2011: A really crummy year, so far

I don’t want to do anything today.  I’m tired.  I want to eat mac-n-cheese, read, maybe do something frivolous.  That’s a tall order, considering my life lately.

Alas, I have to buy stuff and do chores, but that’s inevitable.  Mostly I don’t want to talk to anybody, or really do anything administrative.  But I will, you watch.

I think Hubby is bringing home Marlin for dinner.  How to cook it, I ask, staring at Sunday Suppers at Lucques (by Suzanne Goin) and The Zuni Cafe Cookbook (by Judy Rodgers).  Let me just add that for bathroom reading, there’s The Sweet Life in Paris (by David Lebovitz).  It really IS a coincidence they all cooked at Chez Panisse.  But now I’m not surprised.  Heck, I’ve also got Tartine open, with plans to bake an apricot clafoutis, even though I know I’m feeding sugar to my cancer, etc etc.

It sounds like I’m living the dream but really, I’m trying to escape the reality of cancer.  It’s all around me.  I mean ALL AROUND ME.

My best friend’s Mom died of pneumonia, but really, it was because her rheumatoid arthritis medication suppressed her bone marrow to the point of  becoming acute myeloid leukemia.  Another friend’s Mom died last Thursday from pancreatic cancer which metastasized to her lungs.  She was 82, but same friend had a double mastectomy and is still taking shots (over 5 years later) to induce menopause and ensure she receives the most benefit from hormonal therapy.  My sister-in-law, cousin, and another friend – all with breast cancer this summer.  And now, my father.  Where will it end?

I see a logistical nightmare brewing in the horizon.  I could go on about it, but really, it’s too depressing.  My elderly parents, once so independent, self-sufficient, and healthy, are swiftly plummeting on a downward spiral of health issues –  some sudden, some pre-existing.  They live 450 miles away.  Somehow I don’t see my older sister sacrificing one bit of her lifestyle to help them – she never has, and she certainly hasn’t asked what she could do to help.  I can’t see any way around this but for me to navigate the road ahead.

Can you blame me for wanting to cook myself into oblivion?  Yes, I did the Zuni roast chicken.  Moroccan lamb kabobs. Fresh apricot ice cream.  Watermelon, mint, and feta salad.  Soon I’ll lose my mind and make homemade falafel and hummus.  I’m growing spicy oregano.  Get my drift?  I want to slide into the Mediterranean, but it seems I’m doomed to just cook my way across it.  (This may lead to the idea that I must be doing okay on the clinical trial, since I’m able to muster the energy to make food.  Well, I can breathe a bit better than at the end of May.  Oxygen, like bacon and salt, makes everything better.)

Thinking of my parents’ apricots, figs, pomegranates, tangerines, passionfruit, apples, bananas, guavas, even loquats makes me so sad.  How can I stoically read pages of cancer research and now, having to apply it to my father, I am dumbstruck and paralyzed?  I mobilized fairly quickly at the start, but when my attempts to help and get them moving were rebuffed, I settled into a sort of resentful apathy.  “They don’t want my help, fine.  It’s not hard for me to sit here and do the thousand other things I have to do for myself.”  But then reality set in and they finally realize things are far more complicated than they’d ever dreamed, and now the dark cloud of complicated arrangements is rolling my way.

Sigh.  Maybe a nice cup of tea and a snack will lift my spirits.  And I don’t mean a sugar-free snack, either.  Hmmmmppphhh.

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Numb

Bad, bad news.  My dad has advanced lung cancer.

He smoked 41 years ago, I’ll say that.  But he’s been fit as a fiddle and healthy-living since then.  To this day, aside from vision problems and weight loss to his already thin frame, he feels well.  The bronchoschopy has started him coughing though.

No details yet.  My heart is broken.  Again.