weekly budget check

I have not been posting about my weekly budget spending lately.

The reason?

I over-spent…

Overall, in the last 3 weeks, I spent a total of $129 over my $120/week limit. This is $43/week in extra, mostly unnecessary, expenses…

I also had extra expenses (afraid to write them here..), such as the cost of hosting guests cleaning products, medication costs, and donations (well done though – I would do these expenses again should I need it – so no hard-feelings here).

My fun funds is a huge negative balance: around $200…. need to make a plan and stick – fun funds are the savings from my weekly allowance that I am free to spend on anything I like, but this certainly has been taking a down hill, as now I seem to spend them without even collecting them!!

I also needed to pay my bank an extra money to cover for my house tax, which reduced my overall saving- obviously what I pay them every two weeks is not enough. Do you not hate the increases in house taxes? I do.

Overall, the last three weeks made a hole in my saving objectives and I am feeling not great about it.

I am aware of the unnecessary expenses that I made lately (such as taking the cab etc.), which I am determined to tackle. I dislike spending and I love saving.

Time to go back to that mental state.

 

A Clash of Kings; a slow, slow reading

I have known writing and finishing a piece would be a slow, trying, and often tiring meticulous process, but reading a book?

A Clash of Kings, the 2nd book of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series turned out to be just the one book that does this to me.

I want to read but it takes hours for me to split open its pages to start reading. And after hours of deliberation and effort, I read one chapter or so without feeling the thirst to keep going.

Visiting youtube or the internet to remember who the characters the book mentions were does not help, either. As a matter of fact, it makes me more attracted to the clips of the show more than the book; I have no problem keep watching them or read about the fan opinions on the net.

Why I wonder I have little motivation or interest to read the book. Why?

I am a book lover myself. I can read. And I love to read. And I am so interested in everything these books will tell me, which were not reflected in the HBO series.

I read a couple of reviews of this book, which naturally differ in opinion; some loved it and some like me are finding it as a hard or slow reading. I really would like to read the entire series as soon as possible; hopefully before Season 6 starts in April. Then there will be many spoilers on the net that I will be attracted to read. I would love to know the entire story of the first 5 books till then. Especially the  developments of characters Jaime Lannister and Arya Stark.

Maybe it is not the right time for me; maybe I have more interesting or urgent things to do with my time; maybe I am just cursed by the GoT – seeing the show earlier made me less interested in it; maybe the show is easier to grasp (there can be some truth to that; the book gives so many details of an unknown world and so many different characters which may be hard to conceptualize if one is not familiar with it); maybe I just need to be patient, change my mindset, stop forcing or expecting me to read the books at once.

Maybe it is because I already have favorite characters and characters whose POVs I cannot wait to read; maybe this is the reason that I cannot find in myself the interest to go thru each of the POV chapters.

GRRM: I wished you have not invoked this kind of conflicts and difficulties in me as a reader; the fact that your stories and characters already are making me think and re-evaluate things in life, like choices or love or duty, my thoughts are already challenged, already transforming. Tiring and influential at the same time. I want to say well done, but a girl is a little bit tired, a little bit mesmerized, and a little bit pissed off as a result.

 

 

The life in the diary – XIX

Fiction
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May 17, 2013

I am so confused nowadays. I did not want to put these in writing, as I believe writing things solidifies them, but I guess I gotta talk to at least myself about it.

I met this man a couple of days ago at our work place. He is one of these new recruits that does an amazing job. He is humble though, not hinting much about his success or capabilities. He does not over-look those he meets or talks. Nor wear designer suits that do all the talk. No. He is just a regular guy with a nice attire, perfect manners, and humility. I like these in him.

He looks so healthy and full of life. He also happens to show interest in me. That is what I react to strangely. I do not want it.

Compare him with me and I see a sick person. A person who has been struck not once but twice. I am not naive to think that it is over yet. I know my chances. And chances are scary.

I cannot breathe sometime when I remember these. Fear suffocates me. Depresses me. I want to quit all for once and all. The truth is that I am more scared about these thoughts than the future health-related risks of mine. It is a vicious cycle. The only way is to distract my thoughts from them. Changing from one mental state to other, from one world of thoughts to other, is tiring. But at least it gives my mind a chance to breathe.

I want to rebel at life sometimes. Where was the nice life full of goodness and happiness? The life that we grew up with reading in the fairy tales. I am upset with this entire process; noone prepares you for the life as it is.

I am no longer a kid. I think you stop being a kid when you face life alone for the first time and then it is never the same after that.

I feel like a damaged good. Something that is not good enough. Something unreliable, unstable, unwanted. I cannot get rid of these thoughts even though I know that I should keep going and even though I know that I survived hard times and possibly am stronger than I think I am. Yet, it has not happened yet.

Whenever I find hope and excitement in life, something inside me reminds me that it is of no use to want these. That I am not good enough to even hope for things that I would otherwise be entitled to. Like taking up a new job with more responsibilities. Like putting down a mortgage and buying a house. Like imagining the next day, the next year, or my old age and retired life. Like falling in love. No, I no longer have the right to dream – my wings are broken permanently.

