*3-26-2001 Week Three

Week 3                                      March 26, 2001

 

 

 

Today the day 14 biopsy to see whether the first run of chemo

killed  all

 

the  leukemia cells is scheduled. Currently this letter is going out to

about

 

ninety  people,  and there are about thirty-five who are on the  daily

update

 

list. I am SO happy to have e-mail to spread updates!

 

 

 

As  with  when  we had the house fire- suddenly we  were  meeting

people

 

everywhere who’d had their dryer catch fire on them, so now we are

meeting all

 

sorts of people who know someone who had leukemia and is better now.

Maybe the

 

people who know someone who died of leukemia just don’t mention it, but

there

 

seem to be an awful lot of people who’ve recovered from leukemia. One of

them

 

is the dietary intern, who had it five years ago, and is fine now. One

of  our

 

friends  (Veleda) says she has six relatives all of whom got leukemia

and  are

 

better  now,  including  her  80 year old grandmother. Or  maybe  it

was  six

 

relatives with cancer.

 

I  bumped  into Linda Buttrick (who had all of our kids at  one

time  or

 

other down at Lyndeboro Central. She had a double mascectomy in January

but is

 

now  considered cancer free, and may be able to go back to school after

April

 

vacation. Kathy Nahass, though, another one of our very favorite LCS

teachers

 

who  had breast cancer last year seems to have new lumps. Somehow I find

this

 

very  disturbing.  Probably  because,  like  us,  Kathy  is  doing

absolutely

 

everything  she  can think of to fight the cancer- Essiac, organic

food,  (of

 

course,  she’s doing vegan, all raw food- which I suppose we would try

if  we

 

thought it would work, but personally, we tend to omnivorous)- and she’s

still

 

having  some. Linda said that basically she’s going day to day and that

she’s

 

found  that  she’s  out of control with everything except  her  diet

and  her

 

attitude.  I  guess  that’s  a pretty good  description  of  what  we’ve

been

 

learning.

 

Kathy told me that they predicted to the day what day her hair was

going

 

to  fall  out (with us they’ve been doing the usual “different  for

different

 

people”  “it depends on the circumstances” type responses. Armed with

Kathy’s

 

story I asked again, and this time I got the response that hair starts

falling

 

on  day  21, and takes about 5 weeks. And, which no one had  told  us

before,

 

often  does not completely fall out, but instead leaves you patchy!

Yuck!  No

 

wonder some people just shave their heads when it starts to get it over

with.

 

Somehow patches of 15 inch hair sounds uglier than patches of 3 inch

hair.  Or

 

maybe not. Ick, and I’d had the impression that it was faster than that.

 

 

 

But that underscores one of the things we have learned- there is a

LOT of

 

variation from nurse to nurse. (Not that this is surprising, considering

that

 

it’s  true for every human on the planet.) Last night Susan came in  and

made

 

sure  that he knew about every change in his medication, speaking

loudly  and

 

clearly, and asking questions to make sure he understood. With others we

have

 

to drag every bit of information from them. Some come right in when he

buzzes,

 

some  say  “yes” on the intercom, then we don’t see them until the  next

time

 

they’d  come in anyway. And you know Aelfwine, he always figures that if

they

 

haven’t seen to his problem, there must be a real emergency somewhere

else, so

 

he doesn’t call back to see what’s holding them up.

 

One  problem  that  bothers me is that while we have  these  big

sterile

 

precautions,  they  never seem to realize that he’d rather like  to

wash  his

 

hands  after using the urinal or commode. Maybe he can’t catch  anything

from

 

his own waste, but even so- GROSS! I complained about it, and they left

him  a

 

pack of adult baby wipes. But when I’m there, I get him a hot soapy

washcloth

 

and  towel, which I think must clean better. I’ve also noticed that

when  I’m

 

there,  he  eats  more- his usual grazing, a bit of this, a bit  of

that.  He

 

generally  orders the banana or orange that’s the available whole fruit,

plus

 

the fruit cup, plus the seasonal fruit cup, plus the cheese and cracker

plate,

 

plus  yogurt- along with the soup and hamburger he’s been getting. He is

VERY

 

insistent that everything be cooked through, and figures that even they

can’t

 

mess up a hamburger. So, while he doesn’t eat much at the meal, he eats

fruit

 

and cheese all day.

