Wednesday, 15 October 2014

October 15, 2014

2 years ago today I quit smoking.  That's huge for me.  Smoking was so much a part of my identity that I honestly believed that if I quit smoking I'd lose some intrinsic aspect of what makes me me.  Anyway, I survived, still managing to cling on to whatever ethereal thing is making me who I am.  My life is different than it was 2 years ago.  I don't work like I used to, my Dad died and I'm kind of semi retired....or a housewife.  Even though I'm not technically married.  And certainly not to a house.

I'm afraid to read what I've previously written on here.  And I'm even more afraid to be completely honest on here because I don't know how easy it is to find this and who will stumble across it.  But let's just see what happens.

Sunday, 2 December 2012


I think I'm processing, but I don't think I'm doing a good job of it.  I'll see if I can explain or at least lay things out so that I can look at what's going on.

My dad has cancer.  He got diagnosed in August or September and they tried to surgically remove it in October.  It's in his bladder.  They (The doctors and medical idiots) then had to wait for him to heal properly to see if they had gotten all of he cancer so in November they told him that they had not.  They were not successful and the cancer that he has is an aggressive form.  So they gave him a choice, he could get his bladder surgically (obviously) removed and either have a bladder made of his intestine (!) or live with a pee bag or he could get chemo and radiation thereapy and try to kill the cancer.  He had an appointment at the cancer centre on Wednesday to learn about the options and make a decision.  I went with him and so did my mom.

Anyway, in spite of the fact that his siblings and his wife (my mom) all wanted him to remove the bladder and subsequently all the cancer, he opted to try the chemo and radiation therapy and try for bladder preservation.  So that's where he stands now.  On Friday he went for a scan so they could plan the radiation attack and now he has invisible ink tattoos that the radiation will be aimed at for 30 minutes a day 5 days a week.  Or will be once he gets the call to get it all started.

What I'm processing is life and death.  I've never put much value on my life, I have never been afraid to die but I have always been very afraid of dying in an agonizing manner.  I think about suicide evey single day, I like to always have it as an option.  So my dad's decision to not get his bladder removed is exactly what I would have decided.  I do not believe in life at any cost.  The indignity of the things one would have to undergo to live like that is not worth it to me.  I require autonomy and so does my dad.  He's pretty much the most classic case of a guy with Asperger's as I have ever seen.

At the cancer centre we had a lot of time to wait between visits with the different doctors and we joked around.  We're not really the heavy, deep, meaningful conversation kind of people, nor are we affectionate or touchy feely. The only time my dad and I hug is when my mom forces us and it's very awkward.  But we understand eachother my dad and I.  All we want is for people to love us and for people to leave us alone.  I have 3 siblings and my dad loves nothing more than having us all over at his house, and then he buzzes around doing his puttering or sits in another room. 

My dad likes to walk between 5 and 10 kilometres a day.  It was after one of these walks that he noticed blood in his urine for the first time and he sought medical attention.  They did a few random tests and told him he was fine.  3 years later and the blood in the urine was till happening only now it was heavier, finally he was diagnosed with cancer.  My dad only goes to the doctor when somethig is wrong and he is always correct, there has never been a false alarm.  I'm the same way.  In both of our experiences it takes extraordinary measures to get the doctors to listen to us, or to hear us properly.  I think this has to do with Asperger's but I don't know what the remedy is.

Anyway, at the cancer centre my dad asked one of the docors if he could continue his walking, and they gave him permission.  "You already have cancer, so what the heck" is what the doctor said "You're not gonna make it worse."  That makes me happy because the one thing that will kill my dad for sure is being an invalid.  Look at that word INVALID, he would be in-valid, without validity.  What a horrible fate.

I don't think I have my head wrapped around anything yet, but it's always good to try.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

All that jazz

I listen to jazz.  I love jazz.  Especially the chaotic, instrumental kind.  I like the unpredictable mess of sound.  Sometimes the crazy, cacophony and randomness of sounds reminds me of the mess inside my own head.

A couple of years ago I went to a jazz club with a friend.  The club was a club in the sense that it had members not in the night club sense.  It was an uncomfortable experience going in.  As guests and not paid members we had no clue what was going on or the protocol required.  We made our way to a table for 2 and sat for a bit before we realized that we'd have to go fetch our own drinks.  One of us went up to the bar while the other held the table. Finally drinks secured we sat and waited for the performance to begin. We were sipping our drinks when a rude man who acted like we were idiots came and told us that we were sitting at Joanne's table and we'd have to move.  We embarrassedly shuffled to the only seats we could find which were cheap folding chairs at the back.  But then the music started.

