Thursday, August 2, 2012

I just typed out quite a lengthy post. But look how quickly I've deleted it. It was self-centered and full of nothing but complaints and can be cut down to:
  • I am never teaching another childrens' class again.
  • Parents terrify me.
  •  I'm sick to death of everything.
  • I'm in a cyclical state of anger and bitterness and contempt for everything and anything. Mainly my self.
  • Brogan's 2nd biopsies came back cancer free.
  • But he needs a vaccine that Joe and I cant afford.
  • I miss the person I was 3 months ago and wish I could just accept the person I apparently have become now and get it over with, rather than constantly being full of hate and loathing.
  • In fact it seems I don't feel much of anything anymore except for anger, anxiety, and stress.
  • I've become very self centered. See how many I's are in this post already?
  • I feel shallow, superficial, daft, clueless, flighty. 
  • My appetite is still through the roof and I'm at my wits end over it.
  • The weather has been awful; disgustingly hot for weeks on end, soon to be months.
  • My student loans are in default and any day now it'll be the government banging down my door instead of sallie mae. I have no money for them no matter who's doing the calling.
  • All I do is complain.
  • I should be happy: Brogan is not dying so swiftly. I'll be in Ireland soon. I have a big-girl internship that should be enjoyable. 
  • So...what gives?

Sometimes, increasingly more often actually, it seems the only thing to do is to start smoking cigarettes again because I cannot take this any longer.
Although each day and night my mind says "I'm done, I can't do this, I quit, I can't take it," and I still haven't smoked even one drag.

But I feel miserable and I don't know what to do.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I found $5 on the ground yesterday. I bought two lotto tickets with it. Aye, there's my luck; no winnings.

Joe and I took Brogan to the oncologist on Monday. My stomach was in knots all weekend over it. One minute I was anticipating the worst, planning for it, shaking and crying, and the next minute I'd be optimistic and certain that Brogan would be strong enough to pull through. The latter was especially true when I'd look at him, as normal as ever, wanting nothing more than to play fetch or wrestle Jake or eat my dinner for me.

Anyway. The oncologist didn't find anything more in Brogan's mouth, no more obvious physical manifestations of melanoma. That's good. He then took two x-rays, one of Brogan's chest and another of his right lymph node; it was swollen, and while the vet thought that it was most likely because of the surgery he wanted to check and make sure. His initial read of the xray results was that everything looked normal - he'd have the pathologist/radiologist look at them to double check, and call us in 48 hours.

So we were given a half-hour talk about melanoma and how it works and what the various options are. Brogan has 'low-grade' melanoma, which is the best of the worst, really. The problem is that the lump that was removed had melanoma going into it's base, meaning that it's still on his lip. Thus, the next step in trying to fix Mr Brogan is cutting off more of his lip, and hopefully this time all of the melanoma will be removed.

Unfortunately, the pathologist saw some sort of dark pigmentation on Brogan's lymph node. The oncologist doesn't suspect that the melanoma has metastasized, but to be on the safe side he recommends that that lymph node come out too.

Bit by bit poor Brogan is getting cut apart.

So, one bit of lip and one lymph node later, hopefully all the melanoma will be gone and the last thing Joe and I will have to decide is whether or not we're going to somehow, by some miracle, cough up the money for this way-too-expensive vaccine, or just hope for the best.

I'm still optimistic. Scared, but optimistic.

Aye. It's hard to convince myself to sit at the computer and write here. I haven't done sketches for any work either because the thought of sitting up in this corner at the computer isn't appetizing at all. I've replaced night-blog-writing-time with reading. So many books to read.

I've not been myself in a while now. In part, I blame this on quitting smoking. My world was thrown upside down. What a strange process. On one hand, it wasn't so hard at all; the cravings were shitty, but they were short, and the bad ones only lasted about a week. Now they're gone completely. The only draw to cigarettes I have left stem from "I wonder, if I start smoking, will I go back to normal? Will my patience come back? Will this god-awful fecking appetite go away?" Then I remember how horrid they smell, and what an awful headrush I'll get if I take so much as one drag, and the desire is choked.

