Are the Roots of the Tree of Liberty suffering from Drought?

     Image result for justice earl warren

the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. it is it’s natural manure.

Not sure where to begin here. but if there was ever a stream of late night consciousness, I am thinking this will be it.

Some people say intelligence is the ability to understand you know far less than you think you do. Some say it’s the ability to say, “I was wrong”.

Question: How do you know when a politician is lying? When they open their mouth.

Yesterday it came to me our current political snafu is due to our lack of understanding of how this is all to work. Our educational system has become beholden to business instead of providing an overall, Liberal Arts, education that teaches critical thinking instead of specific figures and facts to be regurgitated on a test proving intelligence, or your ability to hold onto info long enough to pass and thus show what a great system we have. Of course we fall down to the teens and twenties in the most relevant skills desired to day: Math, Science. In doing this we have taken public money, your taxes, and provided business, private enterprise with skills they contend they need and are not getting from new employees. Providing specific skills is NOT the role of Education. Education is critical to thriving businessess but it is the business task to take learned people and teach them skills to succeed.

Learning is a critical life long process. Throughout ones life so many different situations, some very different from what was originally considered, are faced. Without the ability to be elastic and re-jigger one’s brain, one’s faced with anxiety, fear, and possibly a stalemate in career choices. In an economy based on consumerism, wage/salary ceilings affect everyone.

Which in a late night roundabout way leads me to Trump/Kavanaugh and the fiasco currently unfolding. When I went to school govt., History, Social Studies, Geography were all stressed. We were taught HOW govt. was to work. Govt. was a good social institution serving to, at least publicly, assist the public good. For example, Brown vs Bd of Ed. This is a good example for today as Justice Warren was NOT chosen because he was for this. Eisenhower chose him for his judicial qualities. As it should be.

The Supreme Court is NOT the last resort for people cause it will give you what you think you deserve. It’s the last resort in order to keep our country fair and as equal as possible. No one decision is ever 100%. Warren knew the case was a time bomb given this countries sad record on Civil Rights. In the end, his understanding, and gift, was he was able to gather the court into a unanimous decision in favor of desegregation. The ruling, long awaited, and one of the most important and far ranging, leading to other Civil Rights movements, was unexpected.

This case highlights what the justice system should be about, at the least in the Supreme Court. It is not to ratify a justice cause they don’t believe in Abortion or a woman’s right to her own body. It’s not to say yes to what I believe or Trump believes. It’s to do their humanly best, despite all their faults and strengths, to keep things fair.

However, now that we have a president who has NO knowledge of the system, who thinks in his maniacal, narcissistic, I am the Greatest, give me your accolades please, serial lying fashion, he represents the failure of our system to get people to understand how and why we love our country.

This ignorance has given us a pack of Trumpistas. Solid, steady, and stupid. Despite his lack of Morals, disrespect for Women and those different than him in color, status, place, they follow there own narrow opinions.

Hence, we have a congress that is doing all it can to bow down to Trump and his agenda.


This agenda, and the conservative agenda specifically, keeps us from moving forward. The issue of Abortion, Religion, Civil Rights are constantly renewed by conservatives. This constant rehashing of a narrow range of issues already resolved are what keep us from moving to the future. Especially in Infrastructure. The longer we wait the more expenses keep thins from getting done. All we have to do is look at SS. Which brings me to:


Solutions?

  1. Term limits. No more than 2 terms. No more than 4 months campaigning.
  2. No lobbying. Ever.
  3. Public funding. Corps can donate to a limited fund which is then equaled out to politicians.
  4. Defense spending should be reduced.
  5. Peace spending increased.
  6. Corporations should have taxes raised to support social programs. Currently social programs are reduced for Defense and Corps.

 

Thalidomide? Really???

Those of us elders may recall thalidomide. It was prescribed for morning sickness in late 50s or so. It was discontinued, today perhaps blackboxed because it caused severe, grotesque birth defects.

Similar to most chemo drugs, the derivatives of thalidomode – Revlimid, Polymist, Lenalidomide – are quite toxic. However over the years researchers found there were also anti-cancer qualities to thalidomide. When researchers manipulated the molecules to lessen the toxicity, it became one more choice in the arsenal against Cancer. I believe most MM’rs take or have taken one of these drugs over the course of their treatments.

Other Chemo meds are also very toxic by design. Cancer is a nasty mutation. Among it’s many qualities is survivability. It spits off cells that can hide for years until they metastisize from an unsuspected hiding place. Leukemia can cross the brain/body barrier and sneak into the folds and crevices of ones brain only to reappear in the end game. So it seems best practice is to hammer, pound, cut, chase, burn, do whatever to stop Cancer at first sight. Hence, why the LTS (Long Term Survival rates) are moving up albeit all too slowly for those of us with MM. And also why Cancer patients suffer the way we do.

In a macabre way, the MM demographics fall on folks around 65’ish, after a good part of life has been lived. On the other hand, if you’re like me, thoughts of not seeing Grandkids grow up are the most painful of all. Waterfalls of tears have been shed, still, when I think of this. I make no excuses for MM here. Cancer sucks at any time.

I mention all this because I hope patients ask for, and receive, all the Clarity they can from their oncologists about their therapy. It’s vital patients advocate for themselves. No changes may be made, but without clarity, any changes one might have available can’t be discussed.

It’s your life, not their’s.

Sam

First impressions

gofundme.com/srcbennett-funding

Continuing story in the hope some small part may be useful to others.

62 yr m. MM4yrs. BMT. Dazzled protocol maintenance.

Not chronological. Not sequential. Sometimes informational. Not always personal. Always truthful.

