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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Cat's LiveJournal:

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Friday, November 25th, 2016
5:28 am
Resurfacing Yet Again
Let's see if it sticks this time.
Monday, July 18th, 2016
6:54 am
Bullet Point Update
So, it was over a year between my penultimate post and my last one. Here's a quick catch-up:

  • That iodine infusion reaction that I had turned out not to be the most interesting part of the scan. That would be that the radiologist who read the pictures they did get noticed a mass on my kidney. One ablation and biopsy later and it was determined to be benign. A year out and there's no sign of it coming back.

  • I've now graduated to only needing a dermatology checkup every six months, since my first four (every three months) were all-clear.

  • Andy, callicrates, is doing some really neat collaboration with folks in Washington, DC. He's been racking up the frequent flier miles and frequent hotel stay points.

  • We've been to two weddings of cousins this year, and will be attending a third one in December. We're also attending the wedding of a widowed aunt in September.

  • We celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary in April.

  • Our middle kitty, Sean, was diagnosed with nasal adeno-carcinoma. Thankfully he is not yet showing any symptoms aside from tears and occasional labored breathing. We are going the palliative care/quality-of-life route.

  • I had foot surgery in January. As of March it was looking good. As of April it was not. I had the redo about six weeks ago. This time insurance sprang for a treatment they denied last time, so hopefully this will be the last such surgery.

  • With any luck, I'll be able to walk full weight-bearing Real Soon Now. I probably will still need to wear the boot for the forseeable future and I will probably be unable to resume exercise until after I lose the boot.

  • As noted in my last entry, I'm once again playing on a Pern-themed MUSH. Please check us out at whitestar.spundreams.net port 4201. Wiz-theme is Star Wars names, so don't worry if you see three or four of those. I'm Maz Kanata.

That's all for now. Updates as events warrant.

Current Mood: Ambivalent
Saturday, July 16th, 2016
7:29 am
Is This Thing On?
Whoa. It's been a long time since I posted! A lot has gone on, but I'm posting today in hopes of reaching friends I made playing various Pern-themed MUSHes who aren't on Facebook or who aren't following me there.

After a long hiatus I'm once again playing and, more importantly, working on a new game called Threads of Pern (ToP). ToP is set in late Third Interval with the Fourth Pass about five years away in game time (A year and three months in RL). ToP characters can be the ancestors of their characters on PernMUSH, though they don't have to be. People who never played PernMUSH are welcome, as are those who are new to MUSHing. Because a majority of people who are ToP's intended audience have lives outside of the game, RP will mostly be event-oriented, with most events occurring on weekends. People will be welcome to RP in between, but should not feel obligated to be on all the time.

The game's grand opening is on August 13th, 2016. There will be an off-camera Holder's Conclave to confirm Lexi as Fort's Lady Holder and an on-camera gather to celebrate. People are encouraged to look around as a Guest and/or pcreate before then so they can settle in. There will be some pre-opening mini-events, possibly including a firelizard hatching. The address is whitestar.spundreams.net port 4201. I'm Maz Kanata there (Staff are named after Star Wars characters), so please page me to let me know you saw this on LiveJournal.

If you have not played on MUSHes before and the idea of a text-based online interactive game based on Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series interests you, please contact me and I'll help you get on.

Current Mood: hopeful
Friday, April 10th, 2015
8:34 pm
CT Scan 10 April 2015
This may contain some TMI given my reaction to the iodine. Read at your own risk.
Read more...Collapse )
Friday, March 20th, 2015
4:26 pm
Saturday, March 7th, 2015
8:49 am
Halfway There
Several years ago I posted about a mix tape I had received from blackgryphon decades ago. I've also mentioned it on Facebook. For those just joining us, here's a brief rundown:

The tape included two full albums and some miscellanea. The two full albums were Carmen Miranda's Ghost by Leslie Fish and Vince Emery Presents: The Funniest Computer Songs, both of which are long out of print with virtually no hope of re-release. Because the tape I was recording to was not as long as the original, I had to drop some of the songs. For a very long time I thought the tape was lost, but I found it recently. Sadly, our tape to mp3 converter is incompatible with our current computers, so the tape is sitting in our safe until I stop waffling and procure a new one.

Fast forward to today, when I saw callicrates' post of a current meme going around -- one that begged for a reference to a song from Carmen Miranda's Ghost. I searched on Google hoping to find the lyrics, but I was happily stunned to see the song show up on YouTube. It turns out that someone had scanned in the whole album (This links to the first song, but YouTube will show the rest of the songs). Not only can I listen to it, but I can finally hear the songs I had left off! This is enough to make me actually haunt YouTube, which I have largely avoided up until now.

Alas Vince Emery's album has not (Yet) received the same treatment, but I can hope.

