other. There has been some previous drama with our oldest brother, but he's been there with the rest of us and it's amazing. I have missed him and I'm so glad it's the five of us again. There is nothing better than having a whole bunch of siblings to have your back. (and the truth is... we're awesome together, despite the issues and years)
I haven't been able to actually pick up the phone and talk to people yet. I just can't. I don't have it in me. So, if you're reading this and think I should have called you, please understand I'm doing the best I can. I can't talk yet. I don't want to talk. I can't hear myself say the words. (though apparently I can type some of them...) I don't want to have to actually say them. You're not the only one I haven't called, but hopefully you've heard from me in some form.
Me not calling you doesn't mean you're not important to me, or that I don't think you're a part of our family. I just need to figure things out first. It's my Daddy, and I just can't talk right now. If I contacted you on an alternate venue to let you know, don't take my lack of personal contact personal. I just can't do it right now. I can't talk to you. I don't want to talk yet. I don't want to talk to anyone right now. If I haven't contacted you yet, please don't take it personally. It in no way means you're less important to me. It only means I have nothing left at this point and will email, etc, as soon as I'm able. But I apologize in advance for not making you aware sooner.
We're all doing the best we can. I only ask for your understanding and good thoughts.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

It's Tuesday Again...

All I can say is there's a lot going on around here...
I can't really tell you what's going on with my dad because we don't know for sure yet. He's currently in the hospital after a really rough weekend. (We'll talk about that another time) No diagnosis yet. Lots of speculation, but no definitive answer. My family is managing as best as we can - trying to get a handle on things, being there for each other, and dealing with this in our own unique ways. I know it's vague, but I just can't talk about it yet. I don't want to. I can't deal with the result of that because I'm still processing myself and there is no way I could reassure anyone else things are going to be okay or tell you if we need help or if there's anything anyone can do when I don't know myself and am dealing with my own emotions and trying to make sure all my family and siblings are okay.
We've been through this before with That Man's parents. People want to help, because that's their way of coping, too, but the biggest lesson I learned there was that the best help came from those who didn't ask. It came from the people who just did without expectation or recognition - the ones who just showed up and did what was needed, or just sat with us. That was the best thing, because we never had to ask or reassure or say the words when we couldn't. It's a skill I strive to have, but don't yet. Maybe I will after this.
Part two of the chaos is that before all of this went down with Dad, we said we'd take a kitten from a lady I work with. I was surprised That Man agreed, because he frequently complains about the litter box and cat barf that happens on occasion. But he said yes and I was excited. We committed to a kitten, thinking we would get it that same weekend. Then we found out the kittens were three hours away. K3 knew, but K4 didn't. So, it was set up almost 2 weeks ago that tonight we would go visit the kittens and chose one (the woman who had the kittens brought them down so we could choose, but we couldn't go over until I left the hospital and my work friend got home from her thing). We'd said we thought we wanted the little tiger female, but there were two adorable gray and white males, too, so we figured we'd decide which one when we got there. (which wasn't until almost 10pm) (and the little tiger female had gotten in a scuffle with two dogs and wasn't feeling well, so was left to rest three hours away)
Long story short, we came home with the boys. Both of them. They are so very cute. One is named Charles. The other has no name yet. K4 squealed and almost cried when we brought them home. K3, even though he knew, was stunned by the cuteness.
So now we have two kittens, a puppy, (who has been very gentle so far) and an adult and very pissed off cat. (She hates the kittens. She hates the puppy) But we are even with males and female in this house again, which has to be good.
The other good thing is that at this moment, it looks like both K's have passed their grades. K3 has to do summer school to make up deficient credits, but as of right now K4 is good. What a school year! K3 is done. K4 has 1.5 days left.
I will try to update when I can. No promises. I apologize in advance for the silence.