Tired or sad

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.
Baseline

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.
Empathy or hope

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.
Tired or sad

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.

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Angry

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/
Serene or contemplative

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.
Baseline

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.
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    determined determined