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Well, the family friend with cancer has now been diagnosed as having very little time left to live. My mom is working with hospice to bring him home so he doesn't die alone. We thought he had years yet, and we're all taking it pretty hard.

In other news, we tried to poison Monekyboy with spoiled cornbread, but he urped it right up a couple of hours later, and got a new Thomas the Tank Engine shirt to boot.

I realized the other day I haven't worked a full week of work since somewhere around August. Stuff just keeps happening. My colleagues are being awesome about it, which is something to be grateful for.
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Tomorrow, we bronchoscopy. I will know the results a week from tomorrow. I am nervous about the whole tube down my throat, and secretly hoping the sedation will be fun.
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Made appointment with pulmonologist suggested by my primary care doc for the 20th. Googled said pulmonologist and discovered he is a sleep specialist. Not quite what I need. I shall call more doctors tomorrow.

In other news, had lovely lovely dinner with my friend Rani, and wore my cool new boots.
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Nothing new to report. Have been whiling away my time with SGA fic and housecleaning. Will make pulmonologist appointment tomorrow. Oh - my friend's dad the doctor was full of physicianly caveats, but said this sort of thing is not necessarily serious. My fingers are crossed.

My mom is making me a little nuts by worrying.

Let's see, what else is there to write about. Fandom, it turns out, has been extremely useful at keeping my brain stretching in new directions. In terms of keeping me up to date on new technologies and, more importantly, new ways of thinking. The lateral community ethos of fandom is something that just about everyone would love to replicate for one purpose or another, and really getting what makes communities like this work is a valuable skill.
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It wasn't a shadow. It was an enlarged lymph node. This doesn't narrow things down that much. I've got a referral now for a pulmonologist, and I suppose I'm looking down the barrel of a lot of diagnostic tests. This may take long enough to jeopardize our new jobs and plans to move. Luckily, old jobs will keep both of us.
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I got a routine chest x-ray for my medical clearance and it came back with a funny spot. Maybe a tumor, maybe an enlarged lymph node, maybe a smudge on the x-ray. There's a whole range of possible outcomes, and i think the bell curve skews toward the serious. I go in for a CT scan tomorrow, with results on Thursday. I am trying not to think about it.
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It's been busy here, in my life. We've now got an old friend of the family living with us, and he's got a particularly pernicious form of stomach cancer and was really quite near death. My mom had to make a dramatic drive 8 hours north to collect him and bring him back here direct to the emergency room. He's in better shape now but needs frequent trips to the oncologist. Combine this with severe back pain striking my mom and then the usual travails of my dad's Alzheimer's and life with a 2 and a half year old, and well, it's all been a bit more like an afterschool special than anybody really wants their life to be.

In January we're moving Very Far Away. In the same region where we used to live. There is packing and sorting to be down, and friends to miss already in advance and family to disappoint. I'll be shifting over to consulting work instead of reassuring stable full time job with benefits. I'm excited and scared, and looking to having more time with Monkeyboy when work is slow.

I have a professional blog I keep, where I write about what I do. I've been taking it more seriously for about a year. It's starting to get real attention from people in my field. People I have huge respect for. It's been really exciting, and I think it may help me get the consulting work I'll looking for come January. It's taken a lot of time away from this journal. (If you'd like me to send you the url, leave a comment. I don't mind lj folks heading over there. I just don't want to link to it from here for the whole internets to see)

I'm not going to do NaNoWriMo; I'm not crazy. But I am going to try to write every night in November, in the professional blog, or here. So I hope you'll be hearing from me more often.
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I realized today that I never write here any more because I don't have time to read, and writing without reading makes me feel like a bad imaginary friend. I miss my sounding board desperately, though, so I'm going to hope my years of reading and not writing compensates.

