Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas


Sunday, December 16, 2012

More Photos Of My Cancerous Bump

These photos were taken on Dec 14, 2012... I had a CT scan earlier that day and when I took off my bra I must of scraped it open.  Mom decided to mark the border of it to show the growth... wish we thought of that as soon as we discovered it.

This photo was taken on Dec 15, 2012
Here's a couple of photos of the CT fluid injection site.
Lovely, huh?
I see my oncologist on Monday for the PET and CT scan results.  I also received a voicemail to set up an appointment for chemo... guess I'm starting a new chemo.  I think she said Ontak... just did a search, guess I heard correctly, though I'm not liking what I'm reading.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cancer Update: 12/12/12

I know it's been awhile... so here we go!

Back in October, actually October 2nd, I went for my last chemo session for this round on Brentuximab... after this session we would do some scans and determine if I appeared in remission or if we should continue with the chemo.  The neuropathy in my fingers and toes were pretty bad; so my doctor talked me into not having the chemo that day, we would do a PET scan to determine if the cancer was still active and then decide if I could stop the chemo altogether or if we needed to just delay it, giving more time between sessions and giving my nerves a chance to recuperate.

She said she never had to talk a patient OUT of doing chemo before… I was concerned about the cancer coming back again.  When I finished the round of CHOP last year and was “declared” as “appears to be in remission”, it was two weeks and the cancer on my arm had reappeared, then a few weeks after that it appeared in the lymph node under my right arm again… also spreading into my chest area and into my bone marrow in the pelvic area.  So I had reason to be wary.

We were preparing for the PET scan when we were notified that Medicaid denied the request!  I received a letter from the panel of their decision by certified mail… we had to sign for it!  Unbelievable!!  This NEVER happened before… I had been on Medicaid for six months and had just been renewed on Sept 11th.  Evidently part of the change was the beginning implementations of Obamacare, such as the setting up of the “panels”.   So I guess Republicans were not wrong…  

 [A little background… last year my cancer had progressed and took a pretty bad turn in November.  In December I applied for Social Security Disability and Medicaid.  Up until this point I had been getting help through the hospital’s financial aid services, I lost my insurance when I was laid off in July 2011.  I was approved for SSD in January and approved for Medicaid in February.  My Medicaid deductible is $5400.00 every six months… so it’s kind of like having insurance.  Very expensive insurance… especially for someone on Disability.]

 So, my PET scan had been denied.  They informed us that we could do a CT scan.  We didn’t need a CT scan.  We needed a PET scan because the PET scan lights up the active cancer.  We were looking to see if the CANCER WAS ACTIVE so we could determine if I still needed the chemo or if I could take a break!  Since we didn’t have much choice, we did the CT.  It showed two irregularities, or nodules, or something… one in each side of my lung.  Slightly concerning… but not immensely. [When I was first diagnosed in 2004, the scans showed some nodules, one in each lung.  The doctors there assumed it was lung cancer and immediately put me at stage 4 and started CHOP chemo.  I had one dose and then moved here to NC; the doctor here stopped it immediately and said there hadn’t been enough testing.  It was determined to possibly be scar tissue from when I had a severe case of pneumonia in 1991.]  I thought maybe this is what was showing up this time also, my doctor doesn’t agree.  She says the scan I had earlier this year did not show this.  So now we’re up in the air… is it infection from a cold, was it the scar tissue and just a fluke that it didn’t show up in the last scan, or is it cancer that has traveled to my lungs??  Which would be WAY BAD!

Then I received another letter from the panel (certified mail, of course)… they also denied the physical therapy my doctor prescribed for the neuropathy.  WOW!!  I began to wonder if I was ever going to get approval from Medicaid for anything ever again.  I really felt as if I was getting left to die.  This was becoming unreal.

When I saw the P.A. on Nov 5th, there was discussion of symptoms coming back and I was informed that we were going to wait until January and do another CT, since Medicaid would not authorize the PET.  I was highly upset!  I had been off chemo since September… my symptoms were coming back in full force, the difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, the wheezing, the pains, etc.  I told her I thought it was very much like playing with fire!  I have symptoms coming back, a possibility of it being in my lungs… and we’re gonna wait another couple of months??  Are you serious?  I’d hate to wait until January, do the scan, and then find out, SHIT, if only we scanned sooner, now it’s too late!  If only we had caught this sooner!  I mean REALLY?!  I DID NOT GET THAT AT ALL!  The P.A. told me she understood and went out to talk to the doctor.  It was decided that we would do the PET scan, but through the hospital financial aid services.  I thought, “Thank God!”  I believe it was the very next day that I received a voice message telling me that the doctor had changed her mind and that she didn’t want to see me until January.  I was shocked!!  I was dumbfounded!!  I was speechless!  After the initial shock wore off I became upset, angry, severely pissed off… HOW DARE THEY JEOPARDIZE MY LIFE!!  I wanted to cry, but I was so angry… I wanted to go down there and demand the scan; I was going to tell her that if we wait and the cancer spreads while they do nothing, then I was going to sue her freakin’ ass!!!  I was so upset and so angry that I ended up shutting down.  I couldn’t call, I was afraid of what would come out of my mouth.  I didn’t want to go running down there in fear of creating a major disturbance and having security called.  I contemplated getting a second opinion, and I thought about finding a new doctor.  But I adore my P.A.

