Archive for the 'nathan' Category

Sep 16 2011

Another day, another doctor appointment

They really are weekly, during these early days of crisis and post-crisis and establishing baselines and new routines and mapping out how the rest of, well, my life will go, really.  It won’t always be this frequent, but it seems like it right now sometimes.

This week I saw the surgeon who performed my mastectomies, considered by many to be the top surgeon in the hospital, (how cool is that?) which probably explains why he gets to wear cowboy boots to work and play country music during operations, according to the nurses.  That appointment I already talked about in a previous post, so you’re more caught up than I thought, Faithful Reader.  I’m getting back into this blogging thing better than even I knew, heh — I’m repeating myself.  Tuesday was a long day; in addition to the at-home nurse visit provided by Medicaid, I had a several hours-long doctor visit with Dr. Rubin de Celis.  We have more CT scans scheduled for next week; according to him, these will be the truely true baseline scans.  The previous ones were to see where we were at, once all the chemo and radiation had been done, which showed us the four liver spots and the remaining breast tumor.  The breast tumor is gone with the surgery; there were two active lymph nodes out of the five removed on the right side.

According to de Celis, this doesn’t change anything in our plans so far, as they also took the inactive ones surrounding the active nodes to get clean margins.  It does mean that there could be cancer cells flowing somewhere in my body, waiting to attach somewhere and start growing again.  It also, since those active nodes were surrounded by dead cells, could mean that they were remnants of some of the largest liver tumors still in the process of dying off from the aggressive chemotherapy regimen I was on.

So it’ll be two months since the last chemo treatment when we do these scans next week, and that’s long enough to know what lingering effect, if any, the chemo had on those liver spots.  If they’ve stayed the same, or gotten smaller, we’re happy; that’s what we want to have happen.  I’ll get put on tamoxifen, an anti-estrogen medication, next week as well, and that is supposed to do the job of keeping those spots stable or shrink them, like we want to have happen.  I’ll get scans every two months while staying on this drug essentially for life, given the aggressiveness of my cancer.  (We’ll of course be watching the other previously affected body parts to make sure no new cancer springs up in addition to watching those four spots.)  Stay the same or get smaller (or go away), we stay happy. The only long term side effect to worry about with tamoxifen is leg blood clots, so as long as I stay active, get back with PT and exercise as I’m able to do, and keep my body otherwise healthy, I shouldn’t have to worry about clots.  As long as the tamoxifen works and all the radiation and chemo worked as it should’ve, then I stay in a remission-like state and live my life and do ambitious and wonderful things as I plan and live with my family and enjoy my friends for the all the years to come that we all expect to get when we plan out our lives in blissful ignoring of death’s shadow.

We’ll also stay on the Aridia, as I’ve mentioned before, to help repair the osteoporotic-like damage to my bones that happened with the metastatic cancer.  I just got my monthly infusion on Tuesday; the ironic side-effect of Aridia is bone pain, and I suppose it’s a good sign of sorts that my other systemic pain has gone down enough to be able to feel the bone pain specifically this time around.  It is not a fun barrel of monkeys; it is a lot of mostly back pain, mostly where the tumors were, and paranoia-inducing as a result.  I’m also back to sleeping just on my back after having halfway re-trained myself to side-sleep, thanks to the mastectomy surgeries, but of course that will also eventually heal up again.

My dad and step-mom are visiting this weekend.  It’s been wonderful having family visit so regularly and be so supportive.  I wish they lived closer so I could have even more of that.  We’ve also got a really great community here in Austin, it’s been great to see my husband taken care of with near-weekly gaming and dancing with his friends to relieve some of his stress, as he adjusts to a high-stress-level new job doing a bunch of things he’s been wanting to do for years and getting paid (close to) what he’s worth as well to do it.  We don’t get the time together that we’d like, but that like everything else will repair itself over time as things heal on all the different fronts there are to heal.  It makes it challenging to find time for me to get back into my part of nurturing all the different aspects of family care on the home front, and for being a cancer-and-surgery-recovering currently disabled person, I think I’m doing darn well.  Having the live-in help helps, quite a bit.  We’ve had a couple of hiccups with her car having troubles but it sounds like we’ve finally got a handle on fixing that up so it won’t keep being a problem, which is a relief.  I still manage a date night nearly every week with the husband, even if it’s just spending time together watching a movie or series and quietly enjoying each other’s company.  I help The Teen with his homework and help manage the onslaught of his Teen Angst, and can feed and even sleep with Super-Baby with a bit of positioning assistance.

