Friday, November 13, 2015

Scan-erday... Kaiser...I think it was the 24th of October...
Sorry, whenever I hear the day/word Saturday (or 'Scan-erday in this scenario), I have to finish it in my head with "in the park".  You know, the 'Chicago' song?  Anyways.

I envy people that get cancer and say that it was the best thing to ever happen to them.  I need to board that damn train...  Does it ever stop in crazy-town? 

So, I had my pelvic and abdominal scan a few weeks ago.  Turns out, I am "fine".  To which I respond.... please define "fine"?  My koo-koo bananas brain would like to think otherwise.  There is nothing wrong with me - well - nothing with my intestines, no tumor, nothing going on with the lymph nodes in my groin, no crazy inflammation that they could see in my small and large intestine.  The only thing mildly weird was that my bladder was 'deflated' and had 'diffuse wall thickening'.  The Gastro-nurse said that it was "normal, but if you wanted to pursue this with your primary care doctor then you can."  Why tell me that if it's "normal"?  Why leave the light on at the end of the tunnel for my curiosity to think - hmmm, what IS that down there?

Google tells me that 'diffuse wall thickening' is sort of inflammation not tied to one spot and could be caused by a few things.  It could be due to an inflammatory disease (why, hello my dear friend, Ulcerative Colitis), although when it involves the bladder it tends to be Crohn's if it's within the Inflammatory Bowel Disease family.  Another thing I read is that endometriosis could cause the bladder wall to 'thicken' or become inflamed. Endometritosis, while not life threatening in any sense, is super painful, annoying and can only be removed with a doctor surgically scrapping shit off from the outside of your insides...does that make sense?  My primary care mentioned this may be the culprit months ago, but I karate blocked that and my assumptions went straight Ulcerative Colitis Avenue, then took a sharp right turn to Melanoma Way.

But you know what?  I'm really tired of looking for answers of why I feel this way. Yes, I'd love an answer, but I am tired of being told it's nothing.  There is no consolation with 'nothing'.  So, I'm getting to the point where I am surrendering.  I'm holding the white flag at my side - not quite ready to hold up it without regard, but I'm holding that flag with a firm grip.  I am sick and tired of pondering over something that may or may not be there.  The nurse that I saw last, as I was crying to her telling her that I am worried that Melanoma had spread to my bowels, she looked me dead in the eye and said "And there would be nothing you could do to stop it".  Her words resonated.

Even though I am slowly inching towards the idea that my brain is causing physical symptoms, I'm not quite allowing "IBS" settle into my rented space because...well, I just don't fucking want to.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pain in a pain, you know what I'm sayin'? [part two]

{Part One Here}

I have a battery of blood work done and given new medication that is an "anti-spasmodic"...not for me in general, but for my intestine.  I think this is going to be super because it's a really, really bizarre sensation to feel your intestines - especially when it's spazzing out and contracting.  This new medication basically slows down the contractions, hence making the cramps less powerful.  However, what it does to your inside also generally does to your whole damn body.  SO fucking tired!  I am already exhausted all the time from whatever the hell is going on...tacking on a new med that a side effect is drowsiness is just lovely. 

Within 5 days of taking the new meds - I wake up at 3am to the worst pain that I have ever had.  Literally, every had.  It was so powerful that while lying on my back in bed, it shot my legs straight up.  Luckily, it only lasted about 2 seconds and then it's gone like the wind and leaves me behind with only worries.  I emailed my doctor that morning and told her the new meds aren't working as I hoped and I'm getting nervous, especially after review of some of my blood work.  I only had one that was out of range - lymphocytes were low out of range - there were a few dangling on the edge of "not normal".

A nurse wrote me back and interpreted what a Nurse Practitioner said (which, by the way, Kaiser freaking LOVES having Nurse Practitioners around - I think I've seen more N.P.'s than actual doctors).  Anywho, this NP basically tells me that it's assumed I have IBS...on top of my hibernating ulcerative colitis.  I stare at my computer screen, in shock, because not too long prior I bleed, had debilitating pain and they are trying to pass IBS on me?  I type a nasty gram and tell them that it's essentially bull shit because IBS is an excuse for a diagnosis - hit send on the message and cry. 

This last Friday, back at Kaiser for a follow up to see how I was doing.  This time with yet another Nurse Practitioner.  I was glad that it was a new one - I would be able to hopefully sell my case to a brand new jury. Within the first minute of us talking, I am in tears because I am SO frustrated with all this pain - I just want it to go away.  I tell her everything that has happened over the last 6 weeks and she makes me feel like I am being fucking paranoid. She looks me in the eye and asks if I have been put on anything for my moods yet.   She even muttered "PTSD".

