Friendship is hard

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I have this friend. I met her at work about five years ago. She’s been with me through some serious shit, but being her friend is difficult, to put it mildly. She tells me that she needs a friend, we make plans, and then she cancels. This has happened more than once.
There is no “typical” when it comes to depression, but I would hazard a guess that her case would pretty much be  textbook. She’s manic with social anxiety, and that, if you’ve never been around it, is a stressful person to be around. She also has a tendency to laugh maniacally while saying that she’s not depressed. It’s quite obvious to those around her, yet she continually denies it.
I’ve tried to be there for her, but I have my own struggles with depression, and I am an emotional empath. I tend to take on other’s pain and mirror them. This is great for them, because they feel like I really understand them. Not so great for me, because not only do I understand them, but I also have to find a way to claw myself up from their abyss.
I don’t have a friend like me. I tend to be drawn to those who are damaged, and damaged people are usually very self involved. I don’t mind being there for the people I love, but sometimes I would like to have a conversation that is not one sided. Sometimes, I would like a friend to ask how I’ve been, and call me on my bullshit when I say, “Fine”. One day, I’d like to be able to listen to a friend’s problems, and when it’s my turn, they pay attention and not just stare blankly until it’s their turn to talk again. I don’t think that’s asking for too much.

Pet Peeves

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I’m a bit of a curmudgeon, so I have a lot of pet peeves.

1. We all make mistakes. Humans, by nature, are NOT infallible. Please, for the love of all that’s good and right in the world, proofread. Nothing makes me want to stop reading a blog faster than someone too lazy or quick on the draw to hit that send button before making sure they’re using the right “their” over there!!!!

2. Eating like a cow chewing cud is a big negative in my house. As appealing as your dinner looks on your plate, I don’t need to see it being masticated. Also, please trust me when I say, anything you need to say to me can wait until you’ve swallowed that bite.

3. People who just post a “news” story without researching it. This happens on social media A LOT!! Seriously, ma! I don’t think Channing Tatum died in a freak skiing accident (damn it all to hell!). No, Facebook is not going to close your account if you don’t post that stupid legal notice.

4. OPMs aka. Other People’s Monsters.  My children are not the best behaved. I admit that. They ARE NOT the ones in a restaurant screaming at the top of their lungs, or running between the tables. They ARE NOT the ones in a movie theater that will just not shut up. I know you think it’s just darling that little Susie asks you a million questions about whyistheboybeingmeantothegirl and whydoesthegirlstilllovetheboy and whydoesthebutteronthepopcorncomeoutsoyellow and whycan’tihavecandy and whydoesthesodamakemytummyhurt and whyisthatladytellingmeshhhhhhhuuush and ireallyreallyreallyneedtopee and MOMMYINEEDTOGOPOTTYRIGHTNOW!!!, but the other members of the audience who also paid good money to see this movie, absolutely do not think it’s cute.

5. Drivers who wait until the last-minute to switch into a turn lane. You’ve driven the same route for a year now. You know that the middle lane is not for turning, yet you wait at the red light while all of us lowly, non-Lexus drivers wait in the correct lanes, and then when the light turns green, BOOM! cut us off. Here’s a little clue. Your Lexus is just an overpriced Toyota. Your Infinity is just a high-end Nissan. You are no better than me! Stop cutting me off!!!

Oh my gosh! My lists could go on forever, but I don’t want to bore you to death. Suffice it to say, I am the equivalent of the old man shouting “STAY OFF MY LAWN!!!” at all the elementary kids getting out of school.

Seriously. I’ve done it, already.

Mawwage

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How does one go from a loving embrace to wanting to throat punch someone within a few hours?

Be married to my husband.

He’s a good man, a hard worker, a great friend, BUT if he doesn’t drop the bass from his voice when speaking to me soon, he’s going to be no more.

We have been married for almost 13 years, and we’ve been a couple for 15. Ups and downs like any healthy relationship (with a few misdeeds on both of our parts). We have two beautiful, if not conscientious children.

We have different parenting styles. I prefer to nip the behavior(s) in the bud, while he has an “I’m laid back until you annoy me to the point of exploding” approach. Homework in our house is a Sisyphean effort. I tackle the reading, writing, social studies, and projects. He warily approaches fifth grade math. It may seem like an unfair division, but as I’ve said before….many, many times….I don’t math.

The problem with this is simple. The mister works all day, and gets home usually between 6 and 7 p.m. He works in a field where he’s surrounded by whiners all day, so to come home and be bombarded with questions about fractions, decimals, and why the hell any of this is important can be a tad overwhelming to him. This in no way gives him permission to come at me like a spider monkey when I suggest the Prince take his questions to his teacher tomorrow, seeing as how the mister can’t seem to answer a question without a condescending tone. I get it. The boy is a bit of an asshole. He puts off work until the last minute, then expects to be saved. He comes by it naturally. Both his father and I do the same. Damn. Thing.

