The nutrients

It’s been a while. School started again and I don’t have as much free time to dwell on the situation. My mom is coming to stay with me for a few days soon. That’ll be… An experience. It’s been years and we never really get along in person. Maybe it’ll be different this time.

I was just thinking about how as far back as I can remember, my grandpa would hear on the radio or from a friend about a cancer preventing food. And he would tell me about how if you eat tomato, you’ll protect yourself from cancer. Garlic, blueberries and fish oil are three others I remember but there were countless other “super”  foods. And obviously, none of them worked.

It’s shit.

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Resolutions

I hate the idea of resolutions being a ‘thing’. The idea that tomorrow is ultimately the better time to start living. As a procrastinator, this is the kind of thinking I don’t think twice about doing. And yet, I grimace when I see people posting their resolutions because I know that they’ll fall off. They’re unreasonable for most people for an extended period of time. They’re what we’d do in an ideal situation if no other alternative exists. “I won’t eat junk food.” Good luck.

I’d love to lose weight, but only if it took exactly zero effort on my part and I could still carry on as I do.

But still, this year I feel compelled.

1. Cook more.

2. Start couponing again and continue doing sweepstakes.

3. Occasionally work ahead.

4. Think before speaking.

5. Continue getting straight A’s but only if it doesn’t infringe on the quality of life you deserve.

The Disproportionate Amount of Forks

Lately I’ve been doing my dishes every day. A single girl without a dishwasher works in theory, but since nobody is there to call me out on my sink faux paus, they just pile up. Even moreso if I’m in a baking mood or if I’m trying to impress a man with a pan of lasagna. (Guilty. I am part 1950’s housewife.) And so, with my sudden interest in keeping a clutter free sink, I’ve noticed that I have a disproportionate ratio of forks to other utensils. This bothers me.

Forks- 11

Spoons- 5

Knives- 5

How did this happen?

 

At some point when I first got married, we had the same amount of everything. I think post-divorce is where things got weird in the kitchen. I went through this period of having mini-dinner parties inspired by Food Network shows. Shortly after I stopped having those, I started only cooking for myself. And then I stopped cooking anything that didn’t come from a box or from a bag in the freezer. Then I stopped caring about dishes and keeping the apartment tidy because nobody was coming over anyway. I know at one point I took almost everything in my sink and threw it away because I just did not want to deal with it and I knew I could replace the cheap Walmart plastic plates. At another point in time I purchased a small set (maybe 4) or two of forks because that’s all I use. But they were never all clean at the same time and now that they are, they stand as a sad reminder of what this year has been like.

I also feel the urge to count somebody else’s utensil drawer.

Kneading

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There’s nothing more therapeutic than kneading the hell out of some dough and ending up with something delicious. It’s catharsis at its finest. It’s slow.  No matter how fast paced the world is, bread takes time.  And yet, the idea of waiting for anything else annoys me. I can’t be bothered. But for bread, I’ll wait patiently.

It’s not often in life that we’re rewarded for our anger. Today, anger tastes like warm, homemade bread, lightly sprinkled with sea salt.

I’ve switched my days and nights. I know Monday I’ll have to switch back again and it’s going to be hell. I’ll promise myself that I won’t do it again but the night is so much more appealing. Good things happen at 3:30 a.m. Like my bread. Yum.

There are others

Image

 

I guess this ribbon thing is a thing. It signifies that I’m about to be devastated at some point this year. I think I cried every tear out yesterday and now I’m just sitting in bed with my cat beside me. My grandmother came and brought me leftover ham from yesterday and I chucked it in the fridge. I don’t much feel like eating. I asked her what stage Grandpa is considered and she couldn’t give me an answer. She has no idea. I want to know so I can confirm what I already know. That I’m not being melodramatic. I started taking St. John’s Wort again today for my mood. Hopefully that kicks in and I can get something done. I feel like my house looks like I feel inside lately. Everything scattered about with no exact organizational scheme. I couldn’t ask for a better description of my personality and mood.

