April 19th, 2011


[links] Link salad is profoundly irked at life

Dreamland: 1905Shorpy with a photo of the Dreamland Ballroom, Coney Island.

10 deadly do-it-yourself gadgets

A Sign? Man Bursts Into Flames at San Francisco Sex Shop

The Ox-Files: 'Mass cow sacrifices by aliens' sent White House into panic, FBI records reveal — Hahahahah. Uh, yeah.

Why Sarah Palin doesn't get what she deserves — Interesting media perspective.

The case for rationing healthcareAmericans will have to decide what we can and cannot afford. I especially was struck by this bit: We want our doctors to go all-out for our loved ones and ourselves. But as voters and consumers, we send a different message. We pick politicians who promise to cut taxes, and we demand low-cost insurance. We're telling government and the healthcare industry to hold the line on healthcare costs, even if it means sacrificing clinical benefits. And we put doctors in the middle of this contradiction.

?otD: Got cancer?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (cancer follies)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (solid)
Weight: 246.6
Currently reading: Nifft the Lean by Michael Shea


[cancer] Beginning the journey, again

Life is so damned circular.

Last Friday I received the carcinoembyronic antigen (CEA) bloodwork via the online records system from my clinic. It indicated a spike of well over 400% in my CEA levels. I didn't see a rise in my CEA levels with either of my previous tumors — they'd always been pretty flat.

In other words, scary stuff.

I called into the oncology clinic to ask for an immediate appointment to discuss this. My oncologist was out of town and unavailable, and while I did speak to an oncology nurse-practitioner, she couldn't tell me much without clearing it with my absent doctor. While I suppose I could have gone over there and camped in their lobby and made enough of a nuisance out of myself to get someone to talk to me authoritatively, I decided not to.

Instead I spent the weekend wondering if I had a metastatic bloom, or something worse.

Monday morning, my oncologist released the CT scan notes to me. At this point, unfortunately, I know how to read those things. They were quite clear about the tumor in the right lobe of my liver. By that time, this was good news, given some of the things I could have been facing.

So by the time I went in to the oncologist, I'd been through the emotional shock and some of the initial logical parsing of this. As a friend said yesterday, it's like the old joke about the cat on the roof. Although that information release process really pissed me off at the time, in retrospect it was probably a good thing. I do question the wisdom of releasing such results to a patient without the attendant advice and counseling, but that horse is out of the barn.

What it boils down to is that this is a surgically addressable, single-site metastasis. (Which we will be confirming via PET scan tomorrow while also looking for 'seeds' that might indicate a metastatic bloom in the liver or elsewhere.) We know how to get these. This one won't kill me. It plays hob with my long-term odds, but this isn't the long slide into darkness. Not this time.

I'm not so much afraid this time as pissed off. I've realized that's because I'm in familiar territory.

The things I never meant to learn. I've been to this rodeo before, and I'm fucking tired of it.

More to come, doubtless a lot of it.


[conventions|repost] SFWA Pacific Northwest Reading Series Tonight

As previously mentioned, I'll be part of the introductory session of the SFWA Pacific Northwest Reading Series, along with Kay Kenyon and host Brent Weeks. The readings will be in the gym at McMenamin's Kennedy School, which is well worth a visit in its own right if you've never been there.

This inaugural session will be Tuesday, April 19th, at 7:00 pm. Arrive early for dinner and drinks and hanging out with the writers