 

 

 

I  note  with  pleasure that so far AElfwine has  had  neither

pain  nor

 

nausea-  both of which are associated with cancer and chemo. While  he’s

lost

 

weight,  it  has more to do with disliking the hospital cuisine  than

nausea.

 

Sometime  the food is fine, and sometimes not. (I’ll give them that it’s

hard

 

to  cook  for  700 at a time.) As he pointed out, sometimes  the

broccoli  is

 

great, and sometimes he puts his fork under it and lifts and it drips

THROUGH

 

the tines. And he and Megan agree that hospital squash is evil. Still,

he says

 

that even they can’t really wreck a hamburger (and has learned to write

on the

 

menu “a slice of onion please?”) and gets one.

 

 

 

On a brighter note, not only is Aelfwine getting the hang of

filling  out

 

his menus so that (usually) he gets what he wants, the dietitian says

that  we

 

can  bring him food- “Anything he wants.” (although she cautions

against  raw

 

milk until his immune system is back to normal. Apparently she believes

that a

 

person  with  a  healthy immune system can protect itself  from  the

horrible

 

dangers  of raw milk, but that without the immune system to detoxify

it,  raw

 

milk is just a seething vat of dangerous microbes.) Oh, well. So we’ll

be able

 

to  bring him fresh pineapple, or kiwis, whole grain bread, liver and

onions,

 

nuts,  and  green leafy vegetables. (just not all at once)  Some  people

have

 

brought him candy- that’s been labeled food for guests, since he’s not

eating

 

  1. If you visit, feel free to eat it, because I’m really not up for

taking it

 

home to the kids, and it would give me the creeps if the nurses were

happy  to

 

eat  it.  (I  just keep thinking that they should know  and  care  more

about

 

nutrition.)  On  a personal note, apparently I’ve found the “trigger”

for  my

 

metabolism.  It  is simply sugar. (Which I gave up in  sympathy  for

AElfwine

 

giving it up for his health.) In this past two weeks, as our man dealing

with

 

melted vegetables and rubber meats has lost 11 pounds- I have lost 15.

And all

 

I’ve  done  is  give  up sugar. I’ve been stuffing  my  face  with

meats  and

 

vegetables  and cheese and fruits in a desperate attempt to keep  my

strength

 

and health up- but I am losing weight. (Or, as Wolf suggested, I’m

worrying it

 

off.)  Except  that I don’t feel worried at all- harried,  overworked,

tired,

 

yes. Although I not with satisfaction that although I’m exhausted when I

go to

 

bed,  I  wake up fresh and rested in the morning, so the sleep must  be

good.

 

And,  I HAVE started dreaming about the hospital. Well, I guess it’s

good  to

 

know  that the sugar is a specific poison for me. I’m going to  miss

cookies.

 

(pout)

 

I had a very strong deja vu moment at the hospital yesterday. I

interpret

 

deja  vu as coming up on experiences that you’ve seen before when you

checked

 

out  various  future  paths  while you were asleep. Of  course,  this

is  not

 

provable, but it’s as satisfying an explanation of deja vu as any. And

deja vu

 

is  basically the experience of remembering something- people get

creeped  out

 

because they are remembering something that they intellectually know

that they

 

can’t  have memories of, but if it doesn’t bother you, it feels  exactly

like

 

any other memory, so I figure that that’s what it is. So astral time

travel is

 

a very easy explanation for why you’ve been there before. Anyway, I

found that

 

reassuring. If we are on a path I’ve explored before, then I assume that

it’s

 

a  path that I didn’t subconsciously work very hard to direct our  lives

away

 

from- thus one more reason to expect a positive outcome. It’s the

Pollyanna in

 

me (as well as the Hans Holzer).

 

 

 

Now  that  he’s out of the ICU, visiting is back to normal. I

think  the

 

hours  are  1-8, and he still has neutropinic precautions-  which  means

wash

 

before contact and don’t visit if you’ve been exposed to anything

contagious.

