flyboy_fox: (*POINT*)
Merry Christmas, everyone! (:

I just got back from the Christmas Dinner my mum makes for us every year and it was as epic as ever. Turkey AND duck, plus sausage meat, stuffing balls, pigs in blankets, goose-fat roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes, red cabbage and chestnuts, bread sauce, cranberry sauce, apple sauce and gravy and a few other things that I'm sure I'm forgetting XD Plus cava, red wine, and pear cider to choose from. And then for dessert, a choice of apple strudel, mince pies, or stollen, with custard and/or vanilla ice-cream. XD I am STUFFED. My mum's Christmas meal is one thing I look forward to every year, and this year she was afraid that it wouldn't be as good because she hadn't planned it out so well, but it was epic and she outdid herself in every single way ♥ I love you, Mum.

Now, our family situation has been pretty tight this year, so I wasn't expecting any gifts at all... so I was incredibly touched that my mum got my brother and I some little gifts anyway. I got some gel activated hand warmers, a little diary and pen, a bar of 70% dark chocolate, and... haaa... a Snuggie XD The best part of the Snuggie is that my mum didn't even get it ironically or as a gag gift. It's awesome. I love my Snuggie.

I gave my brother three books about Advertising, Brand Management and Copywriting, since he asked for a book on that, and he was very very happy with my choices. He didn't give me a physical gift but went one step beyond and promised me £100 towards the new computer that I desperately need. It makes me extremely happy that my brother and I are able to get along so well now after all the years of hatred and being at each other's throats. Being able to have Christmas together like this is wonderful.

And then there's my dad. Like my brother, I hadn't seen him in over a year. It's good to see him... he's going to be 83 in February, and while his health is good now, I don't know how many more years I'll have with him in my life. We've never seen eye-to-eye, and there's already been some tension due to the ridiculously racist things he comes out with sometimes, but I'm trying to just calmly disagree and not let it escalate. He was raised a certain way in a very different time and culture, and while his views may anger me, I don't want to let it completely discolour my memories of him. All I wish for is peace in this household while we're all here together for a week or so.

Miles has once again managed to have more money spent on him than anyone else XD; But the things he got were good gifts, I guess. Scrog send him a Christmas gift which was actually remarkably thoughtful... it was a 70cl bottle of triple distilled 40% vol vodka, a blend made from molasses so it's sweeter and more mellow/less sharp than the usual. But the cool thing about it was the custom label that Scrog ordered it with. Miles was extremely happy with it.

He also got something which he picked out but which I guess we're sort of sharing, which is pretty awesome. The Queen's Jubilee Atlas of the British Empire. Not a reprint or copy, but the actual book which was published in 1887. It's in amazingly good condition, and still bears on the inside cover in pencil the name of the school it belonged to and the date 1895. It's really kinda cool to browse through a book that was produced some 125 years ago. The best part of it was that Miles found it for £32 and he'd seen copies in far worse shape selling for upwards of £300... so it was a bargain.

And last but not least by a long stretch, Jei toiled near solidly for about four days to get a picture finished for me which I'm going to use for publicity material for our Steampunk webcomic 'Calamity!', which has been a project of ours for around a year now and is finally on the cusp of going live, hopefully at the start of the New Year. I'm so excited about it! It's just really falling into place, and oddly enough Miles and Scrog have shown a bit of interest and have been helping out a little too. It's kind of the first thing the four of us have ever managed to sort of work together cohesively on, so that's kind of a landmark in itself n.n

Anyway, I'll wrap this up now. I'll probably post again before the New Year, but I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and hope that you're all doing as well as you can be, whatever your circumstances. Even if I haven't posted here much lately, I still think about all of you a lot and hope you're doing all right ♥ Ciao for now!
flyboy_fox: (MY cookies. For me. As in not for you.)
Sooo... LiveJournal is planning to revamp the comments page - including removing comment titles.

Yeah. I try not to bitch about the changes that LJ makes because in the end it's usually not a big deal and easy enough to adjust to. However, I can't help thinking that it's a bad move, this time. Nearly 500 comments already on the News post, and not a single agreement or approval.

I know that RP communities, kink memes, and long discussion threads in general (particularly those with 'trigger'/NSFW content) will suffer.

Eh, I'm annoyed. I don't even use comment titles that much myself, but I do see how they're useful and I don't like how LJ never seems to run any of their bright ideas by their userbase before implementing them (in this instance, we were just told that a new comments page is coming, and it took other users digging around on the Russian site to find out what that entailed).

I'm not going to huff off and leave over it or anything, but it annoys me, especially since I've been a paid user for a decade or so.

I did have some other stuff to update on but bleh. Later maybe.

What up?

