Like I never left …

Back at work today, at least for a bit.  Took yesterday off to get unpacked and rest, but I just had too much to do here to stay away from the office at least for a half day.  Also I feel some guilt over being paid for two months for effectively doing fucking nothing, especially when there’s so much to be done.

It’s weird being here.  In some ways I feel like I never left, and in other ways I feel like I’ve transcended this particular existence and am someone else now, someone different.  I’m being handed things like I never left, slipping back into roles I’ve played for almost two decades, but it feels like a new skin.

I need to start getting in touch with some folks to set up “I’m back” lunches and whatnot, but I think that’s going to have to wait until next week.  I feel unsteady being back here, abnormal a bit, and I’d like to get my sea legs back first.  Plus now that I actually look like what people expect of a cancer patient (my hair has continued to fall out and nothing is growing back yet) I’m feeling a bit shy about things.  I know that’s silly but there it is.

I miss the cats … I would have thought two months away from the house would have ameliorated some of that longing, but it’s just brutally present when I’m home.  Not sure how to swing getting more since Amy is fed up with pets and seems to revel in the fact that “we’re never having pets again.”  I don’t blame her, but at the same time I’m not sure she understands the importance anymore — motherhood really re-prioritized things in her brain in terms of animals.

I’m at odds, mentally, with who I am right now.  This is a weird time, mentally, as I won’t really find out until early June how effective the stem cell transplant was.  Another waiting game, of which there seems to be an endless supply when you have this disease.

On a totally non-pithy note, if nothing else I seem to have kicked my Starbucks habit.  I still love coffee, I just have brought a French press to work instead.  So now Ariana gets to go to college!

Last night in the villa.

We leave here tomorrow for a Residence Inn for a few days … the villa was already rented for the 24th onward.  I’m a bit sad to leave this place, oddly.  It’s become a nice, warm home in the past few months, and the site of several life milestones.

I just need to keep reminding myself that the wifi sucked.

Kind of clock watching at this point.  I almost wish I had flown Amy and Ari out Monday night, or at least made a reservation I could change.  I’m going to want to blaze town right after my appointment Monday if I’m released to go home, not wait here another night.  Driving with a toddler, however, doesn’t quite work like that.  On the bright side I have a secret plan if he says I can safely eat in restaurants again … there’s a Z Tejas Grill here (several actually) just like they used to have on the north side of Park Meadows near my office (now some average Thai place with above average pad se lew).  I *loved* that restaurant and was traumatized when it closed.

So if I can’t hit the road, at least I may be able to get some good cornbread and some catfish beignets.  Life’s little victories.

Friday night.

Home from dinner with my aunt and uncle who winter out here, and just sitting on the couch feeling tired and a bit melancholy.

Had my (hopefully) last appointment with the nurse practitioner who’s been checking up on me today.  Numbers look fine according to her, although they have dropped (platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells) below normal ranges.  She didn’t seem concerned though, so I suppose I shouldn’t be.  I have another blood test Monday before I see my doctor anyhow.

If things go as planned I’ll be home Wednesday night.  It seems like a strange concept and place to me now.  So much has happened, and I’ve been in a bubble here a bit.  Getting back to the real world, so-to-speak, will be odd.  Even more so because Mischief won’t be there — this will be my first homecoming without the cats to greet me and I mourn that.  I’m sad beyond words that I won’t be able once things settle down to kick back in my home office chair and have Mischief come bump my chin for attention.  Life really is emptier without him around anymore.

One advantage of just being able to focus my attention on resting and getting strong enough to get home has been the ability to tune out, temporarily, a lot of this situation.  As I ponder my life once I get home I realize that there’s no real escape from this.  Just have to be hopeful that things go well and my benchmark appointments (60 days and 100 days post-transplant) tell us good things.

Random thoughts on a Friday night … oh, since I’ve been here I’ve found out a high school classmate, an old friend and the guy who my college girlfriend cheated on me with all have been diagnosed with cancer since I have.  Before I was diagnosed I knew nobody personally who had it, and now I feel like everyone is dropping like flies around me.

Such a strange thing to have this — I try to explain it to people but I know it falls short.  The average lifetime experience, seemingly, just doesn’t contain these puzzle pieces.  For which I’m glad, even though I know way too much now about what it’s like mentally and emotionally (thankfully not physically yet) to live knowing you are being eaten alive slowly; as much as sometimes I wish it were easier for folks to empathize or understand what I’m thinking, in the end I’m glad they don’t.  Much like those internet flicks you may hear about (“2 girls 1 cup”, that WSJ journalist being beheaded, etc.) you can’t un-see this particular world.

You don’t want to go here.

I don’t want to be here, trust me.