***

I still don’t feel like I have enough time to cry.  To hold my daughter (or my son).  To sleep.  To write.  To spend time with husband or friends.  Time seems to be one of the commodities that slips through the fingers like sand as one convalesces.  I found out that one of my friends lost everything in the Bastrop fires, and yet again I’m invalid enough not to be able to go help out the way I want to (though at least this time I can offer a shed to rummage through for usable stuff, and a bit of kid-care by way of volunteering our helper lady, so better than nothing).  I’m so tired, and there’s so much to do, and I’m doing so much, and the task list just gets longer each day.

I’m supposed to have a scale, which I’ve never owned, to track daily fluid weight, as we wean me off the steroids I’ve been on for the past several months.  I’m supposed to start wearing lymphedema sleeves again.  These are super-expensive, I’ll have to check to see if Medicaid covers those, though I’m sure they’re the ugly beige type if they do.  I’ll put up a wishlist for some more stylish ones sometime soon, in case anyone feels the urge to give a good and useful gift.  (I have several gorgeous gifted head-scarves I enjoy wearing when hubby and I go out or I feel like dressing up.)

It feels like something new wants to be written but nothing has shown up yet.  So I will continue to slowly send out old stories (did I mention I had done that, on a couple?), slowly clear the desk, and perhaps as I do so the new things will begin appearing.  If I am to live this life to the fullest it is meant to be, then there must be more stories, new stories, moving and delightful and entertaining stories from me to you.

And so there shall be.  So send good thoughts and prayers if that’s your thing (I’m a non-denominational well-wisher accepter), encouragement and excitement for more stories, rub my bald head for health if you see me (my son is good at keeping this up), send love…and go out and live your lives fully, fiercely, and beautifully, so that daily we all spit in the face of death.

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Sep 13 2011

rough week, sloooooowly improving

Well I took a short break from PT these first two weeks post-surgery; I just couldn’t make myself keep getting up and pushing physically when I was already pushing mentally and emotionally to heal, heal, heal, keep watch on house management, help The Teen figure out a better after school strategy in the midst of a surge of attitude and angst, hurt hurt hurt, figure out writing kickstarts, wait for shoes to drop, heal and hurt, hurt and heal.  It probably wasn’t the best choice; keeping moving and exercising really is one of the better and faster paths to health, but I just ran out of self-push on that front.  Spent it all elsewhere.  I’ll be slowly starting back on it this week, but carefully, of course.

Today I went into the surgeon’s office for a follow-up, and of course, not as fast a healing as I’d like.  Well, I was warned about twice the healing time for this, plus less activity I’m sure hasn’t helped.  But there’s nothing terrible happening, just slow healing.  I had half of the staples removed on half of my right side (heh), and half of the staples removed on all of the left side (every other one).  I was told that it’s looking really good, even though it’s still producing quite a lot of fluid and is swollen, so none of the four drains came out. (A mixed blessing; it would be nice to have healed enough for drains to come out, but as I recall, that hurts, quite a bit.) I actually think one of my JP drain suction cups has a leak somewhere (based on something that happened tonight), I’ll get them to take a look tomorrow.  I have another follow-up a week from today with this surgeon, I expect at that point I’ll get at least half the drains out and switch from staples to surgistrips.  He also told me to use hydrogen peroxide on the drain openings, which continue to hurt more than most other places on my chest (the swollen areas under my arms are a mix of numb and big hurting).  The backs of my arms are also really painful and swollen, so we’ve been wrapping them to try and keep the fluid draining out and toward the center of the body.  I have gained by far the most weight and am the heaviest I’ve ever been, due to the summer’s inactivity and the steroid drugs I’m on; however the good news is I’ve already lost 30 of that in the last two weeks (mostly fluid, though 8 pounds of it was breast, hehe).