When one cannot dream, then what is left of the meaning of life, what is left of the joy of life?

I like the fact that he is interested in me. But, no – I cannot want it…

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The life in the diary – XIX
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The life in the diary – XVIII

Fiction
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May 12, 2013 (cont’d)

Today, I am feeling the heaviness that follows the realization of having lost a whole part of my body.

I have lost a whole part of my body….

What had they said when I was first diagnosed? “it is quite likely that it is only a part of it is affected; we will only take this part and leave the rest so that you can have a functional gland, however partially.”

I had felt good about this; knowing that I would not give up on the whole thing. I would not lose it altogether.

Now, there is none of it.

A part of me which served me well for a very long time. A part of me that has been separated from me in cold blood, examined in a damp, formaldehyde smelling laboratory, dissected and stained in I do not know how many different ways, parts of which were put in a biological waste bin, only to be incinerated later at an unknown place to me. Twice for that matter…Twice..

Twice I said goodbye to a part of me.

I am sure with no care or love it was handled. Maybe the pathologists said “There, another piece of specimen. Let me finish this and then meet with my friends this evening. Cannot wait..” Thinking about this me makes me sob more violently.

Poor thing… After all these years being a part of me and doing a miraculous job, it developed sickness and it is gone.

It made me sick, too.

Should I hate it?

Hate is a stronger feeling than love, but no, I can not hate it.

No matter how many times I think about blaming it for my disease; for feeling like my body betrayed me; for feeling frightened and saddened about the darkness and pain I endure or for the anxiety caused by thought of what the future may bring to me; or how victimized I feel knowing that I now was literally a damaged goods, no, blame did not play well. These made me frightened and sad, but I never, not even once, felt blame towards it.

I rather blame myself.

For losing it.

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The life in the diary – XVIII
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The life in the diary – XVII

Fiction

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May 11, 2013

It is one of those days that I feel cheerful for no reason.

I grabbed my jacket and left the house for a nice walk. The fresh air is so lovely; feeling it on my cheeks, on my skin. Time to time there is a little breeze that caresses me. The sky is open and blue and it is around 25 C. It is a perfect spring day 🙂

As usual, I walk with my hands in my pockets – for some reason, that makes me feel good. Very good. It automatically puts a smile on my face and lift my upper back up. No more sluggish walking. Confidently and cheerfully I start to walk.

The street is wide and long; I can see the road ahead crossing it and the shops at the far end. They have bright colors, these shops do. I know they are doing this on purpose to appeal clients. Well, they are doing a good job by getting my attention as well as by making me feel grateful for what I see. Not surprisingly, I am a good customer of one of these stores.

I enter the store. I love this store as there are so many items that I regularly love to check. I for sure forget everything by just focusing on their items. And their prices and variety options. I have got my most cherished CD in this store years ago. I loved it so much that I had also bought a copy for a cousin of mine. The personal grooming and cleaning products are my favorites; I love the lip-stick that I keep buying from this store, for example. It is a glossy cherry-brown; neither too red nor too brown. It lifts my spirit up while also preventing them from drying. I love my lip-stick…

I do not buy anything this time, knowing that I am rather on my way to a long and relaxing walk. I leave the store, turn right, and start to walk down the street towards downtown. My home is located right at the perimeter of downtown, so it is 10 minutes walk to it. I feel excited about this. I always loved being around people, around movement. There is some kind of energy that transfers right into me. Maybe I am an energy-Dracula (this idea makes me chuckle 🙂 )

I do not have a definite plan as to where to go. I am free to go wherever my feet carry me, free to stop wherever I wish. The freedom, the feeling of having no rush, is giving me serenity, a mental chill. Not the bad type. Like water distinguishing a fire. It cools down my nerves and makes me breathe just fine. Slowly. Steadily. Peacefully.

I see a little store and get in. This is the store whose coffee I like. The hazelnut coffee!… Smell is mesmerizing me…. I buy a large cup, pay the clerk, and get out to continue my walk. I am in love with the smell and the taste of my coffee. I smile for no reason and shrug my shoulders as if to say “I do not care about anything, anyone, or any memory right now; this moment is mine and mine only. And I am enjoying it“.

I look at another cafe on the right side. I come here time to time, not for the coffee but for the fresh pastry. During spring and summer months, it is a great pleasure to sit at a table outside while eating fluffy pastry. Watching people walking up and down the street and feeling the sun on my skin…

Come to think about it, I have so many things that I like about this city and about my life. Who is happier than me right now? Who can possibly be? I have a lovely drink at my hand, walking in a fine spring day. I feel happy. For no reason or little reasons. I am lucky to have all of these.