Dec. 5th, 2011 11:20 am
flyboy_fox: (I'm a free bitch baby~!)
I've been absent for a while, I know ^^; I've been trying to get my life in check, trying to make some progress since the appointment I had at The Priory in Bristol. I'll copy over what I said on SSMB so that I don't have to type out the TL;DR twice XD Sorry for th formatting weirdness.

--
I dropped out of school when I was 14 due to complex
issues and at that time I was slapped with a diagnosis of Asperger's
Syndrome (a mild form of autism for anyone who doesn't know). Yes, it
accounted for some of my issues: my sensory integration problems,
particularly, and my mild dyspraxia. Perhaps also my 'obsessions'. But I
never felt that the label fully fit me. I'm not a very social person
and I didn't have many friends as a kid, but I've never had the 'theory
of mind' difficulties that autistic people are supposed to have. I can
perfectly well understand emotions in other people, I like to think that
I'm quite empathic, I have no problems with sarcasm, puns, irony and
other subtleties in language. I've never spoken in a stiff or rigid way
and had no delay or peculiarities in language as a child. I have
obsessions, yes, but they don't dominate my life, I don't talk about
them incessantly around people who aren't involved in them (or even
those who are), or try to push them on anyone. The whole social/theory
of mind issues that are supposed to be the hallmark of Asperger's
Syndrome just don't exist in me. Yet I stuck with the label for 13 years
because it was the only one that seemed to even come close to
explaining the problems I've had all my life.

Funnily enough, the new diagnosis my psychiatrist gave me is one that my
oooold clinical psychologist tried to give me many years ago at the
same time as the AS diagnosis, but it just didn't seem possible so my
mum and I both laughed it off and refused to even consider it. Now it's
come up again and I'm left thinking 'if only we'd listened back then'.

My new shrink suggested that I have what used to be called ADD and is
now called ADHD-PI. That is to say, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder - Predominantly Inattentive. Back when it was first suggested
to me, every child and their dog was being diagnosed with AD(H)D and we
thought my psychologist was just jumping on the bandwagon. But after I
got home this time around, I looked it up and I just burst into tears. It
fits me to a tee. The zoning out in class that made me have to get
tested for absence seizures. The way I couldn't think unless I got up
and started pacing. My inability to remember anything if
I don't do it immediately. My lack of ability to focus on projects or
long-term assignments. My chronic disorganisation despite hating mess.
My hatred of movies because it takes me so long to get into them. The
way my brain never seems to calm down. My sleep problems. My surges of
frighteningly violent temper despite being a generally peaceful person.
The fact that I've failed at so many jobs and college courses despite
having the intellectual capability for them. My horrendous timekeeping.
My chronic procrastination issues. The stupid mistakes I used to make in
school, such as "2+3=6", and my inability to ever (even now!) learn my
multiplication tables despite hours of practise - yet having very good
process understanding of maths. Even my severe anxiety and depression
issues. All of these things make SO much more sense with an ADHD-PI
diagnosis.

So, I'm not autistic. I just have Adult ADHD-PI. It's a relief, in a
way. Not because there's anything bad about having Asperger's (and I
definitely still have traits of it, such as the
sensory issues), but it never fully explained everything, and it's never
ever properly fit. No one I have talked to has ever said I seemed
'Aspie' and most of them refused to believe I had it even when I told
them. So this... this just fits so much better.

The only problem now is whether I can get the medication to help with
it. In the UK, medication for ADHD is only fully regulated for use in
children and adolescents, because it's only recently that it's been
acknowledged that ADHD exists in adults. It was believed to be only a
childhood condition because in adults the 'hyperactivity' component
(which is perhaps the most easily recognisable element) tends to
diminish and become less obvious - an internal restlessness. It's
accepted now, but no major trials for the medication in adults has yet
been completed. GPs can prescribe stimulant
medication (which has a 70% success rate in preliminary trials in
treating the symptoms) on the advice of a psychiatrist, but they are
often unwilling to. I hope my doctor will agree to, because going by the
private prescription route will be expensive @_@

Anyway, I'm just glad to finally know what's 'wrong' with me, that it's
treatable, and that it finally fits. It's overwhelming, after all this
time, and a little disorienting... but also a massive relief ^^; The
funny thing is that it often happens that people with Asperger's
Syndrome are misdiagnosed with AD(H)D. It doesn't often happen the other
way around.
--

So that's the sitch.
flyboy_fox: (Yeeeah not good.)
Ugh, so this depression/anxiety/SAD thing is kicking my butt. I've also had annoying symptoms for a while which seem to point towards IBS, which is often tied in with stress, depression and anxiety, although it could be a food intolerance too. Anyways, I'm going to the doctor in a couple of hours and I'm going to ask her for three things:

- A test for celiacs/gluten intolerance and other physical digestive problems to rule out certain causes of IBS symptoms
- A blood test to screen for a thyroid problem, in case the anxiety stems from there
- A referral to a mental health professional to see whether CBT or a similar therapy might help

I figure if I attack this thing from all angles, I'll get to the root of it somehow. It's just been going on for far too long and it's seriously cramping my style. I have so many things that I want and need to do, but I just have no motivation or interest for when I'm feeling so crappy and sick 90% of the time.