She then goes on to tell me that she's worked in family planning and talked about my bad periods for a good 5-10 minutes.  Listen, I will take whatever I can in the bad period department, but I don't think my monthly's are going to cause me damn cancer.  I start getting agitated towards the end of the appointment because after telling her that I am worried the Melanoma went to my bowels, she's correcting me saying "everything is fine with your bowels, you had a colonoscopy".  Yes, you're right Ms. Fake Dr, but I'm talking about my small intestine and colonoscopies just don't (can't) go there.

I leave the office with paperwork for damn stress classes, a name of a book about fucking periods and a 'prescription' for magnesium oxide that I can get at Trader Joe's.  I cry the entire way back to work.  I started feeling like maybe I am being paranoid. Maybe I am causing this pain from stress.  That's a hard-jagged pill to swallow; to know that I'm having all of this physical pain that I am mentally causing myself.  The weekend sucked after having this slowly sink in like grease on concrete.

Guess what?  O-kay, you'll never guess, so I will tell you.  Tuesday I have an email from her saying that she showed my case to a (real) doctor and he thinks that I should have a CT to rule out metastasis.  Finally!  Someone gets it!!  I wrote her back and told her that Friday was really hard for me because I was feeling like I was crazy - I even mentioned the crying the whole way home part.  I hope she read it.  I hope she felt just a teeny bit bad.  I hope it changes the way she talks to people that are fucking crying in front of her. 

For a good thirty minutes I felt wonderful.  Vindicated.  Heard.  Then, naturally, panic sets in because someone finally agrees that there actually may be something wrong.

Scan is set for Saturday.  This is my first one with contrast (drinking that chalky-ass shit and being hooked up to an IV).   It's taking up nearly my whole damn Saturday.  Not really, but at least the fun middle part of the day.  I fast for four hours before (so no eating by 10:40), then I arrive two hours before the scan (get there by 12:40), start drinking liquid chalk and get dressed in my gown for the scan at 2:40.  I should be out of there and starving by 3:30...hopefully.

I'm sure it's to end up being nothing.  This is going to be a huge step for me just to make sure that everything is o-kay.  I can then move on with life.  My brain hasn't been right for months because of all of this crap.  If it is IBS...ugh...then I will let it soak in deeper and deal with it.

Wish me luck!

Pain is a pain, you know what I'm sayin'? [part one]

There has been lots going on over the last few months.  I started writing a post about it back in July - but it ended up being a super long and drawn-out...which this may totally be, too.  In a way to hide that this is going to be an excessive post, I am going to chop it into two!  I am sooo tricky!

Basically, I've been having pain in my lower abdomen for years now.  Two to be exact.  I have always assumed it was due to my Ulcerative Colitis.  After having bummer exam numero 3 (or more appropriately numbered 3.5), I am told my large intestine is looking great.  I am actually shocked to see the images because it's SO not what I was expecting.  I expected lots of ulcers, lots of inflammation, lots of something...definitely not lots of beautifully pink insides. 

Exactly one week later after the colonoscopy, I am back sitting on an exam table at Kaiser because something doesn't feel right.  If it's not the U.C., what the fuck is causing the pain?  I am popping Extra Strength Tylenol like candy (which those don't even work that well - I am not "supposed" to take anything else).  The pain is primarily in my lower right abdomen, sometimes it radiates around my entire midsection, every now and then it's a sharp, stabbing pain...every day it's a dull ache to crampy.  So, then it's got to be my internal female bits, right? 

I have a lovely PAP done...which I hate.  Hate like loathe, hate them.  One of my previous docs said that trying to find my cervix is like going on a roller coaster ride.  Not cool when the car is the speculum and the track is my who-ha!  She tests for all kinds of gnarly things which means extra weird looking swabs attacking my cervix.  My tests come back stellar, which I completely anticipated because my girl is all good.  Then the next logical step, per my doctor, is to make an appointment for an ultrasound.  This isn't the typical preggo type ultrasound though, this is to take a look at the female bits from the outside AND the inside.  The probe (that I nicknamed Slim Wandy) is sheathed in a super-thin, narrow condom slathered in hospital grade lube...which is comical to say the least. Once Slim Wandy is inside, the nurse takes him on a guided tour of my uterus - and he finds nothing suspicious. There is nothing abnormal with ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus or bladder. 

