Image: nomenombres via flickr

Image: nomenombres via flickr

Today marks 1 week until the first anniversary of my mother’s death.

I’m facing it with a bit of dread, but also openness to wherever my emotions take me. I realize I can’t fight what is coming, or what already is. I’d rather let myself go with the flow. Neither bottling up nor putting off what is to come is going to make it any easier.

The last couple of days have been a bit rough. At first I just thought it was because of other life drama, but then I realized I was reacting more emotionally to situations that at any other time I would have let slide. So, I’ve just given myself permission to overreact right now. Most of the people around me know what is going on and have thankfully forgiven me and my mood. (more…)

Image: Caros Lines via Flickr

Image: Caro's Lines via Flickr

10 months. Yes, it’s getting easier. The day passed with no tears & only a tad bit of mopiness. Still, while I’ve lost count of the number of weeks, I’m still hyper aware of this date, & will probably be so for some time to come. All I know is that 10 months feels like 10 days and 10 years  in the same instant. It’s odd how time progresses when it comes to death.

For now, 10 months means 2 months to 1-year. I choose not to consciously think about coming to that mark. I’ll ignore it as long as possible.

Image: Inma :) via flickr

Image: Inma 🙂 via flickr

I don’t know where I’ve been, but I’m back.

Weeks 24-27 & number 28 today. They came & went. One just blends into another these days, so I guess I can just let them go without saying much more.

The 6 month mark didn’t pass by as easily. The day was blah. Tears were shed. I finally realized I do most of my crying while driving. Sunglasses help to keep the other drivers from wondering what the hell is wrong. I’ve been able to drive through it; only once in the last 6 months have I had to pull over. Anyways, I’ll get around to writing a post for that day. But for now, I survived it. I guess that’s the important part. The main observation to come out of it was how quickly & how slowly time has passed. And now I get to look forward to 1-year. Fuck.

On the writing front, things have gone really well. I took another writing class this past quarter (just finished last week). As I wrote in my last post, I got incredibly good feedback from my instructor. The positive feedback started with my editing skills and then extended into really great comments on my writing & my novel. The course focused on writing & rewriting the 1st 50-pages of your novel. So, I really feel like I came out of it with a good start, with material that should carry me forward. I had my weaknesses pointed out & spent the course addressing them. I feel like I know how to overcome them now which is great. (more…)

Image: Leo Reynolds via flickr

Image: Leo Reynolds via flickr

Five months.

I actually woke up crying. Not a great way to start the day. Luckily an old friend from high school was in town, so we were meeting up with another of my good friends for a late breakfast. We ended up hanging out for about 4 hours, which was a great way to distract myself from the day. I did ok the rest of the day. Enough to keep myself busy. I guess I should see it as a good thing that I was able to get the crying out of the way early in the day.

Today was actually the birthday of one of the friends I met up with today. The unfortunate thing is that my mother died on her 5-year wedding anniversary. My friend, “A”, actually knew my mother well. “A” got the call about my mother in the middle of celebrating her anniversary with her husband. She was here within the hour of me finding my mother & spent the rest of the evening here at the house with everyone else until she had to go home to her 1-year old son.

I guess I’m hyperaware of dates & connections. Saturdays. The 20th. I wonder when that will stop.

Bright Tal via flickr

Image: Bright Tal via flickr

I’m a little behind on the blogging.

So, Saturday marked 17 weeks and today marks 4 months.

Today was fine; distracted by all the Inauguration coverage & a vet visit for Leo. Last night was actually the harder part. I don’t know why it hasn’t really struck me as much as it did last night, but last night, marks 4 months since the last conversation I ever had with my mother. While I saw her alive the day she died, we didn’t exchange words that morning. I think the last thing I said to her was “Good Night,” but I’m not sure–and I hate that. I wish I remember better. I think she had asked me if I wanted to go get something to eat, even though it was 11 o’clock on a Friday night. Occasionally would we do that; go out for food. But that night, I said, “no,” and that I had to be up early to help out at a volunteer thing. And then I think I said, “Good night.” What I really wish I remember was what her last words to me were, but I don’t. And with each passing day, week, month, the chances of me remembering fade. Last night I struggled to accept that. I don’t know that I ever will.

But 4 months. How time flies.

PS…as for Saturday/17 weeks, I got to mark it with a parking ticket. I’m ticked! I was at Starbucks & parked in their lot, which does have signs saying 1-hour parking; but who really takes those things seriously. Yes, I take time restrictions seriously on city streets, but I find the ones in parking lots, on weekends, completely stupid. It’s not like the lot was even remotely filled. I take solace in the fact that I wasn’t the only one, but still, I think I may have to find a new Starbucks.

