Cancer-free for now!

A Cancer Cell

I had a Petscan a couple of weeks ago and a lung biopsy this past Thursday. Yesterday I learned that they found “no cancer cells.” For those who don’t know, a Petscan helps to identify “hot spots” in your body to check for unusual cell growth and disease. It is much more detailed than a Catscan or MRI. I found the Petscan results quite interesting, but the biopsy was particularly amazing! How can they target a small tumor and then go in and obtain such a microscopic tissue sample?

But I soon realized the more important question is how do I deal with so much more information about what is happening in my body? The technology is outrunning our ability to deal with the results! To tell you the truth, I was more concerned about what treatments might be needed and how they might affect my overall health than having “cancer.” Treatments like chemo or radiation sound scary enough.

I’m glad there are treatments, but none sound real “healthy.” In the past we just wouldn’t know what was happening inside until it was too late. Now we are able to know so much more so much earlier. Then we have to decide how to think and feel about all of this information. It certainly helps me focus much more clearly on my own mortality and I happen to believe that that is a good thing. How do I feel about my life so far? Would it be OK if it ended now?


A nation born of racial violence…

It does not take a genius to see that by killing most native peoples in this country and then importing native Africans to produce our crops for us, our very existence was based on racial violence. Anyone who hates immigrants today must hate themselves, because we are almost all immigrants to this beautiful land.

As one who rarely quotes the Bible, I say, “Violence begets violence” in all of human history. Our nation was born of violence against the aborigines of this country first, and then Africans who did NOT want to come here on slave ships! In the West we have a long history of hate for Latinos, the Chinese and the Japanese. What a country! And now we act surprised that the violence continues?

A nation born of immigration and racial violence should not now be surprised that racism and violence continues to this day. I see absolutely no end in sight. Thoughts and prayers will never be enough. A total change in human conscience is in order.

If you can’t count on the ground beneath your feet staying put, what can you depend on?

1906 San Francisco Earthquake… YIKES!

I’ll never forget my first earthquake. I was living in Bangkok at age 19. I had taken a bath and was just standing up when I felt super dizzy and disoriented. Being from Kansas, I assumed it was my problem. It never occurred to me that the earth beneath my feet was moving!

I have lived in a number of places that experience regular earthquakes, most in Asia, but my first professional position after graduate school was at the University of Utah Government Documents in Salt Lake City. You should see the EPA report on what a major earthquake could do to that town!

When I studied Chinese in Taipei we had short ones about once a month. And each time I thought, ” I hate this place and now I’ll probably die here!” That convinced me permanently not to live in an earthquake zone and I haven’t since. I figure life is stressful enough without having to worry about the stability of the ground beneath my feet. Those that live in earthquake zones with 99% chance of the big one perplex me. Fatalism at its best I guess.

After the recent quakes, the Governor of California said Saturday that “governments must strengthen alert systems and building codes, and residents should make sure they know how to protect themselves during an earthquake.” Good luck with that!

When the entire earth seems out to get me, I am not optimistic…

Adding insult to injury in the treatment of our poor little blind puppy

It isn’t easy being ripped off by the medical establishment, and funny how they do it when you are most upset and vulnerable. We were told to take Rasta to an eye specialist for his apparent glaucoma and blindness in one eye. We went up to Colorado Springs on Tuesday for help. Instead we got a very sad diagnosis and a bill for $400 dollar for meds that would not help his blindness. So why did we pay it?

As you might guess I was very upset, and Mike was afraid to upset me further by protesting $230 worth of meds. when it seemed certain that Rasta would lose that eye anyway. So we paid and left. Only later I got to wondering how the bill added up to $400 for a 20 minute appointment. When I looked closer they charged us $160 for eye drops for glaucoma even though we were all fairly certain that his left eye was not salvageable. I felt like they took advantage of my own vulnerability and I was angry.

This is my cautionary tale….

Our cat Charlie died painfully, needlessly and far too young this week. This is why:

Our male cat Charlie died a painful death this week, and we want others to know so it does not happen to them.

Mike and I are not experienced with male cats or dogs and had no idea that the dry food we fed Charlie eventually killed him. According to our vet, who has seen hundreds of cases like this, feeding your male cat only dry food can easily lead to urinary tract diseases like cystitus and urinary obstruction. Wet food is much better for them.

Go check out this webpage and BELIEVE it!

“Miracle Messages” helps the homeless reconnect with loved ones

Miracle Messages helps “local partner sites engage their homeless neighbors in conversation and offer to help them record short Miracle Messages (video, audio, or text messages) to their loved ones. Then, our trained digital detectives attempt to deliver the Miracle Message and facilitate a reunion.”

Please allow me to explain how important this work can be. My disabled brother John had been homeless or close to it for years, with little or no contact with his family. In 2010, after he disappeared from Durango, we did not hear from him for a few years. I decided to set up a missing persons report at NamUs to reassure us that if his body was found we would be notified. Instead, a wonderful Forest Ranger down near Sedona Arizona saw my listing and talked John into contacting us. Since then we have reconnected in an amazing and life-changing way for all of us, his children, my elderly parents, my sister and me.

I imagine pride or shame cause many homeless people to avoid contact with people from their past. It is so important that they know that sometimes family and friends still love them and miss them terribly. Please donate as much as you can to this worthy cause because: