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Everything posted by BoneDaddy

  1. Yes! They strap me to a slab ( down in the lab) and point a linear accelerator at my neck. To hold me down juuuuust right they made a nifty mask of my face that bolts to the slab. It has a mouth guard in it to keep my jaw extended away from the danger zone as much as possible. The doc has programmed the accelerator to aim at exactly the right spots on my neck. (You can see three cross hairs on my neck in the photo - the computer uses those to line up the linear accelerator’s aim.). The inflammation of the non- cancerous tissues is used to squeeze the tumor into the line of fire. The whole thing is really cool, aside from the throat cancer part. (edit: yes, I asked them to wait a minute before they started so I could take a selfie.)
  2. Dude made more than 5 movies with stage 3 & 4 cancer. I’m down here at stage one like “I made part of a fence?” I know this isn’t a race or anything, but I’m deeply impressed. The day after chemotherapy day I’m impressed with myself if I stay awake through a whole tv show. The man had deep, deep wells of determination to draw from.
  3. The felony warrant against the innocent man shot in the back by the police has been vacated.
  4. Pain management for this type of cancer is essential - the longer I can keep eating, chewing, and speaking, the greater my odds on making a full physical recovery, in addition to staying cancer free. I’m getting treated at Johns Hopkins (finally a benefit to living in Baltimore!) And their modality for throat cancer is becoming the global standard. Not swallowing for two weeks in your forties massively increases your chances of having serious swallowing difficulties in your sixties. I’m not certain under which rubric they are justifying the prescription, but the upshot is this - better pain management now = better outcomes later. At other hospitals treatment starts with a NG tube, and a year of learning how to swallow again. I’m working on strengthening my swallowing muscles now, and continuing to eat, and that relies on aggressive pain management.
  5. Well that’s silly. You cannot seal a door with quick-crete, especially one that size. The newly set mix is nowhere near strong enough, especially at that thickness. I do t know that it could ever be strong enough, really, but after a week that stuff gets awfully hard, and after a decade it’s damn hard to break. But wafer thin? I doubt it would hold if you have it a hundred years to harden. The fire, lit elsewhere near the precinct building, didn’t actually succeed in setting the concrete building on fire. if this actually was an attempt to seal the officers in the building, it was terribly executed, in that the alleged attempt could never work, and the precinct has many more doors. You could make a fairly dry mix and make a permanent door-stop to keep the door closed, but it would need several hours to bond well enough to the floor to not break off with a good kick. So, two counts of vandalism. Impossibility is actually an absolute defense to a criminal charge, like that time I confessed that I murdered president Garfield.
  6. At the time of his attempted murder, I think he was being arrested for trying to leave. I believe his warrant status was unknown. I believe these were all warrants for his arrest, and not previous convictions for which he had evaded the state’s punitive measures. This status, wanted but not convicted, is what we lawyers call “innocent.” An innocent man was shot in the back, and the person who shot him in the back allegedly found a knife near the location where the peace officer shot the innocent man in the back seven times at point blank range. I would be interested in hearing the innocent man’s statement that he had a knife. “Hang on a minute officer, let me get to my car so I can get my knife, and then we’ll just see who’s boss around here. Don’t mind my three kids in the minivan waiting for me.” I’m not certain I’m willing to accept the word of the man who shot the innocent man in the back seven times, or the word of his coworkers, all of whom are in a profession notorious for covering up the crimes of coworkers.
  7. I’m taking 3 300s, 3x a day - 2700! Long term use would wreck me at these levels. The way gabapentin interferes with short term memory formation is really cool (neurologically) and a pain in the ass conversationally. Keeping track of a four sentence idea is getting hard now. I’ve already been living with ADD that has made those “where did I put that?!” habits very important to have and very costly to deviate from. Even without gabapentin I’ve lost my wallet in my house note times th an I’d care to count, or to share quite honestly. The hard parts for me are my willfully disobedient hands that just put stuff down wherever no damn reason without telling me. I need more of those placement habits now than I needed before, and I’ve added some more wearable reminders - some cheap bead necklaces left over from my last Con attendance (Low budget quest rewards from my Benevolent Quest Giver costume). Three yellow ones to keep track of whether I’ve taken my scheduled gaba doses, a green one to remind me if I’ve started a load of laundry that I’d rather not turn to compost in the washer, and a red one to remind me I’ve got something cooking. 1600 all the time sounds like quite an adjustment. My concussion about a decade ago was a minor cognitive life changing event, in that it made my already bad ADD frankly debilitating in some ways, which has been very hard for me to accept. I have a friend with a back injury that has left her with a more or less permanent gaba scrip, and it has definitely had an impact on how she interacts with her own body and the world. Gabapentin hasn’t really changed who I am the way the concussion did, but everything takes longer and more specific concentration. Yeah you better run! 😄 But really, if you point over my shoulder and yell “Squirrel!” I’ll forget what I was doing in the first place.
