But in the end we all come from what’s come before.

Something from Nothing – Foo Fighters

My son forgot to take his humorous calendar with him from the office, but it seems like it knows us. Every month, there are funny sayings (instead of pictures) as the main page, with other funny things throughout. If you’re easily offended, skip the list below. Also, why the hell are you reading my blog if you’re easily offended? Haha!

  • June: “What a Clusterfuck!”
  • July: “Ray of Fucking Sunshine”

Boy, were those ever descriptive of what transpired this week. If you’re a close friend, you read the parts I wanted to share on Facebook. I won’t share the same thing here, but in the end, my son got his new house and is trying to settle in this weekend, starting with the coffeepot. That’s my boy!

For me, it was a disastrous work week. There was all the clamor and commotion and chaos (and any other C words you can think of) that distracted me, and then a burning smell filled my home office. I rapidly unplugged everything and tried to find the source. I was thinking it was a bad outlet, because I’ve had another one of those in this house, but none of the outlets seemed hot or smoky. The smell was coming from my laptop, which was suddenly running very hot. I powered it down. What followed was a long, drawn-out attempt by IT to fix it remotely. The system would freeze up and then I would have to shut it down with the power button. The last time, I thought I would have to open it and pull the battery. I did what IT told me to do and contacted Dell Support. After an extensive conversation, they told me my problem wasn’t covered under the warranty on the system and that I could pay them for a service call. Uh, no! Not my laptop, not my problem. I let IT know about it, and then my boss got involved. A fresh laptop was overnighted to me on Thursday afternoon. It got here last evening, just before I headed out to get a much-needed massage. (In my opinion, massages are always much-needed. I keep saying my next wife will be a massage therapist, or at least be able to do an occasional neck and shoulder massage to keep me working.)

So here I am in ray-of-fucking-sunshine land and lots of changes are happening. My poor dog is depressed, because not only is the house mostly empty, but she is missing my son and his big orange cat, Chips. I mean, she really looks depressed. Here, I’m doing alright, but my dog is depressed. So we’re going to head out this afternoon to see my bestie and her family and their three dogs. Hopefully that will get Adele out of her funk. She has regressed a little, so I’ve had to clean up pee and poop in the house, which I haven’t had to do since she was a puppy (except for the occasional excited dribble when her favorite people come over).

When things settle, I’ll go get some new living room furniture and some lamps for the end tables. I’ll get a bed for the spare room and will set up my music area in another spot. I will begin playing again. It’s high time I did that. My guitars are dusty and my piano is lonely. I just didn’t have any interest in playing while I was going through cancer. It took more brain power and stamina than I could muster. All my energy went to doctors appointments and work. Everything else fell away.

And lest you think that once treatment is over, the side effects are over, I say Nay Nay! Some are just beginning. I have to be concerned about bone loss, which scares me since both of my sisters and our mom have or had severe osteoporosis (without the effects of chemo). The pain on my right side (the cancer side) is with me all the time. It’s much worse than when I was going through treatment, because I was on steroids then. Now it has its way with me. Pain, I’m used to. I live with it all the time because of spinal problems, so this is just more. The skin problems, however, are really, really bad. I get the kind of tingling and deep itch (presumably from neuropathy) that you can’t quite reach. I wake up in the middle of the night scratching that elusive itch! And my skin turns red and peels. It’s very dry. I have a whole bevy of lotions and potions that I use. My dermatologist also prescribed a powerful steroid cream that I’ll be using for 2 weeks. It is helping, but my arms and hands look like I was in a battle and lost. I wear my compression sleeve on my right arm several days a week. That helps move the lymphatic fluid through, a process that is blunted when they remove lymph nodes. In other words, the treatment has ended, but the struggle continues. (But I chose some rockin’ sleeves. People think they are tats!)

I’m happy enough most days, although there are areas of my life that are not going the way I’d like them to. I’m trying to find ways to cope and possibly to change things. You know, like the Serenity Prayer. The courage to change the things I can.

I reflect often on my dad’s struggles. There are a multitude of reasons he worked for himself, but I don’t have the energy for that. He wasn’t home much when I was growing up. I’m just looking for ways to maximize my retirement and go be that novelist I’ve dreamed of being for so long. I don’t want to self-publish like so many people do these days – not that there’s anything wrong with it, but it isn’t for me. I want my work to be so good that the big houses can’t ignore it. The book I’m working on takes my breath away some days, and I’m hoping to have more time to work on it during evenings and weekends now – at least once I go get this procedure on my left eye. After that, staring at my computer won’t hurt so much.

Gotta go for now. My bestie is waiting, and I want my dog to have a reason to get that big, goofy grin on her face again.

Have a wonderful Independence Day! ~ Jude

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