Friday, March 28, 2008

Show, don't "tell."

I know that it's been all brain surgery all the time here lately, but I'm eager to get back in the blogging saddle here. If you think I'm wrong about something, please tell me why exactly you object to my ideas.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tibet support protesters shut down in US

Wow, this is way screwed up.

Why do we even bother investigating the facts of an individual crime?

From the Spokesman-Review today:
BOISE – A Senate committee chairwoman has blocked legislation that would have ended Idaho's distinction as the only state in the nation with no system for reviewing child deaths.

Senate Health and Welfare Chairwoman Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, said Idaho doesn't need to review child deaths if every other state is already doing it. "We can use the information that they've gathered," she said. "If they're already doing it, what could be different in a child death in Utah or Montana that we wouldn't have here? Why reinvent the wheel all the time?”

But Lodge then asked the Senate to return the bill to her committee, where it's now dead. "The concerns mostly were, what could this lead to?" she said. "Could this lead to maybe more usurping of freedoms? Could parents be charged?"
Well, if they're committing crimes that lead to their children's deaths, I sure hope so.

Ugh, enough snow for the plows to come out.

I'm not liking it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

So not cute

Sorry, man, you don't get to blame your stupid opinions on my medical condition. "Agree to disagree" means you're wussing out of arguing with a lady with a brand new hole in her head..

Saw some snowdrops blooming!

It snowed a few inches today :(

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Totally pathetic

Not bothering to hear a non-discrimination bill in the Idaho Senate that would add sexual identity to the list of reasons a person could not be discriminated against in the state is really a very sad way to say "Screw you" to the non-heterosexual Idahoans who bring the contributions they do to the communities we live in and economies we depend on. Eye on Boise brings us the following quote:
Retired Hewlett Packard Co. executive Don Curtis Sr. told the crowd that his company has long banned such discrimination. “We believe it has affected our bottom line much for the better,” he said. Emilie Jackson-Edney of Idaho Equality said, “The amendment seeks to protect civil rights so fundamental, and so very fundamentally American, that it seems absurd we are still haggling over this in early 2008. The amendment simply states that it is illegal to discriminate against or fire someone because of the employee’s perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity.” McKenzie said earlier that he wouldn’t hold a hearing on the bill unless a majority of his committee members said in advance that they’d vote for it, and that didn’t happen.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The woman who doesn't have brain cancer isn't going to be complaining about her luck just now

But when I came home from the hospital, I found a jury duty summons in my mail box. I did get my doctor to excuse me, which is a good thing.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Up to new challenges, so far

I'm in the process of making palak paneer for the first time ever, which is comforting knowing that a big section of my brain is now missing.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Eyes Just Opening -- It's Like Being a Kitten

I'm shocked to find this survivable. Feeling relatively okay. Still very swollen. Seeing is hard. Typing is hard -- the sensing.

-- Sara

Sara's still having some problems (a little more than before) typing, but the short-term memory issues and confusion seem to have subsided.

-- ACS

Eyes justopening it's like being a kitttn

Update: Just To Clarify...

This is the best form of bad news possible. Just yesterday, the things they had thought it could be carried no chance of survival. Today, the things they think it could be carry no chance of killing Sara.

-- ACS

Friday, March 07, 2008

Update: Sara Isn't Going To Die

This isn't a high-grade astrocytoma. In fact, this isn't a tumor. There was a big zone in her forebrain without myelin, but that's fine. Even the frozen section produced a diagnosis of astrocytoma.

This was severe, this was confusing, it might still be MS, but Sara is alive and fine.

-- ACS

Thursday, March 06, 2008

UPDATE: Thanks to the Idaho Blogosphere

Sara got to see the video of everybody -- thanks to y'all, and Kos, who joined in to wish Sara a good brain surgery. Now we're sitting around her hospital room, listening to This American Life--it's a little painful for her to open her eyes.

She says hi.

-- ACS

Update: Post-Surgery, Day 2

Okay, so it looks like Sara may not be coming home today after all. There were some problems getting her awake last night--related to a high intracranial pressure--and so they put her on salt pills and a steroid drip. Her brain's fairly swollen right now. Nothing dangerous or unusual, but they're trying to stabilize the pressure up there before they send her home.

-- ACS

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Update: Post-Surgery, Day 1

Sara's out of the ICU and onto the floor, and they're thinking she may be able to come home tomorrow. Progress is "outstanding." Though she looked great directly out of surgery, she now looks and feels as though she's been hit by a truck. Which is unsurprising, as the practical effects of brain surgery are similar to those of being severely concussed. It just took some time, from yesterday and today, for the swelling to come up.

Once the swelling comes down--in her face, around the incision, and in her brain--everything should be fine.

-- ACS

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Update: Surgery

Sara is out of surgery and in the ICU. Her left leg and arm are moving fine; she knows what day it is now, whereas she didn't know this morning; her eyes, which they were worried about damaging during surgery, are tracking just fine. The flatness in her voice has subsided. Unfortunately, her haircut was beyond saving and may have to be amputated.

Nobody is treating me like the husband of a terminal cancer patient. A young neurosurgery resident excitedly called the tumor "impressive" to my face. Either they really need to start educating doctors about bedside manner, or we have far less reason to be worried than we did at the beginning today.

Histopathology report should come back in a week.

Update: Quick Pathology

This morning, because of the weird MRI results, Sara got a brain biopsy. They removed a needle-sized chunk from her head and looked at it. Histology is negative for lymphoma; prospects of high-grade astrocytoma are (apparently) reduced based on this morning's MRI. This does not eliminate all of the really, really bad diagnoses.

This does, however, reduce the prospect of things which kill my partner and your friend. Our hopes are better now than they have been.

-- ACS

Update: Surgery

We thought Sara would be in surgery by now, but the MRI turned up a few unusual facts. The contrast-enhancement that showed up on the first MRI has disappeared, leading the surgeon to wonder what the hell is it in her head. Disappearing contrast enhancement also channels the diagnosis toward different things--a few better, but none worse--than the original contrast enhancement had showed.

The needle has shifted a somewhat toward curable and somewhat toward benign.

-- ACS

Monday, March 03, 2008

Pre-Surgery Update

We're going in for surgery tomorrow. About 90% of the mass is amenable to being removed; the rest is up against parts that make Sara move or talk, and is too dangerous to take out. When we last spoke to the surgeon, his first guess was that it was a primary brain tumor of some sort; however, it had some unusual features on the MRI (not the least of which that Sara is young and immunocompetent) that led him to waffle between craniotomy or a biopsy.

Given where the mass is--the fact that it's not in a place where it'll cause immense damage if removed--Sara's going with surgery: speed is a virtue in this case, and if it is a primary brain tumor, it needs to be out as quickly as possible.

Wish us luck. We'll update everyone as soon as the mass is out.

-- ACS

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Update: Headed out of town

I've decideded to assume that I'm going to end up with the best possible outcome here, because it does happen it might as well happen to me.

Much love and thanks to all supporters!