  8. My nutritionist says I need to consume 2500 calories a day! This thread is suddenly useful! she also says I should drink a gallon in water a day! This is harder than it sounds, especially with all the eating!
  9. I was hoping you’d drop by - the thread wouldn’t be complete without you being here! Now BEGONE foul spirit! my favorite moment when an NGD habitue was accidentally summoned was when someone said “I shake my fist in impotent rage!” And Rage dropped in to say “Hey!!!”
  10. This is a very good point, and 100% correct. No matter who you are, if you went south of the border for appetizers (or dessert I guess... de gustibus non disputandum and all that...) and the HPV Vaccine was not part of your life, just keep an eye on your throat. That persistent tonsillitis that doesn’t hurt? Those stanky tonsoliths that seem terribly large? They way you snore even when you aren’t large enough that one might expect snoring? Keep an eye out. It’s PROBABLY nothing. But only probably.
  11. Here’s an article by Robert Evans about how the Portland situation started and progressed. He’s an experienced conflict journalist with a number of podcasts I would sincerely recommend. First on my mind, It Could Happen Here. It’s ten episodes, released last year and startlingly prescient. https://www.bellingcat.com/news/americas/2020/07/20/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-battle-of-portland/ Also, and more on topic, a brief history of American Policing. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/slavery-mass-murder-and-the-birth-of-american-policing/id1373812661?i=1000478164181 if you like that there’s five or so more episodes about how the police in the US became so much more violent and worse and public safety than nearly anywhere else you might consider visiting (if leaving the house is your kind of thing these days.
  12. I have cancer. Keep breathing, I will almost certainly be ok eventually. I want to talk to you all about what kind of cancer I have, and how some of you might get it, or might have it. I will also tell you how I am and how I expect to be in the future. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink to anything like excess - I had four drinks one birthday and that was frankly one too many for me. I’m not overweight. I exercise, I lift weights. I’m 47 and I can bench press my body weight, run two miles in about 20 minutes (tortoise slow for a real runner, plenty damn fast for my age cohort) and knock out ten pull ups without breaking a sweat. A few years ago we stopped eating anything with nitrites, last year we went dairy free. I wear sunscreen, and my covid mask is rated for asbestos removal. I’m healthy and risk averse is what I’m saying, and I’m also saying that there’s nothing you can do to avoid this one. It isn’t from bad habits. Mostly. I have squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the throat. SCC is usually skin cancer, but apparently it can show up elsewhere in the body in different circumstances. If it’s in your skin, no big deal. If it’s in you throat like mine is, closer to a big deal but still not an automatic death sentence. Something to act on immediately with haste and determination like a grease fire in a frying pan, but nothing too serious yet. If it gets to your other organs, usually through your lymphatic system, life gets much more tenuous. That is house-on-fire serious. Mine started at the base of my tongue, between my tonsils. It spread to the lymph nodes on either side of my neck. We all have hundreds of lymph nodes, they are about as big as a coffee bean usually, and they squeeze lymph back and forth around the body. The two closest to my tonsils are currently about as big as Lima beans - honestly not very big, nothing that looks like it’s trying to kill me. If the cancer spreads beyond them ... We aren’t discussing that today. One way a human body, one like mine or yours, can be persuaded to make cancerous squamous cells in your throat is as a response to HPV, the human papilloma virus. There are many varieties of this virus, and almost every one of us has been exposed to at least one of them. The ones marked number 16 and 18 are the bastards of the bunch, the one that the Pap smear is looking for, the one in my throat, the one there is now a vaccine for. HPV 16 is my enemy, my uninvited guest, the traitor at my table, my very own deep state conspiracy. There is no test to detect HPV in your throat before it is cancerous. The primary tumor is frequently so small as to be effectively undetectable. They had a hard time finding mine with a PET scan and had to perform a surgical biopsy to get to the tissues involved. The tumor doesn’t hurt, doesn’t effect my ability to speak or swallow or breath or do any of the other things one does with a neck. I had no idea it was there, and no one would have had any reason to know it was there until it metastasized to my lymph nodes. My very slightly swollen lymph nodes that also don’t hurt. They aren’t even red. No pain, no fever, no sore throat, no tight range of motion, no trouble at all, no reason to know things are bad and could get much worse. I’m trying to scare you. I wasn’t scared, and I’m still only a little scared now thanks