Sunday, May 24, 2015

Crazy? Yup.

Something has been bothering me for awhile. It's resurfaced since the Aurora theater shooting trial started. I am angry. I know he is supposed to get his due process. He was caught red handed. He admitted what he did. He admitted to setting up explosives at his apartment to create a diversion. Oh wait, but he's crazy! Please, we can't possibly incarcerate a crazy person that attempted to kill a boatload of people. WHAT??? Why? Fuck him. He knew what he was doing. Why does crazy get him off? What sane person would do that? I am sorry, when you are a danger to the rest of the inhabitants of this planet you deserve to be locked away from them. You shot a 6 year old girl four times. Killing her, paralyzed her mother and caused her to have a miscarriage. Not only did you murder her children you prevented her from having any more. You shot a budding stand up comedian in the eye. Two days before his first child was born. You silenced him. He can no longer talk and is wheel chair bound. You don't deserve crazy. What did you leave them with?

I have a hard time with the death penalty. This is a moral struggle I've had for years. When I got the jury summons at first I was excited, hoping to be chosen. Then it sank in. I do not want to be on that jury (I was not required to appear). Someone else's life in my hands. In the eyes of the law he is deserving of the death penalty. I cannot take another human life. The struggle I have is how can you say you are different than him and then sentence him to die? Because you're acting within the law? Laws change. Morality is forever.

Back to my rant... All of us can agree that no sane person is capable of what he did. Insanity sounds like a cop out. If he was mentally retarded, with an IQ of 50, I can understand not knowing right from wrong. If they are dangerous lock them up.

Another one that just made me heart sick was the girls in Florida that tortured and killed a gopher tortoise. The adult of the two is not competent to stand trial. WTF? She was competent enough to film what they did and post it online! Competency should not be an issue. She knew what she did and was proud of it. Answer for it.

"So when the preacher comes to get me
And they shave off all my hair
Could you take that long walk with me
Knowing hell is waitin' there
Could you pull that switch yourself sir
With a sure and steady hand
Could you still tell youself
That you're better than I am"

-Steve Earle

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

People Suck

Otherwise known as "Why I Don't Want to be on this Planet Anymore." People take others dreams and smash them. There is no respect for life. Not just human life. What gives you the right to just destroy something. Break it's spirit. Tear it down. Kill it. Throw away a living plant because the flowers wilted. Cut down a tree because it's leaning the wrong way. That snide comment you made to your loved one just drove a wedge deeper, widening the crevice into a chasm.  Ignore your dog because it's not a puppy anymore. Beat a strangers dog to death. Shoot your neighbors cat with an arrow.

Life is precious.

Whether it's yours or the bird on your porch. I have empathy. Too much empathy. I don't get not living in harmony with the world around us. I feel all of it. Everyday. Selfishness. Narcissism. I. Am. All. There. Is. No one knows that is the wrong attitude. Your actions effect others. Listen to yourself less and the world around you more. Honoring something else's life and feelings takes nothing away from you. You may even gain. Be in the world, not on it. Did you know that squirrels peel grapes? You never took the time to watch one. You have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. You stare at it most of the day. Read. LEARN. Find out about the other beings you share this planet with. Convenience and no consciousness. Rights and no responsibility.
 
"There's an ancient oak standing alone
Trying to do the work of a thousand trees
Been here since the Cherokee called this home
But it's standing in the way of a factory"

-Chris Knight

"One hand
Reaches out
And pulls a lost soul from harm
While a thousand more go unspoken for
They say what good have you done
By saving just this one
It's like whispering a prayer
In the fury of a storm

And I hear them saying you'll never change things
And no matter what you do it's still the same thing
But it's not the world that I am changing
I do this so this world will know
That it will not change me"

-Garth Brooks

"Keep your heart above your head and  your eyes wide open
So this world can't find a way to leave you cold
And know you're not the only ship out on the ocean
Save your strength for things that you can change
Forgive the ones you can't
You gotta let 'em go"

-Zac Brown

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

For Danny...

When your child has a best friend, that friend becomes part of your life, almost like an adoption. When the Lord takes them home you want to help your child find understanding. Well there isn’t any. A week later, still grieving, I’m getting away from the shock and sadness to angry tears. It is not fair. At 19, you still have your entire life ahead of you. All the conversations with him, trying to explain that high school may seem like everything now, but in 10-15 years it’ll just be a faded memory. The good stuff is up ahead. Well, he’ll never get to the good stuff. Part of me feels like I abandoned him, if we hadn’t moved to Colorado his safe haven would still be there. After a fight with his mother one night, I went and got him. Let him know that, that our house was open to him and he would always have a safe place to go. He took me up on that, sometimes staying for weeks at a time. We got along well and I hoped that maybe it's because I made more sense to him than his mother did, maybe it helped hearing it from someone else. Now I feel like one more person who let him down. Maybe if I was still there he would still be alive, maybe I should have brought him with us. Gotten him out of all that mess. Living in Vegas is hard on people if you don’t have the right frame of mind, the wrong paths are everywhere. If I cant make sense of this myself how am I supposed to help my son? They should have carried this friendship on for years that lasted beyond my own life. Still, just so angry.

