Cancer updates + grief journey moments

I'm feeling okay. I want to get back to creating. Writing and producing books and music. My brain is still fogged from anesthesia -- I've had three surgeries since summer -- which makes it difficult to focus longer than thirty seconds at a time. I do that thing where I re-read the same paragraph five times in a row before giving up or slowly trucking through.

I was 50,000 words into writing a memoir about the Sandwich Generation when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now I haven't even looked at that memoir because I'm unclear whether I need to trash it all or simply add a third act. 

Grief is still a cloud that follows me around. We moved into my parents' home very slowly, so things like their refrigerator magnets and photographs are decorating our space. Most of the time it's fine, but yesterday I broke down while opening the fridge: a photo of my parents with Motorcycle Joe just did me in. 

It's a photo of them the way I will remember them. The mind chooses an age, and it's not always the age they die. This is my parents, grinning and glowing. Mom is between cancers, but her hair is the glorious crown of ringlets I always knew her with. Dad's bright blue eyes are laughing. Both of my parents are just oozing joy and pride. I saw it and smiled, and then I sobbed because my children didn't get a chance to know their grandparents. 

Grief. It's that ball in the box metaphor, and damn if it didn't just hit the grief button hard. 

Anyway. Basic stuff: how am I?

I'm trying to heal. I'm on my fourth round of antibiotics, and fighting this dumb infection. I've had complications from the past two surgeries, and I'm really frustrating with my plastic surgeon, who seems to not give a crap about me. I am looking to switch surgeons, but I can't even get a second opinion consult with anyone until December 23. It's hard to be rosy-eyed when even your cancer doctors don't care about you. 

The meal train was amazing, and thank you all so much for the gift cards. They've allowed us to order meals, since I'm still unable to cook or do the washing-up. David has been working 12-14 hour days and also doing all the dishes and trying to finish the kitchen renovation that was put on hold because we did demolition in March. I'm hoping to have a kitchen countertop by Valentine's Day, but don't want to put any pressure on poor David. 

I'm excited to have a pantry though. Here's David's handiwork. I'm not even able to paint, so David did it all himself. It used to have an oven and a pile of trash and boots and snacks. Here it is empty and then with a coat of paint and new vinyl floor:

This feels like it'll bring some sense of order to our chaotic life.

I'm grateful to you. I'm grateful for my Patreon community: the people who toss a dollar a month (or five!) to me, which allows me to hire others, to donate money to others, to support my family and my art. I'm grateful beyond measure for the GoFundMe that Jeska started that allowed me to pay my medical bills in a year that I lost my job and got cancer. Thank you for giving me the peace of mind. Losing my job was hard enough, but getting cancer on top of that was ridiculous. Thank you, my beautiful friends. 

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