About a month after the probing, I am again back at Kaiser.  I had an appointment scheduled for a few weeks later than this particular date, however a couple things happened that kind of startled me.  I bled.  Now, it wasn't like how I bled back in the day - but hey man, bleeding when you're not supposed to bleed, especially from a place that isn't meant to bleed, is terrifying!  I told the hubs if I bleed again then I will push my appointment sooner.  Well...the next morning the pain in my abdomen was so strong I could hardly stand up.  It was 7am and I was contemplating going to the hospital.  It eventually passed and didn't happen again the remainder of the day, so I called Kaiser first thing on Monday.  The rep I spoke to told me that I probably should have gone to the hospital and should definitely if it happens again.  Esh.

Monday, August 3, 2015


Within the first week or two after finding my dad, I decided I was going to look up psychic mediums in Southern CA.  I was at home on the couch, continually wiping off the screen of the tablet from the tears that had fallen from my eyes.  It couldn't have been any longer than two weeks at that point and I was looking for someone to give me answers; I was looking for a stranger to help with the pain.  I realized that it was probably too soon for this...

Fast forward to about a month or two ago.  I, again, looked up psychic mediums in Orange County – this time feeling more in control than the last.  I found that the famous James Van Praagh is from Southern CA and I saw that he would be in Irvine in the coming months.  I got super excited; until I realized that he would be in front of over 150 people that shelled out $90 just for a seat.  It immediately made me super sad to realize that the vast majority of those people wouldn’t even receive a "message" – and to top it off they shelled out $90 to just sit there and watch other people receive theirs. 

How fucking sad/annoying would that be?  Sitting there, hoping and praying that you might get a faint glimmer of the person you lost and then the chick/dude sitting two chairs down from you gets that joy.  That's great for them.  It's awesome.  But knowing my personality - I would only be left with a hazy memory of a violent fit fueled by cheap chardonnay.   

Some of these mediums straight up charge $250 for 30 minutes.  30 minutes!  That's a little over eight bucks a damn minute. You think these people have “gifts”, why are they charging SO much for a "gift"?  The truth: people will pay large amounts of money to hear from their loved hear what they want to hear.  I haven't quite gotten to that point yet, but at times I am teetering dangerously close to the edge of nonsense.  Dangerously close.   Let's just say I can see the edge...without binoculars.  

There is a huge part of me that wants to  go and check it out primarily because it totally intrigues me that someone could know intimate details about you and your loved one's lives without ever knowing you.  They receive images, feelings, smells, little fairies whispering in their ears, who knows?  Regardless, it's totally amazing - to me.  I like to think that I am a little psychic because every now and then I have dreams of things that will randomly happen, but I am no where near 'Long Island Medium' status.  My dreams are more like "Oh, I had a dream you wore a red hat today".  Never anything of value like Saturday night's winning lotto numbers.  Bummer!  

But let's be logical here.  If any of these self-proclaimed psychic mediums need a little "innocent" push for information and turn to Google for help, they will soon read damn near everything about my life over the last two and a half years because of this very blog that I turn to vent my emotions.  Ah, easy fix - I could  just withhold my name, right?  Not so much, unless I have someone else pay because all of my payment methods will have my name on it.  I've run clean out of silver and gold for trade, I'm only stuck with plastic and paper. 

So, I don't know - we'll see what the future holds.  I'm sure I will eventually see a psychic - out of curiosity (and for science, of course!).   Although...I suppose the psychic already knows all that ;)

Friday, July 17, 2015

3rd time was NOT a charm...

My last post was about my impending colonoscopy.  My third big deal, I've done this shit twice before.  I'm a damn pro at this now.  This time was like no other.  I will never, ever forget this time. This was a terrible experience.  Move over that one time I flew head-first off of my bike, sprained my wrist because I was trying to eat a piece of candy...colonoscopy numero three has you trumped.

Allow me to preface this...Kaiser does shit least in the colonoscopy world.

My prep day was this last Sunday and the directions had me starting to drink the go-go juice at 6pm - and then drink 3 of the 4 liters over 3-4 hours. And yes, you read that right, 4 liters (that's more than 1 gallon, kiddos).  I decided that the directions were stupid and I started earlier because I didn't want to be up all fucking night in the damn bathroom.  Besides, I had to wake up at 5am the morning of and finish the final liter of gag inducing, salt water.  Shhh...don't tell anyone, I couldn't finish the whole thing.  My body was literally rejecting it.  Here is a photo of the amount that I drank on Sunday night, basically 2 liters.  The bottle/container/receptacle was larger than my big ass head.

