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Saturday, June 23, 2001

first off : happy happy joy joy my new template works. And if I do say so myself, hot damn! it looks good! *grins*


Biting to the Quick
What is it that makes biting one's nails so satisfying? It's certainly not having stubby, useless nails when you're done. It's certainly not the sheddings of nail you leave on yourself as you gnaw. And it's certainly not a "fashionable" thing to do....so why? There's just nothing quite as satisfying as just chewing away without thought or care though. Especially when doing it mindlessly during a semi-minded task like driving. (hey, we all have times we drive on "auto-pilot" so don't act all surprised)

{{{man, I am so good at starting something - like this entry - and then getting totally distracted for like an hour of mindless surfing. tee hee...where was I?}}

Saw my Kitty!
Yeah! Heard from the vet's office this morning. They said Kush was doing well, but that they wanted to keep him over the weekend for observation and such (just in case since, hello? major surgery!), but that I could come in at noon and visit. Oh, I have to tell you that there was nothing quite so wonderful as actually seeing him, and literally, physically touching him. I know the doctor called last night and told me he was ok and alive, but it just wasn't real until I could actually see him there. The poor thing though looked so much the worse for wear. *pouts* His whole left side, tummy, and hind leg was shaven, his grey skin was covered in light bruises (from the operation), and worst of all, his skin was held together in a thick line with what appeared to be sutures the size of railroad ties. On top of it all, his right front leg had a catheter still in it for easy access for injected drugs and/or blood samples. The whole paw was swollen nearly double in size and he held it up in pain. I cried when I saw him both in relief that he was there in front of me and the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I was the one that did that to him. I mean, yes, I understand that it was his only chance to survive, but still....seeing him so battered, hurting, and scared like that just hit me like a fist in my gut. I murmmered soothing words to him, told him how much I loved him, petted and kissed his little grey head, but I still couldn't get entirely past the fact that he was in pain because of me. What a damn hard thing to face.

But....he's alive and he at least has a chance now.

More waiting to come. Waiting on the results of the biopsy to determine how things will go for the long term. *crosses fingers that there will be a long term* Trying to think positive. Love him too much not to.

Do I look like Tech Support?
To my mom I sure do. The fact that I understand these odd "computer" things means I must know everything! Especially anything having to do with why the hell they've yet to be able to get online from their oversized paperweight...er, pc. (barely. it's not even pentium 1 class!) After over TWO HOURS on the phone with Earthlink (who were helpful and friendly despite the frustration), including over an hour and a half of loading files from the Windows 95 floppy disks (all 22 of them...ugh...), we went from a Blue Screen Of Death when trying to establish a connection, to a lovely frozen system. Joy of joys.

Seeing as it's an ancient Compaq (*shudder*), and that it was running Win 3.11 when they bought it (warning folks, don't buy old computers from "friends" - there's a reason it's $150 and they don't want it anymore), it's no wonder that the OS is basically corrupt from the start. Add in the fact that my mom and stepfather have NO clue what a pc is (they think when you install a program, you lose RAM instead of harddrive space) let alone what they are doing when they've been fiddling with it for the last three months and you come to one conclusion: reformat.

So.....that was my "professional" advice. Wipe that puppy and start from scratch. (and for gods' sake, please install from a CD-Rom, not those damned floppies this time!) Of course, the entire concept is pretty much unexplainable to them...ok mom, imagine a file cabinet. Toss out EVERYTHING inside, then start again on your filing system....it's kinda like that so....guess who they're going to turn to? *sigh*

Lightning, Thunder, and Phone Lines - Oh my!
Hrm, so today I had nothing to do again. My friends were all hanging out with other friends and I was stuck at my sisters bored. Was planning on spending some quality time online again (despite the fact that online time on her dialup is nothing even remotely like "quality"). So when she tried to log on and failed today, I was panicked. Shit. There went any hope of activity for me. It wouldn't connect because there was so much damn line noise that it couldn't establish a connection. Thing was, last night it was fine. oh crap.... I thought. It's the damned thunderstorm that raged overhead last night and took out our power. Must have damaged her phone lines as well So, I tell her this, explaining what's most likely wrong and telling her she needs to report it to Verizon (*evil*). Yeah, yeah...whatever is her attitude. Ack! I need the 'net! Call them! She doesn't want to and tells me that if I want to get it done, I might as well do it myself. (even though of course, it's not my account!)