to antidepressants. My cancer doesn’t look scary. It looks just like something a little weird that’s probably nothing. I’m 47, my lymph node is a little swollen, no pain, no big deal, right? Wrong. Massively big deal, cleverly disguised as no big deal. I woke up one morning and the lymph node on the right side of my neck was swollen. It didn’t hurt and wasn’t green or anything. I called my doctor, and she reasonably explained that sometimes the ducts that connect lymph nodes to the rest of the body get clogged up, and she recommended hot compresses and some antibiotics. This did nothing but make my neck warm. I ignored my slightly swollen, pain free lymph node, and went about my merry way for another month before I called my doctor again. A month. That month may have been very, very important. A gentle spousal rebuke prompted that follow up call to my doctor, who referred me to an otolaryngologist for a biopsy, and a CT scan. When I told my friends I was having a needle biopsy stabbed into the gooey center of the mini Cadbury egg on my neck, they all looked worried as though I might have cancer, and said reassuring things. I scoffed. “Look at me, I’m fine.” And I am. Mostly. There’s a ticking time bomb in my neck, but aside from that there’s not a thing wrong with my physical health. I keep saying that over and over because I want you to understand that this tumor has been slowly growing behind my tongue for an indeterminate period of time with zero symptoms whatsoever. Then the doc told me I had cancer. I had to/ got to tell my lovely wife. “Had to” because I didn’t want to say the last thing she wanted to hear. “Got to” because there’s no better partner on the planet, no person I would more want in my corner, on my team, by my side or at my back than her. We had to figure out when to tell our kids (after the PET scan, which showed no distant metastases. When giving bad news, it’s best to know how bad the news actually is.) I’m lucky, really. I have an easy cancer, detected early. I have great health insurance, the kind every American should have. I live 20 minutes away from the literal best team on earth at treating this exact kind of cancer. This is like getting mugged when you have the Avengers on speed dial. It’s a puny cancer, and a team of Dr. Banners are already angry at it. To be perfectly clear, we’re sitting pretty from a financial standpoint. Lovely wife makes lovely money, and our insurance will keep paying for this until the cows come home. (We sent our cows to college and we haven’t seen them since. Maybe cooking school was a mistake.) This message does not end with a plea for money or anything at all. We are very lucky. My treatment regimen is very close to the standard practice for this diagnosis - about 7 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. It is tiring and painful as they very carefully and precisely rain atomic hellfire onto the cancer and not the rest of me. I need to keep eating and drinking and chewing and swallowing so my throat will remember how to function. There are nutritionists and pain management specialists to help with this process. We started with Gabapentin, which sounds like fun but hardly worth the price of admission. It makes pain management much less hazardous, but wrecks short term memory formation and makes keeping track of conversions or where I put anything down a real challenge. So far I have found 5 shirts of mine around the house, workshop, and yard. Shirts that I was wearing! I am losing clothing, keys, my phone, innumerable plates and bowls of food, and so on. I need to do some exercises for my neck muscles to keep my full range of motion. The lymph nodes with cancer are right under my sternocleidomastoid muscles, (SCM for short) the ones that make a “v” shape from your ears to your clavicle when you yawn. This cancer that I’ve never heard of is now the 6th most common cancer being diagnosed in the US. HPV related throat cancers in middle aged men weren’t even on the radar until about 15 - 20 years ago. Usually SCC in the throat comes from smoking or heavy alcohol use. As a society we all stopped smoking enough that it the cancer’s continued presence became a mystery worth exploring, and the HPV link was discovered. The cancer seems to show up 10 to 30 years after initial infection. In my case it is probably about 25 - 30 years. HPV is a STD, the cancer that comes from it is very slow to show up in your tonsils or grow to any appreciable size. Just like yourself if you have it, it isn’t trying to rush things. This is the big takeaway folks. I assume most of you identify as men, and most of you are in my approximate age cohort. If you and your partners were sexually active before the HPV vaccine was available to you or your dating cohort, this could be a very important message for you. If I had known this was a possibility when I was dating, I would have rolled my dice and taken my chances. But I didn’t know that the GM was used an obscure Iron Crown critical hit/fail table just for the PC’s sex life. I’ve been reading about radiation treatment, and there is a very small chance that I might get super powers out of the deal. Mostly I was reading spider-man, but it seemed credible to me.
