Making the Equation: A + B = D

A+B=D That’s a phrase I tell myself over and over again in my house. It is part of how I am figuring out and growing in relationships and life.

We all come with baggage. What that means when it comes down to it is that it’s hard to learn new patterns in life from those we develop based on our experiences throughout life. (erroneous example: If a guy hits me every time I say the word dog, I’m gonna learn to stop saying the damn word).

That’s really what we mean by baggage.

When you have an experience over and over again; be it the way of a parent relationship imploding, a year in college that threw your life off track, an abusive relationship in college, or a health condition that got torn down by previous significant others… baggage is referring to the patterns that these interactions built into us.

Due to time after time of the same behaviors. A+B always equals C right? That’s what you learn. Every time your Mom comes home she asks how your days was and makes you cookies, it’s a wonderful experience, let’s say? Then if you came home one day and she wasn’t there no note, nothing, would you be worried? It’s like that! You always know what the equation is in each situation you’ve experienced before. When you are in a negative situation while developing these patterns then you’re going to look at the equation and reach the conclusion; a given of something negative.

It seems to me that most of us develop defense mechanisms to deal with these negative equations. Usually the defense mechanisms aren’t positive attributes for communication, for various reasons. Not just communication, but developing relationships, romantic or not. When you leave the negative situations behind it’s hard to learn to adapt to a different equation.

In our situation, my husband and I both had various behaviors that shutdown a conversation when we weren’t willing or ready to deal with the topic. Perhaps I shouldn’t say had, we still have these defense mechanisms, but when we were able to see that these things were happening we were able to start working on it. We use a variety of techniques from key words to phrases, to rules about situations before they happen. We had to teach ourselves with each situation that A+B doesn’t have to = C the equation can have other out comes (it isn’t always negative) A+B can = D. But this isn’t something that just knowing means it’s solved. Humans are never that simple.

When A+B started to equal D more often I believed that the equation could change. Then my Husband flipped out on me. He went very manic and crossed lines I swore I wouldn’t allow to happen to me… He ingrained back on to my brain the equation A+B= C (at least with him it always will now) and I’m working all over again for the belief that this equation isn’t always a true statement. I don’t want to run off any other man I love because I don’t believe it’s possible For the answer to be D.

Rehearsal Dinner and Bachelor/ette Party

It was a little disconcerting to find out the week before the wedding that not a single person from my Fiancé’s family was interested in being at our Rehearsal Dinner. They all had things more important or interesting to do…!?! I was raised in a house where family is the most important thing. Granted we fully believe family isn’t limited to blood, but when you commit to being family there are certain things you don’t drop the ball on. Maybe I should see this as a sign that the family I’m joining doesn’t actually deserve that title. I’m starting to truly believe they don’t know how to be a family at all. No wonder they never seem to have been there for Fiancé in stories from his childhood. I thought it might have been how he angles the stories. But this is making me sad for the inlaws I always wanted and now will never have in these people. How do other people cope with having such shitty inlaws?

Sadly, his family not coming the night before also mean that his Best man won’t be here to throw him a Bachelor party. My siblings are throwing me a Bachelorette party. When I mentioned to them that his family wouldn’t be here decided to make it a co-ed Bachelor/ette party! Yay! My siblings are the epitome of family. They’re so marvelous:) My sister had great games planned and a pub crawl! My brother’s lady even made a chocolate penis cake!!!

Logistics of Engagement

Logistics go into getting married for any couple. But the type of things we have to discuss and get lined-up before signing the papers is a little different from the typical.

I mean not all of it is; we still have to figure out school loans, finances in general, His job options, when, where, when to start planning the wedding, how to announce it, what kind of budget will be available for the wedding, etc.

There are a few other things that crop up. These things may be of passing necessity for other couples, but for us, a wedding can’t happen until they are nailed down. We are talking about insurance, caregiving, His job options with my medical issues involvement in his hours & benefits, medical costs, Social Security Disability potential, further health impairments in the future, transfer of power of attorney, etc.

Sure all couples discuss this stuff at some point. In my case, we have to discuss it NOW.  Not just now, but as things continue to change it has to continue to be discussed, as they change so will/might our options. This has to be taken into consideration too. Until all of this is discussed and completely figured out I have the requirement, more even than just necessity, to have my parents’ legal and financial assistance to survive trying to finish school on top of how sick I am.

