Minor Confession

Published May 26, 2021 by Malia

I realize that I am technically an adult and the only small children in my life are my nephews and niece. There are no children that live with me, unless you count my pets.

Confession: I LOVE Bluey!

Yes, I, at 36 and a half, am deeply in love with a show meant for preschoolers.

It’s just so adorable. A family of Australian dogs living life and learning lessons…how can you watch it and not fall in love?

I make no apologies for this, and it’s a bonus that my nephews and niece all love the show too.

That’s about it for me today. Have a fabulous Wednesday!

Progress

Published May 24, 2021 by Malia

I’m starting this post with a Trigger Warning for suicidal ideation. I’ve been debating writing about this for the last few days, and decided to go ahead with it. As always when I write an out this stuff, I like to include the following reminder: Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741).

Well, it’s been a full week since the official diagnosis of the Big C.

I wish the C stood for “Cookie” in this case.

It’s been a week of processing. I’ll admit, I’ve been very surprised by how much grief I’ve been experiencing. I know I mentioned the grief last week, but I’m still surprised by it. The worst part of processing grief? It’s not linear.

Everyday seems to come with a different feeling. I’ll have a day of sadness, followed by a day of anger and bargaining, followed by sadness, followed by acceptance, followed by sadness. Been feeling sad quite a lot of the time. However, I noticed something on Saturday.

Through all of this, I have not experienced a desire to unalive myself. Usually, when I’m going through high stress, my brain begins this attack of constantly telling me that it would be better if I wasn’t here. That the pain and stress would go away. I spent most of May 2020 through January 2021 dealing with my brain constantly harassing me to just be done with life. It was exhausting, and part of what ultimately led to me deciding not to return to my job.

I’m not saying that I’m cured. I don’t think I am. But I do take it as a positive sign that I am making progress with my mental health.

My dream house is less Pinterest approved and more Batman approved.

Published May 22, 2021 by Malia

There is so much I should be doing right now. There are several laundry baskets full of clean clothes waiting to be put away. The sink is full of dishes that need to be dealt with. I have piles of pretty paper I need to slice up to become inserts for cards. I have a blanket that I’m crocheting.

Instead of doing any of that, I’m sitting here contemplating why the majority of humans decided to live in houses, rather than in caves.

I would love to live in either a cave or an abandoned missile silo that’s been refurbished. Maybe I’ve just lived through way too many tornados. Houses just seems so fragile.

Anyway, not much else to report on this end. Hopefully everyone is having a pleasant, disease-free weekend!

I’m not okay, and that’s okay.

Published May 20, 2021 by Malia

I went to therapy this morning.

I hadn’t been in a few months, and I realized on Monday, after getting Tom’s official cancer diagnosis from the doctor, that I really needed a session. 

I’m just so overwhelmed by my feelings at present. Since I have a really bad habit of refusing to acknowledge what I’m feeling and just squashing them down deep inside, I’m trying to break that.

Here’s the thing about therapy. I appreciate it. It’s been amazingly helpful. It is not fun. I don’t walk out and immediately feel better. But there’s something about sitting in a judgement free zone, talking about what I’m thinking that really makes a difference.

I’m learning that it’s okay to feel all the feelings. It’s okay to be sad or angry or frustrated or any other emotion that sweeps over me. It’s okay to acknowledge those feelings and give name to them. The important thing is what I do with those feelings.

I think it’s important to point out that just because I’m facing some dark feelings, that doesn’t mean I’ve lost hope or my faith. I’m still reeling from feeling blindsided by all this, plus I’m grieving right now. I’m still dealing with some grief over my old job. I’m grieving my lost babies. I’m grieving putting dreams on hold. And I’m grieving Tom’s kidney. I’m sure that sounds absurd, but that’s just how things are right now.

So, what about Tom? He’s always been incredibly supportive of me getting mental health help. He knows that I’m equally supportive of him seeking help. But doing so is a very personal choice. So, I check in on him regularly, and the door is open if he decides he does want to talk to a professional.

Things are hard, but we will get through it.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

Published May 19, 2021 by Malia

I’m spending today binge watching Buzzfeed Unsolved. I just finished the available true crime episodes, and now I’m jumping into the paranormal episodes. I feel slightly bad for Tom, because the only reason I’m doing it today is because he’s home, and sitting within arm’s reach

See, I have a super overactive imagination, and I’ve found watching these sorts of things alone tends to be a super bad idea. So, watching creepy stuff with the level headed, super skeptic helps me not get completely freaked out.

Not sure why, but I’ve always been fascinated by this kind of stuff. I don’t like horror movies, but I’m genuinely fascinated by ghost stories, cryptids, and the unexplainable.

It’s probably good that Tom is such a skeptic, it brings balance.

Some days adulting is really difficult.