 

Also,  call ahead to make sure he’s not tired. After all, if the biopsy

today

 

(monday) shows any cancer cells left, he’ll be back on chemo again. And

if you

 

call ahead you can try to get him to yourself. I think most of us really

want

 

him to ourselves (if I’m there and you want some private time with him,

ask me

 

to  take a walk- I understand, and I see more of him than anyone  else).

He’s

 

still not allowed flowers, but you can give them to me if you like.

 

Dan’s been visiting him, and left a very funny story about their

roommate

 

Ree’s  cat. There was another big storm predicted this week, but it

presented

 

as  rain,  rather  than  another foot of snow, so didn’t  cause  me  too

much

 

problems- but it caused significant flooding in a lot of low lying

areas- like

 

Winchester, where my father and sister live. And in Medford, where Dan

lives.

 

Their basement flooded, but Ree’s Demon Kitty was unaware of this- he

was just

 

in the habit of dashing between Dan’s legs every time she opened the

basement

 

stairs-  obviously intending to make her fall to her doom- or at least

run  in

 

circles  around the basement for awhile. This time, rather than  a

satisfying

 

generation  of adrenalin in his person’s roommate, he achieved  a

spectacular

 

splashdown in the deep water at the bottom of the stairs. And Dan

wouldn’t let

 

him back up until he dried off. Since then, when she opens the door, he

hasn’t

 

tried to trip her once.

 

Another  thing  to be aware of is that when he gets  platelets,  he

gets

 

Benedryl  (ever  since that time he started to get hives when he  was

getting

 

platelets). I don’t know if they are giving him a super high dose, or if

he’s

 

having  an  unusual reaction, but every time they give it to him, he

goes  to

 

sleep  within ten to fifteen minutes and sleeps for about a half hour.

So  if

 

while  they are visiting they give him platelets, and he falls asleep on

you-

 

he’ll  be up again in about a half hour, you can wait, or go downstairs

to  Au

 

Bon Pain, which has some really great croissants, and come back in a

half hour

 

and he’ll probably be awake again.

 

 

 

Sadly,  while  they encourage people to give platelets, you

couldn’t  do

 

that  in that amount of time. Apparently as opposed to giving blood,

which  is

 

available  at  blood  drives all over the place, and only  takes  about

30-45

 

minutes,  when you are giving platelets it takes about 90 minutes.  They

take

 

your  blood out, run it through a “platelet strainer” and put your blood

back

 

in you, with a few less platelets. It’s very useful for them, (and

people  who

 

need them!) but obviously even less people are ready to put in that

amount  of

 

time than even are willing to give blood, and you have to make an

appointment

 

and have it done there in the hospital. Obviously, it would be great if

anyone

 

would  do that, but it’s a really personal decision. We had no idea  how

much

 

blood  he  was  going to go through. One tends to think  of  operations

where

 

someone  gets a couple of units- after all, the average person only has

seven

 

in them. But due to the length and effect of this illness, he’s going

through

 

a LOT of blood products.

 

Apparently,  generally one’s bone marrow constantly makes

platelets,  and

 

red  blood cells, and the various assorted types of white blood cells,

all  at

 

different  rates;  and this gives us a constantly replenished

collections  of

 

cells to use. I’ve heard 7 weeks for red blood cells, and yesterday the

nurse

 

told  us  that healthy people replace their platelets every 72  hours.

(also,

 

that  platelet  production is the LAST bone marrow activity  to  resume

after

 

chemo- so he’ll be getting them for some time). With Aelfwine, every

morning,

 

they  check his blood levels and then add whatever he seems to need that

day.

 

They’ll  know he’s getting better when those levels start going up

which,  by

 

the  way, is supposed to be starting today. Watch this space for

updates,  as

 

they  say. (oh, and last week I said that they were maintaining his red

blood

 

at  around  25, they point out that they maintain at 26- apparently

that  one

 

point  is  important  to them. Probably the difference between  just

low  and

 

dangerously low.)

