The Natatorium

An emporium of oddities from around the world, complete with somewhat informative plaques that almost never match the item they are meant to be describing.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Hello, friends. It's been a little over two weeks since I arrived back home, and I'm becoming adjusted to a caretaker's routine. Mostly I do housework and wait on Mom; sometimes there are doctor's appointments, sometimes errands. I get a lot of reading done, but for the past two days I've been taking a break from that because I actually started to get a little burnt out (and that's saying something).

Mom had finally had her second chemo treatment this past Monday. Unfortunately, it was delayed two weeks (it was supposed to be on 4/26). The first week she was too weak to have the drugs and the second week we had some drama with her port (a small object under her skin used to help deliver chemo drugs). It was infected and had to be taken out, so she couldn't get her treatment. Then we had to wait until she could have a pic line (another type of delivery system) installed, and wait some more until there was a free spot at the chemo place. So. Anyway, hopefully she can stay on schedule with her treatments from now on.

She's been doing better this time than after her first treatment. She gets up and walks around a lot; probably more than she should. She had a rough night last night so she's been spending most of today in bed, but for the past week or so she's been up and about most of the time.

As for me.... I'm mostly keeping it together. I was handling things pretty well at first (I think), but as time goes on I've gotten more and more fatigued. The problem is that while I have a lot to deal with, I can usually hold it down if I'm able to get some "me" time and regroup. I have a lot of negative emotions swirling around all the time; fear for my Mom, worry for other family members, missing Daniel, and a whole heck of a lot of generalized anger. There's also a healthy dose of jealousy for anyone who isn't me (yes, mature, I know). Sometimes when I hear people complaining about things, I get a little festering seed of rage going in the center of my chest. It's not rational, but all I can think is that they have no idea how lucky they are, not to be in debilitating fear of losing someone they love, and having the ability to do basically whatever they want (work, go to school, go out, live where they want, etc) with relatively small responsibilities. That's not really true, of course, but occasionally it's how I feel.

Anyway, I can usual handle all of that just fine, but I suck at hiding my feelings in the best of times; when I'm tired or hungry my ability to put up with things plummets dramatically. It's been hard for me to get much sleep because Mom needs pills every three hours--even at night, and then I feel like I have to get up between 8:00 and 9:00 am because that's my only opportunity to talk to Daniel. I usually need a decent amount of rest to function, so sleep deprivation coupled with emotional exhaustion leads to occasionally to me being a complete wreck. Most of the time, though, things are pretty steady.

I don't know much about Mom's illness at this point and I don't want to. All the internet research in the world isn't going to make a difference, and I feel like the less I know, the fewer specifics I have to worry about.

This entry makes it sound like things are really depressing around here, but honestly most of the time they're just mundane. Springfield friends, feel free to call anytime to make plans. My Mom's friends come over some afternoons to give me a break, and usually my evenings between 7:30 to 11:00 are free. It does me good to get out of the house sometimes.

Thanks for all the support from the last entry; as I said before, though I may not respond to everything, I do appreciate it all.