Current Mood: Giddy
8:13 am
Post 19 Feb 2015 Surgery Update
It's been a little over two weeks since surgery, so I had an appointment with the surgeon yesterday. She was happy with the recovery so far. It looks like the skin graft took, and the pathology report was good enough that she has deemed chemo not to be necessary. I am off of the crutches and the boot, though I'll be wearing sandals for a while since normal shoes would chafe the wound area.
Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
7:53 pm
(Surgery) Date
Andy and I went to see the surgeon today. As a side note, she had nothing to do with the bureaucratic nonsense of last week -- she only got the report on Friday and immediately agreed to see me. Nor did she make any comment about us seeing her instead of a podiatrist; she looked at the wound, checked the pulse in my foot and several places on my leg, checked every other area I pointed out as possibly worrisome, and went over the report with us.

As noted before it's superficial, less than a millimeter deep. It is not even deep enough to warrant the automatic checking of nearby lymph nodes, though she offered us that option. Unfortunately it is a bit spread out on top and current best practice is to excise a centimeter beyond the borders, which means the wound will be a larger area than Andy was expecting. Also, it's on the top of my foot so going a centimeter deep is not feasible. They will need to do a skin graft on the day of surgery. There will be a pathology report and she'll know if she got everything, so if it is worse than she expected we can still deal with it.

They've already given me a surgical boot (This confused me until I saw it, since the podiatrist called my last one a boot. This is more like a boot, while the last one was just a glorified sandal) and crutches. There will also be a small wound vac in the mix, the surgeon believes probably for about a week. The surgery is scheduled for February 19th, which is a month to date after my BSO. Luckily, since the BSO was so recent, they didn't need to do another pre-anesthesia blood test and EKG.
Thursday, February 5th, 2015
2:07 pm
Bureaucracy Phone Tag
A week ago today my podiatrist found out that a growth on my foot was a melanoma. She was so concerned that I know about this that, since I wasn't home when she called and she was leaving the office, she left her cell phone number on the answering machine. When she returned my call later that evening, we decided it best to contact Oncology within my medical provider to see what they believed would be the best option. At that point the podiatrist was figuring she could do the surgery.

On Monday Oncology got back to her. They advised that she contact General Surgery to do the operation and gave her a list of names. One she recognized from our former conversations, so she told me to call the practice. I would find out later that she had called the GS and they had told her that no referral would be necessary.

Side note: I did have an active referral to the same surgeon to consult about my possible mastectomies.

I called GS and explained the situation, and the scheduler said that I needed to talk to Orthopedics/Podiatry since the melanoma was on my foot. She gave me the number, which I called immediately. The very nice scheduler I spoke with there heard "Melanoma" and told me they couldn't do the surgery, and transferred me to the proper office... which happened to be GS. The second scheduler was far more helpful, found the order (We now believe she saw the breast consult referral and thought it was one from the Podiatrist), but she wanted to make sure so sent a message to the nurse who works with the surgeon.

The nurse called back to clarify some things, but she could only find the breast referral. She said she would call the podiatrist to figure things out. I waited around until it was time to leave the house, then I called and gave the folks my cell phone number. I had not previously because I tend not to have me cell phone with me and charged, but in this case I did.

The call must have come while I was driving, because when I got there I had a missed call message, but no voicemail. I called missed number and it was GS, and there were no notes as to who had called. Except that suddenly there was a note that the nurse had called and left a voicemail. As soon as I got off the phone it buzzed, and there was a message. The GS nurse said she'd talked to the podiatrist's nurse, who had told her to disregard the referral until she could talk to the Podiatrist to find out what was going on, and that further communication should be with the podiatrist's nurse.

I did not receive a call from the podiatrist's nurse during the day, or at least if I did she did't leave a message. I tried calling after getting home from The Yarn Store and just caught the nurse, who was very confused because she didn't realize she was supposed to call me. Since the podiatrist had already left for the day, she said she would try to find out on Wednesday what was going on.

On Wednesday I found out that the podiatrist hadnot told anyone to belay the referral, and that there had been no order because when she called GS they had told her none would be needed. I once again called GS and left a message. The GS nurse returned the call and said that the podiatry nurse had just faxed over the pathology report and the GS would look it over on Thursday and would decide if she would do the surgery.

I had a followup appointment from my surgery on January 19th today (Thursday) and the GS office is downstairs from the followup appointment. I went downstairs afterward to see if there was any news. The nurse was with a patient but said the surgeon had not had a chance to look at the pathology report yet.

