Thursday, July 30, 2015

Six Months

That's what they said.  Six months.

My dad has six months left on this earth. With us.

I'm still shocked.  I know they've done all they can. The experimental drugs won't help him. Surgery is not possible. Chemo didn't work. Radiation will keep things at bay for a little while.

But the tumor is large and getting larger. It's so aggressive and so rare, they just have no weapons in the arsenal.

He's in so much pain. They can't control that, either, without it messing with him, mentally. For a moment yesterday, he didn't know who my mom was.

He's lost an entire human being's worth of wright, and we're right at a year since his diagnosis.

I ache so much.  I have pain in places I didn't know my heart had.

That's all I can manage for now.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Where is the accountability?

It's quickly becoming a pet peeve: people who blame others for their own mistakes or wrongdoing.

I've mentioned that about Jacob before, how he seems to think his betrayal of me is somehow my fault.  Something similar brought this tendency back to my attention at work recently.

During the summer, my boss gives us a "work at home" day each week.  I can work in my pajamas once a week.  My coworker (the one my friend called The Oxygen Thief, or TOT) opted instead to alter her daily work schedule.  She asked to work 7:30am to 3:30 pm.

That's fine.  That adds up to 40 hours a week, which is what we are paid to work.

Unless you take a full lunch on top of that schedule. Then it's 35 hours a week.

Which is what she did.

Now, this is not complicated math. I figured it out in a matter of seconds, when she started taking a (generous) lunch each day AND leaving at 3:30. She didn't even keep it to one hour, most days. But policing my coworkers is not part of my job. I don't know what arrangements she made with our boss to do that schedule. Not my business.

Fast forward a few weeks. TOT and the boss get into a big argument about vacation time. Boss informs her that this altered schedule is not working for her because TOT is only working 35 hours a week.

TOT informs the boss that the discrepancy is her fault because she (the boss) didn't explicitly tell her that lunch was not included.


Taking it a step further, TOT complains about this to me.  I said, "But that's a 35 hour work week, and we're paid for 40 hours."

TOT: "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU THINK THAT, TOO!" And informs me that it's now also my fault because I didn't tell her that she could work just 35 hours a week.

"Do the math," I said. "We're paid for 40 hours. You can't just decide to work 35 hours instead. It's not my job to police you.  You can do the math yourself."

As though I'd said nothing, she repeated that I should have told her.

How is this my fault?  Or the boss's?  TOT is (chronologically) an adult. Be responsible. Be accountable for your own damn self.

Honestly, I have to ask where the work ethic has gone, too.  When the boss isn't here, TOT comes in late, leaves early, and spends the time in between doing personal searches and full-color printouts of pictures she likes.  We have  new person starting next week, and she's new to an office environment. I don't want her to think that's normal work behavior.

But I suppose the lack of work ethic is my fault. Because, you know, I didn't tell her specifically that we do actual work here.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Waiting...

...does anyone out there remember that song?  "The Waiting is the hardest part..." Tom Petty.  It keeps repeating in my head.

I'm waiting on that company to get back to me.  I didn't hear from them for many days, and I recently found out why.  The HR person I was talking to actually managed to screw it up for me.  She told them I wasn't interested in a position until later in the fall.  Nope! Not what I said!  She seems to have forgotten everything she said to me.  So, now she says her managers are reviewing her notes to see what to do next.  That doesn't sound at all hopeful.

My parents have traveled again, to see doctors and specialists.  We thought he'd start radiation this week, but instead there's more waiting.  More lost time.  More time for the tumor to grow.

They are waiting for news on another clinical trial.  So, other treatments are on hold until they know if that came through.  It would mean more travel and expense, just to see if it will work at all.  The doctors decided that surgery is not possible.  It's too dangerous to do.  So, he has to rely on something else giving him some relief.

Today is a bad day, Mom said earlier.  His pain is bad, so they changed his pain management routine. He's acting disoriented and drugged today.

They were driving, and he asked, "Where are the girls?"

He also asked when Son would be seeing the temple president.  If you're a Mormon, that will make sense.  What doesn't make sense is that Son hasn't been an active Mormon for a few years.

Dad has lost touch with time and place and people now.

It makes me sad to my core.  The lump in my throat is almost painful now, all the time.  I'm helpless. We're losing him, in the most painful, gut-wrenching way to see happen to a man of his stature and intellect.

I have so many questions for God, should he ever want to see me.  I don't know if he will because I don't seem to be one of his favorite creations.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

No more teenagers!

Another milestone has gone by.  Daughter has turned 20!  I am no longer the mother of teenagers.

This picture is my lovely daughter, in a flower crown.  She decided her 20th birthday was the perfect occasion to wear a flower crown.  How can you argue with that?

My sister was in town with her kids, to visit with my parents. Particularly my dad.  On Daughter's birthday, they all wanted to go to a nearby mountain town for the day, as a group.  Daughter decided to level with my mother and said she just wanted to spend the day with her mom.

I could about cry with how sweet that is!  This is the last birthday we'll celebrate together until 2017, since she is leaving on her mission soon.  She'll be gone a year and a half, with email as our only contact (except a phone call on Mother's Day and Christmas).  That she wanted to spend that day with just me means so much!  She's very special to me, and our bond is something I cherish.

So, we spent the day getting some mission supplies for her (such as good shoes and makeup that will be appropriate), having lunch out, and going to the movies.  It was a glorious day of grownup mommy-daughter time.  I am soaking up all the memories I possibly can.  I'm going to miss her so intensely!

We spent the evening with the entire family.  My dad is struggling lately.  The pain is hard to control, and he's lost a lot of time while the experts decide what treatments he can have and which way to go. The tumor is aggressive and is growing significantly while this time just passes.  I am always so scared for him.  Always.
Daughter's birthday gave us a chance to have a celebration, have cake, open presents.  And remember.  Even Son got into it, shopping for her while they were away during the day trip.

It was the end of the day, when I was turning out the light, when it occurred to me that my years with teens were over.  My kids are taking flight on their own, for better or worse.  They pursuing their wants and dreams.  I just have to hope that I've given them what they need to find their own success and happiness.

And she still wears a flower crown.  You just have to love that!