Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Some days are such a study in contrasts that they astound me. I started off the day determined that I was feeling better and would not cave in to the fact that I barely have a voice. First matter at hand was gathering the energy to get out of bed and take a shower!! As you can see below, Ms G jumped in to my spot as soon as my feet hit the floor, convincing me further that she knows what is best for me, as there is no way I would have disturbed her royal highness by climbing back in to bed.Empowered by a cup of Earl Gray and a shower, I decided to tackle an ongoing issue, that of trying to reach the Social Security Administration by phone, for help with my claim. I have spent 20 hours, YES 20 hours over the past month, on hold. I was told to file my claim on line in Oct.....I did, and the process was quite painless. At the time of filing, they issued me a confirmation number which I was to use in any subsequent communication with SSA. It has served to get me nowhere. They also told me that I would receive contact by mail confirming that I would start receiving checks January '09. Having heard nothing has been very annoying, and this morning's call was just as bad. After waiting 35 minutes on hold, a very disorganized woman who did not communicate well, took a bit of info from me, put me back on hold and finally came back and said my claim has not been processed yet and to call back another time. GRRRRRR.
Raspy weak voice and all, I was off to work after dealing with my ice covered car. The morning was tough and I really just wanted to come home and sleep all afternoon and not be stressing my voice. At lunch, I perked up and talked myself into going back to the office (it helped nicely to have a few minutes on the phone with LM). I was not back at the office 10 minutes, when I got a call from a very kind gentleman at the local SS office!! (His call was unconnected to any of the calls I had made for help in the last two months.) I was informed that he is handling my claim and just needed one more bit of information from me. Just think, if I had not gone back to the office, I would have missed his call! I was able to fax him the info within 10 minutes and it looks like I will be hearing from him very soon about my benefits. You see, Ms G made me keep going this morning....she's a little angel.

There were so many things happening in the lives of my loved ones today....some good, some sort of troubling, and some tragic.......LM called me 1/2 hour ago to give me the news that Bob has an aggressive form of bladder cancer. It is heartbreaking. Many decisions to be made, many arrangements to be made. They are taking it one day at a time, but right now it is paramount to build up some strength for Bob and this news certainly doesn't cause him to want to take in more nourishment. VNA is helping and within a week there will be surgery to remove the tumor. Radiation has been ruled out and it looks like Bob could not survive chemotherapy. It is a miasma of "what to do's" right now. Bob is kindness personified and it is so painful to see him suffer.
So it has been a day of contrasts........in our all too brief conversation this evening, LM and I (really all Bob has for emotional support) decided we will handle this as simply as possible with a focus on compassion for Bob and making him happy and comfortable physically & emotionally. Tomorrow he wants to show LM where some of his very valuable collections are kept, and my sweet man agreed to make that possible and just let Bob enjoy the process, as it means so much.
He is also very determined to get all his papers in order, finish his will, etc. It is only 2 years since LM lost his dear Lillian (partner of 12 years) to cancer. This is bringing that all back for him but he seems resolute and focused on what he must do to help his dearest friend ride out this storm, wherever the winds will take them.

Another work day looms, and I must continue my own recovery so I can be of more help with Bob, and enjoy Anne's visit later in the week.
Contrasts and tests are certainly motivating.....we have our share. I am going to review my gratitude list as I tuck myself in next to Ms. G.

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