The Uncertain Journey

This is one of those things I don’t like to think about, but here it is: from PZ Meyers I’d feel schadenfreude, except that it’s such a damn sad waste. The gist of the article? Those that try and treat their cancer with herbal supplements might actually be increasing their cancer risk. Even worse? Replacing medicine with herbal supplements nets you a five times higher risk of dying of the disease in five years.

So what is my mother using to treat her DCISCruciferous vegetables and vitamin supplements.

Before you ask: yes, she has a prescription for tamoxifen. She took the first three month round, got a refill and now the untouched jar is sitting in her medicine cabinet. Rather than spend money on drugs, she’s paying a website called Life Expectancy–or something to that effect–somewhere between forty and fifty dollars in order to get some book that has all these “protocols” for “natural healing”. If you read PZ’s blog and what he linked there, this may not be money well spent.

I have this gnawing fear that I may get a phone call in the future. One that involves me taking a trip to North Carolina. An unplanned one. Because things aren’t going so well. And time might be limited or running short.

It’s not something I like thinking about. But it is a real possibility.

For the past year, I’ve asked myself questions, a lot of questions. Am I doing the right thing? Will taking this drug actually benefit me? Am I on the right course with my condition? Will I be okay? Is there an easier way? What if there are other methods that could help? You name it, I’ve mentally asked it. Because this has been an uncertain journey, a path that is fraught with self-doubt and self accusations. It’s been a rough road, one that still unfurls before me. If I thought that eating a bucket of kale could cure me, you better damn well believe I would do that! If lemon juice could fix the problem, I’d be drinking it every single day. But those methods aren’t proven; there aren’t any facts to back up the claims. So I keep taking my medication every day.

I know that my mother is doing what she feels is best for her. But the facts aren’t there. There isn’t a lot of evidence that what she is doing will actually help. So I sit by the phone with a sense of deepening dread, wondering if today will be the day I get the call.

It hasn’t happened yet. I just fear the day that it will.

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Finally!

It finally happened: the HRC revoked Wal-Mart’s perfect score after complaints from transgender workers. To which I say, “Good. About damned time.”

As I’ve said, I worked there years ago. Wal-Mart is one of the worst companies anyone could possibly be employed with; you are treated as a cog in a machine and you can replaced whenever management feels like it. Oh, and management is more than happy to tell you this. Constantly. That’s what happens to the “average” associate. I can’t even begin to image the level of hell that place could be for someone who happens to be transgender.

Yeah, I do not miss that place. At all. I’m stunned they got a perfect in the first damned place, but then again, anything Wal-Mart does is for PR. They want to look good and maintain that, “Gee, gosh, darn, we’uns is just like yew!” folksy exterior that made them so profitable.

Seems the facade is cracking a bit. Again, I say that it’s about damned time.

Walmart-Truth

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The Mechanics of Consent

When I was younger, my mother made sure I had a good grounding in sex education. She told me the hows, the whys, the what could happens, all of it. But she skipped out on the most important thing: consent.

Not once did my mother address agency or consent. Not once was I told that my body was my own. If anything, the message was murky.

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Sometimes a Plush Bear is Just a Plush Bear

I found this on Patheos pagan, called When Your Kid’s Stuffie Gets Soul What do you Do? and it’s quite the read. Now, if dissecting this sort of article isn’t your thing, then don’t click past the jump. Everyone else? Let’s get the road on the show, shall we?

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Sunday Morning Nostalgia Crush!


The opening and ending to the Mr. T cartoon. Yes, this actually existed. It was the 1980s; just don’t ask. (And yes, I did watch this as a kid!)

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The Fickle Beast

Prime and I had just settled down to watch an episode of Star Trek: Voyager when we heard a loud noise. Prime admitted that he thought it was thunder. Well, until we both heard the shriek of brakes not a moment later.

There had been a collision. On the street. By our house. I was stunned.

Now, the weather hadn’t exactly been wonderful; we’d had snow earlier and the roads were slick. But I was still in a state of shock. Had that really just happened? Had I maybe imagined it all? After a few seconds of disbelief, I managed to say that I was calling 911 to report what had gone on.

This was the first time I had ever dialed 911. I’m hoping that it will be the last time.

I managed to give the dispatcher the few details that I knew; she said she would send help. As I peeked out the door, I saw a crowd gathering. I wondered if anyone else had called for help.

When I got back to Prime, I was still shaken. My heart was pounding and my hands were trembling. I was nervous, on edge. I felt like a caged animal.

I don’t handle traffic accidents well. It doesn’t help that I was involved with one when I was younger.

When I was three, a woman pulled out in front of my mother while we were going home. Mom had to slam on the brakes. I ended up landing headfirst on the floorboard. My memories of the accident are sketchy at best; I can remember being in my mother’s arms as she walked into a liquor store. I have dim images of the ride to the hospital in an ambulance. I have a few images of a cloth being draped over my head; I had a pressure cut that needed to be stitched closed. Then I remember a nurse, asking me if I knew how to wink.

The memories are there but they’ve become faded, like the images of a bad dream. They don’t seem quite real anymore but I still have the scars.

There’s a small line on my forehead, the thin remainder of the wound that has to be repaired. My teeth are crooked and one front tooth is shorter than the other; the baby tooth was knocked out on impact. For years, I had a gap in my smile. You can imagine how happy I was when I saw a new tooth poking through the gum line when I was in sixth grade. The physical reminders still remain. I’ll always have them. But it’s the mental scar tissue that happens to be more problematic.

Trauma is a tricky thing, a fickle beast. When you think you’ve beaten it, that you’ve finally overcome it, it will come back. Trauma can paralyze you with a thought, a sound, or a sight. A certain scent can bring it back. A word of two can send you over the edge. You don’t know when that fear will hit you, what might cause it and why but when it hits, it hits. It doesn’t matter if the incident in question happened three years ago or thirty; the reaction can be just as visceral.

Yes, I survived the accident. But I will never be the same. That is the cold, hard truth, something I have learned to accept.

It took about an hour for me to calm down. Prime and I watched another episode of Voyager in the meantime. It took my mind off things, which I needed. The accident didn’t involve me. It won’t affect me directly. I wasn’t the one driving or sitting in the passenger seat.

But the sounds I heard bothered me. They always will. That is something that will never change.

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You Talkin’ to Meow?


It’s been another ridiculously shitty week, so we’re gonna make it a kitty week. So here are some cats and a kitten, speaking their minds. Enjoy!

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