 

He’s  still  getting Oxygen, probably because of that lowered  red

blood

 

count making it harder to deliver oxygen to his body parts. That they

monitor

 

constantly  too, and give him as much or as little as needed to keep him

at  a

 

good level. Recently he’s been getting it through a more comfortable

apparatus

 

which  he  calls a “bozo nose” (as opposed to the pilots mask),  but

which  I

 

think looks more like a piggy nose.

 

 

 

Philosophically, I have to notice that those things which most

worried me

 

about  hospitals seem to have been changing. For many years, hospitals

had  in

 

common  with  boot  camps, religious cults, and any  other  organization

that

 

wanted  to completely indoctrinate you, a lot of dehumanizing

techniques.  But

 

things are apparently changing- slowly, a large hospital is still

plagued with

 

the  handicaps  of any large organization, but things are  much  better.

They

 

encourage the hospital patients to wear their own clothes if they want

to-  it

 

keeps them from feeling like a patient too much. Aelfwine is somewhat

hesitant

 

to burden me with laundry, but I think that psychologically it’s a good

idea.

 

They are wonderful about calling us by our names and introducing

themselves. I

 

am  very pleased that they have a Reiki practitioner who has started

treating

 

Aelfwine and will be coming twice a week while he’s there. They are

polite and

 

seem  interested  in the crystal therapy and herbalism-  not

dismissive,  nor

 

patronizing. And they are very flexible about schedules.

 

I  would  prefer to be told more about possible side effects,  but

I  am

 

getting the impression that they don’t tell us because there are SO many

that

 

they  couldn’t  cover  them all, and if they did, we  might  develop

some  by

 

suggestion.  Besides, considering the number of medications he’s

taking,  the

 

range  of side effects is huge (as I’m learning from the many survivors

we’re

 

meeting).One of the various people who know someone who has had leukemia

says

 

that  her  friend  lost her ability to read while she  was  undergoing

chemo.

 

Luckily, that hasn’t happened to Aelfwine.

 

 

 

Currently the most worrisome side effect is the kidney damage which

they

 

detected last week and, seeing the antibiotic (tobermycin) they were

using  at

 

the time as the most likely culprit, they switched immediately. They say

it’s

 

reversed  itself,  and I hope so, but the output of his kidneys  is

still  an

 

alarming color- but getting better. Friday it looked very like coke,

Sunday it

 

only  looked like Hawaiian Punch- or, sadly, Red Zinger tea. (He had a

cup  of

 

Zinger on the table when the orderly came in to empty the urinal and she

asked

 

what it was- once we’d noted the similarity he said “I’m not going to be

able

 

to  drink  that now.” But the nurses say it’s OK- he’s just flushing

lots  of

 

toxins.  They  check  it for blood, and at least are not  admitting  to

being

 

worried.

 

Apparently another side effect of that particular antibiotic is

deafness,

 

and  he has gotten a lot more deaf. The problem with this is that he has

been

 

hard  of hearing for so long that he has habitual coping techniques-

guessing

 

from  context, partial lip reading, etc.; coupled with his preference

for  not

 

liking to ask for help this is causing some problems. He misses a key

word out

 

of about every other sentence with me when we are talking, and I worry

that  a

 

similar miscommunication with the medical staff could result in a more

serious

 

problem.  They  suggest that the deafness will probably  be  temporary,

which

 

would  be good. But I’ve asked if they could loan him a hearing aid

until  it

 

does  get better. The problem with that is that they can’t figure out

how  to

 

take him to the hearing test area of the hospital without exposing him

to  the

 

hospital  germs.  When  they  were transferring him down  from  the  ICU

they

 

carefully  made  him  use  a face mask that sealed  out  the  normal

hospital

 

atmosphere,  because they know that a lot of rogue germs can  migrate

through

 

  1. So I’ve taken my mothers old hearing aid down to him (it the

earphone  not

 

the  stick-it-in-your-ear kind) and that helps. If he’s not using  it,

remind

 

him to.

 

Another thing I have to worry about a little is them taking his odd

sense

 

of  humor wrong. In the ICU he was talking about “the monster under the

bed”.