So, here's hoping for some progress from here.

Sunshine!

Nov. 6th, 2011 04:49 pm
flyboy_fox: (I'm a free bitch baby~!)
Thanks for supporting me and putting up with my angst last post, guys (:

Today is a bit of a better day. It was actually sunny and even sort of warm, and it had a positive effect on both my mum and me. She felt well enough to go out in the garden and do some light gardening. I did the heavy stuff with the shears and branches etc because she can't put strain on her left side at all. But then I got freaked out by a giant spider and so Miles had to take over and finish the job. D'oh. I should get him to do all my chores (he says he already does, ha). He does have better work ethic than me, I guess. But I should get on with stuff too.

Speeeaking of which, I'm going to be selling about 90% of my Sonic stuff, which I might have mentioned earlier, I forget. I need money pretty badly at this time, being in rather a lot of debt, so I've decided to just bite the bullet and get rid of everything that doesn't have intense sentimental value. I'll probably put a post up on SSMB and maybe SonicStuff LJ community first to give people here and there first pickings, and then the rest will go up on eBay. I should be able to make a few hundred pounds if all goes well and if I can be ruthless enough ^^;

I also really want to get some solid work done on 'Calamity!', the steampunk web-comic Jei and I have been working on for a while now. I might make a post about it soon, to get some feedback from you guys about what we have so far. It's exciting and fun! If I can focus on positive stuff like that, it should help to get through the not-so-good days as they come.

Still looking for work, too, but most of the jobs around here really require a car and I do not have a car. Such is the downside of living in a tiny remote village ;_; There's a couple of things in the nearest town worth trying for, though, and there's always the hope of seasonal work at this time of year.

Well, that's it, I guess. Just wanted to say thanks for hearing me out before, and that I'm doing all right.

Blah.

Nov. 5th, 2011 04:07 pm
flyboy_fox: (I has a sads ;_;)
I posted this at a forum hence the weird formatting and saying things that most of you guys already know, but I needed to get it out of my system... Disclaimer: Big ol' self-pity party up ahead.


Wah wah wah )
I put the wangst under a cut so you don't have to read it if you're not in the mood ^^;
flyboy_fox: (The Dynamic Duo!! ^_^ (pic by way_past_c)
Happy Hallowe'en!!

Miles was going to post this, 'cause it was an idea that he and Scrog had initially, but he doesn't have very many people on his journal yet, and I want everyone to see it so... yeah. He can still post it to his journal if he wants but I'm posting it here first :P Scrog carved a pumpkin for Hallowe'en and this is it.



Alex DeLarge,of Kubrick's take on Anthony Burgess' 'A Clockwork Orange'. Although maybe 'A Clockwork Pumpkin' is more apt? :P

Anyways, Jei and Scrog have been without power or phone/internet service since Saturday due to the major snowstorm that hit the east cost of the US at the weekend, and the guys in charge are saying it could be Wednesday or later before service gets restored D: I've been keeping in touch with them by text, but DAT PHONEBILL. I'm kinda sad because I usually spend Hallowe'en doofing with Jei on Second Life or at least derping it up on Skype, but oh well. They have a generator at least, so they're not gonna freeze or anything. It's just kind of sucky and I hope the family gets it back soon. This is the second major outage they've had in a couple of months, the last one being Hurricane Irene, which I was there for :D;;

As for me, I'm trying to get stuff moving over here. I'm signing back on at the Job Centre on Wednesday, and then going to a volunteer meeting on Thursday, and in the meanwhile I've been applying for jobs, paid and voluntary. It's hard enough to even get volunteer work at the moment with so many people out of work, but hopefully some seasonal/Xmas work is coming up?

Okay, gonna bail now so Miles can keep doing... whatever the heck he's doing. Taking over my life, I think D: Nah, it's cool. Catch ya later, guys! Happy Halloweeeeeee'en!
flyboy_fox: (^^;; oops eh-heh...)
Okay, so, Sonic Generations isn't even OUT yet and I've already spoiled the final cutscene at the very end of the game for myself XD New record! Oh well, it's not like I'll be able to afford the game any time soon, anyway, and even if I could the PS3 is dead. Sadfaic.

