Today I am just going to be catty and sarcastic for fun......it's my sweet spot.
Everyone sends me messages these days, a lot more than before Laura and cancer. They offer empathy and sympathy and for some reason milk. I am told more often than any other statement "If there is anything we can do, just let us know. If you need milk. let me know." Apparently, during this process, milk is very necessary. I am unsure why, as we have plenty of milk. We have whole milk, 2%, and Oat milk. I have yet to see any of the girls laying on the floor with bowls of dry cereal howling for milk. Everyone wants to run to the store for me, which is very nice. But I let them know right away if we need anything from the store I AM GOING. That is my one trip out of the house for the day and you're not taking that away from me. Let me tell you, when I get to the store, I take my time. It's like being at Disney World for 30 minutes. I know that all of these wonderful people are just being super sweet. They're not sure what to do or say and just want to be helpful. I hope you're laughing a bit, cause that is what this is all about. I am so grateful to have so many people willing to help me at a moment's notice.
Laura sleeps a lot of the day, is up a few times, hits a sweet spot around 4pm, and stays up until 9 or 10pm. There is plenty of time for me to go to the store, the bank, whatever. Obviously, I don't go too far away. She is on a pain management schedule that I am in charge of administering. In the other parts of the day I am cleaning the house, organizing my studio, and helping the Blood Brothers tour with hotels and flights. It gets boring and slow for a guy that is used to moving constantly. I don't do "slow" very well. I continue to run every day on the treadmill and do 120 daily pushups. But I miss the hustle and bustle of touring and moving around. Even in the past when at home, Laura was always going. She never sat still much. She was working in the yard or had projects she was doing. We were going out to eat and see the local theater group that Laura's mother is working with. Now it's just slower and calm, and simple. It takes more focus to stay here and stay in the moment. Laura has a port to drain fluid from her abdomen. She has ascites from liver failure. I have to drain her belly once a day and clean the port and change her bandage. The tape sticks to her skin and hurts to peel off. We have to use these pads to loosen the tape from her skin. It's a very slow and sometimes painful process for her. It makes me sad for her and I try to not get frustrated. I am also thankful that I get this time with her together to just be close. We hold hands and watch tv, and sometimes we dance in the kitchen to no music. Laura is in a very good state of mind. She laughs and is silly and fun most days. She's got great pain meds to help her and sometimes they work too well. She will kind of walk in circles and just start laughing. She says "Ok, I don't know what the hell I was trying to do just now." I usually tell her I am jealous!
We have had several visits from family and friends. Of course, everyone wants to see Laura. She would like to see everyone as well, trust me, but it's just not always possible. Like I said, she sleeps most of the day so we limit her visits to maybe one a day and only for a few hours. She doesn't like anything to be loud or noisy, even if it's loud laughter. It startles her. The mood here at the house needs to be medium always. Not doom and gloom and not loud and wild, just medium. She loves to hear about how everyone's doing and what's going on. Her brother Kenny came over last week and told her all about his cars and trucks and what he was fixing up or selling. She was so excited. She loves when friends come over and remind her of fun times they had when they were younger. Obviously, everyone wants to talk to her about her cancer and how she is feeling but that gets old. That's pretty much all she has talked about for the past year and she's tired of talking about it. She wants to hear about life, not her cancer.