 

“I can feel him reaching up and grabbing my ankles.” Well, at first I

thought

 

that  he was hallucinating- but it turns out that he was making a  joke

about

 

the  leg  massaging  greaves that they had fitted him  with.  When  he

wasn’t

 

walking around, they worried about clots forming, and they have little

plastic

 

sheathes  that  go around the patients legs, which get air  pumped  into

them

 

every so often to automatically massage the legs and enhance

circulation.  Now

 

if  it  took ME a bit to figure out that he was just trying to joke

about  an

 

unpleasant situation- how do you suppose the nurses took it?

 

 

 

One  odd thing we’ve noticed is that he can talk for hours to

someone  in

 

the  room, but when he gets on the phone, he starts coughing. It’s  like

he’s

 

allergic  to  the phone. If you’ve called, you’ve probably noticed

this.  Our

 

friend Lugh/Dennis (an EMT) has provided an answer to this mystery- our

normal

 

exhalations generate a drop of air pressure just outside our mouth. When

there

 

is something occupying that space, it can cause your subconscious to

react  to

 

a  theoretically  dangerous  loss of breathable air.  It’s  called  a

venturi

 

effect, and he says that most of us cough more on the phone because of

it, but

 

we just don’t notice it.

 

 

 

We have settled into the new schedule fairly well. I go down every

other

 

day-  it takes about two hours, depending on traffic and if I have to

get  gas

 

(about every three trips, and with the van, it takes about 20 minutes to

fill

 

it!) I’ve kept as much as possible of our old schedules- writing the

letter on

 

Monday,  doing  errands on Thursdays. I insist that we still  have  our

usual

 

dinners  with protein, two veg, salad and starch. The kids have now

divied  up

 

the  dinner making- each of them making one dinner a week, on the nights

I  am

 

down in Boston. I see no reason why that shouldn’t work well. Now I’ve

added a

 

daily  update on AElfwine when I check my e-mail in the morning.

Occasionally

 

we have to modify the base schedule, but so far it’s working pretty

well.  The

 

kids are helping with the chores- Star has actually learned to milk the

goats

 

so  he  or Willow can do it if I get back too late. And  those  dear

children

 

dragged  the dead goat up from out back so I can dump it on the way down

this

 

morning.  And  Wolf has offered to clean the shovel out barn for us-

just  as

 

soon as he can get his truck in. Whoo-hoo! One less thing to do!

 

 

 

Kerensa and Brianna came over on Tuesday and butchered Mushu, the 2

year

 

old  wether. Sadly, he was so fat that it made it almost impossible to

get  at

 

most of the meat. I guess we’ve learned a valuable lesson. I suppose I

should

 

have  realized  that he was a eunuch, and since he had horns he  was

able  to

 

bully his way to the food first and longest.

 

 

 

Minna  is taking the hide (and he took the head) and she’s  started

some

 

tomato  and  pepper and other seedlings for me. After long and  deep

thought,

 

we’ve  come to the conclusion that these are not circumstances under

which  we

 

want to stop eating fresh, organically grown vegetables- so while I have

gone

 

through  my garden list and removed all the high labor ones, like

onions,  and

 

the  experimental one’s like skirrets, we will still be having a  garden

this

 

year.  I’m  looking at lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, scallions,

cucumbers,  and

 

radishes, cabbages, butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, beets, turnips,

Kale,

 

swiss  chard, broccoli, and cauliflower, also a few peas and beans,  and

corn

 

and kale, and some garlic tucked in among the other stuff. Maybe some

pumpkin

 

and  melons, if I can get some seedlings. I feel a need for some flowers

this

 

year, so I’m thinking sunflowers, jerusalem artichokes, nasturtium,

calendula,

 

and  zinnias. Also dill and parsley, I don’t think we can do without.

But  no

 

celery,  spinach, brussles sprouts, onions, or potatoes this year, sigh.

Next

 

year… Maybe I’ll try plastic mulch and see how that works.

