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health & medical

All that remains

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First, they came for my appetite, and I said nothing.

Well, I said some things, some complaining type things. And I may have had some help acquiring some items that are legal in only certain states, in order to address this thing that the chemo took away. (Thanks again to you-know-who-you-are!)

Then, they came for my hair, and I said nothing because I knew that this was going to happen, so I shaved my head Britney-style. I complained some more, because my hair, ya’ll!

Now, they have taken away my eyelashes and eyebrows. (Yes, I skipped the part where my body hair fell off, because not shaving is clearly a bonus and this blog is not titled “The Upside of Trying to Chase Out Every Last Damn Cancer Cell.”) I was prideful about my eyelashes and eyebrows, which both of my children were lucky to inherit. It was nice to know that in a wig I could maybe fake people out because I still had them. They are nearly gone now. Sigh.

What I have gained is a thing called neuropathy in my feet and hands. Just a little bit of it. A sort of dull feeling in my hands. As for the feet, well, you know how it feels if you step on something and it sticks to the bottom of your feet? Like, a piece of paper or scotch tape? I feel like I have something stuck to the balls of my feet, off and on, all day. That one big Taxol dose added this to my chemo repertoire after only a couple of days, and I’m doing all the extras to combat it that all the people recommend. Trust me, I am reading the stuff and listening to you folks.

I also gained this super fun thing called menopause, which so far is manifesting as a short temper and heat waves that mostly hit at night, like Tom Cruise is dangling from the ceiling holding a space heater. Then I wake up and he gets sucked back into the ceiling and suddenly I feel normal again. I never liked him. Even before he jumped on Oprah’s furniture.

New lower dose Taxol started today. It is one third the strength of the last one, but they gave me the same amount of steroids that they gave me last time. That means tomorrow I will probably feel like I can do all the laundry in the world (that is not an invitation.) We wait for Thursday morning. That’s when the crash came last time, when I sent the kids off to school and then sat down and realized that I felt as though I’d just been hit by a car. I have high hopes for this coming Thursday. Let’s get through this, my body, without so much strife.

Then I can just focus on waiting for all of my beloved hairs to grow back. Good thing we bought me the medicine cabinet with the built in magnifying mirror!

books & writingcreative writing

Added to my e-bookshelf … Speculative Story Bites

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My experience with LibraryThing has added a LOT of different works to my e-bookshelf, and that’s led to a diverse array of reading experiences for me, and reviews for the books.

Some were great, others not-so-great-but-alright … there were titles that registered somewhere in the middle of the ‘meh’ meter … and one that left me scrambling to find words that adequately expressed how odorous I found it.
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Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingscience

In honor of the new school year, top ten science one-liners

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10. Schrödinger’s cat walks into a bar, and doesn’t.

9. When the bartender told the helium, “We don’t serve noble gases in here,” he didn’t react.

8. After the neutron drank his beer, he asked the bartender for the bill, but the bartender said, “For you, no charge.”

7. When the bartender told the Higgs Boson he had to go to church right away and the Higgs Boson asked why, the bartender said, “Because they can’t have mass without you.”

6. A photon checked into a hotel, and when the porter asked him if he had any luggage, he replied, “No, I’m travelling light.”

5. A student sees Einstein sitting next to him on the train, and asks, “Excuse me, Professor, but does Boston stop at this train?”

4. When the policeman stopped Werner Heisenberg for speeding and told him how fast he was going, Heisenberg responded, “Great! Now I’m lost!

3. Never trust an atom, because they make up everything.

2. The Theory of Relativity says time moves more slowly when you’re with your relatives.

1. They say one day the universe will implode — no matter!
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

virtual children by Scott Warnock

Reading, leading, and summer’s receding

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I tried so hard to resist this summer, and I nearly did it: I almost made it through those hazy months without scrawling a lament about kids and reading. But now we’re at the end, and I again am coming off another three months of banging my head against the wall trying to get the kids around me to read, so, well, better luck next year. [Read more →]

diatribesrace & culture

An occasion where I DON’T take a knee

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One week ago today, I was in the food court at Houston-Hobby Airport, waiting for a flight home following the latest round in my ongoing Texas Cancer Smackdown. This round had gone well, with good test results and encouraging words from the folks at M.D. Anderson.