I shut down for about two weeks… then I had something appear on my back.  This was taken on November 29, 2012.  *In some of the photos I marked some things that looked suspicious to me, they appear to be growing as well as it all progresses. They're just little bitty baby ones right now.
Okay, let’s back up a bit.  Right before I saw the P.A. back on Nov 5th, I had what appeared to be some kind of bite, like a huge mosquito or bug bite on my right arm.  Didn’t think much of it so didn’t mention it.  But now it had become perfectly circular, it was very pink and had a red line around the circumference that was a little indented.  In a way it looked like a burn, kind of like from a car lighter.  At one point, after a shower, the top layer of skin came off and it REALLY looked like a burn.  Very strange.  Wasn’t sure if it was cancer. 
Didn't photograph the first stage of the arm thing, the big bug bite stage, then it started to look like this.
Then, a few days later, after the shower it looked like this.
Then this thing popped out on my back.  This was the day before Thanksgiving.  I had an appointment with the P.A. on Dec 4th for Labs & Exam, figured I’d call and bump it up, then figured at this late time there probably wouldn’t be any openings.  So I called my family doctor.  She thought the one on my back looked like an infection, so she put me on antibiotics to clear it up.  I told her that mom removed a tick last year from approximately the same place, so she had blood work done also for Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, just in case.  Well, the antibiotics didn’t affect the one on my back at all, but the one on my arm started clearing up.  At this point I don’t know if it was the antibiotics, or it just running it’s course.  On Nov 29th I had mom take some photos of the one on my back… SOON AS I SAW IT I KNEW… I knew it was cancer!
Here it is on December 1, 2012
Here it is on December 10, 2012
 I saw the doctor on Dec 4th, told her I was fairly certain it was cancer.  She looked at it and agreed.  She said she also feels swollen nodes on the left side of my chest/arm area.  Said we needed another CT and a PET scan.  Just found out Monday that Medicaid approved the scans, thank God!  My PET scan is on Thursday and the CT is Friday.  I see the doctor on Monday, Dec 17th for the results and game plan. Still feeling uncertain about my doctor… feel a little betrayed and definitely feel that trust has been broken.  Will definitely need radiation, which I think we need to be moving a little faster on.  It has already grown substantially and I’ve found several new ones breaking out, they’re still tiny, but coming along just as fast.  We keep taking pictures every few nights to track the progress.  It is EXTREMELY fascinating to see it like this… my camera phone is AWESOME!!  Some really great high-def photos.  The little ones we couldn’t see with our eyes, we wouldn’t have known if we hadn’t taken the photos.  Then when I used the magnifier on them... WHOA!!!
You have to admit... it is a little fascinating, isn't it!?!

So that’s what’s been happening and where I’m at!  In the middle of all this right before and during Christmas… AGAIN!  Well, look at it this way… if the Mayan’s are correct and the world ends on 12/21… at least I won’t die from cancer and I won’t have to do this crap anymore!  Oh, that reminds me, I have a dental cleaning on 12/21… got to have clean teeth for the end of the world!  Flash those pearly whites!  :D

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pravda Article: Obama re-elected by American illiterate society

Obama's Soviet Mistake
By Xavier Lerma

Putin in 2009 outlined his strategy for economic success. Alas, poor Obama did the opposite but nevertheless was re-elected. Bye, bye Miss American Pie. The Communists have won in America with Obama but failed miserably in Russia with Zyuganov who only received 17% of the vote. Vladimir Putin was re-elected as President keeping the NWO order out of Russia while America continues to repeat the Soviet mistake.

After Obama was elected in his first term as president the then Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin gave a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January of 2009. Ignored by the West as usual, Putin gave insightful and helpful advice to help the world economy and saying the world should avoid the Soviet mistake.

Recently, Obama has been re-elected for a 2nd term by an illiterate society and he is ready to continue his lies of less taxes while he raises them. He gives speeches of peace and love in the world while he promotes wars as he did in Egypt, Libya and Syria. He plans his next war is with Iran as he fires or demotes his generals who get in the way.

Putin said regarding the military,

"...instead of solving the problem, militarization pushes it to a deeper level. It draws away from the economy immense financial and material resources, which could have been used much more efficiently elsewhere."

Well, any normal individual understands that as true but liberalism is a psychosis . O'bomber even keeps the war going along the Mexican border with projects like "fast and furious" and there is still no sign of ending it. He is a Communist without question promoting the Communist Manifesto without calling it so. How shrewd he is in America. His cult of personality mesmerizes those who cannot go beyond their ignorance. They will continue to follow him like those fools who still praise Lenin and Stalin in Russia. Obama's fools and Stalin's fools share the same drink of illusion.

Reading Putin's speech without knowing the author, one would think it was written by Reagan or another conservative in America. The speech promotes smaller government and less taxes. It comes as no surprise to those who know Putin as a conservative. Vladimir Putin went on to say:

"...we are reducing taxes on production, investing money in the economy. We are optimizing state expenses.

The second possible mistake would be excessive interference into the economic life of the country and the absolute faith into the all-mightiness of the state.

There are no grounds to suggest that by putting the responsibility over to the state, one can achieve better results.

Unreasonable expansion of the budget deficit, accumulation of the national debt - are as destructive as an adventurous stock market game.

During the time of the Soviet Union the role of the state in economy was made absolute, which eventually lead to the total non-competitiveness of the economy. That lesson cost us very dearly. I am sure no one would want history to repeat itself."

