Jason's Untimely Thoughts

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Archive for July, 2006

Back from Baltimore

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Humidity-drenched greetings to you and yours… Sarah & I returned from Baltimore late last night, with relatively positive news. First, thanks to all those who survived their time with the kids in our absence.

The folks at Johns Hopkins were great, we received fine treatment and were happy to be there. Sarah had bloodwork, a CT scan, and an endoscopy performed on Monday and then we met with a surgical oncologist on Wednesday morning. They found nothing new with the CT scan or endoscopy, which was good news. Sarah’s stomach surgery appears to have healed well and they found no evidence of carcinoid remaining in her esophagus, stomach, or intestine.

One of the reasons we were interested in talking with this physician was that he is highly aggresive surgically. In an odd twist on things, he didn’t think surgery was the best option for Sarah, but his rationale made that good news. He said the distribution (all over Sarah’s liver) and relatively small size of the tumors would make it difficult for him to get all, or even most, of the tumors. With symptoms under control and liver functioning normally, then, it would likely be more trouble than it was worth to perform surgery right now. If there was a change in size of the tumor(s), or liver function was affected, then he would be willing to consider surgical options at that time.

This was a major departure from what we thought, that surgery might not be possible because we were ‘too late’. While the bad news is he is unable to go in and remove all of the tumors, we were already expecting that news. The fact that he didn’t feel surgery was worth the trouble right now, but could still be an option in the future, gives much promise of much more time to worry about all that.

The chemo-embollization I’ve mentioned before may still be the first hard-core treatment Sarah tries, but we’re not going to hurry to schedule that. As it stands currently, Sarah has decided to continue on the monthly shots of Sandostatin, let some time pass, have more CT scans done every three months or so, and continue to re-evaluate the plan as necessary. No timetable, we’ll just evaluate as we learn more.

Baltimoreans thought it was hot & humid. I expect to hear simultaneous laughter from almost everyone on this e-mail list. In fact, they thought it was so hot that they had to close the zoo, to protect people from going to the zoo and getting too hot (seriously). It was hot and humid, but nothing like the hot humid hills packed with snow and ice that I had to walk to/from school on. We had two excellent opportunities to hit an Orioles game, but if it was too hot to go to the zoo, really, how could we be expected to attend a baseball game? Especially an American League game. Much thanks to those who opened their home to us, especially for arranging for the family of deer to greet us by the road in the morning. In general, we heard lots of talk about how bad Baltimore is and was, but it was great by us.

On return from Baltimore, we were a little over an hour late landing in St. Louis. Turns out, that was a good thing though as the airport was in shambles after high winds/tornado came through, knocking power out for several hours and causing much harrumphing. We were seated next to an oncologist, an Air Force higher up stationed at the pentagon, and a newly minted US Army private, though, so we were safe. Plus, we got free parking out of the deal.

My favorite part of the trip was going to DC, where we learned much.

  • First, it is also hot & humid there.
  • Brock Olivo is still alive, and contrary to urban legend does eat things that are bad for you. Specifically, he eats gellato from the Smithsonian Natural History museum.
  • There’s not nearly enough parking and way too many ugly fences around the various memorials.
  • It’s evidently possible for security guards to be respectful at Arlington National Cemetary while simultaneously yelling at the patrons to be quiet so as to show respect. I had to fight against every urge in my body to not point this out to them.
  • Although there are lots of signs saying no U-turns, they don’t apply (like many rules in DC).
  • Finally, when practicing civil disobedience in front of the White House, it’s very important to be obedient to the angry man carrying the bullhorn. For instance, don’t scream “justice” when he screams “peace”, and vice versa. The man must be listened to when preaching against the man.

Since the plan as it stands is to wait, watch, and pay attention, this will be my last update for a while. The next thing many of you will read from me will be how the beloved Tigers are going to beat the Racers from Murray State by 50 points on their way to an outstanding season, with tailgating planned to precelebrate it all. (Any MU people reading this, I need a Lot D pass. Come on, you can do it.) Down with the naysayers.

Man, this is long, I’m sorry. On a side note, screw ku.

Written by Jason Becking

July 20th, 2006 at 1:45 pm

Posted in Sarah Wins

Going to Baltimore

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Sarah & I are going to Baltimore on Sunday to visit with some docs at Johns Hopkins University…. Their hospital was rated #1 in the USA for the 16th straight year, so we’ve got that going for us. Or maybe they’ve got that going for them.

Sarah has appointments and tests scheduled all day Monday and then a follow-up visit on Wednesday with a surgical oncologist there. On Tuesday, we hope to maybe hook up with some friends who live in DC. As I’ve said going in to every one of these visits, hopefully when we return we’ll have all the information and opinions we need and Sarah can choose which treatment option she’s most comfortable with.

The kids will be staying in Columbia at our house, so if you’re driving by you might stop in and make sure their grandmother is surviving. They are doing well, with Adelaide taking swimming lessons and soccer camp this week. She thinks her 17-year old swim instructor is cute, so that’s going well (and I’m already dreading teenage years). Soccer camp is in the evening and has been pretty muddy, which Jack is liking quite a bit.

Just over 50 days to football season, which is coincidentally how many points we’ll score while beating the Racers of Murray State on September 2. True story, my high school football coach is Murray State’s all-time leading rusher, but that won’t help them much. Football season is the happiest time of the year, so you’ve got 50 days left to be miserable if you so choose. Speaking of miserable, insert KU joke here.

Written by Jason Becking

July 12th, 2006 at 10:39 am

Posted in Sarah Wins

No O

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I need a soccer person to explain why the offsides rule is beneficial. Seems as artificial to me as small-town girls 6-on-6 basketball where the players can’t cross over the center line. Or the DH, for that matter.

Eliminate it, I say. Increases scoring chances, which is good. Also increases petty diving/acting because someone will be scoring, or missing a scoring opportunity, if a player wastes effort writhing around on the ground like a little kid.

Also, if the world’s best soccer players are supposedly so fit, why in the world can’t they play a full game without resorting to walking by the 80th minute. I realize I wouldn’t last 5 minutes out there, but they’re not me. Every game they’ve ever played has lasted for 90 minutes, you’d think they’d eventually get used to it, no?

Finally, get rid of penalty kicks in the World Cup. Horrible way to end the game. Let them walk all over the field for however long is necessary until someone scores a goal. Or, better yet, eliminate the offsides rule to create more space and scoring opportunities so a 0-0 or 1-1 tie isn’t as likely.

Screw KU.

Written by Jason Becking

July 10th, 2006 at 9:13 am

Posted in Mindless Ramblings