(This blog pertains to a series of events that took place in January 2004.)
“I am so depressed and it is just the beginning of this newest chapter in my life.” I wrote those words on January 3, 2004, just after Adrienne and I had moved in with my Mother and two brothers.
Edward stopped by to visit me just after midnight on January 1. He and Brian had gone to see a movie down at Pleasure Island. Then, Brian had gone off to visit a friend. Ed drove by to wish me a Happy New Year and to check in on me. For some reason, I actually slept well for two nights in a row. That made me extremely happy since sleep often eluded me. I could not quite figure out “why” I was sleeping well, but obviously I was pleased. And yet, I had adjustments to make and those were causing great anxiety.
Adrienne and I were still working out our space -- we were now roommates, sharing the back *guest” bedroom at my Mom’s house. I was busy figuring out where to put all my clothes and “my stuff.” My computer was still not hooked up and fitting a desk into the room would prove challenging, although not impossible. We were all working together to empty out the apartment as well. There was so much “junk” to dispose of and we only had so much time to clear everything out. Between dealing with the “eviction” from our apartment and moving so quickly into another location, I was a physical and emotional “wreck.”
At this time, Edward and Brian were still at the apartment - although they needed to clean it out and move before week’s end. They were both sleeping on the floor, using a couple of old sleeping bags. Edward was also attempting to plan our “next move.” While staying at my Mom’s place initially made sense and seemed quite logical, there were problems with this arrangement. Obviously, the four of us wanted our own place as soon as possible. I knew that staying with my family was only a short-term solution. Yet, for now, I needed to get settled.
I continued to deal with health insurance issues. My company was not paying out claims, and that stress continued to build up inside me like a volcano about to explode. “I’m worth $200,000, but not alive,” I told Edward. (He quickly reminded me that even bringing this us was NOT an option.)
On January 5, we turned in the keys to our “luxury” apartment and became “homeless,” especially Ed and Brian. There was no room for them at my Mom’s and so, they were going to spend their nights at an office in Orlando where Ed was working. There was a sofa in the space where Edward did his design work and, the building had a bathroom complete with a shower. So, they were able to make a “temporary” home there. Not the perfect solution but at least, a fix for the time being.
It became more obvious to me that this “aspect” of the cancer journey was not something I was totally prepared for -- being “homeless” and feeling so “poor” was not going to help me “get better and stronger.” If anything, it could hinder my progress.
Everyone was stressing -- and the tension was so strong that it affected all of us in different ways. Adrienne was in college and needed to remain focused on her studies. Fortunately, she did continue to do well. However, this “situation” took its toll. Even tiny little things were blown out of proportion. Dealing with my Mom’s dementia on a full-time basis was extremely difficult for us. She had moments when “anger” would replace her usual calm disposition. Although she did not mean to “hurt” us with her words or comments -- there were times when she made us “feel unwelcome” or as if we were “imposing” upon her. There were also those times when she enjoyed having us around .. we even had a fun celebration for her 76th birthday.
I found myself asking questions, not to anyone in particular, but just because I needed to “vent.” I realized I was still “sick” and very much in need of physical and emotional healing. Now, I had to watch my family being dragged down by all that had happened. Feeling like a “real loser” was not exactly something to be proud of. Should I become an alcoholic? Seriously, I do not really drink. Should I OD on my drugs? I realized I could not do that either. All I wanted was “normalcy” -- to feel “normal.” Another question: Would that ever happen?