December 17th, 2013

a-links

[links] Link salad is just waiting for the rain

Desolation again strikes Tolkien-themed street signs — Ah, Portland. (Via Dad.)

Alfred Shaheen: Pioneer of the Hawaiian Shirt — Oooh! (Via [info]threeoutside.)

How Linguists and Missionaries Share a Bible of 6,912 Languages

This is a map of the U.S., with the literal meanings of its state names and cities — This is cool. (Snurched from Lois Buhalis.)

A Baby Name That Really Tells You Something About the Parents — Yes, it tells you these parents have heartland family values, and also badly need oversight from Child Protective Services.

Neanderthals buried their dead like modern humansThe findings focus on Neanderthal remains that were first discovered in 1908 at La Chapelle-aux-Saints in southwestern France.

Hand Fossil Turns Back Clock on Complex Tool Use

Ancient Chinese cat bones shake up domestication theoryFossil discovery an 'important step' in understanding feline transformation from pest-control to pet.

Japan's military revolution hints at Shinzo Abe's nationalist aims — Hmm.

Sex and Drugs and Border ChangesA combination of sex and drugs (and possibly rock 'n roll) is forcing two governments to change the border that divides them.

“Help, My Eyeball is Bigger than My Wrist!”: Gender Dimorphism in Frozen

North Korea's way with extreme insultsThe uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, executed for treason on Thursday, has been officially denounced as "despicable human scum". Why is the language so over-the-top? Oddly, not very different from how many American conservatives, especially in the media, talk about moderates and liberals.

“Thank You, Doctor. And Now, for the Opposing View, Here’s Joe Camel.”What really gets me is that USA Today gave Heartland a place to confuse the public about global warming. If they ran a piece about satellites, would they get an “opposing view” from a Flat Earther? It would have just as much scientific validity as climate change denial, and every bit as much Biblical basis as evolution denial.

Yeah, About That Global Warming “Pause”… — Debunking another knowing lie from climate change denialists.

“60 Minutes” does Infomercial for NSA with Security Official posing as Journalist — CBS has finally decided to go for the coveted “we have a Constitutional right to lie” FOX News market segment. Your Liberal Media, disgracing itself further all the time.

In Colorado and elsewhere, sheriffs refuse to enforce new gun laws. The state can't make them — All those conservatives who claim to so revere the Constitution? Yeah, right. Like Christianists who revere the Bible when it’s convenient for them, that reverence vanishes when the Holy Writ doesn’t conveniently match their prejudices.

Satanist Monument Shines Light on Christian Privilege — Yup. This. The fact that some Christians have managed to convince themselves they are persecuted in contemporary America represents a breathtaking lack of self-awareness and intellectual honesty. Unless, of course, you believe that a slight descent from absolute cultural supremacy to mere overwhelming cultural dominance somehow qualifies as persecution, in which case that conviction represents an amazingly willful ignorance about words and their meanings. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Hindus Propose Giant Monkey God Statue On Oklahoma Capitol GroundsHow’s that law for religious displays working out for you, right-wing Christians of Oklahoma? Sure, you got to put up your giant 10 commandments monument in front of the State House. But this opened up the door for the Satanic Temple to ask for a memorial. Now, the Hindus are calling for their own religious statue to be placed on the state capitol grounds in Oklahoma City. I want to donate to the this, and the Satanist monument. (Snurched from Ellen Eades.)

?otD: Do all things come to the patient man? When they come too late, does anybody understand?




12/17/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours fitful
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 239.8
Number of FEMA troops on my block falsifying climate change data: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

cancer-hereafter_is_closed

[cancer] Talking about dying and death

Yesterday, Lisa Costello, Dad and I met with my palliative care doctor. There was some discussion of my sleep issues, now essentially gone because I am off the Regorafenib. We also told them about our efforts at clinical trials. They were less interested in the medical details than in how I was experiencing the process. They talked about people who sometimes had better outcomes without entering chemo or trials at all. I pointed out that I had to be doing something or I'd go nuts.

Also had a long discussion of hospice options and how the place and manner of my death would impact [info]the_child. They provided a list of names of local hospice providers they held in high regard. Naturally, when I checked later, none of these providers were in-network for my health insurance.

We also talked about the difficulty of predicting life expectancy in my situation. The palliative care doctor said there are two main factors in their experience.

The completely unpredictable factor is when and how some catastrophic event occurs. For example, organ failure, or an opportunistic infection. There's no way to anticipate the timing of such an event, though once it happens, I will likely pass very quickly.

The more predictable factor is rate of change, in effect. As they put it, if I am seeing significant changes in health or functionality that take place over the course of months, I have months yet to live. If I am seeing significant changes over the course of weeks, I have weeks yet to live. When the changes take place over the course of days, I have days yet to live.

Where these two factors intersect, clearly enough, is that unpredictable catastrophic event changing my health literally overnight, or over a day or two. At that point, my remaining life is likely measured in days.

This was both fascinating and sobering, and also one of the most useful descriptions of the dying process I have ever encountered. It neither gives me hope or incites despair, but it does grant me some perspective.

The palliative care doctor wants to continue to see me as I progress through the clinical trials process, every two or three months. I told them we would keep them informed. Our current followups are to check my hospice benefits with my health insurance carrier, figure out which Portland area facilities are in-network, and schedule some site visits. I'll schedule another visit with my palliative care doctor once we know more about my clinical trial schedule.