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Archive for August, 2010

The Test Results

My mother called me a few days ago to tell she got her test results. She told me the doctor’s office called her about hour after we last spoke. Her faith in the medical system has been restored because the doctor’s nurse called her. It was only nine days after the test. What my mother doesn’t know is that my brother called the doctor’s office and lit a fire under their ass so they would call my mother.

The brain CT scan showed no cancer in the brain. The cancer seems to be confined to her lungs. After hearing this news I went off on my mother. I told her we’ve been anxiously waiting a week for this news and that she isn’t the only one living this drama. It affects everyone in the family. The phone call ended shortly after my lecture. I called my mother the next day to apologize. My mother said there was no need for an apology because everything I said was true and she deserved the tongue lashing. I almost fell off the sofa.

I’ve never had a conversation like that with my mother. It feels like a new chapter in our relationship. I wonder what will happen next.

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Helping A Friend

My former coworker and friend, G, had an interview with my boss today. My boss told me she wants to offer him the job but needs the approval of the department head who had to leave town this morning to attend to his ailing mother. G has been unemployed since we were both laid off last July from the telecommunications conglomerate based in Paris. His unemployment is about to end so the timing couldn’t be better.

This all started on Monday when the man who manages my contract at the staffing firm sent me an email asking if I knew anyone with the necessary skill set to test software. I referred him to G because we have similar backgrounds. G was screened by the staffing firm on Tuesday morning. On Wednesday G was told to be at my office for an interview on Thursday morning. He impressed by boss in the interview and it looks like we’ll soon be coworkers again.

The only drawback is that it took G an hour and fifteen minutes to get to the office from his house in the Pike National Forrest. The evening commute will be even longer for him. Thankfully, he’ll get to work from home after he learns the job and he’ll be paid a very nice wage.

It’s amazing how things work out. He didn’t have any job prospects and in a matter of days he will land a good job. It’s a good thing.

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Paralyzed By Fear

My mother still has not called for her brain CT scan results. It’s been a week. I called her today and she’s still waiting for the doctor to call her. I offered to add the doctor to our conversation but she said she was baking. She finally admitted she is afraid to call. I reminded her that my brother and I are anxious to get the results too and that she isn’t the only one going through this ordeal. My mother then switched the conversation to my sister. My mother hung up on my sister four days ago because she was chatting with some kids on line while talking to my mother. Once again I told my mother that my sister needs professional psychiatric help. A fifty-five year old woman should not be chatting with teenagers online. I wanted to get off the phone because I was so disappointed with my mother. I told her my boss came into my office and I ended the call. I left a message for my brother updating him on the situation. And life goes on.

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Updates 8-8-2010

My mother hasn’t got the results of her brain CT scan. The test was last Tuesday. The test results were due back in forty eight hours. My mother has not called for the results because the doctor said he would call her. It’s a lame excuse. Why can’t she be honest and say she is afraid to call? I don’t think she understands how this affects my brother and me.

Cindi called from Beaver Creek on Friday night to catch up on things. She’s attending the Vail International Dance Festival. A friend comped a luxury suite at a hotel in Beaver Creek. Cindi went to her ex-boyfriend’s sentencing hearing on Friday. The ex violated his probation. The judge sentenced him to forty five days and immediately remanded him into custody. The ex told the court he has not drank in two years. When Cindi was leaving the courthouse she passed the ex’s truck and noticed a six pack of beer in the back seat. She couldn’t resist ratting on him to the sheriff. Now he is in even more trouble.

Cindi also has a new housemate. He’s a former policeman. I feel relieved she has a man living at the house. He’s already been introduced to guys who patrol the canyon. The boys in blue always watch out for each other. Hopefully, this will keep the ex away from her house when he gets out of jail.

The car service just picked up K. He got home at 9:30 Friday evening and left at 10:30 Sunday morning. He’ll be home in two weeks for about two months. Then he heads back to Missouri for at least six months.

