Trying To Keep Calm and Carry On

I had a hard time getting to sleep last night, after googling “melanoma” and desperately searching for “benign growths that look like melanoma” and coming up with nothing–just pics of melanoma–so either people don’t post their “I thought it was melanoma but it was just an XYZ!” photos, or, anything that looks like melanoma IS melanoma.

I used to go to tanning beds and the beach. Often. And I’d cover up my face because my parents had skin cancer on their faces (around the nose and mouth) and had scars where these were removed. I didn’t want scars on my face. But skin cancer didn’t seem like such a big deal.

I was so stupid.

God I hope I raise BG to be smarter than me, to make better decisions than me.

I mean I hope I get to raise her period, but what if I don’t? What if I die while she’s still a child? While she still needs me? What if it’s because I didn’t wear sunscreen and went to tanning beds?! What if she thinks I’m awful for screwing up her childhood with my cancer treatment? A kid shouldn’t have the burden of worrying about her parents dying…

Mr. MLACS had a bad Cardiology appointment recently. I didn’t even blog about it but I had BG with us because it was just a check-up. Then they told us he had been shocked by his pacemaker on March 24th–his heart rate was 300bpm (I didn’t know that 300bpm was even possible). We had no idea. And then at the appointment his BP was 150/110 and his heartbeat was irregular. I went numb. We had no clue he was in distress. The color drained from both of us. We were panic-stricken. Mr. MLACS cried. And BG was fully aware that something was very wrong. Kids are very sensitive and intuitive. She had flashbacks of when he was hospitalized. And we were at the appointment for 3 hours. Doc said Mr. MLACS *must* lose 100lbs as quickly as possible (he has been slowly losing weight but not very regimented). He is 6’6″ and about 415lbs, and he needs to be closer to 300lbs to qualify for surgery to find the part of his heart that is malfunctioning and causing arrhythmias. Or if he needed a heart transplant he doesn’t qualify because of his weight. This appointment was April 22nd and since then Mr. MLACS has been working on his diet. We dropped $1,000 and he is getting a nutrition/exercise plan from an excellent trainer friend of mine.

So you see I’m already riddled with anxiety. My dad just died–both my parents are deceased. I’m stressed dealing with the estate (my sister). I am just 6 months out from having had my total colectomy and still learning to live as an ostomate. One of my good friends just had his big toe amputated due to melanoma.

And now I have this large, inexplicable black growth on my leg. I literally want to dig it out myself, I loathe it so much right now. I’m so freaked.

But instead…

I slept in (because Mr. MLACS knew I was up fretting about this melanoma thing). We went to home depot. I took BG over to play with the neighbor girls on their blow-up waterslide. I fed her lunch and put her down for nap. I’m trying to “keep calm and carry on”.

I’m trying So. F*ing. Hard.

I don’t want to alarm BG. And I don’t want to taint her life with my fear/anxiety/depression. Which is very difficult, since we are together 24/7.

I’m calling the dermatologist and being seen first thing in the morning, and no matter what they say I’m having this thing removed and biopsied.

But in between, I am trying to live, laugh, and love. I love my family SO much. I love my BG with everything I am. And if it’s cancer, I’ll fight. 20180417_095910_Film1.jpg

XOXO,

MLACS

 

Advertisements

The Aftermath: Traumatic Brain Injury

I am grieving right now, because Mr. MLACS has come so far…but he is not himself at all. And nobody can say how much he’ll recover or how long this might take.

His voice is different. It’s weak and soft and I don’t recognize it.

His personality is flat. Like he’s stoned, but he’s not on any mind-altering drugs anymore.

His facial expressions are odd. He has this smirk/smile that he does at inappropriate times and it creeps me out.

He remembers A LOT, which is good–his long-term memory is quite good.

But his short term memory is very bad.

And he is delusional.

He imagines things happened that truly didn’t or sees things that aren’t there (ordinary things like he thought his tablet was on the table).

I gave him his cell phone last night and he hasn’t texted or called. When I go see him he doesn’t ask me how BG is or what she’s up to–but he says he does want to get home to her…

But I can’t imagine him being home like this.

I can’t handle it.

It scares me to death.

I can’t have him around BG like this. If I’m freaked out by the changes in him, I can only imagine what it would be like for a little girl.

And I can’t trust him.

So far he’s shown no aggression or sexual inappropriateness but I worry. I can’t help it.

I won’t leave him alone with her. I can’t.

I don’t want him driving anytime soon if ever, and I can’t let him drive her because what if this happens again?

I feel like his death is imminent. I am scarred and have PTSD from his heart failure in 2014 and now this apparent heart attack (though docs are not sure if it was a heart attack, as his heart went into v-tach and then v-fib).

I want to run away because I can’t take this anymore. I want to protect our daughter and shield her from this pain and future pain. It’s her pain that kills me–she doesn’t understand why her daddy is gone. And also she is out of her element because…

We just moved into this new house two weeks ago. It is big and feels foreign to me. It’s full of bad memories, of the fire that happened and now this. I hate this house. I want out. I want to move back home to the Midwest.

You know we just moved to the South a year ago in September. I’m not comfortable here.

I need comfort and familiarity. People here have been very nice and reached out to help but they are either aquaintances or strangers to me. I’ve never gotten used to living here–really the trauma of the house fire, me being sick, and Mr. MLACS’s job being so demanding has kept me from liking it here. It’s also very conservative and that makes me uncomfortable as well.

But Mr. MLACS is the sole breadwinner. His job is here. They will make acommodations for him. He has benefits–including life insurance that I would desperately need when he dies, and he is not elligible for private commercial life insurance, for obvious reasons. So to move, he’d really need to get a different job in order to keep his benefits.

Or, he could end up on permanent disability. I doubt that though, because his functioning seems very high–for someone who died 5 days ago.

People tell me to be patient, he will get better (though how much better is a mystery) and don’t think too far ahead…

Seriously, that is the worst advice. I mean I appreciate their faith and optimism but I need to re-route my family’s future and that starts NOW.

So many things to worry about.

I need to have my surgery so I can feel better and have the stamina to deal with all of this. Then…

I need to figure out what to do–go back to school for nursing? Become a real estate agent? I want to be self-sufficient.

Sell all BG’s baby stuff because it’s just impossible to even consider another pregnancy and child under these circumstances? This makes me want a sibling for her even more–someone to weather these times with her…

My sister is currently here caring for BG so I can go to the hospital and be with Mr. MLACS. It’s not perfect–she smokes cigarettes and I hate having that around BG. Also she is messy and I am currently very anxious and OCD. But I’m so grateful she came to be with us. And my aunt and uncle are coming when my sister leaves sometime this week. I have not spoken to Mr. MLACS’s mother or sister and do not intend to involve them, as we have not been in contact for 2+ years and I do not want them involved with BG. I did speak to Mr. MLACS’s brother though and I dont know when but he said he plans to come see him.

There’s more but to summarize, I’m in a very fucked up situation. But it’s going to be ok–I’m going to take care of myself because I have to and make sure BG has a magical childhood no matter what. I’m going to do right by Mr. MLACS but BG comes first and he would agree. I love him and he loves me, but she is our world.

I am doing my best. That’s all I can do.

XOXO,

MLACS