 

I’m  hoping  that I can organize a couple of weekends where  6-10

people

 

come in and scrub the kitchen, diningroom, baths and bedroom floor to

ceiling

 

(and  add a coat of paint if they are efficient) during april, but I

have  to

 

admit that people have their own lives- and none come with a whole lot

of free

 

time, so we’ll just take it as it goes.

 

 

 

Monday I went to the lawyer, and we are getting wills, and durable

power

 

of attorneys and all the various documents we should probably have had

before,

 

but  I am getting SO organized now! The Co-op (high school) had a  bomb

scare

 

last week- some kid had left a message on a computer, so they had to

clear the

 

school  and  search it with dogs before deciding that it was a  hoax.  I

know

 

Willow  and  her  friends (and as I think of it, kids when I  was  in

school)

 

always used to talk about blowing up the school- but no one took it

seriously-

 

and it wasn’t serious. If the kids CAN’T talk about blowing up the

school  and

 

hiding the bodies of teachers who are less than fair- then what are they

going

 

to  do with the tension that is natural in that situation? Any situation

when

 

the  power  is so one sided is tense, if repressed, I think  it  may

actually

 

force  it  into more violent expressions. If they can’t remember  being

kids,

 

perhaps they could just look at the body of folk music that has had

those same

 

themes for centuries!

 

 

 

I’ve  got  the  dryer being delivered this Tuesday,  and  in

theory  the

 

propane  being  hooked up during the week. I am a bit dubious  about

Suburban

 

Propane, they were so slow about getting back to me with the estimate.

 

Willow has been loving her new computer- loving it so much in fact,

that

 

she  seems to have developed carpal tunnel syndrome in one wrist. At

least  it

 

hurts-  and  so  does her elbow. I have advised her to go back  to

using  the

 

keyboard  in her lap if it doesn’t hurt that way. (and knock off the

computer

 

solitaire).  The kids were playing the game Zoombenies until Willow got

angry

 

and hid it on them. I must admit that computer’s make great mental

anesthesia.

 

 

 

Kat  had  performances of the Unique Dance Troop on Wednesday

night  and

 

Saturday  night. Both Megan and Diana managed to get too Wednesday  (and

they

 

both  remembered  flowers, which is good because I decided  that  I

shouldn’t

 

bother in my rush to get back in time). I was still late since we’d

thought  I

 

could both drop the Geo at the garage with Willow before going, but it

died in

 

the two miles between here and there, and pushing it the rest of the way

with

 

the  van took long enough that I missed the beginning of the show. I

have  to

 

say  that  I was favorably surprised. Of course, they aren’t as  good

as  the

 

dancers one sees in shows or movies, but they were pretty good. Very

good  for

 

junior high girls without a whole lot of training. John Pomer made a

video  of

 

that  performance, and so Aelfwine will be able to see it. The

performance  on

 

Saturday was in conjunction with the Community Talent Show, and they

were  the

 

last act, so John Pomer brought her home (and I went to sleep). She said

that

 

they had a hard act to follow- a group who did the bit with dressing

your legs

 

as a whole body, and your torso as the huge head. Kat was of the opinion

that

 

it  was the best thing on the schedule, and very funny. I reminded her,

in  a

 

world  before recording technology, that that was about all the

entertainment

 

that  most  people  had available. Time to be thankful  for  movies,

recorded

 

music, etc.

 

 

 

There was warning of another big blizzard on Thursday, but it only

rained

 

instead, so while I hear that Winchester (where my father and sister

live) and

 

lots  of other places had flooding, we got only a dusting of snow, and

enough

 

rain  to  melt  away about half of the snow. Of course, it  still  looks

like

 

Currier and Ives out there- but the stream in our back yard is back,

which has

 

made the geese and ducks very happy.

 

 

 

I  went to the dentist on Thursday- got an old root canal reamed

out  and

 

the  new preferred inert stuff put in. About three hours in the chair. I

kept

 

falling  asleep. If not for the rubber dam, my mouth would have  fallen

shut,

 

and  then what would he have done? (I know, woke me up.) It still

aches.  Dr.

 

Roy  loaned  us his booklet on dealing with post-chemo dental hygiene,

and  I

 

took it down Friday.

