This may be quite rambling and although I'm failing miserably at giving up swearing for Lent, I just need to clear my head of words and worries. Out of the everlasting blue, suddenly my mother was diagnosed with two different malignant melanomas on her upper arms. The only way I knew about this was she called late one night to tell me her refrigerator light burned out and btw, could I go with her the next day to the dermatologist. Fortunately, one son was at home, since I can no longer safely leave my husband alone. My husband overheard part of the phone conversation and left the room to get an appliance light bulb. He returned an hour later with a 15 watt and a 40 watt, ready to go over and help my mother, although it was almost midnight.

The next day, after several verbal variations on where I was going and why my husband couldn't come, drove over, replaced the bulb, but first managed to take apart the entire upper cooling chamber, full of wires and a slip of paper with diagrams on how to repair everything, except for how to get the cage off to replace the light bulb. (Picture: me with a screwdriver, upside-down, holding the inner workings of the refrigerator in one hand, a two-inch long screw fallen to the floor, and there is still darkness. My mother is standing right behind me, blocking any natural light and asking if she can help.) Turned out to be ridiculously easy and my mother now thinks I can fix everything. I wish. Off to the dermatologist, who insisted she contact a particular surgeon immediately, which I did, getting an appointment for the following week. DID I MENTION THAT MY WASHING MACHINE DECIDED TO STOP AGITATING IN THE MIDST OF THIS? Clean clothes, but sopping wet. Couldn't fucking deal with it, left them in the washing machine for two days, eventually took the whole mess over to Edith's.

My mother did not want my siblings knowing, so I didn't tell them. She herself told one niece, who TOTALLY freaked out, messaging me, in an angry way. I think it triggered the fear and heartache she went through when her mother had cancer, dying at age 51, while my niece was halfway through college. I talked with my two sons and daughter. Went to the oncologist surgeon two days ago with my mother. The waiting and filling out forms took over an hour. Talk about agitation.

I was also pissed off about the fucking parking, which used to be free, but now is valet parking only there are no fucking valets. Four bucks for any portion of time over one hour. I mentioned it to a guy seated next to me in the waiting room and he told me how he had to sell his farm in upstate New Jersey to pay for his wife's chemo, lived there all his life, surrounded by family members who had adjacent farms. Said it made him sick, only got half the asking price, and was now renting some crappy apartment in a city. He had some choice words about the landlord. Regretted that none of his kids wanted the farm, regretted that they hadn't had more kids who MIGHT have wanted to be farmers, ended up selling it to a young couple. The woman's name was Sunshine.

So, he's unloading all his problems and regrets and I couldn't help but laugh. "You sold your farm to someone named Sunshine?" I asked, incredulous. Slight smile from the guy, "Yes, they already have goats and chickens and are rebuilding the barn. They invite us up all the time, but it makes me sad." I told him to pretend they were the extra kids he didn't have, who DID want the farm. He nodded, then my mother's name was called. Nice doctor, explained everything and I mean everything. A fair amount of it went over my mother's head, either that or she didn't want to hear it or couldn't hear it. Between the surgeon, her primary doctor, and her cardiologist, I spent about three hours on the phone yesterday, trying to clarify how she is supposed to safely get off one blood thinner and transition to another prior to the surgery. Half the time, I was on hold, using up more of the fucks I'd otherwise be writing.

Since my mother will be recuperating at my house, I have some cleaning to do. She said I could send out a vague email to the siblings since this may affect her 90th birthday celebration, which unlike my washing machine, certain family members have caused more agitation than I care to address at this time. My sister who is helpful is coming up for four days. Other siblings show a distant interest, but not enough. Not nearly enough.

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