Hot summer with cancer

My brother backed out of our camping trip. afterward he said it was because he didn’t feel like traveling with my new ex boyfriend but I have no doubt that it was because I lost my temper and called him out on his selfish behavior.

Last week I reached my limit with my boyfriend-besides having some wonderful qualities and generally taking very good care of me after my surgery he has a very irritating superiority complex which turns verbally abusive at times.

That’s two men bullying me around…and I’m no fucking wallflower.

My brother is still sick-very sick with Stage 4 tongue cancer-Nothing has changed there. His second round of chemo was delayed 2 weeks but has been completed. He is thin, struggles to eat and can’t really get out much due to the sun and heat.

Now that I am back living with him the full extent of his life is becoming clear. He seems to want to chat but I am grieving the end of my relationship and not really in a shoot the shit kind of mood. I try to avoid coming home after work and hide in my room the rest of the night

Last Tuesday night, I came home and surprisingly my brother did not make a beeline to me as soon as I hit the door. I set up a new air conditioner and went to his room to show him the new equipment. I found him slumped in his chair almost unresponsive. He did get up and stumbled to the kitchen, slurred his words, looked like he was going to fall over. I spent the rest of the night waiting for the “thud” when he fell to the ground.

I assumed he doubled up on his pain meds-who can blame him?

His long period of near coma must have been very restful because he was up at 5.30 the next morning re-arranging the furniture! he came in my room about 6.45 with a full breakfast on a tray….very nice gesture but not well received.

On the next 3 days I came home from work to find the furniture re-arranged. I finally told him I am unnerved to come home and have things changed for no reason. I found some stuff in my son’s apartment and when I brought it back – my brother said “oh, you wanted that there?”

Argggghhhh! I do the same dance to accommodate everyone else’s preference but this is gradually coming to an end. Cancer or no Cancer!!



Caregiver’s Holiday

I am at loose ends

being hit from all sides-because it’s not not like I’m some spinster with nothing and nobody else to worry about…

I have a full-time job, 3 adult children in various stages of divorce, under-employment, quarter life angst….and  a boyfriend who just wants me to be “close to him”. Really?

Did I mention I have my own surgery coming up April 28th?

The reality is I am close to tears most of the time as in all day, every day. Almost anything anyone says to me-good, bad or indifferent (hate indifferent) sets off a cascade of physical reactions. My heart races and my head gets very warm. I can’t think, I pace, I mumble and take deep breaths.

Recognizing this crisis situation, I now have an appointment with a counselor on Monday. I’m not sure I will make it to Monday or if counseling will help. Today I considered calling the vets crisis line…I am a vet…Xanax seems like a good option.

Oh, wait-I titled this post “caregiver’s holiday” and forgot that I actually went away overnight last weekend. Feeling the need to escape and disappear I booked a posh room at a nice hotel about 100 miles away for BF (boyfriend) and me. The hotel was fab, he was mediocre. No, I do not feel rested or rejuvenated – the room as nice as it was did not have a bath…

I’m back to the same incessant demands-my brother is now complaining about the water pressure in my house. Not once but several times…with links to wikipedia and plumbers.

He is now 5 weeks in and is feeling the effects of the chemo and radiation. He says he is cold all the time-he has a space heater set at 82 degrees and still wears a hoodie. The radiation is causing swelling in his neck and he is coughing a lot.

The silver lining on this dark, dark cloud is that we are entering birthday season in the Inner Fire family. Everyone except my daughter in law has birthdays between now and June 24th. The plan is to squeeze in as many summer nights around this puppy as we can!




summer thunderstorm

This afternoon I realized that I should have been starting my new job in New York city today. Instead I was still slaving away, doing jobs I’m not paid for thanks to the my current employer who let me stay when my license got messed up.

I interviewed for a job at the financially strapped public hospital where I currently work…just in case. The position is in the Colo-rectal department. Eewww, sounds pretty grim, eh? But it has significantly more direct patient contact and I am a sucker for a patient with a horrible cancer…In addition, they want to expand their “pelvic floor” services…maybe I could get some tips to avoid that diagnosis?

Anyway, tonight, on this warm August night in the middle of this glorious summer-just when the calender has turned the page and one realizes that this weather just may not last forever…a storm! Complete with lightening, waves of rolling thunder and pounding rain.

I anticipate a good night’s sleep.



Summer vacation

My summer is starting to shape up nicely. I will likely, with the support of my children,  transition to working in New York City. My working life is mere facade of my real life. Having some 34 years ago married a New Yorker it was inevitable that I would split my time between the two cities. We joked about living in Ohio and have passed off children(mine) in hotel rooms in Youngstown but now it looks as if my life will forever, truly be split between these two cities

One son in New York and a daughter and son in Chicago

Mix, shake and stir

Now add in the third city, Los Angeles…LA….My very good friend with two young daughters lives there.

As I make my job transition plans, the opportunity to take a full 6 weeks off exploring the west coast has become an exciting possibility.

Yes, I can see myself driving around California, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado in my Fiat 500!!


Goodbye Maximus and Niko…

Apparently, we name our snowstorms this year…like hurricanes. Rumor is that Orion is on its way with between 4 and 20 inches of snow. Yes, someone actually told me that someone heard somewhere that we could get 20 more inches  of snow early next week!!!

I’m pretty much losing my marbles, snow is piled up everywhere, the roads are down from two lanes to one, sidewalks are treacherous. There’s only one solution-a complete delusional trip to fool’s paradise…via youtube!!


garden dreams

It’s been a few years since I have had my own garden…and a Chicago garden is a whole different type of garden than one in Birmingham England.
It is deep, freezing cold winter here in Chicago but by July and August it will be oven-roasting hot!
England always just sort of limps along-not too cold and not too hot~~
I have a small but wide open canvas here-we put in a 4×8 raised bed in the front and planted a rose bush, hydrangea, peonies, irises (i love irises!) and a bunch of bulbs-the question is- what will survive this weather?
We also have a 4×8 raised bed in the back for vegetables.
I just realized (with the help of Pinterest) that we really need to start make a plan for this little space!
What will we plant in this little space??? tomatoes, peppers, sweet and hot?…cucumbers? melons? maybe the herbs can go in pots? what about beets? leeks? and beans, peas and lettuce? oh, my….

DSCN0198Warning: lots of garden pictures over the next 8 months

loving summer in the city

i apologize to anyone who’s been looking for an update about my life here. i can happily report that my life is now… more real? i don’t have much time to think about what i want, should or need to do because i am usually out doing it.

i have thoroughly enjoyed my long hot summer going back and forth between the illinois prarie 

and the city of big shoulders

every morning on the train ride in i close my eyes and open them at random moments and know exactly where i am…and know in a definitive, been there a million times kind of way. i know what is down the side street and around the corner and that if i keep going that i’ll find a really good coffee shop/diner/bakery or that i used to go to a bookstore over that way…

that feeling was always missing in england….

on the last ten minutes into the city i enjoy a stunning view of the chicago skyline…in sunrise and now increasingly in foggy, pre sunrise clouds…no matter-it fills me with pride and anticipation for the day-getting off the train, joining the crowds, emerging into the hustle and bustle of the big city. i particularly enjoy walking through the great hall at union stationi walk past her most mornings

so there it is, an unplanned update-i had planned to write about how i’ve been replaced on facebook-the man i shared my life with for a debatable number of years has now changed his status to “in a relationship” with another woman.

not sure how i feel about that.

i don’t want to go back….not for a second….but it does make me wonder if….

if he (the trainlover) had taken that step to move here….who knows??