Less than three weeks to the big move, and I have so much to do I can’t think straight. So, naturally, I picked today to start making some minor updates to this website. And even more naturally, I found out that somewhere along the way, I totally screwed up chapter numbering on my memoir. I don’t have the brain juice to figure out exactly what’s wrong let alone fix it right now.
The upshot is that I have an unpolished Chapter 25 that only exists as a draft and isn’t linked in the Table of Contents, and then in September I posted new content for Patrons as Chapter 26. And all I can say is, IDK? Maybe at some point I tried to publish Chapter 25 and forgot what I was doing?
The good news is that despite not having a clue what I was thinking or when I was thinking it, Chapter 26 was published and nothing happened. It was one of those things I had to post, even though the events were out of sequence and sort of didn’t deserve to be dropped in the middle of a very chronological retelling of my post-2006 life. But that’s just how things go when your brain cells have been irradiated and you’re writing a webserial memoir, I guess.
Anyway, it’s good news that nothing happened when my patrons read Chapter 26 because I desperately needed to see that I was indeed past my past. I’ve spent a long time in my head thinking that if I wrote or spoke out loud about being abused as an adolescent, I’d have to relive that trauma. And now I know for certain that talking about it is a separate thing than being in the midst of it. It only took me 25-ish years to figure that out. I’m used to bad and traumatic things leading to more bad and traumatic things, and that is one reason why I’ve been living in a constant state of hyper-vigilant catastrophizing.
(I know just enough psychological jargon to be dangerous. These words are the best I have, but by reading them, you agree to hold me blameless if I’m misusing them.)
My point is, I think, that writing about my abuser without any gaslighting—and without anyone treating me as a different person for having been (further) abused—it broke the cycle of fear that kept my anxiety cranked up to eleven all the freaking time. When nothing happened, my body was like, “Oh, stuff can happen without it necessarily being the end of the world.”
For those who aren’t Patrons and are reading this like, “WTF are you on about, Emily?” I apologize. I tend to roll my eyes when people write vaguely about potentially intriguing goings on, but, just…sometimes it’s necessary, OK? Gosh!
Moving right along. It’s Inktober, and somehow the YouTube algorithm figured out that I wanted to watch ALL THE INKTOBER CONTENT. At first I was feeling a little bummed because I wasn’t participating in the Zentangle challenge this year, and then I was just enjoying watching everyone else while feeling literally zero pressure to post videos every day for an entire month. Coming off of CZT training last month, I definitely don’t need to be throwing in ridiculously difficult self-imposed challenges with a move on the horizon.
Speaking of. We didn’t hit the goal for the GoFundMe by October 1, but we got a helluva lot closer than I had anticipated when I set up the campaign. The GFM page remains open, and can still receive donations, but I’m not hyping it anymore. I need to switch my focus to getting things packed and sorted, if only in my mind. At least now that Chapter 26 has come and gone, there’s a little more brain space for organizing my life and my belongings.
I’m rambling at this point when I really need to be doing other stuff. So I’ll sign off for now. Enjoy your Monday like I enjoyed my caramel frappe this morning.
I’m feeling a little less cranky today. I took an edible last night and slept 11 hours. I don’t know why, but I haven’t been sleeping more than a couple hours a night for about a month now, and sometimes I just have to force rest. There are worse ways to do that than a chocolate peanut butter indica candy bar.
I tend to be a hesitant medicator for many reasons. A big consideration is that edibles are expensive. But I realized I had more on hand than I thought, and I will easily get through. Between my sensitivity to everything and my tolerance break, I am what Dan jokingly calls a “cheap date.”
Mom says they’re putting flooring in soon at Our New Digs, and it’s getting real folks. It could—COULD—be ready by the end of the month! Feeling the Squeeze!
Our Realtor is coming next week to help us figure the details of getting our house listed too. I have help with all of this stuff, but I’d be lying if I said my anxiety isn’t up a notch or two. I feel overwhelmed.
Largely it’s just that a lack of control feels disorienting and scary. Intellectually, I know things will come in steps and I should take them as they come without worrying.
But have you met my amygdala? It’s, uh, seen some stuff.
The day after the walk-through, Zentangle training will start. So I’m already trying to get myself mentally organized for that too. The oncology nurse called me this morning, and I told her I was looking at starting back on chemo around the 20th. Can’t be barfing and bed-ridden while I’m on a Zoom call, right? Honestly don’t know if I should just wait until after I’m moved? I need to be as functional as possible. But also living is a pretty major concern. So….
Of course everything is subject to change. Everything. I need to be thinking about packing and flu shots and cancer all at the same time but I only have the capacity to do like half a thing at a time. So, I guess what I’m saying is, prepare for me to do a lot of thinking-out-loud here on the blog, if and when I update.
Fingers toes and eyes crossed the next hearing from the January 6 Committee happens when I’m free to watch. Because this all about me.
I’m off to get moving quotes and make a list or ten thousand. Please consider sharing our moving/renovation fundraiser on your social media. Or you can make a donation:
Today I’m kind of a mixed bag of hope and first-world despair. My disability check posted this morning. (It was Patreon, a much-needed but also much smaller source of income, that posted on Monday.)
For kicks, I decided to check on my closest McDonald’s* (the only one for miles not owned by the family of Rodney Davis) but it’s still not delivering through GrubHub*.
I’m worried they’re not renewing their contract now and I’m trying to sort out what to do about chemo now that the only joy my tastebuds have in life has been taken from me.
Will I even take temozolomide again?
