Tuesday, March 28, 2006
It's not going to be a happy ride, but ride we will.
The test results from the aspirated lymphnodes came back yesterday. It has been diagnosed as "immune high grade malignant lymphoma", which in lay people's terms means "it sucks and is spreading quickly".
We started him on the prednozone Friday night. We were told to watch for excessive drinking and urinating, along with laboured breathing. If we saw any of that, the dose was too high and we'd have to adjust. So far, a little more drinking than usual but nothing to be concerned about. He's still making it through the night without having an accident in the house.
What sucks is that if I didn't know he was sick, I would never know he's sick.
He's eating like a horse. He's a little slower on our walks, but his coat is beautiful, and for the first time since we've had him, he's not drooling nearly as much as usual.
He's loving the extra attention and treats. I'm curling up on the floor with him regularly. He lays his head in my lap and cuddles in.
We are going to switch him to a low protein diet tomorrow. The vet consulted with the food company we've always bought from - there's some research out there that says a higher fat diet that is lower in protein and sugar doesn't give the cancer the energy it needs. I'm completely into stealing cancer's energy. Completely.
I'm trying so hard to focus on the good days and nights. I'm trying to enjoy the minutes, hours and days we're having together.
Then something happens like HB walks into the house, like he did last night. And Big Dawg goes bounding over to him, tail wagging, so delighted to see his dad. And they wrestle a bit.
And I see the sole tear sneak out of HB's eye.
And my heart breaks.
Friday, March 24, 2006
The last time I was in a room with an ultrasound machine, I was told that my baby had died.
Tonight I was in another room with an ultrasound machine and I was told that my dawg is going to die.
My big Newfie dawg has lymphoma. It has spread to his spleen and liver. We could treat with chemo. The chemo and associated treatments would take about four months of weekly poking, prodding and would be fairly invasive - not to mention expensive for a dog his size.
Or we can treat with prednozone, which will reduce the swelling in the masses we found tonight, will help to stop the diarhhea, and will give him some quality of life for the next four to six months.
But it won't take away the cancer.
And he will either die or we will have to put him down in the next four to six months.
I hate ultrasounds.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
I'm not sure what the purpose of this blog is anymore. As I have been saying more and more of late, it's become obvious to me that I continue to, and always will be, an infertile woman who will not bear children of her own.
Adoption is not in our future. For HB and I, it's not about having children per se, so much as it is about having biological children of our own. There are two children in our lives already.
My life itself is motoring along such that it doesn't seem a blog about it would be of much interest to anyone but me.
Blogging is a funny thing eh? I bet if we did a poll, and really encouraged people to be totally honest with themselves, most would say that although we claim to blog for ourselves, we are all aware that others around the world may read it. And that begins to factor in to what we say, or don't say. And we are aware of comments, or lack thereof. And we wonder if people find us interesting ... and we wish to be part of the 'in' group of bloggers. Right? If you were being really honest with yourself, would that be the case for you?
I know it is for me some days. Not always, but some days. Like today.
Some days, I come here and truly don't give a rat's ass who is reading. I write, dump, vent, get all the crap out of my system so that I can go back downstairs and jump back into the step-mess that goes on in this house at times.
Then there are days when I'm keenly aware that there might be three people out there who actually check in here once in a while. And I worry. Am I really this boring??? In real life, I'm not boring ... or at least I don't think that I am. But in real life, I'm in touch with people for a reason. And I'm not totally consumed with talking about myself all the time. Ok ... sometimes I am, but not always!
In real life, I have conversation with people. Conversation is a two way affair. I ask questions (which I'm told I'm very good at doing ... all those years of being a counsellor pay off at times), and then I get answers. I share common interests with most of the folks that I spend time with - and I have many interests!
And there's the rub. This blog has primarily been about my infertility, my struggle to have a child, my obsession with conceiving. And that's what I have in common with the few people that comment here.
So I'm curious. If you read here on any kind of regular basis (and I know that there are some 40 regular daily visitors by my stat counter - not just google hits), help me out.