Image: Bright Tal via flickr

Some good news today…a better way to remember today…the vet just called and said all of Leo’s test results came back normal. That means there is no evidence that the cancer has spread to his bone marrow, lymph nodes, liver, or spleen. Yeah!!!

Three days after his first chemo treatment and there has been no evidence of side effects. We were warned that the first 24-48 hours were the ones to watch. The most likely effects would be nausea, vomitting, loss of appetite, and decreased energy. He’s had none of these. His appetite is normal. He’s keeping his food down. He’s going for his normal walks. And he’s still as hyper & annoying as ever.

The vet says it’s good that he’s handled his 1st treatment well. A good sign for future treatments. I’m not counting on this, but still, it’s good to know & hope.

So, next chemo is Tuesday. There is still one more possible side effect that we are waiting to see. On the 6th/7th day after treatment they say to keep an eye out for fever and lethargy. That’s when his white blood cell count will drop & when he is most at risk for infection–thus the fever. So, we’re not totally out of the woods yet with this first treatment, but so far so good. We’ll get to day 6/7 when we get there. But for now, just happy with where we are at.

I’ve been dreading today…it being the 3 month mark. It’s so weird to think it’s been that long, and even weirder that it doesn’t feel like that long. I ended up having a long phone conversation yesterday with that old friend who I met up with last Saturday, who’s mother passed 2 months ago. We ended up talking about our mothers, what had happened, and how we were coping/doing. It was the first time we’d had a chance to talk about it. It was really nice to talk to someone who actually really understands what you are going through. Family & friends mean well, but for the most part they don’t understand what it’s like and the thoughts that run through your head. And because we’re both roughly at the same time point in all this, there is a better understanding of what it means to us, what it has done to us, & what it continues to do to us. People really do come into your life when they are meant to and for a reason.

Well, still several hours left in the day. It’s weird that the 3 month mark and the 20th both land on a Saturday. We’ll see how it goes. At least my brother is here for this one. We’re about to take the dogs for the walk. A good way to pass a couple hours & get out of the house.

Image: Ezu via flickr

The 20th. Two months.

It feels like yesterday. It feels like a year ago. It doesn’t feel real. I really don’t get how all of those feelings are possible at the same time?

Found myself crying out of nowhere while on my way over to a family friend’s house for lunch. Maybe it was a line in the song I was listening to. I don’t know. I’ve gotten over trying to make myself look presententable after crying. I really don’t care anymore if I look like I’ve been balling.

I’m convinced these friends won’t leave me alone on the 20th. That’s fine with me.

Didn’t really do anything else today. Maybe that was on purpose, maybe it was subconscious. I don’t know. Just want the day over.

Leo’s doing fine. His energy level & mobility are back to where they were pre-surgery. Although, he’s supposed to be taking it easy. Hard to convince him of that. Tomorrow is his recheck for his sutures & possibly results. (BENIGN BENIGN BENIGN.)

New thing for the day: pickles in tuna & I didn’t gag.

Image: Kentigern via flickr

It hit me on the way home tonight. I can’t call her. I can’t come home & tell her something. I almost dialed her number tonight to ask her if she wanted me to pick up any food on my way home.

A month has gone by. It feels like yesterday. I don’t know where the time has gone. Usually getting through a month of anything means you should be used to whatever you were marking time for. Usually it means there’s some reward at the end. After a month of this, I’m neither used to any of it, nor I’m I closer to any reward. I don’t get to talk to or see her.

I’ve started crying & I can’t stop.

For the most part, today was ok. I had lunch with old family friends–my best friend’s mother who I’ve known since I was 6, & who was a friend of my mother’s; and one of my best friend’s sisters. They were the first ones here that day. They stayed with me all that night.

It wasn’t till 10 o’clock tonight that everything hit me & that I started falling apart. Although, it’s kind of hard to fall apart when you’re already so scattered. I don’t even know how to start picking up the pieces.

So, my new thing to mark the 20th…I’d thought I’d have most of the day free. Didn’t. That was probably good. I guess the best I can do today is I tried radishes for the first time today. They weren’t bad.

Image: Red Giraffe via flickr

My mother died on the 20th of September. A month ago today. Now every month that that number comes around I’m going to be reminded.

So, I’m going to do my best to not let that day of every month, that number, get to me.

My plan is to do something new the 20th of every month.

I have no idea yet what new thing I’ll try today. But I have 24 more hours to figure that out. Something small, something big, I don’t know. Just something. Something else to maybe remember the 20th for.

Image: ale2000 via flickr