Speaking In My Skull
(A new blog segment)
May 21, 2018
I am adding this new segment to my blog. It will appear periodically.
Here is where I’ll share questions, comments, fears, experiences, moments of self-examination, embarrassing episodes, realizations, and whatnot.
While on our way to have dinner at a Japanese restaurant we go to every Sunday night, I realized how much dialogue goes on inside my head; in my skull.
At the time, almost everything that I talk about is mainly to myself; for reasons I feel are best for those individuals I care about.
But, I can’t keep those thoughts all bottled up; I understand I must release them somehow and putting “pen to paper” has always been the most fulfilling method.
These thoughts will, for the most part, be at random and jumbled – because that is how they are bumping around inside my head, as I sample them singularly or all together.
I’m guessing this first “Speaking In My Skull” session will be the longest, as I’m spilling out a bunch of stuff all at once. Other segments should be shorter.
Think of it as if I had taken all this stuff bouncing around in my skull, shook it up, and poured them out on a TV dinner tray. Remember those? They were usually metal or wood and it is what your parents would pull out whenever guests were over for a holiday, and there wasn’t enough room at the tables for everyone to be seated. Also, the kids usually ended up with TV trays, too. But it was cool – you might get a spot closer to the TV that way.
Anyway, TV tables being what they are; small and often slippery, some of the stuff tipped out onto the tray may fall off; to be found after everyone has gone home. So, those pieces will in all likelihood, be scooped up and tossed the in trash. That’s okay; they’ll pop up later, in a Speaking In My Skull Session again.
Well, “Dilly, Dilly” here we go… in no particular order:
- What do the employees at the doctors’ offices, the hospital, and in the labs think of patients who have been diagnosed with a “terminal disease?” Do they feel time and money is wasted on the “dying” when it could be better put to use on the living?
- How do other people, in similar circumstances to mine, see themselves, from the inside–looking out?
- How much longer do I have? HOW MUCH LONGER DO I HAVE?
- I sometimes see myself as the “Walking Dead,” “Dead Woman Walking,” and wonder if that is a selfish perception?
- What will it be like, near the end? I don’t want anyone to have to take care of me. I don’t want to languish in hospice care or in the hospital. I don’t want to be an invalid, incapable of doing for myself.
- How will my husband move on, after I go?
- What thoughts is my husband thinking, feeling, sheltering – living with, with me?
- What do my family, my friends, people I come in contact with – the medical community personnel, see, when they are with me or think about me? Are they in a state of denial? Are they uncomfortable? Are they jaded?
- Which of my loved ones are reading my blog? I know if it were me, and someone I loved and cared about had a blog, without question, I’d be reading all of it! If I didn’t read it, how would that be supporting the person I cared about?
- How shall I get past this current depressive state I’m in? I can’t even see past it…
- On the flip-side – Why do I feel like life is normal; like it used to be, before? What is making it possible for me to live in the moment, blind to the reality of my situation? And how can I make each day like this?
- I am playing at being normal; like a woman, acting in a role. Or a performer in a nightmare. I have no desire to “act,” I want it to be real – I want to be normal; my life to be normal. –Roller coaster–Then again, at times, being that actress, seems like the most natural thing in the world; would that I could play that part forever. 🙃
- At night, when I bring my dogs in from their potty break and their fur smells like campfires from the wood smoke carried on the night air from neighbors’ fireplaces in the dead of winter… Will I be able to breathe in that wonderful smell in their soft fur again, come next winter?
- How long will I have to enjoy this new home we bought a year and a half ago? I had thought to grow old in this house…
- What holiday may be my last one? What family gathering, the last one?
- Will I get my car paid off? Will we get our synthetic lawn paid off?
- Shall I be able to find out what happened in one of my favorite TV shows when it returns for its next new season? Will I be able to see a movie that I’ve seen previews for and want very much to see, when it’s to be released months from now? Will I get to read the sequel to a series of books I’m thoroughly enjoying? Will I be taking my mother to that Willie Nelson concert in August for which I bought tickets months in advance, for her Mother’s Day present?
- My “old self,” the me that I am used to, is gone forever. I am now face-to-face with a different me. The new me cannot operate in that mind which I thought, lived in and felt of as normal. I keep wanting to go back, but I’m unable. And the new mind is somewhat unbalanced; probably never to be fully sane: How could it be, confronting the bewildered, recently created new self?