Published May 18, 2021 by Malia

I have an appointment with the endocrinologist today, and I am dreading it.

They asked that I turn in my blood sugar numbers from the last two weeks. Since I currently wear a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) that means what they have is every single blood sugar number my cgm has reported every five minutes for the last 14 days, and it ain’t pretty.

To be fair, I’ve spent the last two weeks in high stress mode. First, I was waiting for Tom’s surgery, and then there was the surgery, followed by days of waiting for results and caring for him. Then there’s the whole official cancer diagnosis. To top it off, I’m trying to compose an appeal letter to the insurance company because they determined that the necessary CT scan Tom had to have of his kidney is only necessary but not medically necessary (I’m still trying to wrap my head around that). And while I know things could be so much worse, and I am grateful that things have gone relatively well, it’s all been very high stress.

If you don’t have to deal with blood sugar monitoring, then you may not be aware of how stress messes with blood sugar. Even if I exercise and eat correctly, my numbers are all over the place. For example, on Saturday my numbers yo-yo’d all day. I went from 108 to 165 to 124 to 230 to 140 and so on. It was exhausting and frustrating.

I’m hoping they just give me a pass at the appointment since I’m currently going through this life experience. I’m genuinely trying to make positive changes in my health, but I’m also trying to keep myself from falling into a depression spiral. I’m just doing the best I can.

P.S. I’m running a giveaway on my Facebook page for some of my greeting cards. Check it out: In A Pinch Grab Bag Giveaway

Not the worst news…not the best news…

Published May 17, 2021 by Malia

I know, I don’t usually cuss on this blog, but I think I’m allowed to today.

It’s officially cancer.

The doctor called this morning with to inform us. Tom has the most common form of renal cancer, and it is pretty aggressive. It had begun moving out of the kidney.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that the margins were clear, so the doctor is very hopeful that they got it all.

Tom’s surgery follow up appointment isn’t until June 1st, and I’m not really sure what more we’ll learn then than we already know. We’ll be spending the next five years having him get CT scans every six months to make sure he’s still in the clear.

Today feels extremely surreal. I am glad we have answers. I knew we were likely looking at it being cancer, but there’s a difference between suspecting and officially knowing.

You and me both, Wanda You and me, both.

Twister is now 25 years old. I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

Published May 16, 2021 by Malia

I’m really surprised at how fast Tom seems to be recovering. I don’t know if it’s because in the past every family member I helped care for post-surgery/coma weren’t as young and healthy as Tom, or if it’s because the robotic surgery is a little less traumatic than traditional surgery. Maybe it’s a combo of both.

On Thursday, after the surgery was complete, I met with Tom’s doctor who informed me that everything went as expected. Immediately after, I went back to the waiting area and I made the mistake of sitting down for a moment to collect my thoughts.

And then I tried to stand up.

All of a sudden, the sheer idea of standing up was so completely overwhelming, my body refused to cooperate. It was like a physical wall of exhaustion slammed into my body. I ended up sitting there, texting family, “I think I live in this chair now.”

Finally, after almost an hour, I got so nauseous because of dropped blood sugar, that I forced myself up and down to the cafe for what ended up being a really delicious bowl of udon noodles with chicken.

Yesterday, Saturday, Tom rested and played video games, while I worked on cards for some orders that came in over the last few days. Mid-afternoon, I got so tired I crashed in bed for a few hours.

Last night, I watched This is a Robbery on Netflix. It’s a documentary series about the big art heist in Boston back in the 90’s. It was interesting, but the music was unnecessarily creepy. I was quite glad Tom was home, since I watched most of it after nightfall.

Not much on tap for us today. I’m waiting for Amazon to drop off the new blade for my Cricut so I can finish the orders I was working on yesterday. I keep threatening him that I’m going to put Twister on because he doesn’t love it like I do, and his only escape is napping 😅

Today I am waiting…and waiting some more…

Published May 13, 2021 by Malia

Surgery is over.

Tom is still in recovery, but they’ll be moving him soon. I’m so anxious to see him.

We didn’t have to check in until 8 a.m. so we were able to get up at a normal time. Groot was not thrilled her people were getting up and she moved and went back to sleep in the funniest position:

At least, I thought it was funny how she left her butt hanging out.

Before we left, I got this magical gem of a picture:

I call this the “Paint me like one of your French girls” pose.

Here we are at check-in:

And here we are right before they took him away to relieve him of his kidney and tumor:

And I didn’t realize my mask was on upside down until way later 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️

The Buffett Cancer Center has this beautiful garden area, and that’s where I hung out until they came to tell me his surgery was finishing up. It’s a beautiful day (although there’s a chilly wind), and here’s where I got to hang:

Being able to be outside in such a beautiful garden was such a gift. It really helped my anxiety.

That’s about all from this neck of the woods. Thank you all for the prayers and good vibes.