I've not been up to much although I totally should be getting my Sonic stuff up on eBay because I really need to make some moneys. My laptop is seriously about to die ._.;; I can barely do anything on it without it overheating and then freezing, even with the really good cooler that I'm using. The laptop IS about 4 years old now, so I guess being kinda decrepit is par for the course at this stage, but with about £2,000 in debts to pay off (not including student loans, haha), I need to make some serious money before I can spend any serious money.

My mum's doing okay. She started doing some meditation classes and some shiatsu, which she says is really helpful, especially the shiatsu. So, hopefully she'll continue to get benefits from that. She's starting back at work on Monday though, which I'm a bit worried about because she gets exhausted SO quickly these days. But she's doing a staged return, meaning it won't be full-time hours immediately, so hopefully she'll manage to ease back into it. She's very brave.

So I guess that's it, really. Sorry for boring post. I've mostly been on SSMB trying to help contain the insanity now that the full game has leaked. But I wanted to post something to show that I'm still alive XD;; So yeah. Hi guys. And bye guys. And shy guys and fly guys? Iunno ^^;
flyboy_fox: (3.14 PIE!! XD)
Well, it's my birthday! I am officially 27 years old. Wow. Who'd have seen that coming? Given my usual tendency to freak out about getting older, I actually feel surprisingly okay about it.

I'm back in the UK from America now. I got back a few days ago, after a horrendous journey which should have taken half a day and wound up taking almost two days due to missing a flight, delays, and other assorted crap. I actually slept solidly for almost 24 hours after I got back, I was so exhausted. But hey. I'm here. Back in the jolly ol' UK.

Getting back to England was almost a birthday in itself, with all the stuff that was waiting for me... I had three packages waiting in my room! Two of them were Summer of Sonic gifts from kindhearted people who picked stuff up for me at the event after they learned I'd had to cancel because of my mum's recent cancer diagnosis. One was an art print of Archie vs Fleetway, and the other was a mixed bag of assorted goodies, including an SoS '11 t-shirt, Free Comic Book Day comic, and a couple of Tails-themed mechanical pencils. The third package was a bulk-load of Archie comics, including the whole Scourge and the Suppression Squad arc but also much more (seriously, about 50 comics) from an old friend who was getting rid of them. So, thanks to Urtheart, Ciara, Adam and Sel for all of these wonderful gifts (:

As far as actual birthday gifts go, my mum's promised to buy me a pair of slippers in town tomorrow for my poor freezing feet. It might not seem like much, but I'm really happy about that. My bedroom gets so cold, especially at night, and I need slippers badly! She also said that if her finances aren't too bad by Christmas, she'll put some money towards me getting a new computer, since this laptop is about 4 years old now and is really starting to show its age. Can't even run a browser for more than 20 minutes without it getting overheated. But the best gift from my mum was the card she gave me... it was so sweet. It said that I'm a once in a lifetime miracle that brings her more joy than she thought possible, and she got all teary-eyed when she gave it to me, telling me how true it was, even if cheesy. I felt so special then. I love you, mum.

And then there's the birthday art I get from my sweet Jei-ji every year. This year's made me laugh out loud! Under a cut for size.

It's funny because I'm always worrying about getting older XD )
Hahaha... Tails' rage-face in the last panel is my favourite. The doodle on the end, she said, is something she just sketched whilst listening to that song. It's awesome. Thank you so much, shmoo! I love you!

Finally, I woke up to like a kazillion notifications of birthday greetings on SSMB, Facebook, and elsewhere. So, thank you guys. I hadn't really mentioned my impending birthday anywhere because I hadn't been around much, so I didn't expect anyone to really say anything. It was nice to see I haven't been forgotten (:

Oh! And then the mail came, and in it was the free sample of Baileys' new biscotti flavour which I signed up for online like two months ago. What great timing! :D

So, yeah, that's about it, really. Sorry I've been absent so long, guys. I'm back now XD
flyboy_fox: (Miles - nostalgia~ ♥)
[livejournal.com profile] absinthe_quill.

Add me. If you like.

-Miles.

(I am just a person; don't expect too much~)
flyboy_fox: (Default)

Have been back from cruise for a few days. The ship spent most of the journey trying to stay one step ahead of Hurricane Irene, so the seas were kinda choppy and the weather was pretty bad. Still it was good and I'll post about it sometime.

Power's been out here in NJ ever since we got back, due to Irene. It's been 3 days without power and hot water so far. Cellar was flooded with 8 inches of water. Finally yesterday we got a gas power generator so we could drain the cellar with the sump pump, so we were finally able to reignite the pilot light for hot water today and use the generator to get the fridge/freezer back running etc (we'd been using an ice box and bags of ice from the store previously). At night, the house glows with candles and gas lanterns. In absence of my computer I've read 2 great books in 2 days, so it's not all bad. The generator is a noisy beast however. At least I can charge my iPhone in Jei's car and update this way :P

Finally, but most crucially, an update on my mum. She had her mastectomy last week. She's been home a little while but had to go back into hospital today because of hemorraging and infection which has her in a lot of pain, worry and discomfort. My only means of contact with her is via text message as we've not had power here and now she's at the hospital for potentially a few days. I'm worried sick about her. I'll update more as soon as I know more.