I have another appointment tomorrow, this one a big one with my favorite oncologist, the fabulous Dr. Carlos Rubin de Celis (for anyone looking in the Austin area, I’d commute to follow this guy and keep his services, that’s how good he is).  I get some lab work done, I think we’ll be scheduling some scans; it’s time for the monthly medication renewal so we’ll also be discussing that.  I had been starting to ramp down on pain meds but the surgery pushed me back up to where I was, and in fact I’ve been using a few more of the pops than before.  I think it’ll be ok; he trusts me to pay attention to my body and tell him what’s going on, and I trust him to listen and help me change and stay on top of things as needed for best pain management; it’s a good arrangement.   We have a plan for how to affordably start me on tamoxifen (an anti-estrogen drug) that we’ll be discussing tomorrow again to make sure it’ll work the way we think it will.  I’ll also be receiving my next Aridia infusion.  This is a bone treatment that he says I’ll be on once a month for the next two years at least.  It’s designed to both prevent any future cancer encroachment into the bony areas that were previously affected by the metastases, as well as help assist in the healing of those areas previously damaged.  I’m not sure about how Aridia itself affects my body, side-effect-wise; I probably won’t have a clear picture of that for the next couple of months as it’ll be all mixed up in the mastectomy healing process, but I’ll keep reporting what I notice, when I do.  I’ll learn more about tamoxifen side effects tomorrow as well.  A walking pharmaceutical package, that’s me for the long term, I guess.

Realistically, I’ll ramp down from the pain meds over time, we hope; the damage is still very much there but there’s good reason and hope to believe that it will lessen over time even if not go away entirely.  My mom and I even came up with a clever solution with the help of a nurse for weaning off the pops when the time comes. (I don’t have an addictive personality, but recognize that habitual behavior is its own thing, so I’ll switch to mini tootsie pops or dum-dum pops when I feel the habit but don’t need the drug.)

(TMI warning) One concerning side effect that continues is near-incontinence; I have a much shortened time warning on when I need to urinate, especially when waking up.  This is likely from the radiation, and the RadOnc believes it will fix over time; she says that for those whom it’s permanent damage, it happens during the day as well.  While I’ve had it happen during the day, it’s always when I’m concentrating too much on things like writing, and ignoring the early signals.  If I don’t ignore the signals, it’s not a problem, so the daytime stuff is my own fault and I just have to wait for the nighttime stuff to heal itself over time.  There have been very few accidents thanks to the bedside facility, several close calls and only a handful of missed ones.   (Tonight for example, woke up fine and no misses! yay)

I’ve also had some radiation recall come up, which is skin irritation and/or discoloration (in my case definitely irritation, bah) that is exacerbated by the time spent in bed, so that will hopefully lessen as I get up and moving around more again.  This most often happens when you have to have extra radiation treatments, which if you recall I had to get a second round of 20 radiation doses while on chemotherapy, a scenario they try to avoid when possible due to just such side effects but which was necessary in my case.