For obvious reasons, I was in the mood to relax – even celebrate – with some lunch. The food was good, and a cold glass of local brew added to my enjoyment of the meal. Several feet away, the Apollo Chamber Players were performing light classical pieces as part of the airport’s “Harmony in the Air” program … all in all, I was in good spirits.

But then there was change, as Apollo switched gears and began playing “The Star Spangled Banner.”
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Bob Sullivan's top ten everythinglanguage & grammar

In honor of the new school year, top ten grammar one-liners

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10. I need a punctuation mark that’s halfway between a period and an exclamation point, so I can answer texts without sounding bored or insane.

9. I didn’t pay my syntax, so I got a poorly constructed prison sentence.

8. I once saw a forklift lift a crate of forks – which was way too literal for me!

7. A girl texted me, “Your adorable,” I texted back, “No, YOU’RE adorable,” and now we’re married – when all I was trying to do was correct her typo.

6. If I had a dollar for every time I leave something unfinished,

5. There’s a fine line between hyphenated words.

4. Sometimes I use phrases that I don’t understand, and vice versa.

3. I seek eloquence, but I’d be satisfied with coherence.

2. I saw a teacher beating a student about the head while screaming, “Die! Die! Die!” so I guess, from now on, that kid will remember what the singular of ‘Dice’ is.

1. If life gives you melons, you might be dyslexic.
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Now that he’s ‘like’d a porn video on Twitter, Ted Cruz’s top ten favorite porn films

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10. Ball the President’s Men

9. Barbara’s Bush

8. Politically Erect

7. Pussy-Graber-in-Chief

6. The Devil in Miss Conway

5. Filibuster Cherry

4. Nazi-jism

3. Nailin’ Palin

2. Cruzin’

1. Deep Pockets
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingeducation

In honor of the new school year, top ten mathematics jokes and riddles

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10. Why was six afraid of seven? Because seven ate nine.

9. I for one — but that’s Roman numerals for you!

8. Did you hear about the constipated mathematician, who finally worked it out with a pencil?

7. I was quite young when I learned to count, and it was odd at first, even then.

6. When my math teacher told me I was average, I said, “That’s just mean.”

5. I’ll stop at nothing to avoid using negative numbers.

4. If I ever get taken in for questioning, I hope there’s no calculus.

3. I heard the government was doing away with Roman numerals, but all I can say is: Not on my watch!

2. A farmer saw that he had 37 cows in his field, but when he rounded them up, he had 40.

1. Why was six afraid of seven? Because seven was a registered six offender.
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingeducation

In honor of the new school year, top ten education one-liners

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10. On my first day of school, my parents dropped me off at the wrong nursery, so there I was, surrounded by trees and bushes.

9. I won’t say ours was a tough school, but we had our own coroner.

8. In school, I wasn’t so much the class clown as the class trapeze artist, because I was always being suspended.

7. My physics teacher told me I had a lot of potential, just before he pushed me off the roof.

6. When my math teacher asked me if I understood inequalities, I answered, “More or less.”

5. It’s Groundhog Day, but enough about the school lunch menu.

4. The only thing more dangerous than grizzly bears in our schools is Betsy DeVos.

3. When I went to college, my parents threw a going-away party for me, according to their letter.

2. There are certain things about school that you hate at the time, but would pay good money for later in life — like being spanked every day by a middle-aged woman.

1. If I’ve learned one thing in life, then the American education system has really let me down.
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

virtual children by Scott Warnock

Social media, depression, young girls

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I’m on a little of a generationist roll here (as much as I get on a roll about anything on this blog), but why not? I collect these tidbits, these links, and I’ve been accumulating many lately about the ever-growing body of evidence that social media overconnectedness threatens mental health — and this is especially the case for young girls. [Read more →]