Gratuitous Kitten Photos

Gratuitous Kitten Photos

Got his paperwork and he was born March 5.


(I was born March 4.)

Oliver was everywhere at once and then just like that, he was zonked.

Izzy isn’t really happy about him, but she tolerates him while growling and hissing in his general direction.

Oliver’s Coming and Other Happy Stuff

Oliver’s Coming and Other Happy Stuff

I’m in the mood to write about only good news, so that’s what you’re getting today. We’re getting a kitten, my lymph nodes aren’t cancerous, and my muscles are coming back online after a medication a-ha moment. Let’s take those things in order.

This is Oliver. We’re probably going to be calling him Ollie, and the animal shelter is currently calling him Funyun.

We aren’t picking him up until Friday, but we’re very excited.

Three more sleeps!

Izzy might not be terribly excited, but we hope because he’s a kitten her mothering instincts will take over. And if they don’t, well, they have plenty of room to go their separate ways. We are home all day every day, so even if she hated her new charge, we can find a way to keep the peace.

Speaking of Her Royal Highness…

Next up, I saw an otolaryngologist at Saint Louis University about some large and painful lymph nodes under my jaw. And he, like my oncologist, is confident this is not more cancer. The biopsy refers to them as “reactive.” No one knows what set them off, but it happens. Even among people who haven’t been on harsh cancer meds.

So I’m thinking the last round of chemo made them angry. They do cause some pain, and surgery is an option I’m contemplating, but there’s no rush. If they aren’t less hurty by the fall, I will probably have them cut out. And, yes, that all qualifies as good news.

Lastly, I’m weaning myself off of amitriptyline and after two nights, I already feel human again. I was in one of those catch-22s with it, and finally I decided I’d had enough. With no other explanation, I decided to do a deep-dive on my meds, their side effects, and potential interactions. I was like, increased heart rate? Wut?

But coming off antidepressants, even when they’re prescribed for pain and sleep, is not easy. If you’ve been around here a while, you might recall my lamenting on Cymbalta (actually generic duloxetine). Whoooweee. I might be done with off-lable prescriptions for antidepressants. Just give me some weed.

Anyway, it’s beautiful here, and I hope it is where you are too.

Ode to Boomer

Ode to Boomer

It’s been about a month since we lost Boomer. I’m not over it, of course, but I’m doing better. Processing the grief.

You might remember last year that Boomer was at the emergency vet quite a bit. That was all related to his chronic hepatitis. It’s not out of the blue that he got sick again, but it felt sudden. We thought we’d have more time.

One day, a couple days before Boomer got really sick again, he and Dan walked past me and I was slammed with overwhelming sorrow that we were going to lose him soon. I tried to push the thoughts out of my mind, felt guilty for worrying and imagining things. But I knew. I told my mom I thought we’d be making the decision to put him down in “days.”

I don’t know what I was picking up on, but that doesn’t really matter. On April 3, after days of constant vomiting, he climbed up into bed and snuggled with me. On April 4, the vet called with the results of an abdominal ultrasound. He had no good liver tissue left, his kidneys and lymph nodes were huge. He was bleeding internally.

The stress of his last couple of days with us was intense. And the anxiety has wiped me out. I had my own doctor’s appointment yesterday. I’m trying to cope through meditation and rest, but my muscles are choking me out and making me feel weak and dizzy. I figure if I’m too weak to sign my name on a check, trying to make a Zentangle video will only leave me frustrated and more depressed. So I’m trying to be kind with myself.

When we bought the house in Urbana in 2015, we visited the humane society before closing on the mortgage. I knew I couldn’t take anyone home that day, but I was so excited to be a dog’s human again after a couple years of apartment life.

Boomer (the dog previously known as Zeus) was in a kennel staring at Dan and I. He was quiet and attentive, and I read his “chart.”

“It says he knows some basic commands.”

“Sit,” I whispered.