I stop at the lights to wait for our turn. I remember how I had once skid and fell in the middle of the road in a winter day. It was my first experience with the black ice; never saw the darn thing. People had offered to help me get on my feet. For such a big city, people are great; they have not forgotten to be considerate and helpful. I love these people. I love this city.

Finally it is green light and I walk in between 30-40 people towards the center of downtown. There is the organic store on my left I check time to time. Teas and spices are my interest. Especially one of the herbal teas; I cannot remember its name. It is odd but I affirm that I will remember it later. Better yet, I can go to store anytime and recognize it by its look. I have a good memory still yet.

I contemplate about visiting the book stores a couple of streets ahead. I have spent so much time in them, often to distract my paining mind that I do not want to get in there today. I shake my head and continue. I love books but I need not to remember my pain. Not today. Not now. Not for some time.

I glance at the tall building on the right side. I used to live in that building once. Whenever I am around, I look up to see my ex-flat on the 30th floor. The glass window in the living room was awesome, as it would show the downtown with no reservation whatsoever. I could see not only the buildings around, but the hot dog stands, the bus terminal, and a little bit of the harbor at a distance…. People were everywhere… The nights had the best view; the lights scattered around the dark blue sky and the brown sidewalks. Even in the middle of the night, this city was alive. Energetic. Awake. Listening. And with it, I would lie awake on my couch, listening, but mostly lethargic. Sometimes crying, sometimes thinking. But mostly peaceful and serene.

I loved that flat and my life in it. Come to think about it, I had hard times there too, but it is the best things, best and happiest memories I tend to remember. Making peace with my past seems to come to me naturally. Only after years of remembering all of course….

to be continued

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The life in the diary – XVII

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Fiction bits – III

Fiction bits

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The room was silent and certainly depressing. I wasn’t sure whether our presence made it better or just worse.

She came in hesitantly. When he saw her, he broke a smile first. Then, his eyes turned dark…. She left silently.

Nurses came; we nervously watched him moved to the OR.

I saw her facing the window in the hall; her face was still emotionless.

I got furious, but stopped abruptly as I came close.

Her face was still, she didn’t even blink, but tears were streaming from her eyes down to neck. Crystal-like drops. Like diamonds.

Inside, she was shattered.

The Wren, Sept 23, 2015

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Fiction bits – III

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The life in the diary – XVI

Fiction

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May 6, 2013

I am feeling a little bit better today.

I had a nice walk around the beaches area. To me it is a small, lovely village in a big, big city. What a nice change of atmosphere in such a short distance.

I walked around the beach, sat on a bench for an hour so, ate a hot-dog and drank my tea. Yep, I have got a hot-dog; not necessarily the best food in the world 🙂 I feel like compensating for this by drinking the tea; a nice hot cup of papaya and mango tea. It smelt so good that I had to close my eyes for a second and enjoy that feeling entirely. That moment felt good… I am pleased to have delightful moments. However transient they may be….

I think feeling the sun on my skin cheered me up today. What is it about the sunlight that is so energizing, so nourishing? Science says it must be the hormones that are regulated by the sunlight. And maybe it is the vitamin D my skin cells produce when exposed to sun light?

Vitamin D… That brings to my mind the recurring question – I do not know what to do about the supplements. Should I take them? Should I not? Some scientific studies suggest that they are useful. But then the regulatory institutions/organizations say that it is premature to make a definite conclusion about the health benefits of many supplements. All these internet sites that promote them, all the people they say they benefit from them. Whom to trust? What to do? I feel stuck at a corner. What if they are useful? What if I am missing something by not taking them? Or, what if taking them would not benefit me, worse yet, harm my body? What if I would think it was fine to eat whatever I want as long as I take the supplements, as I would believe they would do all the good? No, I m skeptical. Way too skeptical…

That is so tiring…. Trying to make decisions fast, many all at the same time. Considering cons and pros of all these things that are new to me, new to my life. I am in a constant rush, carrying with me a heavy load of impatience. That stresses me;  the more hurriedly my mind tries to make a decision, the darker my psyche gets; I feel unhappy, confused, inefficient.. My shoulders sink – I do not want these feelings. To run away from them, I get up and walk away from the bench.

I love seeing the families with children, parents, and dogs; they are busy enjoying this beautiful spring day. That feeling eventually turns into resentment, though. Why can I not enjoy my life? Why was I denied this?

What is more unfair I wonder; to get cancer, or to get frustrated by others’ happiness, health, and joy?

I am very close to hating myself for this ever-expanding selfishness. I gotta remind myself that not everything is about me.

But then it is; is it not?

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The life in the diary – XVI

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Fiction bits – II

Fiction bits

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I could not find myself yet.

Dreams left me first. They were now blackened by the reality, stifling, and heavily cankered. One side of me still wanted to nurture them; I fell asleep caressing them and I got up loving everything back again… Inevitably, each dawn turned into the day and with the day, each day, I felt the fear. First the fear of losing them, then the fear of losing my sanity.