- Will I get to see my Golden Retriever in his full glory? With his big boy fur grown in; long and luxurious. With his bright, intelligent eyes full of wonder and happiness with each new quest.
- Will I ever go camping at Sunset Beach or Yosemite again? For differing reasons, we have not been to either place in 2 or 3 years. I MISS IT, SO MUCH!
- We have reservations and tickets purchased for our annual trip to Disneyland and I wonder how much strength and stamina I will have? How much different will this experience be from all the other trips we’ve had?
- Sometimes I am so scared, and I want more than anything to be able to share that with someone, with no fear of injuring them with my thoughts. Like a child who can go to his/her parent and tell them; and their parent will make it all right.
- I’d like go to bed at night, at a decent hour too, and not be haunted by a succession of dark and dreary thoughts, fears and questions. Why can’t I?
- Will I be missed? Does it matter?
- I had thought to grow old with my Furkin (furry family members) – How much time do we have together?
- Ideally, I would be able to give IT ALL TO THE LORD, and be at peace that no matter the pathway I am to proceed on, He will be my guide and protector. But I am only human and that kind of ideally comes pretty near to perfection in my eyes, which is not easily attained. It is a struggle, made smoother by faith and blind obedience which is not always easy for we humans to attain. At least not for me…
- And so very important to me: Will my Furkin be loved, cherished, well taken care of, and happy after I’m gone? Will my spouse be able to give them all I want them to have, all they deserve to have? Will I be able to “visit” them here, while they are living out their lives on Earth? I want so dearly not to ever leave them. I hope God will allow me to drop by and be with them.
Thus spaketh the skull; enough for now!
Entry Fifty One
May 21, 2018
A Portion of Heaven
When I got this, now, eleven pound furboy, he was three months old and designated as being a “special need” pup at the shelter. His “special need” – blind in one eye. I already have a one-eyed dog and love him dearly. He gets around just fine and never bemoans not having that other eye; so I didn’t hesitate getting another one-eyed dog. This pup was so absolutely lovable, adorable, and sweet – I fell in love with him as soon as I saw him.
Periodically, I take things to the shelter to donate – items they are in need of for the dogs and cats there up for adoption. Each time I visit, I have a look around at all the residents awaiting their new forever homes. During one of these visits, I saw these charming puppies. If memory serves, there were three tan pups with black markings and three black pups with tan marking. All of the pups had big ears and charming faces. Another of the black pups was also labeled as “special need” as she, too, was blind in one eye.
Whenever you adopt your forever dog from this particular shelter, they provide free “wellness” checks with listed vets. My vet just happened to be on the list for “wellness” checks. I took my new pup in the same day I adopted him. She had one look at his “good eye” and proclaimed that he was blind in both eyes. My immediate concern was that I would not be a good enough mother to a totally blind pup. I need not have worried, as within one hour of his being home and meeting his furry siblings – he fit in like he was chosen especially for our home – which I believe he was, of course. He quickly adjusted to his new surroundings and a person would never know he is blind, unless you study him closely.
For the longest time, it seemed he hardly grew at all. He was a long, big eared pup; with the silkiest coat. He was like a slinky with fur. But, in a sudden growth spurt, his legs grew long, his muzzle lengthened, his body grew even longer, and he finally grew into those big ears. And a sweeter soul I have never known in a dog, ever.
He is the kind of dog who wants to be close to his human, especially when he is resting or sleeping. When it is bedtime, he will follow right on my heels, jumping and reaching up on my legs, sticking to me, as I head to bed. He does this, I think, because he does not wish to lose “sight” of me and he wants to let me know he is ready, too, to hit the sack.
As I settle down, he, too, settles in for the night. Before “sleep” time, he must give me numerous kisses until he feels he has let me know how much he loves me and how glad he is to be snuggling next to me at bedtime. Lastly, he gives himself a bit of a bath, then nudges and paws and noses and moves until he is securely up against me. He also prefers to be covered up with the blanket.
Now, the sweetest thing happens… just before he drifts off, as he is settling next to me, he gives a big comfortable sounding sigh. Often, his soft muzzle is up against my neck and when he sighs, I feel the warmth of his breath. As he continues to drift deeper into sleep, I feel his warm exhalations on my skin and it is such a calming, sweet balm. I often reach down and stroke his silky fur and feel such a blessing. He is my Portion of Heaven. I love him!
