Daily Post 206: Half Way Done

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Alright. So here we are, about halfway through my “off” days.

Monday was alright at work. It was fun being able to tell my patients about my social experiment for school. They seemed genuinely interested in how it went and joked and smiled with me as I told my stories. The day would have gone better had the nephrologist not rounded in the middle of change over. Luckily, my FA helped flip a few stations and even started one patient’s treatment for the RN and me. We would have been significantly behind without her help.

The rest of the day went smoothly. I had some frustration at the end of the day. This was the RN who I’m pretty sure mentioned to my FA how she didn’t like me coloring during my downtime. As I’m sweating bullets trying to get the clinic closed up she’s sitting at the computer. It must be nice…

By the time I got home, I was mostly over my frustration. The drive home in sunlight with music helps a lot in getting over things like that. Is something at work frustrating? Yeah. But you know what? It’s over. Fuck it. I’m going to enjoy my drive in the non-snowy weather. I’m not going to let the frustration take this moment away from me.

Monday was raid night for Ox. We went to the gas station together so he could get a few energy drinks. I even partook of one before going back to the apartment. I unpacked from work. Washed the dishes. Cooked dinner. Finished editing my assignment for school. Printed my assignment out and packed it away for Tuesday. Packed for the gym the next day.

I then proceeded to spend most of the night coloring a new mandala, staying up until 11 pm. Blaming the energy drink on that one since I typically can’t stay up much past 7 pm most nights.

I was awake when Ox came over so we had a cigarette together then went to bed.

Tuesday morning was crazy productive. I did my morning routine. I packed up the car with my gym bag, school stuff, and my basket of laundry. I ran over to the vet to finish paying my balance with them. The check from Ox finally cleared so I had the money to take care of financial things.

After the vet, I swung by the house to start my laundry. I then headed into town. I went to Walmart and got a money order to pay rent. I went to Costco and got gas for the car. I hopped across the street and got two packs of wet cat food for the kittens. From there I headed to school feeling good about having gotten all of my morning stuff done.

Class was good. I got to talk pretty extensively about my experiment. Not a lot of other people wanted to talk about theirs. I figured that’s how class would go down. Whatever. I had fun and it was super informative and I wrote extensively about it.

After class, I headed to the gym. It didn’t feel like it would be a good workout. I was tired and thought about not going. Instead of giving up, I stopped at a gas station near the gym to eat my protein bar since I was ridiculously hungry. I was able to have more of my energy drink and Ox was actually able to catch up with me so we got to spend some time together.

All of those things helped me to start feeling better. After about 15 minutes, I continued on to the gym. I still didn’t think it would be a good workout, but at least I wasn’t giving up on it. After a 10 minute warmup on the bike, I was feeling more with it. I reached gear 11 a few times. I ended up biking for 35 minutes, reaching just over 6.5 miles. Not bad for thinking I wouldn’t be able to do much.

I stopped at the gas station in Hickman before going to the house. I use lemon and lime juice frequently and I was running low on them. I figured I would pick new bottles up while I was out instead of having to make an emergency trip later.

Once at the house, I switched my laundry and ate again. I went ahead and spent the $20 to get the set of silicone containers I found on Amazon. They should be here Thursday. I logged my workout, noting that I’ve been improving since my return to the gym at the beginning of the month. My first workout was only 20 minutes and I barely made it past 3 miles on that one.

I also took a moment to recognize that while I may not be losing weight, I haven’t gained anything since November and receiving my cancer diagnosis. If I’m able to maintain while not doing a whole lot at the gym, then, theoretically, once I start pushing again, I should start making progress in that area. It made me feel better to realize I haven’t been doing that bad on the health side of things as I had been thinking. I’m going to give it another month before going back to lifting since that was the advice from my Endocrinologist. She wants me to heal a bit more first before doing crazy shit.

Ox and I had sexy time while I was over. Twice even. That left me dead for the rest of the day. In a good way. Totally not complaining that I didn’t get much of anything else done. When I was recovered enough I packed up my laundry and came back to the apartment and slept for a while. Eventually, I woke up to eat, thought about looking at the rest of my to-do list, but opted to go back to sleep instead.

Ox came over at some point and fell asleep next to me. I halfway sort of remember him getting into bed. I do clearly remember his alarm going off this morning. XD

He woke up for work and got ready, kissing me goodbye before he left.

My back was sore when I woke up at 6. I think it was from sleeping weird, or maybe for so long since I’m pretty sure collectively I slept more than 12 hours yesterday. As I moved around doing my morning stuff the pain went away which I’m grateful for.

