Saturday, October 29, 2011

Running around with her hair on fire. Or at the very least, a pot holder

This post is kind of depressing and for that, I do apologize. So if you don't want to be bummed while you're laughing I suggest you go some place else and wait for my next post.

As you know, my mom has Stage 4 Invasive Lobular Carcinoma. This is a cancer that starts in the milk ducts and metastizes into other parts of the body. Right now, its in her spinal column, her liver and her pelvis. She had a mastectomy last spring and started her second course of chemo in August after my niece got married. It sucks. Pretty much. We've been trying to have fun with it, but lately, I'm not really finding it humorous any more.

She's always been a little strange, my mom. I chalked it up to the fact that she's 39 years older than me so there's a huge generational gap. Over the last year, she's been forgetting things more and more, which I initially chalked up to age (she's 72), the fact she drinks martinis like prohibitions coming again, and what they call "Chemo Brain" where things get a little foggy. You'll have a conversation with her that she will forget you had the next day, and during that conversation, she'll tell you the same thing at a minimum of three times. My sister and I get so frustrated because this is a woman who knew what we were doing before we even thought about doing it. Now she keeps track on a calendar when she took a bath last. The other thing that really bugs is  you send her to the store with a list, and she doesn't come back with a fucking thing that was on it. One day I sent her for heavy cream and whole milk for mac & cheese. I got 1/2 and 1/2 and 2% milk. She said she read the list. Dad said she read the list. I figured she wasn't paying attention like usual. And of course she doesn't remember this incident.

So Wednesday night I get home from Nick's taekwondo class and had run out to check on FFB's boys. He was on a late flight home from Phoenix and I wanted to make sure they ate before he got home at 8:30. Mom had thrown some chicken nuggets in the toaster oven for Nick when I walked in the door. I was fixing noodles for Tyler and I started smelling something not right. My first instinct was to look around Nick who likes to make himself fart. No Nick, or Tyler who has the worst smelling gas of any little girl I know. I looked over at the toaster oven and it had smoke billowing out of it. "WHAT THE FUCK?" say I as I walk around and see FLAMES shooting out of the door to the toaster oven. I open the door and there is a crochet pot holder resting on the heating element. ON FIRE. ON FUCKING FIRE! 

So, add fireman to my long list of job duties while I live at home. Mom, for her part, got up from paying bills, looked at what was going on, shrugs her shoulders and initiates the following conversation:
"What happened Missy?"
"Mom, there was a pot holder on fire in the toaster oven! What are you doing?"
"I didn't put that in there. Did I?"
"Mom, holy shit, you are the one that put the nuggets in there!"
"Hmmm. I don't remember doing that."

She then turns around and proceeds to sit back at her desk to pay bills. My dad, who heard nothing because he's fucking deaf, yells up to her that Survivor is on. "OK. I'll be right down," she says. And sure as shit, she just gets up and plops her ass in her Lazy Boy leaving me standing in the kitchen with a smoldering pot holder, smoke wafting around me, and Cajun style nuggets.

So here it is three days later and I've discovered a few additional tidbits. My sister talked to her Thursday and was told to have a Happy New Year, mom said some weird random shit that my sister swears she was serious about, and that I'm a blabber mouth (DUH!). My dad mentioned that he frequently finds burners left on. And, mom still doesn't think what happened was a big deal. I've called her doctor and she goes in Monday for a CAT scan on her brain.

I told her I wanted to make sure it was still there,which made her laugh, and that was the point. Because really, I think that something else more sinister is going on up in that not-so-hairless-anymore head of hers.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Boat Trip, The Boat Trip, The Boat Trip

My parent's belong to the American Legion in town. Great organization for retired veterans. They have a ton of friends and spend every weekend down there playing darts and doing what they can to rid the bar of its pesky beer and gin problem. My mom also has nothing better to do with her life but gossip about some of the people that are members (like us!). There is one woman who I know through my ex-in-law's that really is like a pimple on your underwear line-we'll call her Muffy. Really irritating and a relif when its gone. My mom, in a rare moment of clairity, tends to agree with me.

So the Auxiliary put on this Boat Trip for the Post, or they tried to. And at some point, the trip got cancelled for whatever reason. But because my mom doesn't remember things like yelling at my dad at 1 AM yesterday morning about him needing to march his ass into the Legion meeting and tell them _____, she doesn't recall the reason The Boat Trip was cancelled. However, her sources tell her Muffy was at the root of the problem. Her sources also tell her that Muffy and her friend Brunhilda were kicked out of the bar by the Auxiliary  - who doesn't have the kind of bar banishing power it thinks it does - for The Boat Trip Cancellation Snafu. Essentially the trip got cancelled by a Mystery Guest for not enough attendees, even though there were 30 or 40 people waiting down at the dock's for the boat.

Me: "how did Muffy get involved, again."
Mom: "She had the list."
Me: "The list of what?"
Mom: "the list of people going."
Me: "So she's at fault automatically? I don't like the woman, but it seems kind of concentration camp-ish to blame her for the whole thing just 'cause she has a list."
Mom: "Well, the Auxiliary sent her a letter telling her she and her friends can't come into the bar any more."
Me: "And that has what to do with cancelling the Boat Trip?"
Mom: "She had the list."
Me: "OK.... So who told you the trip was cancelled?"
Mom: "The club secretary. And I told her we weren't going anyway."
Me: "OK, so who told her the trip was cancelled?"
Mom: "I don't know. But Muffy got told in three letters that she couldn't come into the bar any more. The Auxiliary doesn't run the bar. The Legion does, so if anyone gets 86'ed, the Legion has to do it."
Me: "So, what did the other two letters say?"
Mom: "That she's not allowed to go into the bar. But the the Auxiliary can't do that. They don't run the bar."
Me: "Right...."

At this point I tell my mom that if she's going to gossip, she needs to remember the story and the players. As it is, she's just making shit up on the fly. What I did manage to take from this 20 minute conversation was that my mom said "Boat Trip" about 50 times. Like that Olympic Boat Center commercial with the woman saying "all they ever talk about is The Boat. The Boat, The Boat, The Boat," as she strokes her kitty....