Caregiver

My father's prostate cancer treatment, a clinical trial he was scheduled to join next week, has been cancelled.

There was a technical issue that had taken time and energy to settle, but she felt the need to raise it again with the medical monitors, just to make sure it was resolved, and they went against her.  She wanted her ample ass covered, and now, at best, there is a three month delay in treatmenent.  Her bad.

There has been a lot of buildup to this treatment.  Some can be seen, for example, $6,000 worth of imaging on Tuesday, but much of it has been emotional.  My mother and my father both had to deal with this setback that came only because of a clerical issue.

As a caregiver, the most important thing is offering balance, ballast and support to people who are struggling, with dimished heart capacity that seems to be causing diminished mental capacity, with prostate cancer that has metastasized to the bone.

Now, I have an emotional response to this too.  But since I have no caregiver and only a tissue thin support system, there is no place for me to ground out.  I need to be there for my parents, but really, well, no one is there for me.  I mean, I'd love to put on my cute heels, go out with friends, dance & drink and feel life just like any gal, but that's not an option here.

I tried to get to a caregiver event yesterday, but the car overheated and I had to deal with that without attracting the attention of our friends in law enforcement, who will find me marked as deliquent in their computer.  I've driven bombers all my life, though, replacing starters in parking lots and u-joints on the shoulder, so I could handle it.

I'm not sure I would have got much out of the event.  It was for caregivers with money, and while my parents have resources, that's not me.

I don't really mind being a caregiver.  After all, I am a femme, and we know how to be the mommy.  But I also have to deny that femme part of me, because people don't really have the energy to engage that part of a quarter-ton bald aging male-bodied person.

That's one reason this blog is so self-centered, because my life is so much about self-denial.  My anger and distress at events like the setbacks, or whatever, just have no place in the lives of two people facing the challenges of aging.  Of course, they didn't have much place in the lives of two people rasing kids, either; how do you think I learned about all of this.

In the car, driving to pick up my mother, my father went intio a little rap about me being capable and how they want to help me get back on my feet.  It was very hard, because while he was being sweet and caring, I understood how much I had to not engage my own issues and empowerment in order to keep caring for them.  I was boiling at what he couldn't hear, while understanding he was being as positive and loving as he could be.

The challenge, it seems to me, is not just to give the care people know they need, but also to give the care they don't know they need.  That's one thing for a mom, whose kids know they don't know what they need, but when you are dealing with aging people, it's something else again.

It's something else again in society, too.  To give not just our lowest and most basic gifts, making sure people are fed and the house is kept, but also to make sure that the future is considered and change happens.  We have so much to give, and so much of what we have to give is discomforting the status quo so the new can come.

It's a challenge.  And when you are decrepit because you aren't being taken care of, rather you are just denying and swallowing, well, not really a challenge that's easy to face.