23 September 2011

The Hardezt Blog to Write

So by now, most of you know that I have left Virginia (with Jeff’s complete blessing) and have settled in nicely in the spare bedroom in my Mom’s condo in Pompano Beach. As for my physiological and cancer status, welllllll...........that’s a bit much for my brain to process.

I have stopped all my treatments, which needless to say, means I’ll be giving a little bit of a break to my body….well, I guess a BIG break to my body.  My family is very supportive of this as well as Jeff. ---technically he is family now :)  What does it mean that I have stopped treatments? Well, it means for one thing that I am not actively taking any medicines to slow down the progression of the disease. This does not mean that I am off ALL medications. I still take handfuls of pills in the morning and at night as well as suppositories and injections and pain patches (oh my!). My appetite isn’t so good so I have lost 60+ lbs which has left me looking like the bride of SkeletorTM.

But what this really means is that I will be living 24/7 in my big-girl pants, and instead of that time being measured in years, it’ll be measured in months. Now that I’m in south FL I would like to see as many people as possible in the time I have left. Unfortunately, I don’t know how long that will be. This is why I have been pestering so many of you for visits, but then we find out that the visits are very tiring so it’s a double-edged sword. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.  For now the easiest way to get in touch with me is with phone calls and emails. I am very rarely far away from my phone. If I don’t respond right away, please don’t be offended, I take a lot of drug-induced naps.

So now, while I am not actively lying around and waiting, at times it feels like that’s exactly what I’m doing. Waiting. I am not well enough to do many things outside the home, and I find that it’s exhausting to sit and wait. And it isn’t just tiring for me, but also for everyone around me. I am sure I should have guessed, but I have been astounded at how frustrating it can be to be tethered to bags holding foul things that should typically be disposed of immediately. Just moving from room to room has started to require an entourage. Pillows, tubes, bags, pads, wheelchairs, canes, (and lately an inflatable swim ring) all now follow me from station to station. It is not glamorous. Though I am sure no one has been guilty of calling me ‘glamorous’ at any point in my life.

Things that used to come easy now come hard. I try and cook by scrawling out grocery lists and barking orders from the couch with modest success. I force myself to take the ride down 7 floors (I really hate that elevator) to go on a car ride and see the beach. I write in spurts or peruse FacebookTM. And I am sure this comes as no surprise, but I battle thinking I can do more than I am able. This means that sometimes I eat things that are a little too harsh or I try to walk too far or I talk too much and I end up paying a price….like having a red beach bucket (which I have punished more than any bucket deserves) under my chin or getting myself picked up off of the floor and searching for bumps and bruises. Point of note, though, I can still hold my own at Queen of Spades even against the healthiest of foes.

My daily joys have become much simpler but they have not disappeared entirely. I am particularly fond of the shows “Ninja Warrior” and “The Dog Whisperer.” (I realize that these two shows are not compatible at all, but they pass the time) I have developed an affinity for McDonaldsTM Sweet Tea and perfectly browned toast.  I am keeping Burt’s Beeswax in business by incessantly applying coats of lip balm to my shriveled lips. My phone keeps me updated pretty well and challenges me to a few games of Solitaire a day (yeah I know). And I especially get excited about a call or a message from The Tall Man. (pitter pat pitter pat)

The tattoo on my wrist “I will win” taunts me some days. I see-saw back and forth between defeat and inspiration. It is hard not to be angry at the disease that is working so hard to have its victory over my insides. But maybe by going down as gracefully as I can, I am winning in my own way. At least that (along with the drugs) helps me sleep at night.

In case you were wondering, Urethra Franklin and her group the Anal sphincters performed their last concert and it was pretty crappy.  

For bonus content be sure and check here. 

I had intended for this to be my penultimate (for those of you who don’t know what that means, pick up a dictionary) blog and for my last blog to be written as my obituary. But it is becoming increasingly clear that this will be the last thing I will be able to write. So I will just end it in this way.

Linda Rodrigue Pope

1970 - 2011

POMPANO BEACH, FL – Linda Rodrigue Pope, well-known blogger, wife, aunt, niece, sister, daughter, cousin, wannabe computer geek, amateur movie critic, semi-gourmet cook, control freak, and (some say) spoiled brat died today, September 20, 2011.

Linda was born in Connecticut, but spent her life moving her home base around the States of Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia. She also spent a good bit of time in the states of confusion, euphoria, hysteria, and grace.

She followed a strange and winding path to rediscover and marry the love of her life. What a pleasant surprise.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to anything but Jeff’s Firearm Collection Fund.

She is survived by her husband, mother, grandmother, and a ridiculous number of family members (sisters, nephews, niece, brothers-in-law, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents-in-law) and friends who love her far more than she could ever love them back. But she gave it her best shot.

"She's in Peaz at lazt"

Everybody please stop crying.