It was agonizing, but no matter how ceaselessly I lingered in this furious and heinous cycle, I never became ready to let them go. It was the dreams that finally left me; they managed to rip off my weakened grab, walked slowly to freedom, and left me behind, void, and blind to sentiment.

I do not know what was more painful; parting with the only dreams I have had or having no dreams at all?

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Fiction bits – II

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The life in the diary – XV

Fiction

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May 5, 2013

It has been a month that I finally left the hospital. I had a hard time leaving the unit and coming back to my home.

I still am not content with living in my flat. Nope. There is no one to chat here, no one to bring the meal, no one to ask how I am. No one to care about my body.

I feel lonely at home.

It is almost spring. I try to push away the negative thoughts. The harder I try, the bigger they get though. I almost hate my mind for doing this.

It is strange that I feel like I have “two me, two minds”; one is protective of my body that I should care. This mind of mine would do anything to protect my body from that disease. I would eat the best meal, do the best exercise, take the deepest breath, visit the best doctor I can get.

Then, I have my other mind that does all the tricks to divert me. It is selfish and certainly egoistic. It says “I am tired” when I want to walk; “let’s eat fried chicken” when I want to eat a nourishing meal. I am so confused about these duality – am I losing my mind? Will I have to add a therapist to my list of doctors soon?

Who would know a disease could do these to a young woman at the peak of her career, energy, and youth? I had hopes, plans for my future. I was confident, happy, smiling, and laughing. Now all left from me is someone who just calculates every single activity around whether it is good for her body or not. I constantly remind myself how fragile I am.. This is scary, demoralizing, so oppressive….

On top of that, when the selfish mind is around, it becomes much harder. I am on a constant battle to help heal, help protect my body. The majority of the time, I fail in doing so. The majority of the time I force myself to start all over. “Tomorrow it will be fine. Next time I will do better.” I say. But that “tomorrow” does not come and stay for long.  It is an endless, furious battle. What if I completely lose my battle with my selfish mind one day? What if I do not heal completely as a result? I am so running out of confidence. I am so running out of energy.

I feel weak.

Heal my body, heal.

Help my mind, help.

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The life in the diary – XV

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The life in the diary – XIV

Fiction

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March 1, 2013

It is 4 weeks that I have been living in this hospital.

My life is pretty much shaped with my hospital room, the imaging departments, the patient library, and occasional visits to the gift store.

There are times that I feel like I am losing my mind; how did this this active, hard working person turn into a hospital rose?

“Hospital rose” is the nick name one of the house-keeping staff gave me. Now that I was a regular and apparently thriving in the environment, despite the tests and the hospital stay, he said I was the “rose” in this cold, depressing, and ironically healing place.

There was a song called “Desert Rose”?

Many people including me are perplexed with how well I am doing in my daily activities and with my interactions with the hospital staff. I just lost some weight. I blame the lame hospital meals. Under different conditions I would be excited to have lost weight, but knowing that my body needs energy to heal, I am eating as much as I can.

I have a choice to eat from the gift shop yet the selection is limited and not necessarily the food I long for. I wish I could walk 10 min away, go to that little Jamaican place, buy three beef patties, and start eating them right away. They have always been one of my favourites; the warm pastry filled with beef and hot spices. One of my nurses somehow mentioned that she could get some outside food for me should I wish. Should I wish? I do wish! Maybe I will ask her tomorrow. I am just scared that once I get outside food, I may just realize how bad the food here is and refuse to eat it all together.

Dreams are endless here – I love thinking about things I would do when I finally leave the hospital. Beef patties, the visits to the bookstores, the long walks around the city, a mini-vacation somewhere, shopping for new clothes, having a hair cut, and cooking myself. Thinking about all of these cheers me up. Mind is interesting; dreams are healing.

My family does not suspect anything. I call them at the weekends. I did not mention about my ordeal, though they are worried about my voice; it is still hoarse. I keep telling I am seeing a doctor and she is taking care of me; it should be a bad infection and will hopefully clear soon.

I hate myself for doing this to my family. But what are my other choices really? Tell them I have got cancer for the second time?  I have had a recent surgery and am in the hospital? I am lonely and scared? I think sometimes I am losing my sanity? How is any of these good news?

I do not know how long I can hide the truth, how long I can protect them from harm; but I will try as long as I can. How will they feel when they learn? I have no idea. Will they feel I denied them the right to care for me, support me, be with me? Will they be saddened beyond my imagination? Will they feel deeply sorry for me, which will sink their hearts, or will they hate me for being so cold-hearted, which I will deserve?

Pain…

There is no escape from pain.

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The life in the diary – XIV

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random thoughts

the last three days feels like fall – it is grey and the temperature is less than 14C. I am having a hard time reminding myself this is June 🙂 It is great that I am going for a long trip to a sunny place soon; I am sure my body will appreciate the warmth and sunlight.

I am feeling bored nowadays as I have not worked well in the last few weeks – the good weather certainly distracted me and led me to leave my office earlier than usual to enjoy the outdoors. Yet, my mind is now bored and the only way to cherish is to work. Those who find something great about working would understand how I am feeling right now.