I really hope we get power back soon. Scaredy-cat fox hates the dark dark nights and also really needs to do some laundry ^^;

I hope everyone is well and not too displaced by Irene if it hit your area. Hugs to all. Laters.

edit: OMG amazing news!!! My mum just texted from the hospital after having her infection drained and antibiotics... They also gave her pathology report from the surgery regarding chemotherapy: she doesn't have to have it!! she said she'll explain later but she won't need chemotherapy just hormone therapy! She was SO happy and so am I! It's horrible that she had to have two major ops, lose her breast, get this infection and suffer all this fear and stress but finally GOOD news!! Omg. Eee!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

flyboy_fox: (3.14 PIE!! XD)
Last night was an interesting example of how Jei's family is incredibly different to mine yet also awesome XD;

We all had a couple of Jei's mum's end-of-week strong long drinks, which are always about 50% vodka before she even starts adding mixers and stuff. So we were all on the bright side of tipsy to begin with. It's been storming a lot in NJ and it was pouring with rain last night.

After the second drink, I went upstairs briefly to use the bathroom. When I came back down, I could see Jei and her mum just running around outside in the backyard, barefoot, in the rain and getting totally soaked. At first I was all 'lol wtf?' but then I just kinda shrugged, peeled my socks off, and ran outside to join them. We all just ran around for a bit, across the grass, around the pool, up across the deck... then someone (I forget who) mentioned how nice the pool looked, and so someone else suggested we just jump in.

I was all up for that, so we all just... jumped in the pool, fully clothed, in the pouring rain XD

It was one of the craziest and most impulsive things I've ever done but it was AWESOME! I was expecting the water to be really cold, but it was tepid and actually really lovely! So we just swam around in our clothes for a while and it was epic fun and really great... until Jei's dad, who was also a little tipsy I guess, decided to start shooting off fireworks from the doorway on the deck, right over our heads @_@

I am shit-terrified of fireworks, and seeing them suddenly shooting out over our heads from just a few meters away freaked me out and so I got out of the pool and came back inside ^^; But aside from that, it was so great!

Jei's family are just so random and spontaneous and I want to be more like that.
flyboy_fox: (Just thinking... :\)
My mum managed to get into London okay despite major delays and hardly anything being open because of the riots. Last night she was at the Royal Marsen cancer hospital in Chelsea having a procedure called nuclear dye done where they insert a dye into her lymph nodes (under the armpit) to detect if the cancer has spread there. If not, they'd only remove the nearest nodes and leave the rest intact, but if infected they all have to go.

This morning she had the operation and they removed ALL the nodes because there was sign of spread. This means she runs a high risk of lymphodema in the future (pockets of fluid swelling anywhere on the body, not treatable) and will have to take medication to replicate the function of the nodes for the rest of her life. It wasn't the news we were hoping for, especially as it means a spread of the cancer and that her chemo may have to be more aggressive as a result... but she's recovering from the operation at a friend's house now and currently in no pain, just very tired.

Next week on the 17th she's having the major operation, mastectomy, to remove her breast entirely. Then after a couple of weeks of recovery, she starts 22 weeks of chemo. I should be back in the UK by then to support her.

So that's my update.
flyboy_fox: (excuse me wtf r u doin?)
Good GOD what is going on back in my home city? D: I swear, coming in for dinner to see London in flames on the News was... surreal, to say the least. I don't even--

My mum is going in to London tomorrow for stage one of her breast cancer surgery, and my dad and brother both live in London. My brother texted me to say he and my dad are fine but staying indoors! I hope they'll all stay safe. Jesus fucking christ.

In other news, yep, I'm still in NJ. I'm doing okay. Hope everyone else is fine. Sorry for falling off the radar for a couple of weeks ^^;
flyboy_fox: (3.14 PIE!! XD)
Printed out my boarding pass and e-ticket, packed my suitcase, checked in online... all ready to go! Tomorrow I'm getting on the train to Heathrow with my mum who, through wonderful coincidence, has to get on that very same train to get to my brother's graduation which happens to fall the same day. While he's graduating (yay!), I'll be flying... so, yeah, she'll get off at Reading and I'll carry on to Paddington and then get the Heathrow express. Plane takes off (hopefully) at 4:15pm GMT and arrives 7:10pm local time in Newark. Total flight time, 7:55. I got a seat on the upper deck of the plane, which I'm really happy about as the upper level is small and only has 5 rows of seats, meaning it should be quieter and less people fighting over the WC :P Also it's a window seat, and so far the two seats next to mine are unclaimed... so, yay!

