Item #87 entered by Ken Josenhans(krj) on Thu Sep 25 20:52:42 2003
 Sindi Keesan's Lymphoma Journal

 This item is Sindi Keesan's continuing journal.  The first section
 is in the previous Agora conference, agora46, item 167.  ( item:agora46,167 )

480 responses total.

#1 David Hoffman(dah) on Thu Sep 25 20:54:31 2003:
 Looks like SOMEONE forgot to switch logins.  Oh well.  At least now we know
 who Sindi REALLY is.  (It's not like someone like that could be read, you
#2 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Sep 25 21:50:01 2003:
 Summary of events - I was diagnosed in August with 'large B-cell lymphoma'
 - stage IV intermediate grade after several months of weight loss and other
 symptoms, which was first caught by a couple of blood tests (complete blood
 count - abnormally high white blood cell count, and complete metabolic panel
 - high alkaline phosphatase value) done routinely.  I was eventually down to
 93 pounds, very tired, shallow breathing, while the testing was going on one
 test per week (CAT scan, biopsy of the spleen which detected two masses =
 tumors composed of lymphocytes which are part of the immune system).  I also
 had some enlarged lymph nodes in the abdomen and a lot of fluid produced by
 the cancerous lymphocytes accumulated in the space around my lungs (which
 makes it stage IV - just spleen tumor would be stage III).  
 I called a doctor friend after the spleen biopsy got infected and he
 personally drove me to the hospital the next day, where I spent ten days
 fixing the problems caused by the tumor (fluid drainage, transfusion since
 I was not making enough hemoglobin) and had my first chemotherapy.  I had a
 nice private room because all the rooms for hematology/oncology are private
 due to people's reduced immunity. No flowers allowed on that floor.  They
 eventually decided I was stabilized and let me go home where I could sleep
 without being interrupted for blood pressure readings, and eat real food.
 Hospital food is all low-fat high-sugar 'heart smart'.  Jim Deigert (jdeigert)
 spent most of his waking hours holding my hand during minor surgeries and
 making sure that I ate something and he is now still feeding me while I
 recover from the exhaustion due to the lymphoma and the therapy, and gain back
 enough weight that I can build back the lost muscle.
 I had a second chemotherapy last week Monday.  The first one consisted of
 three drugs which prevent cells from dividing and therefore wiped out my white
 and red blood cells.  On the 10th day I had very little immunity left and was
 bleeding easily when I blew my nose.  My count of neutrophils (the cells that
 attack infections) had dropped from a high of 35 to a low of 0.1.  The high
 value was due to fighting off the cancer and the low value to the drugs.
 The normal value is 1.4-7.5
 Three weeks after the first chemotherapy 'absolute neutrophils' (k/mm3) had
 gone back up to 8.3 (slightly above normal - I was catching a cold).  I fought
 off the cold okay.  On the sixth day after treatment I developed a thrush
 infection of the mouth (fungus) which I had had for a large part of the first
 cycle but it stopped bothering me after 3 days (which I thought was due to
 taking the proper antifungal drug for it).
 Today (10th day of the second cycle) they had me come in for another blood
 draw (they took one vial of blood).  I was expecting 0.1 neutrophils again,
 and low platelet count (platelets work to clot the blood) and other low values
 showing that my bone marrow was still not back to producing blood cells.
 The nurse came out and told me to take off my mask.  All of my values are
 normal.  Neutrophils 5.4.  I can have visitors for the next ten days and
 probably for the past few days it would have been okay.  I have no idea why
 my values are normal this month and were so low last time but I am not
 Today we also pushed my walking ability to the limit.  I had been bedridden
 for a couple of weeks before hospitalization due to extreme fatigue and then
 ten days in the hospital was tied to near the bed by an IV drip (for
 rehydration, antibiotics, etc.) and a tube delivering oxygen to near my nose,
 so my muscles continued to disappear.  I have been walking around the house
 since then, and after the first few days of having trouble even sitting up
 in bed Jim dragged me outside to walk to the near corner, then the far corner,
 then both, then yesterday we walked around the library and bank and also all
 the way around the block, which I thought was the limit.
 Today we walked from one hospital building to the other and then the cafeteria
 (where we had something unbelievably salty for lunch - JIm ate half of my
 'chimichanga' and his own pizza) and then back to the original building and
 then the car.  I was really wobbly by the end, and I had to stop once in a
 while and sit, but this was about 10 blocks I think.  Next time we will go
 farther around the neighborhood but there are no nice comfy padded benches
 to rest on, in fact I cannot even sit on the park benches unless we take along
 cushions because I have no built-in cushioning.
 My pulse when I entered the hospital was 120 resting.  It is now 100 after
 exercise and has been down below 90 resting (but went back up after I spent
 a few days in bed after chemotherapy).We had our.
#3 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Sep 25 22:20:08 2003:
 Got interrupted by a beginner trying to send telegrams (it was empty).
 We had our first visitor this evening.  Someone we had met this spring on a
 plant walk, who had invited three of us to lunch and to pull invasive garlic
 mustard from the local city park (which she had helped the city to acquire).
 I had promised last spring to introduce her to some friend with a nice flower
 garden and then had Jim call to apologize that I had not done so.  She stopped
 by with homemade cookies and we chatted about her family's medical experiences
 - son had brain surgery at age 4 to remove a tumor, husband has been treated
 twice with tuberculin virus to boost his immunity in the bladder to fight off
 cancer.  She said the second treatment nearly killed him.  They inject the
 virus just into the bladder.  He also has had strokes.  I am lucky.
 We plan to walk in her woods again when I am a bit less wobbly on my feet.
 First I have to walk the several uphill blocks to Eberwhite woods, prove I
 can cross Liberty St. without getting killed (there are now helpful islands
 in the middle every so often), and walk around there for a bit.  I think I
 will spend the next two days with sore muscles first.
 The cancer center pharmacist gave me an 800 number for Bedford Labsk which
 makes one of the three chemotherapy drugs used first cycle.  (The second cycle
 also included a monoclonal antibody specific to my type of lymphoma - which
 is the only one of the drugs without side effects after treatment).  I have
 a very rare side effect in that I have nearly lost my voice and keep choking
 on liquids and even on my own mucus (I had a cold) due to a swollen throat.
 The company will check this out and contact me and/or the doctor in case I
 need the dose reduced or the drug discontinued.  I am hoping this is a
 temporary effect, like the bone marrow depression, hair loss (I only lost a
 little bit for a few days so far), and nerve damage (tingly fingers and shaky
 hands - will go away after treatment ends in January, probably).
 I don't have the problems some people have - no nausea, no appetite loss
 (perhaps they did not lose as much weight as I did first or were fatter to
 start with).  No reaction to the antibody at all (fever, chills, drop in blood
 pressure).  I don't need surgery (other than the two fluid drainages, bone
 marrow and spleen biopsy during hospitalization) or radiation.  The spleen
 tumor seems to have disappeared.  They will check with another CAT scan in
 a month.  I have four more chemotherapies to go and at least 15 pounds to gain
 (6 down - in one month).  I have the easiest type of cancer to treat but it
 tends to come back again after 5-10 years and people just repeat treatment.
 I am not strong enough to work (self-employed translator) nor have I found
 any chair padded enough to sit in for long as my bones all stick out.
 I referred someone who found my website and had something (poetry?) in
 Albanian that she wanted translated, to a native Albanian with good English.
#4 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Sep 26 09:34:53 2003:
 My platelet count is now 433 - normal being 150-450 (my blood clots well)
 and my lymphocyte count is 1.1 (normal being 0.8-5.0).  This means I have low
 normal lymphocyte counts.  The lymphocytes found in blood are small or medium,
 the large ones being found in lymph node.  It is the large ones that became
 abnormal (uncontrolled multiplication) so this count is not related to the
 cancer, which is 'large B-cell lymphoma'.  I don't know how the large ones
 got to my spleen to form a mass - perhaps they do travel in blood sometimes.
 My hemoglobin is 12.7 - normal is 12.0-16.0 - meaning I am making my own
 hemoglobin since this is slightly higher than after transfusion (10.8).  In
 the hospital it went up on its own to 11.3 at the time of discharge and was
 12 three weeks ago.  It was 13.1 just before chemotherapy so this means
 hemoglobin production was slightly depressed by the chemotherapy.
 There are also various other measures of blood iron - red blood cell count,
 hematocrit (the percentage of your blood that is red blood cells, determined
 by centrifuging it).  Mine is 38.6 (normal 35.0-48.0).  When my father was
 on kidney dialysis at home my mother had to take his hematocrit every
 dialysis.  We had our own centrifuge.  She hated the sight of blood.
 When I was in high school biology we were also supposed to prick our fingers
 and take blood to look at on a slide.  I was not good at this and nearly
 fainted trying so the teacher had to take mine.  I recall having a high
 hematocrit (about 45?) and also a high lung volume (which I need to get back)
 and lots of white blood cells.
 Red cell distribution width - high ???
 My alkaline phosphatase is 133, normal being 30-130.  In July I had an
 abnormally high value, which indicated problems.  Creatinine low normal,
 sodium and chloride high normal (before the salty lunch), potassium ditto.
 Muscles sore.
#5 Reverend Salvador Dali Parton(happyboy) on Fri Sep 26 14:06:59 2003:
 awesome sindi, you sound like you're on the upswing!
#6 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Sep 26 16:04:49 2003:
 Yes, at least as far as blood values.  I don't know why some people need to
 get injections of Neupogen and I did not - as I said, I feel very lucky
 compared to just about everyone else who has been through this.
 Today someone in Spain (another translator) wrote me that he also had
 'mucositis' which somehow combined with the nausea to make it even harder to
 eat.  Lots of thick mucus all the time.  I also have been coughing up mucus
 - wonder how that is related to the voice/swallowing problem.  One more thing
 to tell the drug company, I guess. No word from them.
 Jim called to find out why the mattress pad that they mailed last Thursday
 was not here in 2-3 UPS business days.  They had not mailed it yet.
 This morning before I fell asleep for 1.5 hours we went for a walk and I made
 it up the hill to orchard remains at the local nursing home.  It is mostly
 grass now but also about 10 apple trees (a couple of which are pretty good),
 two pears and one sour crab apple.  In a week or so we may try drying apples.
 The second batch of dried pears is good.  The pears come from full-size trees
 maybe 30-40 feet high.  Nowadays orchards are on dwarf trees.  So the pears
 we get are those that ripened enough to fall on the grass.  There was a man
 there from Pinckney with two 5-gallon buckets collecting fallen apples to put
 out for the deer so he could shoot them.  On the way back from the hospital
 we also spotted a small patch of apple trees between two streets, two of which
 have good apples.  There must have been a lot of orchards in town once.
 I recall picking apples from one that used to be on Liberty in the 70s before
 it became housing.
 I was going to suggest walking in another direction but discovered Jim asleep
 in the kitchen and sent him to bed.  I think I am over the cold faster than
 he is.
 The AIWA finally went back together last night (apart since Saturday).  Now
 the CD tray won't even open but since it won't play who cares.  I messed up
 the preprogramming for #1 again but set CBC, WKAR (Lansing) and Toledo to 2,
 3, and 4.  I cannot imagine someone programming 10+ stations.
 Reading Gaskell's Wives and Daughters, where people continue to die young of
 some undefined disease, or consumption, and there are also two invalids slowly
 dying, and widows remarrying widowers, and children dying in infancy of
 scarlet fever.  
 I continue to get spam about new ways to lose weight fast.  I was discussing
 Prilosec (a drug given with prednisone to protect the stomach lining) with
 another cancer patient and discovered that my spam filter was catching the
 subject line.  I am filtering on the string 'lose'.
 Today I weighed 100 pounds, a milestone.  I never thought I could gain 2
 pounds per week even trying.  Sept. 1 I weighed 93 pounds.  In the hospital
 my weight fluctuated depending on the ratios of the saline drip and how much
 Lasix they were giving me (which took the fluid back out).  It was up to 110
 one day that I had edema in my feet.
#7 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Sep 26 20:16:03 2003:
 This afternoon we walked to the far end of Jim's block, then the next long
 block, around that, and back.  Just under 1/2 mile if these are 10 blocks to
 the mile.  Halfway to Main St.  My legs are still feeling wobbly this evening.
 The dried pears came out like candy.  We are discussing how to blacken the
 skin of an eggplant for making ajvar while also baking the inside.  You mash
 the baked peeled red peppers (that we did a few days ago) with mashed eggplant
 and some fried garlic and onions and then maybe fry the result.
 The hospital billed us for Jim's non-diagnostic blood tests which I had
 carefully had them mark S-preventive so that they would bill them properly
 to the insurance company and the PPOM company that the bills go through (and
 get discounted through).  First time around they billed this wrong, I had
 called and asked them to fix it.  Still not fixed.  The insurance does not
 pay for diagnostic tests (unless you go over the deductible) but it does pay
 80% of $400 worth of diagnostic tests.  U of M is not going to get paid
 anything until they get the billing redone.  In my case I am better off having
 this billed as diagnostic since the insurance will pay for it (I am over the
 $5000 deductible already by a large amount).  I bet they billed mine as
 preventive.  My bill has not arrived yet.  The statements are arriving in
 rather random order.
 We are invited to the annual solar homes tour two days before my next
 chemotherapy and may go (in a car, hardly appropriate).  One of the two
 sponsors is a friend who installs solar panels, and there is a drawing for
 a solar power system which Jim plans to use for his hot water.  He is sure
 he will win.  He once won a roller shutter for a patio door.  (He put it on
 a double window as he has no patio door).  And a Cleveland Rocks mug for me.
 Leslie Science Center and the Recycle Ann Arbor 'En-House' exhibit are on the
 tour along with four houses (one  of which probably belongs to our friend)
 with solar water heaters etc.  This is one week from now.  I biked to the one
 last year, which included houses all over Ann Arbor, and met the architect
 who designed one and was still living in it since the fifties.  His double
 glazed windows were still working properly, to his amazement.
#8 Still Maxin' and Relaxin' the the Pacific NW(jaklumen) on Fri Sep 26 21:23:35 2003:
 Keep on doing good, Sindi =)
#9 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Sep 27 12:19:10 2003:
 Yesterday my landlord called here to tell us inspection is Tuesday and put
 9V batteries in the three smoke detectors. (Every inspector had their own idea
 on where to put a smoke detector near the kitchen so as to wake someone
 sleeping in the bedroom that nobody every sleeps in.)  And make sure the
 windows all have locks that work.  And his answering machine was not working,
 did we have another he could use...
 Jim got to talking with him and his brother is also doing chemotherapy and
 had a white blood cell count in the thousands.  (It is supposed to be
 somewhere in the thousands - 1-5 k/mm3 means 1000-5000).  Epidemic of cancer?
 Is there anyone reading this who does NOT know someone else who had cancer?
#10 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Sep 27 16:27:56 2003:
 Our morning stroll turned into an apple-tasting event.  The orchard at the
 end of the street next to the nursing home has about 20 trees left - the rest
 has gone to grass.  The pear tree branches try to grown straight up and they
 were both already about 40' high, and apples a bit shorter, so we just picked
 up windfalls and sampled.  Several tasteless red delicious.  A couple of mushy
 and almost as tasteleses McIntosh.  A couple of nice tasting red apples with
 soft white fless.  One tree still has most of its large green apples and they
 taste like Granny Smith.  We stook home a sampling for drying and oatmeal,
 along with the last of the pears.  Our company including two squirrels chasing
 each other - I don't know why they bothering eating all of Jim's pears.  Also
 two very large crows.  I sat on the grass wishing I were not allergic to
 The early evening walk is scheduled to be on the half-circle new road with
 80s and 90s houses that was built where there used to be a swamp (left for
 drainage purposes).  They are all enormous and we call them garage houses as
 that is about all you see from the street.  Some day the fashion may switch
 back to something cheaper to build and heat.  THe neighborhood is mixed - west
 of Jim's house mostly 20s and 30s houses with porches, then 40s Cape Cods and
 a few infills of long narrow 50s houses, some flat-roofed 60s duplexes.
 Maybe I should be doing aerobic exercises to get my pulse down from 100
 resting?  My muscle strength is improving but not the pulse.  
#11 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Sep 27 21:46:15 2003:
 Today I got a bill from the hospital for $138 worth of blood tests for Jim
 (routine) that the insurance was supposed to have paid 80% of (up to $400)
 that someone apparently did not bill correctly.  Also a second bill from St.
 Joe's for a test that was done at U of M - I know because I personally carried
 the sample to U of M.  Pap smear.  With the name of the doctor on it again.
 Someone at St. Joe's had promised to fix this about a month ago, after the
 accounting person at teh doctor's office claimed she had nothing to do with
 it.  I think I had better fax her the bill and ask what is going on. $38.
 I dare St. Joe's to prove they did anything for the money other than generate
 bills.  The doctor usually has tests done at St. Joe's but my insurance
 insisted on using U of M.  The first person I called at St. Joe's denied that
 St. Joe's had any responsibility and told me to call the doctor, who told me
 to call St. Joe's.  
#12 Tim P. Ryan(tpryan) on Sun Sep 28 14:30:09 2003:
 	I'b beginning to wonder if instead of imcopitence, it is out
 and out fraud.  My freind in Florida had to clear up bunches of bills
 that his dad incured before passing away.  I can see how easy most
 people pay to get it past them.
#13 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Sep 28 21:57:16 2003:
 My friend in Budapest, who was a roommate at a Slovene summer school in 1973,
 tells me the Slovene for spleen is revnica.  I now have no excuse for not
 writing my Slovene friend in Trieste whose sister just went through
 chemotherapy for stomach cancer.
 Had a nice visit from Ken and Leslie this evening.  They sampled our dried
 fruits and discussed music with another visiting friend.  This time I was able
 to sit throughout the visit.  Two weeks ago when Ken visited I gradually
 dropped onto the pillows.  He brought five more Baroque and Classical CDs to
 listen to from Friday evening through Sunday evening instead of jazz, folk,
 and rock music (also 4-7 weekdays).  Leslie will try to make a CD of her Don
 Giovanni performance if she can find the time.
 Today's walk was in a neighborhood of rather boring and similar 60s duplexes
 which they tried to vary by alternating brick and plywood trim.  
#14 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Sep 29 13:19:52 2003:
 Bedford Labs sent me to 35K MSWORD documents about the side effects of
 Doxorubicin.  (2K more and grex would have refused the emails).  Also they
 tried to report my adverse reaction to my doctor and got both my name wrong
 (Bea) and her email address.  Nobody can understand me on the phone.
 Now I need to decipher the MSWORD. I hope this 486 at Jim's house has Antiword
 already on it but I have a few other programs that should also work if I don't
 care about correct formatting.
 St. Joe's says the $38 bill was because my doctor 'requisitioned a pap smear'.
 First time I heard of being billed for a requisition rather than an actual
 test.  I am certain they never got my pap smear as I carried it physically
 to U of M to be looked at.  They will call back.  The person I talked to last
 time (second time I called) is not in today.
 U of M Billing finally figured out that the doctor put down the wrong code
 for preventive care.  Meaning I have to call this doctor and try to argue with
 the accounting person there who hung up on me last time I called about teh
 St. Joe's problem claiming she had nothing to do with it.  Perhaps I can get
 the insurance company to phone her and explain how to bill properly?
 I expect about 2K of text to come out of the 35K MS files.  Wish me luck.
 The doctor does not have email.  The fax machine is turned off most of the
 time.  They were out to lunch at 12:30 and 1:00.
#15 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Sep 29 14:01:57 2003:
 I read the 1-page text version of the WORD file and I apparently have
 'mucositis (stomatitis - esophagitis)' which can lead to ulceration and severe
 infection.  The mucus only started this second cycle.  So it is not just from
 having a cold.  Maybe they should discontinue the Doxorubicin which is what
 is causing it.  ANother translator in Spain had mucositis.  I had not reported
 the mucus as it just started - I cough it up every hour or two after a
 coughing fit.  
 This information was on the package insert.  The pharmacist did not need to
 look it up in Micromed.  I ought to find out just what esophagitis is now.
#16 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Mon Sep 29 14:41:51 2003:
 Stomatitus is an infection of the mouth causing ulcerative lesions of the
 oral mucosa. There are lots of causes (infections, trauma, caustics,
 regurgitation, etc). Esophagitis is the same thing of the esophagus.
#17 Todd(tod) on Mon Sep 29 14:56:07 2003:
#18 Mary Remmers(mary) on Mon Sep 29 15:32:11 2003:
 Tod, do you have ALS?  I've just read about the Desert Storm / ALS
#19 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Sep 29 16:10:32 2003:
 I wonder if esophagitis can be aggravated by spending too much time lying down
 in bed.  One cause of it is gastric reflux which would be treated by reducing
 stomach acid using Prilosec but I was taking that when this started.  I will
 be spending a lot less time in bed now.  In the hospital the head of my bed
 was elevated so I could sleep on my back.  I stopped having to sleep on my
 back a few days ago when my ribs stopped hurting (due to pleural effusion -
 fluid in the wrong place similar to what was around my lungs).  Elevating the
 head of the bed reduces gastric reflux.  The problem developed after I got
 out of the elevated hospital bed.
 I think I have figured out the many things that went wrong with the billing.
 1.  The doctor is supposed to fax U of M the correct diagnosis code for Jim's
 lab tests (preventive instead of diagnostic).
 2.  We were both billed $7 by the doctor for taking 'hemoccult' (fecal occult
 blood) samples but never got any tests done on them.  I had to pay the full
 $7 because they billed it as diagnostic instead of preventive - I paid it to
 save time instead of money.  Jim's only cost 20% of $3.34 after PPOM discount.
 3.  I was billed $38 for a pap smear done at St. Joe's.  Apparently it was
 really sent there to be analyzed.
 4.  I was given two samples to take to U of M, and told one of them was for
 fecal leukocyte smear  (white blood cells in feces) and one was my pap smear.
 I submitted them as such.  U of M never billed for pap smear but they did bill
 for fecal leukocyte smear.  They did not bill for hemoccult testing.
 What I think happened was someone gave me Jim's fecal smear and told me it
 was a pap smear.  The doctor forgot to order hemoccult tests for both of us
 after taking the smears.  And forgot to give me my pap smear and sent it to
 St. Joe's instead.
 So I have paid $7 plus 20% of $3.34 (65 cents) for smears that were not tested
 for fecal occult blood (one was tested for something else) and my pap smear
 was sent to the wrong place, which means St. Joe's is billing me for it and
 the insurance won't pay anything, so I suggested that the doctor pay my $38
 - 80% of the St. Joe's bill plus $7.65 adds up to $38.65.
 How many mistakes did the doctor's office make?
 If they don't pay for their mistakes I will notify PPOM that this doctor is
 not following the rules.
#20 Todd(tod) on Mon Sep 29 16:53:01 2003:
#21 Mary Remmers(mary) on Mon Sep 29 18:25:58 2003:
 I was asking if you have ALS.  I have no idea what 
 your response means.  But there is no need at all
 to answer the question if, for whatever reason, 
 you'd rather not.
#22 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Sep 29 19:17:50 2003:
 Pulse after walking 120.  Pulse 2 minutes after walking 96.  Pulse while
 sitting (leaning against pillows, actually) 92.  Pulse while lying down after
 having walked around the house a bit - 72 (shortly after awakening).
 I had no idea sitting could make my pulse race.
 The nursing home (past which we walked on the way to the orchard) has a new
 looking garden area with lots of flowers, bird feeders, and seating, and some
 memorial concrete 'bricks' with names in them.  Got a few more pears.
#23 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Sep 29 23:51:00 2003:
 Mail that I am sending to (two doctors) is coming back to me with
 'remote protocol error'.  What is going on?
 I found another website with a very long list of side effects of doxorubicin.
 Apart from the lowered blood counts, I don't have ANY of the more common ones
 (over 5% incidence) such as nausea.  I DO have a couple with under 1%
 incidence, lucky me - the laryngitis, voice alteration is listed as such.
 I don't know if it is related to esophagitis, hopefully I don't have that.
 I feel like my gullet is somewhat swollen.  I wrote the drug company again
 to see if they can find out whether this will go away some day.
 Other effects are somnolence, insomnia, weight gain, anorexia, constipation,
 diarrhea, erthyrodysesthesia and other words I did not look up.  Maybe 100
 side effects.
 Tachycardia and bradycardia (heart rate faster or slower) and various sorts
 of heart damage.  I asked about that too - what are other people's normal lying
 down and sitting pulse rates?  Does your pulse go up 20 when you sit up?
#24 Joe(gelinas) on Mon Sep 29 23:57:38 2003:
 (Try forwarding the message, with full headers, to,
#25 Joe(gelinas) on Mon Sep 29 23:58:23 2003:
 (I meant the rejection notice, not the original message.)
#26 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Tue Sep 30 02:13:15 2003:
 I've had my recent mail to rejected the same way.  They have
 a problem.
#27 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Sep 30 10:23:47 2003:
 I had all the mail I sent rejected after that including some to other places.
 I will try again tomorrow.
 A friend sent me a copy of an Ann Arbor News article about Bexxar, the
 radioactive form of Rituxan (sp?) which apparently was approved for general
 use this June.  I hope I don't need it but I sure timed things right.  The
 article says Dr. Kaminski plays classical piano.
 Since I can't send mail through to Bedford Labs I may phone again and ask them
 to find out how long the laryngitis is likely to last after therapy ends.
 The third batch of pears is doing well.  The tree is out of pears.  Jim says
 that our ajvar does not taste like the commercial stuff.  I read him the label
 - salt, sugar, vinegar.  We did not add these.
 I think the radioactive Bexxar may have been used primarily on patients whose
 bone marrow was cancerous.  They have no immune system left (perhaps due to
 treatment?) so the regular antibody method would not be of much use since it
 simply labels cells for attack by the immune system.  The radioactive form
 kills these labelled cells directly.  But only 95% of B-cell lymphoma cells
 have the protein needed by the antibody for recognition so neither method
 would work on the unlucky 5% of people whose cells don't have that protein.
 People are working on another antibody that recognizes another protein.
#28 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Sep 30 14:55:22 2003:
 I read some more about Bexxar.  For a few days to a week after treatment with
 this drug (which contains radioactive iodine) the patient has to stay in a
 hospital room, either private or shared with another Bexxar patient, with lead
 screens around the bed to protect the nursing staff from the irradiation. 
 Hospitalization is to protect innocent bystanders from being irradiated by
 the patient.  This does not sound like a terribly safe treatment for the
 patient but it is better than dying when all else has failed.  
#29 Todd(tod) on Tue Sep 30 15:03:53 2003:
#30 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Tue Sep 30 15:06:55 2003:
 It might be interesting to do it in a cloud chamber.  
#31 Todd(tod) on Tue Sep 30 15:11:12 2003:
#32 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Tue Sep 30 16:52:52 2003:
 Some do, but one can make one at home of the diffusion type. It is at
 ambient pressure but cooled below with dry ice, and a pad with alcohol on it
 is but at the top. 
#33 Todd(tod) on Tue Sep 30 18:29:05 2003:
#34 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Tue Sep 30 19:58:33 2003:
#35 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Oct  1 16:34:29 2003:
 Jim's neighbor two houses over, who walks to work at the ISR, left a lemonade
 cup full of cut flowers from her garden and a card with an offer to pick up
 anything we wanted at the food coop or farmer's market.
 The drug company that makes Adriamycin (doxorubicin) says they cannot do
 anything except send me info from the package insert, and forward symptom
 reports to the FDA.  I hope my voice comes back next year.
#36 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Oct  1 16:39:30 2003:
 Today I weigh 101 pounds and the second virus that I have had this month is
 finally at the sneezing stage (after five days of intermittent headache,
 chills, stuffy head).  I need to get over this before chemotherapy next
 Monday.  Jim even turned on the heat to keep the room at 65 degrees.
 My lymphoma-inspired high white blood cell count seems to have protected me
 from all the colds going around for several years and now it is my turn to
 get all of them in a row, I think.  This one has intestinal symptoms, just
 what I need when the chemotherapy also has the same effects.
 Off to find a handkerchief.
#37 What I wouldn't do for an abstracted body experience.(dah) on Wed Oct  1 16:46:25 2003:
 Poor keesan.
#38 Dan Cross(cross) on Wed Oct  1 17:32:20 2003:
 Yow, that sucks.  But, Sindi, I must say that, from my perspective, you've
 been doing wonderfully so far.  Keep your head up, and if you keep the
 good outlook you've had so far, I think you'll do just fine.
#39 Todd(tod) on Wed Oct  1 18:41:57 2003:
#40 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Oct  1 19:31:53 2003:
 Thanks for all the support.  It is not a bad cold, and I did manage to get
 over the first one before my 3 days of low resistance and not catch this one
 until afterwards so my timing is so far perfect.
 I had to refrain from shaking hands with two visitors today (Jim's old
 neighbor from before I met him, and his wife) not because they might get me
 sick but vice versa.  They told me about a friend who had surgery twice for
 a non-malignant brain tumor and the surgery somehow removed her sense of taste
 so she has to work at eating enough.  She lost the hearing in one ear too.
 It was 45 and windy and I thought I should skip today's walk until my headache
 at least went away (it is mild but I am taking it as a warning) so I decided
 to learn to climb stairs instead today.  I can already manage the three steps
 to Jim's house without his help so I decided to climb five of the stairs
 leading to his upstairs.  I made it to the top (and threatened to help him
 clean up his room) and back down.  Down was a bit wobbly.  I suppose instead
 of climbing one more step every day I can climb all the steps one more time
 every day.  I have eliminated one excuse for not working - my apartment has
 a basement bathroom.  But it is 1.5 miles from here and I cannot walk that
 far yet.  
 I could also exercise by lifting the medical dictionary - with both arms. 
 If I try with just one hand it stays glued to the desk by a corner.
 Yesterday we found two more sour apple trees at another nursing home.
 Our visitors declined to try the dried pears because they are not eating
 carbohydrates including fruit.  A few years ago they were doing a grapefruit
 diet.  Fads change.  They urged me to eat chocolate ice cream.
 I am reading a book about kitchens of great chefs.  Apparently now that
 everyone has a restaurant style gas stove the latest fad is to cook over a
 wood fire instead.  I predict kerosene stoves next - still in use by people
 in small villages in Vermont and I think the Amish.  There are models where
 you can use either wood or kerosene.  One chef has to 'movable islands' =
 tables on wheels.
#41 Joe(gelinas) on Wed Oct  1 23:23:53 2003:
 Zingerman's Roadhouse is reported to have a wood stove, but the one visible
 from the dining room looked like gas.  It had the knobs, anyway.
#42 Todd(tod) on Thu Oct  2 11:15:41 2003:
#43 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct  2 11:40:07 2003:
 One of my neighbors built on a house size addition behind the house which I
 think they are heating with wood.  When they heat, the whole block gets
 smoked.  Not appropriate to heat with wood around neighbors.
 Today my virus is a bit worse so I went back to sleep until 11 when UPS rang
 the bell to deliver my 3" 5.5 lb/sq. ft. quilted covered foam mattress topper
 ordered two weeks ago.  The first time I ordered it never got shipped so Jim
 called a week later and someone said he would go ship it immediately.
 What we got has a terry cover and is 20 lb (Iower density).  They said to tape
 it back up for UPS to pick up (probably tomorrow) and they would mail out the
 proper model today.  They also did not include the requested invoice or
 receipt that I needed for insurance to reimburse me but will send one today.
 Good thing I am not busy.
 I am about to phone U of M to see of they send pap smears to St. Joe's to be
 analyzed and if so to find out why St. Joe's billed me directly instead of
 U of M.  I think they said something about sending them out.  Wish me luck
 finding someone who knows what happened at both hospitals.
#44 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct  2 12:55:12 2003:
 The drug company (which has apparently been renamed from Bedford Labs after
 the city in Ohio where it is located to 'Boehringer Ingelheim Ben Venue
 Laboratories) suggested I call the National Cancer Institute (still getting
 govt. money) for more info.  They found reference to the ovarian cancer study
 in Physician's Desk Reference (as standard reference book on current drugs)
 with 1% incidence of laryngitis but 5.5% incidence of pharyngitis - same study
 I found online.  I think what I have is swelling of the throat which is
 interfering with swallowing and talking.  They also found in a textbook on
 drugs reference to the swallowing problem as anaphylactoid (allergic like
 beesting reaction).  Hopefully all anaphylactoid reactions eventually clear
 up when you stop aggravating them.   One time when I got my ankle stung and
 my whole leg got swollen up it took a few weeks to unswell and I was still
 getting hives from cold water or air all summer after that.  I will try to
 avoid cold liquids and foods and hope this is all cleared up by next summer
 (a few months after the last treatment).
#45 Joe(gelinas) on Thu Oct  2 13:20:04 2003:
 (I like the smell of woodsmoke.)
