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I'm so out of practice writing things! So I'm going to challenge myself to write a teeny little thing for each of my summer mini-challenge thing, even though it's no longer summer. Oh well!

Speaking of which, I'm looking for a new layout for my DW and probably my LJ as well. It's officially fall, guys! OFFICIALLY FALL. It's still hot here which kinda of sucks but you know, whatever. It's fine. It'll get cooler eventually. I hope we have an actual winter this year.

I spent sometime this morning logged into my old email address and refamiliarizing myself with my old fandom spaces (from about 2002-2005) and being nostalgic. Which is something I feel the need to do from time to time, because fandom was awesome when it was the Most Important Thing going on in my life. I know I can never really go back to that (and I'm unsure whether I would even want to) but it's nice to read about. What a little dweeb I was, back then. <3

A friend of mine challenged me to draw myself as a witch so I took about a minute to sketch this out:
me as a witch looking very unimpressed

SPEAKING OF WHICH, the same friend and I are going to be participating in Inktober this year! GOOD LUCK TO US BOTH. Is anyone else going to be participating? It's a lot of fun and since I'm much more practiced with watercolors and wet media, I think I'll be able to include bottled ink this year, instead of just pens. I'm pretty excited. :3 I'm not going to work from a list of Halloween prompts this time (let's face it, the best way to draw every day is by including fandom stuff, at least for me) so I think I'll just work on whatever I want and let the ideas flow. |D

I'll try to remember to post here, it's just so much easier to post to tumblr and instagram from my phone. ;;;; Damn it, DW, get with the times!

Also, because I don't want to create a new post, yesterday was my Dad's birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad! I love you and miss you so much. <3
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So one of the first monologues we analyzed in script writing was about a woman with leukemia who's facing down her death. Of course, I started crying in class, haha. I made it through and afterwards a friend comforted me and I headed over the the art building. I was really tempted to just go home but i didn't want to miss any class.

Because I'm in painting 5, I can wear headphones and do my own thing. So I'm listening to music and this unknown recording comes on.

Now, for some reason, my phone has the habit of just randomly recording the sounds around it. idk why it does this but it does. Normally I just delete because it's not like anything important is being recorded; usually just the sound of me eating or something. But for some reason I decide to go ahead and listen to this one. Probably because I was concentrating pretty hard on the piece I was working on and didn't want to like, press the skip button lmao.

So I'm working and listening to myself eating chips or something out of a bag, when suddenly my dad starts talking. Apparently this recording took place in the living room and he'd come in from the back porch and started talking to my mom. And he sounds happy and whole and I'm sure this was around Christmas time because he complained about it being cold outside.

And I'm just so happy. I was so afraid I'd eventually forget what he sounded like. But I won't. I have this. I have like nine more that I need to listen to of various lengths.

And if I'd just gone home after script writing, I probably wouldn't have heard this for a long while. It's funny how things work out.
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Thank you very much to everyone who commented on the previous post. I'm going through periods of being okay to being completely devastated. But I know that everything happened the way he wanted; he passed away at home and my mom and I were right by his side. He didn't go through any of the pain the hospital guaranteed he would go through and he was never strung out on drugs.

Mom and I have started the pretty arduous process of going through his stuff and getting the house set up for our new normal. We also went to the shelter and got two kittens, because a death in the family is definitely a good time to get new pets, right? Yeah. Probably not the best idea but they've brought some laughter and also annoyance (CATS) to the house and that's pretty important.

We're doing okay. We've been able to laugh about some of the things Dad used to do and also predict what his reactions would have be to new stuff ("I ain't been gone a week and y'all are already filling the house up with damn cats!"). I'm sad, of course; a kind of bone deep, empty kind of sad, and I think Mom and I are clinging to each other pretty tightly right now. But I'm still able to laugh. I'm able to think about him without crying. I'm able to remember the good times, of which there have been many. I'm not living in despair.

It's going to be okay.
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My dad passed away at 7:50am this morning. Thank you all for being here. I love you guys.
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It's been a bad day. Someone please tell me it's okay to spend most of the day just kind of sitting on my ass. I'll go to my dad when he needs me but I need to get some rest.
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My dad's condition is deteriorating, to the point that I need to help him bathe. I try very hard to remain positive in front of him and not seem upset but it's difficult to see my dad, who has always been so physically powerful, now be so weakened and vulnerable. However, while he has moments despair and shame, overall he's still in good spirits. And he enjoys food and being disappointed at how badly the Atlanta Braves are doing this year.

this is very practical and very morbid )

I ended up taking my mom back the doctor on Tuesday because she's been constipated for about a week and none of the laxatives I've gotten for her have helped. They prescribed a laxative that seems to be helping slowly. They suggested a colonoscopy just to rule out colon cancer and I was like jfc are you kidding me, can we please catch a break here? They didn't seem too concerned about that possibility, it was more of a just in case due to Mom's age, but GOD FUCKING DAMN IT.

I'm going to make a more pleasant post later on this evening but I wanted to get this more serious stuff out.
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This is a spirituality post. I'm talking about faith and such. It's also about cancer and death.

putting this under here )

Haha, okay, now I gotta go cry now.
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So the nephew who I had stupid facebook drama with came down from Washington to see Dad. And as soon as he looked at him he started to cry. I wasn't expecting this because nephew and my dad had never really been that close but in reality my dad was probably the only positive male role model my nephew had.

And it kills me. This kills me. To know that there's all this history between us and that my dad was part of saving my nephew and nieces lives (figuratively, not literally) and knowing that's going to be coming to an end. That this chapter is being closed. Not tonight, not tomorrow, but sometime relatively soon.

