Sunday, May 19, 2013

Nudist Protest

Now there's a title that might grab your attention. I really don't have much to say about it though.  Other than to mention that we managed to avoid the "Bay to Breakers" drunken-unclothed-insanity today but drove right past a very naked gathering at Castro and Market yesterday on the way back from the hospital. (I thought the recent SF Ordinance was supposed to cut down on all the skin in SF, but the Five-Oh was just standing by, observing.  I don't really have a problem with that, but was kind of surprised)  

Anyway, my poor mom got quite an eyeful. Lydia probably did too. Though I doubt she'll be scarred by it.  Fortunately, Stella was seated on the other side of the car, watching traffic and MUNI (as usual). But I digress. You're not here to read about old, naked men... at least I hope you're not.

This morning Stella had another nice visit with Jeff at the hospital.  She won Candyland again (thanks Hayley!), drew a great picture with Dawn that said "I LOVE YOU PAAP (her spelling for "PAPA")," learned about wild boars from Marty Stouffer in an episode of "Wild America" (thanks Tara!), and split a delicious red popsicle "twin pop" with her Pops, among other fun activities.

Jeff's white blood cell counts are dropping, as expected with the chemo, and he has to get the spinal tap drug tomorrow. Ugh. Despite all the meds, he is still feeling pretty good. He especially enjoyed non-hospital Korean food with Ricky last night.

That he is feeling reasonably well is excellent, of course, but I sure wish we could *know* that the chemo is working. Or better yet, that it could just miraculously zap the cancer and that this would be over in an instant.  I'm guessing that this feeling of impatience and frustration won't go away and might well get worse. It's just really disempowering. It blows.

But our friend Liz sent me an email today and I found it very helpful. For the record, I don't feel like I am required to rise above rage or sadness, or wring deep meaning out of this experience. But, fortunately, at least for the time being, at least in my good moments, I am learning something from it:  Some deeper truths about myself, about "what matters," about love, and (hopefully, with time) I will learn more about patience and dwelling in uncertainty.

So, this is from Liz. Hope it strikes a chord with someone else too.

"I hope you don't feel like you have to be achieving some kind of higher level of understanding of the world just because your husband has cancer.  I mean, if that's how it works out, then great.  But fundamentally, it sucks, and it's no weakness or failing to be sad and angry about it.  I think there can be a weird kind of pressure on people in difficult health situations to find a deeper meaning in their struggles, and if that's a narrative that makes it easier for you to deal with the situation, then by all means use it!  But if not, then f$&! it."




ElizabethS said...

I checked the blog to see if there was news on the nurses' strike. I saw the post's title and some wires crossed in my brain. I suppose nurses are very comfortable with naked folks, but I hope they keep their scrubs on.
We love you guys lots and lots.

dirteens said...

Hey sisterface: Love you too. So far, we've spotted no nudist nurses. That's a relief.

And in fact, the nurses are not striking. It's mostly technical workers - respiratory therapists and the like. Still, it would seem the hospital (rightfully) will need to focus its depleted resources on the patients, e.g., in the ICUs, that need critical care. Will keep you posted.

Monika Jo said...

Your friend Liz is a wise lady. You and Jeff are quite the deep and brainy pair; so ,undoubtedly, insights will bubble up naturally out of this trial, but you don't owe that to anybody.

Praying that Jeff will continue to feel ok as his body works on killing the cancer and that you Katina feel peace that keeps you in one piece as you nurture your daughters and support Jeff. much love to you Miners.

dirteens said...

Thanks Monika - I like the concept of peace keeping us in one peace. Will focus on that.

Love to you and Hugh and Cam too.