President Vladimir Putin could never have imagined anyone so ignorant or so willing to destroy their people like Obama much less seeing millions vote for someone like Obama. They read history in America don't they? Alas, the schools in the U.S. were conquered by the Communists long ago and history was revised thus paving the way for their Communist presidents. Obama has bailed out those businesses that voted for him and increased the debt to over 16 trillion with an ever increasing unemployment rate especially among blacks and other minorities. All the while promoting his agenda.

"We must seek support in the moral values that have ensured the progress of our civilization. Honesty and hard work, responsibility and faith in our strength are bound to bring us success."- Vladimir Putin

The red, white and blue still flies happily but only in Russia. Russia still has St George defeating the Dragon with the symbol of the cross on its' flag. The ACLU and other atheist groups in America would never allow the US flag with such religious symbols. Lawsuits a plenty against religious freedom and expression in the land of the free. Christianity in the U.S. is under attack as it was during the early period of the Soviet Union when religious symbols were against the law.

Let's give American voters the benefit of the doubt and say it was all voter fraud and not ignorance or stupidity in electing a man who does not even know what to do and refuses help from Russia when there was an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Instead we'll say it's true that the Communists usage of electronic voting was just a plan to manipulate the vote. Soros and his ownership of the company that counts the US votes in Spain helped put their puppet in power in the White House. According to the Huffington Post, residents in all 50 states have filed petitions to secede from the Unites States. We'll say that these Americans are hostages to the Communists in power. How long will their government reign tyranny upon them?

Russia lost its' civil war with the Reds and millions suffered torture and death for almost 75 years under the tyranny of the United Soviet Socialist Republic. Russians survived with a new and stronger faith in God and ever growing Christian Church. The question is how long will the once "Land of the Free" remain the United Socialist States of America? Their suffering has only begun. Bye bye Miss American Pie! You know the song you hippies. Sing it! Don't you remember? The 1971 hit song by American song writer Don McLean:

"And, as I watched him on the stage my hands were clenched in fists of rage.
No angel born in Hell could break that Satan's spell

And, as the flames climbed high into the night to light the sacrificial rite, I saw...
Satan laughing with delight the day the music died

He was singing, bye bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry

Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing...
This'll be the day that I die

This'll be the day that I die
So, the question remains:

How long will America suffer and to what depths?


Xavier Lerma
Contact Xavier Lerma at xlermanov@swissmail.org
His popular articles can be seen at http://xlerma.wordpress.com/
Hyperlink to Pravda is mandatory if you republish this article.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Hope you all are having a fine and thankful day.  Even though many have fallen on hard times in one way or another... we all still have at least one thing to be thankful for.  I'm thankful to still be alive, I'm thankful for my friends and family, and I'm especially thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

When I Say, "I Am A Christian"

When I Say, "I Am A Christian"
by Carol Wimmer

When I say, “I am a Christian”
 I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved!”
 I’m whispering, “I get lost!
 That’s why I chose this way”

When I say, “I am a Christian”
 I don’t speak with human pride
 I’m confessing that I stumble -
 needing God to be my guide

When I say, “I am a Christian”
 I’m not trying to be strong
 I’m professing that I’m weak
 and pray for strength to carry on

When I say, “I am a Christian”
 I’m not bragging of success
 I’m admitting that I’ve failed
 and cannot ever pay the debt

When I say, “I am a Christian”
 I don’t think I know it all
 I submit to my confusion
 asking humbly to be taught

When I say, “I am a Christian”
 I’m not claiming to be perfect
 My flaws are far too visible
 but God believes I’m worth it

When I say, “I am a Christian”
 I still feel the sting of pain
 I have my share of heartache
 which is why I seek His name

When I say, “I am a Christian”
 I do not wish to judge
 I have no authority
 I only know I’m loved

Copyright 1988 Carol Wimmer

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chemo Update

They canceled my chemo last Tuesday... neuropathy is more severe than they are comfortable with. They are going to set up a scan for next week, to see if any active cancer cells are still showing, then we'll go from there. The delay, hopefully, will give my nerves a chance to heal a little.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Apple's Shame II

By Cyril Chang, posted Sep 11, 2012 at 8:27 PM, 214,474 views

The Undercover Report on How the New iPhone 5 is Made Inside Foxconn Factory
A Chinese news agency, Shanghai Evening Post, has sent an experienced journalist to slip into the Foxconn Tai Yuan factory and pretended as a new worker, his mission is to find out how the new iPhone 5 is produced. The Chinese journalist precisely recorded his 10 days of working experience in the factory and published a dairy to disclose the inside story of manufacturing the iPhone 5. The Tai Yuan Foxconn factory is recently well-known for it’s large-scale workers strike which took place during March. Back then the factory urgently needs 20,000 more workers because Foxconn has received orders for the production of iPhone 5. The plants needs to produce 57 million iPhone 5 for each year. Apparently, the journalist only stayed inside the Foxconn factory for 10 days due to the undesirable working conditions. He has undergone mean training during the first 7 days and finally got the chance to take part the producing of iPhone 5 on the 8th day …

UPDATE SEPT 24 – Part 1: Taiyuan Foxconn has gone strike !
UPDATE SEPT 24 – Part 2: We have got in touch with the undercover journalist.
Editor note: If you have no patience to read his orientation experience over at Foxconn, please skip to day 8 section for the detail on iPhone 5 manufacturing, that is the best part of the whole undercovered story. But we still highly recommend you to read from day one as there are many interesting inside stories about Foxconn working condition that we never heard before.