This has been therapeutic. My pimp hand isn’t twitching half as bad. Now to go listen to some Drowning Pool…

Day 21: What you hope your future will be like…

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I have to admit, I didn’t want to write this prompt, because it actually said, “How you hope your future will be like” and it made me cringe.

I hope that my future is full of the right choices. I hope my future is long and steady. I hope my future is made of righteous decisions. I hope I’m able to help plan my daughter’s wedding, and dislike my daughter in law because she’s not good enough for my son.

None of us are promised tomorrow, so I hope that my future is devoid of regret. I hope that I can show my children how much I love them, and that they’ll understand that everything I’ve done had been in their best interest.

I hope that I have a long, meaningful future.

Even more cancerific caringbridge posts (originally written 2011)

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Bada bing, bada boom!

Where to start, where to start?  I had my radical hysterectomy on Monday, and everything went very well.  After a fabulous overnight stay at the luxurious St. David North Medical Center, I checked myself out, so that I could come back to Chez Marquez.

The service here can not be beat!  I would say this is definitely a 5 star establishment, and the help is unbelievable!  My mom and dad, my friends Kellie, Hector, Debbie and Katrina, and my Aunts Leila and Sandy have all been A-MAZING!  My children have been awesome, and that is not the narcotics talking.  My husband, in his own way, has been very caring and loving(he thinks he’s funny at times, but that’s ok).
Tuesday, before checking out the doctor came in to let me know that they were waiting for the pathology report. He said that he had good margins, and once the pathology reports came in at the end of the week, we would schedule our next steps, namely chemo and/or radiation.
After a grueling week with a catheter, I was able to go in today to have it removed:)  Big yay for me!  Also, the reports came in, and I am happy to let you all know that my margins were clear, and all of the lymph nodes they removed came back negative!!!  He also said that he has never seen or heard of a case of small cell carcinoma that was contained in one area!  Now, I may not know exactly what this all means. Margins and such confuse me, but I do know that this is excellent news.  I am pretty sure this means that I will not have to go through radiation, which is a huge relief.
Now, as to what this means to me personally.  I have found out that it absolutely pays off to be a good person.  I would lay my life down for my friends and family, and if there was any doubt on my part as to whether the reverse were true(there wasn’t), this would have gotten rid of it!  My faith has grown in leaps and bounds!  I am a true believer in God and all of His miracles.  The power of prayer is a real thing, and to those that don’t believe, I will testify!  Please, take a moment, if you haven’t, to look up small cell cervical carcinoma. Very rare, very aggressive, and very scary when looking for a prognosis. I’ve been told by several people, on several occasions that they have put me on their prayer list, or that they were praying for me.  There have been people who confessed that they have not been very prayerful, but even they have sent up one or two.  My past few nights have not been the most restful, but to wake up to a warm sensation radiating from my chest, and KNOWING that it is everyone’s prayers, humbles me and affirms my belief in Christ.
My dear friends, this is not the end of my battle.  I will still need to go through the rest of my treatment, but as long as I have all of you beside me, I know that everything will be fine.  Thank you to all who have been there for me physically.  Thank you to all who have been there for me in heart, mind, and spirit.  Thank you to all who chose not to be there for me, because you allowed me to see who my true friends are.
Keep the prayers coming, and I promise to keep the faith!
…If God is for us, who can be against us? – Romans 8:31

The waiting is the hardest part.

It has been one whole week since I have been home from the hospital.  I am healing well, and the pain has lessened to a burning sensation when I stretch too far.  I can’t drive for 2 weeks.  I am not allowed to pick anything up over 10 pounds for 6 weeks…which means I can’t even vacuum. I have already had a few bad days.  It’s depressing when you are used to being a strong, independent person, and you have to now rely on other people.

