It’s been a rough month or so. My father has been diagnosed with stage 3 liver cancer. My uncle has been diagnosed with acute leukemia and a close friend’s beloved uncle just died of spinal cancer. Obviously, it’s been a little tough to keep up with the old blog, not to mention how hard it’s been staying on top of revisions for my book, but work continues, albeit more slowly than I would like. Crisis for me is kind of a mind killer. I have a very hard time being creative when I’m stressed, so I tend to watch a lot of history documentaries, play a lot of Skyrim, and read a lot of non-fiction. I don’t know why, but those three things comprise most of my coping skills. I have been trying, with limited success, to make myself also go to the gym, because I know exercise is good for me and helps with sleeping, but let’s face it, I’m no gym rat. It’s an effort to make myself go, especially when I’m stressed, which is when I need it most. In the meantime, I’ll try not complain too much while I’m driving back and forth between my parents house and my home.
Here’s a funny story from our last visit to Duke University Hospital. Let me preface it by saying that, for probably the first time in twenty years, my sisters and my parents and I were all in the same car. Although, unlike in the past, I was driving. So we went to my father’s appointment, which was stressful, but informative. As we were leaving the building, I saw my oldest sister turning the corner. I asked where she was going and my other sister said she was going after the woman with the baskets. I asked what was in the baskets and I swear my mother said “poodles,” to which I responded, “I want to see the poodles,” and everyone laughed.
Apparently, everyone else heard my mother say “produce,” and my sister was tracking down someone with fresh vegetables. I’m more interested in poodles than produce, so I didn’t follow her. I admit that the likelihood of someone with a basket of poodles at Duke is somewhat far-fetched. I guess I hear what I want to hear. Who wouldn’t want to hold poodle puppies after a stressful day?