We have summarized and translated his entire diary as below:

DAY 1: Recruitment – “Good health with Citizen Identity Card”
Recruit of new workers. (Photo Credit: AP)
I have contacted the person in charge of the Human Resource who’s handling the recruitment and I was told that I can work in Foxonn as long as I’m healthy and own a citizenship identity card. When I reached the entrance of Foxconn factory, I was approached by a so-called Foxconn security guard who asked for 100-200 yuan (USD$15-28) to provide me a faster way to start working in Foxconn, but I ignored him. I was asked to fill in a form to test my current state of mentality. There are about 30 mentality questions for me to answer “Yes” or “No” of how do I feel for the past 30 days. For example one of the questions they asked: “Have you got into a state of mental trance recently?” Finally after answering all the questions, other workers and I took a bus ride to the Taiyuan Foxconn factory.

Foxconn factory in Tai Yuan, Shanxi province in North China.
Foxconn provides basic dormitory for the workers. (Photo Credit: Daily Mail)

The first night sleeping at Foxconn dormitory is a nightmare. The whole dormitory smells like garbage when I walked in. It’s a mixed of overnight garbage smell plus dirty sweat and foam smell. Outside every room was fully piled up with uncleared trash. When I opened my wardrobe, lots of cockroaches crawl out from inside and the bedsheets that are being distributed to every new workers are full of dirts and ashes.

DAY 2: Signing Contract – “No environmental harm ?”
Briefing on new workers during the orientation.

I was having my first breakfast in Foxconn canteen on the 2nd day morning when I heard a loud scream: “Fxxk! The food sux ! Don’t expect me to work overtime !” After the shouting, the same guy whispered that he will damage the bed at the dormitory before he quits. This might explained why there’s a large hole on my wooden bed plank. We were asked to sign the employment contract right in the canteen after the breakfast. The contract has highly emphasized on 4 confidential areas that need to be kept strictly confidential, 1: All technical information, 2: Sales figures, 3: Human resource, 4: Production statistics. The contract didn’t mention much on the overtime works. Under the section of “Possible harmful effects that may cause to worker during production”, the management has asked us to tick “No” for all of them. This includes “Noise pollution” and “Toxic Pollution”, I was wondering if the production floor will caused any harmful effects while working.
The crowded canteen in Foxconn factory.

DAYS 3 to 6: Training Session – “All you need to do is OBEY”
Worker’s dormitories have been framed behind safety wire that looks like bars.
(Photo Credit: Daily Mail)

The day after signing of the contract, we are being gathered in a hall and briefed with the history of Foxconn company, policies and safety measures. During the whole conference, we are being highly emphasized on one point: “When you leave the lab, there’s no advanced technology, you only need to obey instructions.” We are being distributed with a checklist with only 13 rewards policies but over 70 penalties policies. The instructor said: “You might feel uncomfortable of how we treat you, but this is all for your own good.” After that we are asked to watch an orientation video on the Foxconn factory. When someone has asked about the suicide issues, the management staff didn’t avoid the topic but not willing to discuss too much on it. During the suicide topic discussion, someone has voiced out that the bad living environment will sure lead to more suicides. Also I have noticed that all the windows in the dormitory has been framed behind bars.

Day 7: Break Time – “Release of Stress”
Working in Foxconn might face heavy stress.

After the training session we are being arranged to start work very swiftly but it’s already night. We are only allowed to rest during the day time. After all the intensive trainings and briefings, I had a fever and terrible headache before I can even start work. I requested to visit the hospital in the factory, but there’s only one doctor on shift handling 4-5 patients at the same time. When I asked one of the nurse about how can I claim the medical checkup fees, the nurse rudely reply me: “Go and ask your boss ! “For the past several days, I have been to many Foxconn facilities such as dormitory, canteen, bathing room, playground, gym, hospital, postal office, library and shopping street etc. Although most of them are free of charge but the facilities seriously needs improvements. For example, inside the entertainment center there are 2/3 of the arcades games are malfunction. The so-called theater room only shows a screen shot picture of a meeting room. The most interesting part is out of the whole Foxconn factory, I can’t find a single place selling beer, sitting stool and poles for hanging laundry clothes.Over the weekends, outside at the playground, there’s a social gathering where all Foxconn workers gather and dance. The host of the party speaks through the mic: “We are all over stressed everyday and we are not allowed to shout on the production floor. Over here you can shout as loud as you want to release your stress.” One of my room mate has told me that he likes this weekly dancing party very much and he has found a girlfriend during the dance.

DAYS 8 to 10: iPhone 5 Assembling- “Do what you are told to do !”
The production line in Foxconn.

We have reached the entrance of the production floor with a warning sign that says: “TOP SECURITY AREA”. We are told that if anyone enter or exit the metal detector door and found carrying any metallic stuff on your body such as belt buckle, ear rings, cameras, handset, mp3 players, the alarm will sound and you will be fired on the spot. One of my room mate told me that his friend has been fired because he carried an USB charging cable. When I walked into the production floor after passing through the metal detector door, I heard loud sounds of machinery engines and a very dense of plastic smell. Our supervisor warned us: “Once you sit down, you only do what you are told”. The supervisor finally present us the back of the iPhone 5 and shows it to all of us and said: “This is the new unleashed iPhone 5 back plate, you should be honored having the chance to produce it”

Our line is being assigned to use masking tapes and plastic stoppers to cover up the earphone jack and the connector ports of the back plate in order to prevent the paint from being sprayed onto it on the next process. Our supervisor asked us to put on our mask and gloves and see how the seniors work on it. At 11 p.m, we went for a supper and after midnight, we started work again. I’m being assigned to mark placement points on the iPhone 5 back-plate using an oil-based paint pen. I’m being scolded many times for spilling too much oil on the markings. My roommate has being assigned to paste the masking tapes of not more than 5mm wide on the right spots that I have marked. And he has being scolded many times for pasting them too slow. Our supervisor said that these works were actually being assigned to females workers with nimber fingers, but due to too many workers have resigned lately they have no choice but to assign these jobs to male workers.