This time I don’t know how to find closure. I'm turning back to a formally foolproof way of dealing with things to see if it helps. It just might, as I write this my hands are no longer shaking. BTW, it hasn’t escaped me that this happened in November. Doesn’t everything?

Danny 10/18/92 – 11/11/11

It ain't fair you died too young
Like a story that had just begun
But death tore the pages all away
Lord knows how I miss you
All the hell that I've been through knowing no one can take your place
Still, I wonder who you'd be today

-K. Chesney

Go with peace and love
Gather up your tears, keep 'em in your pocket
Save them for a time when you're really gonna need them
The sharp knife of a short life, well
I've had just enough time

-The Band Perry

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Closure?

So many emotions over the last two days. When his death was announced, I rejoiced. We got him, he paid the debt he owed for his crime. Crimes against, not just the US, but humanity in general. I cried. I cried because I remembered. Remembered how I felt that day and the days after. Remember wanting to go dig with my bare hands and helpless to watch it all unfold on tv instead. Remember wanting someone to pay. Remember the stories of triumph and death that came with the war. How I felt each time I heard of another life lost. I remembered how devastated and upset I was when both mine and my best friend’s nephews joined the armed forces. Remember finding my friend sitting in the dark, staring out into nothing with half drunk 12 pack in his lap the night before he was to rejoin his unit. Remember last summer a friend telling me he volunteered to go back, it was all he knew to do and spending days trying to convince him not to. This time, he said, maybe the job will be finished. Not realizing til much later what he meant by that. Still hoping I am wrong. My tears were not ones of happiness from this man’s demise, but of remembering.

While waiting for the president’s speech Sunday, we watched on CNN the crowd start to gather at The White House. Waiving flags, they were singing the Star Spangled Banner and I got little choked up as the reality began to sink in and the memories started. We had sworn this day would come for him and it finally did. As the night progressed, the images turn to out and out celebrating. Maybe its my upbringing, but in my heart it feels wrong to celebrate death, anyone’s death. Did he deserve what he got? Of course and the world is better without him in it. Yet each time I see the celebration videos my heart cringes with embarrassment at the striking resemblances to dancing in the streets, in some cultures, after 9/11. 3000 innocent lives lost versus one monster, maybe that's the difference.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Tower of Books

I'm sitting on the floor in front of a heavily stocked book case. Several weeks ago I managed to read a few short stories. Now I want to try going thru something I've read before and enjoyed. Testing the water. Looking across the shelves and the few small stacks on the floor and I'm scared. Stupid I known but I haven't finished a book in...two years? Three? Some are sitting that I've never opened, little adventures my mind won't let me take. I'm hoping how some things in the past have healed themselves that maybe this has too. "The Stand" keeps catching my eye, but that's 1500 pages. The first time I devoured that in a week. Now it seems overwhelming. Of all the things I've lost from this disease this is the one that hurts the most. I have a book in my lap now (not the stand)...wish me luck.

*Update* I finished "Blaze" by Stephen King on 11/6. Book was great, ending sucked. I've started a new one!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Forty Hours

Service may vary according to my mood and your attitude. Sunday night and I can't sleep. Weekends are too short. Knots in my stomach. I hate my job. What I hate is having to answer for others mistakes and 'why do I have to pay for that? Gimme gimme'. Part of me misses tech support. Sometimes I tech calls anyway out of boredom. When you call customer service being nasty and demanding for no reason will not get you anywhere. If you have a real problem I will fix it to the best my company will allow. If you are eligible for free stuff, you can have it. Makes my job easier to not have to argue with you. We can't withhold your freebies anymore than I can charge you extra for having to deal with you (someday I will figure out a way to do that). There are little things we can do that we are not obligated to. Friday a guy called to compliment the tech that came out, he was a sweetheart in a sea of jerks. So, I gave him some of that free stuff just for being nice. The same stuff that most assholes would be unappreciative of... it meant the world to him. If you don't like our service, it's too expensive or the competition has promised you the moon, freedom of choice is a wonderful thing.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sleep Tight...

This is not something I should feel embarrassed about, but I do. There was no cause or prevention I was aware of, I didn't even know the damn things really existed. We've all heard that saying from when we were kids 'sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite'. Along with Santa Claus is real and the monster in your closet isn't. So when my son informed me we have bed bugs about 18 months ago I thought he was joking. He had brought them home from his dads. I did what the internet said and encased his bed. Those little fuckers are everywhere. After my own mattress encasement got holes poked in it by the bed frame, I lost it. One morning I had 50 bites on one arm just between my elbow and wrist. I was ready to sleep in the bathtub. Instead we called Terminix (yes I will use them by name because their bed bug freezing treatment is a JOKE). They 'treated' our entire upstairs only, after telling us to move all of out belongings downstairs. Fuckers, that just infested the downstairs. An hour after said 'treatment' I was moving my bed only to find more bugs. It did reduce them significantly, but only until the next batch of eggs hatched. That was august. In march I moved out. Leaving behind anything that couldn't fit in the washer/dryer or be thoroughly inspected (left the tv's, dressers, beds, couch etc). In my mind it was worth it. I'm still terrified I missed one bug, one egg. Something was overlooked. Every itch has the potential to be followed by the signature three raised bumps. I itch constantly, although I've not had a bite in two months. There's no way to explain the mental toll this took, the embarrassment, the insomnia and the physical pain involved with these worthless insects. At this point I hope they're gone and I hope both the physical and mental scars will fade. Something that was said to me a long time ago keeps occurring to me. "Most people get rid of 1/3 of their stuff when they move, so three moves equals a fire." One infestation of bed bugs equals a fire.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Writing