This coming weekend links post has some cancer ones in there.  I don’t like to think about the death aspect of it, how close that sits over my shoulder, even though realistically I know that death sits no further away from any of us, really. (Wildfires, car accidents, random violence, anything can snap out that light much more immediately than what I’ve fought off twice now.)  I hope that my loved ones can all continue to treasure my presence and what I give to their lives by being in it; the more I heal the more I have to give, the more I love to give.  The healthier I am, the more I can do and the happier I’ll be, and I hope my friends and family can believe in me along those lines, that you are all so important for me to have and hold and love and lust for and live for.  It’s been a vicious and long road, with no promises there won’t be future sharp rocks along the way, but I’m passionate and dedicated to the ones I love and I WILL keep climbing those rocks.  I look forward to feeling your supportive presences alongside me as I do so.  Patience is one of the hardest traits to keep hold of during these crises and healing times, and sometimes even I want to scream   at the universe for a fucking break already.  Having you there with me makes such a huge difference; even if we’re screaming at the unfairness of it all together, that “together” is what makes it so much easier for me to keep going, keep healing, keep surviving, keep thriving.

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Jul 06 2011

When babies attack

Not really, the baby is great!  I’ve been promising a baby post, however, and so I figured that title was a good attention-getter.

We have been incredibly fortunate to get a baby with a personality that nearly perfectly compliments the other much more difficult circumstances we’ve been having to deal with, especially the cancer.  In her first three months, she has been consistently the calmest, most content, peaceful, quiet, and happy baby I’ve ever met.  I’d write myself off as one of those parents who can say no wrong about their darling little angels, except this feedback is the same that we consistently receive from everyone else who meets her as well.  Not to mention that she’s an amazingly gorgeous baby; the nurses all find excuses to visit when she’s here.  Even the wonderful and skilled hospital pediatrician in charge of our girl’s first few days of life, Dr. Kent, found reasons to stop by and get some visit time outside of the necessary check-ups.  (She was also one of the first people to encourage me to keep blogging about my experiences, and I thank her for that!)

It’s only been in the last couple of weeks that the baby has even started to have fussy periods regularly as her brain develops more complex needs for expression before the rest of her can keep up.  This is a fascinating process to watch, even if I’m not getting to see it every day like I’d prefer.

We couldn’t have survived the last month of taking care of her without my awesome mother, who’s been carting her home each week, making sure her needs are met, and bringing her back each week for visit and assistance time.  There aren’t thank-yous large enough to cover what Mom has been doing for us on this, but try to imagine them anyway.  Mom confirms we have the world’s best behaved baby, and is having a fun though exhausting time.  It’s also hilarious to look at old pictures of me and see how much she looks like I did at her age — there are a few pics where we look almost like twins!

As we get closer to me being able to go home (and more on that in other posts), we’re looking for more full-time/live-in help for both me and Wednesday (our daughter) and have posted an ad to that effect various places, so if you know someone in the Austin area good with cancer patients, infants, meal prep, errands, and other such goodness, send them a notice our way.  And to wrap up, here’s the story of Wednesday’s nickname (and middle name) for your entertainment…

While the little larvae was growing inside me (and unfortunately triggering the estrogen surge that potentially caused the metastatic breast cancer — it had been mis-diagnosed as non-estrogen-receptor positive tumors last year), we wanted to call it something while we didn’t have an actual name picked out.  As far as television families go, The (original) Addams Family is frankly one of the most loving and well-adjusted ones I’ve seen depicted (seriously, think about it for a few minutes and you’ll see my point — feel free to discuss it in the comments!)  So we figured we’d call it after whichever Addams kid it was gendered until we had time to find a better name, and so Wednesday she became once we knew it was a girl.

Around the sixth month or so, my husband mentioned to me that he actually sort of liked Wednesday as a name.  I laughed and agreed that I liked it too, but said that it was probably just a bit too odd to hang on her as a first name.  I pointed out that we could totally keep it as a nickname, or even a middle name, and we continued slowly winnowing down a list of other more suitable first names. (We thought we had three more months to decide at that point, of course, so weren’t in much of a hurry.)

Thankfully by the time things had gotten really bad pain-wise and we suspected something besides being pregnant was wrong with me, we had narrowed the list of possible actual names to a manageable page of choices.  We were still quite irrationally attached to Wednesday as a name, though, and so I suggested we test out the names to see how well they fit with “Wednesday” as a middle name (since the option to keep it as a nickname was always available regardless).

