I'm beginning to think I have gone off the deep end. The deep end of sanity? Not sure. Have I ever been truly sane? Doubtful. Has anybody? Highly doubtful.

There's so much shit going on in my life right now, I need to use this outlet to get it out of my head. There isn't room in there for all of this and the voices too.

This will probably get long.

______
Dad

Somewhere in the middle of December, my dad got a phone call from one of his sons. (Short form for those who don't remember or don't care, Dad is my stepdad. The only father figure I have ever known. He has six kids from his first marriage. Five boys, one girl) They called to let him know that Monica was in the hospital due to severe abdominal pains. They did the usual set of scans and found spots on and around her pancreas. After a biopsy, she was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer. It had already metastasized to her liver, and she's now dealing with threatening blood clots. She just turned 40. With chemo, she was given a 2 to 3 year timeframe. Without - six months. There's no coming back from pancreatic cancer, especially at stage IV. Did she have other symptoms before that she ignored? We don't know. Did her religion keep her from getting some small sign looked into? Again, no idea. I really can't go into the religious aspects of this without popping blood vessels, so I will refrain. Needless to say, it was a challenge talking her into doing chemo. I think the thought of her son growing up and not knowing her made her strive to reach for a longer live date. She regrets that she and her husband waited so long to have children. Her son is two.

My dad booked plane tickets down to Orlando for my parents to spend a week with her and his sons for the end of January. These were booked two weeks ago, before she took a drastic turn for the worse. His kids are calling and asking him to come sooner if he can because they don't think she's got much time left. She doesn't think she'll ever leave the hospital room. He's not coping well with any of this. Not that I can blame him. Parents aren't supposed to outlive their children.

I spend 9 to 10 hours a day with him 5 days a week. Today especially, I wish I could shrink myself smaller to stay out of his way. Grief and guilt hang heavy over everything right now. I listen when he starts venting about nothing he's working on (computers) going right. I listen to him talk about all the things he has to do and all the customers who will be disappointed in him if he doesn't get the work finished. I hear the pain in his voice when he talks about how Monica sounds or what Bob or Scott or Fernando had to say the night before. I want to scream at him that the computers don't matter. Customers will understand that his daughter is dying and he has to be with her. I think he's scared to see her like this, when he hasn't seen her since his father's funeral in the mid 90s.

I don't know what to do or say to help. I keep telling him to go sooner if he needs to. The shop will wait. I will take care of things while he's gone. He just says he will wait and see. Wait and see what? If time is running out, GRAB what you can and hold on like hell to it while you can. Fuck the computers. Family first.

On top of this emotional dip is the fact that we just signed the lease on a new shop space. Yesterday started so happily, and then the phone calls from the kids started. It didn't end as happily. How do you react to that? What's right? Is there a right response to someone in the middle of an emotional hurricane?


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Gram

She can't really chew much because her teeth and the bones in her mouth were basically destroyed by the radiation treatments she went through. I have become the Queen of Soups. Sadly, her memory is also going. Last weekend she asked me if I liked potato soup. It's one of the soups I make most often for her. A baked potato soup of some variety or other, something filling, warm, and soft for her. When I told her I do and she loved the last batch I made a month ago, she said she couldn't remember me ever having made it for her before. She was frustrated with the electric blanket and its safety functions recently, so I asked her what she did with the down comforter she bought last winter. She took it off the bed the day she put the electric blanket on. She chouldn't remember having a down comforter.

I don't know how much more she'll forget or how long it will take. I know that at some point in the future decisions will have to be made. I'm afraid of what those decisions will mean.

This is so hard to watch. It hurts to see. I refuse to leave.

______
Me

I don't know if I'm depressed or what, but I do know I'm at the end of a very short tether. I don't think I've gotten more than two hours of sleep a night for at least two weeks. I'm lonely for face to face time with friends and people who are not related to me. I miss having friends locally and I really don't know how to go about making some. I don't do the bar scene. I can't do that anymore. But there's nothing else to do here. I feel stuck. The smallest things get to me more than major things used to. I have the attention span of a goldfish. Basically, I'm a mess.

I do know that the month of December was extremely bad for me, in part due to a change in birth control. One month of what seemed very much like bi-polar mood swings was enough to make me switch back to the pill I had been on. Breast pain three weeks a month I can handle. Going crazy... not so much.

Christmas was hard. Being alone on the days when you're supposed to be with the people you love is especially difficult. Yes, I spent time with my parents and Gram, but I'm with them every day. I made dinner for them and extended family on Christmas day, and that part of the family backed out. My parents came down to dinner, and were gone less than two hours later. I was glad when Christmas was over. Same with the New Year.

I will be alone on my 32nd birthday. My mom (we share a birthday) will be in Florida with dad and his kids. Last year I had the most amazing birthday because of my best friend. It was the 21st birthday I never had. This year I will spend it alone, without even my parents here.

If I can just hold out a little longer, I will be back in San Antonio. I'm supposed to be there for the last two weeks of February. I haven't bought my plane tickets yet though. I can't. With the uncertainty of what is going on with Monica, I have to be here for Dad. If she does pass soon, he wants me with him and mom at the funeral. I'm fine with that. I'm glad he told me that. I've felt up in the air and lost because even though I am his daughter too, I'm not HIS daughter. I'm not the baby girl he created.

He wants us to be moved into the new shop by the end of February. When I reminded him today that I was planning on buying my tickets soon, he had forgotten that I was going... *sighs*

I don't know what the plans are, or when what I want and need will come to fruition.

I hope soon. I need a break. I need a hug.

I need.
.

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