Momma comes and picks me up on Monday and we get to Kaiser.  I don't even have time to sit down before the nurse is calling my name to go back to the temple of doom.  All hooked up, I get wheeled back into the procedure room and the nurse administers my sleepy-stuff.  I feel a slight burn and then immediately my throat is super itchy; she warns of this.  I get really sleepy, almost like I've taken two Tylenol PMs....or maybe one PM plus a muscle relaxer.  Am I asleep at this point?  No, just super, duper relaxed and tired.  I hear the doctor say "I'm going to proceed with the rectal exam", and I respond with "I'm not ASLEEEEEP!" The all caps part is because as the words 'I'm not' leave my lips, I feel his fingers in my extremely sore bum and I yell out 'ASLEEP', followed by "Jesus Christ, man, I'm not asleep yet!  What the fuck!?"  He chirps to a nurse to give me more medication.  Thank you, you're too kind. 

Next thing I know, I am feeling the fucking colonoscope.  No, the doctor didn't hand it to me so I could feel it with my little, petite fingers.  No, I am not feeling it against my naked leg.  I'm feeling that bastard inside me.  I feel it, oh - I don't know - I'd assume about 6 inches or so in me?  It could have been 2 inches or it could have been 12 - it's all the same when your insides are sore. All the while I am trying to squirm but I can't move too much because I am doped up on meds and yelling out that I am not asleep yet.  The doctor huffs and mutters "I can't do this" - as if I am putting him out.  Bitch, hand me that scope, bend over, see how you like it.  Well, that's after I sleep off these meds...

I awaken to murmuring voices and I'm a little confused, thinking "Did I leave the TV on?  Wait, where the hell am I?"  Then I remember the recent violation of my bum.  I also vaguely remember seeing a nurses face hover above mine as she tells me that I need to come back tomorrow to be completely anesthetized. 

Joy.  I have to not eat again.  I have to take massive amounts of laxatives again.  Joy.  So, I spend my dad's birthday in the bathroom.  I did take a short break to release two helium balloons with the hubs from our porch.  The teary birthday speech didn't last long, because I had to go - literally. 

Tuesday's procedure went much easier.  I had a different doctor, who I really liked - he was much more personable and I am going to see if I can keep him.  Ha!  Kind of sounds like "Hey mom - I found this lost doctor - can we keep him?  Pleeeeaassseee??"   I was given the medication and once again, I heard "I'm going to proceed with the rectal exam".  While the seconds are ticking down before I am completely knocked out, I slur "Oh no, please not that".  You know what he did?  He stopped.  The dude stopped and said, "Okay, I'll wait".  I close my eyes and allow my body to accept the sleep. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Bummer Exam numero three

Well, it's that time again.  Time for me to write and time for my third colonoscopy.  Not literally right now, but this Monday, as in tomorrow.  I requested this day off weeks ago to do something nice in honor of my dad on his birthday...Kaiser had other plans.  They called and said that it's been 2 years since my last one...went by faster than I care to admit.  I guess he'd be proud that I am getting this shit handled like I am supposed to.  Since my appointment is relatively early, I should be done by around 11:15, at home and asleep by 12:00 and then alert-ish by 3:00.  I plan to go down to the party store and get some helium balloons, attach a note and then head somewhere to release them.  Hopefully the bummer exam will not stand in it's way.  That would be a bummer.  I'm so funny...

This will be my third of many that I will have in my lifetime.  I estimated that by my 60th birthday I will have had over 15 colonoscopies!  Maybe by that time there will be a new standard for taking a peek at your insides...Maybe?  With my luck, probably not :/

Lately I’ve become really irritated with this ulcerative colitis business.  It’s wearing me down.  I'm so over it.  I don't want to play anymore.  Sir, get me off this ride, I feel like I am going to hurl.  I’m sure most of it has to do with stress which obviously isn’t good for me or my insides.  Constant pain, complete exhaustion for no reason, joint pain, being nervous to eat anything when you’re not at home, the need to scope out bathrooms of every place you enter, not having healthy nails/hair because your body doesn't process nutrients the way it should...those are just a few of the many, many joys of having a chronic, inflammatory bowel disease.

