Endless Musings

This blog contains the random thoughts, feelings, and observations of a slightly "left of normal" young woman.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Finally Friday

Well it's finally Friday. This has certianly been a long week. I think my goal for tonight will be to do as little as possible after work. I know I'll probably end up getting some cleaning done, but the plan is to veg.
Mom talked to the specialist who was going to insert the feeding tube. He told her that she is too weak at this point to have a tube inserted. Based on a urine test they did he told her that if she doesn't get hydrated soon that her kidneys could fail. Dad is driving her to the hospital right now. I can't go with because I'm still at work.
She's going to have IV's put in to get her rehydrated enough to even withstand having the feeding tube inserted. We're hoping that she will only have to stay in the hospital for two or three days, but that will depend on how quickly the IV's can help. I'm hoping that this will be the worst of what she has to go thru.
My dad is a basket case because of all this. He's not the kind of person who handles change or bad news well. In some ways I'm just as worried for him as my mom. She's the one in the physical pain, but for him this is killing him emotionally. He tends to be obsessive when it comes to things that cause him great worry. I guess it's good that this is happening on the weekend. I can spend time over the next two days with my dad and hopefully manage to take his mind off worrying to some extent.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

A Day of Remembrance

Today marks the 60th anniverisary of the liberation of Auschwitz. In 1945 allied troops liberated the concentration camp. The Commandant of Auschwitz would be tried and executed in 1947, in Warsaw, for the deaths of 4 million Jews, Gypsies, Poles, and other Slavs.
There is a very moving interview with an Auschwitz survivor on http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,338597,00.html.
The survivor was only 18 when she was deported to Auschwitz. She was spared the gas chamber because she could play the cello. Apparently, the Nazis had a band made up of prisoners and they needed a cello player. When a guard asked her what she did before the war she told them of her talent and they decided to let her live. She lived on to become a memeber of the English Chamber Orchestra.
She makes the point in the interview that the most important reason for mankind to remember the Holocaust is so that we can think about what happened then and how it might apply to things that are currently happening in the world.
We can never stand by and let this part of history repeat itself. Nor should we turn a blind eye to more modern examples of genocide.
Many people in world said, "never again" after the truth of the Holocaust was revealed. However, there have been examples of genocide since then.
Consider the following: Bangladesh 1971, 500,000 to 3 million people, mostly Hidus, are killed within a ten month period;
East Timor 1975-1999, 200,000 East Timorese (one third of the population) are killed after the Indonesian army invaded; Cambodia 1975-1979, 1.7 million native Cambodians killed by the Khmer Rouge Regime; Guatemala 1981-1983, 200,000 Mayans methodically killed by the Guatemalan army; Bosnia 1992-1995, over 200,000 Muslims killed by the Bosian Serbs; Rwanda 1994, 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus killed over a 100 day period by the Rwandan Hutus; Sudan 2004-????, over 70,000 non-Arabs have been killed by the Janjaweed troops who are supported by the Sudan government.
It would be nice to think that the days of genocide ended when the WW2 concentration camps were liberated, but it continues to plague our world.
Many people turn a blind eye to these issues because it's so unpleasant to even think about it, but as long as people look away it will continue. Many people feel that there's nothing they can do about such things. There almost always IS something people can do. We can speak out against genocide. We can boycot products that give money directly or indirectly to the people committing these crimes. We can keep our eyes on our own government and how it responds to these issues.
Just think of how many people in Germany during the Holocaust did have an idea of what was going on, but decided that there was nothing they could do. Consider for a moment what would have happened if these people did whatever they could. Might history have turned out differently? I would like to think that it would have.

Update on my Mother

We found out today that they're going to have to put a feeding tube in Mom. Her mouth and throat are so badly swollen that she can't eat or drink any more. She has already lost over 25 pounds. She's also a diabetic, so she really has to be able to get food in her.
The doctor had first suggested the feeding tube a while back, but Mom was naturally resistant to the idea.
She's going to have the tube put in on Monday. The doctor says that she'll probably have to keep it in for at least two weeks. Needless to say, she is not looking foward to it. She knows that she doesn't really have a choice.
This is the third time Mom's battled cancer. The first two times it was breast cancer. She says that this battle is the worst one. She told me that her 2nd battle with breast cancer (when she had a mastectomy)wasn't as bad as what she's going through now.
Hopefully, once she gets the feeding tube she can regain her strength and will heal quickly.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