 

Aelfwine  and  I  went over the mail- lots of forms  from  all

sorts  of

 

agencies  from  the IRS to Social Security, some for the doctor to  fill

out,

 

some  to be held for the social worker. He’s happy to have something to

do-  I

 

think  I’m going to be leaving most of the magazines down there for  the

next

 

couple of months- he’s got too much time to fill, and I know I’m not

going  to

 

get  around  to reading them. If he doesn’t go back on chemo this  week,

he’s

 

going  to try doing the taxes himself. He really prefers doing something

he’d

 

ordinarily do, or read, to reading dime store novels- me, I’d be going

through

 

the library- but then, I bought most of it, so it’s obviously stuff I

like. He

 

prefers his technical stuff- but also history.

 

Also,  the  Global/Granite  company president is  loaning  him  a

laptop

 

computer  so he can stay in touch with the office. As he pointed out,

if  you

 

figure  his  salary is intended to pay for 40 hours a week, then

normally  he

 

works  an hour or two a day for free anyway, so if he works an hour or

two  a

 

day,  that’s  no difference. Not only will it help them, it’ll keep  him

from

 

falling behind. I’m pleased because the doctors were suggesting

tele-commuting

 

for  the  months  of Consolidation, and I think it’s high  time  that

Granite

 

developed a tele-commenting plan. This should allow them to work out the

kinks

 

in one. As Aelfwine points out, while having a disability check is

better than

 

no check, getting back to full pay will be better than Disability.

 

 

 

I’m still kind of disturbed about the news on Foot and Mouth from

Europe.

 

Part  of me feels that it’s appropriate to take some pretty severe

actions  to

 

protect the wildlife, but another part of me feels that if they’d just

let the

 

disease  go, each successive generation would have more and  more

resistance,

 

and  it could turn into a less severe disease. This last week I heard

lots  of

 

stories  on World Tuberculosis Day. TB is now the disease that kills the

most

 

people  in  the  world- they said. (What happened to Malaria?)  But  the

main

 

problem with TB is that they keep treating poor people who are not

capable  of

 

taking  the  treatment correctly, which has led to an increase  in

antibiotic

 

resistant  TB. It’s horrible to have someone die of TB unneccessarily,

but  I

 

think  it’s worse to undertake a systematic plan that by it’s very

nature  is

 

more likely to make the disease more virulent to the world population,

than to

 

let those poor people die. And I was really irritated to note the

confiscation

 

of  the  sheep  herd in Vermont. Conflicting tests  have  led  to

conflicting

 

results, but the government, in it’s power, is able to seize this

property and

 

kill, then autopsy the bodies, rather than to test and then kill the

one’s who

 

are sick. As I recall, this is a special breed which the Vermont herders

were

 

hoping  to use to improve American herds. And what about the various

herds  of

 

ancient breeds in England? There are herds in the proposed “sanitation”

areas

 

that contain the ONLY living examples of several breeds of cattle,

sheep, etc.

 

And they are healthy. So we make several varieties of animals extinct-

JUST to

 

protect  the economic interests of the food producers? Seems to me that

there

 

should be ways of carefully transporting some of these rare breeds to

perhaps

 

island isolation areas and watching them for the months or years

(whatever  it

 

takes)  rather  than just slaughtering them. There is NO amount  of

money  to

 

compensate  the world, much less the owners, for wiping them out. For

all  we

 

know, some of these rare breeds may be immune to this disease, and

that’s  why

 

they  are healthy. Wipe them out, and you may make some yet to  be

discovered

 

treatment impossible.

 

 

 

Thanks  for  your support, blood and prayers. Do let me know  if

you  or

 

anyone  else gives blood for Aelfwine. I’m making a chart in his room,

and  we

 

are aiming at at least 48 donations. Especially if any of the donors are

B- as

 

he is. He feels SO badly about not being able to donate any more. (and I

have

 

to  assume that this rule is because they assume that some of the  blood

that

 

he’s  gotten  is contaminated with HIV, hepatitis or something- but

they  can

 

deal with that later. First, cure the cancer.)

 

Tchipakkan

 

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.”  – James Klass

 

 

 

 

 

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