Today is the official start of my new personal fiscal year. 2010 was not the worst of times, but it was not the best either. On the plus side, I got a new job and Eric and I moved in together. On the minus side, we got sucked into a pretty scary medical melodrama within weeks of those two things happening.
I will not get into the specifics of what happened because a) for people who know us, it would be very boring and repetitive b) there are plenty of good websites that cover his condition more than adequately (here’s one) and c) if there was ever a day to move on and not think too hard about all that stuff, it’s today.
The point is, yesterday we spent a big day at Hopkins and he finally received treatment for his AVM after much soul searching and many scheduling snafus. If he tolerates the treatment well, he shouldn’t have to see a doctor for six months until the next MRI, at which point they will determine whether or not further treatment is necessary.
It’s hard to express how much of a relief this is, at least for me. Radiation is a long term rather than an overnight solution to the problem, but at least it lessens some of the ticking time bomb feeling. Hopefully, his AVM will be obliterated with this round or if need be the next round, and we can go back to worrying about the regular things that kill people eventually rather than suddenly, like cancer etc. In the meantime, the doctors’ advice is to live life normally. Yes, please.
For the first time in a while, I feel free to think about my own future, at least for six months. I was too bogged down around the holidays to fully concentrate on my New Years Resolutions, but since my FY2011 begins today it seems like a good time to revisit the topic.
1) get into the shape I was in when we did the Seagull Century. This really isn’t rocket science, but living in fear has a way of increasing both a) consumption of alcohol and crappy food and b) time spent on the couch watching Bones. I have to say, this is the one aspect of feeling sorry for us that I’ve truly enjoyed, so it’s tough to imagine how I’m going to accomplish this without bariatric surgery, but, dare to dream.
2) find a volunteer opportunity, specifically one that doesn’t involve letting down any children if I have a busy week. I’d love to become a big sister, sounds great, but first of all I’m a s****y role model and second of all, you really have to be committed, or risk ruining the day of children who often have very challenging lives and a long list of reasons to despise a lot of the people who are “just there to help.” Personally, I’m looking for a volunteer opportunity where I get to lick stamps or enter s*** into a database whenever I have the time once a week. How dull. But, it’s what I’m capable of giving right now so, eat your peas and like them! I’m doing my best.
3) get better at bocce. I already feel as if I am letting down my team (see: Feral Lords of Victory). Not only am I distracted by medical melodramas, but I also suck. The whole point of joining this league was that I believed that by joining, I would ward off anything really bad happening to Eric. Obviously, the God that I (don’t really) believe in would never put Eric in harm’s way if it would mean letting down the team. HOWEVER, if I suck, the God that I (don’t really) believe in might strike Eric down just so that I will miss games, and my neighbors can win it all. So, this area definitely needs improvement.
4) post dumb s*** on more message boards. If this unread blog is any indication, what the world needs now is my opinion in a wider variety of electronic formats. Twitter? “Foursquare?” Huffington Post Commenter of the Month? FY2011 will be the time to explore all of these and more. I’m never gonna get a big money book deal keeping this light in a bushel, so it’s time to shine.
5) learn how to bake bread, but that seems directly at odds with number 1, so maybe it’s not such a hot idea after all. May need to think this one through more.
6) read a few books without detectives or spies in them. Do I really want to do this? Not really. My mom just gave me a book yesterday that was somehow part of a book club. “I have a book for you,” she said. “It’s horrible. You’ll hate it.” Really? That’s your hard sell Mom? Maybe I’ll just pass. However, she snuck it into a care package with Italian Cream Cake and Peanut Butter Blossoms, so now it’s mine.
[I’m wondering why she felt I needed to read it. Does she fear I’m at risk of being drawn into a polygamous sect? I do like watching Big Love. Perhaps she thinks my only shot at wedded bliss is by becoming someone’s wife # 19. She might be right about that, though I’m a little long in the tooth to be a sister wife at this point. The elder prophet would probably give me to someone who is 90… maybe himself? Fancy! Whatever the case I’d definitely be the conniving, wretched one who judges everyone else for not wearing prairie clothes. Like most gifts, probably best not to overthink this one.]
The upshot of novels like these is that slogging through them reminds me why I usually only read books where people break pool cues over each others’ heads and generally run around acting like Steven Segal. So, I’ll tackle it when I’m done with Kenzie and Gennaro.
UPDATE: in my search for a link to the book, I discovered that it was made into a Lifetime Movie. Any novel that is Lifetime-worthy, I’m willing to embrace with arms wide open, so, f*** Kenzie and Gennero and I am starting this book as soon as I get home.
7) limit crying jags to once a week and act like a sane adult. Now, emotional stability has never been a strong point and in some ways, being a little sensitive is not the worst thing in the history of everything. The world is populated by callous jerks, why surrender to that mentality? However, one of the best lessons of 2010 would have to be “even the least appealing parts of life (biopsies, scary reference requests, disagreements with boyfriend) are often over within a couple of hours, however a well rested face and carefully applied mascara are ruined beyond repair within moments.” Sadly, FY2010 featured far too many moments where I succombed to self pity and not enough where I said, “F.E.E. Whatever happens, happens, I’ll still be hot.” That’s really going to have to stop, which helps put a fire under my a** to achieve goal # 1.
8) On a lighter note, eat vegetarian once a week, and learn more vegetarian recipes. I’m never going to be fully vegetarian, but I like beans and vegetables enough where this really shouldn’t be a problem. I ate a house made veggie burger at Tonic the other day that was very good, but could be improved upon. I like black eyed peas as much as the next gal, but the whole shebang needed more onions. Back to the lab, food nerds.
9) Bust out sewing machine and sew at least one dress if not more. This will come in handy if number 5 succeeds and 1 fails and I need a whole new wardrobe.
10) Go on a real vacation that does not involve family, work, or both.
11) Let Eric off the hook for stupid s***. This doesn’t mean letting him off the hook for big s***. It means having a better understanding of the difference between the two. One thing that might help me with this is the memory of him going toe to toe with a gigantic, robotic laser machine. It would be nice if we all got this kind of perspective without a loved on in mortal danger, but what can you do? I am just thankful that my opportunity to grow up real fast doesn’t have the term “stage iv” in it.
12) to end things on a light note: GET THE BAND BACK TOGETHER. Given the circumstances of our geography, this seems statistically unlikely so I’ll amend it to say, “get A band back together.” Really what I want to do is write some songs and get people I admire to help me flesh them out and record them. My goal is to make music for a haunted gold rush whore house. I want to write songs that Alaskans would stab each other to in 1935. I want to sing something that makes all the cowboys and the Indians cry. That would be my sputnik moment. But mostly I’m really tired of thinking about what I’m going to do after work and the answer not being “oh yeah, make music.”
Well, as with all Lifetime movies I hope we’ve learned a little bit more about ourselves and each other. I hope to post with more frequency and less length in the future but like all the goals on this list, the chances of success are limited.