Then the pain got so bad that we had no choice but to take me into the hospital (the first time around) and find out what was wrong. (At this point we still mostly thought it was something structural since it was so much more painful than the first round of cancer had been and since “hip pain” happens to many pregnant women — though I knew in my heart that hip pain that bad had to be something else, or at least something more than just pregnant complaints.)

They did the MRI and found the hip tumor (along with several of the other tumors — they found more later with other scans once she was birthed) and suddenly the message changed from “we’ll have to wait a couple more weeks to term” to “we have to get this baby out and deal with these tumors”.  Since she was already at 36 weeks she was viable and we could reasonably hope that she’d developed enough that she wouldn’t have too many health problems being a month early.  That Tuesday evening we spent discussing the options of vaginal vs c-section birth given the incomplete information we had, and were going to wait until the morning to consult with the oncologist assigned to the case before making a final decision. (Dr. Carlos Rubin de Celis, best oncologist ever ever ever, seriously if you’re in the Austin area and need one he is amazingly skilled as well as compassionate, if I had to move away I would commute back to keep him as my doctor I’m that pleased with his abilities.)

At ten minutes to midnight, I coughed twice and my water broke, gushing in a veritable flood for what felt like half an hour as our darling daughter chose to help our decision along herself and no more of this dilly-dallying about.  And at 7:08 am, on a Wednesday, she was born.  Given that, and all the rest of the events, we felt that was the perfect middle name for her and quickly picked from the last three choices we’d narrowed down for the rest of her name.

Several family members and friends still call her by that, which we have no problem with as it is indeed one of her names, and we’re fond of the story behind it.  When she gets old enough she’ll be perfectly capable of expressing her own preferences in that regard.  Given her mouthful of a moniker, she has over half-a-dozen options for names and nicknames she can go by and I’m looking forward to seeing how she makes (and changes) that decision throughout her developmental years, as I believe it’s good for a kid to have a name they can get creative with in self-identity.  We also went with the “Nielsen Hayden” option of two un-hyphenated last names, and both the birth certificate and the SSA office did it correctly, surprisingly enough!

She was crying with full-powered lungs as she was removed from the uterus by c-section, and had only a bit of jaundice to deal with for 1.33 days while she was with me in the hospital, and is otherwise one of the healthiest, happiest, and prettiest babies you’ll meet.  I look forward daily to seeing how we’ll change each other’s lives by our mutual existences.

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May 09 2011

My First Mother’s Day

Well here’s a quick mostly-non-cancer post before we get back to the regular news…

This weekend was my first official Mother’s Day celebration, as last year we hadn’t received custody of The Teen (until my birthday about a month from now). It was certainly bittersweet, given the whole dealing with cancer thing affecting my ability to be mobile and do things, but the sweet won out even given the emotional downness and complexity of this time. Nathan’s mother and stepfather were in town visiting and I think that helped the guys remember to celebrate Mother’s Day (though I could be wrong and they would have remembered anyway).

I received the very thoughtful and lovely gift of silky lounging robes, four of them I believe (might have miscounted, could be five). Since I’ll be heading into chemotherapy land, which is unknown territory impact-wise but likely to affect my energy levels from day to day such that lounging will be most all I’m good for some days, it’s a useful gift. But they’re also bright and vibrantly patterned and silky to the touch, so they’re a feel-good gift as well. I also like having the baby get to be near things that feel nice to the touch, so added bonus there. All in all a much more well-rounded and thoughtful gift than I was expecting (since I wasn’t actually expecting much at all). I love my family!

I also got a framed painting that Nathan’s stepfather did of The Baby which is fabulous (Pat Cardiff is a great artist); my mom now wants to commission one from him of the baby plus me, so we’ll see if he’s interested in taking that on. And a funny Mother’s Day card from The Teen. I didn’t get to spend much time with Nathan on Sunday, as he was doing his own thing most of the day, but we got to go out Saturday night and shake booty for our date-night which is always nice. (Well, I watched my pretty man dance while I stood in place with my cane and wiggled my butt in-between sitting spells, but we modify as we need and do what we can to still have fun during all of this — and I think we’re succeeding better than most others would at keeping some semblance of “normal” existence.)

