(Originally posted at TheDefeatists.typepad.com)
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.
John Milton, “On His Blindness”
It’s been an odd summer at Defeatist Central. In the last few years, we’d have gone crazy with lots of stuff about how horrible the politicians, economy and so on have become. However, not unlike a lot of other bloggers, we’ve become strangely quiet. Is it because, as in the case of Mr. Fun, we are frustrated because once you go Pek you can’t go back and no Pony has arrived? Perhaps because of the arrival of Defeatist Babies while we mourn the departure of beloved Defeatist Pets? Is it perhaps because of more mundane concerns? Or, maybe greater concerns? Who knows what ennui and disinterest lurk in the hearts of men? Well, besides Yeats, of course….but I quote him often enough.
For me, it’s been an odd time. Mrs. AXE came home one day and announced that she wanted to retire from Federal Service because she was old and because she was working for complete assholes. Well, that was fine with me; I did some math and said, OK we’ll be fine. She then went through some totally unnecessary hassles over insurance coverage for some tests, submitted her paperwork, got the tests in early March and retired on the 31st. That afternoon, we got the diagnosis – colon cancer with fairly large polyps that probably had breeched the walls of the colon. On April 20, they did the surgery. The surgeon said it went very well; on the following Tuesday, I got a call at 10PM saying they were taking her to emergency surgery because of complications; when I got there, she greeted me by crying “Goodbye…” Now, by nature I am not a nurturing type; my response was fairly unemotional and probably helped in this case – “Really? I don’t think so unless you know something I don’t.” The surgery went well – there had been an obstruction and the surgeon took out three feet of small intestine that was gangrenous. To allow everything to heal, he performed a temporary Ileostomy, that is, a procedure to route the small intestine to a sack outside the body. When she was healed, they would reattach the plumbing. In the meantime, she’d start with an oncologist and see if Chemo was the next step.
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