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Medicine

Journal Journal: Heavy sigh 2

Update, doing my best not to rant or whine, just the facts and a couple opinions.

          She's had unilateral lymphoedema in her rt. leg for a couple months - started with a swollen foot, now it's reached her thigh, it changed her gait about 2 months ago, which brought pain to the knee (patello-femoral pain syndrome - long term meaning "knee ouch"), pain which has since worsened to the point that it's multiple percocet by day, morphine (still oral, yay for small favors) at night.

          She recently had her bilateral j-stents replaced, her kidneys came back into normal range, then they gave her an IV-contrast CT scan - bring out the buckets, her system HATES that contrast. We got the preliminary results by phone yesterday: "irregularities" in her pelvis, liver and chest - all lymph nodes scanned are enlarged.

          If it weren't for the knee, she'd be *feeling* okay - no gross symptoms yet.

          She's been fighting this crap off and on (mostly on) for 6 and a half years.

          Her oncologist has her on a trial of Faslodex (fulvestrant), hoping to see her OCA count come down and everything else shrink back to healthy.

          If I can bring any good at all out of this it's the following:

          Ladies, demand that your Dr. add the OCA-125 test to your blood tests at exam time - it's how we discovered her disease so early - men, do the same on behalf of the ladies you care about.

          Cancer *can* be fought - make sure any health-care providers are on the same page as far as attitude, or change them until the ones you have are (we went through 3, all *very* intelligent clinicians/ all more interested in statistics than bedside manner).

          Nobody guarantees us more than today. We joke about
          "What would you do if an earth-killing meteor was detected, and you only had x minutes?"
          "Probably try for one last bout of wild-monkey love - of course, my luck, the meteor would skip off the atmosphere, and I'd go to jail for lewd public behavior..."

Some of us, when we say "for better or for worse", truly mean it.

Tomorrow marks the 14th anniversary of our wedding.

Medicine

Journal Journal: Further update 1

We've had a conversation with her oncologist, a *very* good Dr., awesome combination of clinical education and bedside manner - he's including us in the plan to the extents allowed by law and sense - trouble is, the treatment option cupboard is looking mighty bare, we're down to one. last. option.
No suspense, if there is only one straw, we're gonna clutch at it, maybe build a house out of it and stand guard against wolves with a shotgun.

Medicine

Journal Journal: Angel update (calmer me) 3

Well, I've calmed down some: after a visit to an ER on the 9th, resulting in the discovery of 3 clots around her lungs, an overnight hospital stay, and a massive/rapidly-applied course of blood thinners, we brought her home - 4 days of sub-cutaneous levidox (sp?) injections left bruises that would've had her in a shelter and me in jail had anyone seen them w/o the real explanation.
Fast forward to Monday last (7/20), when she went in for a routine day-surgery, the replacement (bilateral) of her ureteral double-ended "J" stents - the actual procedure went perfectly smoothly, but when they tried to bring her out of anesthesia, her blood O2 wouldn't stabilize, so they put her back under, re-entubed her, and left her sedated for 19 hours until they could get a lung specialist and some tests back - they stopped the oxygen, but left the tube in for an hour, then removed the trach tube and put her on a nasal oxygen feed, then removed that all the while very carefully watching her O2 levels...
Badness: when my mother passed, before my out-of state family could get in to say good-bye, she spent 4 days on life support - machine breathing for her by way of a trach-tube, tongue relaxed, tip protruding slightly - fast-forward to Mon night, when that was almost exactly the same picture/sight I had of my wife, before they told me I probably shouldn't wake her due to the tube...
Terror comes in many forms, I might've slept 2 nightmare hours Mon. night.
We jumped through all the hoops they set up to get her released, we've been home since Tuesday (yesterday) afternoon, now all we've got left is a CT scan (Friday, if her kidneys are up to the IV contrast) and a visit with her oncologist on Tuesday next to discuss new treatment options - the oral she is on was, they think, what caused the clots.
So, how's everyone *else's* month gone?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Fire my writer! (warning: hateful/self-pitying rant) 9

