The Holidays raced past me in a flurry of activity. I'm still scratching my head, trying to remind myself that it's 2010 as I write the date on checks and notes.
How can it be that a decade has passed since the turn of the century?
Christmas was spent with my in-laws, who spoiled us as always. The kids were loaded down with gifts, the extended family ate a lot of food and everyone was in a great mood. I also happened to turn 36, now closer to 40 than 30. If I live to be 72, I believe that would make me "middle-aged".
To counteract my ruminations on getting older, I give undue weight to the meaningless comments of service people....like the waiter at Applebee's who called me "Miss" instead of "Ma'am"......or the Lowe's paint employee who asked his coworker to help "that young lady" over there because he was already helping someone else. And no...these men weren't 70 years old in which case any woman under 50 is a "Miss" or "Young Lady".
I tell myself that I must be positively radiating youthfulness at my advanced age!
The very fact that I am having this internal conversation about my age and actually treasuring these comments with a certain amount of self-satisfaction is laughable and wholly due to the mental deterioration that happens as we age.
It's all downhill from here! ;-)
Work has progressed at my dad's house. The bathrooms are tiled and the kitchen and front entryway also. Providence was with me as I was loading my tiny Corolla down with heavy boxes of tile. A man approached me asking if I was looking for a tile setter. I said maybe and he gave the number of his neighbors who needed the work and were really good. They came in, did the work for a great price and did it well.
DH and I painted most of the exterior of the house, though the cold weather interfered with us completing it. Apparently you're not supposed to paint if the temperature is below 50 degrees. Curse you Arctic Air!
I stayed behind at my dad's house when DH headed up to his Mom's to pick up the kids. The Rationalist had a science project due the first day back from Christmas vacation. His "group project" wound up being a solo project. He managed to take on the responsibility of doing all the work himself with minimal complaint. He's had his first lesson in learning that friends who are the most "fun" are not always the ones you want to do, or should do, projects with.
I had one of my tri-annual, follow-up appointments with my oncologist which put me in a foul mood, though nothing major happened. He's a bit of a cold fish, and while he's not terrible, I never felt very connected to him, or very validated during my office visits with him. I had contemplated looking for someone else before I went through treatment, but felt like I didn't have the time. I told myself that I was only having a short course of chemo, 3 months, and then I would be mostly done with him....I wasn't thinking about follow-up visits for the next 5 years.
Now, I regret not looking for someone else. He comes into the office, asking about how I'm doing, whether I'm experiencing side effects from the anti-hormonal medication I have to take each day. I tell him that, yes, actually I've been really struggling with several side effects, the worst being a period of severe depression at the end of September that really scared me.....simply because it seemed so out of character for me and wholly different from any other feeling of depression I had ever had. At the same time I was dealing with some other side effects that were actually causing me pain. I decided in October to go off the meds for 2 months to see if my symptoms improved.
They did....very dramatically.
I restarted my medication at the beginning of December in an effort to give it another try. I am supposed to take it for 5 years...a prospect which seems daunting considering that I haven't tolerated it well.
My oncologist stared at me blankly and said, "Well, at least I got you to do chemo." I'm not sure why, but this pissed me off immensely. The understated disapproval and general feeling of dismissiveness of my struggle with the medication as being somewhat "whiny" made me roll my eyes and simply wish for the office visit to end quickly.
I left wishing I had found someone a little more supportive and interested in my overall well-being way back in the beginning of this. It was discouraging, mainly because I have been feeling quite fabulous lately and as if I have put the whole "cancer" thing behind me. Visiting him simply dragged me back down to "patient" mode.....in which I have to obsess about my cancer stats, my risk of recurrence, and the unsettling knowledge that the only reason I go to the oncologist is so they can "watch" me....looking for anything that might be wrong with me....checking for tumor markers.
I'm so over it.