I finally just got the call from the GP nurse, who has scheduled an appointment with the surgeon next week to discuss the operation. I just hope that this is a pre-surgery consultation and not one to decide if she'll do it at all. And only a week has elapsed since my podiatrist left her cell phone number so I could be informed and get things rolling as soon as possible.
Friday, January 30th, 2015
12:09 pm
Cat: 2, Cancer: 1
I managed not to have breast cancer (Confirmed via 3D mammogram and breast MRI) or ovarian (Confirmed via biopsy after my surgery on 19 January 2015).

One thing I forgot to mention, and I may go back and add to the re-introduction post, is that I had a severe infection in my right foot which ended up involving hospitalization and removal of part of the bone in my middle toe. I've spent most of September-December healing over the wound(s) the infection left on my right foot. Part of this involved, for the most part, seeing a podiatrist on a weekly basis.

About two years ago, what looked like a birthmark appeared on my left foot. It was small, round, and dark enough brown that it looked black. Last year or so it began to change, lightening in color and becoming slightly raised. Closer to when I had the infection in my other foot it began looking as if it was bubbling up. I mentioned it to the podiatrist several times, but she was more concerned with getting the wound(s) from the infection under control.

In mid-January I had a final appointment just to confirm the wound(s) had healed to the point of no longer needing to be watched. She took a more intense look at the thing on my left foot and decided to do a biopsy, which occurred a few days later. My followup was yesterday on the ten day mark, at which point she was to remove the stitch and review the biopsy results with me.

The stitch removal was painless and quick, but when she tried to access the results online, she found out that there weren't results yet. She left me to deal with another patient while her nurse tried to contact the biopsy people. I'm guessing the sample fell behind a filing cabinet or something, because while I sat and knitted more of Andy's scarf, I overheard the nurse saying they were working on the sample at that moment. The podiatrist sent me home and I went to The Yarn Store at Nob Hill, my home away from home, to hang out.

When I got home there was a message on the machine from the podiatrist, saying the results were back, but she wasn't going to be in the office for the rest of the day or today. After waffling for a bit she left her cell phone number and asked me to call her. I began the game of phone tag and decided to take a nap. She called back and asked if I was sitting down, then told me it was melanoma. She had been expecting a wart, or possibly squamous cell or basal carcinoma. The actual diagnosis blindsided her, and she wanted me to know as soon as possible.

She believes she is the most qualified to excise the melanoma given its location on the foot and the fact that she's a podiatrist, but she also wants to consult some oncologists to make sure she does due diligence. She said it's superficial at this point, but that it should be operated on in the not-too-distant future. I'm inclined to wait at least until after my birthday, which is Tuesday of next week. I'm not sure whether this will be an office procedure or a hospital one and, if the latter, if I will need to wait longer to finish up healing from the surgery on January 19th. I'm also not sure if she planned on calling the oncologist(s) today or waiting until she's back in the office on Monday.

More updates as events warrant.
Saturday, January 24th, 2015
11:25 am
Still Alive!
[Updated 30 January 2015 to include the infection and subsequent hospitalization in September.]

Some people have been suggesting I blog, so I'm vaguely looking into reviving this LJ account. A lot has happened since the last post, in April of 2013. With regards to that post -- nope, I didn't win the trip to space. Sniffle.

This is a quick catch-up for those who don't follow me on Facebook. Those who do will probably find this to be quite familiar.


  • I'm still married to callicrates. April 11th of 2015 will mark our 17th wedding anniversary.

  • We still have three kitties, in order of age: Heidi, Sean, and Jenny

  • We still live in New Mexico.

  • I've taken up knitting. I actually have a (mostly dormant) knitting blog at spundreams.blogspot.com

  • My sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in October 2013 and declared NED in May of 2014, just before her wedding.

  • In September of 2014 I developed a severe infection from a popped blister and landed in the hospital. The infection was brought under control within three days using an end-stage antibiotic. Unfortunately the antibiotic sent me into stage four kidney failure, necessitating another several days in the hospital. The infection left a large wound on my foot which over the next few months split into two smaller and one fairly large wound. My kidneys were declared back to normal in late December and the largest of the wounds on my foot was declared healed in early January of 2015.

  • My sister, my mom, and I all have the same mutation in the BRCA2 gene which means we're at a higher risk for certain types of cancer.

  • Probably most of what I write about, especially in the near future, will be the measures I'm taking with regards to the BRCA2 revelation.

  • Though I may note on Facebook that I've made an entry to LJ, I do not plan on cross-posting from LJ to Facebook.

  • I will try to update my Dreamwidth account in real time as well, but it will be a mirror LJ rather than an independent blog.


That's all for now. I may add things to this; if so I will try to remember to note the date of the update in the edit.
Sunday, April 21st, 2013
9:45 am
Send Me To Space!
Ever wanted to get me really far away from you? Well, here's your chance!