I don't like not writing here. I like to feel frustration, anger, happiness and have it all come out into notepad. Whether I post it here or not. Obviously those emotions have not ceased to exist. Maybe, I'm not dealing with them or I've found a different outlet. Maybe there's no outlet at all. For the most part I'm happy, but even the shiny new life I have is not without tarnish. For the things my brain no longer lets me deal with I guess I just set them aside. Its easier. Writing was how I got things out. As I sit here now I'm thinking I need to re-evaluate where things are going instead. Not wanting to be one of those people that holds things in, I need to figure this out. This shouldn't be something else that's broken, the line of emotion that ran thru my fingers. These lines are the first I've typed since my last post. Nothing was hidden away. Even as I type this, it feels like deja-vu, familiar and foreign all at once. So let me work on this a little while and I'll see if I can still do it.

Well there was two things I wrote for the company he works for. They wanted to start a blog, with vague descriptions of what they were expecting, I put this up for them.

I'll be back soon.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Against My Will

You're like a song stuck in my head. Written just for me, to music only I can hear. Setting my heart on fire. Playing back words and memories. Craving you. You're in every thought I have, every song I hear, every descision I make. I sought patience in myself that I didn't know was there. An understanding and selflessness I never knew I had. A calmness much more than any ideal setting can bring, and a fire that I thought long since had died. I give my best to you, you woke it up and you brought it to light.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Who Shook the Etch A Sketch?!

So yesterday I went to take my first math exam. No book, no notes allowed. Just a pencil and they give you the scratch paper. I really studied. Some of it came easy, some not so much. My boyfriend and my son both helped when I couldn't wrap my brain around it. Study, study, study. One thing I noticed was any of the new stuff I was learning I could do a few problems then I would forget how to do it. Refer back to the book or my notes and continue on. Anything that was rehashing, stuff I already learned in school previously, I was fine with. It's like I just cant retain the new stuff. So exam time. The items that I had a harder time learning were at the beginning of the test. Breezed thru it. Got a little over half way, problem 18 out of 25 and it was gone. All of it, even the easy stuff. My brain is like a fkn etch a sketch. So, I sat there for 20 minutes trying to clear my head. Focusing on anything but math and the whirlwind of butterflies in my stomach. Swallowing the lump in my throat. I'm not going to cry. Back to the page, double checked my first answers. Wasn't sure if they were right anymore. Was I supposed to add or multiply after I flipped the fraction? Back to the end, tried again. It was gone. With no notes and no book to refer back to I was screwed. I handed in my test and left. Hoping the first answers were right, if not, I think I may have failed that class.

On the flip side, anthropology and English I seem to be pulling off just fine. As long as they don't take my anthropology book away and I read the chapter more that once I retain a lot of it. English = easy A. The only issue I had with that was breaking away from this style of writing to correct essay format. That was a bitch. Gimme a topic and I can run with it...oh wait, you want me to put it how?

Damn that felt good to write...my way lol.

I hate my MS brain.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Remember, remember

I feel haunted. Impressions on my heart from things that are no longer tangible, voices echo but ultimately alone. Feelings left behind, always left behind. Always ending. Always becoming the past. Some weighing so much, that in the dark, alone is all I can focus on. Remember his touch, remembering her hugs, remember, remember. Always moving forward. Silence. Solitary. Past. Present. Future. Muddled til they blend. Always repeating, always the same.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Highway Junkie

I know all the road signs. Every exit, every turn, hill and mountain between here and Salt Lake. Thru parts of California, Hesperia, Victorville, Apple Valley north on the 91 to Long Beach. South on the 15 to Temecula and San Diego. Been down Route 66 in Arizona. But I've never seen a mile marker in New York or an exit sign in Tennesee. I've crossed rivers in Utah, Idaho and points west but never the Mississippi or Rio Grande. Wanting to go. We talked about Dallas. Eastbound and down. My heart leaped at the thought. New scenery. Staring at the giant US map on my wall, I already knew the route without looking. On the drive to Spokane there was no way I could sleep. Soaked in every mountain, every tree, every town. Shocked as the tears fell and my heart rose in my throat when we took the exit to Kellogg. That child like longing for my dad was sudden and unexpected. The last time I was 10 years old when he showed me his hometown. Sent him a picture of the old Conoco station from my phone. However, I had made that trip before. Although it didnt include a blizzard. That snow storm turned a 4 hour drive from Spokane to Butte into 11 hours. Included a police escort off the freeway. Stranded for the night in Butte. That was my favorite part of the trip. Then I knew I could do this with you forever. Maybe that journey awakened something in me. Like the smell of a BBQ when you didnt know you were hungry. Now Im starving.

You still owe me Mexico.

