TW: Cancer (II)

My grandfather made it through approximately five rounds of chemo and one round of radiation through this past summer and early autumn.

He had lung cancer and lymphoma, and it was so strange to watch him drop weight (he’s always been rather “fluffy”, and he was down to a bit below what he weighed in high school, which was a good 50 years ago), grow physically weak, and look so physically sick. One part of your brain understands that cancer can do all of this because it’s a fucking disease, but another part of your brain is stuck buffering and trying to process the sudden changes. He’d been balding for as long as I’ve been alive, so he wasn’t emotionally distraught when he lost all of his hair, but he was suddenly almost skinny in some places.

He was on oxygen until he’d finished the first round of chemo, and did chemo do a number on him. He’d lose his appetite, in part because most things had an off ‘metallic’ taste, he was tired, he struggled to stand up and walk at times, and it would take until the time for the next appointment (about a week) before he’d want to eat again. My mother, sister, and I would take my grandparents’ dogs in because receiving chemo meant going up to Columbus to stay in the hospital for the week. Radiation didn’t kick his ass like that, so even with the tattoos (for equipment alignment) and technically having several rounds throughout the week, it didn’t seem quite as harsh. It seemed like he’d gained some strength and a lot of his appetite back by then (I think he even gained some weight back, too).

On September 21st (Fri), he was released from his last round of chemo. The tumors were quite adequately shrinking, and he just needed to make it through follow-up labs and aftercare. There was going to be a follow-up scan in November, and things seemed to be optimistic. We had lunch with him that Sunday, as we’ve done for years, and he seemed fine (actually eating his fish and whatnot). Then he developed a fever and some of those ‘just starting to come down with something’ physical symptoms on Monday, got admitted to the ER sometime after midnight for a high fever (technically, Tuesday morning), and he was deemed too unstable to LifeFlight him up to Columbus at that time (fever and too low blood pressure).

{Narrative note: My grandparents decided when I was young that they did not want “to be kept alive by machines”, so we weren’t terribly surprised by my grandfather filing DNR and life support related paperwork with the James. Because certain labs, cleaning his port, and follow-up shots were done at a relatively more local hospital who were handling some of his file, my grandparents assumed that the DNR stuff was on file and would be honored at this hospital. Our actual local hospital is more well known for doing the minimum to LifeFlight you up to Columbus for practically everything, so my grandparents went to this other hospital when it came time to go to the ER.}

My grandfather’s kidneys started to fail, and even some emergency form of dialysis wasn’t helping on Tuesday. Writing this a week out after hearing my mother tell everyone who called the story over and over, some of the details are a little blurry. I’m not sure why my grandmother left the room to do something related to the car (maybe she was getting the car she wanted to follow them up to Columbus in?), but while she was gone, my grandfather was sedated (because he did not want to be ventilated) and then ventilated. From what my grandmother described, he died sometime Tuesday evening and was only being kept alive by the ventilator come Wednesday. Doctors had to confirm stuff, and my grandmother had to track down DNR shit, and I don’t know what all had to happen, but my grandfather was taken off the ventilator on Wednesday morning, September 26th, 2018.

{Supposedly, the DNR paperwork had to be filed at the hospital they actually went to in order for the staff to abide by it. My grandmother has already been told by multiple relatives to consult with legal counsel, especially since she was outright asked afterwards while signing discharge paperwork if she was planning on suing. I, personally, can’t say anything about the life support component, it’s too soon to comment on any legal shit, and it will likely be some time before that’s a done deal.}

My grandfather died rather suddenly, and even in the context of the cancer diagnosis, rather unexpectedly. He was supposedly in the aftercare stage and just needed to keep up the follow-up shit. My grandparents are both of the mind that “if you don’t have time for me while I’m alive, you ain’t crying over me once I’m dead”, so they both have arrangements for immediate cremation and no funeral or official memorial service. We haven’t gotten his ashes yet, but unofficially, there will be something in order to release his ashes (because they don’t want to “be kept on the mantle and talked to”).

Quite frankly, I haven’t really thought about how this might affect my ancestor veneration because I’m not used to an immediate family member that I knew well joining my bio dead. It still feels surreal, and I suspect I haven’t cried yet because it hasn’t fully sunken in. He was whisked away and didn’t come back, or something. It feels like it’s too soon to do an elevation (I can’t imagine he’s thrilled at the ventilation), and a part of me might be annoyed at my family’s approach to not wanting a funeral. Yes, they often seem to be more about the living, but stay with me here, they just might be a component of grieving and mourning for the living.

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2017 in Review

Most of this year has been People (re)negotiating debt, arranging to Leave, and/or finally Leaving. It’s not even completely new news because old announcements take time to be set into motion in some cases.

There’s a nebulous category of people I can venerate (or honor, sometimes They differentiate the two) without officially being ‘here’. What shifts around as being okay to do is a bit too unsettled for sharing on the blog, as it’s rather exhausting to go back and forth about being able to xyz let alone sharing the back and forth publicly.

There are new People Who either don’t want to be talked about online or aren’t ready for online disclosure just yet. (While a part of me would love to share stuff about Some People, it just may not happen at all.)

If I meticulously go through my notes about 2017, I could probably find something a bit more tangibly memorable. However, the big elephant in the room is that I’m in self-induced stagnation. I’ve been too afraid of change to take the necessary steps to make my life better – unemployed, courting depression, too relieved that I’m bogged down in coping mechanisms instead of being actively suicidal ideation to set my own foot down.

I know my People have somewhat of a direction for me to aim for, and I know I need to change shit. Doing is different from knowing. I need to get the shit I was supposed to get done in 2017 done in 2018. Some People have been patiently waiting; Others have been doing Their own thing until I get my shit done.