I have to say, I feel the same way as Laura. Everyone who talks to me wants to talk about what I am going through. I get it. But I have been going through this since last April, this isn't new. It's all-consuming. I want to talk about music, guitars, tv shows, movies, comedians.....anything else, please. I get so many wonderful messages and calls from friends, family, and fans offering to talk to me. It's really over the top. But to tell you the truth, I don't want to talk about this anymore. I have a sponsor and some very dear close friends that I talk to regularly and those are really the only people I trust to talk about my feelings with. I don't need to talk to everyone about my personal thoughts and feelings. If we have never had deep personal conversations before, why would we do that now? I promise I know that people are just trying to be helpful and of service. I also know that when most people offer to talk with me what they're really offering is to "talk", not listen. Listening is very difficult. They want to tell me about their problems and what they think I should do or feel. When I do share with some people they try and tell me that I can't think like that or feel like that. They tell me I am feeling wrong and need to feel like they would feel. It's weird. When someone asks me how I am doing I will usually answer "pretty good". That is an honest answer. They seem a little stunned at first. How is that possible that I am doing "pretty good"? It's possible because I pray every day. I believe in a God of my understanding and I have a relationship with God. I have a deep understanding of life and death from being in recovery for 20 years. My sponsor and the program have been training me for a situation just like this for years. I am spiritually prepared. It does not make it easier, it just makes it doable. I know this is not the end for Laura. I believe in an afterlife. I am also still hopeful and pray for a miracle. I won't stop praying for a miracle until she is no longer here. I have gratitude for the 20 years I have gotten to spend with this wonderful human being. Yes, I am sad I don't get 20 more, but I am not going to ruin the little bit I have left by being resentful and mad, I am grateful. Most people will have never lived and loved as much as Laura and myself did in an entire lifetime, let alone 20 years. What a blessing that I get to be here with her now. She saved my life in 2003. She saved me from being a dead junkie. I could never repay her for her love and support. To be here now for her and make her comfortable will be the most important thing I do in my life.
People think because I do not cry in front of them that I must not be sad. I am supposed to show a certain amount of sadness in front of everyone so they can feel like I am sad enough. It's pretty weird. I don't cry in front of people much. That is just not who I am. If that is who you are, that's wonderful, but I am not that way. I have cried 1000 times over the past year. I cry alone when it's too much. I cry with Laura when we are alone. I don't have to cry to make you feel better. I have grieved for the past year and cried for the past year....it's your turn to cry and grieve now. I will grieve for years to come, but right now I have a duty to my best friend and to my family. I can cry as much as needed when I am on the other side of this journey. I also get a lot of messages about how we can cure Laura's cancer with some new herbal medicines or sound waves or ivermectin. Again, I know people want to help and I am not opposed to alternative medicines. But know this, Laura has a Rife machine that she uses almost every day. Laura takes dog dewormer for the past 3 months or more. Laura takes Rick Simpson Oil daily. We have tried almost everything you can think of and we continue to try these alternatives, they just don't seem to be working. But, we continue to try and hope. Laura had the best medical team at MD Anderson, thanks to a very dear family friend, and that team of doctors did everything they could for Laura and it just didn't work for very long. It's hard for us to believe that her oncologist couldn't save her but your message on Facebook about baking soda will. At some point, Laura just needs to live whatever amount of life she has left. She gets tired of having to constantly try and be saved.
I hope you know that I love you all. I am thankful for your love and support for me and my family. It's overwhelming the outpouring of love. And while I cannot sit and have a deep conversation with each and everyone one of you, know that I truly appreciate your care and concern. If you want to know what you can do for me, please pray for Laura. If you're not a praying person, please keep a good thought for her. That is really all I ask for. I can get as much milk as we need, trust me. Also, Walmart delivers now. I know a lot of you want to come to see Laura, but she just can't see everyone. She needs to see her family and close friends. I try and read to her all of the comments and posts and messages I get when she gets up for the day. She loves hearing from you. If you message her and she doesn't get back to you, it's just because she's sleepy and slower and not always able to keep up, don't take it personal.
I will continue to share stories of Laura with you and old photos, it's really fun. Laura loves to be reminded of these fun times we had. She never had a great memory, but I do. I will play my guitar on Instagram and share all of the Blood Brothers shows as they continue to tour. I hope you will support Albert and the band and go see them with Gary Hoey. They sound amazing! Yes, I do have a new album I have been working on for the better part of this year. It is a Blues album. Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith are helping me put the song list together. Everyone seems to think I am going to write lots of new songs about this journey with Laura....but I don't think that is possible. Not right now and maybe never. I have certainly written a few, but that's all I can muster. I wouldn't even know how to write songs about what we are going through now. I have no words. I am lucky I can walk through it let alone sing about it.
Make me laugh! I love you all and as Tommy Castro likes to say "Let's keep it fresh"
Peace, Love, Zito