As far as today goes, I’ve finally started making progress on my report that’s due March 19th. I’ve been going through my reference material and highlighting the information I want to use in my report. I’ve also got the report body outlined and the text formatted properly. Pretty much all that’s left is to put the information where I want it.

I just put the roast in the oven to cook and I’ve written, so all that’s left is to start plucking away at the minor tasks on my list before going into town for counseling.

Ox and I plan to meet for lunch at the diner. From there I need to go check out one of the apartments Jon and I are interested in. There’s D&D tonight. I’ve already made sure my character sheets are in the bag. XD

It’s going to be another busy day, but it should also be a good day. It’s sunny again which is nice. Summer is on its way. I’m looking forward to it.

Report Cat is Helping

Daily Post 205: Breaking Social Norms

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Another day that didn’t go as expected, but once again, in a good way.

I colored for most of last night after writing. I even made a drink eventually. Since I was drinking I ate after my 10 pm cut off time for taking my Synthroid at 2 am. That was fine. I figured I would take it when I woke up the next day.

Ox came over and slept next to me. When my alarm starting going off like normal for me to take my pill, I poked at Ox, telling him to shut it off. In his half-awake state, he kept hitting snooze instead.

My Brain: Not cool, bro. >.>

Eventually, he found the stop button and we both went back to sleep for a while. I woke up at six. I took my pill then went back to sleep for a while. I woke up again around 9. That’s sort of crazy in my world. Usually, I’ve already been awake for 7 hours at that point.

Shortly after waking up I concluded today wouldn’t be an exceedingly productive day. Since I’m a girl and all, I had cramping and general feelings of blah-ness. No plans for the gym unless I started feeling better, which didn’t feel likely. And with how eventful the past days have been, I was ok with social interaction not being very high on my list.

I took care of the kittens then headed over to the house to have breakfast with the family. Ox was amazing and took my trash out for me before he left. Once at the house, I read my previous three or four posts to Ox while the bacon cooked.

After breakfast, I asked Ox to cuddle with me. There had been tentative plans to do grocery shopping, but I still wasn’t feeling well and the tiredness I had woken up with hadn’t lessened even though I had already had over half of my Bang and a cup of coffee.

Ox made the comment of me taking a nap. He said grocery shopping could wait until Tuesday; our normal day. Today could be a recovery day from all of the craziness. As he held me I reluctantly informed him that I had an assignment due for school.

Me: I have to break a folkway for school by Tuesday.

Ox: What?

I explained what my assignment for the class was and that I had no idea what to do as we cuddled. I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to be away from Ox. And I really didn’t want to do anything outside my comfort zone. I had been thinking of taking a zero on the assignment, introvert that I am. I couldn’t not tell Ox about the assignment, though. In my mind, not telling him about it would have been a form of lying.

Bringing up the topic led to both of us dinking around on our phones to get ideas of different folkways to break and how. After some brainstorming, I had settled on the idea of going into town. It’s almost Mardi Gras and I was thinking of getting a feather mask from Party City to wear while doing grocery shopping. The mental interaction with Ox had given me a bit of energy so I was more on board with going out. I would be completing something that I needed to get done for school and taking care of a task on my to-do list at the same time. Win-win, right?

As Ox and I were having a cigarette outside before heading into town he mentioned the helmet and mace we had created for my Hawk Girl costume a few years ago.

Holy shit!!! I still have those! I could totally use them! BEST IDEA EVER!!!!

I dashed back inside and got my helmet and mace. I could not wait to do the experiment now. Maybe it was because I got to wear something we had made together, or because it was something I had already worn before and was comfortable with, or because I had some sort of personal investment in the project now. I can’t say specifically what it was about wearing the helmet that made me more ok with doing this project, but I was actually eager to do it now.

Ox took me back to the apartment so I could paint my face. We talked about the mace a bit. He said he wasn’t ok with me taking that with me due to the potential of legal ramifications. It didn’t matter that it was fake. Walking around with a mace on my hip would most likely be crossing a social line that wouldn’t be pretty. I eventually conceded.

Me: Fine… I won’t take the mace… but I’m totally going to paint my face and go the grocery shopping in my badass Hawk Girl helmet. God, this is going to be so good. For science!

I went to the gas station here in Hickman first. Overall, it was a positive experiment. I got a lot of data for my assignment and was emboldened by the support and encouragement I got when I interacted with people one on one.

Deciding to push further, I had Ox drive me to one of the Walmarts in Lincoln. I went in and continued with my social experiment. I even got to meet a sociology teacher who came up to me and asked if I was doing an experiment. It was a wildly successful project and I had so many things to write about. The difference between the reaction of children and adults. The non-verbal aspect of body language. My own internal reactions to doing something outside of the social norm.

My Brain: Soooo many things. Sooooo good.

