There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Twilight Zone

Over the last 5 years I have thought about death; my death to be precise.  I'm not afraid of the actual process of dying.  I've seen peaceful and horrible deaths and I think I know what to expect.....well, unless I go out in Thelma and Louise fashion, and even then the great accident of 2005 might have been a small version/vision of that. 

I want to live long enough to see Sachiko achieve her dream of becoming an astronaut, see Spencer become a man, have my great grand children old enough to remember me.  I will be 71 in a few months and for at least the last five years I was pretty sure I would see all of those things happen.  My mom was 75 when she died, my dad 83.  Average those out and I get 79.  That's not long enough to achieve those event markers if I think that my longevity is entwined with my parents by a number.   

I've blogged in the past about a few of my weird wonderings, but here is the biggest mind wondering.  How is it possible that my thoughts, feelings, emotions, all that my mind energy....just go pouf.  I fully understand the chemistry of the body, the slowing down, aging, wearing out of my body in particular. mind has put out my energy, my essence into the world.  I realize that I will live on in my children, grandchildren and others long after I am scattered in the wind, but that's not what I am talking about.  I'm talking about my actual thoughts, memories, emotions. 

I'm an important person...well, to a relatively small audience anyway.  I am loved by a lot of people.  I am a wife, mom, Gigi, friend and enemy. I have a good sense of humor, I can sing, I wrote a children's book, I can kill a level 4 Sudoku, I am compassionate...what happens to all of that?  How can my absolute love of music, the written word, my happiness, sadness, the love I feel for my family and friends just be gone.  Do I get days taken away for being an aggressive driver, for not returning phone calls sometimes, for lying to my mom when I was 16? I wonder if everyone feels like I do.  

I am a fallen away/down/failed Catholic.  I'm not sure what I believe in anymore.  I pray when things get bad.  I am calmed by the prayers I learned in childhood, but I'm not sure who I am praying to.  I believe that Jesus was a Godly man just like Buddha, Allah, Hari. But, over the decades I have come to not necessarily question, but again, wonder about the trinity, the virgin birth and if God is really up there beyond the clouds.  And, then there is hell, purgatory, confession and on and on.  I wonder. 

I can't really put any faith I reincarnation because if anyone was going to come back into my life it would have been my Italian mom to tell me when I was overweight or my hair looked like a Brillo pad. I had a weird experience once with my dad after he had been gone for a while. I was in So Cal living in Covina in a house that my dad had never been in.  I was up on the back of the couch dusting the pictures on the wall and there was a large, oval mirror that had hung in a house that dad had been in.  As I inched closer to the mirror I had the feeling that if I looked in it I would see my dad.   I didn't, but, every now and then that same feeling comes over me....the mirror is hanging in the upstairs living room here, in Idaho, where my dad has never been.

I wonder about other things: Do cars and planes upset the balance of the world with their movement through air, fog or rain and snow, do trees have feelings when we cut them down or just limb them, do the stupid turkeys feel hurt when I yell fuck you go shit somewhere else, do my cats really know when I am feeling sad and lay on my chest or are they afraid I will forget to fill the feeders.....silly stuff, but, I think about those things. 

I have come to realize that I am not a horrible person, a failed parent or a bitch of a wife (most of the time). I guess I am spiritual and maybe I am looking for a way to cover all of my bases when it comes to dying.....but.....I really have to wonder about the fairness of death when I have put so much energy into living. 

I have no clue why I rambled on like this.  I started the post before the date with Dr. Kanning.  He was all business today and no warm, fuzzy stuff at all.  He explained the biopsy....numb with a needle poke and sting, he showed me the biopsy needle....big....explained the procedure, used ultra sound to find Louie, took 4 samples, I got a Band-Aid and compression pads to put on the incision...teeny, tiny one...wear my bra for a few more hours....torture.....come back Monday for results....and then there is the overwhelming stuff.  Surgery is penciled in for the 25th.  If the results come back positive that may change to coordinate with nuclear med ( to run a wire he said).  I will have a lumpectomy and sentinel nodes taken too.  If the biopsy comes back negative surgery will still happen to take the lump and more tissue to run pathology to be absolutely sure that it isn't cancer.  In the middle of all of this is the bullshit with my Plavix....and that is way too complicated right now to even try and figure out.  I feel overwhelmed, will talk to my daughter and step-daughter tonight, will not tell my sons at all until I know for sure I am either not OK or I am OK. 

