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Barmy Blue's Bland Blog

Something is Better Than Nothing

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I've been feeling a bit unsure since my last entry. I've been worried that I wasn't exactly clear about my feelings. It was my attempt to account for several months of feelings that built up and came out at one point. I've thought about adding some more clarification or writing a follow up. Not long after my dad wound up in hospital. This time for high calcium and I wondered if letting unhappy feelings out into the world was a wise idea or not. I looked it up. It can be really REALLY bad if not treated. He didn't even notice. Most likely because the symptoms are similar to the side effects of his treatment. But he had a checkup before another round of chemo and they spotted it. I looked into it more. It's a common side effect of later stage cancers including prostate and bone cancer. The cancer can cause calcium to leak out into the bloodstream.
Then he was discharged...I think. He's not great. He's gone down a bit again but. He's not super forthcoming with information because there's not much going on and he's tired of it all most likely.
My mum's birthday came and went. I've been trying to secretly knit a cardigan for Christmas again (I didn't have enough so was hurriedly knitting a scarf instead for her birthday last year. I was finishing it off when she came home so I had to retreat to my room and finish it completely suspiciously). Not done for Christmas this year either so I'm aiming for her birthday again and miss spectacularly. Almost one sleeve and almost one back piece. Well now I have plenty of time for next Christmas. Since I only had paltry gifts for her without the cardigan I decided to give her a nice lunch instead. An afternoon tea. And since I usually have to eat most of the cake to save wasting it I decided not to do cake again this year. I made mini strawberry (which became strawberry, raspberry and blueberry) cream tarts. It was a toss up between cream and custard. I got both. I had to time it perfectly to get up as soon as she went out with the dog, as it was on her day off so she'd be home all day and I didn't want cream sitting in the fridge. It would lose all it's whipping. My mixer is SUPER noisy and fast on the lowest setting. So I needed her to be out while I whipped the cream so that she wouldn't suspect a thing. I could only get very small pastry cases so they were a bit smaller than I'd planned and so I had a bowl of cream left over. Why does whipping cream only come in 1 size? She came home just as I'd finished hiding the evidence. I'd originally hoped to surprise her completely but as it was to be a lunch and we usually eat breakfast pretty late so don't actually do lunch i had to inform her to have a "light breakfast". Because if lunch was too late then dinner would be too late and I had more treats planned for that. Fish and chips with a frozen lemon meringue pie.
I made assorted sandwiches, served up some hot (though they were only slightly warm by the time I dished it all up) and some cold picnic type items and a selection of biscuits for the tea part of afternoon tea. it was a bit much but what we didn't eat was saved and eaten the next day or so. So yeah. That was that. She seemed to have a nice time and that's all I wanted for her.
A few days later my dad called and apologized for not calling on her birthday and thanked me for "entertaining" her. Which was odd and baffling. Did he somehow thing he was integral to our birthday plans? No. I think he was just feeling unhappy and guilty with everything that's going on with him. He needn't worry.

So back to my feelings regarding my dad and all.
When I wrote my last entry I was kind of calmer than I may have seemed. I was going more into a kind of numb uncaring state rather than rage. Though digging through my feelings to write up how I'd felt previously did allow some anger to surface where needed for the story. And I've been not exactly struggling but more wondering if it's okay that I couldn't seem to feel anything. I'm aware that some of my thoughts and feelings mentioned previously were incredibly petty and childish but that was what I had felt at the time even tough I was coming out of that phase when I wrote it up. And that is why I was hating myself so much for having those feelings in the first place. Just so you know.
Anyway. Now I've kind of moved onto nothing. And I'd wondered about writing that up as a follow up so I could explain what I've just explained with a title along the lines of Nothing is Better Than Something because the something had previously been anger. And I thought this numbness would be how I felt for as long as this plays out and that would be better than rage.

Well. I got a call out of the blue yesterday while I was dealing with dog diarrhoea and was still in pajamas.
My dad calls to tell me it's not good. The cancer's spread (we already knew that but I guess it's spread more than before?) He could have a week. Or he might make it until his birthday (in 2 months).
Is it wrong to be proud that I didn't have a negative thought? Based on my last entry I'd say so. I didn't have a positive thought either. It was just blank. I'm welcome to come up and see him (I'll address that in a bit) he's looking forward taking each day as it comes, he's telling me first because I'm his daughter and I should know first. There are people he's not telling and people he will tell. I'm allowed to tell my mum (I'd tell her even if you told me not to because she's my mum) and he wants to "die in this house and not a ****ING hospice" (By this house me means where he lives, not here, just in case you were confused) and that was that. I didn't feel sad. At least I didn't think I felt sad. I'll get to that later too. First let me explain something else.

I've been thinking that I'd rather keep feeling nothing than the anger I felt previously and I've been thinking that can be a good thing. Kind of distancing myself to protect myself from the pain of loss. Thinking about it I haven't lost anyone close to me before. The closest thing to me that died was my cat and I was devastated.

Grandparents? One was dead long before I was born. 2 died when I was little so I can't remember them much and the last one ended up steadily being moved into further and further away hospitals so we didn't see him much in the later years then he died.