Most new employed male workers do not have nimber fingers.

An iPhone 5 back-plate run through in front of me almost every 3 seconds. I have to pickup the back-plate and marked 4 position points using the oil-based paint pen and put it back on the running belt swiftly within 3 seconds with no errors. After such repeat action for several hours, I have terrible neckache and muscle pain on my arm. A new worker who sat opposite of me gone exhausted and laid down for a short while. The supervisor has noticed him and punished him by asking him to stand at one corner for 10 minutes like the old school days. We worked non-stop from midnight to the next morning 6 a.m but were still asked to keep on working as the production line is based on running belt and no one is allowed to stop. I’m so starving and fully exhausted.By my own calculations, I have to mark five iPhone plates every minute, at least. For every 10 hours, I have to accomplish 3,000 iPhone 5 back plates. There are total 4 production lines in charge of this process, 12 workers in every line. Each line can produce 36,000 iPhone 5 back plates in half a day, this is scary … I finally stopped working at 7 a.m. We were asked to gather again after work. The supervisor shout out loud in front of us: “Who wants to rest early at 5 a.m !? We are all here to earn money ! Let’s work harder !” I was thinking who on earth wants to work two extra hours overtime for only mere 27 yuan (USD$4) !?
Workers rushing their work flow.(Photo Credit: ABC)

On the next following day, we were all being treated the same way by our supervisors and all of us were very pissed. Every time we picked up the iPhone 5 components, we put it back on the running belt real hard and scold “fxxk” just to release our stress. One of the senior advised us to stop work on time at 5 a.m even if the supervisor ask you to over time, as this is not against the regulations. Among our batch of 36 new workers, only two workers were lucky enough to arrange work under the quality control inspection department, where they get to rest 10 minutes for every 2 hours work, unlike the rest of us who have to work non-stop for 7 straight hours. — (End of Diary)

Our Thought …We are confounded on the diary on how bad the living condition of the Foxconn workers at the dormitory and the kind of treatment they have received. Though it’s still interesting to know the workflow of manufacturing the iPhone 5 back-plate. Although there is no guarantee of the report’s authenticity, but we still feel that all Apple fanboys should appreciate the hard work from the Chinese workers, as they have worked overtime which is certainly underpaid, just to rush out the iPhone 5 hoping to meet the scheduled of the launching date. Now we are getting even more excited after roughly knowing the factory’s production workflow of the latest iPhone 5. So what is Apple going to show us after 20 hours time ?
The original printed newspaper report on the under-covered. The published date is
on August 27th, we believe the under-covered may conducted in July.

SOURCE: Shanghai Evening Post (Chinese translated)


Here is the first post I did on Apple's Shame:


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cancer Update: BMT, Chemo, Neuropathy

Photo by Anne STA ~ 
Still no news on the bone marrow transplant, they are looking for a match.

On September 11th I had my 15th session of chemo.  Was supposed to have one more on October 2nd, but they are considering extending it a little longer.  With my neuropathy getting worse little by little, they are also considering either putting more weeks between sessions or maybe stopping for a bit to see if it subsides, then continuing.

I haven't talked with the doctor yet, but after this last session, the neuropathy took a big jump.  It is really bad in my fingers, and not just the fingertip area, it has gone down to the second joint.  I have a lot of trouble feeling things, the nerves are super sensitive, and I get bad pains zapping through.  I don't use the computer much 'cause typing makes my finger pads start to hurt like they are smashed and bloody.  My toes sometimes feel like they are hanging off like a loose tooth that needs pulled.  The feeling is so real and a bit disconcerting... I have to actually look at them and check to make sure they're not.  I'm concerned that most, if not all, of this neuropathy may be permanent.

I have been dealing with the discomfort and pain during the day by trying to keep my mind busy and concentrating on other things.  I try to do what I'm able to and I watch alot of movies, news, tv shows.  It's the night time that gets you... as you try to settle down to sleep and there isn't anything to busy your mind.  Then you really feel the pains.  Sometimes you want to cry, sometimes you feel like screaming because of the constant, neverending, relentless buzzing, zapping, shooting pains.  My toes are so sensitive the sheets feel like razors or glass shards being dragged across them.  My doctor gave me neurontin (gabapentin), but I had bad cramping with it.  She then gave me percocet (endocet 5-325), which has been working for me at night.  I take one tablet about two hours before bed.  Sometimes I want to take two pills, but I know this drug can be addictive and can cause liver damage... so I don't.  She has recently gotten me authorized for Lyrica, hoping that I wouldn't have the cramping with this... but I'm too scared to take it... the possible side effects and warnings are awful.  Suicidal thoughts, becoming aggressive, swelling of the mouth, tongue, lips, difficulty breathing.  **Yeah, not winning me over.**

Maybe I'll buck up and try it tomorrow.