As per my financial goals, I continue to shop consciously, which makes a small, but noticeable difference. And no I did not take the bus this week yet, which feels somehow awkward. Can I start doing it tomorrow?

My mood in the morning is not great – I think this is one of the reasons for me to take the cab. I do not want to strain myself further by waiting and taking the bus. The cab takes me from the front of my house and leaves me at the door of my work place. So convenient. And convenience feels good, though I miss the self-appreciating feeling when I do take the bus. Tomorrow is another day. I can re-visit this then.

I keep eating fruits (apples and oranges mostly), drinking tea once a day, eating healthy as much as I can. At least this part of my life is going more or less as I wish it to be.

On a final note, I have been trying some fictional stories lately and poems earlier. I find I cannot keep working on them for extended periods of time – what I think about while writing is what I feel . So unless I start a comedy-centered piece, I am okay with working on them only time to time :). That also means I have developed a huge appreciation for poets and novelists.

The life in the diary – XII

Fiction

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February 24, 2013

I am placed in a new single-bed room; my isolation from the rest of the public, even though not strictly, still continues. No mingling with others, especially pregnant women and babies/children, continuing to flush the toilet twice, using only disposable cutlery and plates. The garbage is collected carefully and placed in a special disposal bag. I did not ask about this this time; “its contents need to cool down a couple of weeks before it can be dumped” I was told last time.

Although this is my second time going thru this treatment, although I have been there before, I continue to feel like a disaster, something harmful, something unwanted… I have 12 more days to go like this. “Being extra cautious, that is all“. The radiation in my body should not be harmful to anyone else as long as I keep my distance. That is what they said. That is what they had said the first time, too.

But this does not mean it is not harmful to me. I wanna scream sometime… Nobody, not even nurses, approached me more than 4 meters in the first 48 hours. I had to take showers at least twice a day; flush twice, suck candies or chew gums to protect my salivary glands from the effects of radiation, drink gallons of water, and furiously apply lotion to my body and hands to circumvent dryness induced by extreme washing. On top of these, I had to calm myself saying that radiation was in fact good for me; it was going to kill the blooming cancer cells. It was my door to cure. This too would pass….Yet, not for even a moment, I could dis-acknowledge that my body, my normal cells, were also at risk.

I was given the radiation in a pill, which I dutifully swallowed. Once I took the pill, I was officially “hot”. The nuclear medicine expert, standing meters away, tried to joke by saying this I guess.

I did not like the nuclear medicine expert from the beginning on. A tall, confident man. Asked me where I was from. I wanted to snap back asking”why?” but answered anyhow. Whoa… It turned out our nations had battles sometime during  the deep, long history and my nation was certainly not one their favourites!! Ok…. why did I need to be told this? I fumed inside. In a moment, I transformed from feeling incredibly vulnerable to feeling like a hard-rock impasse. I took my revenge when he asked me whether he could sit on my bed to start explaining the cons and pros of the treatment and when I said “sure, please sit; you are old.

I broke a large victorious smile.

He?

Startled.

Oh, yeah; I love myself:)

He came with a young fellow, who never uttered a word during the half an hour pre-treatment consultation. I assumed he was a resident or a medical school student shadowing the expert. Before they leave, I wanted to tell him “we are vulnerable and anxious; we need comfort, assurance, and compassion from our medical teams. Please, whatever you do, please do not aggravate your patient.”

I did not say anything but I hugely regret this now; maybe this young fellow would contemplate on what I would say. Maybe it could help other patients.

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The life in the diary – XII

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The life in the diary – X

Fiction

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Feb 15, 2013

My boss made a great gesture today and sent me a nice bouquet of flowers! The mixture of green, orange, white, and yellow is a must see! One of my nurses brought them to me with a great smile; “look what we got for you!!!?”.

She is, I am sure, curious. I have been here for some time, had a surgery and am going through further tests. But no one came to visit me. No care-giver, no family, no friends.

They do not ask why. I love this about the nurses – never say or do something that will upset the patient. I feel protected by the nurses. Once when the other patient used to stay in the room and had chatty visitors, one of them had said “please keep your voice low, my patient here needs a rest”.

This patient has been for ever grateful to hear this.

We decided to put the flowers next to my bed. Their smell is very refreshing – kind of dominating the medicine-like scent of the bed linens. For the first time since I am admitted, I feel like normal.

My boss had the card signed by my colleagues – going thru the short messages of good wishes delights me… My first personal encounter with the outside world since I am here. How will I thank them? Tell them how much it meant to receive their generous gift? Thinking about these makes me kind of emotional….

But I have got to collect myself; I have more important things to do.

I finally decided to call my family.

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The life in the diary – X

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The life in the diary – VIX

Fiction

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February 13, 2013

The other patient in the room now is moved to somewhere else. Despite her hopes, she had to undergo another surgery. No idea what happened to her after that. The room has been silent since then.