I was transformed.  It was crazy, all over the place and absolutely perfect.  My friend hated it.  We left.  But my life was changed forever.  That friend and I no longer speak.

Friday, 25 May 2012

seven steps to the wall

Found it!  And to my great chagrin the lyric is "he" not "she" but it's a good song from the eighties.  I stalked Jane Siberry for a few summers back then.  She was pretty cool.
No actual video though, sorry. Jane Siberry - Seven Steps To The Wall Lyrics

A little agitato

There's a line from a Jane Siberry song that goes through my mind every now and then, pretty often actually.  It kind of sums up a feeling that I get from time to time.  I don't remember what the song is called and I'm not in the mood to hit up the Google machine right now, so I'll just tell you the line:  "She wants to write something down, she wants to sing a song or paint something".

I get that feeling of pent up creativity or art bubbling up inside.  And then what?  So many times I stifle it and stomp it down because life gets in the way.  I have too much drudgery to slog through before I can play.  I've always dreamt of going completely off my rocker so that the bonds that tether others to conform with society would no longer hold me and I could go off on the flights of fancy that beckon.  But I am a drone.  As much as I hate schedules and obligations I cannot escape them.  Now I suppose it's about balance. 

My quest is to find that ellusive balance.  Balance is not easy for me, I'm an all or nothing kind of chick. 

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

I hate my blog

Actually I don't hate my blog.  I hate myself for not being able to express myself properly on here.  I have a bazillion things going on inside of me and nothing comes out right.  I end up sounding whiny and/or sarcastic and bitchy.  I may have some of those qualities, but there's more going on in here than that.

Right now I am stressed to the gills by the fact that I haven't done my taxes in two years.  I keep returning to that panicked state of anxiety whenever I think about it.  And when I'm not thinking about it, the panic and anxiety are there, hovering.  When I am not thinking about my taxes it is only because I am not allowing myself to think about my taxes, so I'm really still thinking about my taxes, you know?  Probably not.

I'm wearing a bracelet that through the course of the day has become opressive.  It's bugging me.  But I can't take it off because I'm at work and I don't want to leave it here.

I really just want to go home, but it would be easier to stay here because if I go home there's too much to do.  Plus, I can't just go home, I have to stop at the grocery store and I should really go to the bank.  I can talk myself out of the bank because theoretically I could do that tomorrow.  Will I really do that tomorrow?  Who knows?  It kind of depends on a kajillion factors all of which are milling about in my head right now.

I am in constant negotiations with myself.  I have brought procrastination and justification and inertia to a whole new level.  For the last three days all I have done is play tetris.  Well mostly....I also did Mother's day at the ancestral home, walked the dog numerous times, cooked meals, did dishes, attended a theatrical performance as well as the daily drudgery of work.  I always go to work, no matter what.

There, that was a minute in my head.  Lucky you.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

I am being used as a cautionary tale.

I have a  terrible habit of putting on shoes in a hurry and not wearing socks.  Usually I just think that I am not walking far so it won't matter and then I end up walking for an hour with dire consequences.

In the spring summer and fall I always have cuts or blisters on my feet.  The winter is so cold that my disregard for socks is over ridden by my quest to not die of frostbite.

Anyway, my 7 year old niece apparently has the same issue with socks.  I think we just don't have patience.  If we want to go, we want to go NOW.  I was at my parents for dinner on Sunday and so were my niece and her parents.  My most recent not wearing socks injury was very apparent as I was wearing cropped pants and flip flops.  Both of my ankles have big scabs on them from a rainy evening last week.  I came home from work and changed my clothes, then I decided to go outside and play with the dog.  I popped on a cute pair of ankle height rubber boots (sockless) and went outside.  It was so nice that I grabbed the leash and ended up taking the dog down to the river and back.  A trek that takes about an hour in total.  My ankles were bloody by the time I got home.  I was drenched to the skin, even my underwear was rain soaked.  It was an awesome walk.

My sister called my niece to her side and pointed at my injured ankles.  "Look at Auntie Penny's ankles, that's what happens when you don't wear socks."  My niece didn't really seem too impressed so my sister continued "Those scabs will probably get infected and then Auntie Penny will have to get her feet amputated, so you better wear socks from now on!"

My niece skipped away, hardly affected by the terrifying consequences that her dear Auntie Penny might be faced with.  I, however, was somewhat weirded out.  Sheesh.