K and I saw Girl With The Dragon Tattoo last night. It was an excellent film. Neither of us has read the book. The lead female character gets to kick ass and take names later a few times. It was great to see a strong female character stand up to men. She even calls a man or two a cunt a couple of times. I loved that a woman got to degrade a man with this word. I can’t wait to see the next film. I hear the Hollywood system is planning an American version of the film because the film is not drawing large box office crowds. They feel Americans don’t want to sit through a foreign film with subtitles. I’m sure Hollywood will put out a lame version. Go see the original while you can.

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There’s A Shit Storm Brewing

One of the new developers told me there’s a shit storm brewing in the office. When I pressed for details the only thing he would divulge is that a manager and a peer told him not be worried about things that may happen in the office in the near future. Then he wanted to know if anyone asked me for feedback on the problem engineer. All this makes me wonder if she’s getting fired. I’m going to keep my head down and stay in my office.

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SCLC 101

My mother has small cell lung cancer (SCLC). It’s a fast spreading cancer. Only about 15% of lung cancer cases are small cell. Almost all cases of SCLC are due to cigarette smoking. SCLC is the most aggressive form of lung cancer. Although the cancer cells are small, they grow very quickly and create large tumors. These tumors often spread rapidly to other parts of the body, including the brain, liver, and bone. My mother is having a brain CT scan to see if the cancer has spread to her brain. If the cancer has spread it will be treated with chemotherapy. If it has not spread she may have surgery if a surgeon will agree to operate.

My mother seemed in good spirits when I talked to her but she doesn’t know that SCLC is aggressive and fast spreading. Thankfully, my parents don’t have a computer so they can’t google SCLC. The doctor didn’t go into a lot details and my mother didn’t ask a lot of questions. It’s probably best she doesn’t know the details.

My mother tried to talk to my sister yesterday. My sister told my mother she didn’t want hear about the test results so the conversation centered on my sister and her life. I almost called my sister a cunt while I was talking to my mother. I don’t understand why my sister can’t offer emotional support. My sister is more concerned about her cats than my mother.

I’m having a hard time concentrating on work today. I’m the only tester here this week who can test the flagship product line. It’s kicking my butt because there are several very complex software loads going out this weekend and the product house is still making changes. It’s far too late in the cycle for changes but we have to rise to the occasion and make accommodations for the changes. Everyone is stressed. It’s not turning out to be a fun week. I want to go home, jump in bed and pull the cover over m head.

On the bright side, K will be home Friday night. He’s flying to San Francisco on Thursday for meetings and will stop in Denver on his way back to St. Louis. He goes back to St. Louis on Sunday. I can’t wait to see him.

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My mother had her biopsy last Thursday. My brother spent seven hours mostly alone with our father. My father drove my brother crazy. My brother is usually immune to my father but that day my father somehow got on my brother’s nerves. I felt sorry for my brother. My father will start conversations about some past event in his life that we have all heard a hundred times, or, he will talk about something he has seen on television or read in the paper. Having a conversation with my father is a balancing act. You have to act like you are paying attention while at same time restraining from making a comment that will set my father off on a tirade that at times, is racist. I find myself making neutral statements to keep the peace when I really want to call my father on his opinions.

The surgeon talked to my brother during one of the few times that my father wandered off to explore the hospital. The surgeon informed my brother that based on his experience the cancer is most likely malignant. My father returned and the surgeon went over his findings again but thankfully didn’t tell my father the cancer is malignant. My brother and I are the only ones that know. My brother didn’t tell our sister because he knows that would be a recipe for disaster.

My mother will get her official results on Monday or Tuesday. There’s no way to prepare for the meltdown that is coming. I’ll have to have a torturous conversation with my mother. I don’t feel sorry for her but I have empathy for her. I’m sad she has lung cancer but she is the one who has smoked for sixty-five plus years and continues to do so.

I’ve been trying not to think about the week ahead. It’s going to be a tough one at work and because of my mother. I’ve done hardly anything all weekend but watch mindless programs on cable. I have a million things to do but no motivation to do any of them. I don’t even think retail therapy will help. I must be really be sad.

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