Tag Archives: dealing with loss

Decisions

It’s been quite a while since I last reached out to the great big world out there. It was more a conscious decision than a spontaneous act, I felt frozen in my grief and short for words that somehow couldn’t find their way to come out. I gave up, everything seemed pointless, as if my dad had taken all the colors out of my life and carried them away as he left the Earth behind. I suddenly found myself on a no man’s land, beaten up by dad’s vicious and extremely complicated disease that eventually reduced me to almost nobody and nothing. No happiness, no smiles… no self-esteem, no friends in the hard days of grief… no family of my own, no job, no creativity… Then I suddenly realized that the mortal blow of cancer didn’t have just one victim. I became its true collateral damage, as I continued to live a negation of life. Yes, you can be just technically alive even when not on life support. Cancer in some way killed me as well, even though I wasn’t the one diagnosed with the illness. I somehow stopped living and shut myself up and out of everything, blogging included.

Did this help? No, not at all. I foolishly opted for “peace of mind”, trying to believe that this will help me heal, that something else will happen on its own and take my life on a different, better course. Nothing happened. Nothing good. As if the Heaven decided that it’s high time for me to learn the hardest way all those lessons I missed as I grew up. As if time came to pay the dearest price for every mistake I made as I walked down the path of my life.

My dad has been “missing” or a whole year and a bit more now, but I’m somehow still waiting for him to come back. It didn’t seem real, it seemed that he fell asleep the way he had done thousands and thousands of times before that horrible day, and it still seems that he just has to wake up somewhere out there and come back. I have a feeling that it will stay forever that way for as long as I’ll live, no matter how long that can be. There were many occasions on which I desired to join him, as staying alive feels painful and pointless. Then I realized again that letting go would mean another victory of cancer as well, which in turn if my life is pointless is totally pointless on its own. I was given this life… why, how and where I don’t know, but I know that it should fulfill some purpose. I want at least somebody to remember me by good when I pass away. I need an opportunity that can help me give my days some meaning. I don’t want to let my knowledge go completely down the drain as something unnecessary and useless, I put way too much effort into it to let this happen. However, I can’t do this entirely on my own. As every human being, I need people to keep me company, to listen to me, to give me some feedback, push me further when I get stuck, remind me that there is some sense in what I do. If as it seems I can’t earn an opportunity to work out there in my real life using the languages I studied, I can at least make myself blog. It depends entirely on me, nobody can take that away from me for as long as I have electricity, internet connection and some device to type from. In the end, the only thing I overdo every single day is thinking, it just has to be converted to writing.

I decided to try to publish whatever I manage to put together on Tuesdays and Thursdays and perhaps a photo every Sunday. It won’t be easy to stick with this decision, but even just a line or two can make the difference on harder, sad or busier days. I hope that someone out there will be willing to bear with me and give me from time to time a friendly word of support as I struggle to get back on some kind of track.

I am not who I used to be nor what I used to be, I miss that person who existed until a year ago very much. But you know what, this person who writes these lines today might well be just a smaller and worse version of the girl who isn’t here any more, yet she still has something interesting to say and show to the world, I’m sure about that.

Be well people… and I can only hope that with time I’ll manage to earn interest, trust and friendly words of support.

Till tomorrow then!

The most important thing in life is to – stay alive

Yes, it’s all about good health, overcoming illnesses and staying eventually alive, it’s not a trite phrase by any means. Because when you’re very sick, you can’t do anything. You can’t even just think clearly or grieve as you lie in bed, everything disappears in some surreal painful haze in which you reach the point where you beg to get a bit better so that you could at least suffer properly again.

What brought me to these thoughts? I got sick, again. It was some sort of respiratory infection gone wild probably because of my weakened immune response due to everything that happened in the last 3 months or so. One of the last useful medical tips my dad shared with me shortly before he died was that when your system lacks something and you start running on your body stores of the elements essential for its functioning, you have more or less three months left, unless you replenish your stores. It’s like a car without enough gasoline, reminding you to visit the nearest station and refill your tank. If you fail to do so, you can still cover some decent number of miles till the engine shuts completely down. It’s been almost exactly 3 months since this whole horror started, months of running, carrying, lifting, fetching, fighting, discussing, agonizing, taking care, witnessing the end, arranging funeral, taking care of the grave, respecting memorial dates, facing the places I haven’t seen in more than 7 years, grieving and crying and not sleeping, not eating properly, not stopping at any “gas station” along that mad road. I think that I was anyhow on the verge of collapsing, even without virus / bacteria that dance in the air at this time of the year.