Anyway, long story short (too late!), I call the internet department. Run-around and bullshit. They can't test the line, call the phone company. Here's the dumb part. They ARE the phone company! Her internet is through Verizon as well. *dumbasses* So, I call customer service. Pretend to be my sister. They test the line and confirm something's wrong on the outside in the wiring causing noise on the line. Duh, didn't I tell you there was line noise? That was kinda the whole point in my calling. So, they say they'll send someone out - within 48 hours. **doh!**

At this fact, I call my friend in Tampa (38 miles one-way away, but gifted with my long-lost cable modem connection). Yes, I know he's going to be out, but hey, can I use his internet anyway? (hey, I never said I wasn't a net junkie, ok?) Yeah, so that's what I did. After, of course, the 2+ hour adventure at my mom's. Meaning, it was almost 9pm by the time I got to do what I wanted to do in the first place - get online!!

You've got lame plots
Was nosing about the limited cable channels at my sister's before I left today and USA was showing "you've got mail" *gag me* Anyway, they were writing back and forth in these totally abstract discussions that were so unrealistic that it made me sick. No one sits and writes out these fragmented "insights" to some person they don't even know just for the sake of "conversation." What's the point in "conversing" with someone when all you do is make oblique references to things the other person wouldn't understand and not actually "talk" to them?? Annoying.

That's all she wrote
For the moment anyway. Babbled FAR too long and accomplished nothing of any real importance. Eh, well, such is life. (and the state of my journal!) *laughs* Hey, could be worse, I could be bitching! Take care everyone, and as always, thanks for your kind words....

YEAH!!! FINALLY!! damn background image wouldn't show up and damned if I couldn't figure out why!! turns out the stupid thing is CASE SENSITIVE and for some reason, the file was saved as .JPG not .jpg


Anyway, we're up and running!! What say you all??

zzz.....off to bed now, finally!

Looks like almost everything went perfect first try. Just testing again since I forgot to upload an image!!

testing, testing, testing....just trying out the RADICALLY different format....praying it works since I coded/designed it on mine, saved the html and logged on to my sister's computer....mmm...won't know until I test the publish.

*fingers crossed*

Went with the blue, but modified it a bit. Thoughts?? (pending it works!!)

Friday, June 22, 2001

Well, I heard from the vet - finally! - and for the moment, I can breathe easier. Kush-ka came through his surgery without any complications. The vet said he's a strong cat and his bloodwork was fine, no problems with the anesthesia (which is a danger to cats of his age), and he's in recovery. The tumor was larger then expected - in fact, he says it was not only what you could feel, but more underneath the skin - but despite some initial fears, he says they were able to successfully remove all that they could see and feel. Sometimes, he told me, despite knowing there's more they can see, they can't always get it. Being able to remove it all is a positive thing. However, until I get the results of the biopsy back (at least 72 hours from now), I won't know if it's spread or the specifics of the type of tumor. More waiting....more nail biting.

In the meantime, he's recooping tonight under the vet's care. Tomorrow, pending how he is doing, I will either be able to bring him home, or if he's not strong enough yet, I'll at least be able to visit him. I can't tell you how much I miss him terribly...even though I'm relieved, it won't be "real" enough until I can touch and see him. So, I'm still highly emotional about the whole thing for the moment. Part of me is thrilled that he's come through it ok of course and yet the other is terrified that the results of the biopsy...I'm panicked that this will have all have been for naught.

But I can't allow myself to think that way. It's not healthy and it's not helpful. But it's hard when you love something so much and you're so powerless to control the events and make things better. At least I'm doing everything I can, but it doesn't always feel like enough...