#46 Reverend Salvador Dali Parton(happyboy) on Thu Oct  2 13:36:15 2003:
 (sets your house on fire)
#47 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct  2 16:50:36 2003:
 U of M has agreed to pay the $38 billed by St. Joe's, on the assumption that
 the pap smear slide that I brought to U of M with a form labelled St. Joe's
 was accidentally sent from U of M to St. Joe's.  The doctor is supposed to
 get the correct U of M requisition forms.
 We went for a walk and nothing in this area has frozen.  There was a purple
 butterfly bush in full bloom with an orange butterfly on it.
#48 Dave Lovelace(davel) on Fri Oct  3 09:18:48 2003:
 (wood smoke tends to encourage my asthma.)
#49 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Oct  3 09:20:30 2003:
 Today my head does not hurt and I slept with one blanket instead of three (in
 a heated room) so I don't need to worry about being sick during chemotherapy
 on Monday.  (I may push my luck by going to a church rummage sale - warmer
 place to walk than outdoors anyway).
#50 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Oct  3 12:46:30 2003:
 Hello from the main public library, where I just climbed from the main to the
 middle floor to help Jim renew his car license plate by mail.  Grex's version
 of Lynx (2.8.4) does not do SSL.  Mine does but I don't seem to be able to
 get through to my ISP.  Maybe they changed phone numbers - have not used them
 for a couple of months.  I hope the new grex uses the latest lynx with SSL.
 Today's exercise has been the Baptist Church rummage sale, which I dragged
 Jim to and from.  He got a pair of shoes for $1 and a basin wrench and some
 tupperware with rounded ends about 6" long and 5" high - what was this
 designed for?  2" wide.  Someone suggested pickles (rounded ends slightly
 flattened in the middle).  I got a second pair of knit pants with elastic
 waist that don't fall off like all my other pants do and a men's small shirt
 with long enough sleeves (usually need to get M) that is not ultra-baggy.
 Jim also got an interesting plastic container with a piece that fits inside
 and has holes in the end of it that he thinks might be useful in making tofu.
 And a fitted double sheet with holes in it.  
 The library computer chairs are somewhat padded but I have to stand again.
#51 Richard Murphy(murph) on Fri Oct  3 13:04:36 2003:
 My mother used (well, I assume she still does) such shaped tupperware for rice
 and other such things.  They line up well in the cupboard or on top of the
 fridge so that you can see many more containers than if they were square (and
 you'd have to put some in front of the others).  Hers were somewhat taller,
 though, I think.
#52 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Oct  3 22:42:43 2003:
 Jim thanks you.  He just noticed that one of the narrow ends is clear so you
 can see inside it.
 I would guess the rounded ends make it easier to get the top on and off.
#53 Scott Helmke(scott) on Sat Oct  4 08:53:16 2003:
 (Square ends probably would have worn out at the corners of the lid, since
 there would be a lot of stress there.  Tupperware did actually worry about
 quality of their stuff.)
#54 Glenda F. Andre(glenda) on Sat Oct  4 12:22:58 2003:
 Round ends are easier to clean, no corners for things to get stuck in.
#55 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Oct  4 12:55:56 2003:
 Our freezer containers are all square.  They also tend to break.
 Are all tupperware containers rounded?
#56 David Brodbeck(gull) on Sat Oct  4 17:35:07 2003:
 I don't think I've ever seen one that had a sharp vertical corner.  They 
 were always radiused.
#57 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Oct  4 19:14:08 2003:
 Today for exercise we walked to Huron near 8th St. to one of the houses on
 the solar homes tour, where we knew the owners (one of whom translates Russian
 and Ukrainian).  We stopped at a yard sale and paid 50 cents each for a
 microphone (which included a small to large adaptor plug) and a digital clock
 (which needed a new battery).  We then admired the four solar panels
 (amorphous, set up to work on cloudy days when only a few cells actually
 produce energy - the crystal ones need all cells to get sun), and a box with
 8 6 volt batteries, and a 48 to 12 volt convertor, and a breaker box with
 DC/AC breakers, and the 12 cu ft. refrig/freezer with good insulation that
 these are all operating.  There were only 5 days they needed to use house
 current for it.  Total cost somewhere about $5000, system good for maybe 20
 years with 1 or 2 battery replacements (cost unknown).
 Also a gas tankless water heater that has the drawback of only working when
 you run 1 gal/min through the faucet.  It won't work with a low flow shower
 head, or to wash dishes in the sink unless you waste lots of water or fill
 the sink (but they use a dishwasher).  I shower at 1/2 gpm (hot and cold
 combined - we measured once).  So instead of wasting heat when it leaks out
 of the tank, you get to waste hot water.  
 I walked 1/3 mile each way.  On the way back Jim found at the curb a windup
 Big Ben clock that does not work (he is happy to have a chance to take it
 apart) and a large plastic container that is not Tupperware (it has squared
 corners).  And three long 2x6's that he left there.  
 The other five solar sites were too far for me to walk and we have already
 been to Leslie Science Center anyway.  The Reuse Center has some new solar
 power exhibits that will probably stay there.  
 The total cost was only for the panels and 12V DC refrigerator (Sunfrost).
#58 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Oct  5 13:12:41 2003:
 My hair only came out in small clumps for a few days last month - I think it
 was shortly after therapy.  But individual hairs are still coming out in the
 bathwater (and in my meals).  The area around the part looks a bit thin but
 I don't expect to be losing a whole lot more hair.  Probably it is the bone
 marrow patients (chemo every day) and leukemia patients (weekly) who go bald.
 As the pharmacist predicted, my feet are now also somewhat numb but not so
 much on the toes as on the soles.  In my hands it is the last joint which is
 numb.  Neuropathy (temporary nerve damage - maybe the myelin sheath is one
 of those things that grows fast and was affected by the toxic drugs so that
 part of it has not regrown and nerve impulses get blocked).
 I can now cut my nails using a toenail clipper and just one hand.  When using
 my left hand I need to grip with the hand, not just a few fingers.  A month
 ago I needed to put the clipper onto a hard surface and lean on it with a lot
 of weight, meaning my hands are stronger now.  
 Today's walk will be across Liberty (there is now a nice island in the middle
 to make things easier) to Zion Lutheran Church where there will be a concert
 of Russian church music (some of which I used to sing - but I certainly can't
 join in today considering I have laryngitis.  I was a second tenor because
 the other tenors could not read music and the first tenors sang melody,
 similarly to shape note singing.).  Chesnikov and Bortnyansky and Chaikovsky.
 We made it almost to Liberty a few days ago to check out some apple trees.
 Not many events are scheduled within 1/2 mile of here but Main St. is only
 1 mile.  My world is slowly expanding again.
 I just read in a library book that people with celiac disease (gluten allergy)
 are more likely to develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.  Perhaps the lymph cells
 are involved in the allergic reaction and therefore multiply faster and thus
 have a greater chance of becoming cancerous?  I should read about the lymph
 system in my histology book.  The spleen and thymus are involved somehow.
#59 Scott Helmke(scott) on Sun Oct  5 13:20:15 2003:
 All the way from Jim's house to Liberty is great improvement!
#60 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Oct  5 19:25:47 2003:
 Past Liberty up the hill to Zion.  As soon as we reached the island in
 mid-Liberty a row of four cars stopped for us.
 The singers were one woman and three men, the women singing what I expected
 to be a tenor part, and the music was more complex than what our many voiced
 Russian Byzantine Liturgical Choir used to sing.  Two pieces were fugal, and
 two had the 'tenor' or the bass singing one part with lots of words while the
 others accompanied with a repeated phrase.  The folk songs were in operatic
 style (orchestrated like most E. European folk songs done by traveling groups)
 but well done.  They ended with God Bless America in English.  The group sang
 mass at a Russian church in some Detroit suburb this morning and they are
 singing at five churches a week until Nov. 10.
 Jim got sick on eight cookies and we met someone who teaches German literature
 and explained that the French video (Marquise of O....) which we got from the
 library, which was in German and set in Italy during the Franco-Prussian war,
 was supposed to have been taking place in Germany (according to the original
 novella).  I never could figure out why the Russians were fighting the Germans
 in Italy during a Franco-Prussian war.  Some movies follow the original plot.
 Time to pack lunch and supper for tomorrow as I have to give blood at 1:10,
 see the doctor at 1:45 (more likely an hour after that) and then do
 chemotherapy which will last about 5 hours.  They close at 9:00.  I need to
 find a portable radio/tape player with headphones to mask the noise of all
 the other patients in the room watching TVs.  I hope they don't give me two
 Benadryls again as it won't be fun being 3/4 asleep in a chair for 5 hours.
 Just one after a beesting once was enough to put me to sleep all afternoon.
#61 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Oct  6 11:52:18 2003:
 jor (see another item) who is looking for some place cheaper than a hotal in
 Ann Arbor while he is in town seeing a doctor phoned in response to my offer
 of my apartment (which is quiet this week while the upstairs neighbors are
 away) just as I was plugging in the phone so the answering machine got it.
 He was at the U of M Hospital (somewhere) and I am going there shortly and
 we have missed each other until tomorrow.  Unless he checks email at the
 hospital (not having left us the phone number there).  This seems like a
 perfect way to stop wasting my apartment.
 Jim is packing applesauce into which to grind up my 7 pills.
 I wish it was the back of my hand rather than my fingertips which was numb
 so I could feel things other than the IV.
#62 Brooke Edmunds(edina) on Mon Oct  6 13:33:29 2003:
 How does taking the pills in teh applesauce work for you.  I did that once
 and the pills totally affected the taste of the applesauce (made it bitter)
 almost to the point where I couldn't have it.
#63 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Oct  6 22:52:31 2003:
 The benadryl is really bitter, in fact I almost choked on it, but I washed
 it down with cranberry juice to get the taste out.  They let me take just one
 instead of two Benadryl because I am small.  The three nausea pills were
 nearly tasteless.  What sorts of pills did you take and why?
 Not my luckiest day.  The blood draw person hit a nerve or something and it
 hurt a lot for half an hour afterwards.  The IV went in and maybe also hit
 something and it hurt continuously for all 4 hours (better than the 7 hours
 last time).  The drugs went in without any problems.
 We managed to get hold of jor and if he does not do surgery tomorrow we will
 show him apartment and try to get it livable so he can stay there while
 recovering (if he can manage teh basement steps and being on his own).  There
 is also a spare room possible at Jim's house if he needs more help, right next
 to the bathroom, with food in the kitchen.  It can't be any fun to be sick
 all on your own.  JOr is willing to help dig up weeds before surgery.
 Jim is calling me for 'supper' - I did not feel much like eating with a needle
 in my hand.  High in fiber and liquid and potassium - cauliflower etc. soup.
#64 klg(klg) on Mon Oct  6 22:58:37 2003:
 See the advantages of a port now?  No muss, no fuss.  Never felt a 
#65 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Oct  7 11:03:34 2003:
 But I don't need to go around with some foreign matter in my arm, and wrap
 it up with saran wrap and tape to shower, and I can use the tub instead.
 Yesterday they agreed to give me just one Benadryl instead of two (but two
 Tylenol) before the Retuxan (I had no side effects and my pulse sitting is
 now 72 or 80), and I stayed wakeful in the recliner chair (which was as usual
 too big for me so I sat cross-legged).  Benadryl in applesauce tastes so bad
 I almost gagged on it.  The three antinausea pills before CHOP were tasteless.
 They infused Ativan (sp?) to protect me from the next three anticancer drugs.
 That acts like prednisone - 5 lb fluid retention and keeps you awake.  At 10
 pm the Benadryl won out (I felt asleep on my feet) assisted by the 5 hours
 sleep the night before.  For the next four days prednisone (with Prilosec an
 hour before to protect the stomach lining) will keep me from sleeping and
 cause slight constipation, followed at discontinuation by rebound symptoms
 after which oral thrush for three days while my immune system recovers.
 They say the first week is when people are most tired, and the tiredness is
 cumulative.  So far I am okay.  Got to clean up my apartment for a guest.
 Jim is off to purchase four days' worth of prednisone.  They won't give us
 a larger prescription because some people take them too long by mistake.  The
 first pharmacy did not have them, Village Pharmacy did - not on the list that
 the insurance pays for at $10/month supply but they are only $8.
 While waiting from the 1:00 blood draw until they found me a space at 5:00
 pm, after the doctor's appointment (he said I am doing amazingly well) and
 talking to the pharmacist (who thinks the laryngitis will clear up next year),
 we met a man who JIm asked if he heats with wood (he does) from Grass Lake.
 He has multiple myeloma and has been coming for treatment and sometimes
 hospitalzation for 4 years and gets infused every other day.  This was the
 wrong day - he was waiting for nothing.  There is an occasional week off. 
 He says he lost 75 pounds and was in a wheel chair for a while and still
 cannot crouch but they are trying a new drug and he is hopeful.  
 We got out after 9:00 pm and the cashier at the parking structure was no
 longer taking the $2 fees so I bought bread with it instead.
 Got to get off by 11 for jor.
#66 Christopher L Goosman(goose) on Tue Oct  7 11:13:01 2003:
 Maybe I missed it, but why can't you just take pills, instead of having them
 put in applesauce?  Before I could take pills with liquid, I would use a
 cracker, and then place the whole pill in the mushed up cracker in my mouth
 and swollow the whole thing.  Bread would serve the same purpose I guess.
 Some pills (maybe none that you are taking) actually release in a particular
 manner, and should not be ground up.
#67 klg(klg) on Tue Oct  7 12:10:56 2003:
 Perhaps a better questions is, "Benadryl comes in liquid form, doesn't 
#68 S. Lynne Fremont(slynne) on Tue Oct  7 12:33:03 2003:
 yes, benedryl does come in flavored liquid for children
#69 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Oct  7 15:24:42 2003:
 They thought about giving me liquid benadryl but had already checked out the
 pill and besides I needed two (solid) tylenol so Jim just mashed them all up
 together.  I choke when I swallow even plain liquids - something probably
 related to the pharyngitis/laryngitis.  The pills would stick and choke me
 too.  Heating the liquid a bit seems to help but I just choked a bit on warm
 tea I was using to get down the Prilosec that I need to take an hour before
 the prednisone which I need to take with FOOD (says the bottle).
 Jor stopped by, dialed mnet to check his email, talked to us over a brunch
 of more oatmeal than he normally eats at one time, and went off to get a cell
 phone so people can find him until he gets settled again.  We went off walking
 to Village Pharmacy about 3/4 mile each way with a short rest at Vet's Park.
 At the pharmacy I talked to someone purchasing Neuopgen for his neutrophils.
 He has had AIDS symptoms since 1982, treated with various regimes since 1989.
 I hope I last that long.  Someone in the chorus that I can't sing in this year
 said her mother was treated 18 years for lymphoma and found it helped to go
 on increasingly longer walks and also do weight training.
 Kiwanis Club sent flowers.
 Near the pharmacy is Value Village.  They have $5 printers, a $4 scanner, and
 a $8 6-CD Pioneer CD player.  My 1-CD Pioneer used was $80 in 1991.  Perhaps
 we don't need to fix CD players any more.  Also found a stainless steel
 pressure cooker like our two aluminum ones in which the lid has the gasket
 on top and is pushed up instead of turning.  It should be easier to use and
 not wear out as fast but I doubt we can find replacement parts.  
 Also found half an apple tree at the top of the Vet's Park hill - the trunk
 is over a fence.  Nice tasting.  Three blah red delicious at the movie
 theater, with pink flesh.  The sour green apple tree near Jim's house still
 has most of its apples.
 I am supposed to drink 12 glasses of water a day but I think oatmeal and
 apples and lentil stew will count towards that and besides I am smaller than
 their average patient who is probably 200 pounds.  Have to flush out the
 chemotherapy drugs and whatever cells they killed.  Three down plus 2 cups
 of oatmeal.  Lemon-grass tea seems to make me choke.
 Jim is taking aphoto of me dressed for winter with the new flowers.  The
 batteris seem to be dead.
#70 Brooke Edmunds(edina) on Tue Oct  7 16:01:37 2003:
 If they want you to drink 12 glasses of water, my suggestion is to try and
 get as close to it as you can.  I'm supposed to get 8 - but right after
 surgery, I was concerned becuase I just couldn't get it all in, and when I
 asked the nutritionist, she said 8 was the goal.  Just try to get it in. 
 You're trying to flush chemotherapy out - I'm just flushing fat - your waater
 intake is far more important than mine.
#71 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Oct  7 18:09:56 2003:
 Two cups oatmeal, one cup lentil stew, one cup tomatoes, two cups milk, two
 cups tea.  The 12 glasses was at some website and may be appropriate for
 someone who lives on meat sandwiches (not much liquid in them) and weighs
 twice what I do.  I am going to the bathroom pretty frequently already.
 Water comes in foods, not just cups.
 We had a nice late lunch with jor, who is willing to learn to install Win98
 so he can show Jim how, and also to help weed the yard while he can see to
 do so.  They are out right now trying to fix the starting problem on his car
 then we will show him my apartment.
#72 Tim P. Ryan(tpryan) on Tue Oct  7 20:21:40 2003:
 	Hope you don't mind getting the floriculturally diverse 
 polyfragrant soilistically challenged multipetaled victims of
 pesticidal food chain chauvinism.
#73 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Oct  8 15:36:16 2003:
 We are eating mostly organic fruits and vegetables, if that is what you mean.
 Yesterday before taking jor (john) to see my apartment we fed him breakfast
 and lunch and Jim 'fixed' his car until 7:30 pm (cleaned spark plugs and added
 some fluids) at which point I started feeling the effects of all the drugs
 so let them go without me.  They came back at 8:00 - my help is needed to
 uncover the bed and kitchen.  John is staying in Jim's small spare bedroom
 instead on a futon that Mary Remmers gave us.  He spent the morning automating
 the m-net idle-out program and now they are trying to install Win98 on a
 curbside find 500MHz pentium on which Jim managed to kill Redhat 9 (which was
 too slow anyway).  We will take him to outpatient surgery Friday and if he
 feels well enough afterwards, bring him back here to save the cost of an
 uninsured hospital room for the night.  (same cost as three months in Jim's
 small room used to be last time he had a paying roommate).  He is a perfect
 guest and even likes Jim's cooking (including the Indian hot pickled lime).
 By Saturday I should be feeling enough better to help more.
 The chemotherapy drugs are, I think, what is giving me hot spells.  The
 prednisone that I took at 4:00 pm (one hour after taking Prilosec) wore off
 about 10 pm so I started losing the retained fluid and had to go to the
 bathroom every half hour until 2:30 am.  We walked to the pharmacy after a
 very late breakfast, about 3/4 mile each way, and got back to discover that
 instead of 8 pills (2x50 mg per day) they somehow multiplied to get 16 pills
 but charged for 8 so next month's supply is here in advance.  Today I woke
 at 7:30 and took the pills by 9:30 and then napped.  The jitters hit again
 around 2:00 so we went for a jittery walk.  The man-eating ladybugs are out.
 We found another wind-up clock where the first one was, and a lot of old Win31
 and even Win20 disks and a snow shovel (just in time).  I had to choose my
 streets carefully to avoid the sun (which can cause a reaction due to one of
 the drugs).  Jim also found a bunk-bed frame but left it there.
 Anyone know why there were a lot of very slow bees crawling all over the front
 steps at Zion church Sunday afternoon?
 Jim wonders where to buy cheap recordable CDs so the neighbor can download
 and copy him some software for use with Win98 (picture editing).  Would K-mart
 have cheap ones?  Something within easy biking distance please.
 I am eating rather tasteless but wet and fibrous and potassium-containing
 yellow watermelon from a friend's organic farm.  Jim got all the cracked ones.
 Prednisone tastes only half as bad as Benadryl.
#74 Scott Helmke(scott) on Wed Oct  8 19:20:36 2003:
 Cheapest CD-Rs are at Comp-USA, in packs of 25-50.  I'd be happy to share a
 smaller number out of my current 50 pack.
#75 Tim P. Ryan(tpryan) on Wed Oct  8 19:33:54 2003:
 	re 72:  getting flowers
#76 Lawrence Kestenbaum(polygon) on Thu Oct  9 01:40:46 2003:
 Following my throat surgery last year, when my throat was much too raw for
 ANY solid pills, let alone the horribly rough and terrible-tasting Zantac
 pills, I had a prescription for liquid Zantac.  Wonderful stuff, delicious
 peppermint flavored syrup.  But it was very difficult to fill the
 prescription -- most drug stores were out of it, and the others would
 offer a small fraction of the prescribed quantity.  Zantac pills are OTC,
 but the liquid form is mysteriously prescription-only, and very expensive.
 Later, I heard that liquid Zantac is usually for children, hence, the
 quantities in stock were likely to be small.
#77 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct  9 08:15:53 2003:
 What is Zantac for?
 I have emailed the cancer center nurse to ask if I can take half as much
 prednisone.  I got to sleep after 1:30 and woke before 3:30 am last night.
 Scott, thanks for the offer of the CD but I don't want to take the faintest
 chance of catching your flu before at least January.  
 Is Comp-USA within a couple miles of Jims house near Zion Lutheran Church?
 We will see if another friend can drop off a CD today.
 I will probably have to start again tomorrow with the thrush treatment.  Maybe
 some people consider the fruit/banana taste delicious due to the 33% sucrose?
 Someone else suggested that maybe just a salt water gargle would work instead.
#78 Dave Lovelace(davel) on Thu Oct  9 09:07:30 2003:
 Sindi, Comp-USA is almost next to Best Buy.  Turn off AA-Saline Road at the
 traffic light by Meijer, then go on past Meijer a short way.  It's rather more
 than a couple of miles from Jim's house, though.
#79 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct  9 12:02:08 2003:
 Jim is not going to bike to Best Buy area.  AA-Saline road is one of the worst
 roads to bike on - full of cars and trucks, shoulder is thick gravel.  We will
 get a CD-R from a friend, no hurry.   
 Jor is looking for linux scanner software for Jim's latest scanner.  I have
 a pointer to the correct linux software for my BW scanner (HP).
 I slept from 9:30 to 11:30 (part of it, anyway).   Jim is pushing watermelons.
 I have to wait until after the prednisone period ends (through Friday) before
 doing the salt water gargle.  Last cycle the thrush started on Friday
 (overlap).  Maybe I can just rinse all the salt out?
 Tomorrow is a Zion rummage sale to walk to.  Wonder where to go today while
 avoiding that nasty sun.  We are planning to get jor to surgery around 10:30
 and pick him up late afternoon once he wakes up.  Maybe he would like to
 listen to Jim's books on tape for a few days.  Jim made a big pot of oatmeal
 this morning but finished it after jor went off on errands (finished cooking
 it, and finished eating all but my small bowlful!).  
#80 Marcus Watts(mdw) on Thu Oct  9 12:22:02 2003:
 "Very slow" bees probably means either (a) they were cold, or (b) they
 had been sprayed with something nasty.  Honey bees do swam and find new
 haunts every so often, and I suppose other bees might do the same.
 Swarming bees are usually less aggressive.
#81 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct  9 15:31:30 2003:
 But what did they want from the church steps?
 Today we set off on foot for the library but I was so tired we just did a loop
 through the 70's chicken-coop-style neighborhood, where people have planted
 a lot of interesting things.  I am going back to sleep again now.  Prednisone
 also causes muscle weakness in addition to lack of sleep.  I will do library
 next Tuesday when my immune system comes back.  I might sleep until then
 starting Saturday when the prednisone wears off.
 Jim put the living room back together as a living room now that I am in a
 bedroom.  Still waiting for the 3' wide 3" thick mattress topper.  They think
 they mailed it a week ago and UPS takes 2-3 business days to deliver.
 We met a new neighbor who was out working in her front garden and Jim tried
 to convince her that it was the easiest thing in the world to add a basement
 toilet.  The houses on this block are mostly built the same way.  You just
 need to bash a hole in the basement floor in the right place and cut a hole
 in the cast iron drain, he says.  A day's work, maybe two.....  She has
 planted four small burning bushes.  The one next door is about 8' in diameter,
 or maybe 10'.  Lots of new fall color - maples, dogwoods, sumac, berries. 
 Jim's 12' tall jerusalem artichokes that came into the front yard along with
 compost for the last housemate's cabbages are covered with yellow flowers.
 They are bigger than some of the trees.
#82 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct  9 19:30:02 2003:
 Got another 1 hour nap after the walk but am still exhausted.  About a week
 ago my soles of my feet started to feel numb.  Today I can tell the drugs are
 working because now the palms of my hands feel numb, not just the finger tips.
 They said the side effects could be cumulative and that I would feel more
 tired each time but last time I had a cold so I can't tell how tired I would
 have felt without it.  No cold this time at least.
 Jor just went for a walk.  He is probably feeling even more jittery than me,
 having looked up on the web everything that could go wrong.  I told him to
 concentrate on things he could change and try to stop worrying.  He can do
 a good job following instructions during recovery.
 Jim is cooking.  I watched a video.  Jor watched it with one eye.  I happened
 to pick one about a blind boy, accidentally.
#83 Still Maxin' and Relaxin' in the Pacific NW(jaklumen) on Thu Oct  9 20:08:47 2003:
 Zantac?  Heartburn, right?
#84 Glenda F. Andre(glenda) on Thu Oct  9 22:53:40 2003:
 Works similarly to Prilosec.  It is now available over the counter at a
 reduced for Rx strength.  Didn't do much for me.  Not like the magic purple
#85 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct  9 23:23:22 2003:
 I asked the price of the Nexium purple pill - $7 each!
 The Prilosec is supposed to keep the prednisone from making my stomach lining
 bleed.  Only one more of each to go this cycle before I can sleep again.
 Today things are starting to taste funny including water which probably means
 the thrush will be here tomorrow. I gargled salt water.
 Are there cheaper cell phone services than 15 cents/min evenings?
#86 Steve Gibbard(scg) on Fri Oct 10 02:16:30 2003:
 The standard nationwide cell service rate now seems to be around $35 per month
 for 500 minutes per month.  That's 7 cents per minute if you use all 500
 minutes, but considerably mroe per minute if you use it considerably less.
#87 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Oct 10 06:32:02 2003:
 Thanks, I will tell jor.  He got something in a hurry so people could find
 him while he was in transition.  Regular phone service is still cheaper unless
 you make lots of long distance calls and few local ones.  (I pay 5 cents/min
 to call Hawaii but 15 cents for Michigan.)
 Today I managed to sleep between 12:30 and 5:30.  It gets light about 7:40.
 I checked my first cycle blood values and today is when they will probably
 drop in half and then keep dropping, but half of my last value is still low
 normal.  Normal is 1.4-7.5 k/mm3 and I was 4.2 on Monday.  I expect to be up
 to about 5.4 next Thursday based on past history so Tuesday might be low
 normal again.  This is sort of interesting, more so on 5 than 2 hours sleep.
 The prednisone also induces hunger.  I expect to be sleepy and not very hungry
 when I stop taking it Saturday.
 The 4.2 blood value is neutrophils (which fight off bacteria).  My platelet
 count is high normal (stops bleeding) so I can still floss my teeth.
#88 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Oct 10 13:04:19 2003:
 Jim (and maybe I) will go back to Kellogg Eye Center around 3:00 to keep jor
 company while he wakes up and to get instructions for recovery.  For some
 reason they don't trust the patient to understand it all after general
 anesthesia starts wearing off.
 While delivering jor this morning Jim ran into a nurse who was sure she had
 seen him somewhere.  After exhausting all other possibilities, they discovered
 that they had both attended the 2-year nursing program at WCC together about
 20 years ago.
 People ask Jim what he does for a living.  He has decided he is a homemaker.
#89 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Fri Oct 10 15:52:33 2003:
 He  could be a "home technician".
#90 Drew(drew) on Fri Oct 10 16:52:37 2003:
 Re #87:
     To get the cheaper interstate rate (instead of the jacked up "local zone"
 or whatever the phone companydoes with your call) for calls instate, prefix
 all calls with the access code for your favorite long distance company - even
 if you have it as the default. Manually reroute them to force them through
 the cheaper company.
     I personally use 1010629- which is 4 cents per minute, no minimums, and
 no monthly fees.
     As for cell phones, I concur with you on that conclusion.
#91 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Fri Oct 10 17:11:29 2003:
 You can  get $19.99 cell phone service. We also use an AT&T Calling Card
 that was sold at Sam's Club for 3.5 cents/min. 
#92 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Oct 10 17:39:23 2003:
 Where do you get the 19.99 service?
 Jor is still not ready for pickup.  Jim called at 4 and was told at least one
 more hour but not whether he was in the recovery room yet.  I spent 7 hours
 in the recovery room after minor surgery since it got infected.  I should get
 offline soon.
 Apart from being exhausted it has not been a bad day.  My cousin mailed me
 a box of novels.  The neighbor sneaked over with some apples for us and
 mentioned that she is the one that told Kiwanis I was sick (they sent
 flowers).  Someone else at Kiwanis will stop by in an hour with some little
 thing for me - we set him up to use grex for email (and got the rest of the
 computer from his son working with Windows and Netscape for him but he forgot
 again how to print, having learned at age 81.)
 Got to check on jor again.  Surgery was supposed to start around 11:30 and
 take maybe 4 hours at most - hope it went okey.
 I don't make enough Michigan phone calls (outside of Detroit, which Jim calls
 twice a year for 7 cents/minute) to bother with another service.  I called
 Lansing once this year.  But it is odd that the local company charges twice
 as much for Lansing as Detroit.
#93 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Oct 10 20:12:08 2003:
 I have procmail set to filter (to a 'penis' folder) subject lines with
 p*e*n*i*s.  The nurse's reply to my question about prednisone ended up in that
 folder.  They give everyone 100 mg and may be able to adjust my dose next
 Jim fetched jor home about 7:30 and went off to get him some expensive
 eyedrops.  It is no fun coming home from surgery.  Nausea and vomiting are
 common and all lights and noises are painful.  He is trying to sleep on the
 couch (the painkiller should have worked by now).  It is supposed to get a
 lot better within 24 hours.  They go back in the morning early.  I did not
 hear about the details of the surgery.
 Some friends from Kiwanis with a nice flower garden brought me pink roses and
 altheria (?) and baby's breath in a vase.
 I am done with pills for a couple of weeks.  Now Jim gets to meter out things
 to jor instead of mashing up pills for me in applesauce.  He may get up every
 4 hours with the pain pills since it is hard to take them at the right time
 when you cannot see to read a clock easily.  Jim is a nice guy.  
#94 S. Lynne Fremont(slynne) on Fri Oct 10 23:06:20 2003:
 No kidding. Jim should get a medal of honor or something for being 
 You can get $19.99 nationwide cell phone plans from T-Mobile. I have 
 that. I get 60 "anytime" minutes and 500 weekend minutes. Since I use 
 my cell phone mostly on weekends, this works out for me. I think the 
 regional plans might have more minutes but I am not sure. I wanted the 
 nationwide plan because one of the times I most want a cell phone is 
 when I travel. 
#95 TS Taylor(tsty) on Fri Oct 10 23:28:22 2003:
 smoking marijuana, i have been told, increases the appetite.
 perhaps simply ingesting (not smoking) some 'brownies' would do the
 same. at this point in yuor recovery - even not being a doctor - i would
 come VERY close to making the consumption a requirement.
 consider it.
#96 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Sat Oct 11 00:18:02 2003:
 The "nationwide" plans I've read about let you call nationwide with
 additional cost, but you can't call *from* nationwide everywhere
 without further charges. 
 AT&T  and Cingular also have $19.99 plans. 
#97 S. Lynne Fremont(slynne) on Sat Oct 11 00:43:47 2003:
 I can use my cell phone anywhere in the USA where T-Mobile has coverage 
 which is pretty much limited to major population areas. I have used it 
 in Seattle and Chicago with no further charge. I can call nationwide 
 with no additional cost. Long distance is free with my plan. 
#98 Steve Gibbard(scg) on Sat Oct 11 01:00:18 2003:
 With the exception of T-Mobile and Nextel, whose phones just don't work where
 they don't have coverage, most of them now let you make calls for "free" from
 the areas where they have their own coverage (ATT's coverage seems to include
 lots of non-population coverage), and charge for calls from elsewhere.  The
 only place I've been where my ATT phone was roaming recently was Northwest
#99 Colleen McGee(cmcgee) on Sat Oct 11 08:23:30 2003:
 My Verizon nation-wide plan is both placing and receiving calls any where
 Verison has coverage.  It's been very good coverage everywhere I've gone in
 the past two years, which includes some rural areas in both Oklahoma and
 Prince Edward Island.  
#100 Richard Murphy(murph) on Sat Oct 11 10:01:01 2003:
 My cingular plan let me call anywhere from anywhere without charging--it even
 worked halfway between Bismarck and Fargo, ND, which is about as nowhere as
 you can find.  Now I have a Verizon plan (because Cingular has horrible east
 coast reception, and horrible customer service), which also claims to be to
 anywhere, from anywhere, for no extra charges.