His warm presence against my body, is a shield, from my reality. My Mister Magic
May 23, 2018
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night, and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.” Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars.” “What does that tell you?” Holmes asked. Watson pondered for a minute. “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all-powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?” Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke. “Watson, you idiot. Somebody has stolen our tent!”
May 31, 2018
I’ve stopped taking Carnivora and I have noticed an increase in my strength and stamina. Today I took my Golden Retriever over to the flood control basin across from where my mother lives. She and her Black Lab joined us, and I experienced energy and strength I haven’t felt since the last time we went to the basin. YAY! Dilly dilly! 😁
I was using Carnivora in hopes that it would work in conjunction with the cancer drugs, as it functions similarly – however, the seemingly bottomless pit my strength and stamina fell to seems to be the consequence of using Carnivora.
So, I’m going to see what happens with my test results after removing Carnivora from my medicine intake. I am praying my cancer drugs will remain as effective in working to keep the MBC from spreading as they were when I was taking Carnivora. We shall see…
Entry Fifty Two
June 4, 2018
Today, I did my monthly blood test labs. I also picked up a couple of prescriptions, one for a sinus infection kinda bug I’ve had going for a few weeks now. I also saw my oncologist. As well as talking about how I’m doing, feeling, dealing with everything, I told her about how I’m having more difficulty breathing through my nose. I told her how I had seen an ENT specialist in the past, what he said and how it was left untreated.
I have had trouble with my sinuses since childhood. Just before my second BC diagnosis, I saw an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist about the impairments incurred from the parathyroid surgery to my vocal cords, and the resulting loss of my voice, and my difficulties breathing and swallowing. When addressing those specific issues, I had him look at my nose, due to the problems I have had most of my life being a “mouth-breather.”
He stated I had a deviated septum and that he would do the surgery to correct it, after he dealt with the damage from the earlier parathyroid surgery.
But, after I had the nuclear test for the parathyroid disease, they found the breast cancer had returned in the lymph node located in my chest, next to my heart, under my sternum and that became the primary medical focus.
After I had radiation and chemo for the cancer, and had left my place of employment, I switched to my spouse’s medical insurance; leaving the deviated septum untreated. So my oncologist secured an appointment for me to see an ENT doctor this coming Wednesday afternoon. I’m curious to find out what he’ll say.
Entry Fifty Two & One Half
Do you know what I wondered about and was afraid to ask, but decided to question it anyway?
If you have metastatic cancer and you need certain treatment, or surgery (e.g. knee replacement, hip replacement, heart surgery, or any kind of life-saving surgery) – Are there are surgeons out there who will refuse to operate on a patient with metastatic cancer?
Some may operate after they have asked the patient’s oncologist “How long does your patient have to live?” If the doctor says two years or more, some surgeons will consent to operate.
A part of me feared to know this, to even suspect it might be true.
I am horrified to find this out. DOESN’T THAT VIOLATE A DOCTOR’S HIPPOCRATIC OATH? I am appalled! It seems to me they are opening themselves up to HUGE law suits for withholding medical services.
What if a non-metastatic patient they perform surgery on gets hit by a car and killed that same month following surgery? What about the individual who has just “mass murdered” a number of people and during the melee was shot by law enforcement officers and he/she now requires surgery? Can the surgeon refuse to render medical assistance? NO!
What about the person with a different potentially life-ending disease or condition, or a person with an incurable condition or disease that will cause their death – are they also denied surgery? Are they also refused medical assistance? Why the silence and secrecy? Why is there not an uproar around this situation? Who’s to say that somewhere down the line, a new drug might be created that will extend the life of a metastatic cancer patient – or may even cure them? But in the interim, a doctor refused to perform a surgery that would greatly benefit the quality of their life; or have aided in their healing… kept them living when that potentially new cancer drug is created that will make all the difference. I am just baffled!
Inmates in State and Federal prisons – many with a death sentence, are still proffered medical assistance and surgery for any and all medical needs. Why would it be different for a civilian with metastatic cancer?
If a patient with metastatic cancer needs non-surgical services, can and do doctors refuse to give it? Knowing doctors can refuse to provide services to metastatic cancer patients puts us in a type of prison, doesn’t it? We are already prisoners in bodies that are betraying us. Prisoners of our diagnosis – and a harshly altered reality. And, now I find, prisoners in a society that may and can refuse us medical help. Disturbing…..