This past week has been garbage, to be perfectly honest. My grandmother got diagnosed with ovarian cancer last Monday, and my mom flew to Chicago to be with her. My great-aunt Donna died in her sleep on Wednesday. Mom got referred to MD Anderson 4 weeks ago and (despite our calls and emails) they just got back to us today to say they wouldn’t be able to get her an appointment until JUNE. So many people I know are going through pain that it feels surreal. Even my landlord is going through some truly terrible shit. I feel so frustrated by my inability to help my mother or grandmother or anyone else I know who is struggling.

People tell me sometimes that I need to “take care of myself,” at least, which honestly, I am, and I am underwhelmed with the results. I ate some roasted vegetables today but also a cupcake, and I meditated and I went to the doctor and I hung out with my dog a lot. I guess part of the reason people do this is so they don’t become catatonic or sob inappropriately at the grocery store, but it’s also an attempt to feel some measure of control over their own life. Unfortunately I blew past any relationship with this feeling a long time ago. I am annoyed that I seem unable to cope by engaging in self-destructive behavior, which seems like it helps people in movies. But I don’t like being hung over, and I like Star too much to cheat on him, and I am scared of driving too fast because I’m a terrible driver even at slow speeds. So I’m just like, maybe I’ll lay on the floor and that will convey the depth of my exhaustion to the universe. But the universe remains unimpressed, and eventually it seems like I might as well get up again.

In the spirit of “might as well get up again,” on Sunday Star and I went on a hike on the Palmer Moose Creek Railroad Trail, which is along an old abandoned rail bed the army used to use. It broke 50 degrees and felt almost like spring.



I wish I was the kind of person who knew which mountain this was


Same, Bert. Same.




Chemo, Round One

Mom had her first and second chemotherapy appointments, and she gets next week off to try to recuperate. She’s back on the same chemotherapy regimen she did when she was first diagnosed (gemcitabine + cisplatin). The plan for her is to do 3 cycles of chemo (one cycle is 2 weeks on, 1 week off) and then get a CT scan to see what effect the chemo is having.

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Waiting/Carrying On

One of the hardest things for me over the past five years of my mother’s illness has been trying to figure out how to continue to live my life without giving too much space, in my life and in my brain, over to cancer. Obviously the IDEAL is to just sort of continue onward unaffected, pursuing my GOALS AND DREAMS and living my life to the fullest ETC ETC, like the imaginary daughter I am always unfavorably comparing myself to. Not doing that feels like letting cancer take away more time than it already will, i know that. Actual me is sort of just groping toward that goal, failing a lot of the time.

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Austin —> Alaska


a good idea we had

Upon the expiration of our lease August 1st, my boyfriend Star and I decided we’d pack up our life and drive to Alaska to spend a few months with my mom. July 25th we stuffed only our absolute necessities (which in Star’s case included a sous vide machine, pressure cooker, and a vita-mix) & our french bulldog Bertie into our honda fit and started driving. It felt like 50% of the drive was Texas, but that’s just because Texas is an interminable flat hellscape. Eventually we did escape into New Mexico and then Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. 50% of the drive actually was Canada.

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