I don’t want to sound like an ungrateful brat, because I really do appreciate everything people have done for me, but it’s hard for me to ask for/accept help of any kind.  My mother is amazing, and I depend on her so much.  My friends have shown incomparable kindness.  We have a fully stocked freezer with foods kids love due to one couple’s thoughtfulness.  Another friend, who owns a cleaning company, has generously offered to do our laundry until the completion of my treatments.  Another friend graciously offered to watch my children, so that my husband could go to work. I have not had to cook since being back, because if my mother isn’t here, another family member is bringing food.  It has all been so wonderful, and so overwhelming at the same time.  It makes me laugh when someone leaves the house, and makes me promise, PROMISE to call if there’s anything I need.  They all know that I’m not going to, but they also want to let me know that they know.
Pity…party of 1, your table is ready.  I want to hurry up and start the next step, because if I can do that, I can hurry up and get well.  It’s also a control issue, and I totally get that.  My life is chaos right now.  It’s disordered, helter skelter, turbulent even. I’m used to being able to get the kids ready, and go for a ride somewhere, at least.  We are all trapped in this house, and we are all getting tired of each other.  I snap at my husband, and accuse him of wanting to leave me.  I cry at the drop of a hat.  I read stories of women who are going through, or have gone through this kind of cancer, and sometimes it is not too hopeful.  One of the ladies contacted me, and I told her that I was doing well, but I felt, sometimes, that I was never going to be rid of this because God was not finished.  She told me that God is not who makes us sick, the devil is.  I had to explain that I knew God didn’t make us sick, but he allows things to be done to us, so He can do things through us.  If He can use us as His voice, believe that He will.  I know that I am up for the challenge, but it all comes down to fear for my family.  Sure, they will be alright without me.  I just don’t want them to have to find out for sure.  Control issue, again.
I’m praying, and allowing myself to be prayed for.  I’m trying to give the controls over to someone who knows better.  I’m trying to be selfish, and let people know when I need something.  I. Am. Trying. To. Survive.
Keep the prayers coming, and I will keep my faith.
I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled of afraid. – John 14:27

Chernobyl, or not Chernobyl…THAT is the question.

I am angry! I am frustrated! I am so tired.  I feel my world spinning out of control.  I know, I know…NOW her world is out of control?  She has been fine through diagnosis and surgery, but force her to make one simple decision, and the world is off its axis?

This has been an awful weekend!  I feel like I have been run over…several times.  I don’t want to do radiation!  I feel like a rotten child saying it, but I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna!  Everyone tells me that this is the best course of action, but I just feel like one huge experiment.  “Well, this worked on so and so, let’s try it on Shanna”. Nobody knows what works for REGULAR cancer, so how the heck do they know what works for a rare type of cancer?!?  So, let’s start at the beginning, shall we?  I went to my consultation with a radiologist at the start of last week.  She really didn’t tell me anything that would have convinced me that radiation is going to give me any better chance.  I was not convinced that the side effects are worth the small chance that it will help along with the chemo.  Come on! It’s bad enough that I have cancer, but to possibly have to have a colostomy bag for the rest of my life? How is that fair? Yes, it is a small percentage of people who have to deal with that, but guess what?!? Less than 5% of women contract this type of cervical cancer.  The odds are kind of against me.
Next thing, so I can get out of Debbie Downer mode.  I went to my pre-chemo dentist appointment this past Friday.  If you thought it was bad that I hadn’t been to a lady doctor visit in 3 years, you’ll love this one!  I haven’t been to the dentist in 16 years.  Yeah, I know. I’m a slacker.  The only reason I went this time was because my mother’s dentist suggested it, as his wife had cancer, and it helped alleviate a lot of her mouth issues.  So, as if I weren’t strange enough, with the diagnosis, and clear margins, etc.  16 years, and I had one line of decay on one tooth!  I have one broken tooth(not due to decay), and he noticed wear as a result of grinding my teeth at night…ya think?  So, good news from the dentist!  I will have my teeth cleaned on August 18th, so wish me luck.
 I think what has been the hardest on me lately is trying to keep everyone else’s spirits up.  It is very hard work to be optimistic all the time. I know I don’t have to, that’s just the way I’m built(as a friend so lovingly put it).  I try to be upbeat, and it is wearing me out.  There is nothing upbeat about this.  When I try to make jokes about it, I am usually met with 1 of 2 reactions. 1) Hysterical laughter(because they think I am crazy) 2) Crying(because they think I am crazy).  I am not crazy, nor am I going crazy.  I’m sleepy, angry, and humor is my defense mechanism.  Just want to reiterate that, because even those of you who know me well are having some difficulty dealing with my dark humor lately.  I am in no way trying to make you uncomfortable. On the contrary. I am trying to make myself more comfortable.
Speaking of comfort…I bought my first wig today.  I don’t know how it will feel when I don’t have hair, but it is pretty darn comfy right now.  It is blue with light blue streaks.  I was going to get a teal wig, because that is the awareness ribbon color, but decided to go a little darker. You know. Because of my skin tone.
Anyway, I suppose this is enough rambling for now.  I am tired, and I want to take a pain pill. Port o catheters hurt.  Please, please, please keep the prayers coming, because I am trying really hard to keep the faith.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:  for thou art with me; thy rod and they staff they comfort me.  Psalm 23:4