November 17th, 2009


[links] Link salad futzes into Tuesday

Scrivener's Error on the updates to the vile Google Books Settlement — Yep, copyright theft is still copyright theft. Way to not be evil, boys.

Downloading Optimism — Artist Lucy Knisley on digital books. Worth the read.

Fire and Ice: 1900Shorpy with some real steampunk.

Anonymous Doc on on unusual medical procedures — A stool transplant? (The first part of the link is about something else entirely, and is rather sad. Interesting blog to follow.)

A 25-year battery — Can I have one for my iPhone?

?otD: Why do they call it Twin Peaks when there's three hilltops?

Body movement: 60 minute urban walk (San Francisco hills!)
Hours slept: 6.0
This morning's weigh-in: 234.5
Currently reading: Finch by Jeff VanderMeer


[cancer] Crossing the Rubicon

There are moments in life which you cannot take back or do over. The first time you say "I love you" to someone who has become important. Signing your mortgage papers. Birthing a child. Whatever happens, you've jumped, and there's no going back. Your life will be forever different.

I am coming to see this impending thoracic surgery as such a Rubicon for me. Not the surgical procedure itself, I suppose, but the milestone of passing from diagnosis of this second round of cancer, which has been going on since May, to treatment, which will likely go on through next June at the earliest. Over a year of my life spent on this single, deadly issue. And this surgery is the pivot point.

Things will be different. I spent a lot of time convincing myself that last year's cancer was a fluke, a one time event from which I would recover and return to the general population of risk, mortality, life expectancy, baseline health and so forth. Now we know my colon continues to produce precancerous polyps, and we have this tumor to take out of my lung, and we have the near-certainty of chemotherapy. I will never return to the general population. There is a new normal in my life, and it will always have me one scan away from very bad news indeed.

Take that sense of transition, and combine it with the usual fears of surgery, and my larger fears of chemotherapy, and invest it all in a Wednesday morning check-in time at the hospital for my nacho-ectomy, and you have my Rubicon.

Life will be different. More different than anything I've ever done, in some ways. Yet, as calendula_witch keeps reminding me, I am still me, and I will continue to be me. I seem to be living a life filled with love and madness.

Even now, I have no regrets. Only hopes and fears.


[conventions] Au Contraire and AussieCon 4

calendula_witch and I have redeemed a metric tonne of frequent flyer miles, and now can officially announce that cancer permitting, we will be flying to the south Pacific next summer, to attend Au Contraire in Wellington, New Zealand (where we will also be visiting danjite and khaybee), then AussieCon 4 in Melbourne, Australia.

We are tremendously excited.

[funny] Wisdom of the Niece

lillypond, a/k/a my sister, reports of her daughter, almost six years of age:
Two nights ago we got on the subject of things we are thankful for and she told me, "I'm thankful for the earth and all the planets. And I'm thankful for the solar system. But I'm not thankful for wormholes. They take you places and you can't get back."

Last night we got into a conversation about periods, she wondered about the blood and why it happened, so yes we did end up talking about ovaries and the uterus and how a woman's body prepares for a baby and when it does not get pregnant we have a menstrual cycle. She noted that she didn't have a period and we talked about how her body was still young and not ready to have a baby, and I told her was like those parts in her were still brand new and hadn't been opened yet.

Then we talked about how even though your body thinks its ready in its teens, when most girls get their period for the first time, your mind still isn't ready until years later. She talked some more about her body was still too young and I said yes, her parts were still in hibernation. She said, "No Mom, my ovaries aren't hibernating. They are pointing at my stomach and my liver and laughing and saying, ha ha, you have to work and I don't!"


[cancer|writing] Commitments - some met, some shed

As my cancer surgery approaches, and the indeterminate recovery period, followed by the runup to chemo, I am closing out my commitments. Some have been met, some I am shedding. I'll deliver "The Specific Gravity of Grief" to the requesting editor before surgery next week, and I'll meet my contract commitments on Endurance next spring. Other than that, everything's being cut until I know what my resources are, in terms of time, energy and my ability to write under adverse medical circumstances.

That being said, if I've promised you a story, or I owe you a blurb, a book in the mail or something else, and you have not heard from me already, now would be an excellent time to remind me. (Among other things, stress is rather savagely robbing both my memory and my focus on follow-through.) After early next week, my ability to even pay attention, let alone deliver, will be compromised for a while.

So please, hit me in comments or via email if it looks like I'm not going to do something you're counting on. We'll negotiate from there.