The Cancer Word

As I drove home tonight it dawned on me that I have nobody to talk to. I mean really talk to non-superficially about the Cancer word. I’m so upset that I’m blogging. And I’m not sure how this will work out. If  putting these words out there in cyber world will make me feel better because they definitely don’t change the Cancer. I’m not a very gifted writer but thankfully, there is no teacher here to correct my fragmented thoughts with a red pen.

My Grandfather, 73 years old, has multiple myeloma. We found out this September.

I know that people die and, for the most part, I accept this. But my grandparents are supposed to be the exception to that rule. These people raised me. And although our relationship has not been easy and I am not sure how to express my gratitude toward them in a non-awkward feeling way, they are supposed to be infinite.

I wasn’t even supposed to know about the cancer. My whole life, my grandfather has been strangely independent for a blind man. And strong. Always strong. So no, cancer. I am not a fan of yours.

In May I graduated after a series of on-again-off-again-change-the-major attempts. And that was only for my Associates degree. I really wanted my Grandfather to be there. To finally make him proud that I was getting my life together.

When I told my Grandmother the date of my graduation, she told me he wouldn’t be coming. Maybe it was the wrong way to take it, but I took this as a personal insult. Like maybe he wasn’t proud of me. He’d called me a “career college student” before, as an insult. It surfaced up years of anger. Finally, after several phone calls back and forth, Grandma confessed that she wasn’t supposed to tell anyone but he had been sick lately. And by lately we’re talking about six months. The kind of sick that won’t allow a person to sit through a long graduation ceremony. I instantly thought cancer but she assured me “there are tons of things it could be and I’ve finally convinced him to go to the doctor.” Getting my Grandfather to go to the doctor for anything is a feat. In the 20 years that I lived with them before moving on my own, I can think of maybe a handful of occurrences that he actually went to a physician.

So, with that reassurance, I took to the internet to convince myself it could be anything but cancer. With all of the symptoms she described to me I came to one conclusion. It was cancer. And I cried to myself and I cried to my then-boyfriend. I cried to everyone but my Grandmother because I don’t often show that emotion with her and I didn’t want her to feel worse.

Summer came and passed. In September, my Grandmother let me know that my Grandfather was in the hospital. She wouldn’t tell me why but I’m a bright girl so I connected the dots. It had to be the Cancer I was sure he had. Through conversation, she dropped the name of “the specialist” that was running tests on him. I googled the hell out of this man. I found out where he went to school, past work history, that he has a family and, oh, that he’s an oncologist.

When I was finally told “multiple myeloma”, I remembered reading about it in my initial quest for answers. I remember reading “no cure” and seeing the comparison to leukemia and hoping that it wasn’t multiple myeloma because I needed there to be a way to fight this. And while there are drugs, it’s now the day after Christmas and I just had what I’m sure will be the last Christmas with my Grandfather.

And he couldn’t lift the small electric blanket I bought him for his always-cold feet. And he couldn’t tear the paper because he’s so weak. My Grandfather sat there, helpless, in his recliner chair in his bedroom and admitted, in front of me, that he was uncomfortable. He’s a skeleton. His hair is so white and his face so hollow. He’s not the man I remember raising me. Today he swam in his sweatshirt and couldn’t tear paper. He couldn’t join us for dinner nor did he even want to eat in his bedroom. I feel so mad.

I hate you, cancer.

This is my blind grandfather who liked to show off that he could garden, jump rope and move about independently. This is the man who I could scream and argue with for hours when I was a teenager. The same man I would yell to that I hoped he would die. And now he is. It’s like the sick moral of a sappy story to watch what you say. Only, he was never supposed to get sick. Immortal beings don’t get cancer.

Tonight, I’m thinking back on all of the times when this Roman Catholic man would inform me that Jesus was going to give him back his eyesight. And he stated this as a fact. I used to scoff at him and tell him how very atheist I am. This is the man who sat in his room and did rosaries for hours and would ask me to read him the bible but I had better things to do. Looking back, I would give anything to be an 8 year old girl again so that I could read to him. And it wouldn’t matter what. I wish I had the guts as a 25 year old to offer to do it but I don’t.  And beside the guts issue, I’m not sure he has the strength to sit and try to build a last-minute-ditch relationship with me.

I hate cancer.

Rex