My nurse offered me to switch the beds; mine is closer to the door and the bathroom while the other one is close to the window. I said I was okay where I am. Plus, I get to see the hall from where I am. How else to spend time in a hospital room? I did not tell her that I did not want to have the space of the previous patient. Feels weird…. What happened to her? They will not tell me, the nurses I mean. Privacy issues. So I did not even bother to ask. I am keeping my bed, at least for now, and I am happy with it.

There are times I regret my decision though. Sometimes I see covered hospital beds moved silently on the hall. I kinda know what they carry. The floor I am staying in has many geriatric patients. I hear them sometime speaking with their nurses, doctors, or visitors. Young people usually, but sometime elderly visitors as well. They all have nice outfits, as if they are going to a special event. I like this in old people – the care they display. One lady had particularly captured my attention; she had gray hair neatly done, elegant shoes, and a red skirt. It was the loveliest skirt I have ever seen. The colour was just right; neither too light nor too dark. It dropped comfortably on her knees. Elegantly meshed with a thin, transparent belt. She usually came with a young man, I am assuming his son, to visit a patient. I have not seen her for a couple of day for now. I do not want to think why. Maybe she is on vacation, who knows? Not everything is bad news. It should not be.

I had some tests the other day. Ah, yes, these…. My pen does not want to bleed ink for them, but I force myself to acknowledge. Lying on cold tables, holding my breath, moving this way or that way with each direction by the technician. People are nice, but I keep thinking; I am just another patient for them; do they care about me?

This de-personalisation felt ridiculous at the beginning. Now I am grateful for it. Helps to convince myself that if nobody remembers me without it, then I should still be keeping my dignity.

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The life in the diary – VIX

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The life in the diary – VIII

Fiction

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February 9, 2013, cont’d

My mind is blank. A heavy depression hit me as my surgeon explained my medical situation. Things will change. Profoundly. I am looking for an extended stay in the hospital. Further tests. Further treatment, possibly another surgery. I will receive my doctor’s note this afternoon. I want to call my boss, but cannot find the energy to do so. An email will be easier to break the news. I have no idea how this is going to affect my job, but I am hoping there is some employee benefits that I was not aware of. Additionally, my boss is a kind type; I am sure he will understand and support me during these times.

As per the hospital and medical care costs, so far I am okay. Thank you Canada for the universal health care and thank you my job for providing me health insurance. I am not worried about the money so far; as long as I keep my job of course. I can mail my cheque for the rent. Utilities are automatically paid, so I do not need to worry about them. Have I missed anything that requires me to fix now? I cannot come up with anything; either there is not anything else or I am not able to think about them. I decide to leave it here and focus on engaging my mind on something else.

I am at the hall again. One of the nurses who cares for me smiles and says “you like to walk! That is awesome – keep doing this”. I smile back and say with my hardly audible voice “thank you nurse – you have been so kind to me”. As if I was telling goodbyes. But I am not, am I? I am neither dying nor leaving the hospital soon. Not for one moment I thought about dying. Inside I know, I truly know, I am going to be okay. It is not one of these affirmations that I keep repeating to make myself, my mind believe. No, I truly know that I am going to be okay. Eventually of course.

But, how to break the news to my family? There is a deep sorrow that hits me hard when I think about it.

I keep the tears in – no mam. No crying. There are people around. I remind myself that I like my own misery.

In an ironic way of course.

I really would like a cup of tea now.

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The life in the diary – VIII

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The life in the diary – VII

Fiction

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February 9, 2013

My surgeon finally showed up this morning. I was trying to eat the magnificent(!) hospital breakfast; pancakes with fruit. I asked for tea, but all I was offered was apple juice. Ok. Fine! Apple juice it is.

Swallowing still hurts; I am not having a great time trying to eat or drink. For some reason the nurses keep bringing me ice water. Each time I ask for just plain water. I do not even require filtered water. Just tap water. Cold amplifies the pain in my throat. Knowing how busy and lovely these nurses are (well, most of them at least) I feel horrible for returning the ice water.

My voice is not getting better. It is so hoarse, so low pitch. I am discouraged. Will it be okay? Will I be able to speak as I did before? I feel sorry for myself. Profoundly sorry… One more thing to do ask to my surgeon. Considering the current state of my voice, I am not even sure I can talk to him. Shall I write my questions down? “will my voice recover?” “what is next now?” “can I get a doctor’s notice for my work?”, “when will be the stitches taken out?”, “when can I get discharged?”

When my surgeon finally showed up, I got tense. well, what did I expect? He will tell me things that are important and certainly not as ordinary as a grocery shopping list! I straightened my back and looked at him anxiously. An experienced doctor would know the meaning of these looks. And he did. Smiled and asked me how I was. I said I was okay and continued to look at him, inquiring information. If these eyes could talk. They certainly would say more intelligible things than me. Arghh.. Anyway, enough with being childish.