The good news for today though is that one step is down with one more wait to go. At least he's ok, at least he's come through it, and - drastic as it may sound - at least he's alive. I'm so eager to see him tomorrow, just to see him still there... (although I feel horrible that he'll be more the worse for wear with stiches and pain medication and all) *sad*

Thank you to everyone again for your kindness and warm support and thoughts over this time. It's truly wonderful to know that people care...it's nice to read your comments because it makes me smile. (and nowadays, smiles are precious things)

More tomorrow as I know it...

~~ps: anyone else have thoughts on the design tests? so far, it's one vote for "blue" *grins*

waiting.....waiting is the hardest thing.

Brought my beloved Kush-ka over to my sister's house last night. Made him stay in my room with me (since the whole reason I didn't bring him over when I moved in the first place was my sister's 4 other kitties). It was both helpful to my mom (he couldn't eat or drink anything past 9pm last night and she would have to have made her two cats and the dog suffer without anything as well) and selfish for myself (since I really miss having him sleep on my bed with me and wanted to have him with me last night).

It was so weird. This whole time, even though I've got my stuff in her spare room, it's always felt like a motel. Like it's not where I belong, not where I live. As soon as I put Kush-ka in there with me, it instantly turned into home. I forgot how much LIFE he adds to a place by his presence. It was so nice to sit there, watch some mindless tv and have him purring on my lap.

This morning, I had to forcefully put him in his cat carrier (*I felt so mean but he hates it*) and load him into the car and take him to the vet. It felt so wrong since just last night he was normal, and everything seemed right. It seemed so wrong to be taking him to the vet knowing he was facing dangerous sugery to remove a cancerous tumor.

Anyway, it's a waiting game now like I said. Piddling around the net, trying to stay occupied, knowing I just have to wait until they call me. They warned me it'd be late - like 5 or 6pm before they could call. *sigh* I've yet to eat, my stomach's a mess, but I can't bring myself to do anything but jitter and shake while waiting.

In the meantime, I did try to accomplish some new things for the blog. Really hate how it looks and want to do an overhaul. That's hard since my computer's not online. Grr. But...working on it and thought I'd share some of the screenshots of tests I've come up with so far. Please share your thoughts in the feedback!
Blue Test
Brown Test
Grey Test
Reds Test

I may not choose any of them, but at least I'm trying to be constructive. Thoughts welcomed.

Anyway, let me go. Too fidgity to sit still and type a long entry. Waiting.....waiting....waiting. Hoping to hear good, good news.
*fingers crossed*

Wednesday, June 20, 2001


Thank goodness. Just called Gainesville and she told me not to stress...that I could just start Monday (or even Tuesday if I needed the extra day). Thank goodness...means I have less to stress over right now. Less stress is a good thing. Through the weekend, I'm still around (although I still don't know what kind of access I'll have because I don't think I'll be able to get down here again soon), and now I can focus only on doing everything I can for my cat.

Which makes me happy. (yeah, occassionally there are some things that do.)


....this is the part where I insert words, right? Because I'm pretty well sure there's just something I'm missing in all of this....pretty sure that there's a reason my sweet, innocent little cat needs to suffer a cancerous tumor....pretty sure there's a reason that just as an opprotunity finally comes my way, I'm blind to the joy of it under the fear and terror for my beloved member of my family (and yes, my cat is a hell of a lot more my family then most of my flesh-and-blood relatives could ever be)...pretty sure there's a reason that I'm sinking so far into the depth of never-ending poverty (hey, what's another $800 among friends, right?)...pretty sure that I'm just not seeing the picture clearly because I'm pretty sure it's got to make sense to someone or what the hell is the point. Doesn't make sense to me, so who is this sadistic to think up this many continual emotional swings? Whomever it is is one sick fuck.... (anyone wondering why I get so violantly annoyed when happy-go-lucky bible thumpers try to tell me that their "god" loves everyone? my archieves of late are just about the best lil place to get a glimmer of my reasons)