At the end of my Walmart trip, I went into the restroom and washed my face off, returning to my normal, socially acceptable self. Ox and I finished our shopping in peace and quiet.

We stopped by the At Home store that recently opened. He mentioned how I haven’t gotten anything for the apartment in a while and I was supposed to have been getting something for myself each time I did well on a test. At my continued statements of, “I don’t need anything,” he threw in that I really deserved something for doing so outstanding on my cancer test, with that coming back negative and all.

I couldn’t argue his logic. I mean… I had been thinking about getting a colander, but I really didn’t need anything… I was getting by fine without one… But what the heck? We’re out together and I’m feeling better, so let’s enjoy the time we have, even if it ends up being window shopping.

So… I ended up with a new sink strainer, a collapsable colander, a pair of silicone tongs, a silicone oven mitt, and a new lidded trash can for the bathroom so the kittens can stop saving me from evil q-tips… Yeah… totally need nothing for the apartment…

I feel like we got a lot of things and there’s a part of me who still feels uncomfortable that we spent money. The total came out to $40, though, which in my mind isn’t all that bad. I feel like we got our money’s worth.

While we were in the store, we saw a set of collapsible food containers. Mind = blown. I didn’t know anything like that existed. The ones in the store weren’t microwaveable safe, but I was curious if Amazon had anything that was, which, they do. Totally going to be the next thing I buy myself. My minimalist, organizational brain cannot wait. This opens a whole new world to me.

Anywho. Costco was the last place for us to stop. Once we were done there we headed back to the house so I could type my findings for the assignment due Tuesday. That’s what I’ve been doing for the past hours; typing and proofreading and editing.

I didn’t expect to spend my day doing this assignment, but it turned out to be amazingly fun and I’m glad it was such a success. I typed five pages… most likely overkill since only three paragraphs were required, but I don’t regret a single word. I’m sure I went much more in-depth than what most students do for this assignment.

Currently, I’m cooking ribs in my Ninja Foodi for dinner. Since those are almost done, I’m going to go. I work tomorrow, but then I’m back to having some days off. Hopefully, there aren’t emergency surgeries or crazy social experiments that I have to do and I can just chill and be antisocially introverted for a while. That would be nice.

Daily Post 204: Progress

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Another mostly uneventful day. I took my Synthroid at 2, then went back to sleep. For the past month, it hasn’t been an issue. I get an extra 30 minutes of snooze time before having to get back up. I’ve never been groggy or sluggish.

Not so today. God did I not want to get out of bed. I hit snooze another two times before finally dragging myself out from under the covers around 2:50. Once I got moving I was fine, but yeah, the start was rough.

Work itself went smoothly. I mixed acid for the first time today since my surgery. It’s not a complicated task, but it involves moving heavy boxes and lifting bags to pour into the mixer. I haven’t felt up to the challenge until recently. The other tech has been taking care of this particular task for me and I’ve appreciated it. I want to get back to my old self, though, and today was my first attempt. I’m happy to report that my incision wasn’t angry after all of the movement. Woo.

I got to meet our new patient for the first time as well. She’s extremely sweet.

I went to the house after work. Papa Ox was outside so he and I got to talk for a bit. He inquired about Dagger. I’ll most likely take the kittens over to the house next weekend so Papa Ox can see them for a bit.

There was back and forth talk about getting Chinese for dinner. Ultimately we decided not to and I came back to the apartment for the evening. Ox may come over later tonight. I told him to surprise me. I didn’t have much mental energy left to give after working all day.

I laid in bed for a little bit once I got here. After some time, I got up and went onto YouTube to look for “self foot massage” videos. My feet have been killing me lately. Maybe it’s time I looked at switching out my shoes. The massage helped which is nice. I might add it to my self-care routine. I’m sure my feet would be grateful. Not so sure about my hands. XD

Jon and I talked a bit more about the moving situation. He wants a solid date so it’s not a nebulous idea. He’s going to be calling the two apartments we’re interested in after his doctor’s appointment on Monday. Tentatively we’re shooting for a lease to start in May. We’ll have a better idea of our options and time frame next week. It seems to be coming together nicely, though.

My lease ends May 31st. I think I’ll be alright if I have to pay rent at two places for one month. That would make moving less of a time crunch. I would have a whole month to do it. Ox and I have saved a majority of our tax returns as a buffer to help with the upcoming expenses. Jon added filling his taxes to his to-do list. Hopefully, he gets a decent amount back. He also plans to pick up extra shifts at the hospital until he moves to add to our collective buffer.

