I lapsed into silence again. All is fine with me and mine, work is fine, Murphy is fine, all is well in my world, I'm just busy, busy. But I'm also having a wee bit of reliving the end of my husband's life, via a Facebook friend/former co-worker I haven't seen face-to-face in decades. This is something that would make me roll my eyes so hard they might get stuck, if I stumbled across it on the innerwebs. Sorry if I sound like one of those "borrowing other people's drama" people. I hate those people.
I have to preface this by saying that my current life is happy, strong, positive, and I'm not living in some depressing little loop of the hardest days of my life. NOT even in my dreams, which remain cheerfully weird or mundane. Life really is delightful, and I'm so glad I'm here for it.
But someone I knew from a job decades ago, who I didn't even know on a close friend level, but really liked from our random conversations, became a FB friend a few years ago, as part of the random connections one makes with one's old co-workers, etc. Long saga short - he has been battling cancer. He's a real character and a terrific writer - funny, articulate, brutally honest, with a wacky sense of humor - and he's been sharing his experience, as much as he felt like sharing. A very short time ago, his FB and real time friends were celebrating: clear scans where the cancer had been! Just weeks later, ominous new developments, and tests just confirmed that it's in his brain now.
And I've been tossed back a decade in a really shitty sort of deja vu, except mine isn't a trick of the mind. I'm remembering the weeks it appeared that my husband's cancer had actually been beaten to a draw, and things were looking up - until it roared back into his brain, and, well, game over, except that it took a really long time to actually be over, and that truly, truly, was the worst goddamn experience I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, both for the patient's suffering, and what I dealt with as the sole caregiver. (As one oncology nurse I'll always remember said to me in the elevator at around midnight, as we were both leaving: "I believe it's harder on the caregivers than the patient. The patients get the good drugs.") Truth.
I am not reliving this on a personal level - it's been a long time, and time does indeed heal - but I sure am feeling for what that family (oh, so much like mine, right down to the two young adult kids, boy and girl) are living through right now. I'm not close enough - I mean, we really are just FB acquaintances at this point, and they are surrounded by an army of close support - to insert myself into this drama, and certainly will not. I'm just that observer on the sidelines, muttering, "Oh, fuck," because I've lived this shitty movie. Cancer is a vile, evil bastard. (And as an aside to that, if you share any cutesy breast cancer "awareness" or other "awareness" memes with me on FB, you risk my virtual foot up your virtual ass until it connects with your virtual tonsils. If it ain't raising research dollars or patient care dollars that go where they do the most good, it's worthless feel-good bullshit. Just don't share that stuff, okay?)
So, why I love my job: I was distracted and just in a funk at work today, due to the above. It's really hard to concentrate on the mundane when absorbing really depressing news, even if you saw it coming and hoped to be wrong. So I told my boss I needed to get out into the sunshine because the weather is gorgeous, and took off to do a drive-by on some projects under construction. I spent a couple of hours driving projects, making notes on things that struck me, a couple of things that turned me off that we could fix, etc. Then I treated myself to fast food french fries (grease and starch are major components of the comfort food groups) and came back to the office feeling refreshed, and in a far better mood. And the weather is going to be gorgeous this weekend, cool bordering on cold Sunday morning. Publix had a load of firewood outside tonight, and Publix always knows. It's only Wednesday but I'm already planning a weekend of fun in the blessedly cool and sunny outdoors.