"And that road rolls out like a welcome mat
I don't know where it goes but it beats where we're at
We always said someday, somehow
We were gonna get away, gonna blow this town

What about now, how 'bout tonight
Baby for once let's don't think twice
Let's take that spin that never ends
That we've been talking about
What about now, why should we wait
We can chase these dreams down the interstate
And be long gone 'fore the world moves on and makes another round
What about now"

-Lonestar

"The velvet black Interstate was something to feel"

-Refreshments

"When I look South and see the storm clouds roll
on their way to old mexico...I dont wanna be alone

And the rays of light through my Shiner Bock bottle
make me wanna turn the key and put down the throttle
and get lost down 35"

-Jason Boland

Monday, June 15, 2009

Why I Don't Watch The News

Over the last year or more I have limited my “news” intake to items that I select. Picked out of the business, health, science and technology sections of websites mostly. Avoiding the local news and the large network news stations. Not because I’m not interested in the goings on in the world around, I care very much. Too much. To the point that I cannot handle hearing anymore the things people are doing to each other, their children and their animals. Information overload, and all of it sickening. Watching those broadcasts I don’t have a choice in the news they bring me. The focus on the horrific crimes committed over and over, the circumstances a little different, different names and faces but the end result is the same. What brought this on? I made the mistake of leaving the 10 o’ clock news play tonight after the show I was watching was over. No exaggeration, in five minutes (*skip this if you are at all like me*) a 20 year old bound and gagged his girlfriend’s 1 and 2 year old boys and left them in a garage so he could watch the NBA final’s at a bar. He didn’t think he had done anything wrong (physically the boys are ok). A 20 month old girl was beaten to death, raped and left in a dumpster by her mom’s boyfriend. Mom was busy being a prostitute in another state. A 9 year old was shot and killed in her apartment, someone just started shooting into the home. Another man is wanted for questioning in the beating death of his girlfriend’s two year old daughter (You can continue reading now)…and in other news how to protect yourself from identity theft. WTF?!? I think the least of our concerns is identity theft! Free parenting classes? How to spot a child abuser in a mate? In less than five minutes I was so far beyond tears, I just sat here sick, unbelieving and numb. There is no way am I saying that any of that stuff is NOT news worthy, please report it. Hopefully they’ll find the guilty and fry them. Somewhere amid all that horrendous stuff I'm sure sits a human interest story or two, something that would make me smile. For my sanity, it is not worth me wading thru all that real life horror to find it. Knowing bad things happen, doesn’t mean I need a daily dose. So, when someone says “did you hear about blah, blah, blah?” I will continue to tell them no, and from now on will add “and please don’t tell me I don’t want to know”.

Ignorance is bliss.

At least in this case.

Friday, June 05, 2009

One Week

A few times this week I awoke and thought she was still here. Early and still dark, before I was fully awake. She slept next to me for seven years. Certain other things that I didnt want are staying with me. That night I stayed with her after she passed, but not for long. Shocked and grieving, I still knew I did not want to remember her that way. Covering her eyes, while I cried and petted her. One of the techs asked if I wanted a private room with her, to be more comfortable. Just wanted to be left alone with her, not to feel at home. She never would be again. As hard as I tried to avoid it, that blank stare was burned into my memory. That and the last look she gave me before they took her to the back when we first arrived. The first night it kept me awake. Lost and hurting, my close friend stayed with me. That meant a lot to me. When I just wanted to wallow in absolute despair on the way home, he turned me away from it and asked me to share with him some of my favorite memories of her. I needed that. Besides that feeling of 'gone' I feel like I left her somewhere. The dog that always had to be right next to me is alone and I cant shake it. Like I'm waiting for something to happen. Wasn't being there with her enough closure? How much more final can it be? Worked away from blame and 'what if'. What if I had realized it was liver failure earlier? It wouldnt have changed the outcome. The only difference is I would have taken her sooner, they would have kept her and I would get a phone call while she died in a strange place alone. She spent her last hours with us, alert and home.

Pictures of Clover
2/16/02-5/30/09

She is gone. Taken to the emergency room Saturday night after realizing far too late that she was in liver failure. Brought on by the chemo, by the lymphoma or both. The events leading to the end don't matter as much. She didn't make me decide, she let go on her own a few minutes after we arrived. Rather than tell you how my heart is broken I would rather write about why I loved her. What made her special to me.