I’ve meal planned for the coming week and made a small shopping list. Not much else to do for the rest of the night other than relaxing. I got to work on my mandala a little bit at work today. It’s close to being done so I think that’s what I’ll do for a few hours. Or you know… until I finish it. I know me… I’ll set a time limit, but I can finish this section real quick. And that only leaves this section in the area I’m working on. That other part won’t take very long… 8 hours later…

I guess today was progress. Progress in my healing. Progress in Operation: Relocation. Now for some more progress on a personal project.

Daily Post 203: The Return Home

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Today hasn’t been all that eventful. Mostly because it was a workday. Woke up and did my morning routine. It was hard not having Dagger there, knowing he was at the vet alone. Saber and I cuddled together all night. She missed her brother. She kept looking for him.

Saber: Meeeooow. Meeeeoooooow.

Me: I know, Saber. I know. I miss him, too.

Ox had agreed to pick Dagger up from the vet once he was off work. I didn’t want to go this morning. I wanted to call in and say I couldn’t be there. Dagger needed me. I wanted to call out last night. Since our clinic has such a bare-bones crew, though, I knew I couldn’t. I had to go to work. I had to be away from my little tiger. It sucked.

As my patients came in and asked me how my week had been I got to tell them about the good news regarding my cancer. I also got to tell them the craziness that was yesterday with Dagger eating one of my cross-stitching needles. When Ox finally called me to tell me he was off work I didn’t know what to feel.

I wanted to be the one picking him up. I wanted to be there when Dagger got home. I wanted to be there to say, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for leaving my project out. I’m sorry for hurting you. I’m sorry for not giving you a choice with the surgery. I’m sorry you’re in pain. You’re my little tiger and you were so brave and I love you so much.”

I was grateful for Ox being there in my place. I was also grateful the day was smooth for the most part. I left the clinic by 4 pm. I was able to make it to the vet around 4:30 to pay half of the $600 bill I have with them. I plan to pay the rest on Tuesday on my way to school.

Ox stayed at the apartment with Dagger and Saber while I was at work. I hadn’t expected him to do that. I knew he was going to be there for a little bit, but he ended up sleeping here at the apartment with the kittens cuddled up against him.

Finding that out, that he didn’t leave Dagger alone, warmed a part of my heart. We hadn’t talked about it. I hadn’t asked. He hadn’t offered, and while I joke about the kittens being his fur babies, in my mind they aren’t his responsibility. I didn’t really give him a choice when I got the kittens. I just did it. He didn’t have to stay here to comfort them, to keep an eye on them.

He didn’t have to give up his whole afternoon, but he did and there aren’t words for what it means to me. It was an act of selflessness and I won’t forget it. It’s added to the ever-growing list of kindnesses he has done for me; to the times he’s been there for me even when I haven’t asked.

While I was at the vet they gave me the needle Dagger swallowed. It’s the most expensive needle I own. I’m seriously thinking about framing it or something. I know it’s stupid and no one would want to inherit it when I die, but it means something to me. One of those moments in life.

Anywho. The vet was extremely kind in letting me split the payment up. She understood this wasn’t an expected expense. I’m still waiting for a check from Ox to clear with my bank. That should happen Monday.

I ran by the gas station to pick up a Bang for Ox. Originally it was going to be a Reign but the gas station didn’t have those, so Bang it was.

When I got to the apartment I finally got to see Dagger. He’s doing well. Still sore, but he’s moving around and seems to be himself. Ox and I clipped the kittens’ claws while he was here. He left not long ago.

I don’t think I’m going to do much with the rest of my night. I’ve packed for work already. I’ve washed the dishes. I’ve eaten. I’ve written.

The only obligation left is to give Dagger his med in an hour. I’m thinking about coloring since I haven’t since Monday. I think that would be nice to do while listening to music. And then, eventually, going to sleep with both my kittens knowing that they’re both ok.

The Victorious Tiny Tiger

Daily Post 202: Cancer and a Needle

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A lot has happened since writing yesterday and I want to start this writing with the best and biggest piece of news of all.

Kevin’s ass was kicked.

My thyroid cancer, Kevin, needs no further treatments at this time.

I met with my endocrinologist yesterday evening at 4 pm. Yesterday was full of some of the longest hours of my life. Ox and I got to the appointment early. I got checked in. We both waited to be taken back to the exam room. My vitals were taken. We waited longer… And the whole time inside my head I’m dreading the moment my doctor will sit across from me and tell me that the battle isn’t over. Here’s another unknown number of months where this thing will still be an issue on your mind.

But that wasn’t what happened.

My doctor did, in fact, come in and sit across from me. She explained, for the first time since my surgery, what the surgeon had done aside from removing my thyroid.