Uncle? and more recently his late wife? Moved to the Isle of Wight so we didn't see them anymore but did occasion cards. Saw her for the last time at HIS funeral. Then she moved again to be near her sister and family. Still sent occasion cards. Then she died.

Aunt? She was the one who didn't come to Christmas but came to the Summer family gathering and lived the furthest away anyway.

Aunt's husband (whose funeral I debated going to because it was my last year of Uni and it was on the day of my novel writing class which id why I went to Uni in the first place (what a waste of time and money all that turned out to be. Probably should've gone to the funeral instead) so in the end I didn't go but felt bad about it)? He'd been in a care home for a few years so I didn't see him and then he died.

So yeah.
I've been distanced for one reason or another from all the deaths I'm aware of in my life save for my cat, who I watched die.

So maybe it's a good thing that I've been mad at my dad and distant for so many years and now can't seem to feel much of anything. Maybe this will protect me from heart wrenching pain. I'll break down some time later and cry and feel sad and guilty but it comes in smaller doses over a longer time and not all in one crushing all consuming well of despair. That's how it's happened before at least. For the humans I seem to grieve their losses a bit later. The cat was entirely different and not just because he was a cat.

So yeah.

I've decided to try and do what I did before. Back when he told us he had cancer and I decided to let the negative feelings go/beat them down until after and then seek a therapist to deal with them in a healthy manner.

So now I have to try not to think of unhappy/negative things and just think of the good (because there were good times with my dad) and average things.
Which makes the whole "you're welcome to come and visit" thing a bit tricky.

Do I go and see him before he dies?
I personally was negative last time we met. But he seemed to think it was good and to be honest, even though I was negative, it wasn't a bad experience. There's one big positive to that day. I ate a fried egg end it was alright. (for context I hate egg yolk. So fried eggs are a no for me and yolk that's still runny creeps me out because I wonder if it's fully cooked. I might have eaten fried egg previously but if I did it wasn't worth remembering. But this one was so I'm counting it as my first fried egg). Now it may seem odd to credit an egg as being the highlight of the meeting but I'm looking to celebrate any positive and for me that was a kind of big moment. There are other good things about it too. So yeah.
But just because I'm not feeling anger anymore doesn't meant the meeting will be positive. He'll look worse than he did before. Being face to face means he can see my expressions so he might figure out how I'm actually feeling despite what I may say and even if he doesn't I doubt He'll be alone. SHE will be there. And for now at least i don't want to see HER. To be fair it's not her fault. It's all my dad's fault but I'm trying not to feel negativity regarding him until he dies so all of it has to focus on HER. So I have to not think about HER. Because that 20 year secret that wasn't really a secret he just didn't tell me and I've had only had less than a year to come to terms with THAT and all it entails is still something that irks me. Don't think about it too deeply. because you will get PISSED OFF again.............. So yeah.
And also what does he have to say to me that he hasn't already said? Surely now that the end is in sight he'll be more determined that I should be alright when he's gone by which I mean in a job of some sort and I REALLY don't want him wasting his energy going on about that again.
And just because last time wasn't bade doesn't mean that this time will be good. It could be bad. We could have a fight. It's possible. Why risk it? But. Will I regret not seeing him again before he dies?

He called later to talk to mum and told her more.
Seems he would like to see me. Great. Okay. And some other stuff. And no matter our feelings about HER we need to let them go. She's looked after him and supported him through all this. And that was something that gave me comfort. Back when I thought she was a stranger I'd never met. Sure I have no idea who this woman is and I'll probably meet her for the first time at the funeral and it'll be weird but I can take comfort in the fact that this woman unknown to me took care for my dying father. No matter what hold onto that. And then he casually revealed that she wasn't a stranger to me and was someone I used to know very well and it turns out that them being together is why we drifted apart from them and all my thoughts about her being a good and kind person caring for my dad in his final years went right down the ****ter and i spent some time wondering why my dad cot cancer but HER a chain smoker (when we knew her) didn't get ravaged by lung cancer! ..........not that I would wish that on someone. BECAUSE IT'S WRONG I Was just wondering...............................stop with the bad feelings already..........
So yeah.
Now that's tricky.

Today I had a bit of a breakthrough. I felt sad. So it's not floods of tears and wailing that one picture of mu dad I have. It was just a little feeling of sadness. I remind myself that he was there when I was little. And think about that. And sad. Sometimes it's hard to tell if I'm actually sad about the thing that's triggered me or if it's just the depression coming out all of a sudden. But no. I think it's sad regarding my dad specifically. So yeah. Now I don't just feel nothing. I feel something but it's not anger. It's the completely natural and appropriate feeling of sad. Sometimes it's hard to see when it's just a small feeling. But maybe the nothing was also sadness but just in a different way. Hey. Now that title will work both ways. i guess I'll use it after all.

Also I finally went and got my booster jab. It was a lot less fuss than the first 2 and my arm's already stopped aching.

Updated 01-28-2022 at 12:32 PM by Bluebiird