Nathan’s folks had to leave early-early Sunday morning, but my mom came down later Sunday and we let The Teen stay up a bit late with us to watch all three Sherlock episodes (which my mom hadn’t seen) with friends Andrea and Robert, which was a good and fun shared low-impact activity. Since I’ve been having massive hip instability and extra pain the last few days low-key was a good key to bring in the weekend on.

The baby is only .5 inches longer than at birth, but has gone from a birthweight of 5lbs 14 ounces to 8 lbs 12 ounces in a month, thus reaching what probably would have been her birthweight if she’d gone to term. I don’t mind the smaller package, especially since we escaped any of the health problems associated with pre-term babies — it extends the time I can pick her up and carry her around. She continues to be the most amicable baby it has been my pleasure to know, not fussing unless there’s a reason for it (food, diaper, comfort) and calming down rapidly when she does get fussy. She also is mostly fitting her sleep schedule to mine, as much as is possible I think, which is another huge help. Yay for easy babies! Although speaking of, she’s fussing now, so this concludes your family post for the day.

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Jun 09 2010

back online!

Published by Reesa under Editing, health, nathan

We had a couple of unexpected outage days due to a blip in the server migration, that has been fixed by my Fabulous Husband.  (for those not on Facebook, Fabulous Husband has also shown his awesomeness once again by buying me for my birthday tickets to a Lady GaGa show in July; he’s also excited about attending with me, even better!)

Everything should be back up and functional on the blog and website, leave a comment if you notice any weirdness that looks like it shouldn’t be there!  Actual blog content returning soon, I finally hit my “crash day” so today has been full of nap, therapy appointment, and more nap.  I’m looking forward to sleeping soon to recover from all the napping, hehe.

Slowly creeping upward again in number of stories out circulating, woohoo!  I’m awaiting edits in the mail on one of the new ones before I send it out and about, and just got back edits on an oldie but goodie that has needed fixing for a while, so looking forward to that.  Other than a couple of other smaller projects, it’s all about more work on the novel in the next few weeks.

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Jun 04 2010

Cancer Chronicles: throwing money at the double standard

With my writerly powers, we will now leap forward in story-time for this post, and talk about an interesting recent household solution.

Post-cancer, the coins of the realm are energy and time spent.  How much time and energy a particular activity takes, and where it intersects with how much you care about said activity, is what determines what you decide to do.  You never, ever again get to have as a remote abstraction the awareness that death awaits around a nearby corner.  Every activity choice carries with it the underlying question, “If the cancer returned tomorrow, how much would I care about having done this activity?”  It forever changes your barometer of “what matters”.

So as my husband takes on a new, out-of-the-home job, we know we have to prioritize adding back in the he-and-I time, once we know a bit more about our new daily activity flow.  Because that’s exactly the sort of thing in a normal life that you wake up months later and realize you’ve totally slacked on, and whether you scramble to fix it depends on how invested each partner is in the status quo, etc.  But married to a cancer survivor, you don’t know if those months slipping away like hourglass sands are .005%, 5%, or 50% of the time you have left with your life-mate.  So we have to take extra steps to make sure the lazy easy habits don’t set in, in the first place: our time together is too fucking precious for that, forever.

Every choice of new activity brings with it similar questions, like returning to school: is putting up with the stress and bullshit of academia worth that much of my time to get the end product?  Or do I re-prioritize those plans to something that I know for sure will bring fulfillment and enjoyment without the accompanying stress?  What are the hobbies or recreational activities that I’d always planned to “get around to someday”, and why are they not just being done?  When the heck is “someday”?  Not to mention the emotional shifts: how invested am I in being angry/upset/resentful or whatever about an interaction, when that takes both time and energy away from the option of doing other things and feeling content or happy?