She explained concisely what my pathology found and that while, yes, one node out of nine along the front of my neck was positive, all of the other nodes from the left and right sides as well as all of the blood vessels and other tissues sampled came back negative. For the time being, we are not going to proceed with a radioactive treatment and instead monitor some of the things in my blood. If certain numbers stay low, then we’ll check less frequently. If they continue to remain low, then nothing else needs to happen.

So while it might be inappropriate to say this chapter is 100% done, for me, for now, I’m marking it as done. If a radioactive treatment is needed it won’t be until further in the future. I can, in fact, begin to enjoy this calm because it’s not the temporary month it felt like it would be. I have another three months or so before potentially having to look into additional steps. I can focus on school, life, work, recovering, being at peace with myself. I can not worry about cancer for the next three months.

And even if I do have to have a radioactive treatment, it won’t require a hospital stay for an unknown number of days. I would go to the hospital, take a pill, and then go home. That type of situation seems much more manageable, doable, within my world.

Labs were drawn while I was there. I won’t know until tomorrow or potentially early next week if my dosage of Synthroid needs to be adjusted. But adjusting the amount of a pill doesn’t seem as huge of a deal. Not when I know that I don’t have all of this other stuff to figure out.

It was an amazing appointment and I shared the news with several people while I was waiting to have my blood drawn. The sense of relief I had in being able to finally share good news was indescribable.

It’s over. At least, for now, it’s over. We did it. We won. It’s over.

Ox and I picked up pizza for the D&D group on our way from the doctor’s office. When we got to the house I shared the good news with the group because I couldn’t keep it to myself. No one there knew of my previous diagnosis or the surgery. They all seemed genuinely happy for the news and commented that they had no idea I had been going through something like that.

God, it was so good. I’m still riding the wave of relief. It’s done. It’s over. We won. We can stop fighting. All of the tension, and worry, and unknown can finally stop. For right now I can rest. We can rest. There’s nothing else for anyone to do.

So yes. That was the biggest thing about yesterday.

The day itself started alright. I felt frazzled for most of the morning. I knew I needed to do things and I did fairly well at working my way through my to-do list. I felt disorganized though. My mind wasn’t focused and at the time there were three areas of my life that I didn’t have clear direction in. Work, Jon moving to Nebraska, and my cancer.

I worked through different tasks at the apartment before heading out to counseling. I stopped at the house to pick up my clothes. I ran to Petsmart to get cat food and cat litter. I made it to counseling on time despite leaving later than what I would have liked.

Counseling helped me figure out a lot of my emotions. We talked pretty extensively about the work issue with me coloring. I talked about how I felt like I was more bothered by the fact that it became an issue involving my boss rather than being a conversation between me and the concerned parties. I also mentioned how I felt like it was one particular person rather than both nurses.

In my mind, regardless of why something bothers you, at least tell me, “Hey this bothers me, can you please not do it?”

Why did my coworker(s) feel like they couldn’t talk to me themselves?

That ended up being the root of my bothered-ness. If I’m supposed to work with these people, but I can’t trust them to communicate to me when there’s an issue, then how can we function as a team?

The end result of that ended up being me deciding to have a conversation with my FA to get her perspective. If she were in my shoes, and she knew people felt like they could not approach her with even minor issues, what would she do if anything?

I haven’t had that conversation yet, but I felt better for having a clear plan of action for the situation. I need to have a conversation. Nice. The work area of things seemed less like chaos since I know knew how to begin addressing the issue.

That led to talking about Jon and his decision to move. The issue of the dog might not be as hard as originally thought. His doctor does sign off on emotional support pets, which can’t be discriminated against. Jon has a really strong case for Queenie being emotionally supportive. He has an appointment with his doctor Monday to see what can be done for obtaining paperwork for her.

So while that takes some of the pressure off of the whole moving thing because it adds apartments back to our list of potential locations, not having an idea for timeframe makes things hard to figure out. Are we doing this in March? Waiting until May? When do both of our leases end? When are we looking to move in? None of this was known.

Another conversation was needed. That was the conclusion for that area of my life as well. Since Jon had officially decided to move, the next thing we needed to figure out was when. Is it going to be March, during my spring break? Would it be later, around May when both of our leases were closer to being over and my Sociology class was out of the way? What are the pros and cons of the choices we have and what one did we want to shoot for?

Two out of three areas addressed. That left my feelings regarding my upcoming appointment.

Counselor: What are you wanting to get out of this appointment?

Me: *sad laugh with tears in my eyes* I can’t have what I want. I want to be told that it’s done and over with and that I can tell everyone that I don’t have cancer.

