February 26th, 2010


[links] Link salad begins to mourn its golden locks

How Books Are Made — Charlie Stross explains it all to you. This dovetails nicely with my widely-linked recent piece on what my publisher does for me [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]. Go read him. You will learn.

Old Lisbon (Not New Amsterdam)Strange Maps with an odd bit of centuries old New World fraud.

Hallucinatory Architecture of the Future — A nifty feature from Dark Roasted Blend.

Other Life in the Multiverse? — A crazy cool article from Centauri Dreams for all you skiffy geeks.

Rep. Henry Waxman makes remarks on health-care costs at White House health summit[Republican Rep.] Paul Ryan has a proposal right now to say that Medicare recipients in the future ought to have just a little voucher, and then they can shop for their own insurance. They can be prudent shoppers. Right. That's why I have cancer. Because I wasn't a prudent shopper, like a good conservative. And we know how transparent healthcare pricing is, right, to help me in my prudent shopping? Tell me again about this Republican "plan" for healthcare, because it sure as hell ain't connected to the medical reality I live in.

?otD: Where is my hairbrush?

Writing time yesterday: 60 minutes
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.0 (slept well)
This morning's weigh-in: 225.8
Yesterday's chemo stress index: 4/10
Currently reading: [between books]


[cancer] Another decent day, progressing toward the weekend

Shedding day somewhat spilled into Thursday, but not catastrophically so. I had managed to wake up at 4 am and write again (revisions on Endurance), which in fact I did this morning as well. That seems to be a good time for me, as it's very low distraction and very high focus, at least compared to where my brain goes later in the day.

I was somewhat fatigued through the day. Visitors in the form of markbourne, garyomaha and elusivem were wonderful and welcome, but, erm, tiring. After a craving-driven pancake dinner at the Original Hotcake House, I was dropped off on my own for a very early bedtime. This is part is what enabled me to rise at 4 am this morning and indulge the Write Brain's need to write. I did sleep well except for a couple of urgent lower GI interruptions.

A couple of side effects I've been meaning to mention have been in play lately. One is pretty subtle; that my sense of my own body temperature seems to be too variable. I think I'm hot when I'm not, or vice versa. This is most at issue when trying to sleep, as I am not so aware of the problem when up, focusing and moving about in the world. The other is that lately I've had a harder and harder time taking my clusters of medications by mouth. Last night I literally choked on one pill, to the point of almost throwing up. I'm not aware of any actual trauma or soreness in my mouth and throat. This almost feels like a psychological reaction. But it's real, and it's annoying.

Working today, then some time this afternoon with garyomaha and elusivem. Tomorrow we're all trooping off to the train station, likely with the_child in tow, to pick up shelly_rae. Hooray! She says I'm the most energetic chemo patient she's ever seen. I say I'm not getting squat done and everything's a struggle.

The truth lies in a happy medium, I'm certain. Now, if I could only find a happy medium in the phone book under psychics. Of course, if she were really good, she'd call me first, right?


[cancer] The transient illusion of competency

Couple of mildly discouraging things today. (No, I'm not depressed about any of this, just mildly discouraged.) While at lunch with garyomaha and elusivem, the cashier somewha visibly older than me asked me if I qualified for the senior discount. I'm forty-five years old, people. I don't know if it was the gray in my beard, or the general wearing down of chemo, or what. I told her, "I"m not old, just tired."

After Day Jobbery, I went to Albertson's by myself. I don't much do this any more. My friends and family do my shopping for the most part, and when I do go by the store, it's with someone. I needed a few things, and figured midafternoon would easy. I went over there with a four item list. It took me forty-five minutes to get through the store. The large, complex space was confusing to me, and even the fairly light number of shoppers felt like far too many for my comfort. I came home with four bags of stuff, half of which I'm now looking at in mild wonderment, while getting through the self-service checkout was a nightmare for me. (I would have stood in the full service line, but that was 20 minutes of waiting behind several gigantically full baskets at each open register.) The self-service cashier took pity on me and helped me get sorted out after the register kept trying to scan and weigh my man-purse despite my best efforts to the contrary.

You know, I used to be able to go to the grocery store, shop for ten minutes, and come home without mishap. This underscores to me that my "zone" has become very narrow. By myself I can handle the post office, the pharmacy, the gas station, Blockbuster, and a very limited selection of restaurants, mostly where I already know the staff. Almost everything else I do, I do with calendula_witch or shelly_rae or one of my parents, or another friend. I've been chalking that up to energy management, which is very real, but somewhere along the line, I've begun to lose my ability to simple, ordinary things.

This doesn't actually surprise me. It's no different from not doing my own laundry and dishes any more, really. It just...disappoints.

I shall console myself with Tweetsnarking The Fifth Element here shortly. And laying low at home for the rest of the day, doing nothing important whatsoever.