Archive for April, 2018

Time travel opportunity

April 15, 2018

The Surratt House, 604 H Street NW Washington, DC, where conspirators planned Lincoln’s assassination, is now an Asian restaurant, with karaoke.

You can’t stay mad with wok and roll

If only they’d had karaoke in that meeting room 153 years ago, things might have been different

Cancer Report 1 Mar – 5 April

April 6, 2018

Good news with a however.

TLDR: Markers all within normal range. MRI looks good. Biopsy normal. We are declaring victory and dropping all drugs. Surveillance check every three months.

However: It will be months while the toxins work their way out, so my fatigue, intestinals, and other side effects will continue, and I’ll continue to feel crappy much of the time (less as time goes by). Immune system will be down for a year (so I still do antibiotics).

Bottom Line: I still have incurable cancer, it’s just been driven into hiding.

Towards the end of March I had another MRI. Same as the last. Stuff me in a narrow metal tube and tell me not to move…for an hour. Then I had a bone biopsy. I thought I knew what to expect, but the pain pattern was different, and I almost kicked the biopsonist in the face. She still got a good twelve inches of marrow out. Enough for a cancer test and soup for two.

Meanwhile, the side effects of the side effects drugs were wearing me down some more — to the point that MJ was getting worried. Lots of days when I spent most of the day in bed. If it hadn’t been for my colleagues at EWU (Debra, in particular), I’d have been in real trouble. Plus, the students were again very understanding. Intestinal troubles continued — think space shuttle launch — and I lost a total of 17lb since this started. We did get the blood pressure vs chemo drugs sorted out, so I didn’t have any more grey-outs (and at one point my systolic hit 160). I suspect we’re going to have to recalibrate again, now that my drugs have made another change.

As I said, my blood markers are all back in the normal range, and the oncodoc liked my MRI. There was some confusion over the biopsy, but that was due to the hospital changing data systems. He actually had to fire up the old system and print out the results. They expect to have these issues fixed Real Soon Now. I’ll have an MIS writeup on that experience sometime soon.

In any event, the biopsy showed no sign of cancer cells, and a 1% level of blood cells in the marrow. Up to 3% is considered normal.

Considering the current readings, and how well I responded (“your markers plummeted”), we’ve decided to forego maintenance chemo for now and just do a press-to-test every three months. If the markers start back up, we’ll do another biopsy (yay) and then either resume full treatment or go to a maintenance regime. Oncodoc doesn’t think there will be a problem for another year or so.

So this will be the last report for a good while. If nothing’s changed, I won’t bother to generate a new one.

The archaeology of the Trump dynasty

April 1, 2018

“Discovered in 2084 beneath the ruins of the American Democracy, the “Altar of Trumpism” seen here. was considered the jewel of the Trump Building Program. Originally designed as the spot at which Republicans would sacrifice true conservatism, adherence to the law, and personal decency in exchange for short-term political gain, it came to be used for the ritual slaughter of legislators….”

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!