June 3rd, 2013


[links] Link salad's hands felt like two balloons

Game of Thrones author braces for backlash after shocking ending — Sucker's been in print for years, not sure what's shocking about the Red Wedding at this point.

The earwormery — An ongoing academic study of that most annoying phenomenon. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Untouched water as old as 2.6 billion years is found: Don't drink it — Wow.

An Elizabethan Cyberwar — Huh. (Thanks to my Dad.)

The Extraordinary “Disco Ball” Now Orbiting EarthA mirror ball–the most perfect test particle ever placed in orbit–should help Italian scientists measure an exotic effect predicted by general relativity It's called LARES. Does that mean we'll soon see one called PENATES?

Microsoft and IBM Researchers Develop a Lie Detector for the CloudA way to check whether calculations have been tampered with could make cloud computing more reliable, and boost privacy.

Fox's Stossel Dismisses Aid To Needy With Claim That No One Starved During The Great Depression — Yet another in the endless series of objective proofs that conservatives lie about everything. (Especially on FOX.)

QotD?: Can you tell me where it hurts?

Writing time yesterday: 1.75 hours (revisions to "Rock of Ages")
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (feet hurt)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block creating tornados for political distraction: 0
Currently reading: Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett


[cancer] Already struggling with the Regorafenib

It's amazing how medications can shape our lives. This is a lesson I've learned over and over again these past five years, and now I'm learning it again. A week ago today I started taking Regorafenib, and I am already struggling with it.

This is oral medication. That makes Regorafenib the first chemo series I haven't taken intravenously. I ingest four pills every morning for three weeks, then I'm off for a week to recover from the side effects. Sort of like how a lot of hormonal birth control is administered.

Wikipedia lists the side effects as follows:
[W]eakness or fatigue, loss of appetite, hand-foot syndrome (also called palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia), diarrhea, mouth sores (mucositis), weight loss, infection, high blood pressure, and changes in voice volume or quality (dysphonia).

Let's see... In only a week, I have experienced:
  • Weakness or fatigue

  • Loss of appetite

  • Hand-foot syndrome (also called palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia)

  • Diarrhea [not exactly, but definitely new GI disruptions]

  • Mouth sores (mucositis)

  • Weight loss

  • Infection

  • High blood pressure

  • Changes in voice volume or quality (dysphonia)

Six out of nine ain't bad for the first seven days. Given prior experience, I expect all of these to get worse, likely significantly so.

And hand-foot syndrome unpacks into a number of unpleasant elements. For example, extreme heat sensitivity in my hands and feet, which makes it hard to shower. Already I cannot open the caps on bottles. Last night having appetizers before dinner, Lisa Costello had to shell peanuts for me. Simply gripping my pants to pull them on is painful. We are seriously thinking I cannot wash my hair anymore without help. It hurts to pinch my thumb and forefinger together, for pity's sake.

This is serious business. Try functioning without your hands and feet. I feel like I'm turning into a giant toddler.

As I was putzing around this morning eating my required low-fat breakfast and taking my daily dose of Regorafenib, I found myself wondering if this drug would grow so challenging that I would prefer to stop taking it. Given my current medical situation, that is to say would I literally rather die than put up with what this drug is doing to me? I've never asked myself that question about chemotherapy before.

When you get to the point I'm at with a disease and its mortality, many of your ideas and assumptions change. I am looking at the possibility of Regorafenib changing them again. This makes me unhappy, no matter which direction I try to face.

Fuck cancer.


[personal] Visiting family and friends in Omaha

I don't have family in the Midwest, but Lisa Costello does. Yesterday afternoon, some of her kin drove up from Elmo, Missouri. We met them in Council Bluffs, Iowa for dinner. This was the first time I'd been introduced to any of Lisa's family. It was fun to sit and talk with them about life. She hadn't grown up with any of these folks, so I didn't get to hear funny Lisa-as-a-child stories, but I did learn more about her and her people.

We had also met two dear friends of mine for brunch yesterday. Which would have been slightly more successful if I had not gone to the wrong restaurant initially. After some confusion, and a swift drive from downtown out to west Omaha, we got it all sorted out.

And of course, Saturday night after our arrival, we dined with longtime beloved friends [info]garyomaha and [info]elusivem, enjoying some rather good barbecue in scenic Elkhorn, Nebraska.

Dinner tonight with [info]garyomaha and [info]elusivem, the Omaha Beach Party tomorrow night, and Thursday (the actual date of my 49th birthday) there's a big dinner where my work friends and my social friends will all intersect.

Off to the office a bit later this morning, where I will see more friends and do some, you know, work, in the bargain.