#101 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Oct 11 12:49:10 2003:
 Jor won't be making any calls from Prince Edward Island for a while but will
 look further into a better plan when he is well enough to be going out on his
 own.  The checkup this morning went well and he is doing eyedrops and feels
 much better than yesterday (as predicted).
 My lips tingle and it hurts somewhat to swallow so I probably have the
 beginnings of thrush and am gargling and using the medicine.  Good timing -
 finish one medicine before starting the next (and starting jor's eyedrops on
 schedule).  Nurse Jim is making a lunch that can be eaten with one's eye's
 shut - if you use one eye it moves the muscles in the other which hurt.  Bean
 stew made with little green lebanese mung beans or something similar looking
 with local organic celery and carrots on rice.  
 Jor commented that he keeps getting prescription type spam including vicodin.
 Today I got two prescription spams including vicodin.  We are explaining to
 him why it is not a good idea to take too much painkiller with codeine in it.
 That is probably why I had constipation for five days in the hospital followed
 by 3 days of unpleasant reaction when the codeine wore off.  They said it was
 okay to take up to 2 every four hours, and I was taking one every 6-8 and the
 bottle said to take only 2 per day.  Also the tylenol in Vicodin is not good
 to take in large quantities (liver damage).
#102 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Oct 11 15:23:52 2003:
 The three of us were trying to figure out how to use the two types of
 eyedrops.  Twice or four times a day (with meals they said ? !).  Apply
 pressure.  Shake.  One is atropine for treating a couple of conditions that
 I did not recognize.  It dilates the pupil and is also used by
 opthalmologists.  The other is a combination of a steroid (dexamethasone =
 prednisone) which reduces inflammation but also reduces the immune system so
 they added a broad-spectrum antibiotic.  So now there is a timetable for
 Vicodin (painkiller) and two eyedrops all of which will interfere with sleep
 if followed exactly but it is probably for no more than 10 days at most.
 By the time they got this all figured out and lunch started Jim got to market
 after everyone selling food there had gone home but he got mozarella and will
 make a whole wheat pizza.  He is been somewhat less vegan than usual recently.
 Pizza can be eaten with the eyes shut, I think, but jor has actually been able
 to read today with one eye.  
 My thrush progresses - now my gums as well as my throat hurt but it is only
 for 2-3 days probably.  Water still tastes funny and other things don't taste
 much at all but at least I am not sneezing this cycle.  I got my usual 2-3
 hours sleep at night and now another 2 in the morning.
 The bean soup with a few vegetables (made in the latest pressure cooker from
 Value Village) turned into vegetable soup with a few beans.  I can add salty
 pickled Indian lime to it today.
 Last time I was at the cancer center I paid the $4400 (discounted by ppom)
 bill for the first outpatient chemotherapy and blood tests.  Today the
 itemized (nondiscounted) bill arrived.  $1400 for the administration of drugs
 for 5 hours.  (It will be shorter from now on).  $73.18 for two antinausea
 pills (kytril).  $40 for saline solution (one bag used to keep the IV line
 open).  Supplies II $73 (?).  A few lab tests.  The older chemo drugs (three
 of them) only totalled about $200.  The Rituxan was $5100!  Total $7,235.16.
 At this rate the total treatment including hospital would come to over $80,000
 (not including CT scan?).  Plus probably $6500 a year in biannual CT scans
 and frequent blood tests until I hit Medicare age, from now on.  (Or less if
 ppom wangles a good discount for the scans).  Plus $1000 or more a year for
 my insurance policy.  Half my earned income.
 Life is not cheap.
#103 klg(klg) on Sat Oct 11 18:18:56 2003:
 I am not having "frequent blood tests."  In fact, I don't remember my 
 oncologists are ordering any at all in the past year.
#104 Colleen McGee(cmcgee) on Sat Oct 11 21:20:02 2003:
 Yes, it's unfortunately costly, especially for those people who don't have
 any income _except_ earned income.  They often have to drop certain parts of
 their treatment because they can't afford it.
#105 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Oct 11 23:28:08 2003:
 Klg, what is this costing you per year for the tests you are having?
 They caught my lymphoma in the first place because of some very abnormal blood
 test values (cmp and cbc).  
 The hospital seems willing to treat people even if they cannot pay, and then
 try to work out some payment plan later.  The social worker at UM hospital
 said they have some financial aid for people, and St. Joes helps people to
 get Medicaid assistance.  
 My thrush is now at the point where I have pain/burning in my throat (with
 or without swallowing), lips, tongue, gums even inside my nose, despite using
 the medication.  Oh well, in a few days it will be better and THEN I can get
 a full night's sleep, I hope.  It would be nice if the 3' wide mattress pad
 would come by then.  They sent an invoice but still no pad.
#106 John Ellis Perry Jr.(jep) on Sun Oct 12 01:28:41 2003:
 I have Cingular cell phone service and find the customer service to be 
 good, as long as you don't mind listening to the same 90 second ad 
 loop for 20 minutes if you get put on hold.  When I get a person, 
 they're almost always knowledgeable enough, and willing enough, and 
 capable enough, to help me.
#107 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Oct 12 13:51:40 2003:
 Thanks for the information.  I think jor may be sleeping again, or at least
 resting.  He got up to do eyedrops around 10 and then crashed.  I got up to
 eat (after 5 2-hour stretches of sleep) at around 10 and then went back to
 bed for 2 hours.  This is the first time in my treatment when I recall getting
 weaker for three days instead of stronger, but things should turn around again
 in a day or two when my immune system and other growing tissues start to grow
 again.  Right now my innards from the tip of my nose to my belly button feel
 like they are burning - probably the mucus membranes are not regenerating.
 Judging from last cycle, things should be much better in a day or two and I
 am certainly more awake now.  But really wobbly on my feet (which I can't
 really feel too much any more as they are numb).  I can't compare this with
 last cycle since thankfully I don't have a cold now.
 I feel really sorry for anyone who is doing weekly chemotherapy.  Those must
 be the ones who lose their sense of taste and appetite full-time and for me
 it is only a few days when things don't taste like much and it hurts a bit
 to swallow.  We had corn meal mush instead of oatmeal today.
 We got some books on tape for jor from the library, but I could not find any
 particularly good ones.  Mostly murder mysteries there.  I got one set of 7
 tapes - French and Russian short stories.  I could not walk to the library
 (could have done it Tuesday but not yesterday) and I was tired enough that
 I spent most of the time there just sitting instead of looking around.
 I got Lord Jim on tape.
#108 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Oct 12 17:24:03 2003:
 Jim thinks the burning in my throat is not thrush but the fact that my mucus
 membranes are not regenerating.  Today the angles of my jaws also hurt when
 I chew anything harder than canteloupe (including semi-ripe honeydew melon).
 This also happened last cycle but went away in a few days.  I also have some
 muscle pains in my upper arms like last time.
 Luckily we have lots of ripe canteloupe, pears, and other things.  I seem to
 have done too good a job with the thank you note to the neighbor who brought
 over the apples and today it was two boxes of produce.  Spinach too.  I made
 it over briefly to thank her again (she could barely hear me as the laryngitis
 is also worse) and held onto Jim coming back.  She and Jim have been neighbors
 for a long time - it is good to have neighbors.
 Today jor is feeling well enough to go outside for a bit and I hope to feel
 well enough to go walking in a couple of days if the rain holds off.  Jim is
 patching a car window before it rains.  I am going back to bed again.  Jim
 thinks I should be practicing climbing stairs instead.  
#109 klg(klg) on Sun Oct 12 21:15:01 2003:
 $zippo.  Thanks, MESSA.
#110 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Oct 13 00:22:46 2003:
 What is MESSA?
 I got up to check email since I am again having trouble finding a possible
 sleeping position as my hip joints hurt when I lie on my side because of no
 body fat to put things in the proper position and probably something is not
 regenerating at the joints.  The thrush seems to be slightly improved and I
 plan to feel stronger starting tomorrow and to regrow the things that stopped
 growing due to the chemicals.
 I will experiment with adding a few layers of blanket to the small pillow that
 I have been using between my knees to keep the bones from hitting each other.
 We all had a nice salad for supper thanks to the neighbor.  Jim discovered
 that the bag contained not just real green (Romaine) lettuce but even
 croutons, powdered cheese and dressing (a salad mix).  And there was an
 avocado.  Jim had half an avocado and a muffin for supper and some popcorn
 while feeding his patients a more balanced diet.
#111 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Oct 13 11:21:21 2003:
 Today my thrush appears to be better - my gums don't hurt and my lips do not
 tingle.   Which implies that my immune system is starting to recover.  My legs
 may be less wobbly but I am too sleepy to be sure as it is garbage day and
 the trucks start at 7:00 in Jim's neighborhood.  The last one just went by
 and I will go back to sleep after oatmeal.  
 Jim is taking advantage of having a temporary guinea pig (roommate) to work
 on the door gaskets (to block sound) and eventually will finish the
 ventilating system because the humidity has gone way up.
#112 klg(klg) on Mon Oct 13 12:07:14 2003:
 MESSA is the MEA's version of bcbs.
#113 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Oct 13 13:13:16 2003:
 What is an MEA?
#114 David Brodbeck(gull) on Mon Oct 13 13:19:58 2003:
 Michigan Educational Association.
#115 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Oct 13 18:01:37 2003:
 My turn to go online.  (I have a bit of competition recently).  Jim is out
 trying to put an aluminum awning over his side door while also making supper,
 before it rains.  Jor is continuing to improve.  
 We went for a couple of walks today and I am back to as much strength and
 energy as two days ago and my gums hardly hurt at all now (at least until I
 eat) so this is the uphill stage again.  My throat still hurts, my jaws do
 not, and I seem to be mostly over the hot and cold spells.  I should keep
 track of all this to know what to expect next three times.
 The dogwoods are a really interesting purplish-reddish color and there are
 various orange and yellow and white berries, and crabapples, and still lots
 of petunias and snapdragons and roses in bloom along with the purple asters.
 The seventies chicken-coop style loop around the corner is planted to katsura,
 a Japanese tree that is just starting to turn dark purple.  The neighbors on
 the corner have removed most of their yard decorations (the little flowers
 on sticks) and replaced them with artificial colored leaves.  Jim's black
 currant (from Oregon) has turned pink and yellow.  His 12-foot jerusalem
 artichoke is still in full bloom with yellow daisy like flowers.  I have two
 long stemmed pink roses inside.  (Jim swatted the third one while chasing a
 fly that came in because he had to open the doors to get fresh air, having
 put on all the storms windows last time it got cold.)
#116 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Oct 14 14:34:48 2003:
 The mattress pad ordered Sept. 19 was still not here this morning but it
 arrived an hour after Jim called.  This was the fourth time they 'sent' it.
 This time it is 31 pounds and quilted.  In its honor I took a bath.  I looked
 in the mirror and the mirror looks like one of those that makes everything
 narrower but so does another mirror so it must be me.
 My first bath in 9 days.  I have confirmed what I thought I noticed last bath-
 my apocrine sweat glands don't smell any more.  Odd effect.  Nor is my hair
 getting oily.  These must be other things that are not regenerating.  My
 fingernails keep growing fast and it is still a challenge to cut them.
#117 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Oct 14 19:45:28 2003:
 The laryngitis appears to be getting worse again which I think confirms that
 it is drug related since if so, it is said to start on day 5-10 and it got
 worse around day 7, after gradually a bit better last cycle.  Our doctor
 friend wants me to be seen by an ENT specialist who will stick something down
 my throat.  I would rather wait for it to get better without that.
#118 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Oct 14 19:51:45 2003:
 Totally unrelated to the topic, but what do other people see at  With Arachne and Netscape 4.7 we saw 'Image Image' (which
 can be changed to a word and a string of peanuts).  With Opera we got a blank
 screen.  This is supposed to be a website with several links.
#119 Glenda F. Andre(glenda) on Tue Oct 14 20:57:46 2003:
 Most of the links lead to pages in Japanese.  The main page has some random
 family type pictures (5 of them).  One of the links "wedding" has information
 for RSVPing for their wedding, map to get to the wedding and reception, and
 places to connect for accomodation for those coming from out of town.  Seems
 to be in New Castle, England.  A lot of fluff, i.e. falling pastel hearts on
 the wedding page, sparkles of red/orange leafs on mouse-over of the links on
 the main page.  It is a bit cute, but to me just another in a long line of
 examples of "just because you can do it, doesn't mean that you should do it"
 style of web design.
#120 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Oct 14 21:50:57 2003:
 Thanks, all we could figure out (revealing codes) was that they wanted you
 to download macromedia shockwave flash - what exactly is that supposed to do?
 I went to their website once and learned nothing.  Animation?
 Jim will take a quick look at the five photos at the public library some day.
 He thought the wedding was going to be in Ireland as the groom's parents still
 live there. 
 As regards your opinion of writing this sort of web site, Jim says 'exactly'.
 He finds the Japanese connection funny and will look at the map too and he
 thanks you for 'confirming his worst suspicions'.  But he supposes it is
 harmless.  No hurry to get to the library now.  Thanks.
 Jim says hello to people at grex and wanted to ask about the new twenty dollar
 colored bill, where can he learn more about it and why are they changing it
 every seven years to thwart counterfeiters if they can print old money still.
 They can't take the 50% of American dollars in other countries out of
#121 Scott Helmke(scott) on Tue Oct 14 22:14:29 2003:
 The Flash stuff is for animations and sound.  Some websites depend on it, when
 they should instead strive for accessibility.
#122 Still Maxin' and Relaxin' in the Pacific NW(jaklumen) on Tue Oct 14 23:46:58 2003:
 resp:120 I think most local financial institutions (banks, credit 
 unions, etc.) should have information posted.  I've seen it.  You 
 might be able to find it on the web as I've seen a few articles on it.
#123 David Brodbeck(gull) on Wed Oct 15 09:30:50 2003:
 I've seen TV ads about it, too.  Why we're spending taxpayer dollars to
 advertise *money* is beyond me.
#124 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Oct 15 10:50:24 2003:
 Jim assumes the site was not designed, just used what they found somewhere
 and plugged in a few things.  Stupidly designed if it won't show anything at
 all without a plugin.  Does the site have ads for the hoster?  (Maybe in
 Is there some way to download the five photos using their URLs and if so what
 are they?  (Can I somehow get at them via lynx, which shows [EMBED] before
 I reveal code.)
#125 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Oct 15 14:43:16 2003:
 I am supposed to keep gargling salt water for the first two weeks each cycle
 because of my mucus membranes not growing back and therefore being more likely
 to get infected.  This probably also explains why the inside lining of my
 throat and gullet feel burning and sore.  It does not hurt a lot.
 The jaw soreness may be a side effect of vincristine.  Last cycle it went away
 in a few days.
 Things still taste a bit funny.
#126 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Oct 15 14:51:44 2003:
 Vincristine side effects may include transient blindness and difficulty in
 walking and wrist drop.  Effects are worst at 4-9 days.  This is day 10.
 Today I walked twice as far as yesterday.  My wrists seem a bit weak. The
 symptoms get worse after three treatments.  Oh well, only 3 to go.
 The Type I anaphylactoid reaction (laryngitis) is rare.  I have it.
#127 Scotch! Cigars! Coffee!(fitz) on Thu Oct 16 07:27:17 2003:
 >123  Advertising the redesinged $20 alerts the public to the change. 
 Hopefully, no fist fights will ensue from either customers or retailers
 thinking that the new bill is bogus.  BTW, could you change my $19 bill,
#128 David Brodbeck(gull) on Thu Oct 16 09:35:31 2003:
 Re #127:
 > BTW, could you change my $19 bill, please?
 Sure.  Is six $3 bills and five 20 cent pieces okay?
#129 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct 16 17:26:01 2003:
 Today was blood draw day.  I did not bring my white slip because last time
 they said I was in the computer and it was not necessary.  This time I was
 not in the computer and we had to get another white slip.  While waiting I
 talked to someone else skinny who assumed my voice problem was the same as
 hers.  She has a tumor of the esophagus and has a tube inserted into her
 stomach somehow since she cannot eat.  While waiting again for blood draw I
 talked to someone who had breast cancer four years ago and needs to get tested
 once a year for five years.  She had four chemotherapy, surgery, radiation,
 and four more chemotherapy, and said she got more tired each session but the
 numb hands recover six months later (except sometimes they are still numb).
 I should have a positive attitude and keep pushing myself to move even if
 I have it easy.
 We stopped on the way there to collect pawpaws from my tree that the neighbors
 had gathered for us.  The waist-high neighbor made me a poster that reads:
 Sande I hop u fel badr.  
 Her mother objected to the badr so she explained this as
 There is also a polr br with some words in a balloon issuing from its mouth
 that none of us could quite figure out:
 She did not want to explain what this meant.
 We shared some pawpaws with them.
 At the hospital Jim shared pawpaws with the infusion nurse interested in
 plants, who will plant the seeds.  We then brought some to Jerusalem Market,
 where one of the owners will plant the seeds in a pot or bucket.  They had
 fresh pistachios in the husk today, and fresh figs and dates and cactus pears.
 Ayse's was closed.
 We picked apples on north campus and near the hospital.  I picked from a tree
 that appears to have been designed as a grafted crabapple that lost its graft.
 The tree is a bunch of sprouts with knee to waist high apples.  We shared some
 of the less buggy ones.
 On North Campus we got a few monster windfalls from the Ford library and then
 admired the gifts to Ford (Korean lacquer, Liberian embroidery) and the
 centennial art (American made popsicle stick lampshade and dollar bill flag).
 I think I walked my 1/2 mile today.  Jim is now attempting to find some
 compromise between how jor cooks rice (boiled in lots of water with the cover
 off) and how he cooks it (pressure cooker, bring to pressure, turn off).  He
 will run the dehumidifier in the kitchen.  The house is getting too humid and
 now we have fans blowing bedroom air to teh basement dehumidifier and bringing
 up cold dry basement air.  This won't work in colder weather as the basement
 needs insulating.  The insulation boards have been waiting 20 years.  Maybe
 this is the incentive needed to get them on the walls.
#130 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct 16 17:34:30 2003:
 Correct that KAFA to KAFR and the D in the previous line is backwards.
 Monster is spelled Mastr so there could be a missing n in Kafr.
 A couple of nights ago we had a friendly 3-way scrabble game.  Jim played with
 dyslexia and wanted to use the word PRON ('shrimp').  John played with one
 eye.  I viewed the letters from a horizontal position to which I had gotten
 used while grexing on my back.  Nobody won since we were not counting points.
 We have a piece of drywall blocking the direct cold draft in my room, so that
 it goes up the wall instead of aiming directly at me.  Cold basement air comes
 up to replace the warmer moister house air.  Eventually this will all be
 ducted to a small warm space with the dehumidifier in it, some year.  In the
 meantime I added another blanket.  No point in heating the basement.
#131 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Oct 17 10:37:43 2003:
 I did so well picking apples that today we will be picking grapes.  Jim tried
 to put a friend who wants to make pawpaw wine in touch with a friend who grows
 pawpaws and lives way west of town, and the latter invited us all to supper
 and a tour of his orchard which we visited two summers ago by bike.  He has
 variuos other interesting fruits none of which were ripe in August.   A few
 miles from him are the grapes of another friend.  The two of them may pick
 while I sit in a solar-heated car if I run out of energy.  I am taking along
 a chair cushion and possibly a camping mat as I tend to conk out in late
 My throat has been sore for a few days, with some intestinal symptoms and two
 days of off-on headache, indicating I got some infection during the low point
 of my immune system but the headache is gone and the throat a bit better. 
 I have to be careful to stay warm today and maybe I should not be overdoing
 the exercise like I have been.  Yesterday I lay down and could not move for
 half an hour.
 Looks like I will never know what the POLR BR is saying.  Perhaps it ate some
 alphabet soup.
#132 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Oct 17 12:39:29 2003:
 Just did some more reading on peripheral neuropathy = the tingling and
 numbness in hands and feet.  For a 'fair percentage' of patients this will
 get better within weeks of ending therapy as the nerves regenerate.  For
 others it will be permanent and maybe worse.  I hope the latter effect is
 less common in those of us being treated only once in three weeks.  Leukemia
 patients are treated weekly.
#133 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Oct 17 13:05:07 2003:
 The nurse called back with my blood test results.  WBC (white blood cell
 count) 3.8, normal being 4.0-10.00, last cycle this time being 7.2.  This
 includes the immune system and the platelets (clotting system).  Neutrophils
 (immunity) 2.7, normal being 1.4-7.5 so I am lowish normal, last cycle 5.4
 (after a bad cold which increases immunity I think) and end of cycle 4.2. 
 Looks like I am a day or two behind in recovery compared to the last cycle.
 It is safe to visit people if they are not sick, says the nurse, and I should
 make sure to wash my hands.  The first cycle my neutrophil count was only 0.1
 (which is what it felt like Sunday).
#134 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Oct 18 00:16:55 2003:
 Today we went to pick grapes.  It was cold and windy so I went back to the
 car while Jim and Peter picked, and fell asleep a few times.  Then we hiked
 around the largest pawpaw orchard I have seen at a friend's house.  He must
 have 500 trees planted and is evaluating them for when they lose their leaves,
 the size and color and taste of the fruit, etc.  He wants smaller fruit
 clusters.  He has some monster fruits up to 5" long.  They are yellow or
 orange fleshed with various flavors - canteloupe, mango, avocado -like.  The
 skins can be green or yellow (easier to spot on the ground).  Some ripen too
 early or too late for here.  Peter took enough fruit to make wine.  He has
 a winery in Tecumseh that makes grape, apple, and cherry wine already.  He
 brought lemon-flavored pickled watermelon rind and also wine jelly.  Susan
 made supper with lots of their garden produce.  I conked out on the couch
 after supper while the guys talked fruit.  It is dark and quiet where they
 live - my first dark and quiet experience this year.  From Jim's low traffic
 street you can hear I-94 at all hours.  
#135 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Oct 18 11:12:11 2003:
 When I threw up unexpectedly at 4 am I was worried that the chemotherapy might
 be responsible but Jim said he also felt queasy.  He suspects that we sampled
 some seedling pawpaw with too much of some chemical.  Our friend told us that
 the owner of the largest pawpaw orchard in the country is allergic to pawpaws.
 We also tried an underripe one that Jim dried.  We have had no troubles with
 pawpaws from our own trees.
 Or it might be the latest intestinal virus that I probably picked up last
 weekend when my immunity was low.  I am fine today.  We may hike over to
 Eberwhite woods to say hello to the people doing the stewardship day there
 until noon.  I don't think I can cut out buckthorn quite yet.
 The wine jelly actually tasted like good grapes, possibly because of the added
 sugar.  Wine tastes just sour to me.
#136 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Oct 18 14:03:44 2003:
 We hiked to the west branch library instead.  They have low vision aids such
 as magnifying glasses and something that displayed enlarged print on a screen.
 And a telnet icon.  Jor said he could not get telnet to work here - I suspect
 he could not red the little word telnet under the icon.
#137 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Oct 18 19:23:36 2003:
 I was not sure I could walk back from the library but I did, and when we got
 back Jim went to bed.  I have found my limit again.  We have to process grapes
 now, cleaning out the spiders and stems and making juice from them.
 I am still getting nice emails from other translators and friends. My
 Hungarian friend phoned our mutual friend who is Slovene and lives in Italy
 and let her know I have cancer.  The Slovene friend's sister finished
 chemotherapy in July.  I will write her next week after my CT scan.  A
 translator friend in wants to pray for me and wonders how she will be able
 to pay this month's rent.
#138 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Oct 19 18:56:40 2003:
 We walked to Eberwhite Woods and most of the way through it and came out at
 the community garden. On the way saw lots of squirrels and trees, some
 puffballs and shelf fungus, moss on dead logs, and Jim found some pruning
 shears and called the leader of yesterday's stewardship day about returning
 them to someone who lost them.  At the garden there was lots of swiss chard,
 arugula, mizuna, all sorts of kale, celery, lettuce, and slightly frosted
 tomato plants.  We came back and Jim picked up more of his own tomatos from
 teh ground (never did put up cages) and is making instant pizza (baked tomato
 and cheese sandwiches) which I am supposed to go eat now.  
 The garden has some very comfortable straw bales for sitting on, and Zion
 church has a pretty good red apple tree and a couple of trees with giant
 hawthorn berries which we thought at first were crabapples.
 He thinks the walk was 3/4 mile each way, with only two stops to rest, which
 would imply I could probably make it into town but probably not back.
 Maybe next week I can make it into town.  I have pretty much run out of good
 books at the local branch library.  Got out a Turkish cookbook.
#139 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Oct 19 22:39:02 2003:
 I just read about a couple of studies of patients with my type of lymphoma,
 older than me.  In the first study, of people over 60, survival rate went up
 from 57^ to 70% when they added Rituxan to the CHOP drugs, and 18 month
 remission went from 64 to 77% with 91% responding (they had fewer cancer cells
 but not none).  In another study 63% of those receiving Rituxan had remission
 for a median of over 5.3 years (about as long as the drug had been around).
 A study of 400 elderly patients gave 1 year survival up from 68 to 83%, with
 complete remission up from 60 to 76%.  I wonder what complete remission means
 - no symptoms or no cancer cells found?  
 My chances are somewhat improved by being under 60, I think.   And maybe also
 by the fact that my tumor could not be felt after the first session.  I will
 know more a couple of days after tomrrow's repeat CT scan.  Only three more
 IVs after tomorrow, with luck.  My hand still aches from the last one.
 One person I met with lymphoma did not need a second treatment for 9 years.
#140 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Oct 20 22:12:09 2003:
 Today after Jim made the fifth trip to Murray's for a belt for the car, we
 got me to the hospital as instructed an hour before the 5:30 CT scan
 appointment.  They asked Jim if he was pregnant and I told them I was the
 patient and I filled out a form assuring them I had no allergy to the iodine
 contrast solution, and was not taking certain drugs, and had no heart or
 kidney problems.  Some people have reactions to the contrast solution (barium
 citrate smoothie - a very cold white liquid that comes in 16 oz bottles which
 they tried to make me drink two of, and I managed 24 oz.  The second bottle
 was at least not refrigerated.  I was shivering for an hour after the first.)
 Or to the stuff they inject during the procedure through an IV.  The IV went
 unusually badly but the technician asked if it was okay not to redo it (and
 start all over, forget it) due to its hurting and blood all over the place
 and I said yes, let's just get it over with.  I only needed it in for 20
 minutes while they moved me in and out of a hole in the machine and had me
 hold my breath.  They took photos (?) before and after the iodine solution,
 which stings going in and makes you feel warmish.  All I had to do besides
 ignore the pain was keep both arms lifted over my head.
 Jim says he saw Scott while biking to Murray's.
 The CT scan is based on a small dose of radiation so it is done through the
 radiology department.  They will read it tonight and get results to my doctor
 in 2 or 3 days.  
 Afterwards we visited our doctor friend who brought me to the hospital in
 August to share pawpaws and pickled peppers, and he also checked me out and
 says I still have fluid on the lungs but he can't find any enlarged lymph
 nodes or tumors.  I hope the CT scan agrees.  There are lymph nodes at all
 four intersections of limbs and torso, and under the ears.  
 We then took me to the public library while Jim picked up a few things from
 my apartment, and celebrated at Dinersty.  My arm finally stopped hurting.
 I make sure to wear old shirts when being jabbed.
#141 klg(klg) on Mon Oct 20 22:33:47 2003:
 I swig that contrast liquid like cold beer on a hot day.  Down the hatch 
 in 5 min. or less.  Never have any sting from the IV fluid.  Just a 
 metallic taste in the mouth and a warm feeling, esp. in the groin, for a 
 short time.  Next picture session is the 1st wk of Nov, I believe.
#142 Christopher L Goosman(goose) on Mon Oct 20 23:34:25 2003:
 It is amazing the number of blood vessels in the groin of a male.  I found
 the iodine IV to be strangely pleasant.  The drinkable contrast though...ugh.
#143 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Tue Oct 21 02:37:33 2003:
 Re #140: it could not have been barium citrate. Barium citrate is soluble
 in water, and soluble barium compounds are very poisonous. The usual
 barium compound in contrast agents is the very insoluble barium sulfate.
 It is possible that they suspend it in a "citrate" drink of some sort, to
 make it more palatable. That, however, would not create any barium citrate.
#144 John Ellis Perry Jr.(jep) on Tue Oct 21 11:42:37 2003:
 re resp:140: So, are congratulations in order?  Grex wants to know, is 
 Jim pregnant?
#145 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Oct 21 11:53:26 2003:
 Re 144, No.  I can look up which barium solution it was.  Fruit flavored.
 I should also read about how CT scans work.  THe technician watched the
 injectin then left the room to run the machine so something must be
 radioactive.  Also Jim had to wait outside.  I did not notice anyone shaking
 the solution to suspend anything.  What was so bad about the solution when
 you drank it, goose?  They said some people get nauseous.  My big problem was
 the coldness and the volume.
#146 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Oct 21 12:03:40 2003:
    Computed tomography (CT) a method of body imaging in which a thin
    [74]x-ray beam rotates around the patient. Small detectors measure the
    amount of x-rays that make it through the patient or particular area
    of interest.
    A computer analyzes the data to construct a cross-sectional image.
    These images can be stored, viewed on a monitor, or printed on film.
    In addition, three-dimensional models of organs can be created by
    stacking the individual images, or "slices."
    How the test is performed    
    The patient will be asked to lie on a narrow table (gantry) that
    slides into the center of the scanner. Depending on the study being
    performed, the patient may need to lie on his/her stomach, back, or
    side. If contrast media (dye) is to be administered, an IV will be
    placed in a small vein of a hand or arm.
    Much like standard photographic cameras, subject motion causes blurred
    images in CT. Therefore, the technologist operating the scanner and
    supervising the patient will give instructions through an intercom
    when to hold one's breath and not move.
    As the exam takes place, the gantry will advance small intervals
    through the scanner. Modern "spiral" scanners can perform the
    examination in one continuous motion of the gantry. Generally,
    complete scans will only take a few minutes, however, additional
    contrast-enhanced or higher-resolution scans will add to the scan
    time. The newest multidetector scanners can image the entire body,
    head to toe, in less than 30 seconds.
    How to prepare for the test    [76]Return to top
    The patient may be asked to drink oral contrast either immediately
    prior to, or 4 to 6 hours before, the CT scan. The contrast may be
    composed of non-reactive (inert) chalky-tasting barium sulfate, which
    will eventually pass in the stools, or absorbable clear Gastrografin
    solution. The health care provider may also advise fasting (no solids
    or liquids) for 4 to 6 hours if contrast dye is to be used.
    The CT scanner has a weight limit to prevent damage to the mechanized
    gantry. Have the health care provider contact the scanner operator if
    you weigh more than 300 pounds.
    Since metal is very, very dense, the x-ray beam has difficulty passing
    through it and results in errors in the involved constructed slices
    (artifact). Therefore, the patient will be asked to remove jewelry and
    wear a hospital gown during the study.
    How the test will feel    [77]Return to top
    The x-rays are painless. The primary discomfort may be from the need
    to lie still on the table.
    If intravenous contrast dye is given, the patient may initially feel a
    slight burning sensation within the injected arm, a metallic taste in
    the mouth, and a warm flushing of the body. These sensations are
    normal and usually reside within a few seconds.
    Why the test is performed    
    CT provides rapid, detailed cross-sectional imaging of the patient
    which can then be reconstructed into three-dimensional models, as
    needed. Intravenous contrast enhanced scans allow for evaluation of
    vascular structures and further evaluation of masses and tumors.
    CT is often utilized in the trauma setting to evaluate the brain,
    chest, and abdomen. As well, CT can be used to guide interventional
    procedures, such as biopsies and placement of drainage tubes.
    What the risks are    
    CT scans and other x-rays are monitored and regulated to provide the
    minimum amount of radiation exposure needed to produce the image. CT
    scans provide low levels of ionizing radiation which has the potential
    to cause cancer and heritable defects. The risk associated with any
    individual scan is small; however, the risk increases as numerous
    additional studies are performed.
    During pregnancy, an [80]abdominal CT scan is usually not recommended,
    due to risk to the exposed fetus, including developmental
    malformations and childhood cancers. Patients who are or may be
    pregnant should speak with their health care provider in order to
    first take a pregnancy test or choose an appropriate alternative
    imaging modality without risk to the fetus, such as ultrasound.
    The most common intravenous contrast dye is iodine based. A person who
    is allergic to iodine (such as those with seafood allergies) may
    experience [81]nausea, [82]sneezing, [83]vomiting, [84]itching, or
    [85]hives. If contrast administration is essential for a patient with
    any of the prior reactions, the health care provider may choose to
    pre-medicate the patient before the scan with a short course of
    immune-suppressing steroids and/or Benadryl. Alternatively, other
    contrast media or other imaging modalities (such as ultrasound or MR)
    may be used.
