January 22nd, 2010

a-links

[links] Link salad heads for another day of chemotherapy

The larval stages of the common American speculative fiction writer — Me making a funny about aspiring writers. Humor being what it is, a number of commentors objected to my snark about romance. (For the record I was also snarky about spec fic, horror, litfic and screenwriting — the whole piece is one long snark.) See here for a detailed discussion of the thinking behind the failed joke, if you're curious. It was not my intent to offend, and I apologize for that.

J.A. Pitts sees the ball rolling on Black Blade Blues — It's always fun to see a good friend hit the bigs.

xkcd is genius today — As is often the case with xkcd, the mouseover text is the capper.

Citroen U55 Cityrama Currus: From Flash Gordon's Future — I want one!

Bulgarian Air Force Mil Mi-24V — I'm having a heck of a time parsing this photo from x planes, but's eerily beautiful in a post-apocalyptic way.

Our ice is disappearing — More of those inconvenient, liberally biased "facts". Rush Limbaugh to the Antarctic ice cap, stat!

Proposition H8: An Open Letter to Andy Pugno — A very detailed and interesting response to the nonsensical Christianist bigotry that is the anti-gay marriage effort. (Via @MariKurisato.)

Is Health Care Reform Now Dead? — Obama, Reid and Pelosi had months to do this deal, and they pissed it away. Even if HCR does somehow come back, thinks will be worse than the already messy, limited compromise that was in train. This is literally life-and-death stuff to people with my health situation. Republicans who oppose HCR are happy to have people like me on the short leash of lifetime coverage limitations in our "best in the world" system without even a so-called "death panel" to appeal to. The Democrats are proving they are no better. I am so done with them.

?otD: Can you feel the IV drip?



1/22/2009
Body movement: 60 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 6.5
This morning's weigh-in: 229.2
Currently reading: Bangkok 8 by John Burdett

cancer-scars

[cancer] Chemotherapy, the first two weeks

calendula_witch and I are off to the infusion center in a couple of hours. I'm up, walked and more or less ready.

Over the past two weeks I have weathered a host of side effects. None of them have been as bad as expected, except the exhaustion, though I still managed to walk every day, and write most days, and squeeze in a trip to Seattle. I did mismanage my spoons yesterday. Was feeling pretty good, so never quite got around to stopping and resting as I should. Compounded this with a food crash heading into the lunch hour. By yesterday evening, I was stupidly tired, and had a small emotional meltdown.

Basically, I've learned to live with chemo. I'm told the first round of side effects typically sets a patient's pattern going forward. It's my expectation that the side effects will get worse as the sessions go on and the drug effects build, but really, I can live with this, and it's less frightening than I'd expected.

We did produce a side effects worksheet last night, with consultative input from shelly_rae. This is so I don't forget to report anything to the oncologist this morning. I'll put it here Collapse )

Some of the side effects are distinctly unpleasant, some are socially embarrassing or difficult to discuss (especially the bowel distress issues and sexual function issues), but they are all very real parts of the cancer experience.

We're keeping today's infusion low key, just riding it out and seeing how I do. shelly_rae will be back down tomorrow, with a quiet weekend for all three of us here at Nuevo Rancho Lake. I'll update as I can.

cancer_tumor

[cancer] Healthcare reform, and a question for my conservative friends

Sitting here in the chemo chair, reading the political news about HCR. It's discouraging.

Republicans have provided blanket opposition to the healthcare reform effort from the get-go, with only the vaguest token proposals of their own, those being rhetorical roadblocks lacking in either detail or serious intent. Now, because of a single special election, Democrats have lost their nerve. The Senate is talking about taking the ban on pre-existing conditions limitations out of the bill. I'm not sure what the status is on lifetime coverage limitations.

To my conservative friends who believe the current system is "best in the world", and to the Democrats in Washington who have lost their spines, why do you think limits on pre-existing condition and lifetime coverage are a good idea? What is appropriate about putting people like me in a box that says, "go bankrupt, then die"? How does the vaunted free market solve my issues?

Please, tell me why this ok. Tell me why this is the "best in the world". Because when you oppose HCR without any decent alternatives, or when you chicken out on this process, you're telling me that it's too bad that I get to go broke, then croak.

Even if you honestly believe that market forces are the best way to dictate my fate, that it's too bad I'm one of the eggs that gets broken in making the omelet of market-based healthcare, sheer self interest should suggest that you might be in my position someday. What will you do then?

So tell me, why is this ok?