When he spoke, though, I wish I had continued being childish.

He said I was not going anywhere anytime soon.

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The life in the diary – VII

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The life in the diary – VII

Fiction

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February 9, 2013

My surgeon finally showed up this morning. I was trying to eat the magnificent(!) hospital breakfast; pancakes with fruit. I asked for tea, but all I was offered was apple juice. Ok. Fine! Apple juice it is.

Swallowing still hurts; I am not having a great time trying to eat or drink. For some reason the nurses keep bringing me ice water. Each time I ask for just plain water. I do not even require filtered water. Just tap water. Cold amplifies the pain in my throat. Knowing how busy and lovely these nurses are (well, most of them at least) I feel horrible for returning the ice water.

My voice is not getting better. It is so hoarse, so low pitch. I am discouraged. Will it be okay? Will I be able to speak as I did before? I feel sorry for myself. Profoundly sorry… One more thing to do ask to my surgeon. Considering the current state of my voice, I am not even sure I can talk to him. Shall I write my questions down? “will my voice recover?” “what is next now?” “can I get a doctor’s notice for my work?”, “when will be the stitches taken out?”, “when can I get discharged?”

When my surgeon finally showed up, I got tense. well, what did I expect? He will tell me things that are important and certainly not as ordinary as a grocery shopping list! I straightened my back and looked at him anxiously. An experienced doctor would know the meaning of these looks. And he did. Smiled and asked me how I was. I said I was okay and continued to look at him, inquiring information. If these eyes could talk. They certainly would say more intelligible things than me. Arghh.. Anyway, enough with being childish.

When he spoke, though, I wish I had continued being childish.

He said I was not going anywhere anytime soon.

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The life in the diary – VII

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The life in the diary – VI

Fiction

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February 8, 2013

It is beautiful outside – the snow slowly painting the streets, top of the cars, the roofs. The red coloured brick house across from the window looks like a famous painting; the mesh of all these colours captivated me. The sight is certainly a must see. The residents on the 7th floor casually walking in the living room, preparing the table for dinner. A nice family of four. I have not noticed anything unpeaceful in their behaviour. Parents are loving and lovely; kids are cheerful and excited. Normal pace of life – nothing rushful. Wishing these family the best; watching them gave me peace. And hope. For some reason.

I feel safe here; away from the life I have had outside. The work, the house chores, people, whatever stressed me out are non-existing here. More importantly none of these itsy-bitsy worries are here with me.

I feel peaceful.

Despite my pain, despite my health condition. I have had the break of my life. Thanks to this surgery.  Irony at maximus 🙂 Alas. I should be worried about the situation but for some reason I am not. I do not know, maybe it is “normal”; maybe this is how “normal” people feel and carry on their lives like. Maybe this is how it is supposed to be. Maybe not. Maybe my mind did just shut down; does not want to feel that existential worry. Or those other possibilities. Maybe, just maybe I am not supposed to cry. Maybe more than anything else, I just need to gather myself; tap into that strength I know I have, but is just battered too badly. Maybe it is what I am feeling right now? Can’t believe in this though…. I wish I did.

Life. What have you done to me?

Or was it me? I was brave once. Young and fearless. I was on top of the world, ready to conquer the life, for once and then all. I had the focus of a hunting lioness, the sharpness of an eagle, and the unprecedented power of the grizzly bear. I could handle anything in life; there was no unpassable hurdle for me.

Then I fell down. I just did. Do not ask why. Or how. It just happened and shattered all I had; the confidence, the focus, the strength. On top of that, I blamed myself for the fall. None went up again.

How could they? By constantly blaming and beating up myself, I mentally paralyzed myself. The child in me. The one who had the zest for life. I do not know whether I became an enemy of the life or myself.

If I am the enemy of myself, then I know how furious I can be and in turn how much I have endured from my own enmity.

Should I be proud of myself?

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The life in the diary – VI

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Yet it is time to let it go

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Today, Kate’s short story is ending.

It was an amateur trial of writing  an impossible, un-understandable, and painful love in the form of short text and poems. I am not claiming that I have written a good piece, but I have written some interesting sentences, interesting phrases while working on it; so I am happy with them. I have been inspired by many different events and people while writing it, for which I am grateful. Yet it is time to let it go.

There must be a better, happier, lovelier, healthier story waiting somewhere to be written; it is time to start looking for it.

cheers

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Kate’s short story – LXXXIII

The life in the diary – V

Fiction

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February 6, 2013 – cont’d

My incision hurts – there is no drain put in place and I am expecting some blood clotting occurring, pressing on my wind pipe, and making everything all difficult for some time again. Why do they not do it? I would rather have a scar than the discomfort. Well, maybe not; maybe drainage hurts more. So let’s leave it there.

My throat is hurting but despite what one of the nurses suggested, I did not request a painkiller. I can take the pain for now. I did not expect to feel all right right after a surgery; it is okay to have some pain. Plus, it is not even my worst concern – eating and drinking is still problematic; it is the most painful of all. But, I have been there before and I can take this.

Lying on the hospital bed is not fun; there is nothing much to do. I had brought a book to read but I am not in a mood to read about “how to get happy now”; that is the focus of the book. Happiness is something I will concern myself with after when I figure out what will happen to me.

They encourage me to walk, which I am happy to do. Boredom is interesting, makes you find ways to enjoy your moments. I like looking out of the window at the end of the hall – it is snowing outside and everywhere is white. I see people hastily walking in the evening under the street lamps – people should be happy to leave the work and getting ready to go home. I have not missed my home yet; I take this change as an opportunity to break my everyday routine. This sounds weird I know, but when all future is more or less blank, you kinda focus on the moment and try to find things that will make you feel good.

I need to feel good.

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The life in the diary – V

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while waiting the end of “us”

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I trashed everything that reminded you. But memories are the worst; how do I bury a part of me?

Nevertheless, with a strange pleasure I can say that it has been four days…I was not able to feel anything for you.

Neither love nor hate.

I did not miss you.

I did not even cry.

There has been other times like this before; none so long, though. I had estimated that over time they would get longer and longer. Then, one would be “it”. “It” would be the end of “us”.

While I cry over you, I often find myself humming “Come What May” of Moulin Rouge; one particular line I like – “suddenly my life does not seem such a waste“. It is such a fragile line.. What happens if one replaces the word “waste” with “mess”?

ah, yes..

There will be an end of us.
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Kate’s short story-V

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the poem of heart

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we all were wrong

it started as a joke
then stuck around
yet I got it serious
and I was into it
maybe it was your joy
may be your loveliness
for whatever reason there I was
waiting you

one fall evening
you gave me a flower
finally thought
you would ask me out
waiting long enough

I asked a friend
“T, do you think he likes me?”
he said with sadness

“no, he does not”
my heart sank…
we all were wrong
and I was
the last one to know
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Kate’s short story-IV

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love comes and goes

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Love comes and goes; that is my observation.

It is such a fragile thing, love is; it is like an unstable chemical that one moment there with all of its intensity requiring all the attention for its needs and then the next time, it is gone … no more the exhilaration, no more the joy, no more the excitement, no more the demands of it.

Nowadays I feel like it does not exist any more and I find a kind of serenity, peace in it. Deep down, though, I know I in fact find a great pleasure for its non-existence towards him. That is possibly my ego talking and if my ego was not strong enough, then I would be deeply saddened by its non-existence; is not my love toward him what I loved more than him?

Things will change soon;  I will choose practising kindness and forgiveness and my ego will subsidize as a result. I will start feeling the intensity of it and its demands from me again. Like someone/something that I cannot say no, I will give my whole attention to ensure its survival. It will drill my heart. I will shed tears.

Human heart is a primitive thing and human mind is a calculating one. This duality is what bothers me most about love.

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Kate’s short story-III

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the sincere poem

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when I was there with you
I had a glimpse of life;
it was beautiful
and exciting.
and I was plain happy.

Happiness, one I got used to too quickly.

did I love you?
I have been pondering over and over again
I cannot know the answer;
as I do not know why I loved you
before and then
but then I came to realize that
when it is just an internal monologue,
it is not love anyway.

but I loved myself when I was with you;
a happy, excited, soft, and expressive intense creature!
Boy! I loved myself then
and now when I remember!

if you are going to stay angry at me
go ahead do that
but if you think you cannot forgive me for that
you are plain wrong

Kate’s short story – II

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love as I understand it today

My first entry better be about love.

I used to think that I could only love something/someone as much as they let me; not more than that. Just yesterday I noticed maybe that was not correct; we may love more than they let us if we have a tendency to love, have a need to love, or have a wish to forgive and forget, yes?

Or maybe, we do that because we feel like it is an honourable thing to do. Maybe if we do so, we will prove ourselves and others that ours was a true love – as if we have to convince that it was love and we were good at it. Why? There can be truth here that sometimes we can never be sure whether it is love or not; there is so many mixed feelings coming through our minds and going through our hearts. Knowing ourselves is the biggest challenge when comes to love.

Attaining and living love is a painful thing; we struggle, confuse, question ourselves and others, calculate or deal with risks and  issues/unexpected, but I do not agree that it can be explained by only pain, or by mostly pain. I think love is bigger than pain.

There is this love story of two young and terminal cancer patients by John Green, in the novel “The faults in our stars”. I read this book in a single day. It is an easy reading with tragic topics, such as death and life, but the love story between the two teenagers is interesting. I came to realize why love is bigger than pain for me, thanks to this story (because in contrast to the character in the book, I do not associate love with pain that intensely).

Love as we feel it is beautiful whether there is pain in it or not. If pain is bigger than it, then we would not call it love now, would we?

I love loving some people; more than they can think about or deserve. And I think that says something about me as much as them. This love, though, I own.

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