Guuuhhhh I've done this flight so many times before but still so nervous buhhh. I'll actually be fine once I'm seated on the plane. It's getting to and navigating the airport itself that scares me. So big, so crowded, so bustling, and me all on my lonesome ;_; but it's fine. At least I checked in online, so I can go straight to the bag drop without having to queue at check in for ages.

It'll be so great to see Jei's family again... I haven't seen them in about 2 years. They're so great. They've helped me so much, and they've got such great ideas for ways I can get involved and work towards my USA citizenship.

On the flip side, I HATE to leave my mum right now. If I could magic her to America and have her get treatment there I would. But I'll be back soon, in time for her chemo and radio, and I'll be staying in touch via Skype every day... I've also got the contact details of my brother, my neighbour, and my mum's two good friends, and they all have mine, so I can be notified of any change in circumstance right away.

It'll be impossible not to worry about my mum when she's so scared and sad and going through this horrible thing... but if I can get some of MY issues sorted and start fixing up a real future for Jei and myself, it will make my mum both proud AND happy.

USA, here I come! ♥

...

Jul. 17th, 2011 11:32 pm
flyboy_fox: (I has a sads ;_;)
My mum didn't eat much at dinner. She kept putting her food on my plate. She hasn't even started treatment yet and already she's lost a stone in weight because the anxiety and stress of her situation has caused clinical anorexia in her. I try to get her to eat more, and she knows she needs to, but she just can't bring herself to eat more than a few mouthfuls.

While we were sitting at the table there, her eyes suddenly welled up and she said that during her time listening to the radio today, she heard about three separate people who'd died recently from cancer. It was clear how much it scared her.

After dinner, when she was bringing the plates over to the sink for me to wash up, she suddenly broke down in tears completely, sobbing about how scared she is and how the doctors won't tell her it's definitely treatable or assure her she'll pull through and how she's never been so scared of dying and how lonely she feels without a husband or partner to take care of her and take over everything for her... and I just held her while she sobbed and shook, and I just comforted her and told her how strong she is and how she'll get through this and how her kids and her friends will do everything we can for her and she's not alone. I held it together, and didn't cry, but my heart has never hurt so badly in all my life.

Most importantly, I told her that if she's not okay right now, it's all right to be not okay. She's been strong about so much in her life, never allowing herself to falter. She doesn't need to put on a brave face about this. She needs to be honest with me and tell me how she feels, and if she feels absolutely horrible and shitty that's NOT a weakness. I told her that the only thing she can't do is give up, because I know she'll get through this. But if she needs to cry, then she can cry. If she needs to lean on me, she can lean on me. If she needs to just get it all out, that's perfectly okay. There'll be hard times, but in between there will be good days too. She'll make it. She's strong.

I do believe that, whole-heartedly, but right now I feel like I'm in Hell and this is a nightmare that will never end. She doesn't deserve this, and I can't make it better!
flyboy_fox: (Why me? e.x)
I had to make a very difficult decision this week, and the outcome is that I'm flying to the States on Tuesday. Talk about short notice! It's not ideal, but after long talks with everyone involved, it's the best solution for right now.

Basically, as you guys know, I had just started getting things in order for starting a life in America. I was going to go down to Florida to finally meet my sister and one of my brothers for the first time, hopefully form a relationship with that side of my family at last, and that maybe they'd be willing to sponsor me for citizenship. Getting in touch with them for the first time was amazing, and I don't want to lose touch again so soon.

Also, some really amazing chances have come up with Jei's family, too. Her uncle has recently started a newspaper company in Florida which is rapidly expanding and doing very well, setting up papers for localities. He's hiring, and I could potentially get a work visa through him if he thinks my editorial/proofreading/journalistic skills are up to par. I really don't want to miss this opportunity.

Finally, I really need to visit those nursing schools ASAP if there's any chance of signing up for the Spring semester or even the Fall one.

Now, these things alone, as pressing as they may be, would not be enough to take me away from my mum right now... however, a mitigating factor has come into play in the form of her appointment in London being delayed. This means that her operation and follow-up treatment are also delayed.

In short, my mum very much wants me to go to America and sort my life out, whilst being on call to return at any time. As it stands, I have my flight back booked for late September as a buffer, but will most likely return immediately after the cruise to be home in time for her first chemo session.