I was also told to take magnesium, so I added that, plus some other vitamins and whatnot.  Magnesium, Super B-Complex, Zinc, Align Probiotics, E & C, and a vitamin blend for people who take acid reducer pills such as Prevacid, Prilosec, etc.  One of them or a combination of one or two is causing me severe cramping and diarrhea.  I've had to stop taking them and tomorrow night I'm going to start adding them one at a time to weed out the culprit(s).

Friday, August 17, 2012

Neuropathy Woes

The neuropathy in my fingers is getting worse... tonight I picked up a stack of (two) bowls from the cupboard, thought I had a good hold of them, but evidently I couldn't feel that I didn't quite have them or couldn't feel them slipping... not really sure since it happened so fast, and, of course, didn't feel it.  It was almost immediate... the bottom one was laying shattered on the counter.  :0  It was a little shocking 'cause it happened so fast!  *lol*   I told mom that maybe we better get some plastic dishes for me.   ;)

Also, my hands, arms and legs shake alot... it's like the beginning stages of Parkinson's or something!  :)  Oh the wonders of chemo!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Article from: The Gospel Coalition - Gay Is Not The New Black

He makes some very good points.  He takes the issues of "same-sex marriage" and the comparison of the "homosexual struggle" to the civil rights struggle completely apart and goes through it point by point.

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Voddie Baucham is the pastor of preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas, and a Council member for The Gospel Coalition.

From:  The Gospel Coalition - Gay Is Not The New Black

It's hard to deny that homosexual marriage appears to be a foregone conclusion in America. This is a frightening prospect not only for those of us who understand marriage to be a testimony of the relationship between Christ and his bride, the church, but also for all who value the family and its contribution to the well-being of society and human thriving. And while it's difficult to watch a coordinated, well-funded, well-connected propaganda strategy undermine thousands of years of human history, it's especially disconcerting to witness the use of the civil rights struggle as the vehicle for the strategy.
The idea that same-sex "marriage" is the next leg in the civil rights race is ubiquitous. One of the clearest examples of the conflation of homosexual "marriage" and civil rights is Michael Gross's article in The Advocate, in which he coins the now-popular phrase "Gay is the new black."1 Gross is not alone in his conflation of the two issues, however. At a 2005 banquet, Julian Bond, former head of the NAACP, said, "Sexual disposition parallels race. I was born this way. I have no choice. I wouldn't change it if I could. Sexuality is unchangeable."2

Nor is this kind of thinking exclusive to the political left. When asked by GQ magazine if he thought homosexuality was a choice, Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, replied:
Oh, no. I don't think I've ever really subscribed to that view, that you can turn it on and off like a water tap. Um, you know, I think that there's a whole lot that goes into the makeup of an individual that, uh, you just can't simply say, oh, like, "Tomorrow morning I'm gonna stop being gay." It's like saying, "Tomorrow morning I'm gonna stop being black."3
Even the California Supreme Court bought in to this line of reasoning. In a February 2008 decision they reasoned:
Furthermore, in contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual's capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual's sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual's sexual orientation---like a person's race or gender---does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.4 (emphasis added)
The California Supreme Court, like Gross, would have us believe that the homosexual struggle for a redefinition of marriage puts them in the same category as my ancestors. However, they would rather you didn't take a closer look, lest you see how flimsy the comparison turns out to be.

Unidentifiable Minority

The first problem with the idea of conflating "sexual orientation" and race is the fact that homosexuality is undetectable apart from self-identification. Determining whether or not a person is black, Native American, or female usually involves no more than visual verification. However, should doubt remain, blood tests, genetics, or a quick trip up the family tree would suffice. Not so with homosexuality. There is no evidence that can confirm or deny a person's claims regarding sexual orientation.5

Moreover, the homosexual community itself has made this identification even more complicated in an effort to distance itself from those whose same-sex behavior they find undesirable. The Jerry Sandusky case is a prime example. Sandusky is accused of molesting numerous young boys during and after his tenure at Penn State. However, try placing the label "homosexual" on his activities and the backlash will be swift and unequivocal. "Pedophiles are not homosexuals!" is the consistent refrain coming from the homosexual community, media, academia, and the psychological/medical establishment.6

Hence, it seems same-sex attraction alone isn't enough to identify a person as a homosexual. And what about LUGS7 in college, or same-sex relationships in prison? Are these people homosexual? How about men who are extremely effeminate but prefer women, or those who once were practicing homosexuals but have since come out of the lifestyle (i.e., 1 Cor. 6:9-11)? In short, it's impossible to identify who is or is not a homosexual. As a result, how do we know to whom the civil rights in question should be attributed? Should a man who isn't a homosexual (assuming we could determine such a thing) but tries to enter a same-sex union be treated the same as a woman who isn't Native American but tries to claim it to win sympathy, or casino rights, or votes?
But this isn't the only problem with the civil rights angle.

Unalterable Definition

An additional problem with the "gay is the new black" argument is the complete disconnect between same-sex "marriage" and anti-miscegenation laws. First, there is a categorical disconnect. Miscegenation literally means "the interbreeding of people considered to be of different racial types." Ironically, the fact that homosexuals cannot "interbreed" shines a spotlight on the problem inherent in their logic. How can forbidding people who actually have the ability to interbreed be the same thing as acknowledging the fact that two people categorically lack that ability?8

Second, there is a definitional disconnect. The very definition of marriage eliminates the possibility of including same-sex couples. The word marriage has a long and well-recorded history; it means "the union of a man and a woman." Even in cultures that practice polygamy, the definition involves a man and several women. Therefore, while anti-miscegenation laws denied people a legitimate right, the same cannot be said concerning the denial of marriage to same-sex couples; one cannot be denied a right to something that doesn't exist.

