Cancer Like a Silence

On May 17, Rob called me at work and said, “I’m at the hospital.  I checked myself into the ER this morning because I was doubled over in pain.  They did an MRI and they told me I have a mass on my pancreas, and more spots on my liver, but they’re sending me home.”

I left work and met him at his cabin.  He was waiting for me on the front porch.  I sat down with him, and his first words to me were, “I don’t want to die.”

By the first week of June, I was spending every night with him.  He wasn’t able to sleep due to hours-long bouts of hiccups, and he was afraid he’d stop breathing in the middle of the night.  My cats were home alone in my house, so I’d leave work every night and go home to feed them dinner and check their water bowl and litter box, then race over to Rob’s to spend the night.

I tried to make him fattening dinners…a lot of pasta, quiche, vegetables, soup, breads.  Most nights he’d take a few bites and then ask for an Ensure.  Other nights, he’d eat almost half the plate but then vomit it up before asking for Ensure.

He went from 179 lbs to 130 in two months.  He stopped showering because he couldn’t stand seeing his body anymore.  His skin was jaundiced, his muscles were gone, and he looked like a victim from Auschwitz.

I held him anyway.  I stroked his back, his shoulders, his arms, his legs.  I tried to find the old Rob in the new Rob.  I took him on long drives in the car on my days off, just to get him off the couch and out into the air.  Give him scenery, a change of pace.  He’d put on his sunglasses and lean the passenger-side seat back and look out the window and wave to people.  He’d squeeze my hand and say, “Thank you.”

He died at 57 because he was afraid to see the doctor each year.  He thought he was healthy as a horse and had no need for annual checkups.  When the pain started in his midsection last year, he thought perhaps it was an ulcer but he feared all the tests he’d have to go through.  So he kept putting off a physical.

That week in May, after he went to the ER, he handed me seven pages of blood test results.  I found the flagged items and googled ALT, ALP, AST, and started sobbing.  It was already too late.

But the oncologist told us that he’d get stronger after a few doses of chemo…the gastroenterologists told us they could help unblock the blockage…the surgeon told us that the port-a-cath would make Rob’s life easier…his primary care physician told us that his meds could help the pain…

Rob is gone but the bills keep coming to his mailbox, all of them from the oncologist, the gastroenterologists, the surgeon and the primary care physician.  They all knew he was dying…now they want to collect, the bastards.

Cancer is silent until it grows.

A Political Rant

Please read. It is a very good rant. Lot of us are at the same point.


The excitement I got from canvassing for Bernie was this feeling that I could make a difference and help make the world more equitable and just. Besides the disappointment of seeing our “side” lose, it was very deflating when word came out that the political body that was running the primaries had “rigged” the election. I don’t mean literally, because as of now we don’t have proof of intentional vote rigging. We do see clearly however in email leaks, that this was not a “level playing field and may the stronger candidate win”. The professional party insiders had predetermined the nominee and were making sure the rank and file knew who to select.

Most people don’t spend a lot of time researching candidates and analyzing positions. I’m guilty of this myself. I needed to be made aware of the alternatives, and if I hadn’t had a redditor in my life…

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Voting 3rd Party Will *Not* Elect the Greater Evil

This explains why we can vote for who ever we want and not have to pick the lesser of 2 evils.

The Writing of John Laurits


Greetings, my sisters, my brothers, & my others —
Today, I’m writing to you about the math of the general election , as well as why that math tells us that the vast majority of you can vote your conscience without being a “spoiler” & electing whoever the greater evil is (which is pretty debatable , by the way). It’s true! This is not my opinion — this is arithmetic

It is my sincerest hope that this article will help to put a decisive end to all of the public vote-shaming & bullying that’s been going around these days — so, if you’ve been bullied or pestered online lately for supporting Jill Stein or Gary Johnson or anyone else, worry not — the math is with you.

And I’ll show youwhy follow me!

Making Sense of the Insane Math
of the US Presidential Elections

As I’ve explained quite…

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Why Your Third-Party Vote Is NOT Wasted

I am tired of hearing people tell me that by not voting Dem or Rep this year, but by voting Green or Liberal, I am wasting my vote and/or acting as a spoiler.

I am tired of a two-party system that is nothing but gridlock.

I am tired of seeing two terrible, terrible candidates dominate the airwaves while other candidates still exist.

My friend Chuq makes some good points here in his blog.

Please consider voting your conscience and sending a message this year.  Please.


A PTSD Election

This is really good. Please give it a read.

OSuzyQuilts, Free-motion Quilting and Meanderings

I talked to a friend the other day, a fellow Bernie Sanders supporter (Berner), and we talked about experiencing a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

We have since the end of the primaries, since Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary, since the DNC the last week of July – been bummed out from: Bernie not winning, his endorsement of “her”, the fiasco of the DNC according to many Bernie delegates, the blatant (to many of us) election rigging, DNCLeaks, voter suppression and disenfranchisement, potential election fraud, #ExitPollGate, seeing the Bernie vote split between Jill, Trump, Gary, Hill or even those who just don’t want to vote at all now.

And, it occurred to me that it wasn’t that simple. It’s not simply just a case of PTSD.

The reason people feel lost now isn’t just that Bernie lost. We feel, deep down, that WE, the United States and perhaps even…

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The Cuyahoga Ignites

I think Chris will enjoy this. The blog is a couple of years old but still very timely. Boy do I remember when that river caught fire. We watched it burn on local TV.


My friend, Aaron, was a high school junior at Cleveland, Ohio in 1969.  He remembers how his fellow Clevelanders used to ridicule the nasty Cuyahoga river. The Cuyahoga oozed its way through the city, brown with oily, bubbling goo.   The Federal Water Pollution Control Administration once noted that the lower Cuyahoga had no visible forms of life.


Cuyahoga is the Iroquoi name for “the crooked river” that winds its way through Northeastern Ohio. The two branches of the short river emerge from fresh water springs that come together as the main Cuyahoga. The river cuts through forests and farmland.  When it reaches the Akron vicinity, it meets a continental divide that forces a northwesterly flow.

This stretch from Akron to Cleveland is the lower Cuyahoga where the Ohio & Erie Canal ran parallel to it.  This section of the river has been the home to intense industrial activity lining the…

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Tolerance and Acceptance

Finnish Perspective

Something this country seems to be lacking. At leas on a group level, thought maybe less so on an individual level. I have heard it said that though Donald Trumps supporters are very bigoted as a group, not so much as individuals. I however do not know this myself.

We are a very diverse society and country but as such each separate group shows more or less intolerance and judgement of other groups. Along cultural lines made up of varying religious, societal, economic, gender and racial cultural norms. As well as language, artistic, economic class,  education and dietary preferences. To name just a few. A lot of the problems we see today stem from this lack of tolerance and judgement of some group has with another group. And if you think it’s better elsewhere just remember the French passed laws not long ago prohibiting Muslim women from wearing Hijabs and…

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