Sadly, the changed dates mean that her surgery will probably happen while I am on the cruise, but she refuses to let me cancel the cruise because it was $2,000 from Jei's family for me to go and it's her graduation gift... I HATE the timing, but my mum will at least have my brother and her good friends Alison and Marion. She'll probably be staying with them in London anyway for a week or so after surgery and so I wouldn't be there... but still.... augh.

However, a small positive is that I was finally able to convince my mum to spend some money on herself(!) and she got a brand new laptop with better specs even than mine! Now she'll be able to Skype me any time while I'm abroad. Right now she's playing an Agatha Christie murder mystery game on it XD I love my mum.

So, yeah, that's that. It's going to be so hard to leave her right now, but she wants this so much for me... and I can come back at any time (except the 10 days I'm on the cruise :\) if she needs me. I will see her through her chemo and radio. It will be okay. It's just stressful, trying to sort my life out and make the most of these immediate opportunities whilst also just wanting to be right here by my mum's side.

The best I can do is really make the most of the chances I have, make my mum really proud, and then hurry home before she starts having the treatment. I can make this work. I love my mum and I won't abandon her, no matter what else is going on in my life. Thank you, mum, for being so amazing and selfless and wonderful. I will make you proud and I will be back in time to be by your side through this.
flyboy_fox: (*sigh*)
Meh, post spamming, sorry... I'm probably going to be updating a lot for a while as I adjust to being here alone without Jei to occupy my time and attention. I am going to try to start getting some things in order, though. I might as well make a little "to do" list right here:

- Finish sorting out the mess in my room, and put more stuff aside for a future car boot sale to raise a bit of money.
- Throw some more of my stuff up on eBay, for the same reason.
- Look into doing a proof-reading/editorial course, as it's something a pedantic person like me would be good at and would be a useful skill/qualification in the future.
- Get started seriously on learning Spanish! Ridiculous that a half-Colombian person like myself doesn't speak more than a few words of the language x.x If I do move to Florida, it will be incredibly useful if I can speak it, especially if I go to visit my sister Maceci in Miami.
- Start getting some healthy recipes together to cook for my mum while she's unable/not wanting to cook. Immune-boosting stuff particularly.

As far as my plans in America go, obviously they've had to be reshaped in the light of this whole cancer thing. My mum is insistent that I still go on the cruise with Jei, as her family paid around $2,000 dollars for me to come and it was her graduation gift in lieu of her parents being unable to come to her graduation. The cruise will probably be around the time of her surgery, which I want to be here for, but my mum says she can have my brother be here for that, and/or one of her friends, and it might be in London anyway, so she'd be staying with a friend and I couldn't come. The surgery is only overnight surgery, although it will take up to 12 days to recover from at home, but she's far more worried about the chemo and radio. I dunno how the timing is going to work out and it's all frazzling me a bit but I guess we'll see how it goes. Finding out the exact surgery dates will be a start.

Heh. Miles got a friend request on his journal and didn't seem to have a clue what to do about it, so he just stared at it for about 10 minutes and then left XD; It's a friend request, Miles. Someone wants to be your friend. Amazing, isn't it? :P Anyway, I do think that it would be good for him to have some friends (if he'll accept them x.x), especially right now. I've been very occupied and he's not had a lot of time/chances to do what he wants to do. Not to mention sharing my brain right now, with me falling apart all over the place, can't be fun for him. Can't force anyone to try to friend him, and can't force him to accept any invites, but (and I risk severe reprimand here), I think he would actually LIKE some people to talk to because I get the feeling that he's kinda frustrated and lonely. Oh, I went there. >_> *Ducks*

Oh, yeah, since I'm talking about Miles, that reminds me... he finally got all his stuff organised, so he's got his own shelf/cubby-hole thing and it looks... pretty cool, I suppose. He's amassed quite a lot of possessions in a relatively short time O.o Including several absinthe bottles, several quill pens, a wooden pipe, a metal hip-flask and a Scottish dagger/sword, to name just a few. His tastes are not cheap D: Why does he get all that stuff and I still don't have Pokémon Black/White yet? HMM?

In other news... eh... I don't think there's other news right now. I still have 2/3 of a bottle of Glen's the Exciting Vodka left, plus Miles has a full hip-flask full of Smirnoff vodka, which I'm not allowed to touch but I'm sure will be consumed as soon as the Glen's is gone. The night before last I just drank and listened to music until 5am. Tonight I'll try not to be up quite so late.

Next week my mum has an appointment at the hospital in London for a second opinion, to see if they can do the less invasive sentinel node procedure rather than full removal. My brother's graduation is the day before that, so she's gonna stay overnight and I'm going to stay here and order Indian food and play Second Life. Actually quite nervous about being here alone, buuuut whatever.

I forgot to mention the saddest thing about the appointment we went to on Monday. It was on her birthday! But my brother and his girlfriend and Jei and I did everything we could to make the rest of the day better, and she seemed happy about that. I got her a Terry Pratchett book and left her a note before work, then my brother made spag-bol for dinner and it was really nice all being there together.