How can we have some conversation? Is there something you're curious about in my life that you'd like to hear more about? And what is there about you that I should know? I'm curious! Where are you from? What brought you to this blog in the first place? What keeps you coming back? Are you a step parent? Do you love music? Are you a spiritual person? What do we have in common?
I challenge every reader here to leave a comment - and this isn't a comment beg - it's more about expanding my horizons. Please leave a comment that tells me one thing about you, and challenges me to engage in conversation here.
So yeah, I'm asking the question that's right up there with the "do these pants make my ass look fat" one. How can I spice up this little corner of my world on the internet?
Oh...and by the way....go visit my talented and oh so wickedly charming friend Grins and have some Amer*can Id*l fun with her new blog!
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Isn't it time for a positive post from Sandy? Why yes, yes it is!
Let's get the big surprise over with first.
Let's get the big surprise over with first.
I'm not pregnant this month.
Yes I know. I'm as shocked as you, but oh well. I'll just relax (pamprin helps immensely with the relaxing thing) and continue moving on.
I know I've said it before but as the months go on, I am actually becoming increasingly at peace with knowing that we will not have a child of our own. Mini-Me and Frodo are consuming more and more time, energy and space. I think that we are being called to focus on these two little guys, and I'm finding more patience to do so and to be present to them of late.
My big dawg is on the mend. We had a completely poop free night last night (yay!). When HB came in to the room to wake me, the first thing I asked was whether Big Dawg had had a good night. HB answered yes, and that he had been up three times during the night to let him out. The funny thing is that I had also been up three times to let him out! The poor buggar - didn't have a chance to sleep let alone think about pooping in the house! The vet gave him some medication yesterday that we've used on him in the past when this has happened. The last time it worked within 24 hours. Seems like that's the case again this time. It will be nice to have them back around the upstairs of the house instead of in the basement full time. Our dusty rose carpets just couldn't handle any more though! I had them cleaned last week and we're working hard to keep them that way for a few days anyhow. You can sure tell that I bought this house as a single woman - dusty rose carpets - even I laugh at myself now as I watch two dawgs, two kids and countless neighbour kids tromp through this place with hockey sticks, skateboards, roller blades and the like!
My voice is making a come back ... both literally and figuratively. Literally in that yesterday I actually was able to speak out loud and be heard, without too much cracking or leaving of said voice.
Figuratively because within hours of the last post, HB and I sat at the kitchen table and had one of our amazing heart to hearts. Even though I express great frustration here at times, I fall a little more in love with this man every day. I was able to tell him quite honestly that I didn't always feel able to express to him my need for time with him because I know how pulled he is with everyone else drawing on his time, but that I needed him to make me and us a priority. I know that these are old tapes that play for me - this fear that by telling someone what I really need, they will pick up and leave. He has never demonstrated that result to me. We have discussions (just like we do with the kids) that 'no' or 'sorry' is sometimes a possible answer, but that answer is no reflection of our love for each other.
This living in a healthy relationship is confusing at times! It can sometimes be so much easier to revert to familiar, unhealthy dance steps ... but when your partner insists on leading the right way, you only end up tromping on toes with those bad steps. I'm glad I'm learning to dance properly. And what a dance ... what an amazing dance!
Saturday, March 11, 2006
For someone who is actually quite happy in every day real life, I seem to bitch a lot here on this blog. Perhaps that's what allows me to maintain my happiness in every day real life ... I don't know. Regardless, this is likely to be yet another piss and moan post. I always seem to feel better once I've got it out of my system - almost like I've said it for real out loud. Bet a shrink would have a heyday with that ... passively aggressively getting stuff out in an online diary and then moving back through life in a cloud of avoidance. Hmmmm.
Anyhow, on to the rant! As I said several weeks ago, HB, darling man that he is, has no ability to prioritize what is important to say yes to in his daily life. Consequently, he says yes to everything and then our home life ends up bearing the brunt of (1) his absence and (2) his crankiness.