    Rarely, the dye may cause [86]anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic
    response), usually manifested by swelling in the airway. The patient
    is instructed prior to the scan to notify the technologist via the
    intercom if he/she has difficulty breathing. If such a rare reaction
    does take place, the exam will be stopped, and the patient will be
    rapidly treated with special medication and closely monitored by a
    Iodine-based contrast is primarily filtered out of the bloodstream by
    the kidneys, and thus patients with diabetes or renal disease will
    require continuous hydration and close monitoring of kidney function.
    Diabetics on certain a glucose-lowering medication
    (glucophage/metformin) and renal dialysis patients should speak with
    their physician regarding stopping the medication, and the proper
    scheduling of the scan in conjunction with dialysis, respectively.
    Consent from the patient or designated guardian must be obtained prior
    to the use of intravenous contrast.
 Apparently the IV solution can also cause nausea, not just the barium.]
#147 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Oct 21 12:20:02 2003:
     [1] UT Southwestern Medical Center | [2]Zale Lipshy University
    Hospital | [3]Contact Us | [4]Location | [5]Site Map
    St. Paul University Hospital [tan.gif]
                  Search: [6]____________________ [7]Search
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    Clinical Centers 
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    CT Scan
    What is a CT Scan?
    A CT (Computed Tomography) scan, often called a CAT (Computed Axial
    Tomography) scan, is a painless examination that gives the physician
    an unobstructed, cross-sectioned look at organs and structures that
    cannot be seen clearly on conventional X-rays.
    How does CT scanner work?
    The CT scan combines a sophisticated X-ray system with a high-speed
    computer. The scanner obtains slices (blocks of image data that can be
    viewed on an end to end projection) of information that will assist
    the patient's physician in making a diagnosis and planning a
    treatment. This combination produces a picture of the body, allowing
    the physician to see tissue and bone structures in fine detail. The
    imaging procedure and the images are best described thinking of a loaf
    of bread. The entire loaf being the part of the body that is scanned.
    Anywhere in the loaf of bread a single slice can be picked out and
    looked at end to end.
    Why is CT important?
    CT offers a non-invasive way to obtain information about the patient's
    body that may otherwise not be as easily seen. It can lead to early
    detection and treatment of disease and pathology by a physician. CTs
    can make it possible to see various types of tissue and can provide
    important information about the brain, spine, joints and internal
    organs. The CT scan is a "window" into the body.
    What can I expect?
    When your physician refers you for a CT exam, it is important to talk
    to him/her about all of your questions or concerns. It is important to
    tell your doctor if there is any chance you could be pregnant or
    trying to get pregnant. You also need to inform your doctor if you are
    allergic to iodine or presently taking a medication for diabetes
    called glucophage. If abdominal imaging is planned, tell your doctor
    if and when a previous barium exam was done. A recent barium exam
    could interfere with a CT procedure.
    When you arrive, a technologist and or nurse will ask you certain
    questions pertaining to your medical history and explain your
    procedure. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and be
    given a secure place to store your clothing and valuables. Any metal
    or plastic objects will need to be removed before your scan.
 [Nobody asked questions, it was just a sheet of paper.  No hospital gown
 was needed. They just checked that I had no metal snaps or buttons or
 anything else metal. I wore loose knit cotton pants, and long-sleeve
 t-shirt that pushed up above my elbow for the IV, and Jim's sweater
 because mine would not push up far enough.  I had no valuables but Jim.
 I had no buttons either.]
    Some CT produces require two sets of scans. The first scan will be
    without IV contrast and the second scan will be with IV contrast. This
    is a normal CT technique that helps differentiate tissue types. The IV
    contrast is injected into a vein in your arm. For abdominal /pale CT
    procedures, you will also be asked to drink an oral contrast (liquid
    barium). The oral contrast will highlight and abnormal in your
    digestive tract.
 [This did the procedure twice for the abdominal scan, before and after
 injecting the iodine dye solution.  These people should have proofread.]
    Must I do anything to prepare for the exam?
    Yes. All contrast exams require that you do not eat or drink anything
    4 hours before the procedure. You can take your prescribed medicines
    if needed, under the direction of your physician. This can be
    discussed when your exam is scheduled.
 [6 hours, or 4 if you are diabetic.]
    What happens during the examination?
    In the scanner room, there is a patient table and a structure with a
    big round hole in the middle called a gantry. Before the scan, a
    technologist will assist you onto the scanning table. Depending on the
    type of CT exam being performed, you will be positioned either head of
    feet first and in your back or abdomen.
 [on not in, or not of.  I would not have needed assistance had I been able
 to use both arms, but the left one was not able to bend and it hurt.]
    When you are comfortable, the technologist conducting the examination
    will move the table into the gantry opening until you reach the first
    scan position. You will be given specific instruction about how to
    breath during the scan, depending on the type of scan you are having.
    At that point, all you have to do is relax and remain still while each
    scan is being taken.
 [And hold your arms stiff vertically for the whole procedure.  The machine
 had a recording telling me when to breathe.  You have to hold your breath
 so that your diaphragm does not move, spoiling the picture.]
    You can think of the CT scanner as a fancy X-ray machine. Other than a
    sound like a clothes dryer, you won't even notice when the system is
    on and taking pictures. Several scans are taken while the table is
    moving; when the table is moving it is allowing for a different scan
 [The machine makes noise when it is on.  When the noise stops you are
    How will I find out the results?
    When the exam is complete, you may leave the facility. If IV and or
    oral contrast was used, it will be necessary to drink additional
    liquids, preferably water, throughout the day of the examination to
    help eliminate the contrast from your system.
 [They never mentioned that I should drink anything so I did not drink
 anything for a few hours afterwards.  I should read up on tests before
 going to them.  I drank 1/2 glass of water at supper.]
    All procedures will be read by the Radiologist on staff after the scan
    is completed by the technologist.
    The final report will be available for your physician within 24-72
 [Read the same night, available in 2-3 days.]
    Last Updated October 1, 2002. Unauthorized reproduction of this
    material is strictly prohibited.
    Copyright 2002, St. Paul University Hospital
#148 klg(klg) on Tue Oct 21 12:32:47 2003:
 CT Scan (or other x-ray exam) Tip-
 If you need to disrobe for the procedure, you'll probably be given a 
 locker for your stuff.  However, it probably won't have a lock.  So, 
 unless you are accompanied by a relative/friend who can hold your 
 valuables it's a good idea to bring a padlock for the locker to 
 safeguard your possessions whilst in the procedure room.
#149 Scott Helmke(scott) on Tue Oct 21 12:41:14 2003:
 Depends on the facility, probably.  When I had my shoulder scanned a few years
 ago the UM hospital had lockers, with locks, and the locks used brass keys
 so you could bring it into the lab with you.
#150 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Tue Oct 21 12:57:54 2003:
 If all that is a CT scan, what is a CAT scan? (I had what was described
 above, with an IV contrast agent, for a renal examination. I think I
 had a CAT with a californium injection for a bilary inspection. The
 latter was detecting the radiation from the californium and the former
 was using x-rays from an  external source. Is that the substance of the
 differences, or is there more?)
#151 Christopher L Goosman(goose) on Tue Oct 21 13:15:37 2003:
 RE#145 -- It kind of tasted like warm yogurt, mixed with chalk.  Even thinking
 about it now induces a nausia...I really would have appreciated it if it were
 cold, but I drink cold things all the time.
#152 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Oct 21 15:47:49 2003:
 I think CT and CAT are the same thing - computed tomography and computer
 assisted tomography.  The former name is preferred now, at least that is what
 they call it at U of M hospital.  Maybe goose had the unflavored stuff.  My
 first time in July my urine smelled like the stuff I drank for 10 days
 afterwards but this time I don't notice any smell in it.  
 I had a MUGS exam in which they took some of my blood and added something
 radioactive to it and injected it back.  I don't know the details as I was
 half asleep at the time.  It was done by Nuclear Medicine dept.
#153 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Oct 21 15:50:57 2003:
 CAT - computed axial tomography.  I could not find MUGS so perhaps I got the
 term wrong (unless you want a mug from a company called nuclear).  MUGA?
#154 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Oct 21 15:59:39 2003:
 The MUGA scan
    The MUGA scan (MUltiple Gated Acquisition scan) is an extremely useful
    noninvasive tool for assessing the function of the heart. The MUGA
    scan produces a moving image of the beating heart, and from this image
    several important features can be determined about the health of the
    cardiac ventricles (the heart's major pumping chambers).
 How is the MUGA scan performed?
    A MUGA scan is performed by attaching a radioactive substance,
    Technetium 99, to red blood cells, then injecting the red blood cells
    into the patient's bloodstream. The patient is then placed under a
    special camera (a gamma camera), which is able to detect the low-level
    radiation being given off by the Technetium-labelled red cells. (The
    level of radiation to which a patient is exposed during a MUGA scan is
    felt by experts to be minimal - it is in the same general range as the
    level of radiation received with a chest x-ray.) Since the red blood
    cells (including those that are radio-labelled) fill the cardiac
    chambers, the image produced by the gamma camera is essentially an
    outline of those chambers. With some fancy computer manipulation, the
    the final product is a movie of the heart beating.
 What can be learned from the MUGA scan?
    Several important features of cardiac function can be measured from
    the MUGA scan. If a patient has had a heart attack, or any other
    disease that affects the heart muscle, the MUGA scan can localize the
    portion of the heart muscle that has sustained damage, and can assess
    the degree of damage. But more importantly, the MUGA scan gives an
    accurate and reproducible means of measuring and monitoring the
    ejection fraction of the cardiac ventricles.
    The left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) is an excellent, and the
    most commonly used, measure of overall cardiac function. The ejection
    fraction is simply the proportion of blood that is expelled from the
    ventricle with each heart beat. So, for instance, if the left
    ventricle ejects 60% of its blood volume with each beat, the LVEF is
    0.6. (A normal LVEF is 0.5 or greater.)
 [Here is why they did this scan on me.  Adriamycin is what is causing my
 laryngitis.  They only did the MUGA once while I was in the hospital,
 after the first chemotherapy.  I was wondering about the purpose of it.
 Nice to know my heart is okay, even though my pulse still goes way up when
 I bend over.]
    A common clinical situation in which repeated MUGA scans are useful is
    in following a patient's cardiac function during the delivery of
    chemotherapy for cancer. Some chemotherapeutic agents (adriamycin
    being the most notable) can be quite toxic to the heart muscle. By
    measuring the MUGA ejection fraction periodically during chemotherapy,
    oncologists can determine, on an ongoing basis, whether it is safe to
    continue with the therapy, or whether certain medications need to be
    stopped. The MUGA scan is accurate and reproducible enough to detect
    subtle, early changes in cardiac function that might easily be missed
    by other techniques. It is a highly effective, noninvasive means of
    monitoring one of the worst side effects of chemotherapy, and allowing
    that therapy to be delivered more safely and effectively than would
    otherwise be possible.
     ~ [76]Richard N. Fogoros
 I am starting to find out what other tests were done in the hospital as the
 bills come in.  I think they checked my lymphoma cells to make sure they were
 displaying the correct antigen before treating with Rituxan.
#155 klg(klg) on Tue Oct 21 21:50:44 2003:
 Are u gettin a PET?
#156 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Oct 22 09:48:11 2003:
 klg: No PET that I know of.  Did you get one and if so why?
 My good news for this week:
 Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 09:07:07 -0400
 Subject: Re: CT scan
 Your CAT scan shows a very nice response.
 Enlarged lymph nodes previously seen in the chest have resolved.  In
 the abdomen the lymph nodes have also pretty much resolved and the
 spleen has returned to near normal size.
 Looks good!
 >>> Sindi Keesan  10/21/03 12:04PM >>>
 Please can you let me know the results when you get them today or
 tomorrow.  The scan was Monday evening.
 Sindi Keesan
 Sounds like I still have some abnormal lymphocytes (tumor cells) but less
 of them in fewer places.  Hopefully the next three treatments will shrink
 everything back to normal size.  I wonder why the Rituxan does not get all
 the cells on first exposure.  The other drugs only get cells while they
 are dividing, which they must not do every day.
 Yesterday's walk was around the neighborhood.  It was too close to rush
 hour to cross the main streets but today we might try to get across
 Liberty for a walk.  Just a block down Jim's street he nearly stepped on a
 large garter snake on the sidewalk adjacent to the yard where they do a
 burn every year and plant prairie vegetation.
 The hand where they put the IV last treatment has finally stopped hurting
 again.  It started to hurt again  about the 10th day of the cycle, maybe
 from scars forming?  I asked the CT nurse to spare my hand as I needed it
 for infusion.  Anyone know why the infusion people insist on using hands?
 (It is more convenient as I can keep my shirt rolled down to stay warmer.)
#157 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Oct 22 11:35:25 2003:
 Now that I have been pronounced okay (moving in the right direction) Jim
 accepted a couple of translations for me this morning.  I still have the
 problem of pain in the sit bones if I try to work for long, but my brain seems
 to have recovered at least.  The shaky hands are less shaky while typing but
 I still make more mistakes.  The first job is something interesting about a
 gadget to help heal broken bones, which I hope I never need to use.  It is
 not clear from the drawing or the text whether something is a plate or a strap
 - maybe Jim can figure it out from the other drawing.  Got to get to my
 apartment somehow for a better dictionary.
#158 Todd(tod) on Wed Oct 22 11:41:28 2003:
#159 is the place to be!(jiffer) on Wed Oct 22 18:43:03 2003:
 A lot of cells go through a "lag" period before starting the "log" period
 (division), so you may not always catch cells via their method of
 reproduction.  You are also dealing with "immortal" cells (which cancer cells
 are).  I should research how Rituxan is supposed to attack these cells.  It
 is difficult to attack eukarotic cells that are attacking the body because
 you are made up of eukarotic cells, bacteria (prokarotic cells) are much
 easier to deal with.
#160 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Oct 22 19:59:41 2003:
 Re 158 - Russian.
 Re 159 - the body is set up to attack abnormal body cells because they put
 out a sort of distress signal in the form of a protein on the surface which
 Rituxan helps the body to recognize by binding to it.  Some cancer cells
 probably stop making this signal - I hope I don't have any of those.
 Anyone know how often cancer cells reproduce and how long the drugs are in
 Today's exercise was a car ride downtown and some walks around the bank and
 farmer's market.  We ran into friends twice, one of whom had gone to Croatia
 for tests when she got sick because one test here costs more than a bunch of
 tests there and airfare both ways.  One farmer told me about her sister who
 died of cancer in her nose, but only after 18 years of treatments.  We then
 visited a friend who isolated me in a room behind a glass door.  His resident
 child and her two friends kept coming by to wave at me.  They know all about
 white blood cells because they studied AIDS in elementary school.  
 I had better get back to translating before the next one arrives.  There is
 a sideways view of the thing that is either a strap or a cover plate and it
 could still be either one.  
 The funny taste that I notice when I eat fruit was also there when I tasted
 a tootsie roll at the bank (Jim ate it for me) so maybe it is the sugar in
 the fruit that is tasting sort of sour.  Odd.  Water also tastes funny.
 We have two buckets of grapes to clean and juice after this translation.  Lots
 to accomplish before Monday when I am out for a week again.  Another apple
 tree to pick Saturday when they have scheduled warmer weather again.  Are
 there any stores near Briarwood that sell cheap writeable CDs?  A friend will
 trade us a working CD writer (probably antique) for a package of them.
 It is such a pleasure not having to take any pills or gargles for a whole
 week.  Or move over 12" every time I roll over on the new 3' wide mattress
 pad.  We stopped for a receipt for the first one (I must have lost mine) and
 got a tour of the future Sleep Shop next to the birkenstock store - bare walls
 and a just-sanded floor that will unfortunately need to be covered.  Grand
 opening Dec. 5 (just before my last session).   
#161 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct 23 09:39:36 2003:
 Today I can taste the cider and my finger has stopped bleeding next to the
 nail.  I have 5 fingers and a thumb with shredded skin or healed bleeding,
 one of which was bleeding just last night.  And the big news is I slept 8
 hours only waking once in the middle (which probably means I am not forcing
 enough fluids but it is nice to sleep more than 2 hours at a time).
 My doctor friend sent me a copy of the actual CT scan report, which says that
 ALL my lymph nodes are back to normal size.  The formerly huge masses in the
 spleen are greatly shrunken.  The fluid is gone from around my right lung but
 it is still there around my left lung and is consolidating (which is not
 good).  I also still have sore ribs due to pleural effusion on the left side.
 My friend listened to my lungs by tapping on them while I breathed in, and
 you could hear the difference in pitch between them.
#162 klg(klg) on Thu Oct 23 12:06:32 2003:
 I was so whacked out by the chemo I used to sleep 12 hrs at a stretch.  
 (Still woke up tired, tho)
#163 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct 23 12:37:17 2003:
 During what part of the cycle?  The first week the prednisone keeps me from
 sleeping more than 3 hours at night.  Were you as bony as I am?
 I am still getting hot every once in a while, which I don't think I found as
 a side effect of any of the drugs.  Perhaps this is hot flashes due to my
 period stopping in July when I lost weight down to 103.   It is distinct from
 the night sweats I had in July which were caused by the tumor, where I was
 sweating all night without even any blankets or top sheets, in just a t-shirt,
 at 78 degrees.  Those stopped with therapy.  But I have to take off blankets
 or clothing once in a while for a couple of minutes to cool off, then I get
 cold and put it all back.  It is still 65 degrees in Jim's house and I am
 wearing a thin wool sweater, wool vest, and fuzzy bathrobe, with cotton long
 underwear and thin wool socks and wool cap.  I wore a wool sweater at 73
 degrees.  Still no body fat - I wonder where the 12 pounds went.
 Back to looking up the structure of a thigh bone for my translation.  Boy am
 I glad I don't need to fix any broken bones.
#164 klg(klg) on Thu Oct 23 12:44:46 2003:
 all during the cycle, from about December - March
 thin, but not bony
 never had any of the classic lymphoma symptoms
#165 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct 23 12:48:50 2003:
 Did you find that you were sleeping more after the last few therapy sessions?
 I slept a lot during the day during the first session (2-3 naps) and have
 needed to nap during the first two weeks of this session, but don't sleep more
 than 8 hours at night.
#166 klg(klg) on Thu Oct 23 12:53:54 2003:
#167 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct 23 15:12:41 2003:
 Today we walked across Liberty and then back, and around some new areas.  We
 found a rose tree with large fruits which Jim sampled, and nearby a large
 paper wasp nest high in a tree.  Still no frost.
 Jim says he is getting out of shape as I get into shape because he is not
 biking many places, or working on the house.  These short slow walks with me
 are not exercise for him.  He wants to go dig up the yard (burdocks).  First
 he is looking over my translation to help figure out if things are slots or
 notches (I apparently have both), explaining the use of a cam, and pointing
 out that the drawing of the gadget is missing a few lines and could not
 possibly work as drawn.  I finally sent the insurance company receipts for
 the mattress toppers (but forgot to include a copy of the prescription).
#168 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct 23 17:18:35 2003:
 Jim helped me turn a socket fork wrench into a spanner wrench and then went
 to bed complaining he felt sick.  I feel fine and am about to start a second
 translation, also medical.  Finally sent off two receipts and a prescription
 for mattress toppers.
 We discovered that if someone sends something on the superfine setting to a
 fax machine without this setting it reverts to standard setting.  You learn
 something every day.  So we plugged in another 'broken' machine from the same
 friend that does superfine.  He did not want it back after Jim got it going.
 I am back on vacation starting Monday.  If anyone wants to visit do it before
#169 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct 23 22:40:06 2003:
 Jim's brother the radiologist tells me that lymph cells divide as often as
 once a week and that it would take 20 weeks for one abnormal cell to grow to
 a 1 cm tumor.  In July I had a mass (tumor) in the spleen 8 x 13 cm which is
 now down to 4 x 5 cm, implying that the tumors started at least 6 months
 before that CT scan was done, back in the winter or before that.  He says good
 CT scan results are necessary if a cure will be possible.  What is a cure?
 5 cm is 2 inches.  When this was larger I did not feel like I had much space
 in my stomach.  The spleen lies on top of the stomach (from the front view).
 Jim and I have been trying to make sense of a translation where they kept
 changing what was 'down' or 'under' depending on the viewpoint.
#170 Cadet Eugene Tackleberry(tod) on Fri Oct 24 16:12:55 2003:
#171 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Oct 24 17:56:56 2003:
 I was wondering if a cure was lack of tumor cells or lack of symptoms.
 Today Jim wore a pedometer when we walked to the Chinese buffet west of
 Stadium Blvd.  3/4 mile there, 1.9 miles total including walking around in
 the restaurant and to the library.  I could probably make it the mile to Main
 St. but might have trouble coming back, plus there is nothing much to do on
 Main St. and the library and market are still further away.  Next cycle?
 There are irregular quarter-sized black spots with white borders on many of
 the Norway maple leaves again this year.  Some fungus?  Jim sampled the red
 sumac flowers and says they taste lemony.  We said hello to a neighbor on his
 street whose husband died of liver cancer 12 years ago tomorrow.
 Jim sorted half the grapes (removed stalks, moldy ones, and beetles).  
 I may try turning the handle of the squeezo juicer for arm exercise.  I was
 able to crack my own fresh pistachio nuts (in the husk) using both hands.
 I have been doing occasional vertical pushups against the wall or door,
 and leg lifts.  I tire quickly (and get bored too).  But I no longer get
 exhausted just trying to sit up in a chair.  It gets easier.
#172 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Oct 24 21:13:22 2003:
 I just did some more online research.  Rituximab targets not just cancerous
 B-lymphoma cells but regular ones as well, if they have CD20 marker, which
 over 90% of lymph cells have.  I think they tested my abnormal cells to make
 sure they had CD20.  So this explains why my blood lymphocyte count (which
 is small and medium lymphocytes, while the tumor cells and other lymph cells
 in my lymph system are large-cell lymphocytes) is continuing to be slightly
 low.  It will take 9-12 months after therapy for my lymphocytes to recover,
 meaning I am more susceptible to infections until then.  
 There are two types of lymphoma - indolent or slow growing or follicular is
 the first, and often they don't treat that until the symptoms become a
 problem, and what I have is called aggressive or diffuse which grows faster
 and can be fatal in six months if untreated.  (I would have either starved
 to death or stopped breathing due to fluid around the lungs.)  But the latter
 is potentially curable and chances are up to 90% if I make it for two years
 without any 'events' (recurrence of symptoms?).  My chances of making it
 event-free for two years are higher with the Rituxan (57%).  Two year survival
 is 70% on average but higher for me since I had a good CT scan.  It sounds
 like 'cure' means all the tumor cells are killed.  These statistics are for
 people over 60 and my chances are higher since I am somewhat younger.
 If there is a recurrence of symptoms then they treat you again, often with
 different chemicals than before, and your chances of being around five years
 afterwards are not so good.  My mother made it about 3 years after the first
 treatment and 2  or less after the second, with just radiation for brain
 cancer (which I think cannot be treated with chemotherapy due to the
 blood-brain barrier but I am not sure.)
 I guess I will know more after 3 more treatments.
 I fell asleep in the early evening again yesterday and today.  I wonder what
 causes the fatigue.  My hemoglobin is back to normal, that can't be it.
 Tumors cause loss of 'lean body mass' (muscle).  I am back up to 107 or 108,
 same as in April when I had plenty of muscle, but I still don't have much
 muscle.  I cannot figure out where the weight is going.  Maybe internal
 muscles?  Internal fat?
#173 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Oct 24 21:57:04 2003:
 I checked my blood counts and my lymphocyte count is within normal range at
 the end of each cycle:  absolute count is 1.1 and normal is 0.8-5.0.  So I
 am low normal already and therefore will not need 6-9 months to return to
 normal.  The other counts are also low normal but monocytes (neutrophil
 precursors) and neutrophils (fight off infections) were normal-normal.
#174 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Oct 25 11:15:11 2003:
 I forgot there are two types of lymphocyte and I probably have plenty of
 T-cells and not many B-cells.  The counts do not distinguish.
 I just got an encouraging e-mail from the author of some DOS software that
 I use, who went through two years of hormone therapy for prostate cancer and
 said he had male menopause - hot flashes, emotional instability, etc.  I am
 still getting hot flashes (having to take off a layer for a few minutes every
 hour or so).  What other symptoms are expected from menopause?  I don't think
 I have any of them so maybe the hot flashes are related to the drugs?  I did
 not have them before chemotherapy and I think it has been only a few weeks.
 Apparently each type of cancer is treated differently.  
#175 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Oct 25 19:34:07 2003:
 We had a nice visit with polygon and Sarah.  Sarah drew us a rainbow and some
 poems (which only she could read) and enjoyed Jim's collection of assorted
 toys, shells, feathers etc.  Larry tried a pawpaw and we discussed fruiting
 trees and life in general.  He will bring over a computer for Jim to fix.
 Jim was supposed to fix a floor lamp but it insisted on working on arrival.
 In the middle of the visit we got a phone call from another grexer who just
 gave us two computers and had a third, which Jim biked over to pick up.  Sarah
 would like to use it for email but she can't read many words yet.  Next year?
#176 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Oct 26 12:21:10 2003:
 In addition to reducing swelling, prednisone suppresses the immune response
 which includes keeping lymphocytes from replicating as fast, which is why they
 give it to cancer patients with lymphona or leukemia.  Says Jim's brother the
 radiologist, who also explained why I am getting so many different drugs -
 each lymphocyte reacts differently to each drug (some probably developed
 resistance to one or more of them).  I will ask tomorrow if I can reduce the
 dose and still get the desired effect.
#177 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Oct 26 20:03:26 2003:
 We took advantage of the dry weather on my last 'normal' day to check out the
 parking lot apples that we usually pick last day of October.  Most of the good
 yellow ones must have been early as they were gone.  We got some small red
 apples off two trees and some sour green ones.  Jim picked while I stayed in
 the car out of the wind.  Then he wanted to check CD-R prices so we went to
 Sam's and Meijer's and also a new Chinese Foodland store on the way, which
 had green mung bean noodles, and jujubes, and taro root, haw candy, preserved
 duck eggs, shrimp chips and squid chips (to impress his sister with at
 Christmas  - she liked the duck eggs last time despite the brown whites and
 blue yolks).  He got parts to fix the vacuum cleaner that our friend ordered
 and that we found on yesterday's walk at the curb (needed a new belt and
 bags).  I got my exercise walking from one end of Meijer's to the other.
 A friend writes that her father in law has leukemia, which is much harder to
 cure and he is also 78.  I keep feeling lucky.
 What is a good price for CD-R's?  Is there some way to use driverguide with
 lynx?  You need to copy some code number and in lynx it looks like  2D&3F&....
 not a code number that they would want.  Jim  is trying to get an Aztech
 winmodem working.
 I have to go order supper now and pack for tomorrow's therapy session.  They
 provide radios with CD players to each chair and we have CDs from krj.
#178 Tim P. Ryan(tpryan) on Sun Oct 26 21:55:21 2003:
 	Common retail prices include $12.99 for a spindle of 30, and
 $19.99 for a spindle of 50.  I wait for no-rebate sales to get the
 spindle of 50 for $12 (sometimes Target) or $9.99.  I got a price
 check to get the spindle of 100 at Office Max for $14.99.
#179 Dave Lovelace(davel) on Mon Oct 27 09:36:35 2003:
 But for quite a while it was pretty common to see ads (office supply stores,
 etc.) for them at about those prices, but with a mail-in rebate for the entire
 amount.  I haven't seen one of these for a few months now, but I got both CDs
 & jewel cases almost free through these.  (free less tax & cost of mailing
 in, also inconvenience of copying/mailing and waiting for refund)
#180 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Oct 27 10:41:21 2003:
 Thanks to all, and we may check Target.  Sam's was $13/50 plus 10% and $23/100
 plus 10%.
 Today I got two emails both Nigeria spam. The author of one of them said he
 selected my name by praying over the names.  I have three other people also
 praying for me:  a translator who needed my Hebrew name for the prayer, a
 dairy farmer friend that we met in 1991 while biking who is Protestant, and
 now Jim's Catholic sister.  I told them to go ahead and pray if it made them
 feel better.
 Yesterday I got an email from a high school friend, whose father in law age
 78 was just diagnosed with acute leukemia. A phone call from a friend who
 offered to fetch me food and library books and has a friend with cancer.  A
 phone call from my aunt who keeps calling on the rare occasions when I am not
 there in the evening.  Her daughter died of Hodgkin's lymphoma at age 30 in
 about 1985, and her husband of prostate cancer shortly after that.  She tells
 me how lucky she is to have such good sons.  A phone call from Jim's sister
 who says his nephew still has tongue cancer.  His father the radiologist has
 been explaining to me how prednisone etc. work.  There must be someone
 somewhere who does not have a friend or relative with cancer.
 On the way to pick apples we stopped and got figs at the Produce Station and
 discovered that my former neighbor across the street sells bread there.  She
 and her partner wondered why they had not seen us since July before they
 moved.  They will bring over some home canned produce from their garden,
 canned with a pressure canner we gave them after we decided canning was not
 worth the bother since we have a dryer and three freezers.  
 Got to pack up the mortar and pestle (took three tries to type that one) and
 applesauce for the seven pills, lunch, CDs and books, maybe a blanket as I
 seem to have some virus that makes me cold, and go give blood etc. before the
 fourth infusion this afternoon.  
#181 klg(klg) on Mon Oct 27 13:05:54 2003:
 For the Hebrew prayer for healing of the sick, the "Hebrew name" 
 generally consists of the sick person's Hebrew name and that of his/her 
#182 Christopher L Goosman(goose) on Mon Oct 27 15:20:43 2003:
 I hope you don't mind that I've prayed for you Sindi, not to make me feel
 better however, but to make you feel and get better.
#183 Cadet Eugene Tackleberry(tod) on Mon Oct 27 15:27:10 2003:
#184 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Oct 27 21:37:59 2003:
 I feel better to know that people are doing what they think will help me, even
 though I am not religious myself.  All this support is wonderful.  And I am
 definitely getting better.
 Today was the fourth infusion.  I had hoped to sleep an extra hour but woke
 up on daylight savings garbage truck time at 6:30 am.  We packed up bread and
 apples and a mortar and pestle for the premedication pills, got blood drawn
 (painlessly this time), and waited from 12:00 to nearly 3:00 for the 12:30
 doctor's appointment.
 Not-so-good news:  I need to have four CT scans/year for 2 years, then 2 for
 3 years, and then 1 for a few years as checkups to make sure treatment was
 succesfull with no regressions.  Ouch, and it will be expensive (up to
 $6500/year at $2500 per scan plus doctor's visits but I only pay the
 deductible of $6500).  Which means about 20 more IVs and 20 32-oz barium
 suspensions to drink.
 Things that went wrong today:  The infusion nurse, though I told her the last
 three attempts to put IVs in my lower arm all had to be redone, tried again,
 and had to take it out.  She could then not use that same hand so had to put
 the next one in my right hand.  It was medium tolerable for the 4.5 hours and
 I made a mess eating left-handed.  
 Then Jim found a flat tire as we were about to leave.  He put more air in.
 We got back okay.
 Things that went right.  The doctor says my CT scan results were amazingly
 good, so good that the radiologist phoned to let him know.  No enlarged lymph
 nodes, and the residnal masses might not be cancerous, just voids or scar
 tissues.  If they don't enlarge (or if they srhink more) we can ignore them.
 Good early results increase chances of a cure.
 The funny taste (acidic, metallic) is from some drug.
 The laryngitis might be due to nerve damage from the Vincristine, which is
 also making my hands numb, so he cut that does in half and will send me to
 an ENT specialist.
 The chemicals should be out of my body in 1-2 days so I don't have to drink
 large amounts of water after that.  
 If lymphocytes replicate once in 7 days, each treatment will only catch a
 fraction of them, but the Rituxan should tag them all.
 Someone else came in for interferon, a 5 minute procedure.  My neighbor on
 the other side was getting 20 min of donorubicin ? for Leukemia, four days
 in a row every week for a few weeks, then after a month and some tests they
 give her pills.  Last time she had those pills all her skin peeled off and
 she had a fever.  She lost 25 pounds, is still chubby, but was advised to
 regain the weight.  She cannot understand why.  She also still has trouble
 with stairs after a month in the hospital.
 Everyone I talk to has some different diagnosis. 
 Klg, exactly what were they treating you for?
 One patient, age 90, has to come every day three weeks out of four for
 treatment of incurable skin cancer.
 I played some of the CDs that krj made me on their player with my headphones,
 to help mask the TV noise on both sides.  I was going to read a good book on
 that Jim rounded up.
