Another girl, another blog

The longest week
March 2, 2009, 9:21 am
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In all of my years of dealing with cancer and knowing that my husband was going to be taken away from me because of cancer, I never–EVER–imagined that losing him would be as difficult as it has been.

On Monday, I was there, holding his hand as he passed away. There is no way to describe how horrible that moment was for me. After he was gone, that state of shock and numbness set it. To be honest, it hasn’t completely gone away. I have had my support system be there for me in the most amazing ways. My friend Nicole organized my entire week for me so I didn’t have to do much and would remember to do everything. My friend Vanessa helped me to do the programs for the funeral as well as the picture that will be up by the urn. Aaron’s best friend Scott was here when Aaron passed away and has stepped up in too many ways to list here. Last night was my first night in the house alone–everybody has been staying here to make sure that I’m okay.

The grief comes in waves, and it comes in the most unexpected of ways–looking in his t-shirt drawer, going out to the bar with my friends and putting my Blackberry on vibrate in case he texts me and then realizing he won’t, doing laundry and realizing I have nothing of his laundry to wash because I did everything last Sunday. I went to dinner with Scott, his wife Chrystal, and another of Aaron’s friends the other night and I could totally see Aaron sitting right across from me at the table.

Aaron’s mom has been amazing this week. She has to deal with her own stuff, obviously, but she has been very respectful of my space and my grieving process. She is spending the night tonight and tomorrow she, Scott and I are driving to Glendale to be with Aaron during the cremation process. My friends have asked me why I’m going and the answer is simple–I don’t want him to be alone. I’ve been with him throughout the entire journey, and I’m not about to let him go through this last leg alone. I probably won’t watch the actual cremation, but I will be there. He will know that I’m there, he will not be alone. 

Thank you to everybody for your kind comments, thoughts and prayers. They’ve helped me get through the longest week of my life.


7mg base, 3mg bolus for breakthrough pain
December 29, 2008, 9:35 pm
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That’s the order for the morphine currently coursing through Aaron’s veins right now. There is a steady hum of the oxygen machine in the background, competing with tonight’s SportsCenter. Dodger is cleaning himself, and I’m trying my hardest to keep my shit together.

It wasn’t supposed to happen this quickly.

On Wednesday, Christmas Eve, the RN who is working with us came and placed an order for MS Contin, which is basically a pill form of morphine. She also opened up the emergency stash of liquid morphine that has been in the fridge since Hubs enrolled with Vitas a few weeks ago.

Then over the Christmas weekend and through yesterday, every time Hubs took the MS contin, he would vomit. At one point on Saturday night I had him taking a Boost and I was silently contemplating a trip to the ER for some IV nutrition. However, he was able to keep the Boost down, and was pretty good through yesterday and today.

This afternoon, the RN came over and ordered Hubs the morphine pump. Which was just installed in the last half-hour. He’s got a baseline of morphine in his system and can push the “bolus” button for breakthrough pain. 

When I was a little girl, and my dad would speak of my Grandfather and his battle with cancer, I always remember him equating morphine with it basically being the beginning of the decline my Grandfather went into before he died. On Wednesday, when Hubs was ordered morphine, it was a huge blow to me, even though the pain patches he’s been on for the last 3 years are morphine. At my Grandma’s house on Wednesday night, she was telling me the story of the day before my Grandfather died (thanks, Grandma!) and how she had him go to the hospital because she didn’t want him to die at home. That was a difficult conversation to have, because what was I supposed to say to that? What am I supposed to say when people tell me they are sorry I’m going through this? 

Sorry…my emotions are all over the place today. I had a shitty day at work, I come home to this, AND I still have to wake up in the morning to go back to work. To all of the people who have told me they read this blog, thanks. It’s nice to know I have an audience out there. Especially to all of those friends I haven’t seen in awhile, I appreciate your kind words and prayers. They really are very helpful, even if I don’t always know what to say.