Oh vey. Life, eh?

Wibble

Jul. 13th, 2011 04:37 am
flyboy_fox: (*sigh*)
Miles is absolutely right. 'Glen's the Exciting Vodka' is shite. Jei and I made ourselves feel pretty ill on it some time ago and swore never again. It's cheap, tastes horrid, and just... isn't worth it. But it's all the farm shop in my village sells, and so Jei left me with a 35cl bottle of it as well as a couple of ciders when she left.

Since I'm a wee bit tipsy, I might as well use the loved up good feeling to say that I've just been bowled over by the support I've had from people, here and over at SSMB. I found out that a couple of people picked stuff up for me at SoS when they found I couldn't make it this year, and more even than that, people are just... rallying around me and my mum right now. I know shit's gonna be hard and testing, but I don't feel alone. People have just been great. I can't even begin to explain how much it means.

Also lol @ Miles. Drunk comment on my post, then "oh shit delete lock fucking everything". But in his defence, he's been... good about everything.

Everyone's been great. Wow. Drunken I-love-you-all-so-much hugs to everyone. ♥

Oh, look... sunrise. @_@
flyboy_fox: (Just thinking... :\)
Jei's just left in the taxi to the train station where she'll then get the train to Heathrow Airport and fly home. She stayed an extra week in England with me, but we couldn't justify her staying any longer when it costs $160 to change the flight and she hasn't seen her family in a year. So, she's gone now and I'll probably see her in about a month, assuming things pan out.

My mum's major hospital results appointment got knocked back to THIS Monday rather than last because of incomplete biopsy results, so I finally went with her yesterday to find out what's what.

The 'good' news first. There's not enough evidence to definite support there being a cancer in her right breast also, so they're going to leave it alone and just monitor it after they treat the left. The cancer in her left breast is 'early stage' and so is unlikely to have migrated too far.

The 'meh' news. It's a 'grade two' cancer on a three-grade scale, meaning it's not the most aggressive nor the least aggressive type. It's also the most common form, accounting for around 70% of breast cancers.

The bad news. She has two cancers in the left breast, with a strong possibility of more. They'll have to remove the whole breast. The cancer has already shown signs of having infected the lymph nodes, so they'll have to go too, which could lead to further complications such as life-long fluid swelling anywhere on the body. She'll definitely have to have chemotherapy, around 18 weeks of it, and the doctor said she will definitely lose her hair. How the drugs will affect her in other ways in unknown, but the usual will probably apply, with reduced immunity to other illness. Then after the chemo, she'll need about 5 weeks of radiotherapy to ensure that any cancer that might have spread to the chest walls is eradicated. From initial surgery to end of radio, it'll take about half a year.

She's not yet decided where she wants to have the surgery. The surgeon at our local hospital has 20+ years of experience, is a breast surgery specialist, and has performed hundreds of mastectomies in his career. He's also a grade 7 clinical excellence, which is good. However, the hospital in London is a cancer specialist hospital and has surgeons who rank within the top 10 nationwide and have world renown. Also, the London one might be able to offer a less radical surgery where they only remove SOME of the lymph nodes rather than all of them. But, of course, it's in London, and referring could take some time. Either way, she can have the chemo back here in Weston, and she'll have to go to Bristol for the radio.

I tried my hardest to keep it together at the hospital while we were getting the news. I could see my mum shaking and tearing up as the surgeon explained what they'll have to do, and the more I heard, the more my heart started pounded and my own hands shaking and my stomach tying in knots as I tried to write down everything and smile at my mum and squeeze her hand. When the nurse had to speak to my mum alone, I fled all the way out of the hospital and into the parking lot and had the worst panic attack I've had in years. I couldn't breathe, I thought for sure I'd pass out, my heart was beating so hard, I was either going to faint or throw up or... I don't know. But I did some deep breathing, sipped some water, and by the time my mum came out I was okay and put my 'brave face' back on. Whatever I'm feeling is ten times worse for her. I have to stay strong.

I know we'll manage. Fuck my anxiety and depression; my mum has cancer and needs me. But right now I feel so lost and scared and alone. While I'm here for my mum, who is here for me? Jei's gone back to America and I don't have a single local friend who can be here for me to collapse on when I'm tired. God, that's selfish shit but... ugh. Like I said, I'll cope. My mum needs me to. These next few months are going to be very hard for her, and seeing her standing in the kitchen crying just hurts my heart so badly. I'll take care of her and I'll cope, but watching that taxi pull away from the driveway with my partner and lifeline in it, taking her away and across the ocean, was the most painful thing I've done in a while.
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