#185 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Oct 28 10:56:48 2003:
 Something got lost in the typing of the last paragraph to the effect that it
 is hard to concentrate on serious reading (the book was a scientific study
 of the harmful effects of genetic engineering) when your hand aches so I
 looked at a bunch of pointless magazines that Jim borrowed from various
 waiting rooms and attempted to talk to my neighbors but my voice was too weak.
 I just realized that, unlike the previous CT scan when they fed me artificial
 banana flavored barium drink, this time it was artificial fruit flavor and
 the smell is NOT coming out in my urine and sweat for ten days.  I am really
 sick of banana flavor but have to use it again next weekend for the thrush.
 So I don't have to look forward to 5+ years of stinking for ten days at a
 I was having hot flashes for the past two weeks, about one every hour, but
 chemo seems to have eliminated this.  I noticed this last cycle, too. 
 Prednisone (decadron yesterday) might be responsible as it is hormonal, but
 it also eliminates the ability to sleep.  Got to take the first one in half
 an hour.  The third pill before the traditional chemo drugs was Ativan, which
 is normally given for antianxiety but also is anti-nausea, like the two Kytril
 pills (at $73).  Still no nause.  I can remember most occasions in my life
 when I was nauseous and it was never from drugs - I had altitude sickness
 twice (Colorado and a Bulgarian post office across the street from a clinic
 that treatment me for free), heat or sunstroke in Ann Arbor, flu but not for
 many years, when  cigar walked by me in an airport after 10 hours in a plane
 where smoking was allowed (I threw up into a large ashtray).
 What makes other people nauseous?
#186 Dave Lovelace(davel) on Tue Oct 28 10:57:16 2003:
 What goose said: I also pray for you, Sindi.
#187 klg(klg) on Tue Oct 28 12:43:03 2003:
 Medialstinal non-hodgkins lymphoma
 Wow.  A lot more CTs than my drs are ordering.
 My drs. & txs are a lot more prompt.
#188 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Oct 28 16:13:25 2003:
 Can you tell us something about mediastinal lymphoma, which I have not even
 heard of before?  Perhaps it grows slower than what I have, which I am told
 can double every week, which is why they would want to check more often.
 THanks to everyone for good wishes of any form, including prayer.
 Today I still have the muscle strength to walk 1.5 miles to the library and
 back.  Sort of dreary and drizzly out so we did not spend much time admiring
 the trees.  The wet leaves on sidewalks are pretty.  Jim will be busy making
 me low-sodium high-fiber meals for the next week (and he still has not juiced
 the grapes, having become distracted by three new computers with bad software
 on them.)  We found two possible winmodem drivers at the library and looked
 at his daughter's website complete with falling hearts (flash macromedia) that
 interfere with reading the text.  She has links to lots of hotels and B&Bs
 in Newcastle Ireland, and offers wedding attendees a vegetarian menu.  Jim
 checked off Not coming and Vegetarian Menu at the RSVP page.
 If we can finish building the house in two years, then I can go on a vacation
 of up to 6 months between checkups.  Wishful thinking.  The second checkup
 each year would be in July.  I have an uncle who spends winters in Jamaica.
#189 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Oct 29 10:45:30 2003:
 I have been chilled (temperature 96) since the weekend - is this some new
 virus going around?  Together with the prednisone (which kept me going to the
 toilet every half hour from about 10:30 to 2:30 am) this kept me awake until
 around dawn.  I think I fell asleep at 7:00 which gave me almost two hours
 sleep before the neighbors' cars in the driveway woke me.  Good thing I don't
 need to concentrate between now and Sunday.  Next prednisone in 20 minutes
 (with food) since I took the prilosec 40 min ago, then an hour's nap before
 it takes effect again.  I can stop drinking so much this evening - 48 hours
 after infusion.
 Jim wants to try making tapioca from the pear juice.  The nasty tasting pills
 taste a lot less bitter in pear sauce than in apple sauce.  I wonder why.
 I am up to 111 pounds on one scale and 109.5 on two others, of which 5 must
 be fluid retention.  It goes back down by morning.
 We have not yet made grape juice because the kind grexer who gave Jim one
 computer a day for three days just gave him three more while I was taking a
 bath last night.  
 Yesterday I got another hospital bill for $138 for Jim's lab tests.  Turns
 out the doctor's accounting person never did send in the correct code numbers
 for preventive (wellness) instead of diagnostic and PPOM won't pay anything.
 She says she talked to the hospital and they told her it was going towards
 the deductible.  I tried, very slowly, to explain that our policies allow up
 to $400 for preventive care (of which PPOM pays 80% and we pay 20%) if she
 would only bill it as preventive and she refused to do so and said I was
 taking up too much of her time.  I pointed out that she was at least getting
 paid for her time and I had wasted at least 10 hours trying to deal with at
 least three different billing errors already.  She said to have the insurance
 company phone her and I should never phone again and she hung up on me.  I
 am thinking of writing PPOM suggesting that they drop this doctor from their
 list as they cannot follow the rules.  I will call the insurance company again
 today to find out what happened.  And maybe PPOM as well.
 I had explained the insurance policy before we ever made an appointment.
#190 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Oct 29 12:59:38 2003:
 My pulse was down to 70 when they measured it Monday.  This is good.
 But it still goes over 100 when I go out walking.
 I think we can trade our 40G drive and 17" monitor for all these computers
 that Jim keeps receiving.  Nice to find a home for them.
#191 Cadet Eugene Tackleberry(tod) on Wed Oct 29 13:00:50 2003:
#192 is the place to be!(jiffer) on Wed Oct 29 13:10:39 2003:
 This may sound cruel, but you can also report that physician's office 
 to the insurance company as incorrectly coding.  This may instigate an 
 audit.  Which billing companies hate. 
#193 is the place to be!(jiffer) on Wed Oct 29 13:13:52 2003:
 Liscenced practical nurse, they are the peons of RNs
 On the tier of nurses:
 CNA - certified nurse assistant
 LPN - liscenced practical nurse
 RN - Registered Nurse
 CRN(insert speciality) - Certified Registered Nurse of (Speciality)
             These include specialities in Anesthesia, Physician 
 Assistance, Pediatrics, Neonatal, Midwife, etc.
#194 Cadet Eugene Tackleberry(tod) on Wed Oct 29 13:19:47 2003:
#195 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Oct 29 16:14:41 2003:
 The doctor's accountant specifically told me she wanted me to call the
 insurance company, tell them what happened, and have them call her.  I told
 her I had hoped we could get things fixed without making trouble for her
 doctor with the insurance company.  This could results in PPOM dropping them
 as there have been 3 or 4 things wrong with the bill already.  It appears that
 I am the only patient who ever got to them with PPOM insurance anyway.  What
 bothers me most is that the accounting person refuses to accept any
 responsibility for making mistakes or to fix them.  Hanging up on a problem
 is not going to make it go away.
 Jim bought 50 CD-R's for $16 including about $1 tax and gave them to a
 neighbor who has been making us CDs and is trying to find an old CD-R drive
 that he has somewhere.  Are all ages of CD writers suitable for copying music
 Jim is busy making chickpea flour pancakes for lunch (cheese is too salty)
 and cauliflower soup with Chinese dried vegetables - lily flowers, shelf
 fungus, shiitake - and green mung been noodles.  This weekend I switch from
 low sodium to things that don't need any chewing for a few days.  Meaning we
 cook the apples.
#196 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Oct 29 19:06:32 2003:
 Around 6:30 we set out for a walk before it got pitch dark.  Stopped to talk
 to a neighbor.  At the first corner Jim complained of his knee hurting and
 said he had been falling asleep all day.  I had a sort of cramp-like feeling
 in one calf yesterday and in both thighs today (muscle weakness from
 prednisone most likely) but could have kept going, but we came back for Jim.
 He went to sleep.  We seem to have some virus again.  I keep catching viruses
 from Jim.  My immune system may be doing better than his, or at least he is
 running around more getting exposed to things.  He biked to Comp USA today.
 The grapes are still not juiced.  Friday will be two weeks from picking.
#197 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Oct 29 19:21:49 2003:
 I did some web reading on hot flashes.  Chemotherapy can kill enough ovarian
 cells to produce permanent menopause.  Also tamoxifen given as a sort of
 chemotherapy for breast cancer can cause hot flashes by blocking the effect
 of estrogen.  Hot flashes usually last 2-3 years and occur at least twice a
 day.  They can be brought on by activities such as eating, exercise, or
 sleeping under a blanket.  They are often accompanied by headache and nausea
 (again I am lucky in this respect).  Some people treat them with chamomile
 tea.  Soy protein can also help.  There is a new drug venflaxine which is
 nonhormonal but causes loss of appetite and nausea.  Tamoxifen causes weight
 gain.  Hot flashes can last seconds to minutes.
 I fix the problem by removing a layer of clothing or all the blankets for a
 few minutes.  So many other things are keeping me awake that I would not
 notice if the hot flashes contributed to the problem but when I wake up
 (sometimes as infrequently as every 2 hours) I am usually hot.  For the last
 four days I have been chilled instead - some virus.  
 This is distinct from elevated temperatures due to the body fighting off an
 infection (which I think includes the night sweats characteristic of cancer).
 These last all day.
 I have been sneezing today and hope that my virus will be at the runny nose
 stage before my immune system conks out this weekend.
#198 Cadet Eugene Tackleberry(tod) on Wed Oct 29 19:28:10 2003:
#199 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Oct 29 21:36:10 2003:
 I think the ovarian cells produce eggs.  Dorland's medical dictionary:
 hysterectomy - excision of the uterus (womb).  Not having had one I can't tell
 you any more about it.  Ovaries also produce estrogen.  Anyone know more?
 Back to gargling salt and soda for the next 10 days or so.  My tongue is
 starting to feel a bit numb as the cells on its surface stop replicating.
 So far this week things have not tasted funny at least.  They will start to
 do so again in a couple of days.  It is harder to gain weight when things
 taste funny (and when you cannot safely chop things or approach a hot pan or
 burner).  At least I am still hungry.
#200 Joe(gelinas) on Wed Oct 29 22:47:07 2003:
 (My understanding is that hysterectomies often (always?) include removing the
 ovaries and Fallopian tubes.)
#201 Glenda F. Andre(glenda) on Wed Oct 29 23:39:39 2003:
 Nope, they don't.  Some Drs will remove the ovaries with the uterus as a
 precautionary measure against ovarian cancer later.  They are often left to
 reduce the amount of hormone replacement therapy needed, depending on the
 woman's age, etc.
 My mother and all three sisters had hysts.  One sister had the ovaries
 removed, the rest didn't.  She was in her mid 40s when hers was done, Mom and
 the other girls were younger.
#202 Joe(gelinas) on Wed Oct 29 23:41:53 2003:
 Thanks, Glenda. :)
#203 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct 30 07:47:10 2003:
 What was the purpose of the hysterectomies, if it is not a secret?
 I got around four hours sleep, a vast improvement.  Woke up hungry.  I have
 been trying to keep drinking all night but still have hard stools probably
 by now from the prednisone not the chemotherapy drugs.  Since the drugs
 prevent my gastrointestinal lining from replicating much this hurts but things
 will improve in a few days (some things, anyway).  
#204 is the place to be!(jiffer) on Thu Oct 30 10:54:11 2003:
 Hysterectomies - or the removal of the uterus (and/or fallopian tubes 
 and ovaries) maybe removed for a variety of reasons. Cancer, chronic 
 scarring, prolapse, excessive and/or uncontrolled bleeding, and the 
 list goes on.  Just depends on what is going on, most are scheduled, in 
 the younger patients, they usually are done under emergancy situations.
 Sounds like that billing person is a rude witch with a "b". I do 
 medical billing, and I will apologize if we or the physician makes a 
#205 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct 30 13:48:33 2003:
 I called the insurance company again today and they called the doctor's office
 again and told me that the accounting person has resubmitted the bill with
 the proper coding.
 When I make mistakes I apologize and try harder (and fix them).
 This was three mistakes already from the same doctor's office.  The first only
 cost me $7 so I just paid it.  The second cost me a few hours on the phone
 calling two hospitals.  The accounting person complained that this was taking
 up HER time.  She hung up when I pointed out that she was at least being paid
 for her time.  The doctor was nice.
 I got another hour of sleep in the morning.  Jim finally juiced the grapes.
#206 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Thu Oct 30 14:27:35 2003:
 I hate dealing with health insurance companies. They use a jargon that
 initially seems incomprehensible and, even worse, different companies
 have different jargons. I have recently been trying to resolve a insurance
 claim that had to go through our "primary" carrier, MCARE, and a secondary
 carrier for students in colleges, PIONEER. They seemed to speak different
 languages. PIONEER did not accept a claim when submitted to them after
 MCARE had paid what they allowed because MCARE had not indicated in their
 statement the amount they DID NOT pay. MCARE was very unhelpful on the
 phone, saying they could not issue any other kind of statement. So, back
 to PIONEEER...who at least said they would contact MCARE themselves to
 try to resolve this seeming "Catch 22". What a waste of everyone's time.
#207 bruce allen price(bru) on Thu Oct 30 15:39:10 2003:
 We are getting 380 dollars back from twilas oral surgeon after the insurance
 companies adn the drs. office screwed up.  Took them 2 years to figure it out,
 and they had gone to court against us even though they knew the insurance had
 screwed up.
#208 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct 30 18:06:23 2003:
 I hope the insurance company has fixed this problem.
 Today we went for a walk along some side strees to Happy Wok on West Stadium.
 An area of 60's 2-stories with very little flower planting and hardly even
 any pumpkins.  I noticed a new hybrid type of commercial plastic decoration,.
 Along with the white plastic bags with leaves stuffed in the upper half and
 a tie around the middle, hung from bushes, as 'ghosts'.  Now there are larger
 orange versions with happy faces - pumpkin ghosts?
 Happy Wok made us salt-free chicken-free eggrolls and gave us brown rice
 instead of pork white rice with our vegetables.
 On the way back through Eberwhite Woods Jim pointed out that there are not
 only the usual brown fox squirrels but also some grey ones and even one
 completely black one (including the belly).
 Faz Pizza is using the imitation spiderweb stuff that people are stringing
 around bushes as a new place to stick their advertising materials.
#209 Joe(gelinas) on Thu Oct 30 18:18:23 2003:
 (Black squirrels were common in Oscoda, Michigan.  I've seen one in
 Brighton, too.  Nice to know their range is expanding. :)
#210 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct 30 18:18:56 2003:
 The next posting is a very long one about hot flashes including the fact that
 they can be worse after chemotherapy and if you are thin.
 [A friend who will be taking tamoxifen after radiation for breast cancer
 told me about this site.]
 All About Hot Flashes
    If you've had one, there's no mistaking it: the sudden, intense, hot
    feeling on your face and upper body, perhaps preceded or accompanied
    by a rapid heartbeat and sweating, nausea, dizziness, anxiety,
    headache, weakness, or a feeling of suffocation. Some women experience
    an "aura," an uneasy feeling just before the hot flash, that lets them
    know what's coming. The flash is followed by a flush, leaving you
    reddened and perspiring. You can have a soaker or merely a moist upper
    lip. A chill can lead off the episode or be the finale.
 What causes them
    Hot flashes are mostly caused by the hormonal changes of menopause,
    but can also be affected by lifestyle and medications. A diminished
    level of estrogen has a direct effect on the hypothalamus, the part of
    the brain responsible for controlling your appetite, sleep cycles, sex
    hormones, and body temperature. Somehow (we don't know how), the drop
    in estrogen confuses the hypothalamus--which is sometimes referred to
    as the body's "thermostat"--and makes it read "too hot."
    The brain responds to this report by broadcasting an all-out alert to
    the heart, blood vessels, and nervous system: "Get rid of the heat!"
    The message is transmitted by the nervous system's chemical messenger,
    epinephrine, and related compounds: norepinephrine, prostaglandin,
    serotonin. The message is delivered instantly. Your heart pumps
    faster, the blood vessels in your skin dilate to circulate more blood
    to radiate off the heat, and your sweat glands release sweat to cool
    you off even more.
    This heat-releasing mechanism is how your body keeps you from
    overheating in the summer, but when the process is triggered instead
    by a drop in estrogen, your brain's confused response can make you
    very uncomfortable. Some women's skin temperature can rise six degrees
    Centigrade during a hot flash. Your body cools down when it shouldn't,
    and you are miserable: soaking wet in the middle of a board meeting or
    in the middle of a good night's sleep.
 Who gets them
    Eighty-five percent of the women in the United States experience hot
    flashes of some kind as they approach menopause and for the first year
    or two after their periods stop. Between 20 and 50% of women continue
    to have them for many more years. As time goes on, the intensity
    If you have had breast cancer, your hot flashes can follow the same
    pattern as for women in general, or they can be more intense and last
    longer, particularly if menopause was premature, or if you are taking
    tamoxifen and your body hasn't adjusted to it. Rarely, women may not
    have hot flashes until they stop taking tamoxifen--an unpleasant
    surprise. In these women, tamoxifen develops an unusual estrogen-like
    ability to combat hot flashes.
    There is considerable variation in time of onset, duration, frequency,
    and the nature of hot flashes, whether you've had breast cancer or
    not. An episode can last a few seconds or a few minutes, occasionally
    even an hour, but it can take another half hour for you to feel
    yourself again. The most common time of onset is between six and eight
    in the morning, and between six to ten at night.
 How hot is hot?
    Most women have mild to moderate hot flashes, but about 10-15% of
    women experience such severe hot flashes that they seek medical
    attention. For women who have had breast cancer, the number who suffer
    debilitating hot flashes is probably much higher. Randomized studies
    provide the most objective data: about 50-75% of women taking
    tamoxifen will report hot flashes, compared to 25-50% taking placebo.
    The faster you go through the transition from regular periods to no
    periods--the peri-menopause or climacteric--the more significant your
    hot flashes will be. Hot flashes are severe after surgical menopause,
    and they can also be quite difficult after a chemotherapy-induced
    medical menopause. If you haven't been warned about hot flashes, a
    sudden severe episode can be frightening; you might even confuse the
    flash with a heart attack.
    The intensity of hot flashes accompanying treatment with tamoxifen
    eventually improves for many women after the first three to six
    months. Because of the conversion of androstenedione from the adrenal
    glands into estrone by fat and muscle cells, heavy or muscular women
    experience less severe hot flashes than thin women. If you smoke, your
    blood vessels lose some of their ability to radiate heat, so you may
    suffer more severe hot flashes.
 Beating the heat naturally
    The best way to beat a hot flash is naturally. Hot flashes have a lot
    to do with the low levels of estrogen in your body, but other factors
    can cause your temperature control to go out of whack. Instead of
    estrogen therapy, look at less drastic measures first, partly because
    estrogen therapy is not known to be safe for women with a history of
    breast cancer--but also because you should always begin with the least
    aggressive approach to treating your menopausal symptoms.
 Avoiding triggers
    If you can identify the things that trigger your hot flashes, you've
    made the first step in getting the upper hand. Keep a record of when
    they occur and what you were eating or doing, or how you were feeling
    at the time. Many women find that stress tops the charts as a trigger.
    Was that hot flash in the boardroom a random hit, or were you feeling
    under pressure at the time? Was it a full day of pressure without a
    Solution: Ease the pressure. Give yourself more time to plan your
    work, to rehearse your presentation, to deliver your assignments, to
    arrive where you're going. If you are doing a series of presentations,
    give yourself a chance to relax and cool off between sessions. And
    plan your schedule so you avoid meetings or decision making when
    you're most likely to be in a sweat.
    Other hot flash triggers:
      * alcohol
      * caffeine
      * diet pills
      * spicy food
      * hot food
      * hot tubs
      * saunas
      * hot showers
      * hot beds
      * hot rooms
      * hot weather
      * smoking.
 Hot flash survival tips
      * Dress in layers, so you can peel off one layer after another as
        you get warmer.
      * Don't wear wool, don't wear synthetics, and be wary of silk. That
        leaves cotton, linen, rayon, and more cotton. (Look at the bright
        side: You'll save on cleaning bills, and you can stop worrying
        about moths.)
      * Avoid turtlenecks. Stick to open-neck shirts.
      * Keep ice water at hand that you can sip to cool down your insides.
      * Where possible, lower the thermostat. Maybe it's time for a decent
        air conditioner or a ceiling fan. Or maybe you'd prefer one of
        those little hand-held battery-operated fans or the foldable kind
        you flutter in front of your face. You can find perfectly adequate
        paper fans for about a dollar.
      * Wear cotton pajamas or a nightgown. If you perspire a lot at
        night, your nightclothes are easier to change than the sheets.
      * Use cotton sheets only, not synthetics.
      * Get a bigger bed if you and your partner are on different heat
        planets but you still want to stay in close orbit.
      * Take cool shower before bed.
      * Try a mild medication like Tylenol
      * Arrive at meetings early so that you can get the coolest seat.
      * Use your freezer liberally. A number of women talked about opening
        the freezer at home (or in the supermarket) and sticking their
        head in when a hot flash hits.
 Lifestyle changes to alleviate hot flashes
    Exercise: Increasing your level of activity (for example, taking the
    stairs instead of the elevator) can reduce hot flashes and have a
    positive impact on just about every other symptom attributed to
    menopause and growing older, including:
      * insomnia
      * mood swings
      * eroded self-image
      * loss of libido
      * fatigue
      * elevated cholesterol levels
      * heart, bone, and muscle health.
    Exercise also increases endorphin levels, increasing your threshold
    for pain.
    Relaxation and stress reduction: It isn't unusual to have trouble
    dealing with stress, especially if you've undergone treatment for
    breast cancer. You may find that one of the following techniques will
    help you minimize the devastating effects of stress on your body:
      * relaxation exercises
      * breathing exercises
      * meditation
      * visualization
      * massage
      * hypnosis
      * yoga
      * biofeedback techniques.
    Changing your diet: Over time, a low-fat diet helps some women with
    hot flashes. Losing excess weight helps, but losing too much weight,
    or being too thin, can worsen symptoms. As you consider other food
    changes, keep in mind that natural doesn't mean harmless. Herbal
    remedies and soy preparations may work because of their plant
    estrogens, but you can't assume that just because an estrogen comes
    from a plant it's a safe remedy.
    Chinese medicine: Chinese medicine has a long tradition of treating
    hot flashes. There are all kinds of hot flashes, and the Chinese have
    descriptions for all of them. Before treating you, a Chinese doctor
    takes a full history and performs a complete physical, with particular
    attention to your tongue and your pulse. He or she then determines
    whether you're suffering from a "hot" menopause or a "cold" menopause.
    If you have gone through a surgical or medical menopause, Chinese
    herbs are usually not considered strong enough to eliminate your
    menopausal hot flashes, but they can help.
    Chinese medicine usually involves:
      * acupuncture, which moves your Xi (your inner wind, energy, or
        spirit). For every woman who's skeptical about this approach,
        there's a woman who's found acupuncture helpful for hot flashes.
      * herbology, in which many different herbs are cooked together to
        make a tea customized to your particular symptoms. Common to all
        Chinese herbal mixes is dong quai, thought to be a plant estrogen.
        More plant estrogens that women have found effective in treating
        hot flashes over the centuries can be found in ginseng, evening
        primrose oil, licorice root, red raspberry leaves, sarsaparilla,
        spearmint, damiana, motherwort, chasteberry (also known as Vitex),
        [44]black cohosh, and wild yams. These herbal remedies, Chinese
        and other, may be effective at reducing hot flashes but, again,
        their relative safety in women who have had breast cancer is not
        known. Avoiding, or using plant estrogens with great caution, is
        best, and never try them without telling your doctor. Even leading
        Chinese medicine practitioners caution women not to self-treat
        with Chinese herbs.
    Vitamins: Some women find that taking vitamin E every day (800 I.U.,
    range 400-1000) helps. Actually, a placebo works almost as well. The
    National Cancer Institute's/National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and
    Bowel Project's Tamoxifen Breast Cancer Prevention Trial also
    recommends vitamin E, or one of the following: vitamin B6, 200-250
    milligrams daily, and Peridin-C (containing antioxidants), two tablets
    taken three times daily. If vitamin E helps you, great, but if you
    have significant hot flashes, you will probably need something more
 Relieving hot flashes with medications
    If you have tried these lifestyle, nutritional, and alternative
    medicine recommendations, and they have not helped, you may feel
    compelled to go on to stronger remedies, available only through your
    Blood pressure-lowering medication
    Blood pressure-lowering medications such as clonidine (Catapres-TTS,
    0.1-mg patch applied once weekly) and Aldomet (250 mg twice daily) can
    lessen the severity and frequency of hot flashes. They modify how the
    blood vessels respond to the brain's command to give off heat quickly.
    These drugs must be prescribed and adjusted carefully by your doctor.
    Low-dose antidepressant medication may help forestall a hot flash by
    rebalancing or intercepting the chemicals in the brain that transmit
    the hot flash alarm, epinephrine and serotonin.
    Effexor (venlafaxine) can reduce hot flashes by about 50% in nearly
    60% of women with breast cancer according to a study done by Dr.
    Charles Loprinzi at the Mayo Clinic. Improvement happened relatively
    quickly: 80% of the eventual decrease in hot flashes occurred within
    the first week of taking the medication. Side effects, when they were
    noted, were mild. The dose used was 12.5 milligrams taken twice daily.
    A more recent study showed that some women may need a higher total
    dose of 75 milligrams daily to get significant relief.
    Extended-release preparations are available. Paxil (paroxetine) works
    in a similar way to Effexor and is a good alternative. Some women
    tolerate Paxil better. Its recommended dose is 10 mg once a day for
    the first week, then 20 mg once a day thereafter.
    Mild sedatives
    Bellergal-S simmers down overactive chemical activity in the brain.
    Taken occasionally, once or twice a day, it can be quite safe and
    effective--but not with alcohol. (It contains belladonna,
    phenobarbital, and an ergotamine.) Phenobarbital can cause drowsiness
    and, if you use it regularly, you can develop a dependency for it.
    Progesterone-like products
    Megace (megesterol acetate) can reduce hot flashes in approximately
    80% of women who take it, and it is also considered a treatment for
    breast cancer when taken in high doses continuously. Megace is usually
    started at 40 milligrams daily, and it may take a few weeks to start
    to work. After a month the dose is adjusted up or down. The maximum
    dose is 80 milligrams per day. Those who reap its benefits and can
    tolerate its side effects (fluid retention and bloating) may do well
    on this medication.
    Estrogen therapy
    [45]Menopausal hormone therapy, or estrogen therapy, is probably the
    most effective way to relieve hot flashes, but its use is highly
    controversial in women who have had breast cancer.
    Most physicians would not recommend estrogen therapy to remedy severe
    tamoxifen-related hot flashes because estrogen is not known to be safe
    for women who have had breast cancer, and may reduce tamoxifen's
    effectiveness. Estrogen therapy may also add to the potential side
    effects from these combined drugs--such as blood clots forming and
    traveling to the lung, and increased risk of endometrial cancer.
    However, if your hot flashes are severe and you have not had adequate
    relief from lifestyle modifications or non-hormonal remedies and
    medications, your doctor may suggest a limited course of low-dose
    menopausal hormone therapy to ease your transition into menopause.
    The therapy should last only several months, depending on the degree
    of your symptoms, tapering off over the last month. Dr. John Eden of
    the Royal Hospital for Women in Paddington, Australia, studied
    simultaneous estrogen replacement and tamoxifen therapies in women
    beyond menopause. The study showed no short-term problem from combined
    side effects. The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) is trying
    to launch a study that combines the two drugs. Share this information
    with your doctor, and decide together what you want to do.
    This page was last modified on March 26, 2003
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#211 Cadet Eugene Tackleberry(tod) on Thu Oct 30 18:46:09 2003:
#212 Reverend Flip Pyfloppy(happyboy) on Thu Oct 30 20:14:04 2003:
 re 209: the bad news is that they're non-native and they drive
 out the native species due to being more
 re211:  do they live on gov't commoditty cheese?  :)
#213 Joe(gelinas) on Thu Oct 30 20:22:17 2003:
 Interesting.  I'd thought they were just a darker phase of a native squirrel,
 not a different species.  Are they native to Michigan?
#214 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Oct 30 20:27:13 2003:
 I thought it was those little squirrels that were driving out the fox
 squirrels and that the local grey and black squirrels are also fox squirrels.
 I have seen the black ones north of here (Saginaw?).
 We noticed no red leaves in the woods.  Does the red pigment require direct
 sunlight to form?  The leaves were mostly maples, but only yellow ones.
 We downloaded the 'correct' winmodem driver for an internal modem but Win98
 seems to think it is an external modem.  Jim suspects a dead modem.  One other
 driver to try next.  Donated computers are such fun.  Jim is now learing to
 use Opera because Lynx won't do driverguide codes - or does someone know how
 to decode a long string of characters to a three digit code number such as
#215 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Oct 31 05:49:01 2003:
 What is php?  The 'image' is a long string of numbers with php? in it.
 I slept nearly 4 hours and am hungry but don't want to wake Jim who was up
 late with the computer.  Got to take one pill before eating and then wait an
 hour before eating with the last prednisone this cycle.  It was pointed out
 to me that the extreme exhaustion following this is due to discontinuing the
 prednisone.  It is probably only accidental that it coincides with the lack
 of immunity.  I guess an inability to walk very far will keep me from going
 too close to other people who might have the flu, which I am not supposed to
 catch before January.
#216 Scott Helmke(scott) on Fri Oct 31 08:47:29 2003:
 php is a programming language used on the web server to generate web pages.
 Unlike Flash and Shockwave it doesn't require any special software on the web
#217 Lawrence Kestenbaum(polygon) on Fri Oct 31 11:30:32 2003:
 Black squirrels from Quebec were released (by accident?) near the north
 edge of the MSU campus, near downtown East Lansing, I think in the 1950s. 
 When I was growing up there, black squirrels dominated in the neighborhood
 from Harrison Road to about Bailey Street, north of Michigan and Grand
 River.  The surrounding neighborhoods had a mix of black and red
 squirrels, and further away areas had nothing but red squirrels.  (Some
 people have said they had seen halfbreed squirrels with both black and red
 The red squirrels are larger and more muscular, but supposedly not as
 agile in climbing as the smaller black squirrels.
 A somewhat similar story is told in the excellent book "Rats, Lice, and
 History".  The black rat used to be the dominant rodent of every European
 city.  At the time of the Black Death and other plagues in Europe, the
 rats were black.  In the 1700s and 1800s, Europe was invaded by the brown
 or so-called "Norway" rat, which came from Asia.  (Black and brown rats
 can interbreed but choose not to.)  In city after city during the
 centuries of transition, the brown rats took over and drove out the black
 rats.  Today black rats have a few footholds in some urban waterfronts
 where agile climbing is critical to survival, but brown rats dominate in
 cities worldwide.
#218 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Oct 31 11:57:39 2003:
 So we have red squirrels here, not fox squirrels?  The fox squirrels must
 be those smaller grey ones that I grew up with in the east.
 I got about 10 emails from another translator who is about to start tamoxifen.
 They do blood tests first.  She is also a medical translator and came up with
 various articles on how it works.  Someone is also trying to develop a drug
 which instead of blocking estrogen receptors, stops breast cancer cells from
 producing a lot of estrogen.  Less side effects.  Estrogen is also produced
 in fat and muscle cells (things I am short of).  Even by men.  So hormones
 used to treat prostate cancer also block the reception of some hormone
 (estrogen?) and cause hot flashes and associated symptoms in men.
 I got two more hours sleep after 8:30.  One more prednisone this week.  Three
 days of rebound following.  Got to go see if any of the beans we planted in
 May actually grew and made seeds today while I have some energy.
 I may try to attend the next grex meeting in mid-cycle.  And walk there. 
 Jim keeps downloading more potential winmodem drivers.  What is an 'upgrade'
 driver - for 56K or for Win98 (from Win95)?  He has to find the other half
 of the pair based on this information.
 Re php - Lynx does not seem to be one of those browsers that works with it.
 Arachne crashes when it hits that page.  Opera worked.  Is there some way to
 download that image with Lynx?
#219 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Oct 31 21:14:59 2003:
 For the past couple of days the side effects have been building up again.
 Sour taste is starting to come back.  No thrush yet but slightly numb tongue.
 Throat feels a bit swollen today and the laryngitis has been slowly getting
 worse for a couple of days.  Last time it was worst on day 7 (Sunday).
 Muscle soreness in my legs for a couple of days but I can walk anyway.  A bit
 of pain in my upper arms as in a previous cycle but only today.
 Hands continue to get even number, with numbness now spreading to the second
 joint and the middle part of the palm and a bit of write.  I think it got
 slightly better near the end of the last cycle, with wrist numbness going
 away.  Someone else said after 6 months the numbness was nearly gone but
 sometimes it comes back.  It has been five years for her with no breast cancer
 recurrence so she is happy anyway.  
 Slight constipation (hard stools) all week from all the drugs. 
 Gastrointestinal lining thinned according to the last CT scan.  