Okay, so, life is scripted, by some invisible infinite all-knowing cruel RAT BASTARD. My wife has been holding endometrial cancer at bay for the last year by means of Megesterol (sp?): a medication that simultaneously blocks estrogen uptake, increases appetite (since countered by Paxil, but not until she'd added 50 pounds to an already-overweight frame), and *may* (they told us in the fine print) cause blood clots. After an episode of sever shortness of breath on Wednesday last, we went to her Dr. on Thursday - they tested her O2 while walking 100 feet, then told us we were going to the local ER for immediate tests - sure enough, 3 clots in her lungs. Anybody ever try to sleep in a hospital waiting room chair? Next to a spouse in critical condition?
Small favors, they were able to get her onto a self-injectable blood thinner along with a coumadin regimen, so we can treat her at home.
How she copes? A truly devoted, but alas all-too-human, husband as coach - where do I go when *I* need coaching? Certainly *not* church, as I've seen what happens to those their god loves - thrown out of gardens for eating fruit, surrendered to Satan to be tested as a reward for being most faithful servant, hung on a cross to die by way of a father's love for his son...
Not co-workers - they have trouble coping with such mundanities as getting hours cut or which responsibilities are whose...
We're all gonna die - What happens after, who knows. Can anybody, anybody at all, tell me what kind of infinite moron, with the power to cause all of this to be, create such a fucking mess so that (supposedly his favorite) creations had no hope of using the one gift he gave them (logical thought) to understand anything like rules? Some kind of feedback system that actually worked, where jerks like me get our comeuppances and angels like her do NOT suffer BULLSHIT like what she's going through?
I'll be lucky to have her another year - probably less, the way things look right now - the chemotherapies they've tried don't work, and to boot, any treatments she's had before, chemo or radiation, would cause such further damage to whatever organs they affect that they're inadvisable.
I am residing in a body that stands 6 foot 9 inches tall and weighs 305 pounds - I have an IQ that measures well above 140 - I am not awesomely fit nor strong, but strong enough for my size - I have read most major religions' core teachings, and in the face of a microscopic invader in my wife's body I. am. powerless?
You, you infinite creator/director/producer/scriptwriter/ROTTEN PIECE OF SHIT, if you exist at all, you're FIRED!!!
Burn yourself in the hells you've supposedly created, unless you give my wife back her health. right the FUCK now.
How pathetic am I? I got nowhere else to go.

The Almighty Buck

Journal Journal: It's not news 2

It's not *really* "news", it's Jon Stewart, but I found his recent interview with this guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Schiff

Interesting, and somewhat terrifying.

Education

Journal Journal: The World is Flat 3.0

http://www.nlp-times.com/2009/06/07/updating-your-mental-software-the-world-is-flat-30/

No lie - are *you* ready?

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Last Night (relax, safe for work) 2

Despite personal economics, my wife and I said the hell with it and got tickets (11th row center-aisle +1 & +2) to see Carlos Mencia live (At Close Range Tour) - I had some misgivings, as he is not kind to people of size: It was the best entertainment investment I've ever made. The man is hilarious! And, he has a serious work ethic - he hit stage at about 8:45, when he started his encore, it was 11:15 or so, and he kept working, stayed until all of us who wanted souvenir signed T-Shirts and photos with him could get them - we got a second one for our youngest, who ships to Afghanistan soon (Airborne!), and he said some kind words about conflict intensity and relative troop safety when he was there doin' shows for the troops.
          AND! Classless me, I took the one shot I've had to talk face to face with someone of that caliber in the TV industry and asked him point blank "Wanna buy a game show?" Rather than scoff or laugh in my face or some other dismissal (as my much more proper wife was dragging me away), he trusted me with an email address to open negotiations!
IMNSHO, the man showed true class and work ethic by the amount of performance time he delivered for the ticket investment, demonstrating much of why he is as successful as he is, and I would heartily recommend seeing his show if he's in a town you can get to to do so.
(Keep your fingers crossed for me on the game show thing: It could be a life-changer!)

