This is Cancer

It took a good man.  A big, strong, solid, vibrant, loving man.

It took him, and knocked the wind out of his sails.  Drained his big, strong, solid, vibrant, loving body and weakened it, day by slow, excruciating day.

Took his pride.  Took his feelings.  Took his hopes and wishes away, and left him hollow.

With skeletal eyes, it made him gaze at me.  Causing constant pain, it led him to hold my hand and say nothing.

A beautiful man was taken out.

A man that was loved and was loving.

Pancreatic cancer grows, like a silence.

A death sentence that makes no sense.

A sentence that took away a whole book of a life.

This is cancer.

Waiting for the Dead to Talk

Everybody’s telling me to wait for signs from Rob.

“He’s there, he’s guiding you, his spirit is watching over you, he’ll give you a sign…”

One friend, only a week or two after Rob passed, told me that he hugged her.  I wanted to ask her why he would hug her first, and not me, but I didn’t have the nerve.

I shared with friends that a hummingbird came and hovered over Rob’s red impatiens last month.  Someone told me it was Rob himself, coming to visit me and cheer me.  I said, “Rob was not a hummingbird.  He was a hawk, or an eagle.  He was not a hummingbird.”

I talk to Rob all the time, but I get no answers.  I don’t even get the sense that he’s there listening.

Someone told me to pay more attention to my dreams, that perhaps Rob can only visit me in dreams.

Thursday night I had the most vivid dream ever, but in my dream I was sitting on a couch with Hillary Clinton and asking her why she feels entitled to the White House.  I made the mistake of calling her “Mrs. Clinton” and she made very clear to me that I should address her as “Madame Secretary” before telling me that it’s not for me to second guess her motives nor deny her her place in herstory.

Rob was nowhere in sight, in this dream, nor has he been anywhere but in photographs, lately.

 

 

Harry Houdini wanted desperately to reach out to his mother’s departed spirit.  So much so that he apparently visited each and every so called medium in an effort to have his mother visit earth after she passed.  Harry ended up exposing each and every so called medium as a fraud.

I’ve come to the conclusion that once a person is dead, they are really and truly dead.

Perhaps that’s the way they want it.

Perhaps it’s what we should let them have.

Pure quiet, and peace.

Cancer Like a Silence

On May 17, Rob called me at work and said, “I’m at the hospital.  I checked myself into the ER this morning because I was doubled over in pain.  They did an MRI and they told me I have a mass on my pancreas, and more spots on my liver, but they’re sending me home.”

I left work and met him at his cabin.  He was waiting for me on the front porch.  I sat down with him, and his first words to me were, “I don’t want to die.”

By the first week of June, I was spending every night with him.  He wasn’t able to sleep due to hours-long bouts of hiccups, and he was afraid he’d stop breathing in the middle of the night.  My cats were home alone in my house, so I’d leave work every night and go home to feed them dinner and check their water bowl and litter box, then race over to Rob’s to spend the night.

I tried to make him fattening dinners…a lot of pasta, quiche, vegetables, soup, breads.  Most nights he’d take a few bites and then ask for an Ensure.  Other nights, he’d eat almost half the plate but then vomit it up before asking for Ensure.

He went from 179 lbs to 130 in two months.  He stopped showering because he couldn’t stand seeing his body anymore.  His skin was jaundiced, his muscles were gone, and he looked like a victim from Auschwitz.

I held him anyway.  I stroked his back, his shoulders, his arms, his legs.  I tried to find the old Rob in the new Rob.  I took him on long drives in the car on my days off, just to get him off the couch and out into the air.  Give him scenery, a change of pace.  He’d put on his sunglasses and lean the passenger-side seat back and look out the window and wave to people.  He’d squeeze my hand and say, “Thank you.”

He died at 57 because he was afraid to see the doctor each year.  He thought he was healthy as a horse and had no need for annual checkups.  When the pain started in his midsection last year, he thought perhaps it was an ulcer but he feared all the tests he’d have to go through.  So he kept putting off a physical.

