Wednesday, February 29

Hot and flash

Yeah, so the hotflashes have begun in earnest now. For the first month it was pretty brilliant. I had no side effects, except that one time when I caught the stomach bug and blamed it on Lupron. But it was definitely the stomach bug.

But now, I have a little experience every morning, right around 8 am. It's hilarious, the typical things I do - grab something to fan myself. Who knew that it's the ONLY THING you think of when you're having a hotflash. Fan thyself.

Also, my brain can be mush regularly. I just can't find the right word. I call it Lupron Brain.

Otherwise, no fatigue, no depression no weight gain.  I'm pretty lucky.

Saturday, February 25

A Quiet Life

My grandpa died on February 11th.

I was standing in front of my closet tonight, putting socks away, picking out my clothes for tomorrow and realized my grandpa was gone. It's not a new thought, and one that I've thought about a lot over the last few days, but the sadness rolled over me.  I didn't cry, as I have before, but I simply realized how much I will miss him and how sad I am that he is not here.

The tears come when I think about how much he means to me.

My mom became pregnant with me in 1977, and her boyfriend (my biological father) didn't really care what she did - abort, put up for adoption, keep. She left him and returned home, intent on going to a woman's home to finish out her pregnancy and put me up for adoption. She eventually told her parents.

Mom hadn't told me this part of the story, but she shared it last week as we were planning his funeral.  When my grandma broached the subject, Grandpa was silent for a long time. In my mind, I imagine my mom and grandma talking and figuring things out, and Grandpa sitting there quietly.  He finally said, "I don't want a grandchild of mine out there and not with our family." My mom kept me.

At this point, I usually segue into the story of my parents and how they met, how my father adopted me and what a gift he is to me.

But here, I will tell you this: When my mom told me my grandpa had passed away, I thought, "He was the first man in my life, and one of the most consistent."

Grandpa wasn't a particularly kind man to his children. That's just a fact. He was gruff and irritable with them as they grew up. But he loved his grandkids and he became more and more of a softie as time went by, until he was such a sweet and kind man that the hospice workers wept when he passed away.

This is the grandpa I always remember. I was always very special to my grandpa, and though he would never hurt his other grandkids, I think he had a special love for the bright, bubbly little toddler that almost was given up for adoption.

Because I loved him so much, his Catholicism was concerning. Did he love Jesus? Did he trust Mary more than Jesus? I never really had the courage to ask him straight out.

 As he began to decline, he would always grasp hands with my mom and pray with her, and my aunt always read him scripture when she visited weekly.

My aunt Gloria read to him Philippians 2 on Wednesday. He was lucid and responded to it with a hearty "Amen!"

On Thursday, he slipped into a coma and Friday morning around 3 am he passed away. I am confident that he believed in Jesus and that his faith was simple. He wasn't a theologian, but he did treasure communion and he missed going to church when he was in hospice.

My Grandpa served in WWII and was given a military burial, which undid me. Try keeping it together as the officer tells your grandma,
 "This flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for your loved one's honorable and faithful service," and "These spent casings represent Duty, Honor and Country."

His Grandsons bearing him to his final resting place

He was honorable, he served his country, he loved his family well.

I will love him - always.

Saturday, February 4

Getting ready

Well, in a lot of areas in life, I am getting ready:

Last week, I was getting ready to get a shot. I got it. I'm now on the path of false (temporary) menopause (and if that doesn't scream "PARRRTAYYY!," I really don't know what does.)

I'm getting ready for bone loss - caramel candy calicum chews!

I'm getting ready for weight gain.

I'm getting ready for hot flashes: I've already scoped out a desk fan just in case.

I'm getting ready for exercise: apparently this is the best way to combat the depression, weight gain and hot flashes that most women experience on Lupron.

I'm getting ready to tell our doctor that we're not going to do IVF (likely). We have left the proverbial door cracked, but really, Adam's really not excited about it, and it's something I'm not excited to put my body through. Observe: IVF drugs laid out on a table.

Doesn't that look FUN? I mean, shouldn't I be so. excited. to put all thosedrugs and synthetic hormones into my body? I'm telling you, a 10-second shot of lupron had me rubbing my ass all day. I can't imagine how much stuff I'd have to put in my body. And how I'd be rubbing my poor bum.

My family has a number of friends that went through IVF and now have beautiful babies. I'm so happy it worked for them - and I'm happy that they have what they so dearly wanted. But I'm just not really willing (today) to do all that is required to do IVF.

This could change. I don't see us changing our minds, but perhaps we might. File it under "Never say never."

Instead, I'm getting ready to Go To Germany! Visit Europe! Adam and I have promised each other that if we don't get pregnant, we're going to visit our friends now living and studying in Germany.  

Thursday, February 2

Sad for people I don't know

Last month, one of my favorite bloggers, Dooce, and her husband posted on their respective websites that they are separated.

She is one of the most-read bloggers of all time and a few years ago, both quit their jobs to run her blog/website. They made $40,000/month.

Heather (her real name) and Jon always seemed as though they had an almost magical relationship, one that superseded her chronic clinical depression. She is completely open about her mental health issues. She's open about her use of medication, her therapy, and her need to be committed to the hospital after the birth of her first child. Wisely, however, she didn't share her marriage online.  As a therapist, I had the occasional thought of, "Even common grace wins out - people can make it, depressed, working on it, and without Jesus."

Apparently not.

And I don't mean to say that all non-Christians are destined for divorce (ridiculous statement), however, there is just a heaviness, a difficulty, a chaoticness to a relationship when one person is always, always struggling with depression or bi-polar disorder or chronic feelings of emptiness. On his blog, Jon mentions something about co-dependancy. This makes total sense to me. When I heard about the separation and then read his comment, I thought, "Yes, there HAD to be something going on that was deeper and relationally complicated. Something inherent to the way the relationship moved and how they interacted."

I think I might be so bold as to say that those of us in marriages in which one or both people are do not struggle with mental illness will never completely understand the strain that mental illness puts on a marriage.

I know that Dooce and Jon have gone to their own therapists and to joint therapy from reading her blog. And so, they did everything "right" by outside, "drive-by commentary" standards. But in the end, there must be a healing that is supernatural, I think.

We just can't save ourselves.
With octaves of a mystic depth and height