 Ribs are hurting again for the past 2-3 days (pleurisy) - I wonder why?  Fluid
 retention?  My weight has not gone up, in fact is a a little down again.  It
 was 104 morning and 107 evening instead of 110.
 Slight burning sensation in my throat and esophagus - don't know if due to
 thinning lining or thrush or maybe both.  
 No nausea or vomiting or any new symptoms.
 Jim has determined that the model number of the modem that he wrote down (some
 program must have determined it) is not the number on the actual card so he
 fetched a few more drivers.  In the meantime the grexer who gave us all those
 computers decided he did not want any of them fixed up for him, he wants a
 Mac instead and a friend will sell him one that works and has a CD burner.
 Win98 thinks the modem is a third model number.
#220 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Oct 31 21:30:42 2003:
 And a few hairs at a time are coming out again if I pull on them but I am
 unlikely to go bald at this rate.  You can see a bit of skin along the part
 on the rare days warm enough to take off my wool cap.
 Tomorrow I should probably start eating salt when the prednisone wears off
 as I will probably be losing sodium instead of retaining it.
 Jim wants to bring over my BasicLinux computer and copy files to one of his
 500MHz models.  Basiclinux is designed to work on a 486 with 16M RAM and I
 even got Opera 6.03 to work on it but ran out of space on the 125M drive
 because I left all the installation files there.  It is a subset of Slackware
 7.  I put on Kermit, Lynx and some other useful programs not found on any of
 the commercial Linuxes.
#221 Scott Helmke(scott) on Fri Oct 31 23:00:53 2003:
 (php is just used to generate web pages... so maybe they're using php to
 generate a lynx-incompatible web page.
#222 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Nov  1 04:32:19 2003:
 I hope lynx will catch up with this stuff soon, maybe even the newest lynx
 on the newest grex.  But in the meantime Opera 7 can handle it.  Don't know
 about Opera 6.  There is no Opera 7 compiled for Slackware 7 (yet).
 Two hours sleep.  The prednisone may be accumulating but I am done taking it.
 No signs of thrush yet today, what luck.  It is a helpful sign of when to
 avoid people.  I seem to be over my chills and sneezes - Jim is not.  Perfect
 timing again, just before my immunity goes away.  I continue lucky.
#223 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Nov  1 05:35:10 2003:
 I just did some reading on chemotherapy and taste loss.  The chemotherapy
 interferes with replication of sensory receptors (taste buds and smell
 receptors) and may also be in the saliva (for a couple of days only).
 Recovery is usually within a few weeks of ending therapy but can take longer.
 Radiation damage can last up to a year.  The problem does not develop for the
 first couple of weeks.  I notice it starting to get better near the end of
 each treatment but it lasts longer each time.
 The nurse kept saying people talked about metallic tasting foods but I have
 not noticed this, only that things taste sort of sour.  Now I now why.  The
 metallic or bitter taste is from meats, which I don't eat.  Various websites
 suggested substituting chicken, fish, cheese or eggs.  I notice that eggs
 taste normal but potatoes and fruits and vegetables taste sort of sour.
 Tofu is also okay.  They suggest adding cheese or bacon to foods if they taste
 less rather than odd, and that is important to do so if it will help you to
 eat more and gain back weight.
 Starting today I can put soysauce on foods, or pickled Indian limes, or feta
 cheese (all with sodium).  Prednisone causes sodium retention and potassium
 and calcium loss.
 Prednisone is supposed to be adjusted to the lowest dose which has the desired
 effect as it has lots of bad side effects.  
 Muscle weakness, muscle loss and nitrogen loss, interference with carbohydrate
 metabolism (I am supposed to gain muscle and weight).
 Gastrointestinal symptoms.  Increased alkaline phosphatase levels.  
 Impaired wound healing.  Convulsions, vertigo, headache, cataracts, glaucoma
 (due to fluid retention which is not happening to me - I don't eat salt).
 Urticaria and other allergies.
 The desired effect:  reduces lymphocyte levels.  Also erythrocytes (red blood
 cells) - not good.  But it raises neutrophil and monocyte levels (increases
 that sort of immunity).  I will have to read more on immunity types.
 Endocrine effects, menstrual disorders, need for more insulin.
 Masks signs of infection and interferes with fighting infection.
 I ought to eat some funny-tasting food now.  No wonder I am not gaining weight
 as fast as I was the first cycle, even tho I have more energy to eat and an
 appetite again.
#224 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Nov  1 14:15:53 2003:
 I am doing better than last cycle, possibly because of the additional sleep.
 We were able to go for a longish walk this morning in the triangle between
 Dexter and Jackson roads.  Someone had left out a paper bag of Halloween candy
 telling us to help ourselves so we did.  There are still some roses blooming.
 Since Sept. 1 there has always been at least one on Jim's two bushes, one in
 front and one in back. It was nice to have a rose to look at when I got back
 from the hospital, through the frame of grape leaves.  (Not that I could
 complain about the private room with the view of the helicopter landing
 lights, but the leaves were too far away to see individually).
 The local liquor store at the fork now has a separate room selling junk food.
 Unlike most such stores, they also sell Eden chocolate soy milk and some very
 expensive looking spices from San Francisco along with the canned spaghetti,
 dog food, and jello mix.
 So far this cycle no thrush - which usually starts Friday evening.  I am not
 falling asleep yet from prednisone withdrawal probably because my dose was
 too high.  Tomorrow should be the low point.  Muscle weakness is gone.  Weight
 is down from 110 with fluid to 105 without.  Jim will make pizza if he ever
 stops installing Windows repeatedly on his latest computer trying to figure
 out why the Winmodem does not work.  Win98, Win98 again, Win95 in case he has
 a working Win95 driver that needs to be used with an upgrade after that to
 Win98........  Jim tends to get stuck in a rut sometimes.
#225 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Nov  1 18:13:50 2003:
 This evening I took my first unassisted shower since about June.  It is much
 quicker than a bath (which Jim had been filling and emptying for me) so I can
 take them more often.  But it requires standing, keeping your balance
 sometimes on one foot, and using more energy at once.  In July and August I
 did not have enough body fat to take showers in my cold basement bathroom and
 there was no way I was going to heat it when the upstairs was 80, so I did
 washcloth washes at the kitchen sink.
 Jim is making pizza. This cycle I may not get thrush.  My mouth is not even
 sore, my gums feel pretty normal, no jaw pain.  Maybe the half dose of
 vincristine is responsible.  Prednisone withdrawal has still not hit  - not
 sleepy but also no longer jittery.  Amazing what the body can accustom itself
 to eventually.  Maybe I will get used to potatoes tasting funny.
#226 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Nov  2 07:20:31 2003:
 The prednisone (last taken Friday) did not wake me for six hours (5:30 am)
 and I am finally starting to dream again.  The drug must have been keeping
 me from sleeping deeply enough to even dream.  Still no thrush and I am
 nowhere near as exhausted as this time last cycle.
 The pizza was pretty good.  Jim should forgive me if I wake him a bit early
 to make breakfast as he was excited about downloading the drivers for all
 three winmodems yesterday.  We went on FCC-ID numbers this time after the last
 few drivers did not work.  If these don't work we can recycle the modems. 
 He found one ISA (nonwin) modem that actually worked at 56K.  The 33K external
 modem would dial and connect but drop the connection as soon as you went to
 any link.  Anyone have a working 33K external they want to give us?  We gave
 ours to someone to give to a friend whose ISP in some rural area insists on
 their using only USR modems.
#227 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Nov  2 12:55:41 2003:
 I was able to nap this afternoon, finally.  Today I had a couple of slight
 foot and calf cramps.  Don't know if this is because I am now losing salt or
 because I ate some cheese last night on Jim's pizza.
 We got one pci winmodem to work.  Another wants a file not on any of the 3-5M
 drivers we downloaded, so we download a 9Mb driver which everyone said
 contains all the needed files and worked for them.  The contributor called
 his HP Riptide Conexant Smart Technologies etc. modem/sound card a 'stupid
 thing' twice and had obviously tried lots of other drivers as well.  How can
 a modem/sound driver be 9Mb?????
 The third winmodem (ISA) apparently had the right driver but Windows says it
 cannot open the port.  It put the modem on Com3.  We deleted all other modem
 definitions.  Rebooted a few times.  Is this a dead modem?  I would like to
 resolve it one way or the other so we can move on to other things.
 Jim wants to drag me out walking while it is not raining despite wobbly legs.
 Last cycle this day I could not walk more than a few minutes and had to hold
 on to Jim to get back here.  Got to go.
#228 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Nov  2 19:01:09 2003:
 Despite the wobbly legs we walked around quite a bit and noticed that a lot
 of the remaining red maple leaves that were on the trees are now on the
 sidewalk after today's rains.  The red Japanese maple leaves are holding on
 better and the katsuras still have their leaves, which are turning dark
 purple.  Japan must turn colder later in the season.
 We stopped at a real estate open house with a flight of steps up to the
 entrance (the bottom floor is 'lower level' not basement" which I climbed.
 Climbed back down the flight of steps on the inside to see the completely
 finished basement, up again, up to the top floor bedroom, down two flights,
 and wobbled back to collapse.  
 During lunch I came to the conclusion that it has not been the thrush which
 makes my tongue unable to taste much of anything, or feel much of anything,
 by day 7 of each cycle. No thrush, but still a numbish tongue.  Lunch was not
 very tasty.
 This is probably due to the outer coating of my tongue not regenerating.  Nor
 is the inner lining of my gastrointestinal tract doing very good.  The CT scan
 showed it thinner.  I have had several bowel movements today (rebound from
 the prednisone) with rectal bleeding and pain.  Had this off and on for two
 weeks since the CT scan when nobody told me to drink a lot afterwards.  Ouch.
 I hope I can heal in the next two weeks.  Platelet count is probably also low
 by now, thanks to the prednisone and three traditional infused drugs.
 Intestinal gas continues strong probably due to the intestinal lining not
 regenerating the villi, little fingers that do the absorbing of nutrients.
 THe nutrients go to nourish other things in my intestines.  I am supposed to
 eat frequent small meals, not a few large ones.
 After lunch I fell asleep again, deeply, for two more hours and it seems to
 be night time again.  Jim is still in the tub trying to get over whatever has
 been making him sneeze for a few days longer than I was sneezing.  I seem to
 have a pretty good imune system again this cycle.  No more chills.  I expect
 things (all but the numb hands and the funny taste) to get better for two
 weeks now.
 I am supposed to avoid particularly bad tasting foods.  One of them was the
 jar of purchased djuvech from Hungary - made of eggplant, tomato, pepper and
 some spices.  I wonder what in there tastes so awful.  Or why the Chinese
 preserved eggs still continue to taste like normal preserved eggs (sort of
 brie like, fermented in lye rather than salt).  I will see about soy sauce.
 The real estate handout speaks of hardwood floors throughout.  They were
 actually, along with the steps, yellow pine.  They want $300,000 for 1000
 square feet and no basement or garage, with an architect-designed exposed
 joist ceiling (you can see the same metal hangers that we used).  The views
 are lovely and it is way back from the street.
#229 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Nov  2 19:13:34 2003:
 We stopped during our walk to talk to Jim's neighbor, who used to be out
 nearly every day with a power mower but now is having a paid power mower
 service.  He was slowly raking wet leaves.  He asked how I was feeling.  Jim
 made him admit that he was no longer supposed to be doing anything strenuous.
 Last fall the doctors gave him a year and a half to live after his first and
 only heart attack.  He says he has to die sometime.  He is only 90.  He is
 a lot stronger than I am at the moment.  They could not clean his blood
 vessels out from whatever is clogging them due to his age, he said.  He is
 still taking care of his wife because she has weak bones.  We never see her.
 Maybe I should go to chair exercises.  I am supposed to be 55 first.  Problem
 is I can't sit in the chair long enough.  
#230 Lawrence Kestenbaum(polygon) on Mon Nov  3 10:04:36 2003:
 I have ten seeds from the pawpaw Jim gave me (which I ate and enjoyed). 
 Should I save them?  Should I try to plant them?  Pawpaw seeds look like
 watermelon seeds, but much larger.
 Last night, I powered up the computer which needs to be fixed.  The hard
 drive is formatted into two virtual drives, c: and d:.  There are still a
 number of items I'd like to retrieve from the disk, but I can't get the
 zip drive to work.  The "guest" program, which I had used before to assign
 a drive letter to the zip drive in DOS mode, doesn't seem to work.
 Getting started goes as follows: turn the machine on, it attempts to boot
 into Win95, and goes automatically to "It is now safe to turn off your
 computer" screen.  Restart, get the menu, and select "command prompt" 
 (otherwise it goes into "safe mode").
#231 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Nov  3 18:45:05 2003:
 As I try to eat food that mostly tastes funny and will probably continue to
 taste funny for 2-3 months, I can at least feel grateful that I no longer have
 to deal with thrush, sore gums, mouth sores, sore jaws, sore throat, sneezing,
 or runny nose at the same time.  Sometimes I forget to feel grateful.
 Jim finished the soup for me.  I wonder if anyone has written about which
 foods are likeliest to taste funny (other than meat).  Squash tastes fine.
 Bread moderately so.  I think the cabbage family is a problem.
 I have to be careful now not to bend my elbows or knees too far (it is easy
 to do since there is not much flesh in the way) because they hurt.  This may
 mean that the joint linings are not regrowing either.
 The back of my left hand has now started to feel a bit numb.  I keep thinking
 it is due to lost circulation, but it is probably the nerve damage.  And my
 leg muscles also feel a bit numb.  I hope this does not keep spreading, but
 I think the leg problem went away last time.
 Jim is still stuck on modems.  We have an external one (on its third power
 supply now) that will dial the ISP, go to one website, then hang up as soon
 as you click on a link to another URL.  With WIn98/Opera, and also with a
 floppy disk Linux and Links browser.  We tried two computers already and now
 Jim wants to try a third, with Win95.  I think the modem went bad.  It dials
 grex okay.  Why would it work with Kermit but not a PPP type dialer?
 On today's walk we looked for signs that people had added onto their houses.
 One duplex down the street (the only duplex on this street) has aluminum
 sliding windows downstairs but newer windows upstairs that may be casement.
 First time I ever heard of someone converting their house to a duplex.
 Lots of houses around here have had house-sized additions added to the back.
 Jim says that would be nice to do to his house.  I suggested owning fewer
 modems instead so he would need less storage.
#232 Brooke Edmunds(edina) on Tue Nov  4 09:21:28 2003:
 Sindi, while I'm sure in many ways you do feel grateful, at the same time,
 it's ok to not be 100% thrilled with your situation.
#233 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Nov  4 10:28:10 2003:
 I do understand that and was trying to be funny, but thanks.  I am about 95%
 thrilled to be so much better than before treatment.  I just realized that
 I have not had to nap at all this cycle (except for the day when the
 prednisone wore off) whereas the first cycle or two I kept suddenly falling
 asleep for an hour up to three times a day.
 Today my leg muscles feel less odd but I think the tops of my feet are
 starting to get numb.  My wrists feel better.  My left hand is acting like
 last cycle about this time - it has throbbing aches in it especially when I
 move it or let my hand hang down.  Last time this went away after about a
 week.  Hurts where one of the more painful IVs was two treatments ago.
 Since Thursday bits of hair have been exiting at an increasing rate but I
 expect to still have a fair amount of hair left in January, unlike the
 leukemia and bone marrow patients who need weekly treatments for longer.  I
 just realized that my hair is no longer than two months ago when Jim gave me
 a quick and sloppy haircut (I could not stand for long) to make it easier to
 wash and dry.  It is still sloppy and short.  The hairs must fall out whenver
 they start to grow.  Only a fraction of hairs grow at any one time.  
 My hands still shake but I can type okay.  Only very mild shaking.  The doctor
 keeps asking if I have trouble with buttons.  I don't wear buttons, just knits
 without them.  I had a bit of difficulty getting a floppy disk into the slot
 on the first try.  I don't try to use a knife.  Less shaky now than before
 I got some strength back - this is now only from slight temporary nerve
 Apart from the numbness spreading, only symptom that is getting worse each
 cycle is the odd taste.  We went to a little gathering at Clonlara school last
 night about old phonographs (78, 90, and 138 - windup, played quite loudly
 on wax cylinders and very thick black acetate disks) and all the refreshments
 tasted rather odd.  The pumpkin bread tasted salty to me.  Jim said it tasted
 salty to him too.  He finished my cookies but the fruit tea tasted okay.
 I fetched a couch cushion to put on my chair.  I could sit upright with no
 trouble for several hours.  I could not be heard very well.  The laryngitis
 which started on day 10 of teh first cycle keeps getting worse from day 5 on
 of subsequent cycles then better near the end.  I have stopped feeling so
 silly when I try to talk to people but when they dont' understand Jim has to
 interpret (especially older people with hearing aids).  
#234 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Nov  4 22:32:36 2003:
 The achey area on my left hand is also pink and a bit swollen so I suspect
 some vein is leaking a bit of blood, which will eventually get absorbed.
 This evening I compared experiences of how to get along without full use of
 the left hand, with another attendee of a lecture at the Science Research Club
 (first Tuesday of each month at the dental school).  She had broken a wrist
 and her most recent inconvenience was that the wrist still does not let her
 flatten her hand out so that she can use it to stand back up from a crouching
 position.  She needed to get back up while cleaning the gutters.  I suggested
 that people whose wrists were healing might not want to clean the gutters,
 but she said they needed cleaning.  Luckily I don't need to do much with my
 left hand this week and I can still type despite a bit of pain.  Jim and I
 are the two youngest members of the group and she is, I think, in her early
 sixties.  She came over to ask if I was doing yoga exercises on the large
 cushion I brought along to sit on (on the floor).  The president gave us two
 bags of chocolate trick or treat candy to take home to fatten me with.  It
 tastes sort of sour, and salty.  I suspect Jim will eat much of it.  
 I have had practice getting out of bed with only one hand.  I used my right
 hand and my left elbow, but still nearly fell out of bed one time.  You don't
 think about how you use your body until something stops working as expected.
 The dental school door has a particular strong door closing mechanism, and
 it took me a few minutes to get the door open far enough to wedge in my foot,
 and then somehow wedge in enough to lean against it and push against the jamb.
 I don't have enough weight to lean against door hard enough to open it.  I
 finally got through just as a student was coming after me.  She opened the
 next door for me.  Architects might want to choose easier-opening doors.
 At the public libraries they have awful doors (embedded handles that hurt to
 pull on them) but automatic openers.  
 After the lecture someone started to talk about musical events that he thought
 might have lured people away from the lecture, including 'Boris Gudenov' (with
 initial syllables stressed).  A very popular mispronunciation.  We left early
 because it was hurting to sit or stand.
 I think I am losing weight again.  Down from 107 after supper to 104.5.  Part
 of it could be fluid loss due to not eating salt.  Got to force foods.  Jim
 keeps trying to make attractive meals.  Tonight was stir-fried daikon and
 black-skinned winter radish with the last garden red pepper and tofu on rice.
 The tofu and daikon tasted normal, the rest sort of sour.  Then he brought
 me the back of chocolate kisses to stick next to the bed.  I had started to
 feel a bit queasy after eating a few so that won't work.  We may try making
 rice pudding once we get more milk and eggs.  
 Jim now wants to learn Lynx for DOS with which to test the external modem that
 would not work with Win95, Win98, Opera, Linux, Links but did work with
 Arachne (DOS browser) on a 486.  Some people don't get bored easily.
#235 Dave Lovelace(davel) on Wed Nov  5 15:02:37 2003:
 Those of us who know no Russian may be interested in how "Boris Gudenov"
 *should* be pronounced.  (Initial syllables stressed is the only way I've ever
 heard it, but my knowledge comes entirely from radio announcers, I think.)
#236 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Nov  5 16:42:33 2003:
 There is along discussion of this in another item in Agora, but the correct
 pronunciation is approximatly Baris Gadunof, final stress on both names,
 a as in father, i as in machine, u as in lunar, o as in how we pronounce o
 in Boston - all vowels as in Italian.
 Today's hike was to the west branch library via a street  with a mountain ash
 in fruit (big orange berries), a sweetgum with star-shaped leaves and spiny
 fruits that I had never seen before, a crabapple with enormous glowing red
 fruits, one of which Jim immediately put into his mouth (he says it is not
 as bitter as most crab apples) and a kitchen cabinet store. The latest fad
 seems to be cabinet doors that are painted and then fake beat-up to have paint
 rubbed off around the edges, skin-deep cracks, and even crinkly paint.  I did
 not see any peeling paint on the doors.  Jim admired the different woods. 
 We noticed that some of the cabinet doors are being mounted inside out so that
 the panels project to the inside, also probably a fad.
 We lunched at the Chinese Buffet, where I determined that the only things that
 tasted nearly normal were the asparagus, cucumber, and tater tots.  The
 strawberries and watermelon tasted out of season but also looked it.  I made
 myself eat two ice cream cones.
 My left hand is feeling nearly better today.  Last night I was careful not
 to move it.  I managed to sleep on my back by putting a chair cushion under
 my bottom for extra padding.  Sleeping on my back let me cool off from hot
 flushes by rolling over away from the edge of the bed to ventilate, and then
 roll back to replace the blankets.  The previous night I had been trying to
 put the blankets back on with both hands.  This not only made my left hand
 hurt but made a mess of the blankets which kept me up half the night.
 Jim is now (I hope) out digging up burdocks in the front yard.  He would
 probably try to cook the roots except our farmer friend already gave us some
 domesticated burdock roots.
 The only color left in the landscape (not counting what is on the sidewalk)
 is various red or orange berries and crabapples, a few pink leaves on burning
 bushes or cherry trees, and half of the Japanese maples have kept their
 leaves. Plus pumpkins.  A lot of people still have Halloween decorations out,
 including lights, and there are a few Christmas lights already (still?).
 I feel lucky that it has been such a mild fall, with no frosts yet.
#237 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Nov  6 18:31:45 2003:
 Mid-treatment-cycle blood tests today went well.  Last time the phlebotomist
 (lady who draws blood) wanted to know why I came in with a large brown dead
 leaf stuck to my sweater.  I did not know either but promised her a leaf this
 time.  She was not there but someone else will give her the red and yellow
 sweetgum leaf.  Not much else is still colorful except katsura trees all over
 downtown (dark red, yellow, and green on the same tree), English ivy (ditto)
 and 100% golden yellow gingko trees, the most spectacular being in front of
 the Union.  There is an area near Arborview where female gingkos were planted
 as street trees.  THe nuts are edible (tho the fruits have the same active
 ingredient as poison ivy), but the fruits are quite smelly so that female
 trees are not normally planted.
 Blood test results for the past two cycles:
 		10/06	10/16	10/27	11/07
 		#3	#3 mid	#4	#4 mid
 White blood	6.1	3.8	6.3	3.7	Normal is 4-10, this is low
 Neutrophils	4.2	2.7	3.9	2.6	Normal is 1.4-7.5
 Platelets	428	261	351	264	Normal is 150-450
 Hemoglobin	13.7	13.3	14.3	12.9	Normal is 12-16
 You can see that things are halfway back to normal by the middle of
 each cycle, and then they got knocked out again by the chemicals.
 My hemoglobin started at 7.8 in the hospital (after transfusions!)
 and went up and down a bit and probably reached its peak 10 days ago.
 With luck it will stay high enough for the next two months.  10.6
 is apparently acceptable.  Jim is going to feed me mashed vitamins
 with iron.
 Platelets hit a high of 721 Sept. 11 and are drifting downwards but
 I seem to have a normally high count.  
 The nurse said my counts are excellent, I am tolerating therapy well,
 but expect my bone marrow to get more and more tired with lower counts
 in the next two cycles.  I won't need more than two unless the masses
 in the spleen are not gone (but maybe they are not masses just scar
 tissue - there was something about it being okay if they stayed the
 same size from now on).
 My legs feel more tired than a couple of weeks ago, maybe because I
 have not gained and have maybe lost a bit of weight.  I feel like I am trying
 to carry 50 pounds more than my legs were designed to handle.  Can't run.
 Still hard to get up from a crouch - I need to help with my arms.
 The nurse never had anyone tell her about a sore hand, but I expect it has
 something to do with my platelets being the lowest for a few days before each
 time the hand started to hurt, and blood leaking from a vein and lack of
 clotting until platelet count got back up yesterday to normal.  Last time the
 count was slightly lower and my hand hurt for longer.
 Today's walk was around the art museum and the hospital.  Getting colder out.
#238 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Nov  7 00:24:56 2003:
 Hemoglobin is a protein that binds oxygen and includes iron in it.
 They also measure hematocrit, which is the percentage of the blood that is
 red blood cells (I presume not counting the water).
 Mine has been from 24 to 42 and tends to be about three times the hemoglobin.
 In high school I measured it at 45, which the teacher said was high.
 Normal values are listed as 36-44 on my result pages.
 A website lists normal values as:
 Male - 41-50  Female 36-44  
 Right now I am probably at about 40, which is good enough.  The numbers have
 been heading upwards on average, with a drop after chemotherapy each time
 because I stop making red blood cells for a few days.
 I did some more reading on lymphocytes.  B-lymphocytes attack bacteria outside
 of cells.  T-lymphocytes attack cells which are not behaving properly because
 they contain viruses, fungi, or are cancerous.  The Rituxan they are giving
 me attacks all B-cells whether or not they are cancerous but leaves T-cells
 alone (I hope) so I still have the T-cells to fight the cancer.  In klg's
 case, he had mediastinal lymphoma which involves the T-cells, and this might
 have been a reason to give Neupogen to stimulate the bone marrow to produce
 more of them (or are they produced in the thymus?).  
 Someone just phoned Jim and said ever since she installed the latest AOL on
 her not-so-late computer, things have been going a lot slower.  She has 48Mb
 RAM and 350Mb free disk space.  WOuld it help to get rid of the latest AOL?
 (If it were me I would get rid of AOL entirely.)  
 In HIV I think it is the T-cells which are attacked and destroyed, but it is
 also the T-cells which attack cells harboring the AIDS virus so the body loses
 the ability to defend itself against HIV.
 Luckily for me the flu is viral, not bacterial.
#239 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Nov  7 14:17:19 2003:
 Yesterday when we picked up mail at my apartment there was another (3rd, 4th?)
 bill from St. Joseph's for a pap smear that was supposed to have been done
 at U of M.  I phoned and they wanted my insurance information, which I pointed
 out would just waste more time.  Today I called the U of M pathology
 department again and the very helpful person there who had offered to pay the
 bill (the U of M probably sent my sample to St. Joe's trying to be helpful,
 since the doctor had used the St. Joe's form instead of U of M form), said
 that St. Joe's needed me to authorize him to receive a 'detailed statement'
 of payment, which I am about to fax.  He thought it would have been a lot
 cheaper for St. Joe's to simply write off the $38 instead of issuing bills
 every month and talking to me and him every month and doing research into the
 I was about to fax this information but when I picked up the phone to call
 for the fax number someone was calling us about her problems with AOL.  For
 some reason she prefers to keep paying $23/month for poor service.
#240 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Nov  7 20:28:29 2003:
 Today we walked to a church near Pauline and Seventh, via a park attached to
 Eberwhite Woods.  We looked at the crafts sale there and explained to several
 of the older volunteers that we were mainly stopping to rest me.  Jim had to
 repeat what I said, louder, for the first three, then I heard one explainng
 it to another.  Lots of volunteers there.  Someone had made snowmen out of
 odd-shaped interlocking concrete bricks and there were snake-like objects made
 of fabric from men's ties.  We declined an invitation to stay for their turkey
 dinner and walked back in strong winds, looking at yellow gingko and green
 and red katsura trees in people's yards and the last of the flowers.
 Jim's neighbor left us 12 packages of cheese.  Got to go eat some now.
#241 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Nov  8 10:39:24 2003:
 Today I woke up early with a headache and swollen glands, which I would not
 normally think of as due to the chemotherapy except that I also had them last
 two cycles about this time.  I will keep notes this time.  I had diarrhea for
 a few days all three cycles too, this time starting three days ago.  Maybe
 the chemo knocks out my immunity enough to let bacteria colonize my gut and
 those cause the headaches?  Nobody seems to have answers to these things, but
 headaches are listed as side effects of chemotherapy.  Last two times the
 headaches mostly started in late evening and went away by noon or so.
#242 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Nov  8 15:56:07 2003:
 My headache eventually got somewhat better with the help of a down quilt and
 a hot water bottle.  Jim started recycling 486s.  I suggested that polygon
 bring his nonworking computer over this weekend.  Just after I emailed him
 our Chinese friend living in Chicago phoned to say she could come to visit
 for 10 days (she has been offering to come cook for me, too bad I won't be
 able to taste her cooking too well) while waiting for some legal matters. 
 Her husband was transferred to Beijing by his American company and I suspect
 she may be getting a bit bored by herself.  We have been friends since the
 year after her husband was one of my roommates in 1985.  He was a good cook
 until she arrived and he forgot how to cook.  So I just emailed polygon to
 suggest today would work better than tomorrow for his computer because our
 visitor is coming tomorrow.  Jim volunteered to clean the kitchen at my
 apartment so she can cook meat for herself there.  He was the last person to
 use it, for all of August, and for some reason could take dishes out but not
 put them away.  
 	Perfect timing on the visit as this is my week of immunity and with
 luck my taste buds might even start growing back.
 	We are about to inventory the 12 or so remaining computers here.  I
 will skip today's walk.  Too cold and windy.
 	Amazing how busy you can stay after 'retiring'.
 	I notice that the skin on my fingers near my fingernails has again
 started to shred and one finger is again infected.  Last time it was 7 fingers
 by the end of the cycle, at which point it suddenly all healed.
#243 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Nov  9 10:25:39 2003:
 No headache today, just swollen glands.  Yippee!  And I think my laryngitis
 is starting to get better again.  So does Jim. 
 Yesterday we inventoried the six computers given to us recentlya nd found a
 CD-RW in one of them.  I found the 500K driver for it.  Is there some small
 downloadable free program you can use to just copy music CDs without moving
 pieces of them around?  Preferably DOS?  (I think there is an item in agora
 about this.)  If not, a friend offered to use HIS CD writer to copy the
 program that came with it.  He says there have been updates - do we need
 updates for a five year old writer?  First we need to figure out if it will
 even read CDs.
#244 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Nov  9 11:04:27 2003:
 I found a DOS driver for an older HP CD writer (28K) and a lot of information
 on several linux CD recording programs.  The best is supposed to be cd-record.
 Version 4 is up to 337K plus some other files are required.  The Windows
 software that our friend has needs 100Mb free disk space.  I think cd-record
 is non-gui but xcdroast is X based (gui).  Maybe we can find a precompiled
 older version that is smaller and does less.
#245 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Nov  9 20:02:46 2003:
 Our Chinese visitor emailed that she is not coming today (after we waited all
 day) and it will be some time after the 19th, which is right in the middle
 of the week I don't want visitors.  I hope she can wait a week.  I never
 expected to be running my life in 3-week cycles.
 I think I have figured out why I get a headache this time each cycle.
 Last weekend was my low immunity, which knocked out my T-cells that fight off
 viruses (along with the rest of my immune system).  This let the viruses that
 happen to be hanging around all the time in me multiply for a few days,
 causing three days of diarrhea eventually (Wed-Fri) while the lymph cells
 started to recover, and by Saturday I had lots of lymph cells which
 accumulated in my lymph nodes as swollen glands causing a headache.  But my
 immune system is recovering faster or not going down as far each time (no
 thrush expect from now on) so the headache is for fewer days each time and
 maybe I won't have one next time at all.
 THis could be totally incorrrect.  I will have a chance to test it.
 Watched a movie in which the pet dog got cancer and refused to eat so the
 owners killed and buried it.  I promised Jim to eat supper.
#246 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Nov 10 11:29:36 2003:
 Headache came back at night.  I have a second theory about it.  I get similar
 symptoms (loose stools for a few days then headache) just before and during
 my period, so perhaps they are due to estrogen levels dropping and then
 rising, as the chemotherapy drugs kill off any developing ovarian cells then
 more start to grow.  The confusing part of this is Jim always starts sneezing
 and taking hot baths around the time I get the headaches.
 So I am having not only drug-induced menopause but also drug induced symptoms
 similar to those I would get without having menopause.  Also cyclical bleeding
 the week of the prednisone which today has finally stopped (during
 defecation).  I hope until next treatment.  It started a week before the last
 one due to the barium sulfate for the CT scan.  I am taking iron pills.  Maybe
 this is why my hemoglobin was a bit lower than last time.  
 I can still (or again) feel friction (not just pressure) on the middle of my
 left palm and the arch of my left foot.  Not my right palm.  The pharmacist
 keeps warning me that the next development could be dragging feet.