We named all of the the puppies from that litter. Silly names just to keep them straight. On her chest she had a white mark in the shape of a three leaf clover (it grew to look more like a radiation symbol). She was the sweetest of the group, yet I initially wasnt going to keep her. I couldn't let her go. A big roley poly puppy, she preferred our company to the company of the other dogs. The only brindle one in the group, she was striking. Picture a brindle labrador (she was lab/heeler/pitbull). The night she struggled her way onto my bed to sleep with me, rather that her mom or the remaining puppies, was when I decided. There she slept from then on. She was shy and responded to love. A stearn reprimand was all she needed, just like her mother. Remember when I taught her to shake she got so excited that she had done well, she would attempt to use both front paws and fall over. She is the only dog I've ever had hug me, sometimes her exuberance would cause injury (fat lip or two). Her hugs consisted of insistently pushing her nose under your arm until you put your arm around her. She'd then put her head on your chest and push a little. A 70 pound lap dog. When we got new couches downstairs we had to teach her to stay off them, but gave in a little when her back legs stayed firmly on the floor and the front half of her body was draped across your legs. See? Technically I'm not on the couch, I'm on you. Fiercely protective and guarded when people first came over, most people ended up being her best friend by the time they left. There were few people she didn't like (and the ones she didn't, I would later find out, I didn't either). One summer, after the 4th of July fireworks, she developed a lasting interest in airplanes. The flight path is just to the north of us and I caught her frequently sitting on the back porch watching them come in. She did not like the large blimp the flew around town, sometimes directly over the house. For many years work started for me at 6:30am meaning she needed to use the facilities by 6am. Not a morning dog. She'd wiggle and stretch and yawn. Go back to sleep. Get up, come to the top of the stairs and stretch and yawn, and go lay on the couch. She reminded me of a kid who didn't want to get ready for school. God forbid it was cold out, she learned that I felt bad for her if she shivered. She would shiver sometimes even when it was warm when she wanted to come in. On a sunny day she would bask in the yard for hours. You could watch her deflate, like her whole day was shot, when she stepped onto the deck and it was raining. Snow? Forget it. We had a freak snowstorm here last December, snowed from noon until well after I went to bed. She held it for 24 hours before she gave in. Well, I could go on and on about the other typical dog things, car rides, chasing birds (only pigeons for her), the time she chewed a hole thru my mattress, remodeled the bathroom, the way she whined when I got home, put her head in my lap when I was crying, snuck into our room when she wasnt invited, fell up the stairs, banged her head, bury her head in my lap when she was embarrassed or in trouble, her fear of flashlights, sometimes ran her mom into the wall (nicknamed her Gordon for that)... I could go on. She was very protective, and a big baby. Fierce enough to chase someone out of our yard, and gentle enough to play with our ferret and bathe a kitten. So, I'll carry the rest with me, all the things that are side effects of the unique love for her. These were the things that brightened my days, a nudge, a hug, a bark, and what makes my days dimmer now that she's gone.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The End

She's dying. I'm watching her go right in front of me. Cant hold a thing down. Holding her while her breathing falters. The vets office is closed. Just me and her. Lay here with her. If she makes it til the dawn I'll take her then. She fell so fast, hour by hour I watched her disappear. The cancer doing what it does. Taking her from me.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Block

Ok, it's time to admit it. The posts have slowed down here not because my life is suddenly uninteresting, the writing is gone. Scared that is has disappeared like my ability to read books and my desire for photography. It's just not there. Normally I write all the time, maybe half of that ends up on here. Something happens, something pops into my head, the things trapped in my brain flow out and into notepad, bringing me relief from them. Turn on the faucet and nothing happens. The last two posts were forced, not something that just flowed. Maybe it's on vacation, maybe I need a plumber for this blockage. I'll figure it out...

The timing couldn't be better either, start college classes in the fall. Including English composition. Hope I can get thru it. Question I had about that too... Would the "History Of Rock Music" count as a history credit AND an arts and humanities credit? Why no history of country music? :)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I Know Stuff Sometimes...

Yesterday, I got a faint glimmer of hope. Put a halt on the frantic searching for a resolution and finally got some answers....and some arguments. Felt a lot better after going thru all the options and potentials, from best case to worst. Spent almost three hours with Clover for the first meeting at the oncologist's office yesterday. Went thru all the treatment options, regiments, side effects/quality of life and pricing. His only doubt was both times she had the aspirated "biopsy" done, it was inconclusive. Could be lymphoma, could be infection. She's three weeks in, and other than two swollen lymph nodes, she has really has no other symptoms of this aggressive form of cancer. So he took her back and aspirated her again and looked at the slides himself. Still nothing. Fine. What else could it be? Well, could be a bacteria or fungal infection. Two strains that can mimic lymphoma and the test is $350 for both (testing for the bacteria and a broad spectrum fungal), or we can remove one of the lymph nodes for $600. That was the breaking point for me. Funds are limited and I'll be damned if they are all going to be used up on diagnostics. So, he suggested we go ahead with the chemo or steroids. Wait, I may not be a doctor but I'm not stupid. So, we start her on steroids suppressing her immune system, and chemo which destroys her immune system. Then if she does have either of the two infections she now has nothing to fight it off and she dies from something that could have been cured with antibiotics or anti-fungal meds. Antibiotics are $15, takes 5 days for the fungal test to come back for the ONE type of fungus found in this region. So, why don't we run that test and give her the antibiotics? The worst case there is the antibiotics don't work which means she doesn't have the infection, in that 5 days it takes for the other test to come back we should have an indication if the meds are working or not. Problem solved without wasting money that could be spent on treating her. More waiting, but at least we're working towards something. Another bright spot, is the chemo that would probably work best for her, since it doesn't seem to be aggressive, is one that I could actually afford (to a degree, I have gained assistance at this point).

Little bit of luck, little bit of hope, little bit of being argumentative and we're on our way...