Right now, I pick my dad up at his day program every evening, and take him home on the bus. Two buses, in fact. It's a royal pain in the ass, but it has a surprisingly good effect on my mental state. It's an easy way to spend time with Dad, for one thing. For another, I have been consistently amazed by how friendly and kind people are. No one complains by our slow, slow speed as we get on the bus, and people consistently give up their seats for him and offer a steadying hand as he sits down and stands up. It seems to be restoring my faith in humanity.
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Normally, my household has six people in it. My mom, my dad, Monkeyboy, me, my husband, and Sam, our random houseguest. Mom runs the house (with Sam's able assistance as of January). Mom did the grocery shopping, Mom did the laundry, Mom did the vacuuming, and Mom had dinner cooking every night when we got home. Kir and I cleaned up after meals, kept our own rooms clean, took out the trash, helped with the care and feeding of Dad, took charge of Monkeyboy on evenings and weekend, paid the bills household bills, shopped online for diapers and cleaning supplies and that's about it.

You'll note those last few sentences are in the past tense. That's because Mom's up north at our summer cottage, and Kir, Dad, Monkeyboy and I are on our own. And it's hard.

I know this is everyone else's ordinary life, and wow, I want to send you all a muffin basket. I am amazed people pull this off. Every evening is like a puzzle where we have to assemble all the pieces. Just getting us fed, bathed, and cleaned up takes up most of the night. Come home, make dinner, play with Monkeyboy, clean up after dinner, help Dad get into his pajamas, give Dad medicine, put Dad to bed, give Monekyboy a bath, get Monkeyboy into pajamas, put Monkeyboy to bed. Clean the kitchen. Tidy the living room. Try not to think about the mold on out bathroom toilet. Collapse into bed. It does give me a sense of achievement - it's nice to know Kir and I can do it by ourselves if we have to. But it's a lot less fun.
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Once upon a time, back in the time of the dinosaurs I dated a guy we'll call T, since that was his actual initial. And T moved to the US for me, and I ended up breaking up with him. He loved me and I just didn't love him back, no matter how hard I tried. He had no idea the break-up was coming, and it devastated him. Really broke his heart.

And here's the thing. I fucking hate T. I genuinely hope he's miserable in his life. I don't hate C, who made me feel like shit. I don't hate Ben, who told the entire senior class of my high school he'd slept with me when he hadn't (and stuff like that mattered then). I don't hate Ted, who cheated on me WHILE WE WERE ENGAGED. In fact, I kind of wish him the best. I don't hate Leahy, who broke my heart repeatedly.

And I don't hate Doug, who was a pretty good boyfriend right up until I broke up with him. (just in case you thought I was a masochist)

I just hate T, with a burning passion. I always kind of wondered why I reserved my hatred for the one guy I did so much damage to, and never did anything to me.

Now I know why. T was that guy. Specifically, see #2.
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You can crave a random 80s song and find it in an instant on youtube. Internet, how I love you.

Sorry to be so cryptic with my last post. In my new job (not so new - 4 months now) I've got an old friend as a colleague, and he's an awful lot of fun to be around. My last harmless office crush ended so nasty, though, that I just feel powerless instead of entertained. Here's hoping that either the crush goes away or I find the fun again.
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I am tired of myself at times. I spent this afternoon with my emotionally unavailable friend, before we met up with my husband and family for dinner. Wow is my crush on him back. I don't want to do this again, it will leave me failing emotionally naked and oddly alone. But his smile when he looks left and grins, when he's being sneaky - it leaves me slain. He was giving me white wine with ice if a coffee mug tonight, bring me drinks in front of a friend who thinks I abstain. It was charming and ridiculous. I don't want to go there, and yet I am.


Jan. 23rd, 2008 09:38 pm
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I am doing a meme, so there:

1. Leave me a casual comment of no particular significance, like a lyric to your current favorite song, your favorite kind of sandwich, or maybe your favorite game. Any remark, meaningless or not.
2. I will respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better.
3. Update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. Include this explanation and offer to ask someone else in your own post.
5. When others respond with a desultory comment, ask them five questions.

My own questions, from [Bad username or site: @]

1) Think of the time you were most truly happy. When was that?

I am lucky enough to be happy quite often; I am not sure one time is most truly happy. I do remember being a child - 7 or 8 - and on a hike with my parents in the woods at sunset and thinking about how happy I was, and trying to memorize the moment.

2) Tell me something MonkeyBaby did recently.

Tonight, I hugged my husband and MonkeyBaby ran up and said "baby hug too!"

3) If you could live in a fictional or fantasy world, what one would you choose, and why?

