Tell you what, friends and neighbors: I'm not doing well. For one thing, I woke up this morning with a headache which felt like a mild hangover.
Most people don't know this, but "hangover" headaches are caused by dehydration - when you get a hangover, it's because the alcohol you drank the night before dehydrates you. That ache in your temples and behind your eyes will generally go away once you've had enough water, so it's always a good idea to drink a lot of water if you're also drinking the hard stuff.
I wish that I had had the fun of drinking if I was going to have a hangover headache this morning... but this hangover is from something much less fun: crying. I dehydrated myself by weeping for much of yesterday, off and on. Every time I thought I had it under control, I started to well up again, and nothing I do seems to get it under control. I'm teary-eyed right now.
Come with me over the jump for the two reasons why I'm crying.
Those who read my diaries on a regular basis are used to me speaking at least semi-intelligently about issues that are important to the progressive community. One of those issues that has been near and dear to my heart, as a diarist, has been marriage equality. I've tried to be there on the front lines for this one whenever possible.
Those who read my diaries on a regular basis also know that my husband and I got married last June on the first day it was legal for us to do so. My diary about it made the Rec List and stayed there for almost a full day.
Those who read my diaries on a regular basis also know that my father was diagnosed with liver cancer about a week and a half before that. Later diagnostic tests showed that it was not cancer of the liver but rather his esophageal cancer which had metastasized. At that time, they gave my father a year.
Since June, a number of developments on both the marriage equality front and on the cancer front have taken place.
On the marriage equality front, 18,000 same-sex couples in California got legally married between June 17 and November 4. Then, on November 4, Prop H8 passed by a slim majority, funded largely by the Mormon Church and other right-wing religious groups, and driven largely due to bigotry and ignorance in the population. Lawsuits have been filed, protest rallies have been held. My husband and I and my daughters attended one of these rallies, actually. And now, the haters have filed suit in the California Supreme Court to invalidate our marriage and the marriages of 35,998 other people in this state.
On the cancer front, my father went to Europe for two and a half weeks in September, looking at it as his "last hurrah" trip. At that time, his cancer-protein numbers were 5,000. (The normal level is 5.) His oncologist told him that chemo was contraindicated because a) he's a diabetic and b) he has only one kidney, so intense chemo would probably kill him. It killed both of his parents. Even so, in November my father decided to try intravenous chemo. His numbers did not go down; they skyrocketed to 19,000.
Four days ago, my father was taken to the hospital for severe dehydration and malnutrition because the chemo made him too sick to keep anything down. They sent him home from the hospital after rehydrating him, but the next morning, he developed severe pain in his leg and had to go back to the hospital. My father has always had a history of blood clots, and his inability to be active due to the chemo-weakness caused him to develop a number of them. He's still in the hospital as I write this, with his leg propped up to help it drain, and taking Heparin to help dissolve the clots. When he entered the hospital, it was on a day when he was supposed to have bloodwork done on his cancer. They did that test in the hospital, instead.
Yesterday both my dad's oncologist and the doctor who's taking care of him at the hospital told him that the chemo is not doing anything to fix the problem, and that it's time for him to face reality, stop taking it and enjoy the time he has left. That it's time for him to look into hospice care.
They say he has four to eight months. Possibly ten.
And I got to explain all this to my brother in Chicago yesterday. My daughters don't really understand that Grandpa's going to die, and going to die soon, but I thought I did. Until yesterday, I really thought I did. I was wrong.
Now I understand it, and between that and what the haters are trying to do to me and my husband in the courts, it's like a double punch to the gut.
I'm hoping you can all understand why I just cannot speak intelligently about the haters at this time. I'm too worn out, I'm in too much pain, and I just can't seem to stop crying.
ETA: Wow, the Rec List? I'm honored, folks. Thank you.