However, another annoying one of the worst side-effects of U.C. is the fact that you don't physically look sick (*insert air finger quotes here*).   I mentally have to fight to get up in the morning, but because my makeup does wonders all of it just magically flutters away...  On the outside, I appear to be a normal, functioning (*insert air-finger quotes here*) human being when all I want to do is crawl back into bed, lay there in a fetal position because on the inside, it feels like I have a ball of hot, broken glass slowing making it's way through my intestines.  That, my friends, should be on the pamphlet in the doctor's office, that no one would ever read, explaining IBD... preferably with an illustrated diagram.

So, today I am starving myself.  Ugh!  I am SO FUCKING HUNGRY!  Have I mentioned that I really enjoy eating?  Like, literally - I love it - I love being able to pick out the different flavors and nuances in meals...try to figure out what was used to get that uber, yummy taste.  Majority of the time when I am craving something, it's on the savory spectrum. You can understand my frustrations that the only damned savory thing that I can "eat" today is broth.  Everything else is sweet: jell-o, hard candies, clear juices and sodas.  I wish Willy Wonka was around with his '4-course meal in a candy'.  I could totally go for that...  Then, theoretically I will be expanding with gasses like Violet once I have to drink my 3 liters of "go-go juice".  I just came up with that nick-name the horrid liquid, clever, right? I think so.  

Please, eat something delicious for me today....I beg you.  

Saturday, March 28, 2015

John Doe C02247-14

Lately my little, dumb-ass cancer blog has become a blog about dealing with my emotions surrounding sudden/accidental death.  And I am totally fine with that.

As I sit here, my fingers tapping the letters on my keyboard, I am speechless.  My fingers are wordless. can I start this?  I read the coroner's report today.  Literally, my index fingers continue to tap the keys and nothing is coming to mind.  Blank.  I read the coroner's report today.


This report was something that I've personally been waiting on for months. I was hoping that it would give me a little more insight on what actually occurred to our dad.  We know what someone else has told us based on their assumptions.  We know what we assumed happened.  We know what we saw after the fact.  But no one really knows because he was all alone.


The problem is that the report didn't do what I was expecting.  I was hoping that the report would seal at least a little of the closure gap that has been  w-i-d-e  open.  It actually made his death a little more sad seeing/reading what happened to his body and he was all alone.  His death has already been really fucking traumatic for all of us....but fuck, man - this report gives us an idea of what actually went down....excuse the pun.

I guess my expectations were a bit high.  I shouldn't reach for the sun...even though it's so damn pretty.  The one thing I appreciated with the report is, that several times, the pathologist referred to my father's organs as "glistening".  I didn't necessarily need to know which bones broke in his fall, but knowing his organs were bright and shiny were a nice touch.

I love you John Doe #C02247-14

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

16 Weeks

Today it's been exactly 16 weeks since my dad was last seen alive.  In two days, it will be exactly 16 weeks since the day his body was found in Kern River.  In the beginning of all of this shit, I used to count each and every day that went by: how many days it had been since he presumably died and then how many days it had been since I called the coroner's office and found him.  Luckily those two dates are exactly 1 week apart; I'm too blonde for anything other than that.

I did that with Melanoma, too.  I am TERRIBLE with dates, absolutely terrible - but diagnosis and death dates seem to stick quite well in my mind.  As of February 14th, it had been 8 years since I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and then February 28th, it had been 2 years since I was diagnosed with Melanoma. 

When you count each physical day, it's consuming. You begin focusing the wrong energy just to get by each day; focusing on the sadness of whatever day you're counting versus using that energy to live each day and look forward to a new one.   BTW - I completely need to relearn that because I am still stuck on the date(s) regarding my father's passing - I'm still stuck on his death because it's still so new.  It's still so weird because it doesn't feel real yet (and I'm sure I will write about that later).

If I recall correctly on last year's Mela-versary, I was fairly consumed with Melanoma all day; I kept going over the phone call in my head all day.  This year, I didn't even think of it.  Come to think of it, I can count the times I've thought about Melanoma on one hand since my dad passed.   The first time was the day after finding out about him.  The hubs and I were going down the hill from Lake Isabella impound in my dad's truck and he asked me if I had thought about cancer at all.  I responded, "Yes".  I cried for a second and continued "only because if it ever decides to come back, he wont be here with me".

It was comforting having my dad there to talk with about Cancer.  He understood.  He would give me pointers on when to call the doctor's office for results - key things to say (*ahem* YELL) to nurses, like this gem: "HEY!  You don't have something growing in YOU, do you!!"  Ah...he sure had a way with words...or maybe I should say he had a way with his vocal range.  He never was afraid to lite a fire under someone's ass to get the results he wanted.