But on the other hand, it's been intense. At times I feel like I don't know myself at all. I've become impatient, quick-tempered, and I have an appetite (in particular, a sweet-tooth I've inherited from my dad) that goes through the roof. It's awful awful awful awful, all of it. I loathe this person I've become. I loathe how I have this new found need to rush through everything, to constantly be go-go-go-go-go. I can't sit still. I can't just sit and enjoy things. What is this? Where did it come from? How the hell do I make it go away? This is driving me insane. The appetite, worst of all. I've not gained weight, but that's mostly because I've been running and walking and cycling more than ever before. If I stop doing that, it'll hit me like a brick, unless I change my eating habits.

And my attitude on life, on living, needs an adjustment.

I simply loathe this person. This is the reason I want to go back to smoking - not because I miss it, or crave nicotine. I don't miss any of it, not a bit. I just wonder, will old Kaetlyn come back if I do? Or, how the hell do I bring her back without it?

Today I felt a bit more like myself. More than I have in a while, anyway. So, we'll see.

Tomorrow's a new day.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Brogan has cancer.

Suddenly he's delicate to me. Looking at him feels like it might break him. I'm cautious, and full of sadness. He's oblivious. He's lucky, and incredibly unlucky. I could ask 'why?' for the rest of eternity.

I'm terrified but optimistic, and most likely extremely naive.

He can't get a break. He's only four. It's not fair.

Monday, July 2, 2012

My childrens' photography course is over. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Six-year-olds are a tough crowd, and difficult to keep engaged. I do know that I'm of the opinion that paying $130 for your six-year-old to learn digital photography is very silly. They're six. They don't care; they just want to make messes, run around, climb things, tell stories, and have fun, not learn about camera settings or image composition. I think it would have gone better had the weather been cooler, thus our walks/adventures more tolerable.

Joe and I took Brogan in to get that wee lump removed from his lip and sent off to be biopsied. Now we're just waiting to hear test results. I'm optimistic, but we'll see.

My teeth won't give me a break. Now, my top-left wisdom tooth is being a disaster. Since all three of those teeth (the two that were just removed, and this currently problematic one) all came in at the same time it only makes sense that they'd all go bad at the same time as well. Unfortunately, my luck is awful and they begin to give me problems when I have to jump through loads of hoops in order to see the dentist. This one, on Friday during dinner, was giving me issues; any time I bit down on that side an awful searing pain would shoot through my mouth. Then I pulled out a tooth fragment. Well, shite, it was Friday night, there was nothing I could do; I'd have to wait until Monday. Saturday and Sunday: cue more tooth pieces falling out. Yikes. I discovered yesterday afternoon that a huge chunk of that tooth is extremely loose and would probably pop right out if I asked it to. On top of that, all weekend the bugger's now razor jagged edge has been cutting and cutting and scraping into my cheek, which at this point is swollen and irritated and painful from it. So this morning; first things first, I called my dentist's office. But ho! They're on vacation until the 10th. Luckily, they listed their go-to backup dentist, so I called him. Ho ho! His office is closed on Mondays. Forget it, I'm fed up with this tooth and this 'you-must-always-wait' nonsense, I'm calling his emergency at-home number. Luckily, he got me an appointment with an orthodontic surgeon for 11:30 today.

I picked the wrong career. It seems that dentists get an amazing amount of time off, and lots of holidays and luxuries (based on the banter I hear in the office of my own; she has a horse ranch, a farm that she doesn't even live at, and a fancy vacation home somewhere tropical.) Maybe I'll go to dentist school instead of postgrad.

Anyway, I'm 99% sure this means I'll be getting another wisdom tooth removed today. Which means that's another week of no jogging, horseback riding, bike rides, hiking, yoga, anything quite physical. That's the worst part of all of it. I can deal with the mushy food and having to be careful about not irritating anything, but being largely sedentary for a week is misery. Especially since quitting smoking; I have an awful neurotic way about me now, a need to constantly be doing something, mainly in order to stay away from replacing my cigarette habit with food.

Well, I suppose the good part is that being sedentary forces me to focus on things I haven't been able to otherwise focus on because of being a neurotic mess, like doing some reading and art-making.