When we got home from the benefit late last Saturday night, HB went directly to bed. He was exhausted and still had another full day ahead on Sunday. I take a bit longer to unwind, so I putted around a bit, took a bath and then crawled into bed at about 2 a.m. I'm just drifting off to sleep when I hear the big dawg rumbling around and around and around on the main floor. I finally go down to investigate. As I hit the bottom step I see it .... thankfully before stepping too much further.... he has the diarrhea. And he has, in his panic, walked around the kitchen, living room, dining room and hall several times.
Did I mention that we have dusty rose carpets in three of those four rooms?
And that it's 2:30 a.m.?
Whatever. I get the cleaning stuff out, put the dawg outside, and spend the next hour on my hands and knees, cleaning up. HB wakes the next morning, wondering why there are wet spots all over the carpets. I explain what happened. The important part of this story is that HB woke up the next morning.
Monday I wake up as sick as a dawg (pun intended) myself. I spent the entire day sleeping, when I wasn't throwing up or trying to down water so I'd at least have something in my system to throw up. Tuesday was a bit better, but I was still not 100%. Clammy, cold, hot, tired, that kind of stuff. At 5:30 Wednesday morning, I'm awoken to the lovely sound of doors slamming, and HB's voice loudly chanting his favourite string of curse words while he bangs around. I bolt out of bed to see what's up.
The dawg has had another rough night.
HB's response? He goes downstairs to the basement and comes up with a paint spackler and bucket. He proceeds to lift up the stuff and fling it into the bucket. Then....
....he sits down and eats his breakfast.
W. T. F.??????????????????
So I, without the least bit of resentment (sarcasm intended) get back on my hands and knees, sick as a dog still, and go back through the rooms scrubbing the carpets again. 50 minutes into it, when there are precisely two stains left, he comes out to help. I couldn't even talk to him I was so pissed. I got up, showered, dressed and went to work. They sent me home because I was still so sick. I came home, called the carpet cleaners and then proceeded to work from home, preparing for a full day workshop I was facilitating on Thursday. I had to stop at about 5 because I had made arrangements for us to take Frodo and Mini-Me to a junior A hockey game here. My friend's son plays and she was making arrangements for the kids to go to the dressing room for an autograph session. I had to go because she had never met HB or the kids, so if I wasn't there, no one would find each other.
Frodo shows up in his usual "the world owes me" mentality, sticking attitude out all over the place. HB is bitching about how this was a good idea at the time, and Mini-Me and are both sick. I'm also thinking about the four hours of work I still have ahead of me to get to the point that I'm ready for the workshop the next day.
I could go on about that night but suffice to say that Frodo was a little jerk all night; HB never corrected him; I hit the point that I just didn't give a shit anymore so that's how the night went. We got home at 11, I came into my office here and worked until 2:30 getting ready for the session the next day.
Still sick on Thursday but no choice about doing this workshop. Which results in my finally losing my voice.
Which wouldn't have been bad except that we had committed to sing for an hour on Friday night. We had made the commitment months ago. HB of course, had forgotten the date, and agreed to take Frodo to his hockey game, 30 minutes out of town. The game started at 7 pm, and we were scheduled to sing at 9 p.m.
When he arrived at the venue at 8:30, kids in tow, I had our guitars and everything set up, but of course .... little problem..... had no freaking voice with which to sing!!! Every time he had called on Friday I would say to him "I'm not going to be able to sing" to which he'd say "drink neo citran...you'll be fine".
So instead he sang...with Frodo hanging inappropriately in his complete neediness, off his shoulder, singing directly into the mic in his totally off key and flat voice. He did a great job of all of the songs, and then tried to do the closing song we had planned. But it was in my key - so he tried to transpose on the spot. And it didn't work.
For the first time since I've known him, he was totally unprofessional. He sang the first verse, got into the refrain, knew it was way off, stopped, unplugged his guitar, took the kids and walked out. Left me there to answer (in my non-voice) the folks that had asked us to play.