The most interesting recent manifestation of this process, happened this week as we hired a part-time house assistant.  We’ve also recently hired a part-time personal assistant/financial manager for the DreamCafé, as we’d all rather be working extra hours than balancing the books. Money management stress?  So not worth that time/energy coin.  Less stress will also probably lead to more functionality on the finance front for everyone, bonus!  But back to the house assistant.

In our 21st century enlightened household, though none of us preferred to do so we have nevertheless been operating under a functional gendered double standard for house upkeep and maintenance.  This is not because my housemates are sexist; they are in fact some of the least sexist men I’ve ever met.  However, whether due to geek nature or subtle male privilege, they are much less invested in the upkeep of, and able to more easily block out disruptions in, their immediate environment.  I, whether due to my hyper-awareness of my local environment or my own gendered societal programming on who’s responsible for mess, get driven quite batty if the house reaches a moderate level of mess and clutter and if it gets past that, the chaos will start actively affecting my own ability to get useful work done.  However, being a 21st century feminist sort, my efforts at superwoman status don’t eagerly encompass the traditional women’s duties.  I’d much rather be busting my ass at 18-hour workdays along with the menfolk, and doing any cooking or other chores because it’s my turn or I feel like it, rather than the shit rolling downhill and sticking to me because I notice it fastest or because the other monkeys in the group think it’s my job.

Pre-cancer, we tried various combinations of chore sharing and internal grumpy grumbles on my part for continuing to end up with more of the housework because I cared more about whether or not and how it was done.  (Note: my menfolk are very willing to help out when asked, and over time have voluntarily taken on several chores as regular habits without being asked.  I’m not at all trying to paint them with a “typical male” brush, just attempting to describe actual events and make best guesses as to the whys.)  Post-cancer, I don’t have the time or inclination for either the chores or the grumbles (see life-too-precious comment above).  I’m finding that at my current recovery phase, I have energy for either work or house maintenance but not both. The other two aren’t interested in taking on or keeping the extra chore duties either.  Yet still, the chores need doing.

Enter: a good friend needing a part-time job to fund her own creative pursuits while paying her bills.  Ah ha, my clever brain thinks!  Discussions ensue over several weeks, giving everyone time to find any hiccups in the friends-working-for-friends scenario (not usually the best idea), discussions of job and payment expectations, and extreme openness on my part as to the ultimate purpose: we’re paying for the privilege of removing the household functional double standard — which none of us actually wanted — so that all of us can do more of what we want to do on a daily basis, which is share time together and work our little butts off.  When work equals writing and high level computer geekery, every work day is also play day: one of those secrets to success you can probably find in a self-help book somewhere.

A friend mentioned that having the class privilege to pay for the financial and house assistants might be controversial for some folks, and I suppose I can see that.  Post-cancer, though, I can’t make myself care that much.  We have the opportunity to take a huge load of stress and drudgery off all our plates, to free up more time for us to enjoy just being around each other, which is what we like best to do anyway, and to add to someone else’s self-support.  All I have to be responsible for is overseeing that it all goes the way I prefer the house to function, and I like that kind of overseeing and organizing.  It would seem really dumb not to take that opportunity simply because there are folks in the world who don’t get that choice.  We worked our asses off to get to the place where we can afford to make that choice, and life really is too precious to squander the chance to have quality slack along with our persistent daily work.

Thank you, Nathan and Steve, for freeing me from the chains of the three-shift-woman social standard.  Work and child-rearing are enough shifts for anyone.  In the couple of days since we started this endeavor, I’m already getting much more writing done — I wrote a 3150-story draft from start to finish in 25 hours (with breaks) this week.  And it feels like there’ll be enough time for play and shared time with some of my favorite people daily, along with all the work parts. Post-cancer, that suits me just fine.

Comments and discussion welcome as long as everyone remembers their manners.

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