My Mother's Cancer

My mom had be go to the emergency room last night.
The cancer that she had was in her saliva glands (no she is not a smoker.) By the time the doctors noticed it had become a good sized tumor that made half of her face ook swollen. It had also started pressing on her main facial nerve and was causing a paralysis on that side.
Once the biopsy confirmed that it was cancer she had the tumor removed. They also had to take a length wise sliver cut along the main facial nerve. This is because this kind of cancer can spread via nerve paths. Unfortunately the tests on the nerve came back dirty.
The kind of cancer she has doesn't respond to chemo, but it does respond to intense radiation. Since the tumor was in her saliva glands they've had to radiate the entire left side of her face and mouth. For over a month now she looks like she has a sun burn on half of her face.
The biggest problem that she has had to deal with is that the radiation as it fights the cancer also damages healthy cells in that area. She says that her entire mouth feels like one big cold sore. She has lost all sense of taste as the radiation has burned away her taste buds. What she can taste when she is able to eat or drink doesn't taste the way it should. Also, her saliva glands have been burned to the point that they don't function at all. Because of the pain and taste perversion she has lost over 25 pounds.
She just started her last week of radiation this Monday, but they had to halt the procedure because she has developed a very bad case of thrush (its like a yeast infection in the mouth.) This developed because of the drying and damage inside her mouth.
Last night the pain from the thrush got so bad that even with the liquid morphine they gave her she still couldn't stand it. My dad took her the the emergency room late last night. They put her on an IV because she's become seriously dehydrated and they gave her the potent intravenous morphine. She told me today that even with all the morphine in her she was still in agony.
She's home resting right now. I know that they've suspended her treatment until the thrush heals. I hope that they won't have to restart it or that the time off won't mean more time treatments at the end.
One of the worst things about this is that the doctor has told her that not everybody makes a full recovery from this treatment. It can take months for the healing process to complete and even then not everything will be back to normal. They told her that some people never get all their taste buds or any of their salive glands back. We're all hoping that this won't be the case for her.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Is it Friday Yet?

Today has been one of those days from hell. First, the other woman who works in my department had to take the day off. Normally, this wouldn't be a big issue. My boss is also out of the office because he is on a business trip. So, he's been calling me on and off today asking me about issues that she has been working on. I've had to call her at home three times already to ask her what was going on or where she is keeping paperwork.
One of the issues my boss called me to do was to make a reservation for a rental car for one of our reps from Japan. The other woman I work with already made a reservation for the days that she was intially given by my boss. The day the rep was supposed to pick up the car was Saturday. He evidently was held up in Japan and isn't coming to the country until tomorrow now. My boss called me this morning to change the dates of the reservation. The problem was that since the rep didn't pick up the car on Saturday and no one called to change the date (my boss didn't tell anyone to until today) the rental company deleted the reservation after 24 hours. Of course, when I called to see if I could make a new reservation they advised me that they didn't have any cars and probably wouldn't until Friday.
So I had to call my boss on his cell phone which was cutting in and out and try to explain this to him. His English is not the greatest and it's even harder over a bad phone connection. At least he didn't get mad at me. He told me to make the reservation for Friday. I guess the rep will have to make due with cabs until then. I didn't ask; I didn't really care.
While I was trying to take care of that our server went down. Since we need to be on-line to get our email and communicate with our people in Japan (as well as other US locations) this was not good. Thankfully, our IT person was in the area and was able to stop over and fix the problem in good time. If we had to wait then I probably would be looking at being here half the night playing catch up.
This has just been a frustrating day and the timing of it certainly doesn't help. Lets just say that this is not a good time of the month for me. I'm cranky, bloated, cranky, breaking out, cranky, over tired, cranky, and anxious.
Oh, and did I mention that I'm cranky?
Some (crazy) women say that the time right before their "friend" visits is a wonderful time when their personality really shines. I agree, all 27 of them (personalities) are shinng like the sun!
Well, gotta' get back to work, gott'a make those BIG bucks!

Monday, January 24, 2005

Winter Weight Blues

I have a bad case of the winter weight blues.
For some reason starting at the beginning of winter I gain weight. My appetite increases as the temperature decreases and even though I try to use self control it seems that my body actually retains more fat than normal. You would think that I was a bear getting ready to hibernate!
Now the end of the winter season is in sight. Soon begins the season of sun dresses, shorts, and bathing suits (gasp.) Since the beginning of winter I have gone from a size 1 to size 11 jeans (and those are way tight.) When I walked past my full length mirror while getting dressed I thought there was a lumpy person walking behind me. Then I realized it WAS my behind.
This time of the month isn't helping the way I feel about myself either. I'm more bloated than normal and my face is breaking out like I was a teenager again. Plus, my mood just couldn't be more charming (it's amazing how one can watch oneself being a bitch and be helpless to stop it.)
I admit I'm not one of those people who loves to go to the health club. I do like to get exercise outdoors, but running on a treadmill makes me feel too much like a gerbil. I tried cutting sugar out of my diet a couple years ago, but then I found out that I'm hypoglycemic.
Well, that's all the excuses that I have at this time. I'll do what I do every year. I'll start dragging my sagging ass to the health club and cutting down on how much junk I eat. It has worked in the past years so I'm hoping it will work just as well this one.
Hopefully by May I'll be back in my hip hugging jeans (without a belly of flab hanging over them.)

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