Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Our Christmas

Our Christmas tree (2017)

For every good thing about the holidays, there is something stressful.  Love the lights?  You'll be putting them up for hours.  Love your family?  There are ten people, one bathroom, and way too much alcohol.  Love the food?  Hope you like cooking for days.

With this in mind, my husband and I have a private Christmas.  We've done it a few years now, and plan on doing it well into the future.  We keep two simple things in mind:  It must be festive.  And it must be as relaxing as possible.

The date:

We picked a day far from any major holiday or family birthday (January 23rd).  It's close enough to our family Christmas to keep the decorations up.  There is still snow on the ground.

Music and movies:

The Internet has radio stations playing Christmas music year-round.  Streaming services, DVDs, etc. take care of television and holiday movies.

The menu:

Pizza from our favorite pizzeria.  We rarely buy it, so it's a real treat.  We already had turkey, ham, cranberries, and the rest of the "traditional" foods during the family Christmas.

The gifts:

This year, we gave each other a few little surprises we picked out at The Dollar Tree (where everything is $1).  We sometimes get more expensive things, but the gifts aren't that important.  The object is to not stress over money while still having something wrapped (or put in gift bags if we don't feel like wrapping) beneath the tree.  We've made things for each other in the past, too.

Leading up to the day:

We watch Christmas movies, listen to Christmas music, check out the Christmas clearance left at the stores and shop, wrap gifts, and more.  We don't send out twenty-one cards.  We don't make ten kinds of cookies. We don't pack to go somewhere.

The day before Christmas:

We watch everything Cartoon Network used to run on their Christmas Party marathon.  It's something we grew up watching and most of it exists digitally in some form.
We have hot chocolate in the evening along with cookies we just pop in the oven to make; our apartment smells great when they're baking and we get "fresh" cookies without the mess.

Christmas Day:

We open presents upon waking, then order pizza when it hits early afternoon.  We watch our absolute favorite Christmas specials all day long while talking, checking social media, or snuggling.
It was a lovely number of days.  On our Christmas Day, my loved one came home from the hospital.  She's still not feeling well, but is miles better than where she was.

February will be busy and hellish.  But, maybe my birthday will be good, anyway.  Maybe I'll be free of cancer.

Friday, January 19, 2018

2018... I Tried to Like You

My 2017 wasn't great.  Worrying about healthcare because of the government, cancer, relatives with their own health scares...  blah, blah, blah.

I have zero medical appointments this month, a rarity.  I still haven't gotten that nasty flu going around, luckily.  Brandon and I have a private Christmas on the 23rd each year.  I have time to watch television, play video games, and contemplate where my life is going after the cancer is gone.  There's been a bit of depression and anxiety about the future, but I'm getting back to good.

Then, last night, someone I love dearly ended up in the hospital.  She was incoherent when they brought her into the emergency room, but is lucid today.  A fair bit of stuff is wrong with her, though.  I keep telling myself it's better to be in the hospital than at home getting worse.

Needless to say, the slow bud of optimism for 2018 has faded before the bloom.

Maybe this will be the only true obstacle or hardship for the entire year.  Maybe my loved one will be discharged from the hospital after the weekend and, in the coming months, be better than she's been in a long time.  Maybe my cancer is gone forever.  Maybe I'll publish something exciting or amazing.  Maybe I'll change someone's life, positively and permanently.

But, as a Magic 8 Ball so wisely puts it, "Outlook grim".

**I might be posting, but not on a set schedule.**

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Quick Update

The last week or so, I've felt myself come back to writing.  I'm starting to be more active on social media.  I'm producing a little work. My blog for disabled and/or neurodivergent writers came back last week in a huge way.

But... I don't know what to do about this blog.  Do I keep it on hold until I feel ready to post meaningful things?  Do I just post whatever I want once a week?  I'm unsure.

Cancer is on my mind a lot.  Should I talk about cancer?  How difficult it is to go through treatment and then wait three flipping months until you know if it's still there?

Will adding this blog on top of everything else be too much?  I can't say.  Part of me says, "It's only once a week, how can you not manage it?"  Mostly, I just type into the Internet void here, anyway.

If anyone cares, sound off, I guess.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

So Not a Princess

Every little girl wants to be a princess, maybe even me once upon a time.  But, it stopped when I was young, probably too young.  I think the end of my interest, honestly, came from animated movies.

The closest thing to me in Disney movies is probably Quasimodo.  He was disabled, isolated, and owns a nonstandard body in a way I could relate to.  He wanted so much to have a “normal life” and, to a child who is very different, it hit on everything so much.  Maybe he didn’t want to be normal, though.  Maybe that was my pre-teen self merely projecting.  I’ve seen the movie once… only once.

I also had other people I related to (somewhat) in fairy tales… the fairy godmothers.  I loved that they were kind, helpful, and often depicted as chubby, just as I saw myself.  No one ever talked about the fairy godmothers’ lives after they helped secure someone else’s blissful ending.  Did they have one themselves?  Did anyone else care but me?  I pictured myself a fairy godmother, sitting down with other godmothers at the end of the day, sharing tea and comparing notes.

There will never be a princess like me.  There will never be anyone like me in fairy tales unless I write one to life.  It matters little now, but maybe it would matter to some other little girl like me.

Did you relate to anyone in fairy tales as a child?

Saturday, October 7, 2017

So... Cancer

Dear everyone,

After much consideration, I've come to a decision today to share my secret.  I'm still uncertain about it because I don't want to hurt or scare anyone.  I don't want people angry I didn't say anything sooner.  This is not a joke, or a lie, or plea for attention.  But, I feel selfish for revealing it all.

I have cancer.  I was diagnosed in late June with Uterine Cancer, grade one.  A mass was found on my cervix in April.  A surgeon has said I'm definitely at stage two and (possibly) stage three because a couple of nodes in my pelvis also show signs of the disease.  Outside of the nodes and residual cancer from where the tumor was, no other cancer exists.  I started external radiation therapy on Wednesday.  I'm not a candidate for a hysterectomy.  I refuse to ask about my odds, but seem curable.

I'm telling everyone this so people understand when I'm not posting on my blog, responding on social media, or have to say "no" to gatherings or opportunities.  Treatment is five days a week in a town about 45 minutes from my apartment... it leaves me drained and hurting due to chronic pain.  I'm not used to going out so often.

Please be patient with me as I go through this.  It's been a rough year.

For more information:
I have some automatic posts going up this month on my blogs, but then they'll go silent while I heal.  I will still be active on Twitter.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tragedy Agendas

My lovely readers,

Everyone is talking about the tragedy in Las Vegas.

I'm not going to talk politics, gun control, or regulations.  We need to have these discussions (not indignant screaming matches) soon.  But, not right now.  Not today.  Give it a few days before you wave your agendas.

Right now, we should be offering our condolences... our money, our talents, our energies to the people who need it the most.  We need willing hands and open hearts working to make tomorrow, next week, a year down the road... better than it is right now.  We should be checking on our neighbors, hugging our kids.

Let people mourn a bit.  Let people plan.  Help out as much as possible.
We can discuss laws and mechanisms some other (not totally distant) day.

I wish you all safety, peace, and love.