It should be noted that the right to marry is one of the most frequently denied rights we have. People who are already married, 12-year-olds, and people who are too closely related are just a few categories of people routinely and/or categorically denied the right to marry. Hence, the charge that it is wrong to deny any person a "fundamental right" rings hollow. There has always been, and, by necessity, will always be discrimination in marriage laws.

Third, there is a historical disconnect. As early as the time of Moses, recorded history is replete with interracial marriages. In our own history, the marriage of John Rolfe and Pocahontas in the 17th century,9 along with the fact that anti-miscegenation laws were usually limited only to the intermarrying of certain "races" of people (i.e., black and white), stands as historical evidence of the legal and logical inconsistency of such laws. Thus, unlike same-sex "marriage" advocates, those fighting for the right to intermarry in the civil rights era had history on their side.

Fourth, there is a legal disconnect. One thing that seems to escape most people in this debate is the fact that homosexuals have never been denied the right to marry. They simply haven't had the right to redefine marriage. But don't take my word for it; listen to the Iowa Supreme Court in their decision in favor of same-sex "marriage": "It is true the marriage statute does not expressly prohibit gay and lesbian persons from marrying; it does, however, require that if they marry, it must be to someone of the opposite sex."

There it is: not only in black and white, but in a legal decision. Homosexuals haven't been deprived of any right. How, then, do those on the side of same-sex marriage continue to make the claim that this is a civil rights issue? The key is in the next paragraph:
[The] right of a gay or lesbian person under the marriage statute to enter into a civil marriage only with a person of the opposite sex is no right at all. Under such a law, gay or lesbian individuals cannot simultaneously fulfill their deeply felt need for a committed personal relationship, as influenced by their sexual orientation, and gain the civil status and attendant benefits granted by the statute.
I feel the need to remind the reader that this is a legal decision, since phrases like "gay or lesbian individuals cannot simultaneously fulfill their deeply felt need for a committed personal relationship" tend to sound out of place in such a document. Further, this is asinine logic. For example, following this line of reasoning, one could argue, "I have the right to join the military, but I am a pacifist. Therefore, I don't really have the right (since it would be repulsive to me). Therefore, we need to establish a pacifist branch of the military so that I can fulfill both my desire to join, and my desire not to fight."

However, this reasoning is critically important in order to make the next leap in logic. "[A] gay or lesbian person can only gain the same rights under the statute as a heterosexual person by negating the very trait that defines gay and lesbian people as a class---their sexual orientation."

Unsustainable Precedent

Perhaps the most damning aspect of the civil rights argument is logical unsustainability. If sexual orientation/identity is the basis for (1) classification as a minority group, and (2) legal grounds for the redefinition of marriage, then what's to stop the "bisexual" from fighting for the ability to marry a man and a woman simultaneously since his "orientation" is, by definition, directed toward both sexes?10 What about the member of NAMBLA whose orientation is toward young boys?11 Where do we stop, and on what basis?

Homosexual advocates are loath to answer this question. In fact, they are adept at avoiding it (and are rarely pressed on the point). However, the further legal implications of court decisions about same-sex marriage are inevitable. Nowhere is this clearer than in Lawrence v. Texas, a decision that struck down anti-sodomy laws. In the majority decision, Justice Kennedy cited his 1992 opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey:

These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.12
I have no legal training, and I recognize the limits of my ability to fully evaluate the implications of such a decision. However, I do take notice when Justice Scalia responds to this assertion by stating:
I have never heard of a law that attempted to restrict one's "right to define" certain concepts; and if the passage calls into question the government's power to regulate actions based on one's self-defined "concept of existence, etc.," it is the passage that ate the rule of law.13 (emphasis added)

Inescapable Confrontation

It is very important for those of us who oppose the idea of same-sex "marriage" to do so not because we wish to preserve our version of the American Dream, but because we view marriage as a living, breathing picture of the relationship between Christ and his church (Eph. 5:22ff), and because we know that God has designed the family in a particular way. While the design of the family promotes human thriving (Gen 1:27-28), the testimony points people to their only hope in this life and the next. As a result, silence on this issue is not an option.

Unfortunately (and quite ironically), many Christians have been bullied into silence by the mere threat of censure from the homosexual lobby. "Oppose us and you're no better than Gov. Wallace, Hitler, and those homophobes who killed Matthew Shepard!" is their not-so-subtle refrain. Consequently, we spend so much time trying to prove we're not hate-filled murderers that we fail to recognize that the Emperor has no clothes. There is no legal, logical, moral, biblical, or historical reason to support same-sex "marriage." In fact, there are myriad reasons not to support it. I've only provided a few.