By the way, in case you're wondering, the $800 I mentioned? Well, thats the cost of my cat's only chance to live. $786 to be exact, but who's counting? You know, some people would baulk and never pay it, but those people are not the kind of people who deserve to have a pet, and gods help us, should never breed themselves. See, it's not about price - at what cost do you put the live of your best friend? - and it's not whether that friend has two feet or four, it's that their life is worth something....and if he can't pay to live, then dammit, it falls to me. You'd never expect a child to pay their own way to a doctor, and neither can I begrudge my cat his tumor. His life is worth trying to save, worth helping to fix, worth my worry, grief, and aide...he posesses a soul like any other being and as such, feels love, pain, and hurt like any other being. I feed his hunger, share his love, and now I need to try to take his pain from him. It's what it means to be parental. It's what "maternal instincts" mean. It's not about who or what is suffering, it's about loving them enough to help... Part of this help I need to give is financial, and for anyone not paying attention, I don't have finances right now. (or for the last two months in case anyone's counting; I know I am anyway) And so enters the kindness of friends...people around you who know and see and share in the need to help....they need to help me and I, in turn, need to help him...it's a circle as simple and basic as any, and yet one that all too often in this jaded world comes to pass. I may not be happy knowing that I'm plunging deeper into owed monies and favors, but I do what I have to do and the best that I can do...those who help know how much they are appreciated and how much I will always remember their kindness....I'm not one to forget a favor and try always to return in like kind.

In short though.....thank you to everyone....for their words, support, help, aide, favors, and thoughts....it means much more then you can know.

+++ We're Off to See the Wizard...+++
Now, back in the real world, I await a return call from Gainesville. I was, originally, planning on driving up there today and working Thursday and Friday, with the approval to have off Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. The vet normally schedules all surgeries for Tuesday and, as such, I was planning to that end. When I finally spoke with the office today, however, they determined they could get me in Friday instead. So...now....I wait to hear if still I will be driving up there for at least one day of work (Thursday) or if they want me to wait until after the opperation on Monday... it'd be nice to know what's going on considering I've packed nothing yet and am facing an 2 1/2 hour drive if I am going. (not to mention the 38 mile drive just to get home from my friend's house where I am penning this entry!) Eeep! Call me back! *bites her nails*

In short, I did accept the job and am just waiting to hash out the final details...like when I'm starting and pesky stuff like that. Such a nerve-wracking time. So many things up in the air and waiting on other things to resolve. I can't stand this borderline of ....yes-but-no-but-sorta-but-almost-but-planning-but.... it gets tiring fast...

+++ Hide and Seek+++
In other news, yesterday was magick birthday number five for my little goddaughter, Rook. (damn, I need a current pic to upload!). We all gathered at my friend's house (the father) and had pizza, cake, and general mayham and fun. *whew* I learned the hard way that 5 year olds have far too much energy for this old lady! *grins* Although, what was nice is that her godfather lives in Phoenix, but was able to come here for vacation, and so was here for the birthday. He and I and Rook played Hide-and-Seek (inside nonetheless!) for almost 2 hours, having FAR too much fun, and making FAR too much noise. It was the best. We'd take turns hiding together, looking together, or any combination inbetween as she wanted it. I can't tell you how fun it was to just spend some quality time with her. I don't see her often and find it hard to believe it's been FIVE YEARS since I was in the delivery room with her mother, reminding her to breath....*soft smile* So much has happened, I can't even imagine....

+++Final Thoughts+++
Ugh. Need to go and call Gainesville. Getting far too nervous and anxious to hear what's going on. Panicked that I'm going to cause too much trouble with all these changes and such and that they'll decide, "Nevermind, you're just not worth the hassle!" [[*panic*]] Seeing as it's 3:30pm and I called this morning at about 11am, it's definately time to call back. If there is no entry for awhile, then sorry, but I'm stuck in Gainesville and/or dedicated a lot of time to my cat and his wellbeing. Both are major priorities and both require my direct contact. (and both are no where near my friend's house with the cable modem access!)

