Archive for the 'it’s science!' Category

May 12 2011

Further chemo prep adventures

The port catheter install went through yesterday morning. Mornings are incredibly harder to function well for me right now, I definitely ramp up slow in available energy over the course of the day and mornings are the worst. I’d expected not to fall back asleep after the 4 am feeding but did, which meant that I had about 10 minutes to get showered and ready and out the door. Obviously that didn’t happen, I can barely move fast enough to get clothes on in 10 minutes, but with a lot of groaning and painful readjustments I managed to shower, dress, leave, and arrive only about 20 minutes late for check-in. My mother who has been coming down nearly weekly to help out for a few days at a time was here and drove me, while our normal driver-helper stayed at the house on baby duty. Yay juggling responsibilities effectively!

The lateness didn’t seem to affect things much, thankfully. Once again, everyone was just amazing in terms of helping accommodate my legs and hips issue and extra pain, even taking a bit longer during the procedure to do things like move and position me accordingly. This time I had modified anesthesia instead of general anesthesia, and functionally I couldn’t much tell the difference. I still got the gas mask and injections and went to sleep for the duration. I even had a touch of sore throat afterward though no tube went down my throat (I suspect that part was from not drinking water for 12 hours beforehand), and the awakening afterward was another nice slow non-disruptive event. In fact, for about five minutes after awakening in the recovery room, except for a small twinge in my spine, I had the least pain I’ve had in months and months. I enjoyed as much as I could of the tiny respite. I could feel each kind of pain as it started to come back online as the good surgery drugs wore off, which was at least interesting and informative to track if not any fun.

I am experiencing less soreness than I’d expected, though definitely still some. Since I have the tumor in the other armpit affecting mobility there, picking up the baby is an interesting time at the moment. I’m getting help with that whenever someone is available, but I can still move her if needed. Since the surgery I’ve had slightly better mobility in my hips (not stable by far, still dangerous) so I’m carefully enjoying the slight break there while still being cautious since it feels like it could get worse at any moment.

I am now a bionic woman! The device they installed is called a PowerPort, which amuses me. There is some bruising around the site of install, and it’s the first time I’ve had a wound closed with glue (usually they use steri-strips). It’s quite high up on the left side of the chest, a small lump resting below the collarbone that you can feel when pressing across it. There’s a little wallet-sized card I’m supposed to carry with me that has information for any doctors or techs that need to access my PowerPort. They also gave me a keyfob and one of those rubbery bracelets that can also identify the presence of the port, but I think I’ll pass on using those. The informational booklet was interesting, apparently there’s some special scan called a power injection CECT scan that can be done with these ports that allows contrast media to be infused at a rapid rate and gives better definition on scans to soft tissues than normal xrays. Not sure if I’ll need that part, but it sounds cool. I have yet to find out if I’m in the 85% percentile for being able to get blood draws through it, but I’m now ready to receive chemotherapy.

Which, thanks to Medicaid, won’t be happening until next week. (My MRI was also rescheduled to Monday due to the authorization still pending, blah.) Tomorrow I attend my chemo informative class where I presume they’ll tell me about the chemical bath I’m prescribed and more details on side effects than I got at the general meeting with the MedOnc earlier this week. I trundle through the forest of never-ending medical appointments, yay Google Calendar for tracking it all.

But today I actually did some writing. On a potential project I’ve been ruminating on for a couple of years now. So that’s pretty neat, we’ll see if it goes anywhere. That plus this blog entry counts as good work for today.

2 responses so far

May 07 2011

politicky weekend links

Collection of Bin Laden links:

He Won — how Bin Laden changed the face of America for the worse

Obama and the End of Al-Qaeda
— How Obama could actually come out of this looking awesome…if only…
Muslim nations sound off on Bin Laden — so over him, already
Top 10 Myths about Bin Laden’s death — wow these spring up fast

Swarms of microbots, whee!

Spaaaaace Squiiiiids

One response so far

Apr 30 2011

radioactive weekend links

The world is ending again, on May 21st. This time with billboard announcements!

Why Nerds are Unpopular

Ridiculous fandom expression — royals tattooed on teeth

On Writing the Other, from Lauren Beukes

Tiny spacecraft — why hasn’t this been explored more as a concept? How cool…

I may or may not make it to World Horror Convention here in Austin today, but here’s the link in case you want to check it out!

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Mar 12 2011

hobbled weekend links

A rather scientific look at current facets of the publishing industry.

Interesting Supreme Court decision on the same-sex marriage argument.

Cyborg brains!

