Saturday, July 25, 2015

It's Pyjama Day

So normally I would be wearing David's XXL flannels and socks up to my knees and a sweatshirt and slippers, but for two months out of the year it is actually warm enough to wear this sexy little number.

Pyjama day is when I stay inside, and watch Real Housewives of whatever and lay about the house and don't bother with make up or real clothes. It is great especially when you have gained so much weight that you have gone up an entire size.

So back to the topic at hand. Super exciting and not boring at all to talk about. CANCER.

My Mom is not responding to transfusions anymore, which happens eventually with her type of Leukaemia.  So it's getting time to day good bye to her.

But how do you say goodbye to your mom? My dad disappeared one night while I was at a junior high dance. When I woke up and my mom told me he had a heart attack and I imagined a hospital room, one last hug, a chance to tell him that he was my dad and I loved him no matter what. His co-workers showed up in the middle of the night to break the news.

There was no goodbye.

So, how do you say good bye to your Mom? I really fucking want to know. I would rather slam a hammer to my teeth and pull out my eyelashes with pliers.

My step-dad is just as angry and sad as I am, and through it all he has become like a real dad to me. A feeling of safety I lost when I was 13 and never thought I would feel again.

Here is a story my boss told me. He is a doctor but above all he is funny and super smart and only hires crazy super cool women who give me hugs when I get bad news. (normally no hugs in France).

David's blood is like Afghanistan, and one women decides that she is going to make one million babies instead of the normal two.

They are going to kill everyone in Afghanistan to make sure this one women is dead and all her millions of babies. Then they will re-populate  the entire country with David's brothers bone marrow i.e immigrants.

If it works he is cured for life. If it does not work he dies,


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Chez Nous

David has been home for a week now. Originally he was dreaming about steak for his first meal but when he finally got out he wanted me to make him my Mom's specialtly. Mac and cheese.

We went to see Avengers 2 and got Chipotle to go and the next day he made shepherds pie and the day after that he was craving shakshuka so I don't know how but chemo killed the cells that make him French.

We have stayed in our neighborhood mostly, except to go get his hair did and buy two hats.

It's nice to have him home. We are crossing our fingers and our toes that he has the full 15 days off before he starts the second round of chemo, but every extra day is special. And every day that goes by and they don't call is great. As much as we want this all over with, I think after more than a month we really need a break. It's so nice to go home after work instead of heading to the hospital. And it's great to enjoy the sun and the nice spring weather together.


Monday, April 20, 2015


I always imagined that my first experience in a French hospital would be having a baby. So imagine my surprise when it is not me in that hospital bed but my husband.

Shortly after arriving home after three weeks working in Barcelona David was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and began treatment immediately. He has been sequestered in his room since March 29th and all visitors have to wear a robe, a mask and a hair bonnet and are not allowed to touch him and have to stay right next to the door in order to contain contamination.

He has a very similar leukemia as my mom. And while my Mom battles it out doing her second round of chemo my brain battles it out trying to think of her and what she is dealing with when all I do is metro boulet hosptial dodo and my body battles it out needing to be two places at once. And at the same time not wanting to be in either place.

There have been many other great and horrible things going on, but this has brought all that minutiae into the forefront and I can just brush it away and focus on being positive.

My boss is a doctor and he said that normally a doctor only comes across this type of cancer once in his career and he couldn't believe that a person could have both their mother and husband suffering from this kind of cancer at the same time.

This is just too fucked up for me to cry over. Yeah I cried the first week but it is just fucking ridiculous.  Throw in a demanding boss who thinks he is helpful by keeping me 'distracted' aka swamped with work, and a revolving door of French people who only turn off the French radio to turn on the tv for three weeks and my brain has just had it. David doesn't want people to feel sorry for him so he doesn't want anyone to know but I cant keep my mouth shut forever.

We kept it lighthearted at first with jokes about playing nurse and Maza Cat-Chatting with him to say mean things about me.

David is really taking this role playing game too far

David and I are in a competition to see who can lose the most weight. If he wins he gets my most prized possession. My 15 year old fat mean cat and I will let her sleep on his side of the bed. If I win I get the full L.A California plastic surgery. Duck lips, nose job and cannon ball implants.

And jokes about fresh baby blood being delivered from the children's ward upstairs every time he got a transfusion.

David finally got h is own cat

Despite me taking away her wi-fi Maza is still sexting David using CatChat. And she told him she can get duck lips too if he wants. This bitch is going to the taxidermist tomorrow.

But that all stopped when he got really sick. For more than two weeks he has had chills and fever, throwing up, can't sleep and has stopped eating.

Ice bucket to cool his intravenous liquids to help lower his fever

It's rough seeing someone you love suffer. And it's worse when you can't touch them at all, not even to pull the blanket up or give them some water or a hug.

And a few days ago, he was fed up and exhausted and told me to write down his funeral requests. And that's when he said the sweetest saddest thing he has ever said to me. He said he wanted his ashes scattered at Bridgeport in California. It's just a small spot on the river where we spent the summers together swimming and playing Uno. And out of the places we have been together it's still our favorite spot.

Needless to say I am learning all sorts of new French words. Words I never wanted to know.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Metro, Boulot, Dodo

I signed on the dotted line...... and now I am a full-time employee! With keys to the office and everything. I obviously won't be writing about work because the fact that I was able to find a job when my French is so atrocious is a miracle and I don't want to fuck that up.

I have worked since I was 17 so I enjoyed the first few years off. We consolidated two apartments when we moved to France so organising that mess was a full time job.  We planned our wedding and got married, and I was going to school at Sorbonne, so I was pretty busy. And we moved again after two years, so that kept me occupied for a while. But not having any responsibilities was getting to be a drag. Most of my friends here work, so it wasn't like I was living a the fabulous life of a lady who lunches. And I loved that I had so much freedom, but the only thing I ever accomplished was vacuuming the baseboards or organising everything we owned to fit it into our little apartment.

At the end of the day I was the only one that knew I had cleaned the fridge or put our 35 apartment keys in some kind of order. And housework is not exactly mentally challenging. Also not having my "own" money was depressing. It's one thing to blow money at the sales when you earn it. Blowing someones else's money does not have the same thrill for me. I was super independent before France, and starting over from zero was horrible for my self esteem.

So when I got the offer, I snapped it up and started interning over the summer so I could hit the ground running in September. It's basically office work, but Outlook, Word and Excel are in French, and I answer the phones and speak and write in French all day so it's good for my language skills.

At first I couldn't type anymore because the English and French keyboards are similar so on the French one it's the m and a and periods and commas that are different, but now when I am at home I keep getting q's and ; when I type a and m. I still have a hard time typing, especially on my laptop since I don't type very much outside of work. But that also means I can give away the english keyboard we were holding on to in case I ever found a job. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the back of some useless junk that was cluttering up the apartment.

And my house is a mess. The last thing I want to do at the end of the day is vacuum or change the sheets. But it's all worth it when my measly salary hits our account. It's not enough to even cover rent but it's almost enough and a lot more then nothing.

But most of all, I finally feel like a real Parisienne with my very own metro, boulot, dodo routine.
(metro, work, sleep, repeat).