Oh, Universe… Had I known then…

I said that realistically speaking I was hoping to know what the next steps would be and how time-sensitive they were. If I had to have this radioactive treatment done, did it have to happen soon? If so, then I would most likely have to try to get it taken care of during my spring break which may or may not affect helping Jon to move. If it could wait a little bit, maybe I could do it during the summer instead. Lots of unknowns in this regard, but I was on the road to having answers. All I needed and could do was keep breathing until my appointment and go from there.

I felt better after counseling. Still a little frazzled but not as much as I had been. I called Jon shortly after getting to my car and we talked about the whole moving thing. He agreed that though he would prefer for me to fly down now so he could be in Nebraska tomorrow, waiting until May-ish would most likely be the better option. We could plan things a bit more.

I headed to the gym and biked for roughly 30 minutes. Six miles at a top gear of 9. Not bad. Worked up a sweat. Felt good for having gone since I hadn’t the day before.

I called Jon again on my way home. It was during this conversation were I found out about the emotional support paperwork his doctor would be willing to fill out for Queenie, which is the name of his pit bull by the way. If we are able to get the paperwork in place then that puts the new apartments being built in Hickman back on the table, which is where I would really, really like to be.

I said I would call and see if I could get some questions answered in regards to the new apartments. I continued on my way home. Made the phone call. No one answered. Left a message. I started reading chapter 5 for my Sociology class and basically tried to keep my brain engaged enough to not dwell on the upcoming appointment.

Around 3 pm Ox came over. We headed into town. It started snowing as we got out of the car. Much lame. But the appointment went amazingly well so the weather couldn’t fuck with my mood.

D&D was fun. Our characters made it to level two. I found out that I forgot to put my character sheets back into the D&D bag and had to spend a majority of the time flipping back and forth between the pages for my character and a page with the stats for my Giant Badger. All that time I spent on making tables for my Bag of Tricks and then I don’t even get to use them. >.<

We headed home around 8 pm, stopping at the gas station real quick to pick up some cans of peas for the last meal I needed to make for the upcoming week. Ox and I went to bed with the kittens who were content enough to settle down with us rather than running around like coked-up fiends.

Ox woke up in the morning and got ready for work. Lately, we haven’t been having a cigarette together on my days off. He gets ready then comes in and kisses me goodbye, letting me stay in bed all nice and warm. I sleep until around 6 am which is when my alarm goes off. While there’s a part of me who misses that part of our mornings together, there’s also something sweetly romantic about goodbye kisses.

When I finally started my day, it started normally. Smoothly. Wake up, feed the kittens who would swear up and down they’ve been starving for the last eight years of their lives… Feed myself, take my med, make a to-do list, start tackling said to-do list.

Today’s pre-school stuff ended up being cleaning the litter box, washing dishes, finish reading chapter 5, take chapter five test, complete an assignment for school about a cultural icon, print cultural icon assignment and ensure it was in my notebook, cancel the loan application I had started with my bank, make a post on Facefail about the good news regarding my cancer, and post the picture of the puzzle my dad and I had worked on during his visit. All of that while the roast I needed to make for the last bit of my meal prep cooked itself in the oven.

Phew… That was a lot of stuff for only two-ish hours.

I drove to school. We began talking about the concept of universal wrongs. Do they exist and if so what are they and under what circumstances. God, I love the discussions we have in this class.

I had packed a bag for the gym but realized halfway to school that I had forgotten it at the apartment. Of course I did… So much lame, but the day was still young. I could go back out later or do something at home if I was feeling motivated to do so.

I hadn’t been back home long. Long enough to have sat down at the computer to begin writing. I wasn’t all that far into it when I noticed that Dagger was chewing on one of the threads to my current cross-stitch project. I got the spray bottle and sprayed him a few times to get him off the table and away from my project. He jumped down then started hacking a bit.

My brain froze at that moment.

Me: He ate a needle. Oh my god. I bet he ate a needle.

I rushed over to my project. Two of the three needles that I had been using were accounted for, but one was definitely missing. Dagger hacked a bit more as I rushed over to him. He laid down and let me open his mouth. No blood. No signs of a missing needle. He even started purring and licking his fur where the water had gotten him.

Me: Maybe he didn’t eat the needle?

I did a more thorough investigation of the table and the surrounding floor. Needle still missing.

Fuck.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

I called Ox.

Me: I think Dagger swallowed a needle.
Ox: What do you mean?
Me: I mean, I think Dagger swallowed a needle.

How else do you explain that you think your cat swallowed a needle?

I didn’t stay on the phone long. We both thought calling the vet was our best option for figuring out what to do. So I called the vet.

Me: Hi. This is Jennifer, the owner of Dagger and Saber.