Withdrawal and Choices
November 16, 2008, 4:32 pm
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Friday was an incredibly shitty day. It started off nice enough, what with my boss being late and our normally long (and awfully boring) staff meeting was short and interesting and then it was back to intakes and clients. I had talked to hubs before the staff meeting on my crackberry and had tossed it back in my top desk drawer, which is my normal deal. 

A client called me telling me that she was feeling suicidal so I had her come into the office. While we were waiting for a bed (she has medical issues, so I had to contact *five* hospitals before I could get a bed), I went to check my phone to see if I had any text messages or emails. And I couldn’t find my phone. I looked throughout my drawer, underneath all the junk in there, and no phone. I searched my bag, no phone. I looked in various offices I had spent time in throughout the day, and no phone. It appears that my cell phone was stolen by either a client or a fellow employee. I am leaning more towards a client. I had to shell out $130 to replace my phone (thank God for the insurance coverage I decided to get; the $130 is the deductible and a new phone would have run me over $300). I should have my new phone on Tuesday, and until then I am going through crackberry withdrawals. No phone calls, no text messaging, no insta-Facebook, no brick breaker. 

Yesterday I went with hubs and my father-in-law for breakfast at Knott’s Berry Farm’s chicken restaurant. Afterwards, I came home and cleaned up the house. Around 2, my mother-in-law, father-in-law and a hospice nurse came over to discuss options and choices that we have, as we’re thinking of having hubs be certified to be on hospice. When hubs surpasses the 6 month mark, he would be able to be re-certified to continue being on hospice. It was really hard to sit there and talk about end of life issues and pain management and counseling and a chaplain without losing it. Hubs kept it together really well, and it never amazes me about how strong he really is. 

The weather here in socal sucks. There is ash all over the ground, all over the cars and the sky is an awful shade of brown. There are wildfires burning in counties all around us, and it’s awful to go outside and trying to breathe is a chore. I have kept Dodger in the house as much as possible because he’s got breathing issues as it is and he doesn’t need any other factors to compound on that. He’s on three different medications right now and has done a complete turn around from last week (it was so bad–he was coughing every couple of minutes and wheezing), so I want to make sure that he stays ok. I know he feels fine–he’s eating and drinking like a champ and is sitting here waiting for me to drop popcorn on the floor. He’ll be okay.

I’m hoping this upcoming week goes better than this last one. I’m really getting on the lowering my cholesterol diet bandwagon, combining that with the Core program. I will be hitting the gym nearly everyday, seeing one of my best friends on Thursday for a concert in Pomona and will be trying to relax and just take better care of myself. I am going to call tomorrow to make an appointment with a psychiatrist and enroll in a class on cholesterol education. Baby steps, right?

ANNNNNNND…she’s back
October 29, 2008, 9:40 pm
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Wow. So I’ve been gone for awhile. 

I wish I had some wonderful reason/excuse as to why. I guess all I can say is that I’ve been busy, and lazy, but mostly busy.

At the beginning of September, I started taking a new type of birth control pill. The mom of a friend of mine works in the office of an OB/GYN and gave me a sample pack, since I didn’t have health insurance. I tried the pills. And it totally and completely fucked me up. Sorry if this is TMI, but I was basically on my period for about two months. I went to the doctor’s earlier this week and she was convinced that it was an adverse and very strange reaction to the Seasonique and that I’m more than likely fine. So far all of my test results have come back normal.

The New Kids on the Block concert was in Vegas about 3 weeks ago and it was so much fun. We were sitting in the last row of the second section on the floor. Our seats were amazing. The best part about them? About an hour into their three hour concert, we looked about 15 feet away from us to our left and a small stage came up–WITH THE NEW KIDS ON IT! It was so awesome. Here are the pictures.

Last weekend I went to a Halloween party….as crazy Britney, when she shaved her head and was attacking paparazzi cars with umbrellas. (Laugh, it’s okay. I heard that is the costume that Britney Spears herself is doing as her costume this year). The party was okay but I got drunk off a few VERY strong drinks, came home and almost died. Sunday I woke up with the worst hangover of my LIFE. I was up for a few hours, sleeping for a few hours. Lather, rinse, repeat. All day long. It was not fun. 