That week in May, after he went to the ER, he handed me seven pages of blood test results.  I found the flagged items and googled ALT, ALP, AST, and started sobbing.  It was already too late.

But the oncologist told us that he’d get stronger after a few doses of chemo…the gastroenterologists told us they could help unblock the blockage…the surgeon told us that the port-a-cath would make Rob’s life easier…his primary care physician told us that his meds could help the pain…

Rob is gone but the bills keep coming to his mailbox, all of them from the oncologist, the gastroenterologists, the surgeon and the primary care physician.  They all knew he was dying…now they want to collect, the bastards.

Cancer is silent until it grows.

Pan Can, Can You Do the Pan Can?

Well.

So Rob and I are back together again.

I’m caregiver, he’s patient.  He’s very, very patient.

In May of this year, he suddenly started suffering stomach and back pain, along with constipation, and he ended up in the emergency room around May 17.  After an MRI showed a mass on his pancreas, he had an appointment with his (rather useless) primary care physician who administered lots of pain drugs but no tests for a month.

I think I wrote, last month, that he was scheduled for a biopsy.  Biopsy was done on June 23 and still no cancer care until almost another month later, when we were finally introduced to an oncologist who is now Rob’s primary care guy.  Not a moment too soon, oy.  Since then, several tests have been done, he’s got a gastroenterologist, a physical therapist, chemo…

And here we are.  I’m not able to get online much, because I’ve been spending every night at Rob’s cabin, about four miles away from our house.  He has no internet there.  His rent is no longer affordable, with disability payments alone, so he’s moving back in with me in our house next week.

Meantime, he started chemo this week – very aggressive stuff, but that’s the way we like it.  I am determined to see him back on his Harley by autumn.

Are you with me?

I’m gonna blog when I can, with updates, rants, prayers, tears, and hopefully nothing worse.

Meantime, I’m joining the Green Party and voting for Jill Stein.  The Democratic Party is shit, in my eyes.  That’s all I will say about politics.

I’m here for the fun, and the not fun.  I’m not here to talk about how wonderful Hillary Clinton is.  Oy.

 

Awaiting Bad News

I am, as the title says, awaiting bad news.

I am signed up for Bernie Sanders’ announcement to his supporters this coming Thursday night, June 16, and my ex-boyfriend but still friend is awaiting a liver biopsy.

I am awaiting bad news all around, and I am sort of resigned to it.  And sort of not.

How to deal with the fact that our country’s political system is due to undergo more corruption and or other nightmarish hell thanks to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.  No chance of Bernie saving the day, anymore.

How to deal with the fact that the man I had hoped to marry, but didn’t, might be back under my roof soon in order for me to give him the care he would otherwise have at a hospice?  How to deal with the fact that I had thought we were over and could just be friends, but that was when I thought he’d be hanging around in my life for years and years, as a good buddy, and not possibly suffering pancreatic cancer of the pancreas and liver.

How to deal with the fact that, as much as I know life is unpredictable and things don’t always go smoothly, this year is turning out to be the suckiest, fuckiest year ever, and I don’t mean that in a good, fun, sexual way.

I hate bad news.  I hate news, in general.  Especially mainstream media news that is broadcast by firms who are already bought and sold by the lobbyists and corporations that own our politicians.

I hate awaiting bad news.  I hate waiting.

But I love you all, and wish you peace, as I wait.

I await the news.

 

Apricot Turkey With Bourbon and Pecans

Trkingmomoe's Blog

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You are in for a treat.  The original recipe called for chicken breasts. I had some turkey fillet breast meat in the freezer and wanted to do something really nice with it. I was so appreciated to have been given the frozen meat in my food pantry box. Normally it is something I would not have the money to buy.  I spent time in my cook books having a food adventure trying to find a recipe that I could make with what I had on hand that would be elegant. There was enough meat for two meals so I partially thawed it out and split the package. What I didn’t need was returned to the freezer for another food adventure in a few weeks.

Rice and peas seemed like a nice complement to this main entree.  I had a box of instant brown rice and just followed the directions for…

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