Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Time

Another Christmas. We got another. I didn't expect it really. I haven't felt so Christmassy this year. We got tickets to see A Christmas Carol, a one man show performed at our church last Friday. It was my idea. I came home from work and didn't feel like going at all, but I did go. I was glad to have gone, to have resisted the inertia. It was a spectacular performance. And two Saturdays ago, the office Christmas party. I had wanted to go, and then I didn't. The new job is good, great even. It takes tremendous amounts of my precious introvert energy to be the new nurse in the new job. It has been 6+ years since I've been new anywhere. I made it through to my 90 day evaluation with the Director of Nursing two days after Christmas. I worked on Christmas Eve morning and got out by 1 pm, just in time to meet Melanoma Man and the boys at the two o'clock service. I arrived early enough to get a great seat where I could watch and hear iMac play Holy Night on flute with an organ accompaniment. iMac has been a little bummed out that I haven't been able to take any extra days off during his winter break. I'm flattered that he misses me at 13 1/2 years old. Yesterday he wanted to go to the movies with me, to see Frozen. It was Disney, animated musical, some conflict, good prevails. A nice tidy package, just what we needed, some assurance, some predictable outcomes. Melanoma Man had an uncharacteristic amount of energy and cooking last week. It reminded me of the good ole days when he cooked every night, grocery shopped and the laundry was done and the homework was done. It all slipped away gradually enough that I had forgotten what it felt like. I didn't get my Christmas cards out this year, got the tree up, but without ornaments, couldn't find my Christmas stocking at all. It was enough, the tree had lights. I am madly in love with my tree because the branches are hinged and fall right into place AND it is pre-lit. The lights are the thing for me, that's where the magic is. I let the kids leave their Christmas toys and games, their blankets and pillows all over the living room floor on Christmas Day. There was no room for this sort of imperfect nonsense in my mother's holidays, events, celebrations. Sometimes I act just like her without meaning to, but not this year.  I didn't make room for perfection, not one bit. It was a mess, a peaceful and joyful mess. We had Christmas dinner at A & K's with 3 of their adult children, a girlfriend, a girlfriend's mother. Likely A's last Christmas here. She will be marrying K and moving back to their hometown this summer. They have known for 45 years, what's the rush?

New Year celebrations and resolutions loom. We spent it at home, which is my idea of a great New Year's. I have no gigantic plans for 2014, no list of fantastic accomplishments from 2013. Just that we made it. We made it this far. Today dear friend Rosemarie asked me if I make resolutions. Hmm. On the spot I decided that in 2014 I am showing up for life, just show up. Easier said than done. Home with MM and boys today, showing up meant letting iMac read Calvin & Hobbes to me out loud over and over and over again. I'm not sure why he thinks this is so much fun, but he does and I don't. At some point I just could NOT show up for this anymore. I watched half of It's a Wonderful Life, which is also a huge showing up victory for me. I aspire to sit through an entire movie at home some day. So. I have amended my resolution to "Show up and Set limits!" That will encompass just about anything. I've been in a creative slump for some months now, since starting the new job. I think I'm coming out of it. I  entered into some kind of a self evaluation/critical mode at work which infected pretty much my whole life and got in the way of writing, scrapbooking, and card making. 

For Melanoma Man there are memory lapses and what I call "filling in the blanks." Filling in the blanks is when Melanoma Man plugs in a word or someone's name because it sounds like it might fit in the story or the sentence, but he can't really remember what is supposed to go there. I roll with it mostly, or supply the missing details if he seems open to it. 

Cha Cha has climbed into Melanoma Man's lap every single night since MM's pre Thanksgiving  hospitalization. It's not clear to me exactly why. The answer at least was not provided by the last set of scans and labs. Next week MM will be back @ Moffitt for routine follow up, no scans so probably not a very informative visit.

Tonight I  arrive home to find MM watching Hunger games with iMac and Butter. Butter has his hands over his face, peeking through. I can tell from his expression and the soundtrack that it will be a late night for this Mama and Butter. He is as tall as his 8th grade brother, but a little more tender. Show up, that's what I'll do. I may end up in his room for the night. But I'm setting limits, I refuse to stay awake to fend off the bad guys that haunt us. I will sleep.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Good News for Christmas

Christmas came early. After 2 days of scans, labs, and doctors, the verdict is : NO new tumors. I feel as though I could curl up in bed for a long victory nap, say 2-3 days of napping. I know most people take a victory lap, but I've always been partial to napping. That's why Melanoma Man calls me "the Snooze Queen." Good to be Queen of something. Well off to bed for me, because although I dream of napping for 3 consecutive days, in reality I'll get up at 5 tomorrow to start the day and then off to work.

Monday, December 2, 2013

What to do at a time like this?

Well here we are again. Another night before Moffitt and all through the house all of our creatures are stirring. We are all a little antsy here. Seems like a good time to listen to some country music, which I don't ordinarily listen to. I heard this song by Brandy Clark on the radio on my way to North Carolina for Thanksgiving. I liked it. Maybe you will too.

Pray to Jesus by Brandy Clark

Tomorrow and the next day Melanoma Man will get CT Scans, MRI, labs, EKG performed. He will see his oncologist, radiation oncologist, neurosurgeon. We'll find out if we get another "Get out of Jail Free" pass for 2 more months.