Other than that, there have not been many changes in the land of me. Hubs is feeling okay, for the most part. He’s doing a natural sort of chemotherapy called cesium. It attacks the tumor from the inside out. It also makes him feel like he’s back on chemotherapy (read: lethargic, crappy, cranky, blah). My parents moved out in the beginning of the month. I dyed my hair red. I got acrylic nails. Because of my bizzaro period, I’ve put on about 6 pounds, and now that it (appears to have) ended, hopefully my water weight, random cravings (I had a bag of M&M’s and a diet Dr. Pepper yesterday), and fatigue (which have kept me out of the gym) will end and I’ll be able to get back on track.

If you’re in California, I want to remind you to vote no on Prop. 4, Prop. 8 and to make sure you vote on the 4th.

I promise I’ll try to be better about getting out here and updating more regularly. Peace!

August 9, 2008, 10:06 am
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Ever since Tuesday, my brain has been in a cloud, feeling funky and I have not been the most pleasant person to be around. I don’t like it when my brain goes into overdrive, it makes it difficult for me to really concentrate on anything else. 

This morning when I woke up it was the first time in quite a few days where I haven’t woken up with my head in a fog, or in a funk. I just felt okay. I got a decent night’s sleep and it’s amazing how that can really affect a person. 

So today is August 9th and my parents are STILL HERE. It is quite frustrating, because they do not appear to be any closer to moving out than they did the first day they were here. I’m trying not to get mad or angry, but I am upset that they appear to be so unconcerned with finding a place. I need to have the “you guys really need to work on getting the fuck out of here” talk with them soon, because Hubs is pissed that they are here and that he was right that they wouldn’t be gone by the end of July as originally agreed on. I can’t say that I blame him.

I’m hoping that today is going to be a good day, although it’s not starting out so great. Hubs got a phone call from his dad about Grandpa. Grandpa has been in and out of the hospital for the last few months with breathing problems, and has spent the last week or so in the hospital. From what Hubs told me, it seems that Grandpa is going to be on dialysis now and has had a permanent catheter placed because his liver functioning is shot and needs assistance with making urine. It doesn’t seem like Grandpa is going to ever leave the hospital.

Tonight we’re going to see our friends Aurum Star at a local club in Long Beach. Then the entire band is crashing at our place instead of renting a hotel room or driving back to the Valley (where they live) at 2 in the morning.

Enjoy a little Aurum Star on this beautiful Saturday morning. I’m off to take hubs to the doctor to get his post-surgery check up. Peace!

August 5, 2008, 10:38 pm
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Today has been kind of a horrendous day. Work was busy, I was super stressed about something I thought I *royally* fucked up on, and I didn’t get out of the office until 6. I had to book it down to my support group in Orange County, which I miraculously did, and I was ON-TIME. 

I had a really strong emotional break-through tonight, one which is still with me, a few hours later. I don’t feel like getting into all of it right now, suffice it to say that the majority of pain and tears that I expressed were related to my mom and my relationship (or lack their of) with her.

As I was driving home tonight, “The Stone” by Dave Matthews Band came on. It really speaks to me and where I’m at in my life right now with some other stuff going on, completely unrelated to group. But it’s a wonderful song and the lyrics are awesome, so I share them here with you while I go wash my face and go to bed.

I’ve this creeping
Suspicion that things are not
as they seem

Reassure me
Why do I feel as if I’m in too deep

I’ve been praying
For some way to show them
I’m not what they see

Yes I have done wrong
But what I did I thought
needed be done

I swear

Unholy day
If I leave now I might get away
This weighs on me
As heavy as stone and as blue as I go

I was just wondering if
you’d come along
To hold up my head when my head
won’t hold on

I’ll do the same if the same’s
what you want
If not I’ll go
I will go alone

I’m a long way
From that fool’s mistake and
now forever pay
No, run
I will run and I’ll be ok

I was just wondering if
you’d come along
To hold up my head when my head
won’t hold on

I’ll do the same if the same’s
what you want
If not I’ll go
I will go alone

I need so
To stay in your arms, see you smile, hold you close 
And it weighs on me
As heavy as stone and
a bone chilling cold

I was just wondering if
you’d come along
Tell me you will

Chillin’ like a villain
August 3, 2008, 1:25 pm
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I’m sorry I’ve been so scarce. Things have been ridiculously busy around the homestead as of late. Between work being super busy and stuff at home, I haven’t had much of a chance to think about updating my blog.