One with dragons and mind-bonding. I think Anne McCaffrey, though, and not Naomi Novik. I would love to have a mind-bonded dragon but would rather not fight the Napoleonic wars.

4) If family and work responsibilities could be discounted, what would be a perfect day out for you?

A morning swim, lunch at a cafe, an afternoon of reading in gentle sunlight, an afternoon swim, and then Thai food for dinner and early bed with lovely soft sheets and fluffy blankets.

5) What was your favourite book as a child?

Anything by Edith Nesbit or Arthur Ransome. Swallows and Amazons especially.
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So, in the last six weeks, my dad has gotten better. Not normal or anything, but clearly better. He's following conversations again, he's not needing diapers. He's still safe at home with us. It's a tiny miracle, just when we needed it and we are all trying to enjoy it while we can.

Today I have a cold, mom has a cold, and my husband has to finish a book by Amartya Sen for tomorrow (ah, grad school). I am sitting half alive on the couch and my dad is babysitting Monkeyboy. I mean, I couldn't go to bed and leave them or anything but I can sit here like a sea slug on the ocean bottom while dad reads all his counting books to him. One of them includes four sandwiches, and my dad stopped to tell Monkeyboy all about the sandwiches they had eaten yesterday. Monkeyboy is so sick he mainly wants holding and books, and my dad is doing it with great joy.

In other news, I really really love this season of SGA. It's a fangirl deam come true. Especially the last episode, where the city randomly trapped everyone in convenient boy-girl pairs.

cut for spoilers )
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Last night I watched Women's Murder Club with my parents, because that's what they were watching and my dad wanted my company. It was about what I expected, until at the very end - Joe Flanigan! As an FBI agent. Yum.

And then, like the universe was rewarding me for being a good daughter, women's murder club ended and we found SGA on the Sci-FI channel. I haven't seen an SGA episode in months. (note: toddler, job, dad with dementia) It was every bit as fabulous as I remembered.
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My father's Alzheimer's has gotten worse very rapidly lately. Last weekend we made the decision that we cannot keep him safe at home any more, and we will need to look for a residential placement. We're going to start looking at facilities next week. This is breaking my heart. It feels like failure, and it feels like I am letting my dad down, and I'm worried about how lonely he'll be, even with us visiting every day.

The funny thing about this kind of tragedy, though, is how vividly aware it makes you of your blessings. And I do, in fact, feel blessed almost all the time. I have extraordinary, extraordinary people in my life. People who love me, Monkeyboy, and Kir. People who remember my dad when he was still him. People who never knew my dad when he was himself but treat him with kindness and respect anyway. People who keep calling even though I never call them any more because I am too stressed and busy to pick up a phone. People who are genuinely happy to go out to dinner with me and my dad and my toddler. People who'll come over with their brand new cars and drive us to IKEA and help my dad in and out of his wheelchair. People who want to be around me even when I am depressed and boring.

And, of course, people who listen to me whine on the internet and offer supportive, witty, wonderful comments that make me smile every single time.

Thanks y'all; consider yourselves part of my thanksgiving.
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I am sad. Too sad to talk about it yet. Maybe soon. (Nothing bad has happened to anyone. Sorry to be cryptic but I just can't right now.)
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I'm home sick from work. We suspect strep throat. I have a doctor's appointment tonight for a throat culture and (I hope) a prescription for erythromycin. Mom and Monkeyboy are off running errands, dad is at his day program, and the husband is at school. This leaves me free to lie pitifully on the couch drinking fluids.

One of the joys of my new job is that I don't have to work every night any more. I get home from the office, and I am done for the evening. As a result, I get to watch TV again. I've seen Grey's Anatomy three weeks in a row now, and despite its stupidity I find myself invested in the plot anyway. It's been years since I was able to actually watch a TV show like that and it's a lot of fun. I wish that my show could be SGA and not Grey's Anatomy, but Fridays are usually too hectic for television.

So, Grey's Anatomy thoughts:

1) George and Izzy - why why why?
2) Meredith Grey - WTF x 100
3) I love watching Alex slowly turn into a human being, whether he wants to or not.
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I really hope I didn't just start wank.