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Clover

Never thought this day would come so soon. She just turned seven in February. She should have several good years left, she still acts like a big puppy. Two weeks ago when I found that lump on her throat I knew. Took her to the vet for the biopsy anyway, asking him about all the other things that could cause the lymph nodes to swell. The first biopsy was inconclusive and gave me hope. Th e second one erased that. Yesterday, when I was crying she came and put her head in my lap like she always does. Like she's saying what can I do? Now as I write this, she has her head on my leg. Looking in her eyes, i know its my duty to be her voice when she can't speak. This is what I agreed to when I kept her, picked her from the litter born in my closet seven years ago. I picked her because she was the sweetest thing. She was the first to figure out how to get on my bed to be near me. Where she has slept ever since. Maybe she really picked me. After everything I've read online, and what I've searched thru in my heart, I will swallow my pride and beg and borrow to get her the treatment she needs. If I let this run its course she has maybe a month left. With treatment, I could give her upwards of a year or two. Wish her luck and please say a prayer for my three leaf Clover...

Monday, March 09, 2009

Speed Bumps

Try to remember where we were yesterday, force that memory into my head when you act like you did this morning. Remember when you told me to ignore you, that it's not me. Doesn't hurt any less, did make going home easier though. When I need a resolution, I need to find compromise, an agreement or common ground now and you don't...makes my head hurt. Bide my time and bite my tongue. Not always an effective plan when, if I put any thought into it, I won't bring it up later. So it goes under the rug. It's getting lumpy. We can finish each other's sentences, always know where the other is coming from, we're agreeable and open minded. Yet, seldom do I know what's really going on in there, and I thought I was guarded. We have constructed walls that we're slowly chipping away at. Trying to upgrade a friendship into something else. Although its like starting out on the 15th date, still not easy as it may seem. There's so much more on the line. Never realized you were just as jaded as me. Still this shouldn't be so hard, you shouldn't weigh so heavy on my heart. So, when I think of this morning I will focus on how sweet you looked and how your arms felt around me. Before you woke up and a stranger lashed out at me for nothing. Hope it's not some darkness that I uncovered. One that I could never live with.

"Well you should have known better
Dead thoughts and lost horizons
And to take it further
It don't get any better
Well out here on the border
Ain't nobody asking questions
No I don't need a miracle
But I could use a push in the right direction"

-The Refreshments

"Over here, see the lights
Arranging twilight sages
Commence to reveal it to the others
You would never have the time
I would love to change your mind
You were there
And it was good in the beginning
You were there
We were good in the beginning"

-Pete Yorn

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Conversations

"I'll be writing everything down. All I have is time until then anyway." Just part of the conversation I never wanted to have with him. A necessary one he approached with that same matter of fact level headedness. He's getting up in age and I can't deny that, even though he never seems that way to me. Part of me wishes he was younger, two weeks shy of 38 when I was born, but if he was younger I would have been raised with a different set of values. Part of that older generation that seems to be fading away. Got my brains, my eyes, my smile and my morals from him. My first inclination was whisper a prayer and put my head in the sand. It'll turn out ok. They do open heart surgery more frequently now, might even be routine? Instead, somehow between now and then, I need to find my way to Louisiana.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Right Roads

When I went for a walk last night it had stopped raining. Needed to go as part of my new commitment. The streets and sidewalks were slick, so no jogging. No sense in taking that chance on my still shaky knee. Just past the halfway point (same distance to go back as it would be to finish) it began to rain again. Large, gentle drops turning into a light rain. At first I was a little irritated. Alone in the semi dark with only my thoughts and my Ipod it came over me that this was sort of like a baptism. A washing away of my transgressions. These steps I was taking are backing me off the wrong road and down the right one. Someone pointed out to me that one thing that always made me happy before. Losing 90lbs. Going to the gym, exercising, being active. Two years ago I couldn't even walk around the block, let alone run. Worked my way up to jogging two miles a day. Somewhere I fell away from that path and back onto the wrong one. I don't want to be there again. Ever. You can get out of good habits as easily as you can form bad ones. Two weeks after starting to work from home I broke my tailbone and tore something in my knee falling down the stairs. So I stopped everything, put on a few pounds. That is not ok, I've healed. Whats my excuse? There is none. So last night I was soaked but happy. Five pounds down just this week, not much i know but dammit it's a step in the right direction, down the right road. What has excited me the most is falling back into an old routine I adopted really wasn't hard at all, almost second nature. Not nearly as hard as the first time, when I was convinced I would surely die in a world without pizza. Just remember I will die if I don't undo this now, and will be in misery until that day.

"Some day, I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'.

Like tomorrow was a gift,
And you got eternity,
To think about what you’d do with it.
An' what did you do with it?
An' what can I do with it?
An' what would I do with it?"

-Tim McGraw

"When the way comes to an end - Change. Having Changed you pass through."

-IChing

*BTW, I noticed this was my 200th post. Not bad. :)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Grandma's Roses

When the tears started as we past the exit I was kind of surprised. Already gazing out the window, I didn't need to hide it. Exit 16, down to SR-9 and into Hurricane (pronounced "Hurrikin" by locals). So many years I never went beyond that exit. For some reason this time as we past it on our way to Cedar, I thought of Grandma's roses and the tears began to fall. Every spring she would walk around her yard with me. The most beautiful one's I remember were a large bush just below their bedroom window. Large blooms that reminded me of a sunset. Try not to remember the two years or so that happened after Grandpa died. That time was not fair to her, God shouldn't be allowed to take one without the other, not after 70 years. On our way back, I told my friend how I was feeling, we decided on a detour to the cemetery. At the store I browsed through the different flower arrangements and potted plants. Realized how pissed Grandma would be if I left a plant out there to die, so I selected a single rose. We had to drive past their old house to get to the cemetery and the tears started again. To see all those rose bushes dead, some of them gone, the house in shambles. Ugly old vehicles parked out front. The house was near the cemetery on purpose, Grandma told me once, so whoever went first could visit the other. He left me to visit the grave on my own. Told them how much I missed them, how angry I was to see somebody let her roses die and that I brought her just one. One that was nothing compared to what she grew, what they both grew, in there yard and in my heart.