  13. I think you are mistaken about the goals of the Black Panther Party as it was originally constructed. They wanted to be left alone to be black and prosper on their own terms without the constant oppression of the white society that surrounded them. They started carrying guns so they could make it clear that they were ready to shoot back. Not to start shooting, but to shoot back rather than run around getting shot anymore. They arranged for food and clothing drives, after school reading programs, neighborhood improvement projects, classes in mediation and non-violent conflict resolution for gang members. They were trying to build Wakanda in Oakland, and the FBI created such an effective smear campaign that everyone remembers it the other way around.
  14. Such an odd, verbose reshoot of Roy Batty's "Tears in Rain" speech.
  15. I don't know why my whole world came crashin' down, I just woke up in lonely town I opened up my eyes and much to my surprise Look at this heaven that I've found Don't need to care about tomorrow I got no pain, I got no sorrow I'm the last man on earth So tell me what it's worth Am I a beggar or a king? Got no trouble, got no time, Eternity is mine I got a whole lot of everything I can take this town And just burn it to the ground Smash every window that I see I can smoke, I can drink, I can swear, an' I can stink There ain't no one to bother me No, no Don't need to care about tomorrow I got not pain, I got no sorrow I'm the last man on earth, So tell me what it's worth Am I a beggar or a king? Got no trouble, got no time Eternity is mine I got a whole lot of everything It's all mine There's not a single soul to talk to me, But that's okay, I never liked them I'm the last man on earth And I know what it's worth I'm not a beggar, I'm a king Got no troubles, got no time, And everything is fine 'Cause I'm the king of everything It's all mine Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine
  16. Todd Wainio (voiced by the incomparable Mark Hamill) mentions this song in his interviews a few times, so I finally looked it up. Mum and dad and Danny saw the passing out parade at Puckapunyal It was a long march from cadets The sixth battalion was the next to tour and it was me who drew the card We did Canungra and Shoalwater before we left And Townsville lined the footpaths as we marched down to the quay This clipping from the paper shows us young and strong and clean And there's me in me slouch hat with me SLR and greens God help me I was only nineteen From Vung Tau riding Chinooks to the dust at Nui Dat I'd been in and out of choppers now for months And we made our tents a home, V.B. and pinups on the lockers And an Asian orange sunset through the scrub And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep? And night time's just a jungle dark and a barking M.16? And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means? God help me I was only nineteen A four week operation, when each step can mean your last one on two legs It was a war within yourself But you wouldn't let your mates down 'til they had you dusted off So you closed your eyes and thought about somethin' else And then someone yelled out contact, and the bloke behind me swore We hooked in there for hours, then a God almighty roar And Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon God help me He was goin' home in June And I can still see Frankie, drinkin' tinnies in the Grand Hotel On a thirty-six hour rec. leave in Vung Tau And I can still hear Frankie, lying screaming in the jungle 'Til the morphine came and killed the bloody row And the Anzac legends didn't mention mud and blood and tears And the stories that my father told me never seemed quite real I caught some pieces in my back that I didn't even feel God help me I was only nineteen And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep? And why the Channel Seven chopper chills me to my feet? And what's this rash that comes and goes Can you tell me what it means? God help me I was only nineteen
  17. I seem to have arrived at the staple in the Shadowrun video game "The Dead Switch." I find myself in a world of drek.
  18. You are likely to be eaten by a grue If this predicament seems particularly cruel Consider whose fault it could be Not a torch nor a match in your inventory
  19. This is wickedness of such simple genius it is almost laudable. Almost. Utterly villainous and despicable, but the credulity and stupidity of the employees is shocking to me.
  20. I don't know what I will be without it. It has been my armor, my skeleton, my muscle and sinew, my will, my drive, my voice, my laugh and my cry.
  21. It's not like they have sunshine there.
  22. Short them in six months and make a killing.
  23. I have no idea what I'm doing. I almost never let that stop me. I'm writing query letters for a novel. It's like a cover letter for work I've already done. It's like all of my anxieties about the quality of my writing, my work, and myself that I've ever had encapsulated in two pages. Oh please like me. Please like my work. Please like the 100,000 word story that fell through my pen. Ack.
  24. The lion and the lamb may lay down together, but the lamb will not get much sleep. I wonder if the same applies to tigers and goats.
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