Today is Thanksgiving and so I am jumping on the bandwagon of talking about what I am thankful for. It only seems appropriate.  This year has been a challenging one for myself and my family. Sometimes it’s hard to look for the silver lining. It can be difficult to see our blessings when weighted down with sorrow. Still, there is a lot I have to be thankful for.

I am thankful that I made the decision to move in with my Gram. She was able to spend her 93 years on earth in her own home, a home she loved, and a home I am now buying. We shared a lot of laughs, some shouting, and several frustrations but I have so many memories of her that I would not have had otherwise. Like her singing, “I’m Just a Gigolo,” at two in the morning, while sitting on the toilet. It was usually followed by her own song, “God Bless My Family,” when she would sing out all of our names, including, “that boy who comes over,” since she couldn’t always remember the name Brian.

I am thankful for an amazing family. This year we’ve had several health scares with Grams, a few with my Uncle John, and we all stick together. It’s good knowing none of us are in this alone. There are certainly better ways to spend our time together than evenings in the emergency room waiting area but at least we keep each other’s spirits up and make it interesting. Despite all we’ve been through, my family has even found the time and energy to help me with changing up the house.

I am thankful for truly amazing friends. They say that you know a true friend based on who is there for you when the chips are down. I can gratefully report I have a set of true friends. More than most perhaps. I am a very lucky woman. From offers to sit with me in the hospital, to sending flowers, to lending an ear. I am very blessed.

I am thankful for the two little furballs that live with me. Dane and Frankie have been a tremendous source of joy in all of our lives. They keep us laughing with their antics and they are the best snuggle partners. After Gram died, I think I would have lost my sanity if it weren’t for them. Having them to take care of and focus on made all the difference in the world.

I am thankful for my job. I can’t talk about it much but they have been so amazing, understanding, and compassionate during all this stressful stuff. It’s also a great joy to be doing work I love.

I am thankful for this blog. Since I’ve worked to be a little bit more active I’ve also been more active in reading and I’m finding some blogs I really enjoy. I’m not much for reading the paper but reading blogs has become a bit of a pastime for me.

I am thankful that I have to wrap this blog entry up because I have things to do.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Pity Party

Today I am having a pity party. Maybe not the whole day but while I sit here staring at a white page with black letters, the thoughts that need to pour out of me are less than positive. I need to rid myself of them. I need to let the negative out because inside, I am drowning.

Those that know me in the realm called real life know I’ve had a lot going on. Not all of them know how far back this insanity goes. Those of you casually reading this page that perhaps don’t know me at all, know none of it. For the sake of my sanity and healing or attempts thereof, I need to whine. I need to feel bad for a moment. If I exhaust myself with my reality then perhaps I can start a new one. Move past where I am currently.

This story starts about three years ago. My Aunt Marianne fell ill very suddenly. Her health hadn’t been great in years. Too many fad diets, too much neglect. It takes a toll. However when we got the call that after a routine test she was now in a medically induced coma, we were shocked. A few days later they pulled her out of the coma. Then came the triple bypass. She seemed to be doing well. She was improving. I flew out of state twice to see her. Then, about two weeks after her release from the hospital, she passed away. We were shocked. We were distraught. What had gone wrong? Too many blood thinners and not being monitored close enough. Clear warning signs that she chose to ignore until it was too late. I was not prepared to lose my aunt. That was November.

In March, her grandson, my cousin, was diagnosed with cancer. He was just a kid. Several tense months, lots of treatments, follow ups,etc and he was thankfully cured.

I think the next medical crisis was a cancer scare with my Aunt Nancy. Thankfully, it was a scare. Nothing more. But it takes time to find that out so for a week or two (and right around Christmas) we were all on pins and needles waiting to hear the news.

Then it was my Uncle John. Several years back he had prostate cancer. Surgery. He was cured! Then a year ago they found a mass on his pancreas. His genius doctors (and him) chose the wait and see approach. A mass on the pancreas. Let’s not go in and remove that sucker. No, we’ll give it six months and reevaluate. I tried to stay peaceful during that time. It was difficult.

Six months later, the mass had of course grown. So surgery again. It was precancerous. One mass and half a pancreas removal later he was cured!

This past September my great Aunt Mickey passed away. Two weeks later my grandmother passed away. A month after that my Uncle John is back in the hospital. He was turning yellow, itchy, and having pains in his stomach. The mass is back. Although after nearly two weeks in the hospital the doctors can’t make up their minds whether or not he has cancer. One says yes, the other says no. Another says its not normal biopsy results but it isn’t cancer.

Add to this my dog getting sick. He’s lost a pound (which with a small dog is cause for concern). He shakes and sits in the corner like a beaten puppy. He is out of character. One slightly expensive vet appointment later, medically he is all cleared. Pain meds, pepcid, and lots of love.

All of this has been hell on my anxiety. Yes, I feel weak for the fact it is affecting me the way it is. It’s definitely getting to me. My anxiety is so elevated that I am physically uncomfortable. I had to call in to work the other day. I was a mess. Three magic pills later and trip to my doc I felt a little better.

A few days later…

I’m feeling a little better, a little stronger. Some stressors are being removed from my plate, one by one. For one thing my little guy is acting about 95% normal now. Which makes me crazy happy. I was scared I was going to have to say goodbye to him. Thanks to a few phone calls by the right people, my Uncle will be seen by an amazing doc for another opinion. I don’t care for his so this makes me happy and hopeful. My anxiety is perhaps coming down… God I hope so. I’ve also done some research into an intermittent leave of absence from work. So on the days that my anxiety gets the best of me, I won’t have to worry about it affecting my employment. Things are slowly coming together. Not fast enough for my impatient self but I will take what I can get.

In the mean time, I’m working on changing up the house. Painting, decorating, things like that. It’s item for a fresh start. For all of us. This old house included.