Yet, we had different types of Cancer and were at different stages - but regardless of type or stage: Cancer IS Cancer.  Cancer is a fucking asshole that rearranges your life without asking if you like the design.  Cancer is a thief.  He comes into your home (life), takes your valuable things (sanity, for one) and then leaves.  It doesn't matter how much time has passed, you will never feel comfortable in your home again because you know a stranger was there.  And you don't dare let your guard down because, if wanted to, he knows how to break back in again...he already made it in there the first time around.  Yeah, I think that's a pretty spot on analogy, if I do say so myself.

I know there are countless sources of people that I can 'talk' to - but it was just nice having my dad there and I miss him so much :(   I'm not much of a talker about my feelings; neither was he.  Just being around his calm, stoic nature calmed me down when I was in the middle of one of my freak-outs.  He'd put his giant hand on my shoulder and say "Am, what can ya' do?  It is what it is."  I'd hold back tears because, if he's not crying with his situation then I have no business crying in mine.   Shit, maybe he was holding back tears, too - who the fuck knows with two people that don't talk about emotional shit. 

I miss you dad.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Thank you to 2015!

Fuck 2014!  The last part of this year was obviously terrible.  I hope to not have another one like it nor do I wish for another to be worse.  I only wish for better, that’s all I ask. 

The few days leading up to Christmas were really hard for me.  I eventually had to remove Facebook from my phone (I didn’t uninstall; I sadly only removed the quick access button).  I got annoyed of seeing everyone’s joyful, family postings.  I know that it’s kind of an awful thing to say, but it’s true.  I have been entirely apathetic to other people’s issues.  Last weekend while I was taking the Fox Force (aka: Foxy; Auntie G’s dog) out for a pee, this random dude that I've never met or even seen in my life, decided to talk to me; this 2 minute “talk” was way awkward to say the least.  He jumped right into telling me how bad of a day he is having because he has to kick out his roommate on account of the fact that "the roommate" is verbally abusive to the "the roommate's" girlfriend who also lives there.  I guess he could tell by my furrowed brow accompanied with my what-the-fuck-are-you-talking-about expression that I couldn’t find one, single shit to give about his minuscule “problem”.  

As of late, all I want to do is zone out on Netflix.  By the way, ‘The Office’ is hilarious!  After I am done with 9 seasons of the aforementioned (I think I am up to 3), next on deck will be 'Parks & Recreation' and so on and so fourth.  Even though I am attempting to "zone out", it typically doesn't work out as anticipated.  Being alone with my thoughts isn’t the greatest idea right now given my dumb ass temper, so that's why being around real live people is so much better.  

Since we've usually been around family/office family, they all know the situation and we don't talk about it – which is fine – some days I can talk about it without shedding one, single tear; other days it’s an accidental commercial, or a completely random thought that brings me crumbling down.  Unfortunately there were two people at Christmas Eve that weren't aware of the situation.  And they commented on how pretty my necklace is.  I. Almost. Lost. It.  I told them “Thanks, it’s…umm….it’s my dad”.  And they stepped closer asking if it’s his hair or something, to which I respond “Uh, no.  It’s him, like his cremains...  He, um...he died about 4 weeks ago”.  And of course during this exchange, I could hear murmuring with faint bits of "Yeah, her father just died”.  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

Christmas Day was better, my momma met the hubs and me at our place then the three of us went over to hub's momma's place.  Good lord, it would have been surreal if we had Xmas at my mom's place - no thanks!  Because of the different environment, it was easier (for me, at least) - and I think it was easier for my momma, too.  She cried a bit, although I'm certain the tears were way less than it would have been had Christmas been at home.  That would just be too weird. 

With his passing being in the midst of the holidays, everything has gone by SO incredibly fast!  The actual holidays themselves have been a complete blur overridden by a cloud of his tragic passing.  The only sort-of-good in this was the fact that there were federal holidays mixed in with the sadness.  This is the first time since I was in high school that I've slept for hours and hours.  There was a day last week that I slept until straight up 10:45!  That is amazing!  My body/belly is stressed, for sure, but at least I am able to finally sleep.  Actually, I am tired all of the fucking time.  But, I suppose it's better than being totally bummed, belly/body/brain stressed and not sleeping, like I usually can't.  Sleep I will take with a smile... 

So, all in all, I am SO damn grateful that last year is OVER WITH!!  
Cheers to a better year!
Cheers to the family that we DO have!
Cheers to new happy experiences that we have yet to have!
Cheers to growing and learning as a person!
Cheers to having a better year than the last....(clink *gulp*)