We have been discussing options for months. When the new Healthcare laws came out a LOT changed as far as our options. My guy doesn’t have to have a job with benefits anymore before I can switch from healthcare under my father. Now I qualify for Medicare even with my pre-existing conditions! Which is a huge step for America and was a huge roadblock in the two of us moving forward at all with our engagement. We got to finalize our wedding date!!

Melting Spoons

To have energy (or spoons) right now would be wonderful. I have so much to do, not the least of which is updating everything that’s happened to me on this blog. (Though I would like to set-up the Dragon Dictate I got for Christmas first. ;) )

I am sleeping constantly. I am falling asleep while I eat. I have to have someone keep me awake and keep me eating, otherwise I fall asleep mid-meal. When really tired and unlucky, I’ll fall asleep mid-chew.

Trying to deal with the taste change from chemo is exhausting. Just trying to get enough fluids is exhausting. :/ Add in just pure inability to stay awake for a certain number of days after each treatment: My life has been fully interrupted.

I haven’t any spoons. Or if I do, it’s like a living nightmare, and the spoons keep melting through my fingers the moment I have my fingers wrapped around a few.

I’m so unhelpful in my own life right now I can’t imagine what it’s doing to the people who are taking care of me…

Chemo Brain- Anything like zombie’s… no?

Brains! It isn’t as cool as it sounds. Like any Romero movie at the end, there’s a sense of doubt. You don’t really know whether the characters survive when it comes down to it. Well, that’s how I feel about my brain right now. When the treatments over, in the end, will I get my brain back?

I thought I lost the previous part of me after my strokes. I know I got quite a lot of my brain capacity back, but I still struggle with certain aspects. I still deal with long-term memory loss, confusion, mixing up words, vertigo, etc. But the scale that my confusion has reached with chemo brain has essentially immobilized me intellectually. I need so badly to learn, I want so badly to learn. I’m always curious I love finding out new things and asking questions. Chemo brain doesn’t let me make the connections. My fiancée and I were trying to watch a movie last week.  We re-watched the first part of the movie every day for four days.  because every day when we sat back down to watch the rest of the movie I couldn’t remember what we had already watched.  So we had to watch it again. Which is really not cool. And after a while I lost interest in trying to figure out what the movie was about. I didn’t really care to know what happened because I didn’t really understand what had already happened. I didn’t understand the context. I get confused constantly now some will explain something to me and I will totally not understand it the way they meant it. Simple instructions have become a nightmare. Having simple anymore. Granted, initially I did do my own research on this particular symptom. I was sleeping constantly, exhausted, not really following things that I read well. But I complained,  a lot. My parents did the research on my various complaints. They came to me saying “hey! We think this might be what’s going on.” They were right. I did the reading myself and all of the symptoms lined up. I wasn’t going to worry about it until I’ve spoken with one of the specialists that didn’t really seem worth freaking out until I knew it was actually going on. I mentioned it to the oncologist at my last appointment, I only see her once a month by the way. She told me that it couldn’t possibly be that symptom. Why couldn’t it be that symptom? Her argument, you can’t have this symptom this early in the treatment. Well, that doesn’t seem like a very good argument to me. Especially when we know that I always get symptoms and side effects that one in 100,000 people get from any given medication. My parents call me the canary in the coal mine. My sister were asked to even the smallest thing with the most extreme reaction possible. So why then could not possibly be chemo brain? Because my body wasn’t following the normal path of oncological treatment.

This doctor has no ability to think outside the box. If I’m not exhibiting classic signs or symptoms then the doctor doesn’t acknowledge the issue as being part of her area of treatment. Which is a real issue with my specific case. So I asked my neurologist. He said “Woah! Not sure what else it can be?”  and he wasn’t the only one. A number of my specialists at this point have said that the only possible side effect I could be exhibiting with the particular symptoms that I described would be chemo brain.

So how do I treat this? Is even possible to treat this side effect? Or is this just something I have to deal with until the chemo’s over? I had to withdraw from my J semester class. You can even watch a fluff film, why would I be able to do academic reading? I tried, I really really tried.  But between being awake at the weirdest hours, rereading paragraphs over and for again, and trying to figure out how to connect what I read with class content got ridiculous. It was kind of depressing for me to have to drop the class. I really thought this time that ideally make it through. Not to mention, I really liked the topic of the class.