Hubs had his hernia surgery on Tuesday. I had to take him to the hospital in Fountain Valley before 7 am. I went to work that morning because I figured there was no point in me taking time off work to just sit around and not do anything. His surgery went well, and he was in recovery at 11:42. I was on the phone with my mother-in-law, arguing about prescriptions and trying to explain to her that I was going to pick up some prescriptions from the oncologist Wednesday when my office started to shake. At first I thought it was just a large truck going down the street by our office building. Then it got stronger–and kept going. 

The earthquake on Tuesday was the first earthquake I had ever experienced where I was a) not at home and b) not on the ground floor. It freaked me out to the point that as soon as the shaking stopped, I grabbed my purse and ran downstairs to hang out in the parking lot. Luckily it was a rather small earthquake (first reported at 5.8 but it was only a 5.4) and there was no major damage. A few pictures on my desk fell over, and my nerves were hella rattled, but nothing major. 

Hubs was in recovery at the time of the earthquake and he told me that a tiny nurse dove to the floor by him. He asked her if she was going to use him as a human shield and she said, “I’ll do whatever I need to.” 

Hubs has been recovering nicely. The incision looks gross but his pain has been fairly minimal and he’s been able to walk around the house without too much pain. 

Wednesday I took off work to stay home and play nurse-maid. My major job duties of the day included getting Xbox 360 games (for the early birthday gift of a new Xbox 360 that had arrived in the mail on Tuesday) and to get bagels. Tough stuff, I know. 🙂 I also managed to reserve another birthday gift for hubs, Madden ’09. 

The rest of the week was pretty mellow. Yesterday we went to the company picnic for my MIL’s company. She works for a company that does displays in grocery stores, and the company she works for contracts with Ralph’s/Kroegers. One of the awesome things about these get-togethers is that various vendors come and have tons and tons of free stuff to give out. Candy, chips, salsa, cookies, and on and on. We got a bunch of junk food, most of which I will probably take to work to give to clients and co-workers.

After the picnic we went to see “Step Brothers” which was funny at parts, but not nearly as good as my favorite Will Ferrell movie, “Anchorman.” After the movie hubs wasn’t feeling good, so we came home and hung out for the rest of the night. 

Today has been mellow as well. I hit the farmer’s market and Whole Foods this morning, I need to do some laundry and maybe go to the gym sometime this afternoon. I have to do a presentation about mindfulness in our DBT staff meeting tomorrow, so I need to do some reading and preparing for that as well. 

On the food/weight loss front, I’m doing okay. I have lost most of the weight I put back on after my camping trip a few weeks ago and have been chugging water like it’s going out of style. I have been going to the gym almost every single day for the last few weeks and making sure to do cardio, as well as resistance/strength training and core work. This week I am going to take the yoga class (if I can make it to the gym on-time, it starts at 6) and I’m actually looking forward to going to the gym. It’s a strange feeling for me, to look forward to going to workout. 

I’m making a pasta salad for lunch for the week, again. I went to Whole Foods and tried this cumin seed cheese which was PHENOMENAL. So I thought I’d make a Mexican-inspired pasta salad. Right now I have chili spice rub on some chicken breast, I got whole wheat orzo, and some of that delicious cheese. I figured with corn, olives, bell peppers, black beans and fresh parsley, this is going to resemble a chicken chili, but different. I’m looking forward to testing it out and passing the results on to you. 

That’s it for now. I guess we’re about to go and get lunch. I promise more regular updates!!