#247 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Nov 10 18:29:28 2003:
 Today we walked to the Maple Village shopping center and back.  Jim found a
 treasure while picking up trash - a yellow solar-powered LED light that only
 needs something plugged into the two plug ends, such as a battery.  There is
 always lots of trash wherever we walk.  The A2 News dumps more every Tuesday.
 A friend stopped by to bring me walnuts (in the shell, good hand exercise)
 which taste slightly salty and oranges (in the skin) which taste more sour
 than I recall oranges tasting.  She wanted to bring me pie and chocolate bars
 and was disappointed that I don't seem to have a craving for sugar.  So many
 people would like to feed me the foods that they wish they could eat without
 gaining weight.
 I think things are tasting slightly more normal today but my tongue still
 feels like I ate a couple of raw pineapples and the orange stings a bit.
 Our friend described one allergy to something or other that lasted a year and
 caused her to lose her fingernails.  The skin peeled off the bottom of her
 hands and feet.  Sounds like a leukemia patient described her reaction to
 daunorubicin pills.  Much worse than laryngitis.  
 Our Chinese visitor is coming just after my last prednisone next cycle and
 will stay at my apartment until I am sleeping better and probably send over
 home cooked meals here.  We have to get the kitchen back to usable condition.
#248 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Nov 10 21:34:48 2003:
 Apparently we have to put together a few computers before working on making
 my apartment livable again.  Jim has been trying to figure out why the 300MHz
 curbside find won't work with any CD-ROM drive using any controller or cable
 - anybody have any ideas?  I have decided to use this computer for DOS, in
 which case it does not need a CD-ROM drive - this will save a lot of time
 trying to fix the drive.  We have another 500MHz curbside find that won't take
 ISA cards (the case blocks you from putting them in the ISA slots - clever
 of Compaq) so will only work with either an external modem (which Jim has
 already wasted days on) or a pci winmodem, so that is going to be Jim's Win98
 computer to use with the CD-RW drive and scanner.  We have to figure out what
 is wrong with three other computers given to us recently - probably just dead
 CD-ROM drives and super-slow onboard video - and then decide how to work
 around that.  This will save making lots of decisions.
#249 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Nov 11 14:15:44 2003:
 Today I can feel a little bit with the middle of my right palm, which leads
 me to believe that once I finish therapy I will be one of the lucky 'fair
 percentage' of people who recover from the nerve damage.  
 For Jim's birthday (this week) I offered to help him set up a Win98 and a
 Slackware 7.1 computer.  We just ordered the 3-CD Slackware (installation
 files, source code, and something else) for $1 plus $5 shipping instead of
 downloading, because the compiler is 120 M and it would therefore cost more
 to download (at 50 cents/hour).  Something to keep me from being bored until
 January when I hope to be working again.  
 I have been having a harder time finding books to read at the library that
 I can walk to.  This time I looked in the Russian book section and found three
 Harlequin romantic novels in translation.  The translation is interesting but
 the plot is not.  The main library is twice as far.
 Opera 7 lets you choose an 'accessible' screen without images (large black
 typeface, pale green background) or a lynx-style text-only screen.
 I wish I were strong enough to help clean the gutters.  Can't risk it.
#250 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Nov 12 10:51:16 2003:
 Last night we walked to Zion church to a talk about computers and machine
 embroidery.  The speaker started by removing her jacket 'because of hot
 flashes' then telling us she had had a hysterectomy (probably also
 ovariectomy) and that she had been 'child-abused' and that her mother and
 grandmother had breast cancer and she was sure she had a 90% chance of it.
 She brought in her 'breast cancer' dress with cutouts to represent a
 mastectomy and machine embroidered text about breast cancer arond the middle.
 Then showed us how to trace a scanned pattern with a mouse after choosing the
 type of stitch and color for each area, which was time consuming but you could
 make a painting into an embroidery by then setting the machine to embroider
 from a floppy disk, and changing the thread whenever the color was done.
 She said half the screen on her computer went blank recently so she needs a
 new computer.  Jim said it must be a laptop - we have never seen half a screen
 go blank on a regular monitor.
 They had refreshments.  I ate a bit of cheese and crackers and tried the
 grapes, which tasted horribly sour, and a bite of apple (ditto).  The water
 fountain was broken, the cheese was salty as were the crackers.  
 Today we are picking up the CD writer software from the neighbor for whom Jim
 dropped off the 50 CD-R's.  After I answered his email, Jim remembered that
 we also need to get back a few of them to learn on.  
 Jim was so happy that this is all in progress that he went out and cleaned
 the gutters and then fixed the hallway light.
 Every cycle my spleen starts to feel sore (mostly to the touch, but also if
 I move) about 2 weeks after the chemotherapy.  I wonder if this is because
 my T-cells have recovered enough to be killing off all the antibody-labelled
 B-cells from two weeks ago.  Maybe the swollen glands in my throat a week ago
 are also related to that?  I did not have them the first cycle when I did not
 take Rituxan.  I will probably never know what causes all these symptoms.
 The spleen is on the left side started just below the ribs and extending
 beneath them.  Sometimes my ribs also hurt around this time or before.
 The liver is somewhere lower.  I should look at an anatomy chart.
#251 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Nov 12 19:21:17 2003:
 Today's exercise was not a walk but two hours spent cleaning up my apartment.
 Jim was too busy during the month he cooked there to do more than wash the
 dishes.  I was too tired or too bedridden from May through August and have
 not lived there since.  The kitchen table no longer is covered with a computer
 and tools.  The sink is as white as a 1920 porcelain and cast iron sink will
 get.  The bed is now visible and the sheets are there for my guest to put on.
 Jim managed to use almost every bowl I own.  I will never understand how he
 managed to take the out but did not know where to put them back.  I think
 dyslexics have selective memories.
 The computer workshop has moved from there to here.  Polygon is supposed to
 bring over a computer that won't boot into Windows tonight, and another grexer
 wants to learn how to take computers apart tomorrow night, and we have orders
 from them for working computers.  No deadlines, which I cannot yet handle ;=)
 We are recycling anything slower than a P133 - anyone want the parts?
#252 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Nov 12 20:28:26 2003:
 Totally off topic (not that I am often on topic) but Jim discovered that the
 CD-ROM drive in one computer will read stamped CD-ROM disks, and some CD write
 disks but not others.  Why?
#253 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Nov 12 23:10:33 2003:
 The drive was reading one CD write disk only some of the time.  This is
 apparently a symptom of the cable not being plugged all the way in.
#254 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Nov 13 08:36:27 2003:
 How does one alter a Win2000 installation so as not to require a password,
 without knowing the password.
 Today I figured out why I had pain in the spleen area on both sides while I
 have a spleen on only one side.  This is actually sore muscles from cleaning
 up the apartment.  I also have sore hands from scrubbing the sink.  Cancer
 causes you to lose muscle.  I still cannot easily cut my toenails with a
 clipper.  I am cracking walnuts for exercise.
 As an experiment in how to eat foods when things taste sour, we made me some
 pomegranate juice out of syrup and a bit of honey.  The syrup is naturally
 sour, so even if it tasted more sour than usual it did not bother me.  Then
 we added some salty pickled lime to my supper so that I would expect supper
 to taste salty and that worked too.  I will be eating lots of pickled lime
 for a while.
 The tops of my legs are sore, probably from crouching while cleaning.  I
 should do more of this as I am now strong enough to get up again.
#255 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Thu Nov 13 12:33:01 2003:
 Hi Sindi. Sorry that this has been my first for a long while. Glad to see
 you're feeling stronger.
 Sounds like the sour + salt experiment worked a treat; brill!
 You might be able to copy the registry of a vanilla W2K installation w/o
 passwords enabled to your W2K machine. If you need to know how, I'll get back
 to you as I'll have to look up the whys and the wherefores (not to mention
 the how) myself.
#256 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Nov 13 13:05:47 2003:
 We don't have any other Win2000 installations, just one that came on a
 computer given to us (via some other people) that requires a password.
 Perhaps you can check your registry and see where the password is kept, and
 also let us know which file is the registry and where to find it.
 Jim's solution is to pass this computer along to a neighbor who also just
 acquired a used Win2000 hard drive and let him figure it out.  Along with the
 56K winmodem that would not work with at least 5 enormous downloaded drivers.
 I am supposed to go for a walk today.  Should be fun in the snow.
 First some hopefully fattening macaroni and cheese.  The sour cheese tends
 to drown out the sour macaroni flavor.  110 today with lots of warm clothes.
#257 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Nov 13 15:08:30 2003:
 Not a whole lot to look at on our walk besides the snow and some fat
 squirrels.  The only deciduous trees with leaves on them are the katsuras.
 I just got a bill from U of M Hospital for another $3000.  I had paid $4500
 and thought I paid $6500 total.  So called the insurance company and they
 explained that I pay NOT the first $5000 and then 30% of the next $5000, but
 30% of the next $10,000, or a total of $8,000.  Time to cash in a savings
 bond.  Next year should be about $5000 plus 30% of $3000 for four CT scans.
 Looks like medical expenses will total about half my earned income for the
 next few years.  I have to learn to fill in Schedule A.
#258 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Thu Nov 13 16:16:08 2003:
 I was thinking of the "friend of yours who has w2k installed" route. I've no
 objection to giving you one of our registries, but there are two potential
 To be safe, you need to make sure said registry came from a machine with no
 software or changed settings (the "vanilla" referred to in #255
 We have WinXP - which I'm not convinced won't be a whole hell of a lot of
 trouble if you put its registry on a w2k box.
 Still, I'll poke around and let you know the result tomorrow (Friday).
 Schedule A?
#259 Joe(gelinas) on Thu Nov 13 16:41:13 2003:
 (Schedule A of IRS Form 1040 is Itemized Deductions.  It's used when listing
 every deduction will result in a smaller tax bill than the standard
#260 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Nov 13 22:34:20 2003:
 You get to enter medical expenses on Schedule A if they are more than 7% of
 your income.  This year my medical expenses are more than my earned income.
 Then you subtract the total on Schedule A from your total income.  If you
 don't have anything to put on Schedule A, you subtract $4500 instead.
 The Win2000 computer has gone to a friend who has a Win2000 hard drive but
 also no installation files, and who says he knows how to edit the registry.
 We also passed along two winmodems for him to play with.  He got one of our
 previous failures working but I think one of these is dead.  
 Tonight we combined parts from a PB 100 and a PB 233, on the theory that the
 older CD-ROM drives and sound cards were built better and will last longer.
 Not only that, but Windows actually comes with drivers for SB 2.0, and not
 for all the fancy new pci sound cards.
 I just got a nice 'speedy recovery' wish from a complete stranger who ran
 across my website and also happens to translate Russian.  I have been getting
 lots of nice emails from friends who keep checking up on me.  My turn to send
 postcards to a few older friends who are in nursing homes or hospitals.
 It helps to add peanuts to the funny-tasting rice because nuts all seem to
 taste normal.
 This week my fingers are shredding and getting a bit infected around the nails
 - so far two fingers and a thumb.  Last time 7 fingers were infected.  I
 cannot figure out why this waits 2 weeks after treatment to happen.  It is
 the skin just behind where the nails grow.  My nails are growing fine.  I was
 supposed to expect problems with the nails.
#261 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Fri Nov 14 06:59:40 2003:
 Re: schedule a: thanks. medical expenses: ouch.
 That infection doesn't sound too rockin' either.
#262 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Nov 14 11:35:59 2003:
 ]The infection is minor, more of a scientific curiosity.
 The missing piece of case on the P233 was identical to the one on the P100.
 Today my left palm has more sensation that for the past few weeks.  I get to
 enjoy this for three days, along with increased sleep (I have been waking up
 every 2-4 instead of 1-2 hours) and a tongue that does not feel like I just
 ate a raw pineapple, and things are starting to taste closer to normal.  This
 must mean the chemotherapy is wearing off and I am starting to regenerate.
 Same thing happens every cycle.  Monday I get more chemotherapy.  Four weeks
 from now I will be done with the drugs and only one more IV to go this year
 (unless of course they decide I need 8 instead of 6 sessions).  
 The more accurate scale is a few pounds lower than the one I have been using
 and says I weigh only 103.5 pounds, with clothing, before breakfast.  Three
 weeks ago at the hospital I weighed the same after breakfast.  The doctor said
 at least don't lose weight when I had gained only 1 pound, but I think they
 are disappointed.  Some of what I eat must go into replacing all those cells
 killed by the chemicals.  No wonder I am not able to walk any farther as I
 have not been eating enough to make more muscle.  
 If I contine gaining only 1 pound every 3 weeks, it will take six months to
 get back to the 112 I weighed last January.  Got to work harder at this.
 Today is Jim's birthday.  Maybe we can get his CD-writer working for it.
 Can you install Win98 over Win31 to keep the settings for the sound card?
 This is an odd one, used by PB, which is SB 2.0 (8-bit) with a 14.4 modem
 which we are encouraging the recipient to use for dialing grex directly as
 the other modem will be a winmodem and it is much faster to dial from DOS.
 But he would need a phone line Y splitter.  
#263 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Nov 14 22:01:58 2003:
 I must have read the scale wrong (a 3 for a 5).  It is a nonilluminated grey
 on grey digital model, and there is only a 2 lb difference between scales.
 I weighed 108 after eating on the lighter scale.  I still don't know where
 the weight is going.  My hip measurement is 2" less than it used to be (down
 from 35.5 to 33.5") and my waist measurement has not changed (29")  I can
 still reach around my thighs with two hands and touch thumbs and middle
 fingers.  I bet no other grexer can do that.  I should try calculating body
 fat percentage from the pinching the underarm method and report back.
 Tonight the refreshments at the Kelsey Museum tasted nearly normal (except
 for the horseradish cheese) so we went to Dinersty for Jim's birthday dinner
 and had water spinach with fermented tofu sauce, which tasted about the way
 we expected it to taste (not that we have had this combination before).
 I looked at a few books on cancer at the library and learned that lymphoma
 is more common among Russian-origin Jews.  I wonder why.  Maybe we produce
 more B-cells to fight off the bacterial infections in ghettoes?  What sorts
 of diseases are bacterial other than strep throat?  I also learned that many
 people on chemotherapy are worried about gaining weight.  There were two
 copies of one paperback on how to cope with chemotherapy, with a large section
 on nausea and also one on insomnia.  Apparently some people lie awake
 worrying.  My problems in sleeping are more due to boniness.  They did not
 deal with that as it is not a symptom of chemotherapy.  I left the books there
 and brought home more cheering subjects such as environmental degradation,
 a scientific explanation of diseases related to mad cow disease, and a history
 of the first 3 billion years of life on earth.  
 Jim got two books on CD and realized that you need more CDs than you do
 cassette tapes to record a book because you can record books on tape in mono
  and get up to 240 minutes per tape, but CDs only 80 min per disk.  And
 he does not know of any way to make the CDs talk twice as fast like he does
 with the tapes.  Can you record a CD to hard disk and then listen to it
 faster?  If so, can you lower the pitch?  Maybe the books for the blind people
 will special order CD players that play half as fast.
#264 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Sat Nov 15 01:44:49 2003:
 Some bacterial diseases: 
 Anaerobic (Bacteroides fragilis) Infection
 Aquarium Granuloma
 Cancrum Oris (Noma)
 Cellulitis (Aeromonas)
 Cellulitis (Streptococcus)
 Gas Gangrene
 Granuloma Inguinale
 Legionnaire's Disease
 Ludwig's Angina
 Phagadaena Tropical Ulcers
 Pseudomonas Infections
 Scarlet Fever
 Staphylococcal Infection
 Toxic Shock Syndrome
 Vincent's Angina
#265 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Sat Nov 15 06:25:48 2003:
#266 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Nov 15 06:39:26 2003:
 Now I know why I have not had anything on this list for a few years - I had
 an excess of B-cells to fight off all the bacteria!  I think infections of
 the mucus membrane of the mouth are bacterial and I was getting sores in my
 mouth the first three cycles when my B-cells were killed off by the chemo.
 Yesterday evening grapes tasted normal (slightly more sour) but before some
 grapes at a reception tasted awful.  I tried an orange and it tasted more
 awful.  Jim tried it and pointed out that it was spoiled.  Spoiled oranges
 don't normally taste this awful to me.  More bitter than sour.  Is this just
 due to losing some taste buds, or might I have become more sensitive to the
 byproducts of whatever organism spoils fruit (some fungus?  - there was no
 blue fuzz on the skin, just that taste).  People with less resistance would
 benefit from avoiding spoiled foods.
 This seems to be one of these mornings when I don't get back to sleep.
 Maybe if I climbed lots of stairs (three times up and down?) I would get more
 tired and sleep better?
 Scrapie/BSE/kuru/Creutzfeld-Jacob disease (caused by prions, a type of protein
 that folds wrong and causes other proteins it encounters to do the same)
 somehow affects its victims by causing them to lose appetite and waste away.
 I wonder how it does this.  Cancer does the same.  Appetite suppressant.
 If you are a sheep, you are likely to get scrapie if you eat the placenta from
 a ewe with scrapie that has given birth.  It is not destroyed by normal
 sterilization techniques or by the formaldehyde used to make vaccines from
 attenuated viruses so a bunch of sheep got scrapie from a vaccine against
 something else.  I am glad not to be a sheep.
#267 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Sat Nov 15 13:29:22 2003:
 Prions destroy neurons, and the symptoms (and death) follow from that. 
 There has just been a report of an experiment in which mice were made
 "immune" to prions by genomically changing them so neurons expressed an
 enzyme that destroyed the *normal* prion protein. Without the normal
 protein, the prions can't misfold anything, so neurons were not destroyed.
 However at the same time the prions in other cells created the misfolded
 protein, but that created no symptoms: other cell types were unaffected by
 misfolded prion proteins. A rather ingenious experiment.  This doesn't
 provide directly a practical vaccine, much less cure, of course, but tells
 a lot about the process of this disease.
#268 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Nov 15 15:23:45 2003:
 Apparently the normal prion protein is not essential, as someone was also able
 to breed mice without the gene to produce it and they seem okay.  If you don't
 have that protein, it cannot be converted to prions.  The protein resides in
 the cell membrane until it is converted to the misfolded prion form, then the
 cells die and the protein gets loose and converts proteins in other cell
 membranes.  The prion form of the protein has a section converted from
 irregular to flat-sheet, which renders it inaccessible to the enzymes that
 normally break it down, so it accumulates.
 About 100 people (as of 2002) had died of BSE.  About 100 people a year die
 of salmonella poisoning in Germany, frequently from eating factory eggs.
 Genetic engineering is saving people from this disease because it is no longer
 necessary to process pituitary glands from dead people.  One in 10,000 people
 die of Creutzfeld-Jacob disease and companies used to process 20,000
 pituitaries at a time to make human growth hormone.  I think genetically
 engineered bacteria now make it instead.  They also make the drug which is
 killing my B-cells (Rituxan).  (Someone wants to chat now).
#269 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Nov 15 21:44:16 2003:
 This cycle I have only four fingers with only a little bit of shredded skin
 and only one was bleeding at all. Last time I had 7 total that were more
 infected.  I still don't know what causes this.  
 This evening I timed the hot flashes.  Every 45 minutes exactly.  I could
 almost set a clock by them.  At night I wake every hour feeling hot so perhaps
 they slow down then.  
 I put together a list of side effects for the doctor and was surprised to find
 at least 15 side effects other than blood counts going down.   Some of them
 are no longer recurring this cycle.  Some occur only the first week (with
 prednisone) and some only the last week (pain in the spleen and ribs).  The
 laryngitis gets worse around the second week then a bit better each time.
 The odd taste gets worse a few days after therapy, then somewhat better by
 the end of each cycle, but overall is getting worse, along with numb hands.
 The 15 side effects do not include those of prednisone.
 Non-Hodgkins lymphoma is more common after age 50 and may be caused by Epstein
 Barr virus but they tested and I don't have that.  They tested for lots of
 viruses and I don't have any of them.  I wonder why they tested.  
 One more 'normal' day before chemo on Monday.  Last time they said they did
 not have a free slot for me but would notify when they found one.  I have a
 12 pm doctor's appointment and presumably a blood draw before that and they
 will have to find a spot for me after those.  
 Today we did computers instead of walking.  Jim is fixing polygon's Windows
 problem by reinstalling Win95, using the serial number from the original
 installation which he found in one of the files.  The monitor  that had
 some problem or other looked like it was going to explode (and sounded that
 way too) so Jim unplugged it.  Larry picked up a computer we put together for
 Sarah to play games and learn to write on, and when she learns to write we
 will add a modem and Kermit.
#270 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Nov 16 19:31:17 2003:
 An eventful day.  Got polygon's coputer working after downloading the video
 driver, and got it up to normal speed by restoring CMOS to default values.
 It had been running at about the speed of a 386 and it was a P200.
 Jim has been struggling all day with a winmodem that gets put onto Com1, which
 is the only serial port available on the computer.  It works in another
 computer on Com4 if you fiddle with things a lot.
 We have an order for a grex laptop from a friend who would like to read about
 cell biology online and has no computers.  We have a lovely little 286 for
 her to dial grex with and use lynx.  Due on Tuesday.
 On Wednesday (busy social schedule) we plan to go walking with the older
 neighbor down the block who does a double block every dry day but is afraid
 of falling.  She had several strokes and some surgery.
 Some time after that we promised (again) to show our 81 year old friend how
 to use the printer we set up for him.  His wife called to check on me and
 called back to tell me it was Ostromeria she had brought me in a vase from
 her garden.  These flowers last several weeks.
 This leaves us five weeks (before I stop being retired) to put together a few
 computers for ourselves.  I am still using a 486 here.  Being retired is time
 consuming.  Tomorrow is another chemotherapy day and since they told me three
 weeks ago that there was no free slot, I expect to be there until closing
 time.  Last time we did not pay for parking because the cashier had turned
 off her cash register at 9 pm.  I will try to think of other things so as to
 get some sleep tonight.  I hate needles.
#271 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Sun Nov 16 23:58:36 2003:
 Good luck, Sindi.
 Hmm, never heard o Ostromeria. American native?
#272 Joe(gelinas) on Mon Nov 17 06:48:07 2003:
 Perhaps its alstromeria, also known as Peruvian Lily.  See
#273 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Nov 17 10:28:37 2003:
 Yes, alstromeria sounds right.  Leslie already told me the name of this flower
 after it came in a bouquet from someone I translated for and I keep
 forgetting.  It does look like a lily.
 Jim made flat bread in the breadmaker last night so he suggests we buy some
 that rose on the way to the hospital.  We are supposed to be there at 11 and
 I have not eaten breakfast yet.  Got to remember to take CDs along to drown
 out the TV noise, and a few books that I can read with one hand.
 I printed out for the doctor two pages describing all my side effects.
#274 Cadet Eugene Tackleberry(tod) on Mon Nov 17 14:54:47 2003:
#275 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Nov 17 21:52:35 2003:
 What sort of luck do you mean?
 We just got to my apartment after finishing chemotherapy at 9:15.  They close
 at 9:00 so we were not required to pay for parking.  Five hours in the
 infusion area after waiting five hours in the waiting area (a small amount
 of this being blood draw, talking to a nurse, and 2 minutes with the doctor,
 who read my two page summary of events and had no questions.)  After the sixth
 infusion Dec. 8 I get another CT scan and possibly a PET scan as well.  Has
 anyone reading this ever had a PET (positron emission tomography) scan and
 does it require an IV.  The CT scan won't show the difference between scar
 tissue and tumor.  Today I had lower than usual blood pressure and my
 neutrophil count is still 2.7.  It was over 4 on the day of the last infusion,
 perhaps because I had some virus.
 We had time to talk to lots of people in the waiting room.  A retired man who
 has a very slow leukemia being treated just with pills, indefinitely.  He says
 they only make him nauseous in the morning.  He feels sorry for the young kids
 who come in.  I talked to a girl who needs to come in every day from 2 hours
 away and has a port.  To the parents of a 2 year old who had a bone marrow
 transplant for neuroblastoma, diagnosed at age 1.  She is two months ahead
 of predicted progress and could be done with the three times a week visits
 by Christmas.  Her parents found an apartment here for the duration and cannot
 go anywhere as she must not be exposed to any microbes.  The boy we met the
 first time, skinnier than me, has gained more weight and can walk 2 miles.
 He has to keep going to school (night school in his case) in order to receive
 insurance benefits.  Someone showed me the afghan she knit during her frequent
 long waits.  Someone in with her husband (who has blood problems) told me all
 about her breast cancer, which has returned twice with puzzling symptoms and
 caused fluid around the lungs and a cough that they thought was pneumonia.
 Someone else was looking unhappy at the results of a CT scan - she had been
 in remission.  Most of these eople have to drive 1-3 hours to get here and
 half of them have to come 3-5 times a week (and wait around all day).  A girl
 from Chelsea was there with her mother and I asked her what fourth grade was
 like.  She has asthma and needs to be especially careful during chemotherapy.
 My roommate during chemo was there with his girlfriend (hoth in their 70s)
 who told us about her knee replacement and heart surgery and latex allergy
 - she is also allergic to formalehyde (plywood) and curtains and acrylic and
 acetate.  Her boyfriend was getting 5 hours of blood transfusion for low
 hemoglobin.  He could not hear well and was playing the TV loudly. Finally
 they moved him to a bed as he was not feeling well.  
 This time they are letting me cut the prednisone dose from 100 to 70 mg but
 they infused the higher amount today of something similar (decadron).  The
 vincristine is staying at half dosage - this is letting my numb hands recover,
 and also it is what caused sore jaws the previous times.  The brought me 2
 Benadrysl but let me take just one (patient right of refusal) and will throw
 out the other and not charge me $4.19 for it.  I had three nurses on different
 shifts, including the one that we gave the pawpaw to.  She told us how she
 brews beer - tried using tap water and bottled water and gypsum added to the
 water to remove calcium.
 We were the second to last to finish and were not charged for parking at 9:15.
 The ENT exam for the laryngitis could not be scheduled until February, which
 the cancer doctor agrees is pretty pointless in case it is caused by a drug
 reaction, since I will be done with drugs by then.  He wondered whether to
 reduce the dosage of whatever caused it.  I told him it keeps getting worse
 after therapy and then better again.  The pharmacist commented that my voice
 sounds a lot stronger today.  The mother of the boy who lost more weight than
 me and is a bone marrow candidate told me my hair was looking nice (short and
 rather skimpy) and her son showed me his head without any hair to explain why
 she liked my hair.  
 The blood draw was nearly painless - I hope I get her again - and the IV was
 as good as they get, worked first time and did not hurt too much for 5 hours.
 My blood pressure was fairly stahle but low - 102/80 and then 102/64.
 I can now look forward to maybe 6 instead of 4-5 hours per night sleep for
 the next week.  
#276 klg(klg) on Mon Nov 17 22:30:03 2003:
 re:  "Has anyone reading this ever had a PET (positron emission 
 tomography) scan and does it require an IV."
 Had one, I believe, after final chemo tx.  Pretty sure an IV was 
 involved, but they don't bother me.  Nice thing was that there was no 
 massive piece of eqpt, such as for a CT or MRI.
#277 Steve Gibbard(scg) on Mon Nov 17 23:46:51 2003:
 I just caught up on this item after not being on Grex for more than a month.
 I'm glad to hear things are going well, Sindi.
#278 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Nov 18 00:13:22 2003:
      * [27]Introduction
      * [28]Diagnosis
      * Treatment
      * [29]Follow up
      * [30]Example Study
      * [31]More Information
    The doctors diagnose the cancer and determine what kind it is by
    looking at a sample of the tumor under a microscope. This alone does
    not determine what treatment you should have. Before treatment, your
    doctors must determine how much lymphoma you have. This is called
    staging the cancer.
    Treatment options as well as the outlook for your recovery depend on
    both the exact type and the stage of the lymphoma.
    Once identified, a suspected lesion is biopsied. If it is found to be
    melanoma, it will be surgically removed-often with surrounding lymph
    nodes. A number of diagnostic tests may be performed, including a PET
    scan and a sentinel node biopsy.
    Tests used to gather information for staging may include:
      * A physical examination
      * Blood tests
      * A bone marrow aspiration and biopsy
      * A lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
      * Imaging tests including a PET scan
    PET is the most useful test that you can have when doctors are staging
    or re-staging lymphoma because it accurately shows the extent of the
    spread of the cancer.
    How PET works: In cancer, cells begin to grow at a much faster rate,
    feeding on sugars like glucose. PET works by using a small amount of a
    radioactive drug called a tracer in combination with a compound such
    as glucose. Once you are injected with the tracer and glucose, the
    tracer travels through your body. It emits signals as it travels and
    eventually collects in the organs targeted for examination. If an area
    in an organ is cancerous, the signals will be stronger since more
    glucose will be absorbed in those areas.
    In tissues or organs affected by lymphoma, more of the radioactive
    glucose will be taken up as compared to normal lymph nodes and
    tissues. This helps the doctors understand exactly where the lymphoma
    is. Proper staging of the location and extent of the tumor is the
    first step in appropriate treatment. Moreover, once treated, patients
    are often re-staged to determine the effectiveness of the treatment.
    In addition to providing basic staging information, the initial PET
    scan provides a baseline for subsequent evaluation of whether the
    therapy was effective or not. Whole Body PET may be particularly
    useful in detecting extra nodal sites of disease such as bone marrow,
    liver and spleen.
    The treatment of lymphoma has been one of the true cancer success
    stories of the last 20-30 years. Continued improvements in
    chemotherapy and radiotherapy have resulted in better survival rates.
    After first showing the doctors where the cancer cells are, PET can
    also see if the therapy has been effective at killing them.
    Call the doctors at the [32]PET center nearest you if you have
    lymphoma and would like to discuss your treatment options or whether
    PET would be useful in your care.
 PET scans can be used to distinguish between dead and live abnormal lymph
 cells, unlike other methods.  So if my spleen masses do not shrink to
 nothing but continue to be 1/4 their original size, they need to find out
 if they contain live tumor cells this way.  I think they would do a CT
 scan first and then a PET scan only if the CT scan is ambiguous.
 I looked at blood count numbers.  As predicted, my bone marrow is starting
 to wear out a bit.
 Hemoglobin is 13.6 this cycle, 12.9 mid cycle, and 14.3 last cycle.  At
 this rate it could drop to 12.4 before I finish chemo but 12 is
 Platelets were 568, 428, 351 and now 312.  At this rate they could drop to
 about 249 but 150 is acceptable.
 Neutrophils (fight off infections) remain low all cycle.  Last three
 cycles they were 8.3, 4.2, and 3.9, and they are now down to 2.7 (up from
 2.6 in mid cycle).  Not so good if they keep dropping.  Normal is 1.4-7.5
 Lymphocytes have been 1.5, 1.1, 1.6 and now 1.0.  Lower than 0.8 is bad.
 They are being specifically attacked.
 Perhaps the drugs are killing the cells in my bone marrow which make all
 of the above and they also need time to regrow.
#279 TS Taylor(tsty) on Tue Nov 18 02:06:42 2003:
 kep up the good medicine ...
#280 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Nov 18 08:53:04 2003:
 I looked up the decadron that they give me the second part of the cycle
 (along with two antinause drugs in pill form and three traditional cancer
 drugs intravenously).  It prevents nausea and is antiinflammatory.  It is used
 against certain cancers as well, and for arthritis and lupus and asthma and
 psoriasis.  It suppresses the pituitary.  Sometimes it keeps people awake but
 it does not affect me that way.  Or if it did, the Benadryl counteracted it
 (but the Benadryl was given much earlier and did not make me sleepy).
 I just took my Prilosec (prevents stomach acidity) and we will walk to the
 pharmacy for my prednisone that I can take with breakfast.  Got to remember
 to drink lots of liquids for a few days, and lots of fiber all week.
 My right hand is definitely regaining sensation now.  I suspect both hands
 will be worse again in two weeks and then start to get better again.
#281 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Nov 19 11:53:39 2003:
 After decadron at 8 pm and prednisone at 9 am I got one hour sleep the next
 night (2:30 to 3:30) and lost four pounds of fluid between morning and 3:30,
 then got up and ate breakfast at 4:30 and slept part of the time from 7 to
 11 am.  Good thing I don't need to go to work this year.  Even tho the
 prednisone dose was cut from 100 to 70 mg it is additive to the decadron.
 Next dose coming up.  
 My numb hands continue to get less numb, including the right hand now.
 Our Chinese guest arrives tomorrow.  Good thing I still am not in the middle
 of the cycle where things taste worse - I may just risk exposing myself to
 her imported (from Chicago) viruses as she is a really good cook.
 My aunt (whose daughter died at age 30 of Hodgkin's lymphoma) wrote that when
 she had TB she lost 30 pounds and had to eat lots of small meals.
 My Macedonian friend wrote that her boyfriend of five years tested positive
 (in Bulgaria) for stomach cancer and plans to come here where he has a doctor
 friend.  I have no idea how he could afford treatment here.  My latest
 full-body CT scan was $3800 (before discount).  My friend makes $300/month.
