I’m hesitant to speak out about the Florida school shooting, especially since I haven’t read every news account, but, I’d like to make a suggestion to school boards across the US. I suggest that if a student is found to have concerning posts on social media and/or threatening encounters with other students or teachers, rather than simply expelling the student, please consider offering that student free counseling by a valid psychologist. Give that student an opportunity to work out their feelings with someone who is qualified and offers a confidential setting. It would be a small expense that could save many lives.
It took a good man. A big, strong, solid, vibrant, loving man.
It took him, and knocked the wind out of his sails. Drained his big, strong, solid, vibrant, loving body and weakened it, day by slow, excruciating day.
Took his pride. Took his feelings. Took his hopes and wishes away, and left him hollow.
With skeletal eyes, it made him gaze at me. Causing constant pain, it led him to hold my hand and say nothing.
A beautiful man was taken out.
A man that was loved and was loving.
Pancreatic cancer grows, like a silence.
A death sentence that makes no sense.
A sentence that took away a whole book of a life.
This is cancer.
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.
So Rob and I are back together again.
I’m caregiver, he’s patient. He’s very, very patient.
In May of this year, he suddenly started suffering stomach and back pain, along with constipation, and he ended up in the emergency room around May 17. After an MRI showed a mass on his pancreas, he had an appointment with his (rather useless) primary care physician who administered lots of pain drugs but no tests for a month.
I think I wrote, last month, that he was scheduled for a biopsy. Biopsy was done on June 23 and still no cancer care until almost another month later, when we were finally introduced to an oncologist who is now Rob’s primary care guy. Not a moment too soon, oy. Since then, several tests have been done, he’s got a gastroenterologist, a physical therapist, chemo…
And here we are. I’m not able to get online much, because I’ve been spending every night at Rob’s cabin, about four miles away from our house. He has no internet there. His rent is no longer affordable, with disability payments alone, so he’s moving back in with me in our house next week.
Meantime, he started chemo this week – very aggressive stuff, but that’s the way we like it. I am determined to see him back on his Harley by autumn.
Are you with me?
I’m gonna blog when I can, with updates, rants, prayers, tears, and hopefully nothing worse.
Meantime, I’m joining the Green Party and voting for Jill Stein. The Democratic Party is shit, in my eyes. That’s all I will say about politics.
I’m here for the fun, and the not fun. I’m not here to talk about how wonderful Hillary Clinton is. Oy.
I am, as the title says, awaiting bad news.
I am signed up for Bernie Sanders’ announcement to his supporters this coming Thursday night, June 16, and my ex-boyfriend but still friend is awaiting a liver biopsy.
I am awaiting bad news all around, and I am sort of resigned to it. And sort of not.
How to deal with the fact that our country’s political system is due to undergo more corruption and or other nightmarish hell thanks to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. No chance of Bernie saving the day, anymore.
How to deal with the fact that the man I had hoped to marry, but didn’t, might be back under my roof soon in order for me to give him the care he would otherwise have at a hospice? How to deal with the fact that I had thought we were over and could just be friends, but that was when I thought he’d be hanging around in my life for years and years, as a good buddy, and not possibly suffering pancreatic cancer of the pancreas and liver.
How to deal with the fact that, as much as I know life is unpredictable and things don’t always go smoothly, this year is turning out to be the suckiest, fuckiest year ever, and I don’t mean that in a good, fun, sexual way.
I hate bad news. I hate news, in general. Especially mainstream media news that is broadcast by firms who are already bought and sold by the lobbyists and corporations that own our politicians.
I hate awaiting bad news. I hate waiting.
But I love you all, and wish you peace, as I wait.
I await the news.
Thirty years ago, the staff running a test on reactor #4 at the Lenin Nuclear Power Plant near Pripyat, Ukraine, USSR were reading unexpectedly high radiation levels. They debated stopping the test, but decided to keep going to find the limits. When the temperature readings climbed too high as well, they tried to shut the reactor down by inserting carbon rods.
There was, however, a design flaw, known by upper levels in the government, but not by the staff doing the testing. Inserting those rods somehow increased the reaction, increasing the heat. Containment water became steam, the roof of the reactor blew off and some 12 tons of radioactive uranium became airborne, contaminating a large swath of Europe.
I had two videos picked out to post but I decided this one was the most important because it is not about the current election. I am a little burned out on Trump and protesters. I am happy to see he came in third tonight in Wyoming. Maybe that will get him to back off on his hate talk.
This short video is from The Young Turks. They are talking about how just a few states that have legalized pot has had a major effect on the drug cartels. It is surprising how much marijuana has stopped coming into this country. The bad side of this they have increased heroin sales on the street. Now that the illegal use has spread to white suburban neighborhoods the some of the members of congress is starting to doubt the effectiveness of out war on drugs. Tell me what you think about this topic.
In 2009 President Bill Clinton said:
“Well, I think it’s more politically unpalatable than it is a bad idea,” responded Clinton. “Because single-payer is not socialized medicine. Canada has a single-payer system, and a private health care system. Our single-payer systems are Medicare and Medicaid and Medicare is quite popular. The good thing about single-payer is the administrative costs are quite low. We probably waste $200 billion a year between the insurance administrative costs, the doctors’ and other health care providers’ administrative costs, and employers’ administrative costs in health care that we would not waste if we had any other country’s system.”
Healthcare for all. I’m gonna try to explain how it works, okay? Here it goes.
You work for a company, and while you’re healthy and working, your company is paying premiums for your healthcare insurance. And so are you.
You are both paying for this, whether you get sick or not. It comes out of your paycheck, and it comes out of your company’s expenses.
And what you are paying for, is insurance.
You are not paying for actual medical costs, you are both paying monthly payments to an insurance company.
Now, let’s say you get sick. You need care. So you go to the doctor, with your company-paid insurance card, and the doctor tells you to do some tests. You do the tests, and they find something is wrong.
They tell you, you need something done. A procedure, surgery…you think it’s okay because you have insurance. Right?
But you have to meet a deductible. You’ve already had the money taken out of your paycheck, week after week….and your company that you work for has already paid, week after week, for the insurance group that covers you.
But you have to meet this deductible anyway. And you realize that a pain in your leg, or shoulder, might not be worth having to pay $1000 out of your own pocket to fix.
This is what we have, for those of us who have medical benefits at work.
And most of us, lately, don’t have full time jobs, but are working two part time jobs, some of them under the table.
This is what we have.
This is what we have to stop.
Under single-payer, medicare for all, there IS no insurance premium that has to be paid. You will continue to get the same pay but you will no longer have that medical insurance money taken out of your pay. Instead, it will go towards your taxes.
Your company? Same thing. They won’t have to pay that medical insurance premium either. Instead, they will have to pay a tax.
Both of you will get the same money in your pockets…but you will be able to get your shoulder, or your leg, fixed.
That’s how it works, folks.
It saves a lot of money and easy to make.
When I was really young in the early 1950’s I remember helping my mom make laundry soap out of Fels-Napha bar soap, Octagon bar soap or Ivory bar soap. Octagon is no longer being made. For baby diapers she would use Ivory bar soap. She would make it up in a bucket every couple of months. She would grate it and cook it and mix it up in a bucket of water. I never thought to ask her about it later in life. It was just something that was history along with her Maytag Ringer Washer. I can still smell that soap in my mind.
Like women of her generation she became attached to the lunchtime stories or also call soap operas because they were sponsored by soap manufactures. Television was the new exciting thing to have in the home. They came on at noon until one o’clock. Each one…
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