Be well, thank you for your kind thoughts, and I'll post as able through these coming days....

Monday, June 18, 2001

Was planning on writing a cheerful (for once) post on the details of my Gainesville Adventure, relating the humor and fun of it, as well as the excitement of the job opprotunity...I was also going to yip about how AMAZING it is to have my air conditioning working again, thanks to a friend of my sisters at Precision Toyota in Tampa (a drive, but worth it since he fixed it free). I was also going to comment on the fact that I'm sick of people leaving me feedback chastising me because -and here's the vital part you need to pay close attention to - it's MY journal and I write it for my OWN satisfaction, not to please anyone else. If I'm bitching, then it's because I WANT to bitch and since writing is theraputic to me, fuck you if you don't like it. There's always that lovely x in the corner if you don't want to be here. I'm sure as hell not making you stay...I had all these pre-set things to write about, but now I find myself in this numb and pained place where none of that seems to matter.

Let me backtrack just a bit.

On Saturday, June 9th, I took my cat into the vet. Kush-ka is my baby. He's a Russian Blue (in short, he's all grey), 11 years old, and I can't even begin to tell you all how much he means to me. I had noticed an odd lump, linear in shape, and quite hard to the touch on his left-hand side, almost on his stomach. He had had his vaccine boosters about a week prior, and while the vet mentioned that he may get a small lump from the shot, this was no where near the area and it concerned me. The vet was confused - said it didn't present like anything normal - and suggested that they shave the area and use a needle to draw out some of the blood and cells to send to the pathologist. The vet said he should have back a preliminary result by Wednesday, June 13th and that he'd call me with the results. Thursday, I'm getting ready to leave to go to Gainesville and I had not heard anything, so I called the office. They were closed, but I left a message indicating that I'd be out of town for the next couple of days, but I was still accessable by my cell phone, or that they could contact my mother and tell her what was going on.

The weekend passed and my mother called them to ask if they had anything yet. One of the people in the office said the Dr. was still trying to speak to the pathologist and would get back as soon as possible with us. This afternoon, just a few scant minutes after I arrived here at my friend's house (who lives almost as far away as the place my a/c was fixed today) the vet called me.

Kush-ka has a maligant tumor. In short, its cancer.

The next step is to operate to try to get as much - hopefully all - of the tumor out. This is risky since Kushie is at an age where anethesia is dangerous. Cats past 8 or so should not be put under unless it's critical. I don't know what the risks/odds/cost or anything is yet - I was too much in shock to ask any of that. I called my mom and broke down into sobbing tears though and she said she'd call to find out all the information I couldn't bear to ask....now I don't know if I should call her back or wait until I go over there to find out. I'm so scared, I don't know what to do.

The phone rang a few minutes ago while I was typing this up. It was the HR manager of the company in Gainesville. She was wondering why I hadn't called her. To be honest, I had totally forgotten in light of this news. I told her as much in an abridged fashion and appologized. They really want me to work there and she was trying to present a solution to the problem of move-in costs of an apartment. She thinks they can temporarily house me in an admitedly old mobile home, but one that's literally on the property of the complex. (you have to understand it's in the middle of nowhere) Everything is going almost unbelievably well on that front, and yet I get another wrench in my gears....why is it that you can have good things happen (finally) only to watch it offshadowed by a horrible, horrible thing?

I can't remember a time I felt so helpless and torn. I love my cat SO much and he's always been SO healthy...this whole thing with a cancerous tumor and surgery (as I'm slatted to move away) terrifies me. I feel so damn useless right now. I'm not even excited about moving anymore - now it's like a burden to being here and helping my cat. I think these horrible things like if I leave, will it be the last time I ever see him???? Oh gods, why is it always so damned hard? My poor little cat never did anything to deserve this...it's just not fair......

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