They asked me what was up with him, and I just told them to ask him directly - I was not about to try to guess or defend him.
I'm too sick (literally) and tired (figuratively) to even give a shit anymore. I keep thinking back to a comment that Knothead made to me very early on in my relationship with HB. She had called me one night to bitch about him - highly inappropriate but for some reason, the exes always seem to like me and feel comfortable to talk to me - and said "be careful. He was nice to me when I first met him too".
Now even though I know that Knothead and I are night and frigging day, that comment keeps sneaking into my head. He's been so cranky of late, and hard to live with. I see glimpses (when I actually see him) of the man I love, but they are few and far between these days. He falls asleep on the couch. Our love life is non-existant, and although I resent the hell out of not seeing him, I feel guilty for asking for time.
This isn't the way it's meant to be. I know it will pass, and that we will talk it out - we always do - we're way to frigging healthy. But I'm always thankful that I can come here and get the attitude out of my system before I go into those talks with him. It really helps me to frame what I know needs to be said in a way that's not blameful.
But you know what? I'm tired of that too.
I want to yell, scream, throw some shit, blame and get that out of my system.
And I would.
But I have no voice!!!!
Monday, March 06, 2006
I had a friend who was a networker. Sylvia was one of those people who made efforts to draw people together. She was amazing. She died of cancer on September 14, 2004 and I wrote about her in my blog on that day. She was about 17 years older than me, but we had a bond. In fact, she has a daughter who is my age, but it was always the mom that I hung out with - in fact we worked together. There was a group of us that used to spend time together, mostly because we were all working for the same non-profit organization and didn't have the sense to know when to go home. We became family to each other. One of the women became my housemate. I was her maid of honour when she married. Another one was the emcee at my first just-for-a-minute-by-mistake event, and Sylvia gave a toast that I still remember.
After her death, that group came together to organize a benefit in her name. Her greatest wish was that her grandson, who lives with autism, would have a companion dog. That goal was achieved and the dog is now fully integrated into their home.
We swore that we wouldn't let so much time pass without seeing each other again. That was April 2005.
In the midst of all the craziness that's been happening in my life - school, kids, work, HB's struggles - I realized what I was missing.
I was missing my women friends. The ones that I can just hang out with, laugh with, be serious with, cry with, eat with, just be with .... I missed my women friends.
So I emailed the little group. We got together tonight for dinner (amazing greek food), tons of conversation and then went to the an event that I believe every woman should attend at least once in her life. The Vagina Monologues.
If you have one, go be part of an event in your area.
I laughed, cried, sat in awed shock, amazement, cried a bit more and then laughed again.
I'd love to be on the stage next year. We'll see.
Once again, Sylvia reached out and networked among us. Brought us together in a way that only true women friends can be brought together.
Go see it. You won't regret it.
Friday, March 03, 2006
There's been a number of sad situations touch our lives of late. First, a friend disappeared over a month ago now. This is someone that HB knew through music - this guy is an awesome drummer. No word on what's happened to him.
Then just over a week ago, a young woman who was involved with paddling at the same club to which we belong disappeared while paddling in Germany. She was an accomplished paddler, and the whole situation remains completely unexplained. We will participate in a benefit for her family tomorrow evening where HB's band will play. It's a weird thing - benefits. Usually put together for a sad reason, you encourage people to come sing, dance, drink and spend money. It's like having fun because someone's hurting. Weird. But there we'll be.
And in the midst of all the sadness, I'm struck by just how very blessed I am.
We had a rare evening together where we could just get caught up before Frodo and Mini-Me arrived for the evening. They bounded in, fresh from an outdoor hockey game, asking for blankets, pillows and hot chocolate. We obliged, and soon we were all cuddled up watching tv.
As my three guys snore gently in the next room, I send up a prayer of thanks for my blessings. I also send prayers of strength to two other families who are not feeling so blessed this evening.