While dozens of other dogs barked loudly, Boomer stayed silent and planted his butt on the ground.

“Shit,” I said to Dan, “I don’t have any treats for him.” His ears went on high alert, and that was that. A humane society volunteer with a bag full of treats on her hip tossed one Boomer’s way.

“Look,” I told Boomer while we were outside playing in the shelter’s designated play area, “We can’t get you for three more days, and they won’t hold you for us. If someone else tries to take you home, I’m going to need you to act like a jerk. OK?”

Because Boomer was a very excitable boy, we had to pay for obedience classes up front and show a receipt to adopt him. At the first class a young couple approached us with a bulldog we’d seen at the shelter a couple of cages down from Boomer.

”Zeus!” she exclaimed, giving him scritches. “We almost adopted him,” she turned to Dan and me. “I’m not sure why we didn’t.”

I know why. Because Boomer was meant to be ours.

A Little Depressed Here

Boomer crossed the rainbow bridge on Tuesday, and I don’t feel up to much. I just wanted to put up a post because it’s been a while and people are worrying. I’ll write more when I can, but for right now I just want to grieve the loss of my Bestest Good Boy.

Coffee and Cake

Coffee and Cake

Let’s start with the good news that isn’t about coffee and cake. (We’ll get to that though.) I woke up before noon today—10:00 am! I’ve been having a hard time falling asleep this week. I mostly blame the weather, but there are other factors. Thing is, I don’t feel like listing them and I don’t think you really want to read them.

Despite feeling tired and a little groggy, I’ve already contacted the folks at Black Stag Coffee about their iced latte product. I like them a lot better than bottled Starbucks, but they do present a problem for me. The seals around the neck aren’t perforated.

So I requested they start perforating them because my hands are so useless in the morning. If they were easier to open, maybe I would swear less in the mornings. Maybe.

Coincidentally, the beverage company is located in Neenah, WI. And the only reason that means anything to me is that I remember walking in downtown Indy with Dan years ago. He pointed out the manhole covers were stamped Neenah, WI. Made at the foundry there.

Anyhoo. I’ve basically written off this week. The weather is all over the place. Though yesterday was nice, there’s been wind, rain, and temperature changes that make my nerves do that whole inflame-y thing where I feel like my own muscles are choking me out. Not. Fun.

So I didn’t get a Zentangle video made this week, but I’m not sweating it. Warmer, stabler weather is coming. And soon I’ll be complaining about how freaking hot it is.

This Saturday is my 43rd birthday! (My Amazon wishlist is here, but I don’t need anything on it. It feels good to say that.)

I have requested French toast sticks for breakfast Saturday morning. And I’m going to try to make my own applesauce cake.

It’s a recipe that comes from my paternal grandma. We used to have it when I was little, and I think my recent bent toward nostalgia has made me crave it.

Since we’re talking bout food, Mom was in Fairview Heights and got us a meal from this place called Lotawata Creek for my birthday dinner. A little early, but there was so much food and it was so delicious. I will probably still be snacking on leftovers until I’m 43.

We pass this restaurant on the way to and from my new oncologist so, this could become problematic. My willpower is much lower than my cholesterol.

March is also the month my Dad died. I think that has something to do with the nostalgic sort of melancholy I’ve been feeling recently too. Later this month will be the two-year anniversary of his death. I still think about him every day.

I’ve decided that old saw about the pain lessening over time is a misperception. Kind of true but also inaccurate. It still hurts to think that he’s gone, but I think more about when he was here than how much I miss him now. I’m sure that must make perfect sense.

A couple times a week, I still say out loud, “I miss you, Dad.” Not because I think I’m talking to him. But because some things feel better on the outside of me than bottled up on the inside.

This isn’t meant to be a heavy post though. I’m going to wash down my morning meds with this Black Stag coffee Dan opened for me. Eat a banana. Maybe play some Fallout 4 until my body protests too much to concentrate. Type at y’all later.

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