Sunday, 21 January 2018

The Cancer Diaries: Half a Sandwich



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Like many women my age, I'm part of the sandwich generation, an army of clear-eyed women who are caregivers at both ends. By day, I've been looking after little Squishy, my granddaughter who is nearly two. On nights and weekends, I've been caring for Jennette, the cancer patient.

Now that Jennette's gone, I'm feeling a little lighter, like an open-faced sandwich missing the top part of the bread. Of course, there is still much work to do in the short-term. I have a funeral to plan, music and pictures to archive, and as her executor, I have many letters to write and meetings to attend.

Still, I've got a lot more free time now that her place is cleared out, and Sundays and evenings aren't spent eating fast food and drinking wine to calm the heck down. Last night, I looked at my PVR and realized that it's nearly full. I must have two months worth of Colbert and old movies to watch. Nope, too much stress. Colbert is already old fake news. It's time to hit the erase button.

The Christmas presents have sat largely untouched. The rowing machine is still in its box. I'm going to have to re-learn all the moves in my Zelda game that Stef got me, and I have a Instant Pot that's sat on the counter since Christmas Eve.

The only Christmas present that got lots of use was the bottle of Dos Amigos that Jennette bought me. Last night, I decided, it's time to break up with George Clooney. Now that George's favorite tequila has been well drunk, I won't be buying any more.

Since Jennette got really sick, I've gained all the weight that she lost. I had struggled to lose 20 pounds in hopes of finally getting a breast reduction, and they're back, and they are everywhere. I have fat where I've never had fat before! I even have back fat.

My hair is in need of a bob. I cut it myself over these months and I'm starting to look like the little girl who was the victim of a granddad driveby barber operation. The color I chose is something that is now looking a bit like doggy diarrhea.

And don't get me started on my wardrobe which consists, now that I've gained the weight back, of exactly one pair of pants that aren't stretchy. My boobs are literally spilling out the sides of the cups, and I'm going to have to do the walk of shame over to Pennington's.

This week, I will have the opportunity to get back on the hamster wheel. Squishy has left the country, and is headed for a destination wedding in Cuba, so I am not even half a sandwich for seven days.

So it's time to get my shit together.

I have an appointment with the doctor on Thursday, another walk of shame, to check my vitals, and arrange for tests. This hasn't been easy for me, since the very last person I want to see is a doctor right now. I've had my fill, let me tell you.

I'm also arranging lunches with all my friends who don't drink. It's too easy to slip back into the two-hour lunch syndrome when you're in mourning, so I need my rehabbed friends to remind me why the breakup with George has to be at the very least semi-permanent.

I still haven't figured out what to do with J's four bottles of vodka. I'm not at all fond of vodka; it's like the pity date for a girl who is pining for George.

Today, I'm contemplating buying new bras and underwear, learning to cook a meal in the Instant Pot, and turning off CNN. The workout will have to wait.

Realistically, I'll probably just chill on the couch with Zelda.

Seriously, I want to thank all the arm-chair coaches who have helped me through this difficult time. I'm a tough broad; I been in worse spots.

So for those of you who are worried about me, don't.

I'm good.

I'm happy.

But just in case, I've squirreled away some left over Ativan I found in J's closet.

It was in the underwear drawer beside her vibrator.

Of course it was!




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