After I was done, I invited my friend over to the marker. So beautiful.



Thursday, January 29, 2009

Enough

There was a PS in there somewhere but I began to ramble and lost track like I do sometimes. Sometimes I forget that things going alright in an able body might not be long term for me. The other day I was thinking "I've had enough". So I ran with that negative mantra playing in my head for two days. Then I figuratively smacked myself, I have had enough. Enough food to gain a little weight back. Enough of a job to pay my bills. Enough friends to keep me busy. Enough fun to take the edge off. Enough injury to appreciate health. Enough pain to appreciate pleasure. Enough rain to coax the bloom of spring. Even with all the weeds, I need to remember this is my garden, I tend it. You reap what you sow and you can't expect a harvest of positive when you continually plant negative.

"Tomorrow's another day, I'm thirsty anyway. Bring on the rain." -JDM
Two Years In

So I'm thinking of a symptom check. How things have changed for the better and for the worse. Really, not bad at all, or I forgot. So the winner is for worst symptom, memory loss and cognitive ability. I'll group those together, usually I forget the things I've forgotten. Until I'm reminded, someone asks me something and it's like having a little tickle in my brain in a gap where the memory is gone and and...I don't know but I feel like I knew once. Frequent phrases - "That sounds familiar" or "Crap! I forgot" and "I'm sorry I don't remember" Some words won't come, like they fell out of my head, even though I may have just used it a few minutes ago. Word substitution, using the completely wrong word and thinking you used the right one (the looks on that are priceless). Get frustrated sometimes if I get interrupted, my train of thought doesn't always keep rolling in the background. The other scary thing is getting disoriented or forgetting where I am. Luckily it's only happened a couple times. Tonight I stepped out of the Binion's parking garage downtown and had no idea where I was. This is a place I've been hundreds of times (I've lived here 25 years). To the right was first street and to the left Casino center. The names meant nothing. Realized I didn't remember where I was supposed to meet my friend. So I started walking down First Street, hoping it would come to me. Then I heard music, the show started on the canopy above Fremont St. It all came back then. Spelling would be next on my list. Spell check is no longer an option. I did find relief from a surprising source. Text messaging on my cell. Guess it helps to practice. Other than the memory issues and cognitive ability, the one single item that saddens me the most is not being able to read books anymore. Since I was a kid I've been devouring large books, sometimes reading two or three at a time. In elementary school I had already started on authors like Jack London (the school librarian even quizzed me because she didn't think I would actually understand them). Able to blow thru 1500 page books in just a few days as I got older. The book I wanted, and got, for Christmas I'm 86 pages into. The last book I finished was a struggle. Simply can't concentrate for more than a few minutes, or I fall asleep. Hell, I have trouble reading an article online that runs for too long. Funny thing though, writing comes easier. Looking back thru earlier posts on here, it seems to have improved some. Physical symptoms are minimal. Mostly erratic vision loss that comes and goes, double, blurred or blacked out vision. Muscle twitching/weakness, numbness in my feet and hands. Not bad. The coolest part? No migraines for about 3 years now. Sure, I still get the aura, that kaleidoscope of lights that dance and zigzag across my vision for about thirty minutes. Previously when the visual effects had ended, bring on the worst headache you can imagine. Put me in a dark, quite room and let me die. Sure don't miss that at all. So there it is. Two years into knowing I have MS.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Angels and Friends

We all fall down sometimes. You place enough weight on your own shoulders, you're bound to become top heavy and the slightest thing is going to knock you off balance. When that happens you're supposed to get back up, brush yourself off and continue. Then there are times when that load you were hauling buries you. So you lay there for awhile. Unsure of how to get back up. Eventually something clicks, you rearrange a thing or two or maybe cast another item aside. Breathing is possible. There is light there. If you are lucky enough you may have a person or three who notice you're not simply taking a nap. May offer to carry something for you, lighten your load and ease your troubles. Someone may offer to point out that all important step you missed, what you've forgotten about lately and what used to make you happy. Suddenly the load seems a little easier and your purpose a little clearer.

Thank you for showing me good still exists in people.

Thank you Cowboy for lighting the way...

"When life held troubled times, and had me down on my knees.
Theres always been someone there to come along and comfort me.
A kind word from a stranger, to lend a helping hand.
A phone call from a friend, just to say I understand.
And aint it kind of funny that at the dark end of the road.
Someone lights the way with just a single ray of hope.