The following is a more humorous way to greet the New Year:

[tumblr user moxperidot: 2018 starts with a full moon. 2018 is year of the dog. i’m onto you werewolves] (Source.)

Post-Eclipse

The total solar eclipse was interesting to watch on tv (live and NOVA’s edited program later in the day that went into more detail about why scientists want to study the corona). We were in a partial zone (about 85% or so) but my family didn’t try to watch in person. In a secular sense, it was kinda fun, and I’d definitely consider trying to catch the next one.

For my People, it wasn’t quite as enjoyable. I must admit that I don’t know the specifics, but Fenrir, Angrboda, Hati, and Skoll all went through something. A Pack related altar for Them to recover and temporary changes to a playlist on Spotify for Their “time of mourning and self-destruction” lasted until the 25th. The exact details aren’t being shared at Their collective request, but I did wind up keeping some of the temporary songs in Their post-eclipse playlist.

The playlist has been a bit of a mix of Wolf mode and Pack influenced music from the beginning, but I definitely wouldn’t say this is a hard or final version. (While I may really associate a certain song with Someone, I also have to balance out any input They give, and sometimes They make it clear that They have input.) I haven’t tried sharing a link to a Spotify playlist before, but it should hopefully appear below.

A goodbye by any other name

In the fall of 2015, I started a segment of shadow work I referred to as #equinox shadow work 2015, which was supposed to last until the spring equinox of 2016. It was the reason for The Burning that I talked about here on WP and all of the Leaving.

There are Unseen processes at work with Leaving, and levels and clarifiers that didn’t always make sense. I knew there was some sort of paperwork element and getting approval, and  I know there was a delay in when I got the news due to the amount of People Leaving.

There were also delays in me sharing because 1) I needed time before sharing something like that publicly, and 2) Sometimes People came back or entered a clarified region that was like “kinda back”, so I didn’t want to cause a lot of confusion. Sometimes, I was asked as part of the Leaving process to not share until a certain time had passed or until a certain date.

While I’m sure it was easy to see the signs in the posts I shared on the full moons in the latter part of 2016, but Mani was one of the People Who Left. He wanted me to finish out writing something for each full moon, but He also wanted me to wait until the total solar eclipse in 2017 to publicly reveal that He’d Left.

I’m not 100% sure why, but here’s the post that’s been scheduled for a year and a month into the future (written on the summer solstice of 2016). I changed through shadow work and kept winding up incompatible with Faces He tried to turn my way. His Faces were dealing with shadow work rubbing off onto Them, in some cases. Things weren’t at a point that it was impossible to continue, but things changed in terms of agreements and negotiations to the point that it was easier for Him to Leave.

Words from the Vanir: In times of trouble…

Silver and Gold

I’ve been appalled and horrified, but not necessarily surprised, by the events this past weekend in Charlottesville. It’s as if the general public is waking up to the insidious destructive nature of white supremacy here in the US. I feel like it’s a drum I’ve been beating for several years now, and many other Heathens have been beating it much longer–they’re here! they’re destroying our culture and our religion! they’re destroying US, Americans, as a people, Heathens and Christians and Jews and Muslims alike! And it’s a tiny bit of a relief to finally hear from public figures that they see this too, and that they, too, are horrified. Or at least most of them are. (Our president the laughingstock is another matter entirely.)

I’ve been reading FB and news sources and other people’s blogs to the point that I’m actually getting physically nauseous most of the day, every day…

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July’s temple video to Loki Herself

The Road, the Walker, and What Comes Next

It’s live!

I was feeling quiet and contemplative this month and I think this video reflects that. I also finally got the Santa Fe incense to burn nicely. I really love this brand but sometimes I have a hard time keeping the blocks lit.

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My mind has been quite occupied with several projects I have going on here at home (I’m helping out a local temple with some complicated sewing work) in addition to the rapidly-approaching Many Gods West. One session is prepped; the other still needs a bit of tidying up. I’m also preparing to start work at a house reader at a local metaphysical shop, so I’ve been making lots of marketing material for that. Oh, and I’ve been producing the Santa Muerte prayer cards! They’re now in the shop and ready to ship.

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Tv-omancy

Lughnasadh posts have been trickling into my dash and feed for the past two weeks or so, but I wasn’t really feeling doing anything in particular. I wrote last year that I’m just off compatibility enough that Gaelic People don’t really stop by and I don’t see a point in forcing certain holidays. The Dublin Irish Festival mentioned last year isn’t as much of an option this year.

((Reminder that it’s here in Ohio. Dublin, OH is above Columbus which is itself an hour’s drive one way. As our capital and the closest big city, Columbus holds a special place in traffic torture for us. Add in how traffic can change with the Festival (parking) and Pelotonia happening this weekend, the last place we’d want to be is up there.))

Anyways, I didn’t have any sort of plan about doing anything for my Irish bio dead at the start of August. And then I ran into a pleasant surprise Wednesday evening, the 2nd, when my family turned on PBS to watch our usual 8 – 9 pm slot. There’s usually a documentary of some sort (we let ourselves be surprised by the topic each week), and this time it was the 2-hour long Ireland’s Wild Coast (link takes you to free video).

Body as Shrine

I’ve been sitting on a request since January of this year (7 months and counting) to include treating my body as a shrine in my path. I’m not new to the idea, and I’ve seen some people who mention this in relation to self care on my tumblr dash before, but I haven’t quite gotten to a full scale implementation. There wasn’t one sole reason for this, tbh, but it’ll help to bring seemingly unrelated debt and requests together I think.

[Text post from tumblr user @dattebayo-basa: my body isn’t a temple, it’s a condemned building covered in prophecies in the form of graffiti. my soul is a shrine made of garbage and neon and i am holy, hallelujah. (Source.)]