11 March, 2006

Update - Family, Depression, Blogging

So this past week I've been pretty absent from blog -- at least, compared to my activity in the past. This is probably due to the fact that my double-depression has kicked in.

You see, this past week, I found out that my grandfather's melanoma has spread to his lymph nodes. He's scheduled to go in for surgery this coming Tuesday, March 14, 2006. That's the eve of the Ides of March, which typically is not considered to be a good day where luck is concerned (reference the assassination of Julius Caesar).

Apparently, this means that he now has Stage III malignant melanoma. The prognosis for Stage III malignant melanoma is mixed ... he has a 30-70% survival rate, based on 5-year survival rate studies for this stage. If the melanoma progresses to Stage IV, then the prognosis becomes very bleak. Since his melanoma has gone from Stage I to Stage III, all the negative energy in me converts this into thinking that he's going to reach Stage IV.

When my grandfather was first diagnosed with melanoma, they did all the testing and such and told him that it hadn't spread, and chances were good that it wouldn't spread. So take together the fact that we've gone from Stage I to Stage II to Stage III, plus his surgery being scheduled one the eve of the Ides of March, put that all together, and then maybe you can see why I'm thinking that he's going to end up in Stage IV at some point and this, essentially, is the beginning of the end.

Also this week, my father told me that he had a stroke last year, which has caused permanent damage, and mainly affects his memory (which, he surmises, is probably why he didn't tell me until now -- he forgot he hadn't told me yet). He hasn't told anyone else, other than his wife, about the stroke.

Additionally, my sister is now bitching to me about how our mother is refusing to see her daughter (my niece, my mother's first grandchild), because of a disagreement that she and my sister are having (which I won't even begin to get into here now). My sister and my mother, essentially, baiting me to take sides, which I'm refusing to do. I can see points to both of their opinions, and they're both being stubborn by refusing to make the first move to talk to the other about their feelings. But still, because they're family, I have to sit and listen to them.

Happy Happy, Joy Joy.

This is just typical of my life these days, though. Take, for instance, the year of my car accident:

I was involved in a fatal automobile accident in January, 2002. Apparently, there was a head-on collision between my car and another car. I was driving alone, as was the other drive. I had the misfortune of living, the other drive died. I don't remember a thing about the accident -- even of being involved in an accident. Apparently, this is typical for people who have gone through severely traumatic events such as very bad auto accidents. I spent bout four months in the Trauma Unit of Westchester Medical Center recovering from my injuries. Half of that time was spent in the hospital being treated for my injuries, the other half was spent in the rehab section of the hospital (that's physical rehabilitation). Here's a picture of the accident scene:


I got out of the hospital, and started treatment for my depression. A few weeks into it, I wound up in the psychiatric unit at United Hospital (which has gone out of business) for a few weeks. I came out, and then wound up in the psych unit of Westchester Medical Center -- they call it the Behavioral Health Center -- where I spent the next seven months.

During my stay there, my grandmother, who raised me and essentially acted as a surrogate mother to me, died. That was in July, 2002. In the beginning of September, another patient, with whom I had developed a deep friendship, hung herself -- in the bathroom right outside of my room. I saw her as I was coming out of my room, as the staff was opening the door to the bathroom at the same time. Later that month, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Around my birthday in October, my father told me that he had gotten remarried -- back in June. And then, when I was discharged a few days before Christmas, my grandfather went into the hospital with pneumonia.

Oh, and did I mention that the friend I had moved out to Phoenix, Arizona with back in 1999 had died the same year? In fact, I think he died the same day I wound up going into WCMC's Behavioral Health hospital. I loved him very much, and was probably even in love with him (he loved me, too, although the "in-love" part probably wasn't reciprocated). But he's another story.
R.I.P. Roscoe R. Loper, IV.

So you see, this kind of trauma has been my life, especially since my car accident. And this is probably why I keep lapsing into these double-depressions so often.

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