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Dizzying Intellect » Family

Category: Family

What do you do?

My cousin’s getting married in India this weekend. We were pretty close as kids, but grew apart as we got older. She lives in DC, and I’ve only seen her maybe twice in the past five years. But I’m close with her mom (who’s my parents’ age, but actually in my generation), and her grandmother (my aunt) is one of my very favorite people on Earth.

So. Opinion. How good of a gift would I have to get her, to be able to crash the wedding without having her kill me?

:o)

The Grim Post

You knew this was coming. I’m not depressed, I’m actually looking for some fairly clinical answers — they just happen to be personal-life-based and not cheerful.

My Uncle Rich died this weekend — of cancer, natch; that’s how we roll in my family. I knew him better when I was a kid, because his daughters and I were pretty close. All of my uncles were pretty strict and grumpy when we were kids, until they had grandkids and turned into giant marshmallows, so even when I “knew him,” I didn’t really know him.

As I got older, he became more interesting. He joined the fire department as soon as he was old enough (probably before, knowing him) and was sort of a heroic character, and he looked like a Dick Tracy villain to me — and I mean that in a good way.

He always wore his hair in a pompadour, and it was jet black. Herein lies the trouble.

When he was first diagnosed and started chemo, he and his wife went out and bought him a specially-made wig. A jet-black pompadour, for after he lost his hair. But, see, he never lost his hair. And the chemo didn’t work. I’ve never heard of chemo not working on a non-metastasized tumor. And I’ve certainly never heard of full-dosage, systemic chemo not making someone lose their hair.

[Note: My father has carcinoid cancer, and he didn't lose his hair during chemo, but that was a very unusual kind, where they emulsified it and injected it straight into his liver. It wasn't systemic.]

My cousin Linda, who’s only a few years older than me, also has (breast) cancer. Again, it’s our thing. But she’s not losing her hair in chemo so far, either, and her mom — my Aunt Hamako — thinks it means the chemo isn’t working. And she’s starting to make me wonder, really.

With this blog not being crawled, I’m not sure how much answer I’ll get on this. And I know the plural of “anecdote” isn’t “data.” But y’all are a smart bunch. Have you heard of any connection between the efficiency of chemo, and hair loss?

I Can Has DNA Test?

This is so cool! I’m so excited to try this; it’s a DNA test for mutts, to determine what breeds they are!

The website says it’s a blood test, but our vet’s done two of them before, and he said it’s a cheek swab, which means I don’t even have to bundle him into the car — I can do it myself.

I’ve always said that Goliath is half Saint Bernard (for obvious reasons) and half Golden Retriever (because of the shape of his ears and nose, mostly). But he has spots on his tongue, like a Chow. And other people occasionally tell me that he looks like a collie. And there was a Leonberger at our off-leash in Minnesota that looked so much like him that I thought he might have a little of that too (except Leonbergers don’t have white on them, traditionally).

And now I can find out!

g-050608.jpg

Today’s G’s birthday, by the way. Happy 12th birthday, Monkey!

Tempus Fugit

My onliest nephew. He was born extremely premature because his mother smoked during the pregnancy, and I think he weighed about four pounds. When they first came to our house, he was so tiny that with his head in my brother’s palm, his feet didn’t reach halfway to his elbow.

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Resolutions

My mother did call on New Years Eve and explain why she didn’t invite me home. She and my grandmother are in Florida, packing up my grandmother’s house to sell it. Finally.

She got a little weepy on the phone, and said she missed me and wished I was there and that we should go on vacation together somewhere. Which usually means she’s drunk.

I really need my own family, people. I wonder how match.com works…

Pride and Worry

My oldest nephew is now a Marine.

I’m not sure exactly when he joined up, but I just got an email from my sister today with the news. I’ve always considered myself an Air Force girl, because his dad (me bruddah) was in that branch (and I was planning to join too, until I found out women couldn’t fly in combat). But I guess I’m a Marines girl now. So, ooh rah, or whatever. *shudder*

Hope

I talked to my baby sister yesterday, and she told me that her sister (my former stepsister) is pregnant again. She’s due next month.

I’ve always loved Mel, even tho I understand her less than any other human on earth. Her first baby almost killed her. She had a grande mal seizure at home and doesn’t remember any of the birth. They removed my niece in a way that’s only a caesarian section in the broadest sense - they cut a big x across her whole belly - because they were so sure she was going to die. She survived the birth only to develop double pneumonia in the hospital, and then it took almost a year for the incision to heal, including infections and staples pulling out at random.

She remembers none of this, so it doesn’t scare her to do it again. Now, she was roughly 300 pounds (at 5′2″) at the time, so losing a lot of weight and planning for another c-section helped with her second daughter, who was born in 2003. But now she’s 36, and we’re getting into a whole ‘nother ballgame.

And she’s naming the kid after me. Not intentionally, I don’t think, but her name will be the nickname Mel called me when we were in high school. The name I had on my license plates. I don’t understand why she would do that, because we haven’t spoken in seven years, but it makes me doubly nervous.

It’s not that I wouldn’t want her to do this. She always wanted a houseful of kids, and she’s a fabulous mother. I’m so excited for her, I’m bouncing.

But I’m scared shitless.

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