Life Goes On

Sorry I went AWOL on my blog for a few days.

As it turns out, producing a weekend long campout in the mountains AND dealing with your son’s upcoming neurosurgery simultaneously has made it challenging to blog on a regular basis.

Rest assured I will make every attempt to keep up with the flow.

My son had a CT scan yesterday that took 4 hours.

Why did it take 4 hours?

Because the Radiologist had to be consulted to make sure the right test was run.

Something that COULD have been figured out AHEAD OF TIME, but at least they were cautious.

The CT scan was done for the sole purpose of seeing how much of my son’s skull is compromised by the dermoid cyst.

As I’ve said earlier, my son needs to have a portion of his skull taken out in order to fully remove the cyst so it won’t grow back.

I appreciate that the doctors are insistent that we run all the necessary tests so that they know what they’re dealing with BEFORE they cut.

So there you have it in a nutshell.

The latest and greatest in my life.

Oh, and today is my oldest son’s 19th birthday!

So there will some celebrating despite the stress I’m under.

Life goes on.

And so will this blog.

Update on my son

Here’s the latest on my son.

He has what appears to be a benign dermoid cyst, a saclike growth present at birth.

No big deal.

The problem with his cyst is that it’s compromising his skull.

Meaning a portion of his skull will need to be removed with the cyst by a neurosurgeon.

According to the pediatric surgeon, this is a challenging surgery because

  • The cyst is on the back of his head which means he has to be operated on facing down, always considered a riskier surgery.
  • It’s also considered a high blood loss surgery (so family and friends may need to donate blood for him).
  • There’s always the risk of infection (gah!).

I am personally more than a little freaked out about this.

I looked up dermoid cyst on the internet and found out it’s a type of teratoma (a tumor made up of several different types of tissue).

A sacrococcogeal teratoma is exactly what caused the death of my son Douglas way back in 1998.

I don’t think I need to explain the fear that is coursing through my body right now at the thought of another teratoma threatening the well being of my child.

If you are the religious sort, please say a prayer for my son.

And if you are not religious, please send good energy and positive thoughts our way.

We’re doing better but we’re not out of the woods yet.

Ch.. ch.. ch.. changes

My birthmom is moving away.

To Oregon.

She and my step-father have built a brand new home and will be moving in around June 19th.

I had no idea that this was going to happen so soon!

And let me tell you, I’m a little bit worried about having her so far away from me.

For the last twenty two years, she’s been no more than a 2 hour drive away from me.

Now she’ll be a 2 hour flight away from me.

I’m definitely having feelings about this but what they are, I haven’t a clue.

Sadness.

Anxiety.

How will I see her when she’s 600+ miles away?

Honestly, I never considered how it would feel to lose her.

I’ve been taking her presence for granted.

I haven’t seen her as much as I should have or visited as much as I wanted to.

And she’s always been there for me when I needed her.

Their new home is BEAUTIFUL and it’s selfish of me to want her to stay.

I know I’ll adjust.

I’m just saying, I’ve got FEELINGS about this and they’re not all roses and rainbows.

I feel like I’m being left behind.

And it doesn’t feel good.

Spying eyes

My oldest son spies on me.

I know this because he called me up on the phone the other day to ask where I was.

Normally, I would have been at work.

But on this particular day I left work early to go to the doctor’s office.

“Where are you?” he asked me.

“On the freeway, heading to the doctor’s office,” I replied.

“You don’t have any doctors in that area. . . “ he told me.

“How do you know where I am?” I asked.

“I’m tracking your phone,” he said.

Sigh.

Why my son has suddenly developed an interest in my life, I will never know.

He used my password to log in to Messenger and THEN tried to blackmail me with information he found there.

“Buy me beer or I’ll tell grandma,” he threatened me.

“Go ahead,” I replied. “Grandma already knows.”

So there you have it.

My 18 year old son is spying on me so that he can blackmail me to buy him beer.

It may be time to change all my passwords.

Steve and Anthony

When my boys were little, there were two men who helped me through all those sleepless nights – Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter and Anthony Bourdain the American Chef.

Late at night, there’s not much TV to watch and so what did I do at 3 am when Duncan or Gavin needed a feeding?

I watched Animal Planet and The Travel Channel.

Quality entertainment at breastfeeding o’clock in the morning.

When Steve Irwin passed away in 2006, I was heartbroken.

It was as if I’d lost an intimate family member, such was my grief.

Now, upon hearing the news of Anthony Bourdain’s suicide, I am filled with the same grief.

Those two men kept me company when I was up all alone, taking care of my boys, trying to get them to go back to sleep so that I could then go back to sleep.

My ex-husband was still sleeping in bed, but Anthony and Steve, they were with me.

I have plumbed the depths of despair myself, when my oldest son passed away from cancer in 1998.

I know what it’s like to feel like the burden you carry is too much to go on.

My heart breaks a little when I think of the suffering that someone must be going through to actually take their own life.

There’s no way to make sense of premature loss from suicide but there is a way to help prevent them.

We need to remove the stigma on mental illness, which is just as rooted in biology and biochemisty as any illness so that people can get the help they need without fear of judgment.

I promise to all my family and friends who love and care for me, that I will always take my mental health seriously, and that I will reach out when I’m not feeling all that great.