In other news...there's a family of bunnies living in a wee hole in front of a tree right next to the street. Perhaps a foot or so from it. That's an awful spot to raise a family of bunnies, I have to say, and I worry for them. Hopefully motherbunny moves the kits around and they don't stay there where they're at danger of being hit by cars or caught by passing dogs. 

I bought a handful of succulents and herbs to be excited about. This morning I thinned the spearmint/peppermint monster and put the good cuttings into paper bags for drying, and did the same for mam's thyme because it was getting crazy and she doesn't keep up with it. Most everything needs to be re-planted and I have to figure out what to put everything in, which is turning out to be tricky.

So I'm off to enjoy trail mix while I can before it's back to a diet of sweet potatoes and smoothies.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

  • Offered (and accepted) an upaid curatorial internship at a big local hospital.
  • Currently teaching digital photography to six-year-olds. I'm tempted to say that this has been a nightmare, but we have another week to go and things may change yet / I may learn something even more than they have.
  • Brogan goes in on Wednesday to get that lip-lump removed and biopsied.
  • I've not been reading nearly half as much as I'd like to.
  • I've not made any art (but the good part: I have a desire to do so.)
  • Working every single Saturday evening serving weddings until the end of time. I'll be a wedding connoisseur by the time summer is done.
  • New-found love for blueberries. I loathed them for a long time.
  • Attempting to get an Oriole to stick around by putting orange halves out. He/she has not shown any interest so far.
  • I need to re-learn how to live an unscheduled life. Everything I do has become very regimented and orderly; I plan my days out, I nearly plan my meals out. This has started within the last year and a half. Now that I'm out of school it bothers the hell out of me, and at the same time it seems that I now have a hard time functioning otherwise.
  •  Had two wisdom teeth pulled out. That solved the toothache problem.
  • My cousin is getting married in Portland this weekend. I've wanted to visit Portland for a number of years now, but it's on the opposite end of the country. The weather is nearly identical to Ireland's, the art culture is massive, amongst a big slew of other good qualities. Alas, I will be here, serving another wedding.
  • The garden is growing nicely; 18 tomato plants, pole beans, wax beans, kale, cabbage, zucchini, cucumber, eggplant, celery, peppers, lots of herbs and a few other things.
  • The weather is extremely hot. My six-year-old aspiring photographers have hated me for taking them out in it. It makes one tired, lethargic, unmotivated. Few things make me as grumpy as being hot and uncomfortable does. If this keeps up, I'm moving to Svalbard.

Friday, June 1, 2012

My teeth hate me.

The night before / morning of commencement practice I had a fairly awful toothache that kept me awake for the majority of the night. It was a Friday morning. My dentist's office is conveniently closed on Fridays and they have a message on their machine that says "if you have a true dental emergency, please press whatever button."

Unsure of what constitutes a "true dental emergency" (my mind immediately went to broken teeth, puddles of blood, loads of pain, awful awful things, not "dull achy nagging miserableness" that keeps one up at night) I called my previous dentist. Unfortunately, all they had to say was "Sorry, you haven't been here in a while and although your dentist's office is closed you need to go somewhere else." Glad I left them as one can see how incredibly helpful they are.

A professor was so worried about me that she actually scheduled an appointment for me with her own dentist for that day while I was at rehersal. I thought for sure I was going to need a root canal, but the dentist thought otherwise. It was a tooth that had been chipped a while ago, the filling came off less of a while ago, and I was just waiting for school to be over in order to take care of everything. Apparently the tooth didn't want to wait anymore. She put a new filling on it, and sent me on my way. The pain was gone.

Cue two days ago when the achyness started to come back-but not exactly from the same spot. Off and on. Don't ask me why, two days ago, I didn't call the dentist. Oh I remember why; because I didn't want to spend the money so "I'll just wait and see if it goes away in a few days." Now it's 6am Friday morning, my mouth is in awfully bad pain in a spot that seems to move around on the left side, and despite feeling completely exhausted I haven't slept a wink because of it. Motrin hasn't helped. My dentist's office is, once again, closed.

And today is my first day of work at the golf course.