First, there were some horrible chills and fever rising and falling in some desperate attempt of my body to resist the attack. 48 hours later I was in the bed in the middle of the night dreaming while I felt widely awake, I “saw” the “admittance ward” of the realm of the dead and some very nice and helpful deceased people who gathered to welcome me… I saw an entire river of those who passed away moving slowly down some hill, searching for their place. There were some strange ball-like constructions where as they said the most intelligent among them work on various cures and preserving options for the mother Earth, ball shaped rooms filled with some grayish substance necessary for our planet to keep on spinning for many more years. Spooky? Quite right.

Then I somehow semi-consciously snapped out of those melting images and made some effort to move in the bed, which was extremely painful. Next thing I realized was that the place I occupied previously in that bed was so hot that it could start steaming in any minute. I made some further effort to grab the thermometer and it took me a while to grasp that it showed something over 102. Wow. I had such fever only twice before, when I almost died of measles at the age of 7 and once when I was talking nonsense due to some very bad bacterial infection. Admittance ward and preserving mother Earth. That didn’t sound good. No way. Then I snapped back into that strange world, right where I stopped. I went to search for the dad, but they informed me that he was no longer on that “first level”, that he moved further or higher above. I remember that I was unhappy because I wasn’t able to see him, then I snapped back to the reality of my room again, my head seemed even hotter than before.

Next 48 hours were quite delirious, I was moaning, crying, taking pain / fever meds every 6 hours but that was hardly doing anything as I was in terrible pain, every muscle and nerve ending gave its best to produce the strongest pain possible that at some points it seemed that dying would be quite a merciful solution. When I would get very close to dialing ambulance to beg for some painkilling injections, things would get better from meds and so on, till the dawn came out and I dragged myself to bathroom… I opened my mouth, then I reopened it just harder and stared in total disbelief. Tonsils and everything else covered with thick layer of white substance, painful as if I were swallowing knives. And it was Sunday. Doctors covered by insurance don’t work on Sundays, hospitals don’t admit patients with sore throats. There are private labs and private medical care. Money. Ok, let’s apply dad’s teachings and my experience… I took out penicillin based antibiotics once again, broad spectrum, swallowed two pills, there was no time to lose. I could have hit the bacteria, but I could have missed. Equal chances, although it usually works for the infections of the throat. By the evening I mustered strength to drag myself to the lab and pay for the swabs of my throat, just to be sure. If I got it, swabs would be clean, as the antibiotic already got into the system. If not, we would at least see which antibiotic to take. No doctor could do better. I also ordered some blood work, just in case.

It takes some time for the culture from swabs to start growing, so I went on with my antibiotic, feeling totally off and partially on on alternative basis. There was some nasty bleeding from the inflamed nose and throat as well, so yes, ebola came into my mind’s picture as well, but nobody I know went to Africa… can I be sure? Stop being paranoid…
Then I got the result. Swabs clear. Totally perfect. Bloodwork? Iron depleted. Totally depleted. I was running on depleted stores for quite some time as it seems. Did I check the dad’s tumor marker? Oh yes I did. Scared as hell till I saw the result. Totally normal.

Conclusion? Three months of bad eating and nutritional neglect destroyed my immune response and turned a quite usual infection into a life threatening condition. What seemed “just a sore throat” should have been treated in hospital conditions as it had such a dramatic appearance, but in terms of medication, I did a great job. Dad would be proud. I’m sure he would. Hopefully, iron values will rise as well with supplements and hopefully life will continue as always…

Is it bad luck again, halting me one more time this year after I tried to do something productive and meaningful? Is this a permanent state or will this bad period finish ever again? No answer as usual. I just know that health matters very much. You can have everything else in this life, but it loses every meaning and purpose if you lose life. Because if you are not alive and healthy, you can’t even be sad and miserable. It feels as though there is a gap of all these past days in my grief, gap that consists of shock, loss of strength and switched priorities. From being extremely sad and depressed you turn to preserving your own life, no matter how much invaluable it seemed to you in depression.

You simply realize that your life is the only thing you really (though temporarily) HAVE in this world. Nothing else can matter that much.