I explained what had happened, how Dagger had been acting, and how he seemed fine now, but that I couldn’t find the needle anywhere. The vet said without doing an x-ray there wasn’t a way to know for sure. I could take a magnate to the suspected areas of the table and floor and see if maybe the needle was hiding somewhere. The vet said they could do the x-ray at the clinic for $125 and that they could do it as soon as I could bring Dagger in.

Ox had already been on his way to the apartment. I called him back and told him what the vet said. When Ox got inside he looked around for the needle as well. We were both hoping an extra set of eyes would maybe find it. No dice.

We packed Dagger up into the cat carrier and drove the five-minute distance to the vet office. The technician took him back and returned a few minutes later.

Tech: Yep. It’s in there.

Fuck my life. Seriously. No one in their right mind can be creative enough to come up with some of the shit that happens to me.

They said there were a few options since the needle was still in his stomach. It was possible another location could go in endoscopically and retrieve it. If we stayed at the clinic we were at, they would have to perform surgery. She would call and get prices for everything so we could make a decision.

Well… the endoscopic thing would have been over $1200, not including the $125 I already owed for the x-ray.

Surgery was $600, including the x-ray.

So I signed the consent forms for the surgery and struggled to maintain my composer long enough to at least walk out of the front door. I was so furious. At myself for leaving my needlework out when I knew I should have put it away. And at the Universe because fuck you. Is this because you gave me what I wanted yesterday? I don’t have cancer but now I have to worry about Dagger dying? Fuck you. Just… fuck you.

Ox held me saying that it wasn’t my fault and things would be ok.

Me: I know. But it feels like my fault. If it’s not my fault then why does it feel that way?

Ox took me back to the apartment so I could be with Saber. This is the longest the kittens have been apart from each other. I didn’t feel right leaving her alone. I didn’t do anything for a while. I didn’t want to go to the gym or workout. I didn’t want to go back to writing. I didn’t want to color or cross-stitch or watch anything on Netflix.

I ended up cuddling with Saber and taking a nap. Ox called me once. I went back to sleep after our phone call. The next time I woke up it was to the vet calling me.

Dagger was awake and had already had a snack. The surgery went beautifully and he would be ready to come home tomorrow. They even saved the needle for me in case I wanted it back. There’s a sick part of me who does. Maybe to frame or something. I don’t know.

So that’s where I am currently in life.

I’m very aware of how even though the Universe throws random shit at me, it’s usually during a time where I can do something about it.

In this instance, I was actually home to see what was going on. I was aware of the missing needle seconds after it happened, rather than hours later if I even went to cross-stitch tonight, or potentially even the next day when Dagger started having issues for “no reason”.

No. I saw it. I knew about it and could react to it.

I also have the finances to handle the situation. Trust me, I would rather spend $600 on pretty much anything else, but if this situation was going to happen at least it happened during a time where I could afford it.

So… yeah… fuck you, Universe, but at the same time thank you.

Thank you for letting me keep Dagger. Thank you for my appointment yesterday. Thank you for making it seem like having Jon move up here will actually be doable.

Thank you for so many things. If you could stop fucking with my life that would be great.

Dagger – Vanquisher of Needles

Dragon’s Horde 060: New Nostalgia

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During the week my dad stayed with me post-surgery we ended up walking through Walmart a few times. During one of those times we decided to get a puzzle to work on together. My dad and I used to do puzzles all the time before my parents divorced.

As we were talking about what puzzle to get, I mentioned how I’ve put together a handful of 3D crystal puzzles. He had never heard or seen them, so we took a look while we were at the store. Wouldn’t you know… they had a purple dragon puzzle. I couldn’t have asked for something more perfect.

My dad and I spent the next few hours of the afternoon working on it together. It was amazing. I hadn’t realized how much I missed something as simple as sitting with him, working on something, and chatting about nothing important while bitching about pieces not fitting right.

The whole week, but this experience specifically, helped reaffirm something for me. I do have a dad and he does care about and love me. I might not be the 8-year-old girl I once was, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be nostalgic about my past, and hopeful about my future.

I know you won’t read this post, but I want you to know I love you, dad. Thanks for being there for me when mom died. That’s for holding my hand through this terrifying time of having cancer. Thanks for letting me know that I still have a partent and that somewhere, deep inside, it’s ok to still be a kid.

Daily Post 201: A Different Type of Day

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Yesterday didn’t exactly go down the way I thought it would, but it ended up being a good day so I’m not complaining.

I wrote before heading to school which helped the day feel like it was off to a good start. Before leaving, I loaded up the car with my laundry from the past week as well as the bedding. The kittens are getting old enough to start shedding. While I like soft cuddly things, rolling over into a face full of cat fur isn’t quite what I want…

I even took out the trash before leaving. I gave myself bonus points for that since by then I had already gone out to the car twice. I could have put it off until later, but no. Look at me being proactive and stuff.