I’m just kidding. Lighten up, loves. It’s only brain cancer, and there are still Ben and Jerry*.
Also, before anyone goes to the trouble of suggesting it, the restaurant is on DoorDash, but we don’t like to talk about DoorDash here.
Oh! Talking about chemo reminds me! A CounterSocial friend sent me a link to this article while I was suffering from insomnia last night: New Injectable Gel Offers Promise for Tough-to-Treat Brain Tumors. It’s for GBM, which is not my type of brain cancer, but it’s the most aggressive type of brain cancer, so that’s very cool. There’s also potential for this “brain caulk,” as my friend called it, to work against other solid Tumors. Breast cancer was mentioned.
Let’s go Badgers!
My supply kit for Zentangle training arrived yesterday. I went through the checklist, read the info packet, and now I’m just like, can we start this now? How about now?
Give me hope and a couple of things to be grateful for (like CZT training, a more-than-generous GoFundMe donation, an FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago, and an accessible shower) and I almost—ALMOST—dont feel sorry for myself about the universe putting my beloved caramel frappe just out of reach.
Since I was still awake at 5:00 am this morning, I’m not committing to anything that can’t be paused for a nap for the rest of the day. Probably going to tuck into a 6-hour video on drawing the eye—part of a drawing instructional series taught by Marc Leone of Northern Kentucky University. (See The Drawing Database channel on YouTube if you’re looking for a non-profit, collegiate approach to studying drawing. It’s kind of amazing. And its freaking free!)
Happy Hump Day to all the camels who celebrate.
*This post isn’t sponsored, but it could be.
I woke up to a deposit notification email from my bank this morning and I was all set to celebrate with my favorite breakfast, but the food delivery app said the restaurant was closed.
It wasn’t the neighborhood McDonald’s that was closed, just GrubHub’s delivery. But since I can’t drive it might as well be closed.
It’s Monday, and I feel personally attacked. Not a great start to my week.
Now, Dan probably would have made a run for me, but I didn’t suggest it because 1.) I budget my asks; 2.) the Corolla smells like it’s burning lately; and 3.) the garage door only closes if Dan pushes it down past the Nope Point—the spot about halfway down the track where it meets some imperceptible obstruction and reverses course.
I think the garage door and my esophagus are in collusion, now that I’m writing this.
My whole point in bringing up the car and the garage is just that I worry one or both will crap out soon if we go around pretending like the world isn’t comprised of entropy and horrendously bad timing. That kind of stuff sucks when all else is fine. And, spoiler alert: hardly anything is fine over here.
Whew! That was a long walk just to tell you I went for another restaurant’s version of a breakfast biscuit and iced coffee this morning, but it wasn’t as good. I’ve been saying for years McDonald’s puts crack in their beverages.
I don’t really believe it’s crack, but they do something.
At any rate, I’m caffeinated and fed, and it was cheaper than our usual breakfast treat by about $7 dollars.
Oh, since I don’t tweet my every thought anymore, I just need to say that Marjorie Taylor Greene understood the assignment and if that $20 was tossed in the rage cage by an onlooker, so did they.
Oof. Wendy’s is dead to me. First, they take away the vanilla Frosty to market test that Strawberry Quik-flavored nightmare in a cardboard cup. And now this?
Why does eating have to be such a struggle?
I’m going back to bed.
I had an appointment to see my oncologist this morning. A 6:45 am arrival for a 7:00 am appointment . Followed by labs. Followed by a Covid booster. The cancer center was mostly quiet.
My doctor mentioned the good results from my MRI, and then we got down to business. I told her how I had to pause chemo—again—and explained how I was battling fatigue and some painful cysts and that they usually go away on their own if I give my body a break from the temozolomide.
Of course, she wanted to have a look at my armpit.
She told me the medical term. “OK,” I said. It was two words that I didn’t comprehend at the time, and I don’t think I’d even recognize them if I heard them again.
Anyway, she said if I wasn’t taking chemo because of the cysts, that wasn’t a very good reason; she could prescribe antibiotics. But if I wasn’t taking chemo because of fatigue, that was a good reason to take a break.
I explained that my fatigue was severe. (Though maybe it’s because my body is fighting that skin infection, now that I think about it. Who knows? There are just way too many variables.) And we agreed that I’d call in for the antibiotics if my skin didn’t keep getting better.
The labs were one stick. The vaccine was also no big deal. The hardest part was being in the infusion center where the staff’s voices were bouncing off the hard, sterile walls. Sounds hurt me these days, and I felt like they were all screaming at me. They weren’t, of course, but tell that to my ears. Or maybe don’t. Yeah, definitely don’t.
Back to my oncologist though. She was asking me about my fatigue and probing with follow up questions, probably because my responses were short and not entirely helpful. I explained how I spend a lot of time in bed and never went anywhere, and she looked up from her notes and looked at me and said, “So coming here is really an ordeal for you isn’t it?”
“Yes,” I agreed. But what I’m thinking now as I write this is “YES! THANK YOU.” Sometimes I need for my exhaustion to be someone else’s idea, because explaining it is too great a burden. Sometimes anything more taxing than a simple yes or no is just Too Much™.
I wouldn’t even be writing this now if I werent afraid of losing my thoughts and recollections. That reminds me, the doctor asked about my second shingles vax, and I confessed I hadn’t done it because I’d completely forgotten about it.
That just goes to show you how drained I am. I pressed for this vaccine myself because I had the shingles back in December, and they were unbearable. And I never ever ever want to have them again.
I’m gonna take a nap now.