So, what's new with me.
The clinical trial in which I was supposed to participate is on indefinite hold, still under a safety review. That's not terribly reassuring, obviously, so my oncologist is trying another established chemo [topotecan], and she said if the trial opens back up we can see about starting it. The new chemo is a little more intense - it's another infusion therapy, yuck [oral was so much easier, even if it was, yknow, completely unsuccessful] and it's three days in a row every three weeks. I'm a little apprehensive about getting bombarded three days in a row, but I don't have a lot of options right now. Meh. So I began Monday and I finish today, then it's three weeks and I start over. It's six cycles, and then I'll get another scan.
I haven't had any medication since January and my body is starting to do some weird stuff. I've had some uncomfortable GI issues, I'm tired a lot, and I've had what they call unexplained weight loss. Ordinarily I'd be like Yay! Lost eight pounds! But I've been stress eating like a mofo and by my calculations I should have gained about three to five pounds, not lost eight. At least I'm not totally fatigued. There's a big difference between tiredness and fatigue.
I'm getting increasingly indifferent to all this. There's some element of fear, sure, but mostly I'm like, meh, whatever. My optimism is dwindling for sure. I'm on what is referred to as a fourth line, as in my fourth different medicine to combat this. Anyone beyond the third line is encouraged to look into palliative care. I haven't discussed it with my oncologist. If this latest stuff does nothing, then I will. I've already beaten the 84% five year mortality rate, so I'm luckier than most, I suppose!
Good news is that I'm going to be taking a new job in my department. No more money [our budget is so fucked it's not even remotely funny] but more interesting work and more responsibility. And it's with the most stable faculty in the school. Huzzah! I've already conveyed my health news to all the appropriate people and they're totally fine with it if I have to be out. I'm not super comfortable with that myself as I don't want to let anyone down. But if I feel like hell I won't have much of a choice. At least the university has a pretty nice catastrophic leave plan. It pays I think 60% of salary? Of course our health insurance is taking a 5% leap this fiscal year with no corresponding cost of living or merit raises, but...oh well. I'm not leaving because I'm too high-risk for anyone else to take me on. Even if no other employer can see my medical history, I wouldn't want to do that to anyone. At least I'm a known quantity here.
Bad news is that I had to tell write_out
that I wouldn't be able to co-write her Sherlock bounty hunter fic. I just don't have it in me, and honestly, I don't think I have any writing in me anymore. Even writing this is an effort! It's sad, but I've left a lot of fics behind so I have some sort of creative legacy. And someone contacted me to translate my novel into Italian, which was nice. I declined and she offered to do it for nothing, but I don't know. I haven't replied yet. It just seems like too many moving parts right now.
I hope write_out
does that story, though. It's such a great idea and we did kick some fun stuff around. I'm disappointed in myself about my inability to commit.
I have been thinking about tweaking Roses of Picardy, just because some small stuff niggles me about it. We'll see if I find the energy.
My only fandom lately is cosmology. I've been doing a lot of reading and watching documentaries, and I'd like to maybe take some small trips in the summer and fall. New Mexico is lousy with science - we've got the Very Large Array in Socorro, the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History here in ABQ, the Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos [even though it's a LANL-run museum and weirdly chirpy about the inability to dispose of nuclear waste in any truly effective way], the Natural History and Science Museum in ABQ, UNM's PANDA [Physics and Astronomy - isn't that adorable?] observatory, the International Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo, the Spaceport in Truth or Consequences, and of course, the world and possibly galaxy-renowned International UFO Museum And Research Center in Roswell. Pretty good for a low per-capita state.
The only ones I haven't been to are the Space Hall of Fame and the Spaceport. The UFO museum is a god damn hoot, btw. It's absolutely terrible, but do they try, God love 'em.
Of course, then there's Sandia Labs and Los Alamos National Labs
, but...IDK. Most of what they do is ominous and not beneficial to the human race.
I saw a UFO once! Here in NM, of course. It was in Lincoln, a tiny town not too far from White Sands Missile Range. I say that because I'm now pretty sure it was experimental aircraft. It was in the early 80s, and I was outside at night. Lincoln doesn't even have a stoplight, and it's about a mile from end to end and very picturesque and easy to walk, and surrounded by low mountains. So I was strolling along, and I saw three red lights emerge vertically from behind one of the mountains. It was clearly three lights on a single craft, but I couldn't really tell how big the craft was. I was and still am terrible with size and distance perception. It hovered for a bit, totally silent, and then zipped away, super-fast, toward the right and disappeared, still silent.
So given that there is a military base nearby, I'm fairly certain that this was a local project. Though at the time I was freaked out.
I am a complete believer in life on other worlds. The universe is so enormous, it's illogical to believe that there aren't conditions where living things couldn't thrive even if they're nothing at all like Earth plants/critters/people. But I kind of have a hard time believing that there are aliens with the capacity for interstellar travel running around, abducting and probing people and coring cow asses. Change my mind.
What else....I painted my bathroom. It's the palest, most fragile lilac, very restful and spa-ish. I painted all my storage baskets white, hung a couple of black-and white architectural prints and a white-framed mirror, and it's just lovely and soothing to be in.
I also stopped pencilling in my eyebrows. Since I lost them completely I've been drawing them in with dark brown powder [not going to spend $600+ a year for microblading or tattooing - I hate the look of tattooed brows] , always saying I painted them in not to scare people. Then I thought, 'why am I doing this just to make other people comfortable? If they don't like it, they can avert their eyes.' So, I stopped. And truthfully, I'm okay with the way it looks. And now I don't have to worry about mangling them if I touch my forehead or if it gets hot and they start melting. I wear other makeup - usually mascara, blush, a bit of pale bronzer, and lipstick, and honestly I'm getting to like it. It's different, but different is okay.
I've been on Reddit a lot lately. The space subreddit is fun, and there are super-interesting medical subreddits, and I love browsing askreddit as well for random stuff. I've never been much of a Redditor, and even now I mostly lurk, but so far I've managed to avoid toxic spaces.
Off to eat breakfast before my chemo. Whee!
Have a swell day and night.