I also promise to make myself available at 3 am, when things are rough, and they just need someone to talk them though the night.

Just like Steve and Anthony did for me.

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila FLOOR!

While my sister was visiting, we had the brilliant idea of making margaritas at home. I decided if we were having margaritas, we also needed to do shots and so I insisted we pick up a bottle of Patron to do shots with.

Now the thing you need to know about my sister and I growing up, is that she was the naughty one but I always got in trouble. Somehow she always managed to skate free. I claim that this is because I used to cover for her. She claims she didn’t get in trouble because she was not naughty.

LIAR!

In any case, Lisa and I were about one deep in margaritas and two deep into shots when my sister asked me for another shot.

Sure thing. Coming right up.

As I’m pouring it, my mom comes into the kitchen, looks at me and the tequila, and says, “Really Michelle? Another one?” and walks out.

I’m left standing there feeling reprimanded and indignant.

I follow her.

“Just so you know, it’s for Lisa,” I tell her.

Yes, I was a tattletale.

But I felt a whole lot better and my inner child rejoiced for not being labeled the naughty one.

Just the enabler.

Ha ha!

[What I did after 2 shots of tequila and 2 margaritas is a different post]

Lisa

It’s my sister’s birthday today!

Now many people don’t realize this but my sister and I are twins, for all intents and purposes.

My parents adopted us at the same time and we went through school in the same grade through college.

Growing up, when we’d explain to people that we were 5 months apart in age, they’d get confused until we explained that we were adopted.

And then they’d say, “So you’re not really sisters” which REALLY pissed us off.

So we stopped telling people that we were adopted.

We just let people assume we were twins.

Which was easy to do, considering that we looked like each other.

My sister is fierce and strong in ways I only dream of being.

She can keep her head in a crisis and manage just about anything you throw in her direction.

She is a giving person who has had her giving nature taken advantage of, but that never stops her from optimistically jumping into the fray to try again.

In my minds eye, I see us as little old ladies, still getting into shenanigans together.

She’s the instigator, btw.

I picked out the PERFECT present for her this year.

A lacy copper flower windmill.

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY EESE!

I love you!

Cat and mouse

My son decided to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day by sending me a SnapChat of him with a HUGE HICKIE on his neck which he got on a trip to Paso Robles.

He had a BIG smile on his face.

I quickly took a screen shot of his SnapChat (he later deleted it off my phone).

I showed it to my mom.

She sighed.

We’ve all been sorta hoping he’d settle down a bit with the young woman he took to the prom.

But no, apparently he’s still sowing his wild oats.

And (no judgment here) he should be.

He’s 18!

Back at home, I asked him when his prom date came over, “So what did she think of your neck?”

He said, “She offered to mark the other side.”

Oooooohhhhhhhh!

Damn!

Kids are growing up fast these days!

It took me YEARS to get over the idea that I MUST create a relationship with EVERY man who interests me or be labeled a SLUT.

Kudos to these two young adults for not forcing the issue and just enjoying each other’s company.

I like a woman confident enough to hold her own in the face of another woman’s hickie.

Who is the cat and who is the mouse?

You really can’t be sure now, can you?

This post will make you squirm

When I was growing up, I CONSTANTLY had to wipe pee off the toilet seat.

You see, my dad is a germaphobe and he taught my brother to LEAVE THE TOILET SEAT DOWN while peeing.

Needless to say, my brother’s aim was off.

I can’t tell you how gross it was to forget to check the toilet seat and to sit down and feel the wetness of someone else’s pee on the backs of your thighs.

Then I got married and lo and behold my ex-husband was trained to LIFT THE SEAT.

And he did.

I’ll let you in on a secret: I don’t really care if the seat is up, I just don’t want there to be pee on it.

What can I say?

I set the bar low.

My ex-husband taught my boys to lift the seat but lately, I’ve noticed that someone is leaving the seat down and peeing on it.

Once I figured out which one of my spawn it was, I confronted him.

But the seat-peeing has continued.

So. . .

In order to make a point, I left a bloody wad of toilet paper in the toilet.

Because I know it grosses my boys out to see blood in the toilet.

I see your pee on the seat and I raise you one bloody wad of toilet paper.

I win!

In the Navy

Sooooooo, I may have gone a little overboard with the whole “Duncan’s going to prom” thing.

Believe it or not (and you better believe it), I bought a SHIT TON of navy blue gifts for his date.

Because all I know about her is her name, that she is an equestrian, and that her dress is navy blue.

I told my son he’s giving her a “PROM PRESENT” and he just rolled his eyes at me and said, “Why Mom?”

Because.

Because I didn’t get the pleasure of watching you go to prom when YOU were in high school.

Because you’re going to be attending prom at my alma mater.

Because it seems like a nice thing to do.

Truthfully, if his date knows him well enough then she will know that his mother arranged for the gift, and that it wasn’t his idea.

My son is ultimately not the world’s most thoughtful person at this time.

But he’s growing into quite a lovely young man and I’m working on his thoughtfulness.

Meanwhile for your viewing pleasure, all the CRAP I bought for the PROM PRESENT:

All that’s left is for me to find more candy in navy blue packaging!

Now. . . let’s hope that my son actually GIVES his date the present.

That’s the only part of this equation I have no control over.