First impressions – posted

NOTE: Since these posts started suddenly I have not organized them. I’m not sure if I could at this point. So I hope the disarray you may find here doesn’t keep you from the first of the writings. In many ways these reflect the stream of consciousness nature of my last 4 years.

What was is no more when Cancer is found. Coming to that realization has been slow and fraught with fear, depression, denial, and occasionally hope as MM progress. I tend towards the optimistic which can keep me from understanding as quickly as others.

Cancer Care is at the forefront of Integrative Health Care. If you’re fortunate to have access to a Cancer center, though it can be overwhelming, consider your self fortunate to have all the resources made available to you and yours.

One could almost think you’re on vacation. Almost. Huntsman offers 6 floors of massage, acupuncture, exercise equipment, library, tables of puzzles and magazines. Private corners. Gourmet restaurant. Beautiful stone work. Hospital floor. Everything seems to have been done to make Cancer secondary. It’s not and you and hundreds other know it. Despite all this, going there is not something I relish.

I start prepping for appts a day or two prior. Long infusions require me to bring food and things to do. I wear and bring clothes for infusions. It’s often to cold. The 5 hrs. of Daratumamab mean I’m going to feel like I have the Flu for 1-2 days. Not to mention my discombobulated thermostat and all the sweating I do. I can change clothes 3 times in a half hour cause of the sweat soaked garments.

Anxiety. Something always lurking now. On Huntsman days and prior, it can be unbearable. Up early. Ready to go way too early. Labs (blood draws) to make sure I’m still of a piece. Then 30 mins waiting anxiously to see if anything changed. Fortune seems to be with me so far as, except during BMT, all my bloodwork has stayed normal throughout. This fact is probably the one thing I am always glad to be reassured about. MM’s insidiousness doesn’t stop at the bone level. As disease progresses, organs, struggling to keep going, start to wear out in t the struggle. I’m not sure how that looks to a patient, but it is something I hope to avoid.

Sam

Shared Pain is Lessened

Shared Joy is increased

A decision I made

Multiple Myeloma revealed in hiding

Continuing story in the hope some small part may be useful to others.

62 yr m. MM4yrs. BMT. Dazzled protocol maintenance.

Not chronological. Not sequential. Sometimes informational. Not always personal. Always truthful.

After 3 years of dealing with Cancer, Multiple Myeloma, I have been reading posts about others experiences and questions, I finally decided to start writing about my life with Cancer. To the best of my ability, I will NOT pull punches. Cancer is bad enough without flooding over true facts.

This is the first of what I will try and make a series of posts. May they be useful or at least interesting.

My MM experience

I have MM and have had for 4 years. I’ve been through the horror of the lightning bolt diagnosis and all that followed. I am incredibly fortunate to live in SLC and be near Huntsman Cancer Institute. As well as one of the countries top MM doctors.

The table was cold. Deborah, my wife had gone to get food as we had been in the ER for hours. A hand pulled the curtain aside and then with his back to me, slid it shut. He grabbed a chair, flipped it around, sat down, handed me the plain white paper he held out, saying, Sorry to be the bringer of bad news.

We had originally gone to the ER due to the incredible, intense, abnormal pain in my right shoulder. MRI, Scan, X-Ray, 4 shots of morphine later, doc says, We can keep you here and watch you overnight, send you home to come back if things worsen. Or we can do a scan of your thoracic spine. The only thing we see unusual is the elevated sediment in your blood. Which could be anything.

I inherited the genetic heritage of bad backs from my Father. Over the last 15 years I had 2 cervical fusions, 2 lumbar laminectomies. If that had been ALL I inherited, I would have rejoiced.

If you have a bad back, and we all do, your thoracic spine is NEVER scanned cause problems arise in your ass from sitting, or your neck from whatever. No one had ever asked me about this scan though over the last several months I had considered asking. The scan was choice 2 out of the 3 given.

So the doctor was returning with the results of that 2nd choice. The thoracic scan.

Sorry but it looks like you have Cancer. MM I think. He was a great doc with a shitty job to do.

Deb knew something was horribly wrong as soon as she shoved the curtain aside.

He says I have Cancer. 58. Always in excellent health. Almost retired. Cancer??? How???

The world, once wide open now narrowed down to 2 small blurry holes. Speech disappeared. What does one say on hearing those words?

We hear them all the time. On TV. From others dealing with Cancer. Fundraising. But Cancer is a malady for others. Not you. Everythings been done right. All your life. Where? How? You need to double-check the results.

I read folks questions, stories, hopelessness, misunderstandings, etc. I was surprised at the low level of info, the lack of hope in response, the turning around of the question so responder could have their own personal say. I think I can say I understand all this, but what people need, in my experience, is solid info and hope. They’re scared. In one ear. Out the other. Initial Diagnosis is NOT a good time to throw out technical info to a patient. All suddenly falls apart. Cancer, hidden and suddenly found, has sliced through ones life. As well as those surrounding them.

So given my situation and experience, I decided to respond with this essay in the hopes some small bit can be helpful. Part of my situation is perhaps a bit different. My son in law works at UU Hospital and my daughter works as a lab manager in Tucson. Therefore, I have access to ALL the info my doctors do. I can refer to the very same reports, studies my doctors use. No room for BS here.

Sam

America is sacrificing the future

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/america-is-sacrificing-the-future/2018/08/03/21085a3c-9660-11e8-80e1-00e80e1fdf43_story.html

Basic research has always been essential to our understanding of our world. We don’t do it for immediate practicability in our lives but for understanding of ourselves. Despite much comes from War research, that is not why it should be done.