with apologies to the Canadians; it's just a metaphor.
The new year never feels much like a new year to me. I look outside and everything looks just the same as yesterday. There are no birds chirping on my window or squirrels singing or rainbows and I haven't magically gotten thin, and I don't feel some profound sense of newness. It's like going to Canada; you cross the border and you might expect everything to be different, but it all looks the same, except not quite. You can buy smarties and codeine now.
My Dad died yesterday afternoon. He has felt unwell for several months now but a month ago he was admitted him to the hospital. He didn't have lymphoma in October, it was just an infection. But then he got sick again after that, and no tests could explain the continuous fevers.
They finally tentatively diagnosed him with multiple myeloma, which is a blood/bone marrow cancer. He had very first stage, almost low enough they probably wouldn't have bothered to treat it, except they also diagnosed a complication called HLH, which, summarized, is where your immune system goes batshit crazy and starts attacking itself because of the myeloma presence (hence the fevers). The treatment is to treat the cancer.
He went through a first round of chemotherapy and was weak but no longer feverish. Then he picked up an opportunistic infection in the hospital. He wasn't conscious by the time I arrived and never came back. Each day he got a little worse. Unfortunately the chemo for stimulating production of new white blood cells didn't work either, so he had no defenses at all, and he wasn't responding to any of the treatments.
When he went, he went quickly. It was so systemic that all his systems just shut down, within a half hour.
Now it's like going to Canada again, everything looks just the same but everything is different. It's the little things that catch you, I think.
I'm really appallingly awful at talking to people right now (I blame genetics, my voice gets all high and squeaky when I'm emotional, just like Mom's) so I'm pretty much dreading the next few days. Ah well, can't be helped. I am hoping very very hard that my cousin does not bring up his racist neighbor again like he did at my grandmother's funeral or I might punch him.
If any one at the funeral asks, I'll tell them what they can do for me is that if they're able to, go donate a pint of blood. I think Dad went through at least a couple dozen of them, probably more, and I'm sure the blood supply could use the help.
Things could be better, but they could be a lot worse, too. Happy new year.
Hello, pretty mountains