Today we were running so late. Michael just could not get his act in gear and I am not used to it. He’s someone who has always been 45 minutes to an hour early. He hates being late. So when he decided to take a shower when we had to be out of there in 15 minutes on my time (and I am either on time or 10-20 minutes late), it threw me. It’s so unlike him.

He zones out a lot and he zoned out in the middle of the shower, the middle of getting dressed and then as we were trying to leave he suddenly decided he needed to make the bed. He has not made a bed since we’ve been married. He also circled the living room about 5 times and I know this is all the brain tumor, but I had to get him out the door.

We managed to get there on time but wouldn’t have if traffic did not cooperate. On Fridays it’s lighter than usual. So he had his treatment and then I stopped to get us coffee and we were both feeling much better. We were joking and laughing. He goes in and out of “old Michael” and when he’s himself (the person I know and love), I try to enjoy it. Instead of taking off as soon as we had the coffee, I sat in the car talking to him and joking with him. Then we slowly made our way home.

Lately he has been craving a Sabrett hotdog and on the way, we spied one at a turnoff on the Hudson.

It was a beautiful day so we decided to stop. Michael kept raving about how great it was to have a Sabrett and I was happy he was happy.

The weather was gorgeous and I had my camera with me because I tend to carry it in the fall in case there is a nice foliage picture to snap.

Michael eating his Sabrett

Michael eating his Sabrett

Looking at the Hudson

Looking at the Hudson

Hudson in Autumn

Hudson in Autumn

Autumn in New York

Autumn in New York

So we headed out and it was a very nice stop. We stopped again down the road and just walked around a bit. It was really nice.

Then I stopped at the store because we are having a lot of visitors this weekend and I wanted to have some food in the house. I swung into a parking space and it was an expectant mother space so I started to back out but Michael had undone his seatbelt and jumped out of the car. I was afraid he was going to run in front of a car so I stopped and got out with him.

During our shopping trip it was impossible to direct him. I kept telling him to go right and he would go left. I would tell him to stay still and he would take off. He pushed the cart into other people. It was like having my 4 year old grandson with me, only CJ tends to mind and Michael does not. Michael was upset that I was talking to him like he was CJ and I calmed down and said, “Honey, we’re leaving in a minute, just stay with me please.” He wouldn’t and at one point I lost him completely.

I found him 10 minutes later talking somewhat incoherently to a woman who worked there. He thought we were at another store and was asking her for something they only have at the other store. She kept explaining to him that they didn’t have it and he kept saying, “Right over there, it’s always right over there!”

I hooked my arm in his and gently moved him back to where my shopping cart was. I kept trying to steer him and the shopping cart at the same time and I would trip over one or the other. After a while I gave up and just went to the checkout, missing about 5 things I really needed.

While I was packing the groceries and trying to pay, Michael kept moving the cart in front of the checkout next to ours, blocking the way. Someone would move it back and he would move it back where he put it. Then he started taking all the groceries out of the bags I just put them in. He was holding the bag up and letting all the groceries fall out of the bag and into the cart. People were looking at us and I was trying to pack, repack, pay and redirect him. And he was getting angry at me.

I had the same issue trying to get out of the store with him and the groceries, only now everyone was looking at us. I wheeled us to parking space and people were staring at us…we were in the expectant mother spot and even though there were other, open expectant mother spots, we were getting dirty looks. I’ve been an expectant mother and even when I was 3 weeks over my due date, getting around was never as difficult as this day with Michael was. Yet, I still got those looks. Thank you world.

I wish we had a sign. He looks perfectly normal but between the tumor and the radiation and the ADHD and his baseline lack of attention, it’s impossible to manuveur him sometimes. I want to scream when people are looking at him like he’s drunk or stoned or just incredibly stupid. But what would our sign say? Excuse me I am a cancer patient with a brain tumor.

And I drove home tense and upset. I don’t want to be angry and I wasn’t…it was more like frustrated…but it’s hard and I have to grieve for the person who is my partner, who is a support and a help in life…who is not there. And because he floats in and out of being there sometimes he “comes to” when I’m in the middle of treating him like a 4 year old and he gets angry with me.

I got home and got his meds and some food and he relaxed on the couch. At one point he looked at me and smiled and I had to leave the room and go cry in the kitchen.

Right now I’m so confused and my feelings are all over the map. I’m just so tired all the time. Tired and tending to get cranky sometimes.

But I love him and I love the good minutes of the mixed days and am learning to cope with the not-so-good ones.

Today we had all that frustration at the store but we also had a glorious stop along the Hudson.

It’s the stop I’ll take with me after today and let the rest of it go.

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