Saturday, July 14, 2012


first, an update: still no call on the job.  i emailed my first contact last thursday afternoon and haven't gotten any response.  i was thinking of pursuing it on monday by hunting down phone numbers.

but i may not be able to.  see, i'm about to start my final week of school at university of phoenix.  my last two finals that will be handed in july 22nd.  and then, within that next week i'll get my final grades.  and then i can apply for my diploma.

i'll have my first degree: associates of arts with a focus in psychology.  and then this fall, i'll continue my education at a local college.  two years from now, i will have graduated with my bachelor's in community health and human services, and i'll have completed the requirements to take the test to become a certified new york state alcohol and chemical dependency counselor.  oh, and i'll be taking a couple of hospice counseling classes.  because i think i'd like to do that too.

and a mere two years ago, i didn't think this was at all possible.

if you were around two years ago, you may have witnessed what was my last real nervous breakdown thingy.  i also started a new medication that kind of freaked me out

that new medication also may have saved my life.  i felt more normal than i have since... well, ever really.  and then we added tarzipan to the mix for my panic attacks (which i now am much better with) and i've been mostly okay for going on two years now.

so much has changed in two years.  just two years.  it's not a long time.  my blog's been around longer than two years.  i've lived in new york again for over a year.  two years ago i decided to go back to school.  my mom was still alive two years ago.

that's an odd thought for me.  and i think that's part of what makes me graduating soon so strange.  mom and awesome husband were supportive but surprised when i decided to go back to school.  i think they weren't sure if i'd stick with it.  what i couldn't explain to them (and still can't really explain well) is the difference the medication made.  pristiq made me feel like i knew my limitations.  i'm not as terrified that i can't go out in a social setting, or that i'll have to quit my job if i call in crazy one day.  i wasn't sure how to articulate that feeling.  but i knew i could do school.  and everyone was supportive.  i enrolled in school the first week in september.  i even accepted a new job in october and started training.

i had just started my second block of classes when mom moved up to new york.  it was november 13, 2010 when i drove her to the airport early in the morning to catch a flight.  it would be the last time i would see her outside of a hospital, but i didn't know that.  of course i didn't.  i spent that day at epcot with some friends and drank mead that night.

monday november 15th was mom's first day at the new job.  awesome husband and i went about our lives in the quieter-than-it-used-to-be house, comforting the two cats who seemed to be missing mom.

i spoke to mom a few nights that week.  her eyesight was bothering her and my brother took her to the eye doctor, who wanted her to get an mri.  she was terrified but we were going to make her do it.  but that saturday she emailed me and told me to call her.  when i did, she was upset and having extreme vision loss.  we convinced her to go to the hospital and, within four hours of getting to the emergency room, we had a diagnosis of metastatic lung cancer.

from mostly healthy but having vision trouble to metastatic fucking lung cancer in mere hours.

i was on a plane the next morning.  and mom cried when i got to the hospital.  i told her not to cry, i was there, what was there to cry about?  she worried that i wouldn't finish school because of her, because i'd miss too much work while i was in the hospital with her.

i didn't.  there was wifi in the hospital, and i had my laptop.  i'd sit next to her bed in ICU and do classwork.  my new job let me put the training on hold.  i helped her eat and drink, i helped her stay comfortable, i rang the nurses for her, and i did my homework - all right there in the ICU.

and when they told me not to bother going back to florida on thanksgiving morning, that there was nothing they could do but keep her comfortable, we started looking at hospice facilities.  we were lucky to get her in one - they didn't charge us because she didn't have insurance - and we moved mom there the saturday after thanksgiving.

they also had wifi, and i spent a week sitting in the reclining chair in her private room, helping keep her comfortable, wetting her mouth, and telling her i loved her - while i did my homework.

and when she died, i did what i had to do, took a couple of extra tarzipan, and made her proud. 

oh, and i kept doing my homework. 

i thought a couple of times about stopping school, but they were fleeting thoughts.  i never would have stopped, because of my mother. 

things were so different two years ago.  and maybe that's why it seems so strange graduating without my mom.

but two years ago, there mere thought of my mother dying was enough to put me into full panic attack mode.  i always figured i'd have to kill myself when my mom died because there was no way i could live without her. 

now i know differently; i've proven that monster of depression wrong.  i can be strong and do what i need to do, i can be a good daughter and a good wife.  and i can have a positive impact on people's lives.

i learned that all from my mother.

thanks, mom.

if you want to read the ongoing posts about my mom's passing, check out a story.  it's coming together a lot slower than i had intended it to, but it's a lot harder to write than i thought it would be.  and thanks to all of my loyal readers for all the support over the past couple of years.  you've each helped more than you know.


  1. You've accomplished so much.

    Sincere kudos to you. I am happy to see you so strong.

  2. "now i know differently; i've proven that monster of depression wrong. i can be strong and do what i need to do, i can be a good daughter and a good wife. and i can have a positive impact on people's lives.

    i learned that all from my mother."

    Beautiful. Just beautiful.