Hardware Hacking

Journal Journal: Cool kid! 2

http://greenbuildingelements.com/2009/02/26/12-year-old-makes-homeless-shelter-from-trash/

User Journal

Journal Journal: Funny 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5sTBrs4fhQ

'nuffsaid!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Dragged in 1

Shun me, friend me, I finally caved and started a 'myspace' account - look for rwm6f9 if you care at all.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ask a subset 1

Okay, I've got a Wii, and want to rent games for it before committing to owning them - has anyone had any experiences good, bad, or otherwise, with gamefly, gametap, or any other such game rental places? Suggestions as to which one would have the widest selection of Wii games and best rate for one-at-a-time rental no late fee programs? Thank you!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Catching up, blogging, (boredom, might be bragging warnings) 6

Snowed in in Kitsap might be a better title, but what the hell: Thursday was snow day off work, Friday was scheduled off anyway for an appointment that didn't happen due to the other party not getting to their office - 'salright, we got the cash portion of my mother's estate distributed, the property is still pending everybody being able to get to the attorneys' office: I know, using attorney might be seen as lazy/bad, but given the mess my mother left, I'm entirely glad that 1) I wasn't named executor ("personal representative" is the new PC-speak) and 2) we could advise my step-sister to send all inquiries to said attorney's office.
          Ever wanted to disown siblings? 'Nuffsaid! (Thank you, Mr. Lee)
          Meanwhile back at the (snowed under) farm... Paid off my wife's truck and medical bills, did some splurging on wardrobe replacements and toys, and am replacing income lost due to not being able to get to work - tried on Saturday, helping out because area manager forgot to shut off order availabilities, national customer service called to cancel, we tried delivering anyway - 6 hours for 5 deliveries, 2 of 'em to house-bound wheelchair-bound - I truly enjoy my job when we're helping those who truly need our service...
      The wife-angel is still fighting round 4 with her cancer - the truly great news is that the med regimen she's on is oral/non-chemo, so very few very mild side-effects, and her OCA count is dropping, while her kidney functions are almost all back within norms - one of them will not be, she'll show the damage on every test for life, but the others are okay.
        Number one son is kicking ass writing code in LA, apparently happier than a pig in slop - missing him, but glad he isn't trapped at the airport.
          Number one step-son is bemoaning 3 FEET of snow at Flagstaff, he's getting uncle sam to under-write his college via ROTC (Army, at that!), so he's good...
          Number two step-son is just flat kicking ass and taking no names whatsoever: In a training exercise in CA (JUST out of Basic/AIT/Airborne), he drew some high-level attention to himself with his performance: A Lt. Col. and Command Sgt. Major got together and decided he needed to go to Ranger selection and Sniper training (he was in the third of the class that graduated selection), he went back to his duty station for a week, two weeks leave for holidays, then he goes to Sniper school before getting rotated to whatever's next.
          Me? I'm following through on going back to school in spring to start the finish of my Bachelor's degree in psych - now that the wife's health is not a claim on my time and finances are straight, no more excuses! The Wii Fit will help me get my health/fitness back...
          All in all, a good period in our lives to be celebrated - Solstice, Christmas, Saturnalia, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Hannukah, insert-name-of-holiday-here, they're all good - once the snow melts so I can finish the shopping for my wife-angel, (doing my bit to support the local economy, doncha know), everything will be as good as it can be for the moment - a long drawn out way of saying my wishes that goodness also surrounds my Slashdot friends now and throughout the coming year.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Friend reason: Dragnl0rd

I just wanna know how the hell my son wound up with a lower UID than mine - unless he signed up during that dark period when both of us worked for the same batch of ungrateful bastards...

United States

Journal Journal: Letter of Secession 3

Dear Red States:
          If you manage to steal this election too we've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren't aware, that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan,
Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.
          To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss. We get 85% of
America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama.
We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.
Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22% lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.
          Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once.
If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq , and hope that the
WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.
          With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80% of the country's fresh water, more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce, 92% of the nation's fresh fruit, 95% of America's quality wines, 90% of all cheese, 90% of the high tech industry, 95% of the corn and soybeans (thanks Iowa!), most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all
living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.
          With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92% of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100% of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.
We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.
          Additionally, 38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the war, the death penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory, 53% that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher
morals then we lefties.
Finally, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.
Peace out,
--Blue States

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