Class went well. I got there early. I was able to take the time to begin proofreading my writing before posting it. I made a to-do list for the day. I had to start a new notebook since I finally reached the last page in the one I had been using. My current notebook is a beautiful light blue color. It makes my brain happy to see it and to write things in it.

We began talking about culture in class yesterday. What are the components that go into creating a culture? What are cultural norms? What are cultural icons? All sorts of nifty stuff. I have an assignment I need to complete before class on Thursday, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be alright.

After class, Ox and I met at Hi-Way Diner. I got there early, so I finished proofreading my post and posted it. I began typing up my notes for the day. By then Ox had arrived so I packed up my school stuff and ate with him. We chatted about Jon moving up since that’s official. No specific date yet, but sooner rather than later is the game plan. Since he now has a 10-year-old couch-potato Pitbull, it’s going to be exceedingly hard to find a place to live.

We headed to Costco after eating. I put gas in the car. We picked up a case of water for me along with another bag of dark chocolate covered pretzel chrips. Those things are so ridiculously good… I have no will power to resist them. >.<;

We went to Super Saver across the street so I could pick up the Grill Mate seasoning packets I like to use along with a handful of other odds and ends that Costco doesn’t have.

I had been pretty energetic in the morning. I had plans to go to the gym and my to-do list reflected the energy I had felt earlier. After eating and walking around a bit, I was extremely tired; almost painfully tired. I opted to not get the cat litter and to go home with Ox instead.

Carrying the laundry into the house from the car sucked. I don’t know why I was suddenly so tired. It’s something I plan to mention to my Dr. today during my appointment. It didn’t feel right. It was like out of nowhere I ran facefirst into a brick wall of nope.

I got laundry started then crawled into bed to try to nap. That led to sexy time. No complaints. Ox and I napped together, his arm wrapped around me, pulling my back close to his chest. I dozed surrounded by his warmth and scent and when I woke up, the painful tiredness I had felt earlier was mostly gone.

Ox was still asleep. I used my ninja skills to stealthily get out of bed, letting him sleep longer. I set up my school stuff and continued working on my notes. Jon and I talked again during that time frame. We have an understanding of the living situation. It’s going to be hard, but neither one of us is going to ask the other to give up their fur baby; in my case, babies. We’ll figure it out one way or another.

I ended up doing four loads of laundry yesterday. Two comforters, the sheets, and my clothes. Eventually, I woke Ox up. He gamed for a bit while I cross-stitched. Once I was tired of doing that I began poking around on my computer, cleaning up my Dropbox files. I hadn’t realized how many cross-stitchings I had completed last year until I went to make a post of them. I had to hunt for some of the pictures because I haven’t been diligent in keeping my files organized.

It ended up being a bit more of an endeavor than what it usually is, but I’m glad I took the time to do it. It gave me a better appreciation for how much I did actually craft this past year.

Once the final load of laundry was switched to the dryer, Ox and I came over to the apartment. I put the minor amount of groceries I had bought away while Ox went to the gas station in town to get cigarettes for the morning. I even managed to wash the dishes in the sink before he got to the apartment. I made the bed while he went about his nightly routine and then we fell asleep as he stroked my hair.

I don’t know. Yesterday was so different from the way I had thought it would turn out, but looking back at it, I wouldn’t change any of it. It was a good day.

Dragon’s Horde 059: First Mandala

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Shortly before my surgery for thyroid cancer, one of my patients gave me a giant bag full of goodies. It was a care package to help me get through the initial days of recovery. There were all sorts of snacks and cat toys. There was also a coloring book with a set of color pencils.

The first few days after surgery were rough. I didn’t do much. Gradually I got used to the fact that I had an incision on my throat, that I no longer had an organ controlling some of my body’s most vital functions, and that while I still had a lift restriction I wasn’t as helpless as I thought I would be.

A day came where I finally felt like coloring. I wanted to do something creative, relaxing. I wanted to use the gift I had been so selflessly given. This mandala is the first one I have completed. It was comforting to go back to something I used to enjoy; to let myself get lost in the colors and the process of discovering what I wanted the image to be.

The first picture is a WIP I took. The second is the completed image.

Dragon’s Horde 058: A Year Worth of Work

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This post is a majority of the projects I have worked on for the past year. Even though this part of my blog has been quiet, my fingers have been stitching away.

These projects saw me through my DSS class at work. They saw my start of nursing school. They also saw my cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgery.

These pieces of fabric have seen love, joy, hope, fear, sadness, anger, and frustration. The past year has been eventful. I’m ok with it.