January 4, 2015

Hello.

I write this from my futuristic 2015 device as prophesied in the film Back To The Future!

J/k, I’m writing on my phone because I can’t find the WiFi password to connect my laptop. If that isn’t a first world problem, I don’t know what is.

I’m writing today for a few reasons. One, to offer a lame excuse to try to reconcile my behavior over the last week or so, and two, to just write. It’s a blustery, winter morning and truth be told, the only way I’m leaving the confines of the place I’m staying is for Indian food and even that’s iffy at this point. So, I’m going to peck out words and sip hot coffee for now.

I want to start off with my apology, then explain myself.

I’m sincerely sorry to those whom I have been ignoring lately. Aside from work, I haven’t had much human interaction for over a week. I have gone into full introvert mode, withdrawing myself from people.

My friend Rachel has been away from her apartment due to holiday travels and offered her place to me to do a combination of keep the place lived in and look after her cat while she’s been away. I obliged. Being here has given me a brief look at how I’d handle living alone, if that time ever comes.

I’ve learned a few things about myself since I’ve been here: I listen to a tremendous amount of music. I can still cook for myself… I make far too much food for one person, but by golly, at least I’m cooking for myself like a dang adult. And finally, I like to be left alone, but I don’t much care for feeling lonely, which is ironic as eff considering I’ve been keeping myself away from people lately. I’m the worst!

I digress.

So, what’s the deal, then? Why the intentional reclusion? If you know a thing or two about introverted people–well, people in general–it’s that they need time to decompress after a stressful situation. Introverts, however, need a bit longer and this is where I’m at for the moment. I’ve always been that way; I need alone time (not that kind…although, that kind helps, too) to de-clutter my brain or whatever.

As I have mentioned in my last post a few weeks ago, my father was recently diagnosed with cancer and it is at a fairly advanced stage. He had a CT and PET scan done last week to get an idea of the cancer and what its been doing since his surgery in November. At that time, it was felt the most intrusive of it had been successfully removed with surgery. The two of us traveled to Omaha Tuesday to discuss the findings and determine if he should undergo his first treatment of chemotherapy that day.

The results were not good. The scans showed many areas of concern. It looks like this shit has metastasized to his lungs and chest, which means he’s potentially dealing with having stage 4 (read: terminal) colon cancer. He’s to have a biopsy done at the end of this week to help make that decision.

What does that mean? Well, his current stage is 3B which isn’t great, but it’s still highly treatable with hopes of eradicating most cancerous cells. Stage 4 is treatable too, to an extent, but it’s kind of a life extending sort of thing. Dad asked his oncologist about life expectancy with chemo versus without chemo and her answer was jarring: 6 months to a year without, 3-4 years with. I feel I can safely divulge that upon hearing that prognosis, I lost my composure and wept.

I didn’t want to do that there and then, not because I would be embarrassed by a human reaction to some pretty goddamn shitty news, but because I didn’t want Dad to get upset. I’ve been trying to explain everything to him calmly and simply because while his doctor does a decent job of using easy-to-understand terms and takes time to explain everything, inevitably, as we drive back to his home after appointments, he asks me several questions to gain further understanding. He’s obviously scared and confused and to have his daughter lose her shit as his doctor is talking only increases his already tremendous anxiety. I just didn’t want to do that at that moment.

He did end up having his first chemo that day and as far as I can tell, he’s doing okay with it, I think. If this biopsy shows cancer as well, the drugs used for therapy will have to be adjusted and possibly the frequency of treatment from twice a month to more, but for now, his next go is on the 15th.

Again, as I said before, I’m fine. I’m scared, of course, but this isn’t about me or how I’m doing. Any and all concern is to be directed at my father.

But this is also why I’ve been “hiding.” Being alone the last few days has given me a chance to process and do my own grieving, if you will. I realize how backwards this all seems; normal people would want to be around others for support and I do want that to an extent, but I’m also of the opinion that the people in my life are dealing with their own issues and shit. I don’t want to add to any burdens. So, here I sit. But I do understand how some could view this as rude and how it hurts feelings. I certainly do not want that, hence my feeble apology to those I have hurt.

I found a picture the other day that made me chuckle:

image

Debatable, yes? Yes.

I know I’m awful in the emotions department. I know it. I am truly sorry for being so difficult. It’s not you, it’s me. It means more than words can say that there are those who get this infuriating aspect and still put up with me.

That’s all I have for now.

As always, thanks for reading.
E

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