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.




Getting A Second Opinion

*Before I begin, a caveat: I am not a medical professional, I am not affiliated with any cancer organizations, and I do not claim to be an expert. The opinions below are personal ones developed over six years of my mother having cancer, and informed by a probably destructive compulsion to regularly read about cancer on the Internet. *

If anyone newly diagnosed with cancer were to ask me what my biggest suggestion would be for them as they moved forward, I’d immediately say, “I AM SO GLAD YOU ASKED.” (I love giving advice and for some reason am also never prevailed upon) and then I’d say, “Get a second opinion if you can swing it. Maybe a third too just to be thorough.”

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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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