Lovely lovely lovely.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I've had an absence of restlessness for a while now, despite quitting smoking. But not tonight.

This afternoon I took the good Mr Brógan into the vet to get his annual shot updates; DA2/LPP, Lyme, Bordatella, Heartworm Antagen, and five months' Interceptor to keep the fleas and ticks at bay.

I scraped together every leftover dollar I had for that and there isn't a cent left to spare. It's always an expensive visit.

But it didn't end there, of course not! Low and behold, Brógan has some sort of growth on his lip. Joe noticed it around the 12th when he was in town. I mentioned it to the vet, who immediately became concerned because of it's colour; "if it were lighter in colour I wouldn't be too worried, but it's black and that's alarming." In other words, there's a chance it could be melanoma. There's a chance it could be nothing. In order to find out, I have to pay $520 for it to be removed and tested.

$520 to cut a lump the size of a pea hanging off of Brógan's droopy jowl by a patch of skin maybe the width of two toothpicks. This only because they have to put him under in order to do it; "if he were a person we would just numb the area, cut it off, and it would cost hardly anything. But he's a dog and we have no control over his head even if we were to numb the area so he needs to be put under for his and our safety. It only takes two minutes to cut it off, but the anesthesia and medicines for the anesthesia are expensive." Damnit I swear to god I will stand back there and hold his head still myself if they'd knock off money and allow it! Half a grand! To cut off this tiny thing! They don't even charge anything for the actual labwork/biopsy of the thing (thankfully) that's just the removal! Aye!

Can I just cut it off myself, put it in a little container, and bring it to them for the testing? 

I do not have the money for it. I don't know when I will have the money for it. I start work at the golf course on Friday, but as of right now I'm only working two days a week. I'm set to teach two classes but there's no guarantee that enrollment for either course will fill. 

Brógan, please please PLEASE stop getting strange / expensive / frightening ailments. This is getting absurd. First it was Idiopathic trigeminal neuritis, a week before I left for the Burren. "His jaw might work again, or it might not. There's nothing we can do, this goes away on it's own. It could take a week or it could take a few months." He was lucky with that one; after two weeks of making him goopy food and spoon-feeding it to him, and extremely messy water-feeding, his mouth was back to normal. Then the intestinal blockage. Again, extremely lucky. And now...some weird pea-sized black thing hanging off of his jowl which may or may not be cancer.

Argh argh argh. I must hope that Brógan has nine lives. Or....seventy, at this rate. My heart aches and my head pounds. I'm worried and frustrated.

Meanwhile, he sleeps peacefully, blissfully ignorant. 

In other news:
  • Quitting smoking is still going well. It's been a week now since I've had a cigarette. After dinner, and then after tea, in the evening, are the most difficult times. Other than that, it's been somewhat easy. Mornings are easy. Probably because the shite of the day hasn't piled up yet.
  • This has resulted in loads of bike rides. And jogging every-other-night with Brógan. He loves it; as soon as I put my jogging shorts on he knows what the plan is and runs to the door with anticipation.
  • My aunt gave me some of the best tea I've had yet. Some sort of black spiced tea. I'm not sure it's chai, but it's similar; naturally sweet and heavily spiced. It's magical and I've only had two cups of it so far in an attempt to spare it.
  • I sat on the patio for an hour the other night doing nothing but listening to and watching the birds. I then pulled out mam's computer and looked up a bird field guide with sounds and attempted to identify their calls, but was largely unsuccessful. There are a number that I know very well offhand, but there are many that sound so much alike, mostly all the small chickadee and sparrow varieties. The grackles, doves, red-winged blackbirds, robins, cardinals, and jays are hard to confuse.
  • The plan for September - mid November: Cleveland > Newark > Shannon > Burren > Inis Oírr > Galway > Dublin > England > Dublin > Mulranny > Whatever for a week and a half > Shannon > Newark > Cleveland. Highly liable to change.
  • Almost done redoing my brother's old room. Dad and I acquired shelves today so tomorrow I may spend the afternoon putting them up, stocking them, and getting everything at least moved into the room, if not organized and all set so I can start to make new work. Making work is going to be entirely different now, which is both exciting and slighty scary.