Oh I believe there are angels among us.
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours.
To show us how to live, to teach us how to give.
To guide us with a light of love"

-Alabama

Monday, December 29, 2008

Tired

If for just one time there was something at the end of the struggle. A moment, a reason, time that happiness would touch me... Instead of paying for every occurrence. Like I pay ten times over for one shiny moment. To fall away into darkness again, down a twisted path where everything is just an obstacle. Nothing is easy. Not for a second. I'm tired, of everyday a struggle and nothing to show. Just one time I'd like have a moment that I don't end up paying for, a moment that doesn't have a dark biting reality to it, a moment to step back and say yeah I deserve this. Instead of just cold truths. That's me, that person that nothing quite works out for, yet things aren't quite that bad. Like walking down the center median. Tired of the status quo, just let me fail completely or... I dunno get it over with. Tired of being in the middle and looking at the bottom. I'm tired.

"It's like the bottom of the ninth
And I'm never gonna win
This life hasn't turned out
Quite the way I want it to be"

-Nickelback

"There's nothing ever wrong but nothing's ever right
Such a cruel contradiction"

-Shinedown

"My dad, he had a friend, lowdown till the end
Everything he did, it came out wrong
No matter how hard he tried
He never cheated, he never lied
Had a shotgun in his hand when he died

Everybody's got their own way, tomorrow's another day
Make of it what you will, as you're climbing up that hill
Always be prepared to pay"

-Cross Canadian Ragweed

Monday, December 15, 2008

Time Marches On

Tomorrow another year has passed. Another year older. As my friend pointed out the other night he's now closer to 30 than I am. Bite me. What did I do with it? Not much. Thinking tonight I may have surpassed the age where, if I were to die, people wouldn't see me with unfulfilled potential. I'd like to think that I still have some left. Some part of me is still longing to go to school, now before it's too late. Several fears associated with that. What if I sign up and I can't do it? Sometimes reading even a magazine article is difficult anymore. What field of study should I choose? What won't bore me and what would I be good at? Lastly, where the hell do I find the time? These questions loom whenever my mind wanders back to finishing the enrollment. Puts me in limbo again. If I sign up it also commits me to staying here. So I wait. Knowing there is a 50 year old me in the future probably aching to beat the hell out of a 32 year old me. Looking at that I should just do it, jump in, sink or swim. At least I could say I tried, or better yet maybe I could say I did it.

The future influences the present just as much as the past.

Alas! it is not till time, with reckless hand, has torn out half the leaves from the Book of Human Life, to light the fires of passion with, from day to day, that man begins to see that the leaves which remain are few in number.

— Longfellow

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes

So I went thru the country music chart today. Wondering what is happening to this genre of music that I was brought up listening to. Looking thru some of the names listed and I guess I just don't get it. One of the best songs listed, in my opinion, and maybe one of the most country songs out is by Darius Rucker. Remember him? Hootie and the Blowfish. He's gone country. At least he didn't go halfway. The beauty of country music is that there are so many sub-genres within it... bluegrass, folk, americana, outlaw, country fried rock, Bakersfield Sound, Western Swing, Rockabilly. It can and does encompass a lot of different styles. Now it seems to have gone to an extreme. It's become so commercial, diluted and soulless. Most of the crap that comes thru the radio, well it sucks. Listening to Taylor Swift the other day, really listening to her, the girl can't sing. She's nice to look at, writes some cute be-bop songs and bam straight to number one. That position used to be an honor, not a given due to marketing. But, damn girl, you look like you can sing. I thought payola was outlawed in the 60's? Been noticing that certain artists when their new songs come out within a few weeks that's where they are, number one. Quality of the music has become very bland and uninspired. The key item, the thing that's missing, write what you feel, from your heart and be damned if it's radio ready. Sing what you feel and somebody will identify with it. Thru the evolution of country very few artists actually do write their own material. Didn't mean it wasn't believable. You could feel George Strait's heart breaking during "Today My World Slipped Away" and he's happily married. You could feel Johnny Cash's envy of the people moving on the train in "Folsom Prison Blues", though he's never been incarcerated. It still came thru if even they didn't live it, it had substance and heart. Now we have been flooded by this influx of look alike, sound alike we're all "happy-not partying too much-we love our country-marry me for you are the air I breath" songs. Even some of the artists I do like are...going down the drain. They're balls have been removed. Like a conveyor belt of fabricated crap coming thru the radio. So diluted, so watered down, yet still so hard to swallow because it tastes like crap. Give it to me straight, make me laugh, make me dance, touch my heart or my mind. Get some emotion, or be over produced background noise.

"Put some drive in your country to keep country driving on" -Travis Tritt

"What happened to the music I loved so long ago
It seems it’s been forgotten on our country radio
Where a steel guitar and fiddle have become a novelty
What I’d give to make things like the way they used to be

That carbon copy music don't mean a damn to me
Hank Williams wouldn’t make it now in Nashville Tennessee"

-Jason Boland


"You won't hear four-letter words
Just me tellin' her
That she's the every breath I draw
And how I can't live without her
And I could never doubt her
'Cause she could never do no wrong

Yeah, it's a three minute positive
Not to country up-tempo love song
It's a way to tell her that I love her
But it can't be too long
There'll be no drinkin', no cheatin',
No lyin', no leavin'
That stuff it just don't belong
In a three minute positive
Not too country up-tempo love song"

-Alan Jackson