NB: The site is not friendly to locked-down or text-based browsers. That being said, this is one of my fondest dreams. Even if you're not into space flight (once you help me you get your own chance), please consider playing along.
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
10:02 pm
Monday, December 17th, 2012
7:38 pm
My Thoughts on Gun Issues
I have been wanting to write this for a long time. I envisioned a series of posts giving my views on controversial topics, but I never followed through. This post is not a direct result of the latest massacre, but was instead an answer to a friend on Facebook.

My feelings about gun ownership are as follows:Collapse )

Current Mood: listless
Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
2:07 pm
A Potential Threat
[This is what I posted on Facebook. I'm not as much of an activist here, but I want this to reach as many people as possible. Please feel free to post the URL in your own entry/words, or even to use some of mine (the bit about being a Cat might be a bit nonsensical ;)]

I sincerely wish I didn't have to run around shouting about the sky falling (for goodness sake, I'm a large Cat, not a little chicken) with regards to Internet censorship, but unfortunately the newer attacks are not only as dangerous as the former attempts, but in most, if not all, cases they're even more brazen and harmful. Things have been quiet on the TPP front (the behind-the-scenes-not-even-our-legislators-are-being-let-in-on-what-is-going-on trade agreement), but not so much on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) (which I believe I've mentioned once before) front. I'll let Google tell the story. Please please please consider signing the petition and don't put it off -- the decision may be made on December 3rd. Please also share this in your own status so more people hear about it.

http://www.google.com/intl/en/takeaction/whats-at-stake/
Sunday, November 4th, 2012
9:18 am
NaNoWrMo and Hobby Update
I'm not doing NaNoWrMo because I don't have the attention span to write a novel. I am, however, trying to get a short story written by November 30th so I can polish it before submitting it in December. The story length is capped at 30 pages, so I'm going to try, instead, to do a page a day of the short. I started writing the story yesterday and managed a page and a half, which means I'm behind by two and a half days so far. Hopefully I can make that up fairly quickly despite my relatively un-quick typing speed.

In other news, I'm still procrastinating on the whole "Taking up knitting" thing. A friend recommended an ebook for beginners, and I'm thinking of downloading it today so I can figure out what kind/size needles I need. Due to enthusiastic recommendations by friends I want to try knitting in the round, but I need to see if the ebook teaches that first. My ultimate goal is to knit hats for people who have lost their hair.

In other other news, I think I've finally decided not to try to make jewelry any more, except for some easy-to-set birthstone stuff for friends and relatives. My fine motor skills are not so fine, and I never feel confident that the stones I set will stay, except in the snap-settings. I still want to pursue gemology and get a degree from the GIA in gem identification, but due to finances that is going to be a long-term goal.

Current Mood: blank
Friday, November 2nd, 2012
11:25 pm
Kirrimeia
A name I plan to use in a short story. As of the time of this posting, Google says, "No results found for kirrimeia."
Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
12:57 pm
Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
8:07 pm
Doing Something
I've been a somewhat passive activist since high school. What this means, at least to me, is that I feel strongly for causes, but often I'm more inclined to write passionately about it or, in this day in age of online petitions, sign a lot of those. In college my first time around I was on student council and went to some rallies and such. Since then, not so much. I sat out most of Occupy X, and my most overt political activities, other than voting, have been phoning representatives to let them (or at least their staff) know how I feel about various issues.

Early on in the Occupy movement, though, I saw an intriguing idea -- a new Constitutional Convention which would air a core set of grievances. After reading about it, I never saw anything further, until about a month ago. In the time I hadn't been watching, it had developed into an actual movement, including renting out convention space in Philadelphia from July 2nd-4th, and setting up a system of electing candidates to attend the conference as delegates. Actually, instead of re-inventing the wheel, details can be found here.

At that moment I kicked into active gear again, and have since registered as a candidate for my congressional district. I've been distributing flyers and reaching out to my social networks including, as of this post, LiveJournal. I've also been trying to get all of my friends to register to vote, no matter whether they can vote for me or not. Registration is needed because this isn't a state or federal election. If you're reading this and haven't registered yet for any reason, including only having heard of it just now, please consider doing so. They also need more delegate candidates and volunteers for the convention.

Needless to say, if you're in the Albuquerque area of NM, I would be super grateful if you register to vote and then vote for me in early June when the voting commences. And also if you have friends who are into this kind of thing, please let them know about this and encourage them to vote for me. If you want I have business cards, flyers, and stickers with more information.

This may not go anywhere, but at least I'm finally doing something.

Current Mood: determined
Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
2:22 pm
Cat/Dog Food Recall Due to Salmonella
Cat/dog owners, please check ASAP to see if this list involves food you might be feeding to your pet(s).

Recall List
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