1 Michael Joseph Gross, "Gay is the New Black," The Advocate, November 16, 2008 (available online at http://www.advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid65744.asp).
2 Ertha Melzer, "NAACP chair says 'gay rights are civil rights,'" Washington Blade, April 8, 2005. It should also be noted that the NAACP recently endorsed same-sex marriage (http://graftedthemovie.blogspot.com/p/watch-grafted.html)---significant since the organization exists for the "Advancement of 'Colored' People."
3 Micheal Steele interview in "The Reconstructionist," by Lisa Paulo, GQ (March 2009), available at http://www.gq.com/blogs/the-q/2009/03/-the-reconstructionist-michael-steele.html.
5 Even if brain studies, twin studies, etc., provided conclusive links (which they do not), one would still be left with the fact that while blackness and maleness are attributes one cannot deny, homosexual behavior is not. Thus, even if there were a genetic connection, it would be insufficient to propel sexual orientation into the same category as race or sex.
7 The term "Lesbian Until Graduation" refers to young women who participate in lesbian relationships only during the duration of their college life.
8 It is important to note that this is a categorical distinction, and not a determination based on fertility. Otherwise, the same could be said about men and women beyond child-bearing years, or those with defects preventing conception.
9 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/pocahontas-marries-john-rolfe. Though it is commonly thought that Pocahontas married John Smith, it was actually English tobacco farmer John Rolfe whom she married on April 5, 1614, in Jamestown, Virginia.
10 See Elizabeth Emens's February 2003 Chicago Law School White paper, MONOGAMY'S LAW: COMPULSORY MONOGAMY AND POLYAMOROUS EXISTENCE, available at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/files/58-monogamy.pdf.
11 North American Man/Boy Love Association. Their motto is "Eight is Too Late." http://www.nambla.org
12 Justice Kennedy Majority Opinion, "John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner, Petitioners V. Texas " in 539 U. S. (2003), ed. Supreme Court of the United States (2003).
13 Antonin Scalia Dissenting Opinion, "John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner, Petitioners V. Texas " in 539 U. S. (2003), ed. Supreme Court of the United States (2003).


Monday, July 30, 2012

Thank Chick-fil-A

Thank Chick-fil-A

Send a thank you note to Chick-fil-A to show your support. (Click on the link above.)

Also, be sure to show up at your local Chick-fil-A on Wednesday,  August 1st, to buy some chicken... be sure to bring your friends and family!  Stand up for your rights and theirs.  Chick-fil-A has not discriminated against any homosexual or transgendered individual.  Chick-fil-A does have a Constitutional right to their religious belief and they have a right to support that view.  If you don't agree with it, then you have a right to go elsewhere.

There is a HUGE "lack of tolerance" on the side of the LGBT supporters when it comes to the Constitutional rights of others that don't agree with them.  If you don't agree with the LGBT movement, you are labeled haters, bigots, and intolerant.

The LGBT movement have become some of the biggest BULLIES!

It is time people wake up to that fact and start standing up for their Constitutional Rights.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) Update

I received a call from my BMT nurse and coordinator, she wanted to make sure I wanted to start down this path... because she found a couple of possible donors and before she requested the samples she wanted to make sure I was on board, because requesting samples for further testing costs money.  It will be 6-8 weeks before I know if we have a match or not.  Once we find a match, then I have to have my scans, meet with the doctor again, have to go through the chemo to wipe out my bone marrow cells and then have the transplant.  So I guess if they do find me a match in this go-around, we'll be looking at an October transplant.  A rough estimate anyway.

I have been asked if blood type matters... the answer if Yes, and No... for the best (or perfect) case scenario, yes they would like to find a bone marrow donor with the right HLA markers that also shares my same blood type.  BUT, they do use donors with different blood types.  What really matters are the HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) Markers.

Matching a patient

Q: How is a bone marrow match determined?
A: Doctors look for a donor who matches their patient's tissue type, specifically their human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue type. HLAs are proteins — or markers — found on most cells in your body. Your immune system uses these markers to recognize which cells belong in your body and which do not. The closer the match between the patient's HLA markers and yours, the better for the patient.

Excerpt from www.marrow.org

What is really crazy is... if we do use a donor with a different blood type as me... MY blood type will CHANGE to the DONOR'S blood type!  How wild is that!

Q: How likely is it that I will match a patient and go on to donate?
A: On average, one in every 540 members of Be The Match Registry in the United States will go on to donate bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) to a patient. Because of the vast variation in tissue types, we can't predict an individual registry member's chance of donating to a patient. If you have a relatively common tissue type, you might be one of many who could match a searching patient. If you have an uncommon tissue type, you may never match a patient, or you might be the only one out of more than 9.5 million registry members who can save a person's life. Every person who joins the registry gives patients more hope of finding the match they need. The most important thing you can do as a registry member is to stay informed and committed so that if you're selected as the best donor, you're ready to move forward.

Excerpt from www.marrow.org

So finding a match is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Q: What happens if I match a patient?
A: More testing will be done to see if you are the best possible match for the patient. We may ask for another cheek swab or blood sample or we may be able to use a stored sample. Though almost all patient information is confidential, we can tell you the patient's age, gender and disease.
If the patient's doctor selects you as the best donor for the patient, we will schedule an information session so you can learn more about the donation process, risks and side effects. At that time, we can also tell you the type of donation the patient's doctor has requested — either bone marrow or cells collected from the blood, (PBSC) donation.

Excerpt from www.marrow.org

Q: Who pays for the donation process?
A: Donors never pay for donating, and are never paid to donate.

All medical costs for the donation procedure are covered by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), which operates the Be The Match Registry, or by the patient's medical insurance, as are travel expenses and other non-medical costs. The only costs to the donor might be time taken off from work.

Excerpt from www.marrow.org