February 10th, 2010


[links] Link salad is close enough, but not too far

With Thanks to John SargentThe Atlantic with an unusual pro-Macmillan view of recent publishing issues. (Thanks to blog commentor Stevie.)

Clouds 365 Project — A year-long photographic experiment shooting clouds. (Thanks to e_bourne.)

Retro Future: To The Stars! - Part 3 — Or the moon, at least. Dark Roasted Blend with some awesome retro space art.

New Evidence for Water on Enceladus

?otD: Baby, what did you expect?

Writing time yesterday: 0 minutes (still stuck on chemo head)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.0 (soundly)
This morning's weigh-in: 226.2
Yesterday's chemo stress index: 6/10
Currently reading: [between books]


[cancer] Sacrifices made for me by the petty gods of chemo

I am finding that every chemo infusion cycle is different. I don't suppose I should be surprised, but somehow I am. Lower GI pattern during after session three has been broadly consistent with sessions one and two, but the details have varied a lot. Less painful and difficult so far, for one, anent which I am deeply thankful. On the other hand, peripheral neuropathy in my feet is just getting silly.

Time management is slowly becoming a larger issue. I'm not having too much trouble holding on to core daily commitments — sleep, exercise, time with the_child, Day Jobbery, writing time (during the phases of my infusion cycle where my right brain unfreezes). Nor my larger social and emotional commitments to calendula_witch, shelly_rae, my family, my friends, my online community. But when individual tasks or habits fall away, reinstating them is damned hard. I'm becoming canalized. Oddly, my left brain seems to go almost manic as my right brain is frozen, hence all the blogging. I rather wish it were the other way around, but I don't know how to flip that switch.

I don't leave the house so much now. There are days when driving is tough, and I virtually never drive at night any more. (Nor do much else at night, since I zone out so early due to the ongoing exhaustion.) This is disconnecting me from my long term practices of social lunches, errand running, and so forth. Which since I live and work alone have been pretty critical to me. Not sure what to do about this, except continued to tough it out. Even the few social plans I do make seem to cancel often as not due to the illness of others — I can't be around sick people as my immune system continues to falter in the face of chemo. I do expect to catch lunch with kenscholes today for the first time in over a month.

Likewise, the focus to read. I managed to finish John Burdett's Bangkok 8. Both Elizabeth Bear's Bone and Jewel Creatures and Mary Robinette Kowal's Shades of Milk and Honey are waiting for me to pick them up. But the narrow bandwidth I have to work on Endurance plus my few other writing and editorial commitments completely consumes the same brainspace that reading does.

That might be my greatest regret, that I've essentially lost books. And I simply don't have enough time left over to make time for them. Writing cannot be sacrificed. Neither can sleep, nor exercise, nor work. Maybe I can peel in a few hours on the non-infusion weekends, but it will take me months to read a book at that pace.

I feel like these sacrifices are being made for me. The choices essentially don't exist, once I've bowed to the core inevitabilities. I don't mean to sound fatalistic, I actually continue fairly cheerful and optimistic through this process. I just don't have nearly as much control over my time or my life as usual. At least I'm keeping on deadline with my fiction, and keeping up with my core commitments.

This will not go on forever.


[publishing] Hello? Amazon? Is this thing on?

No new wisdom on Amazon, Macmillan or ebooks today, but I still haven't seen any public statements from Amazon beyond the original, laughable unsigned note on the Kindle boards. The media lovefeast for them goes on of course, albeit tapering off now, with the Amazon-biased "price increase" narrative almost completely dominant.

Did I miss something? I still wonder if this round is over.


[cancer] Peripheral neuropathy and emotional anatomy

This third post-infusion round is being characterized by a somewhat gentler shedding phase today, though still mightily disruptive. I also seem to have more peripheral neuropathy when I am not especially careful about cold exposure. I believe this is expected, but it continues annoying. And for some reason my sense of my own body temperature has been a bit off today. I keep feeling hot when in fact I am not objectively so.

Had lunch with kenscholes. This is normally a weekly habit of ours, but between his baby twins and my chemo, we've perforce sadly neglected this habit. In the course of catching up, he made a very interesting observation about me and chemo which I would probably never have come to on my own. kenscholes pointed out that chemo has forced me to behave like a hard core introvert, when in fact I am a very strong extrovert. This means that my daily behaviors, enforced by my reactions to the chemo and my associated energy levels, are directly contrary to meeting my emotional and social needs.

For some people, including kenscholes and calendula_witch, a lot of time lying around quietly at home would be a blessing. For others, such as me or shelly_rae, it feels like house arrest. This makes me wonder what portion of my coping-with-chemo struggles are in fact a function of my nigh-pathological extroversion being seriously frustrated. I stagnate alone. Right now I'm cut off from work travel, convention travel, most social functions, and even many of my casual day-to-day contacts. I simply hadn't thought of it in these terms until kenscholes pointed it out.

Much to consider. Maybe further wisdom shall emerge from this.

In other news, calendula_witch will be here tomorrow, then off to RadCon on Friday. shelly_rae arrives Friday, and stays through Sunday, while calendula_witch returns then from points RadConian. fjm arrives Monday for a visit, too. Hooray for company!