I did not know that one in three women over 65 that get breast cancer have no family history.  Most breast cancers occur in older women yet studies are done on women usually under 40.  I am not under 40 for sure and there is no breast cancer in my family....lots of other cancers like lung, bowel, pancreatic and breast cancer. 

So, life goes on, I have to wait until Monday to know where this journey is going and then maybe I still won't know.  Right now there aren't enough rooms for me to vacuum or trees for me to talk to.  I might have to resort to washing the fucking windows. BTW, I have no clue how to make my blog friends posts show updated on my sidebar nor can I figure out how to upload photos...fuck blogger.


jp said...

I think when I added your links I did not know there were 2 different widgets. One is a link list, one is a blog list. We added the link list. Add the blog list, copy all your links, delete the link list because you don't need it anymore. The blog list will have everyone's most recent posts listed and that is kind of handy when you want to know who has new stuff. IM me on Facebook if you need help, I'm at work all day and god (if there is one) knows I usuallly have lots of time to play at work.

I think it's normal to question everything. I think people should. I grew up Catholic and I quickly learned that some of the stuff they taught me was absolutely wrong, which then made me question everything else. And if there is a god, I would think they would be proud of you for having those questions, because they would be the one who gave you the brain in the first place.

My grandma had every medical thing that could go wrong with her go wrong in her lifetime. Strokes, heart attacks, both legs amputated, mental illness, all of it. And then she lived to be 88, after smoking well into her 60's. Meanwhile, there's a guy across the street from me who died in his sleep last week and wasn't even 60 yet, completely healthy. You can make yourself crazy thinking too hard.

This is all just me rambling and of course I don't actually know anything. Except how to add a link list, I do know how to do that, so let me know if you need help.

kenju said...

There are many more cysts and non-cancerous lumps than there are cancers. I hope and pray that yours is the latter. Mine has been hurting me a bit. I may have to have a biopsy soon too.

Quit thinking about dying; it will happen to all of us and we can't know when or why. You'll just stress yourself out.

rosemary said...

Well, jp, Jackson Browne sang...In the end it's the wink of an eye.....I'll let you know because I really want to keep you as a friend. I hope I didn't sound too crazy. I was just in a weird place I guess.....well, that's not exactly true because I am weird most days Judy...if yours hurts...get it checked pronto. I do wish I had an expiration date stamped on my foot.....would have helped a long time ago.

more cowbell said...

What JP said. The updating thingy is called a Blog List as opposed to a Link List, which just sits there. (Though I have seen the updating thingy referred to as a "Reading List", which is probably just Blogger trying to confuse people.) I just did what JP suggested a few days ago, and it works fine. I think I went to Design >> Layout >> Sidebar >> Add a Gadget >> Blog List.

I think it's good to wonder because the ones who don't tend to be the ones who don't think a lot to begin with. I will say I wonder less now than I did in my religious zealot days, and I feel less fear now ... which says something about being a religious zealot. Who knows how I'll feel when the time comes, but right now I think Kenju makes a good point: it's inevitable, why waste the time we have before the fact, stressing about what hasn't happened yet and what may not happen for a very long time? Though wondering isn't the same as stressing. Necessarily.

Good thoughts for good results. Keep us posted.

booda baby said...

Wow. You certainly have a future of poking and prodding and stuff but I'm so, so, SO happy that it reads like you've found some heart and head balance.

Regarding all those things you're thinking about: what a beautiful existential ride!! Which isn't to say I think it must be fun to contemplate, but beauty's beauty. I'm not prone to existential stickiness, much less crises (not that this was one of those - not a crisis AT ALL, but the same material gets sorted through). I have those thoughts, of course, but they drift away pretty quickly. I don't have to banish them or distract myself. When this happens, I seem really aware that it's because of my belief system - half of what I was raised with and half of what I've grown myself. Any questions resolve themselves before I even get to get into them.

My name WAS Female, I shit you not! said...

Sincerely wish I had the answers Rosemary. Please know that I care. (((hugs)))