Amanda Hocking’s own words on her recent rise to e-fame — nicely balanced

Interesting feminism interview

New tech helps reduce pain for certain cancer treatments

And one on analyzing aspects of polyamory — long but reasonably sane-sounding

Abstract art? No, a map of the history of science fiction

4 responses so far

Feb 27 2011

langorous weekend links

Haven’t been on the internet as much to collect these, so here’s the last couple of weeks’ worth of what I did find…

A more scientific article on a topic we’ve touched on in a previous Weekend Link, Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

A rather funny bit of odd news, Homeowner Forecloses on Wells Fargo

Hummingbird spy drones!

Cool one on Designing the Internet For Space

A great list of references about interstellar flight

Hackers with letters of marque?

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Feb 12 2011

sparse weekend links

light link load this week!

An astronomer and writer’s blog, full of many interesting links! Mike Brotherton

Silly science fun: Orbital Mechanics for Werewolves

Hubby is selling his old car! See craigslist ad here. (Mileage = 154739, price neg.)

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Feb 06 2011

late weekend links

Linked several places, why the space race is in stasis over at

I’ve had some similar understandings over the past couple of years given health and other crises, but this is a nice article for writers on how to keep writing when life falls apart.

More updates on all the new exoplanets we’re finding

Awesome blog discussing the intersection of law and comic books over at Law and the Multiverse.

Interesting author response to critics of a controversial book about applying scientific process to moral questions

A transgendered person’s perspective on the gender inequalities in scientific fields. I like this kind of activism…

A neat link about progress on creating “invisibility cloaks” outside of science fiction and fantasy.

From a wiki-ramble (I started with shrunken heads and ended up here), a creepy, we-haven’t-learned-from-history quote from the Wikipedia entry on Hermann Goering, Hitler’s second-in-command:

Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship. …voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

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Jan 15 2011

weird weekend links

Fun article reminiscent of Fortean Times, about the possibility that our moon is an artificial satellite. They didn’t convince me, but the arguments were intriguing…

Seen a couple of places, thunderstorms on earth produce antimatter

OKCupid argues that the mathematics of beauty suggest you should be yourself, warts and all.

Forget the Galapagos turtle, or sequoia tree, bacteria are the longest lived organic life form we’ve discovered to date — try 34000 years on for size…

And for the writers, two things you should be reading, both by Kristine Kathryn Rusch:
The Business Rusch
The Freelancer’s Survival Guide

5 responses so far

Jan 04 2011

new year weekend links

This article made me quite happy to read, I giggled and ranted and cheered all the way through — which sounds like I’m taking delight in the problems of scientists, but it’s a bit different from that. I have been saying since high school that there are some serious flaws within the scientific method (because after all, scientists are still HUMAN) and have had a bunch of arguments with other science-minded types who treat the scientific method with religious-like faith and awe and have a hard time hearing about the flaws. My specific arguments have been mostly based around the author’s middle point of “an equally significant issue is the selective reporting of results—the data that scientists choose to document in the first place” but the other reasons for the “decline effect” around the scientific method mentioned in the article are also strong and interesting. I think we can fix most of the current flaws (except for the randomization argument) given the advances in technology and information sharing we now have, assuming scientists are willing to acknowledge their own biases on the issue. Go read, come back and let’s discuss in comments!

Awesome list from Cat Rambo about the 10 books she recommends to any writer focusing on craft.

An interesting read about how ebooks might affect the publishing industry from someone IN the publishing industry, including a nice contrasting of difference in format versus difference in form.

Thoughts on a “writer’s platform” and how people are Doin’ It Wrong.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted about WikiLeaks, I was a bit surprised no one commented on the last links to the reasoned other-side-of-the-coin arguments I posted, so go back and read if you missed them! This one is a short-and-to-the-point pro-WikiLeaks post from Nathaniel Eliot (also known as my beloved husband). Discuss there or here!

Haven’t done cancer links in a while, but had two people send me links to the big C news of the week: blood test for cancer is now entering clinical trials.

This one just made me happy to read, I like when people get obsessed and do neat sciency things with that hyperfocus…article on learning more about flying from birds

One response so far

Jan 02 2011

leftover weekend links

Rocket Scientists are funny: how much would it really take to blow up a planet?

A nicely balanced post on the e-publishing trend and where it still has to go

For my writer friends: I am not likely to have my novel both finished and edited in time but if YOU have one…Angry Robot Books is allowing unagented novel submissions in March 2011.

A blog written by an autistic woman in the Pacific Northwest that still has me thinking and introspecting after reading it.

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