And I think I've become accustomed to all this, I've become accustom to Dad's decline but then someone comes with fresh eyes and it's like I see him through their eyes and it's like. Oh right. This is terrible. And it just feels like my heart is breaking and bleeding all over the place again.
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Today, yesterday, and the day before were really great days. All three mornings, I got up to find Dad already at the kitchen table, having made his own coffee. Talkative and cheerful. I bought some high protein Boost for him because it helps with maintaining muscles and he drank a little bottle two of the days. He's been wheeling himself around in his chair, getting to the bathroom on his own, moving from his recliner to his bed to his chair on his own.

However he's not been sleeping well and tonight he's tired. I'm hoping it's only that he's tired anyway. I've been at work for most of the day and evening but Mom said that his speech has been disrupted; like he can't really think of the words to use and he also can't seem to get them out right. My research tells me this is how most people find out they have brain cancer. We found out in a much more extreme way (losing control of his right limbs) but I'm hoping that this isn't something else the cancer is causing. I'm hoping that it's just because he's tired. I hope he can sleep tonight.

He's also coughing a lot. When we were in the hospital, the nurse said that his lungs sounded great. I'm hoping it's just congestion or something. I hope that he'll tell me if he's pain.

As for me, I think I've finally come to terms with this. I'm sleeping much better and not feeling nearly as panicked as I was before. My appetite has come back. I can think of the more practical aspects of this whole thing without getting emotional. I got some blood pressure medicine that has helped a lot on that front. I'm also spending more time both at work and in fandom again.

I feel guilty that I'm coping better, which is stupid and irrational that's what emotions are.
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My sister got in touch with a local cancer support group so that's good. The head of it is one of her grooming clients so that's incredibly handy, haha. I ended up having a chat with her and got very emotional; her mother died of cancer and she was a cancer survivor, so she had a lot of experience and had a lot to share with me. Some of it was helpful, some of it was terrifying. But probably still helpful.

My boss told me that we needed to set up a living will. This is a terrifying discussion. I brought it up to my mom and she does not want to bring it up to my dad. I can understand, of course, but. I think it's something that needs to be discussed.

My dad and I shook hands today and he was able to grasp my hand pretty firmly. This is a victory. He also got up from his wheelchair and was able to get in his recliner with minimal help. This is a huge victory.

I told my dad that there was no place I'd rather be than by his side and he started to cry. I managed to keep a straight face and a non-wavering voice when I hugged him and told him that I loved him and that he was one of my favorite people in the world so where else would I rather be than right by his side? And he told me I was his favorite kid. Of course, once I got him situated and left the room I started to cry. But! I didn't cry in front of him.

Kiddo (my great niece) is coming over this weekend. She knows some of what's going on but not all. On one hand, I'm glad she'll be here since she needs to spend time with him. He helped raise her! On the other hand, I wonder if, at 15, she'll be able to handle this. I don't want her crying in front of him. They need to be able to have a good time together.

My mom cried a little today but one of her friends called and they had a nice chat. I think it was helpful for her. I'm going to insist that she take advantage of the cancer support group. She needs to be able to get her emotions out.
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Thank you to everyone who commented on my previous post. I wrote a hugely emotional post, posted it, and then decided to make it private. It contains all the typical words a daughter who's become a caregiver to the cancer-stricken father she loves very much, I imagine. It felt good to write, very much like a release, but I doubt it's really something other people would get much out.

Today started pretty terribly but then got better! I went to work. I studied up on caregiving and what one should expect/should do and it made me feel better in general. Less helpless, more like I have a game plan. So we'll see!

I am still very sad and still crying pretty regularly. But I'm adjusting. I don't want to say it's going to get better because it very likely won't. But. All we can do is take it one day at a time.
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My dad was diagnosed with cancer. We don't know where it started but it's spread in his lungs, liver, bones, and brain. They didn't give us a prognosis. He's refusing chemo or radiation (which I understand) and also pain treatment. He's not in pain right now but they wanted to set up a plan for what we should do later but he's refusing, saying that he'll deal with it when/if it comes to that. Which is such a Dad thing that I can't even be mad. He wants to go out his own way, on his own terms. I can respect that, even though I'm not looking forward to having to take him to the hospital once the pain does set in.

They gave us a steroid prescription to help with the swelling on his brain, which should help give him more control over his right leg and arm.

The doctor at the hospital (we've never gone to this particular doctor or this particular hospital) said this should have been caught a long time ago. I agree. Particularly since Dad has religiously gone to a regular doctor. But there's nothing to be done about the past. We can only move forward.

In reality, today is the same as yesterday, as last week, as last month. He had this the entire time. And honestly, if it weren't for the limpness in his right arm and leg, we still wouldn't know about it. The nurse said his breathing is extremely good. He's lucid and still has all his mental facilities. He's been joking all day. Fuck, right now he's in his bedroom eating strawberries and watching a baseball game. And his bedroom is very nearby where I'm sitting in the living room; I can hear him if he calls for me.

Today has been a struggle. Mom's holding it together so much better than me; I've been crying more often than not. As little as possible in front of Dad, since I don't want to depress him. I've been joking and keeping things going. But man. I'm not really keeping it together very well. I'm probably going to have a long, hard, sobfest when I go to bed.

Thank you all for being here.
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I ended up staying home from work this evening, which was good since my dad fell out of his chair and my mom wasn't able to get him back up (and he wasn't able to get himself back up).

My sister is getting a wheelchair. I don't know how much it costs but when I told her I would go in half, she said she had it. She won't be able to get it for a couple of days so I'll be staying home from day job tomorrow and just stopping by to the absolute minimum for night job. Everyone is just going to have to fucking deal (and they will, I know they will).

Test results coming Monday.

Despite how grim this post is, today was not a terrible day. A more fandom-y post is coming up!


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perpetually late to the party

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