Monday, November 10, 2008

Practicality Sucks

This is me being depressed and whining, so stop reading now if you're not in the mood for it. You certainly won't hurt my feelings. Frankly, I am sick of myself, so I know I am certainly on everyone else's nerves.

I've mentioned this before.  My dad has cancer. It is in his lungs and elsewhere. I don't really know the details because I am 2,000+ miles away and getting my information from a 70-year-old man who doesn't much care for doctors.

This week my dad is in Houston at MD Anderson getting checked out, because they are the best and he wants the best. Forget the fact that he lives in New Orleans and Houston is a good six hour drive for him. Forget the fact that the people who love him and want to help him are not able to drop everything and drive six hours to Houston on a regular basis. He's there. 

I told him to let me know when his appointment would be and I'd try to schedule a flight down there to go with him. I figured the referral process would take at least a week or two, there'd be enough head's up to book a reasonable flight. My dad called me yesterday, Sunday, from his car, on the road, driving to Houston for his Monday morning appointment. Because that's how he rolls.

So now he is at the hospital. My ex-husband, who lives in Houston, is there with him and my dad is staying at his house. Estimate is he'll be there for five to seven days. Then he'll drive back to New Orleans and I am not sure what happens after that.

I am a veteran at the parent-dying-from-cancer game. My mom died from cancer, my mother-in-law as well, both thousands of miles away. There is this perverse scheduling and budgeting that you have to do when trying to manage something like this. You have to be practical and being practical sucks.

But I need to keep in mind that I am going to have to fly all five of us down to New Orleans for his funeral when the time comes. That is expensive. Funeral flights supposedly get a discount, but let me tell you from experience, it's not nearly enough to make up for the fact that you're flying with little notice. Plus, there are five of us. That trip alone will be easily $2000 if not more.

Prior to the funeral flight, there's the last visit flight. This one is obligatory for me, but I don't have to haul the rest of the family. It's those final days in the hospital when things aren't looking so good and you come in to say your goodbyes. I missed this one with my mom. I was there for Thanksgiving and when I left I thought I'd see her again, but she died a few days later. Then I was back on a plane for the funeral (at 8.75 months pregnant, but that's another story).

The first flight, the one I am now online searching for good fares for, is the still relatively healthy and able to enjoy the visit flight. I think this one will be Tim, Carlie and I, probably the week between Christmas and New Years. It's an important one, the last hoorah, so to speak. Tim missed this one with his mom and regrets it every day. By the time he made it home, she was winding down and he wishes he had spent some "good time" with her before he had to watch her die.

Have I mentioned how much this all sucks? Because what I really want to do is lay in bed and watch bad TV and eat Halloween candy and cry and pout and scream THAT'S NOT FAIR and be sad. And instead I have to figure out how many days I can really afford to miss of work, and how many clients Tim can really afford to reschedule, and plan on flying red-eyes because it'll save a couple hundred bucks and, fuck, I don't want to deal with this.

And I also have to keep in mind that the whole "you have cancer, now you die" aspect of this is my baggage, and maybe he'll receive some kind of treatment that is effective and all of my morbid downward spiraling will be for naught. But that's not how my brain works. Remember me? I'm the girl who went to the doctor because she was dizzy and spent the whole drive there (1) praying that the assisted suicide law was voted in and (2) lamenting the fact that my daughter had nothing to wear to my funeral. Because that's how I roll.

So now I am going to price airfare. Then watch last night's episode of True Blood. Then do my Ab Ball Workout Video because the stupid ball fell out of the closet on top of me this morning and surely that must be a sign from God. Then I'm taking Carlie and her girlfriend for a long walk downtown. I am making homemade Tom Yum soup for dinner.  Then I'll close out the evening with two hours of proofreading work that I can no longer put off.  

Life goes on, even when you want to curl into the fetal position and suck your thumb all day.


Lisa Milton said...

Don't I know it. Feel free to commence in the thumb sucking as needed.

My Name is Cat said...

I hate to put more of a damper on your day, but last night's episode of True Blood wasn't very good.

Lee said...

Yeah, that sucks. We are holding onto frequent flier miles for funeral anticipations (husband's grandparents). Hard to do when you really want to use them for a vacation!

Anna See said...

Aargh. I am so sorry you are going through this! We are members of a club no one wants to join, aren't we?

BTW, once when I stayed out on a date until 3am (don't ask!) my mom had my funeral flowers all planned out. That's how we roll in this family, too.

Keetha said...

Oh, goodness. I'm the master of not knowing what to say in situations like this, except, that sucks, sucks bad and I'm really sorry this is happening.

I'm thinking of you.