 I offered to help pay for her daughters' college expenses of $200-1200/year
 tuition and room and board in a few years - wish I could promise to be around
 until they graduate.
 My Slovene friend writes that her sister is getting stronger after stomach
 cancer treatment.
 My oldest cousin, whose mother had breast cancer at age 86 shortly before
 dying of other caues, that she also had breast cancer.
 Everyone (under 80, anyway) seems to be surviving cancer nowadays.  Except
 for brain tumors (my mother, mother in law, and a 20 year old daughter of a
 friend).  I don't know if they can be treated with chemotherapy.
#282 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Nov 19 12:59:43 2003:
 My those chemotherapy drugs work fast.  I have lots more hair coming out
 today.  About 10-15 hairs each time I pull on a new section of head.  Apart
 from sleeping odd hours I still feel fine and hope to go for a nice long walk
 in the park while it is still sunny.  Jim just biked off to deliver a computer
 and pick up potatoes from a farmer friend who gives us his culls, leaving me
 with oatmeal and prednisone in pear sauce.  I am starting to get used to the
 bitter taste.
 Our Chinese cook arrives tomorrow and I can still taste things properly.
#283 Twila Oxley Price(anderyn) on Wed Nov 19 13:27:49 2003:
 My mother has had two brain tumors (both noncancerous, thank God) and had
 surgery and radiation and some chemo for them. A friend of Rhiannon's from
 high school that I met earlier this year also had a brain tumor (cancerous)
 but will be five years in remission this spring. I believe she said she had
 chemo. Unfortunately, she seems to have ended up permanently bald. 
#284 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Nov 19 13:38:57 2003:
 I am very glad to hear that they are doing better at treating brain tumors.
 By noncancerous I think you mean nonmalignant (did not spread).  My mother's
 started as a pituitary tumor and spread.
 It is always encouraging to hear that people have been successfully treated,
 baldness or not.
 I still have hopes of regaining my voice.  Yesterday I could actually sing
 low notes (softly) and a friend commented how much stronger my voice was. 
 Today (less than 48 hours after treatment) it is much softer and higher
 pitched again.  Which sort of implies that after the last treatment it wil
 stop getting worse and continue getting better.  But as I tell people, I can
 live with laryngitis (or baldness).  
 How does one administer chemotherapy for a brain tumor?  It is supposed to
 be difficult to pass anything between the brain and the rest of the body, and
 they usually inject chemicals into a vein on hand or arm.  My mother was told
 that her tumor could not spread outside the brain or spinal cord, all of which
 they irradiated.
 Two other people have told me they had surgery for nonmalignant brain tumors
 and they never recurred.
 The potatoes just arrived -  a bushel full, by van.  Too much for a bike
 basket (too much volume, tho Jim has carried 100 pounds before - he once biked
 into the local brick place and told them to load up a 100 lb sack of mortar).
 I traded a few jerusalem artichokes to our farmer friend so that he can sell
 their offspring at $6.50 a pound.  He gets $2 for organic potatoes (or at
 least the coop sells his potatoes for that).  Also a green sweater that Jim
 says makes him itch from a foot away (and through three layers of shirt).
#285 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Nov 19 15:46:28 2003:
 Our neighbor down the block called to remind me that we had a date to go
 walking together.  She gets out on good days and watches the cracks in tbe
 sidewalk very carefully so as not to trip and fall.  We spent 30 min going
 around the block, including a chat with some men waiting to repair the asphalt
 in the road.  There was a large construction vehicle parked over the spot to
 be repaired, with a very tall pumping crane coming out of it and descending
 into the cellar of a house under construction.  One friendly man exchanged
 farm stories with our neighbor and called us both 'young ladies'.  We then
 stopped to see what she meant by having such a mess in her house that there
 was no room to set up a computer.  Former reference librarian who cannot bear
 to part with anything printed and has bookshelves over every door and some
 narrow passages between things to walk through.
 The 70s duplex street (that we walked on without her) is now lined with red
 and yellow katsura leaves.  One tree had small green fruit - they must come
 in female and male varieties.  The fruits hang on the tree all winter and are
 edible later on when they are black and wrinkled.
 While watching for cracks, we read the names or initials of many companies
 that had built or replaced sidewalk in this area since 1941.  There is always
 something new to look at.
 The neighbor would like to go walking with us again but I may be taking a few
 days off first as my legs are feeling numb again.  My hands have also gone
 from nearly normal to tingly all over (from vincristine) since yesterday.
 I can now be grateful that I can walk more than a block, don't need to worry
 so much about falling, and don't have a colostomy and have not had five
 strokes.  One cannot bend at the waist with a colostomy so has to bring a
 chair out into the garden to weed.
 Next time it is too cold or icy to walk to the library, I can walk to the
 reference librarian and borrow some Kipling.
 Time to feed and water myself.
#286 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Nov 20 09:06:37 2003:
 I managed to sleep part of the time between 2:30 and 7:00 am.  It is sort of
 hard to tell whether or not I have been sleeping because I am so jittery from
 the prednisone but I remember dreaming a bit before 7:00.  Something to do
 with the book I was reading - Two Years Before the Mast - about a freshman
 who took a couple of years off to recover from measles by becoming a sailer
 in 1831.  It was a five month trip around South America from New England to
 California.  They made sure to round the Cape during the worst winter weather
 (mid-summer here) and then spent a couple of years trading things for hides
 at the 'ends of the earth' - California - where the Spanish-speaking rulers
 all had Indian slaves and bought Massachusetts wine, shoes (made from their
 California hides) and clothing.  Sailors had to wash and mend their own
 clothing, kill and chop up their own cows, and work about 16 hours every day.
 They got to California during the northern winter and their only time off was
 after dark, with no artificial lighting provided.
 I have not yet figured out from context the meanings of loose, reef, double
 reef, and furl - can anyone explain?  These are verbs that take as their
 object about ten types of sail.
 I just got an email inquiring about a Bulgarian translation and had to explain
 that I would not be awake to do it until maybe Tuesday.  Friday's prednisone
 may wear off by Sunday night but Monday is garbage day and the trucks start
 on Jim's street.
 We are finally working on a computer for Jim.  First we installed a 2M Linux
 that includes a dialer and browser and can be used for downloading any files
 that might be needed for Win98 to run the CD writer and scanner.  I have
 nearly forgotten how to use that linux since July.  The chemotherapy
 interferes with memory but I think it is only recent memory (I am losing my
 vocabulary and need to talk around missing words once in while, like the
 neighbor who had five strokes).  
#287 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Thu Nov 20 11:57:21 2003:
 "to reef" is to shorten a sail with the use of a row of short lines, reef
 pendants, that are sewn into the sail. The sail is lowered a little and
 the reef pendants are tied around the boom. This reduces the sail area,
 which becomes necessary in high winds. There are parallel rows of reef
 pendants so the sail can be shortened different amounts.  A "double reef"
 uses the second row up of reef pendants.
 "to furl" a sail is to lower it completely and fold it up and tie it to
 the boom. The sailor will say to furl the sail you stretch out the foot
 and then flake down the sail by the luff and leech backwards and forwards
 onto it. 
 I'd have to see "to loose" in context, but it can refer to shaking out a
 reef or unfurling the sail.
#288 Joe(gelinas) on Thu Nov 20 12:04:40 2003:
 "Reef" is to make the sail smaller, so it catches less wind.  Every sail
 had sets of reef-points at different distances from the foot of the sail,
 so to double-reef was to shorten it to the second set of reef-points.
 "Reef-points" are short bits of rope attached to a sail, used to lash
 the sail to the boom (the spar along the bottom of the sail) or yard
 (the spar at the top of the sail) when reefing.
 "Furl" is to store the sail against the yard, removing it from the wind's
 effect completely.
 "Loose" meant what it means now: to set free.
 (Trivia: A 'loose cannon' was one that had broken its restraints and
 so went rolling across the deck as the ship moved.)
#289 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Nov 20 14:30:08 2003:
 Thank you both.  The book will make more sense now.  
 Can you translate the following passage about stringing up wet hides to dry
 them?  Apparently they made the ship into a giant clothesline.
 We got up tricing-lines from the jib-boom-end to each arm of the fore yard,
 and thence to the main and cross-jack yard-arms.  Between the tops, too, and
 the mast-heads, from the fore to the main swifters, and thence to the mizen
 rigging....tricing-lines were run.  The head stays and guys, and the
 spritsail-yard, were lined, and we got out the swinging booms and strung them
 and the forward and after guys with hides.  Our ship was nothing but a mass
 of hides, from the cat-harpins to the water's edge, and from the jib-boom-end
 to the taffrail.
 Is a yard a sail?  I think stays, lines, and guys are ropes.  The sailers
 spent a lot of time unravelling old rope and making it into newer rope.
 Today I walked the neighbor again.  We spent a lot of time looking at rough
 spots on the sidewalk.  She cannot handle downhills or steps well.  We passed
 the same black cat three times in three places.  We also passed people out
 walking a baby and a dog.  My legs are really wobbly and sort of numb today.
 My hands are getting numb again and I am dropping things but I don't care as
 I know it is temporary and Jim is still doing the cooking.  He has discovered
 that if you leave out the 'online signup' from the Win98 CAB files it will
 install without AOL and Compuserve advertising, and that WORDPAD will not read
 WORD files, all of which helps make Win98 smaller.  None of this, of course,
 gets us to being able to use the CD writer any quicker so I think I may copy
 the ten nearly due library CDs to tape.  I was going to record some
 information about them via a microphone but I can't hear myself too well.
 There is an interesting section of my novel in which the incompetent captain
 manages to sail into two of the other three ships in harbor and break pieces
 off of them, and is headed for the third one (while trying to anchor) when
 the captain of the latter rows over and politely takes command of anchoring
 the rogue ship.  'Our captain gave a few orders, but as Wilson [the other
 captain] generally countermanded them, saying, in an easy, fatherly kind of
 way, "Oh no!.  Captain T-, you don't want the jib on her" or 'It isn't time
 yet to heave!" he soon gave it up.'  The author eventually transfers to
 another ship and sails home earlier.
#290 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Thu Nov 20 15:42:34 2003:
 We say there are no ropes on sailing craft: they are lines in general and
 otherwise they all have names according to their functions (stays,
 shrouds, halyards, sheets, lifts, --hauls, etc). The fixed rigging, which
 holds up masts, are stays; lines used to set sails are halyards; and lines
 used to control sails are sheets. A tricing-line is a short line used to
 fix something to something else. I didn't know the term so had to look it
 up. I guess an outhaul - used to pull the sail taught along the boom - is
 a sort of tricing-line, but since it has its own name, that is used. 
 A yard is a spar (pole, rod) set at right angles to a mast, usually
 holding the top and bottom of a square-rigged sail on both sides of a
 mast. (A "yardarm is an end of a yard.) There are specific forms of
 "yards" that are just on one side of a mast, such as the boom (holding the
 bottom of a sail) or a gaff (holding the top), or spreaders (holding the
 shrouds (which are the side supports for the mast) away from the mast near
 the top. 
 This nomenclature is great fun for sailors as it is so unique to ships. 
#291 S. Lynne Fremont(slynne) on Thu Nov 20 15:55:12 2003:
 No so, rane. The soap in the head is still "soap on a rope" and 
 not "soap on a line" ;) 
#292 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Nov 20 17:45:07 2003:
 In 1831 I bet they had no soap on a rope.  There was never any mention of
 washing bodies, just clothing.  Once in a while half of the crew was chosen
 to get a day free on shore and would borrow pieces of their 'fitout' from
 everyone.  I wonder how this became outfit.
 Stays are another word for corset.  I suppose a corseted torso might feel like
 a mast in being just as inflexible.
 Today I took another bath and noticed that when I rubbed the bottoms of my
 feet large flakes of skin came off.  The tub started to look like a fish tank
 at feeding time.  I looked and an entire layer of skin is peeling off my
 soles, exposing a new layer beneath.  A leukemia patient said she got this
 effect from daunorubicin.  I get doxorubicin.  In her case it hurt, probably
 because the skin peeled before a new layer grew in.  
 I also noted a light sprinkling of very small raised red dots on my torso,
 which may be broken blood vessels.  Maybe the fluid retention from prednisone
 causes this and then they don't heal properly because nothing is able to grow
 back for a few days.  The shredding skin near my fingernails may be the same
 phenomenon as my feet but it happens more frequently so the skin underneath
 is not grown in and bleeds.  
 Jim thought a yard was a sail, as in 'the full 9 yards' being a ship under
 full sale.  
 There were starboard and larboard on ships, not port.  I wonder if port got
 to be the name for the left side of the boat because that is how the boat was
 always oriented towards the land when sailing downwind on trade winds in the
 Atlantic.  What are the etymologies for all these terms?
 scudding-sail fore scuttle hawse-hole lee scuppers sky-sail fore-topmast
 staysail, balance-reefed trysail  reefed forespencer.  
 How many different sails could a ship have?
#293 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Nov 20 17:53:43 2003:
 Doxorubicin can cause swelling, pain, redness or peeling of skin on the soles
 of the feet and palms of the hand.  Not related to the numbness, which is from
 vincristine.  My palms are not peeling.
#294 Joe(gelinas) on Thu Nov 20 18:21:18 2003:
 How many different sails could a ship have?  Lots.
 A "ship" has three (sometimes more, but generally three) masts.  Each mast
 has a lower course, a top course and a royal course, each with its own yard.
 Three masts, each with three yards, is nine yards.  So one theory of the
 origin of the "whole nine yards" is all nine yards flying sails.
 So.  Just on the masts:
 	foresail	fore topsail 		fore royal sail
 	mainsail	main topsail		main royal sail	
 	mizzensail	mizzen topsail		mizzen royal sail
 Plus, staysails are flown from the stays holding up masts, named for the
 mast they support:
 	fore staysail	fore top staysail	fore royal staysail
 Additionally, studding sails are flown outboard of the regular sails,
 and skysails are flown above the royals.  Then add another mast or two,
 and a few gaffs, and have a grand old time. :)
 One theory is that "starboard" came from "steering board", on the right
 side of the vessel, and "larboard" came from "lading board", where the
 vessel was loaded.  After sufficient confusion of larboard and starboard,
 larboard became "port," since it was next to the port.
#295 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Thu Nov 20 19:37:55 2003:
 Thanks, Joe, for taking over! Sindi was starting to exhaust my knowledge
 of big ship terminology as I only sail small ships.....
 But I happened to hear on TV, and just looked up with Google, that the
 "whole nine yards" comes from the nineyard "length of a Browning .50 cal. 
 machine gun ammunition belt" - so if you shoot off the whole belt, you
 have given the enemy the "whole nine yards". 
 Joe, you have to have twelve (12) yards to rig nine sails on a
 square-rigged ship. Right? 
#296 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Nov 20 20:23:53 2003:
 Jim also read something about a bolt of cloth holding nine yards.
 What is a gaff?
 Do I correctly understand that there are three masts (fore, main, and in the
 rear mizzen or formerly spelled mizen).  On each mast is a lower sail, a top
 sail, above that a royal sail and sometimes above that a skysail, and to the
 outsides of these sometimes a staysail?
 So what is a balance-reefed trysail?  What is a top-mast, as in fore-topmast
 staysail or main top-mast-head?  A marline-spike?  I still don't think I have
 staysail distinct from studding-sail.
 The only sailboat I have ever helped sail had only two sails - main and jib,
 I think they were.
#297 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Thu Nov 20 21:13:38 2003:
 I leave most of that to Joe, who seems to be into big ships.... 8^} But a
 "gaff" in the sense I used it (not a hook for pulling fish aboard) is a
 spar that supports the narrowed top of a trapezoidal sail rather than a
 triangular sail. This allows the same sail area but without the height of
 a triangular sail. However it is not as efficient for the same sail area.
 The gaff supports the top of the sail like the boom supports the bottom.
 Staysails (pronounced staysals) are clipped onto the fore-stays that
 support the foremast from before. The jib is a staysail, but larger
 ships have many forestays and sails can be put on all of them. 
 A marlinspike is a tapered rod put into a hole on the railing of a largish
 ship to which a halyard can be cleated. It provides a temporary cleat.
 Sindi, it is time for you to check out a book on sailboats, which will
 give all the names of the parts. Let me know when you learn what the
 gungeon and pintle are - you'll be ready to take the UM Sailing Club
#298 Joe(gelinas) on Thu Nov 20 21:55:00 2003:
 How do you count four yards for three sails, Rane?
 I've also heard that the belted plaid was nine yards of cloth.  So the three
 explanations (and I've heard all of them) are:  the length of the cloth used
 in the traditional Scottish costume, the number of yards on a three-masted
 ship, and the length of a machine-gun's ammo belt.
 A belaying pin is used as a temporary cleat.  A marlinspike is used to
 separate the strands of a rope when splicing.
 A good unabridged dictionary will probably have an illustration of a fully
 rigged ship.
#299 Glenda F. Andre(glenda) on Thu Nov 20 22:36:40 2003:
 I have never met a bolt of cloth (other than, maybe, a specialty handwoven)
 that was under 25 yards, with everything but the heaviest wools and fake furs
 being closer to 50 yards.
#300 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Fri Nov 21 02:46:04 2003:
 Joe is right. I think I've not been thinking sailing for a while and the
 old grey cells are luffing a bit. I was, actually, visualizing a lower
 yard, below the lowest sail, to better set it, especially when beating,
 but I reviewed a number of square rigged ships online, and they sheeted
 the lowest sail to the rails. I suppose if they didn't set the lowest
 sail, four yards would be used for three sails, but....oh well. 
#301 Scotch! Cigars! Coffee!(fitz) on Fri Nov 21 07:29:17 2003:
 Is the poop deck used for what it sounds like?
#302 Christopher L Goosman(goose) on Fri Nov 21 09:19:37 2003:
 This has been a very enjoyable set of responses...thanks Joe and Rane.
#303 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Nov 21 12:23:03 2003:
 I know, at least, what beating is - going against the wind.  It took the ship
 3 weeks to beat north 100 miles along the CA coast and 1 day to return.  
 Today Jim has a sore throat and runny nose and I have been sneezing for two
 days.  Not sure who got this cold first but the timing could have been better
 as my immune system is scheduled to conk out today.  We are avoiding our
 visitor from Chicago so as not to get her sick.  I was going to avoid her for
 a few days in order not to acquire imported diseases.  She offered to cook
 and drop off some chicken soup but we don't eat chickens.  Jim is going to
 treat his cold with a hot bath after he finishes trying to fix the boiler of
 a friend who is practically living in another city while his mother is
 recovering from hospitalization.  She and the nursing home hate each other.
 They sedate people who don't cooperate.  They put them on chairs with alarm
 cushions so they won't try to get up and go to the bathroom on their own and
 maybe fall.  They change their clothes to pajamas at night (I wear my pajamas
 all day) whether the patients want this or not.  This makes the patients'
 children feel guilty for putting them into the nursing home but what else can
 they do with parents who are not thinking clearly and are very weak?
 They also make them do 2 hours a day of physical therapy and I am going to
 write the friend's mother and encourage her to exercise hard so that they will
 let her out sooner (or at least let her walk around on her own).
 Please share your ideas on nursing homes.  The patient in question lives alone
 and has been refusing to take insulin, drinks a lot of soda, is incontinent,
 and is not acting very logically.  She had to be hospitalized because of
 extreme weakness following weight loss and high blood sugar.  Medicare will
 pay for a nursing home but not for a nurse to come by to give insulin because
 the doctor is trying to force her into a nursing home, probably so he cannot
 get sued for not doing so.  
#304 Joe(gelinas) on Fri Nov 21 12:46:52 2003:
 "The 'poop' deck on a sailing ship is the aftmost deck at the ship's stern,
 and takes its name directly from the Latin 'puppis,' meaning 'stern'"
#305 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Fri Nov 21 13:34:27 2003:
 It might be added it is a raised deck, above the main deck. Joe, do  you
 know why early warships, in particular, had poop decks? Later commercial
 sailing ships didn't. Was it to provide something like a castle tower
 that could be defended more easily when boarding was a part of warfare
 at sea?
#306 Flaring Posterior Emissions(flem) on Fri Nov 21 13:39:40 2003:
 Here's a bit about "the whole nine yards".
#307 Joe(gelinas) on Fri Nov 21 14:50:41 2003:
 No, I don't know why a raised deck was added.  However, I seem to remember
 seeing it on the great rowing ships of the Mediterranean: galleys, biremes
 and triremes.  I'd never thought about the 'why' of it. 
#308 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Fri Nov 21 15:48:34 2003:
 The captain had a nice stateroom underneath (according to the movies) -
 with stained-glass windows sometimes. Maybe with merchant ships the
 captain had to lump it with the crew....
#309 Joe(gelinas) on Fri Nov 21 17:00:34 2003:
 I suspect even merchantmen had at least one (relatively) decent stateroom aft,
 for the captain.
#310 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Nov 21 19:05:42 2003:
 On this ship (in the book) the senior crew had their own little badly lighted
 room and the officers slept somewhere else.  The junior crew slept in steerage
 without permission to put nails in the wall to hang their clothing.  There
 was one 10 year old and two 19 year olds, 4 other crew (and one who drowned)
 and three officers, a nigger cook, a steward, and a carpenter.  The crew spent
 most of their time rowing to and from shore and carrying hides, once they
 reached California.  Food was salt beef, salt pork, biscuit, and for a treat
 something made with flour and molasses, and grog, and tea.  The cook had a
 pet pig.
#311 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Fri Nov 21 19:21:54 2003:
 Sings: "Oh, a life on the ocean wave, is better than being at sea..."
 No, I don't know what my grandfather was on about when he used to sing that,
#312 Joe(gelinas) on Fri Nov 21 20:47:14 2003:
 After you finish this book, Sindi, you should try Patrick O'Brian's series
 that begins with _Master and Commander_ (the movie is, apparently, based
 on a later book in the series).  It's fiction, but he uses period records
 as the background and for a lot of the details.
#313 S. Lynne Fremont(slynne) on Fri Nov 21 21:17:46 2003:
 I just saw _Master and Commander_ tonight. It is pretty good especially 
 for anyone interested in things nautical.
#314 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Nov 21 22:14:58 2003:
 Jim just had out Master and Commander on CD, to try reading books on CD.  Her
 prefers them on tape so he can speed them up.  I will ask him about it.
 I liked a book about how the Chinese discovered America in 1421, also
 Australia, Antarctica, and lots of Pacific Islands.  They spent a few years.
 We are apparently going to have a Chinese Thanksgiving dinner, possibly at
 the house of some Macedonian friends with our imported cook.  Jim is trying
 to come up with appropriate cooking utensils such as a large steamer.  She
 brought him her castiron wok (not very useful on an electric stove) and
 assorted other little gifts such as three bags of split peas, some duct tape.
 We like people who don't waste things when they are moving.  
#315 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Fri Nov 21 22:47:58 2003:
 Sindi, you should read Sailing Alone Around the World, by Joshua Slocum -
 see how it's done by a real salt. 
#316 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Nov 22 08:41:20 2003:
 I am not all that focussed on sailing, actually.  Now I am reading a book on
 the first three billion years of life on earth, which discusses how people
 are related to sponges and corals, and to starfish, and how giardia probably
 used to have mitochondria but the RNA (DNA?) from them moved to the nucleus.
 And fungi are closer to animals than to plants.  Slime molds are in there
 somewhere.  Grex is a slime mold.  
 I have started taping the 12 library CDs that we have been renewing for two
 months, but today we might try to get the CD writer working.  I am avoiding
 crowds and individuals until at least Monday so we have the time now.  I am
 feeling a lot less tired than this time last cycle because of the lower dose
 of prednisone so I can still go on long walks.  Only 1 or 2 pounds instead
 of 5 pounds fluid retention means I am not up most of the night urinating and
 I have slept as late at 7 am.  With the usual awakenings from hot flashes of
 course, but only once an hour or so.  No more prednisone until December.  
 I am trying to find out how many square meters of body surface I have.  I just
 learned that they usually give everyone the same amount of vincristine despite
 theoretically adjusting for body size, but now they have cut my dose in half.
 The max dose is 2 mg and that is what they give everyone.  I want to check
 whether everyone also gets two syringes of doxorubicin, the one the causes
 the laryngitis and peeling feet, in case they can cut that back too.  Maybe
 the tables linking height/weight and body area are online somewhere.
#317 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Nov 22 10:15:50 2003:
 I found a site for calculating body surface area at  Mine is 1.5 m sq, with average women
 being 1.6.  At 93 pounds I was 1.4.  The vincristine dose is 2 mg.
 My lean body weight is 90 lb and ideal 131 lb (mine is probably lower than
 that since I have small bones).  Weight at 10th percentile.
 When I weighed 93 lb my lean body weight was 82 lb, which explains why I did
 not have much muscle strength.  The body apparently preserves about 10 lb as
 fat and sacrifices muscle instead.  At 120 lb I would have lean body weight
 of 98 lb (another 8 lb of muscle) which I could certainly use.
 My current BMI is 17.1.  Low normal is 19.  I am up from 2nd to 10th
 percentile in weight versus height.  
 All these figures are automatically calculated when you type in weight and
 height and use a javascript browser to calculate.  
 This site is full of ads for pills to lose weight.
 It is not a good idea to eat breakfast at the keyboard after having taking
 vincristine as the oatmeal is not good for the keyboard (shaky hands).
 If I can continue to gain one pound a week by January I will be somewhat
 better insulated as half the gain will be fat.  I was 112 lb for the three
 years before getting sick and could sit comfortably and did not need to wear
 two sweaters at 70 degrees.
#318 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Nov 23 15:28:46 2003:
 Today is probably the low point in my cycle.  My tongue and throat feel raw
 but I still don't have Jim's cold so we took me out for a walk in the balmy
 weather.  Two cycles ago on this day I barely made it across the street and
 back.  Today I made it to Eberwhite Woods and around the woods and back and
 a few additional blocks.  I had to stop and rest a few times.  Jim would sit
 on a log breathing downwind while I sat on him facing the other direction,
 as I still am too bony to sit directly on logs.
 We have confirmed that the grey and black squirrels are smaller than the brown
 ones and do not have the white fur on the underside.  THe former are probably
 Eastern grey squirrels in two color variations, the latter fox squirrels. 
 We did not see the small (red?) squirrel in the woods.
 Not too much greenery left to look at.  The trees can be identified by their
 bark but I only know black cherry, white and red oak, and hickory (shaggy).
 We admired a lot of shelf fungus on fallen and standing dead trees.  The shelf
 fungus is found on the bottoms of logs and mosses on the tops.  We also saw
 some rounded largish stones in the mostly dried up creeks, granite.  
 My elbow and knee joints feel sort of loose - perhaps some connective tissue
 is not regenerated.  My leg muscles feel somewhat numb.  Different from the
 numbness in hands and feet (numb/tingly), more that I cannot feel the usual
 feedback when I use them.
 The short-term pain in my upper arm muscles has returned.
 Things are still tasting relatively okay.
 I have been losing hair in places other than the top of my head, but not leg
 hair, which must not grow as often.  My eyebrows and lashes are much sparser.
 My fingernails persist in growing strongly and I still have a struggle cutting
 them with one hand.  If I put my finger on the table and prop the toenail
 cutter against the table and lean on it, it cuts the nail.  
#319 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Nov 24 10:21:27 2003:
 Lots more hair coming off my head today and I hope last night was the low
 point because I had aching insides of my knees, elbows, upper arms, spleen,
 and ribs, and raw tongue and throat.  I finally had an interesting dream
 around dawn before the 7:20 garbage truck woke me up, which involved among
 other things Marcus Watts with a beard that covered all but his eyes.  I had
 been reading someone's travel stories about Afghanistan, where the women went
 out dressed in large bags, I think without anything showing but hands.  And
 the dream involved our neighbor (who called late to help with geting our CD-R
 drive to work) starting up a restaurant with a Korean cook - I had also
 been reading travel stories about South America, where the Korean immigrants
 own lots of restaurants like they do in Ann Arbor, and we now have our own
 Chinese cook (who promises to send over some good leftovers until I get
 well enough to visit with her).  
 I don't like Mondays - garbage trucks, blood draws, infusions, CT scans are
 all scheduled for Mondays.  
 The sailors have just weathered a 3 day gale that blew away or shredded every
 one of their sails.  Luckily their sailmaker had prepared a few new ones for
 their return voyage.  I have out a library book on atlases of exploration with
 several illustrations of sailing ships.  It looks like the large square sails
 (used for sailing downwind) are normally hung down from the boom (yard?), not
 attached to it at their bottoms like the mainsails in smaller sailboats.  The
 triangular sails can be attached along one of their two upper edges, or
 attached only by their three corners (sometomes to a piece of wood that
 projects forward - what is that called?).
 There are lots of words for rope - tack, sheets, halyards, hanks, frapping
 lines, bolt-rope, footropes.  What are brails and gaskets and gaff? 
 spritsail, martingale guys.
#320 Joe(gelinas) on Mon Nov 24 10:55:15 2003:
 Right: the spar at the top of a square sail is a "yard."  Ships with square
 sails (known as "square-rigged ships", or "square-riggers") could sail
 *slightly* upwind, maybe to within seventy degress of the wind.
 }   Brail \Brail\, n. [OE. brayle furling rope, OF. braiol a band
 }      placed around the breeches, fr.F. braies, pl., breeches,
 }      fr.L. braca, bracae, breeches, a Gallic word; cf. Arm.
 }      bragez. Cf. {Breeches}.]
 }      2. pl. (Naut.) Ropes passing through pulleys, and used to
 }         haul in or up the leeches, bottoms, or corners of sails,
 }         preparatory to furling.
 A gaff is a spar at the top of a sail.  It differs from a yard in
 projecting only aft from the mast, rather than across the mast.  It sets
 a sail fore-and-aft, rather than across the ship.
 The "piece of wood sticking out", from which a three-cornered sail is
 flown, should be the bowsprit.  It is at the front of the ship, right?
#321 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Nov 24 11:58:52 2003:
 Yes the bowsprit is in front.  The sail on it must be the spritsail.
 What is a gaffer, if a gaff is a spar at the top of a sail?
 The Polynesians had sailing ships up to 100 feet long, with a platform resting
 on two dugout canoes.  I think they had only one sail.  In the 1830s a lot
 of the sailors were natives of the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii).  They were very
 good swimmers.  Sailing ships included merchant ships, military ships,
 privateers (pirates), slavers, and whalers  The author said that the whalers
 were very good at rowing but not very good at working with sails, and that
 they did not wear the usual matching outfits (white cotton in summer, blue
 wool pants in winter) but dressed like farmers or fishermen in all colors of
 pants, with suspenders.  The crews amused themselves at times by having rowing
 or sailing races, they sang while hoisting up the anchor, fiddled, and told
 tall tales.  They also traded books between ships and read a lot.
 The author got a packet brought to him by another ship containing cloth to
 make a new Sunday best outfit, and one year old letters, and one year old
 Boston newspapers.  He read every word including the auction sales.
#322 Colleen McGee(cmcgee) on Mon Nov 24 12:33:46 2003:
 Sindi, borrow "harbors and High Seas: An Atlas and Geographical Guide to the
 Aubrey-Maturin novels.
 The Third Edition contains the maps and charts that cover all 21 books.  
#323 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Nov 24 15:11:21 2003:
 What is an Aubrey-Maturin novel?  I don't think I need an Atlas to understand
 the book I am reading right now, just some detailed drawings of ships.
 Jim went over and made two attempts to provide our guest with a working
 washing machine.  The replacement control (switch) worked worse than the old
 one and the backup machine no longer works (after sitting about 10 years in
 the basement it does not even fill).  Our grateful guest sent back her
 equivalent of chicken soup for a cold (it has large chunks of ginger in it)
 and some boiled peanuts with anise, and a type of pudding made probably out
 of sticky rice flour (it is nearly as sticky as taffy) and dried chestnuts
 and jujubes.
 I have just been offered more translation work.  I had to explain that I might
 be about to get an awful cold (with no immunity - but Jim has been sick for
 a few days and I am still okay) followed by three days of headache, and I
 wanted to have the option of returning it a couple of days late.  
 We might be going to a potluck Thursday on the organic farm if we are all
 well.  I cannot plan life very far ahead yet.
#324 biologic aqua absolute standard premium grade of pure all natural water(flem) on Mon Nov 24 15:13:55 2003:
 I made it through only a couple of the Patrick O'Brian books.  They
 seemed to be a lot more about the main character's social life on land
 than about anything having to do with water.  The Hornblowers were much
#325 Joe(gelinas) on Mon Nov 24 18:38:15 2003:
 Sindi, Jack Aubrey is the captain in _Master_and_Commander_; Stephen Maturin
 is his ship's surgeon.  The books about their adventures were written by
 Patrick O'Brian.
 A friend pointed out that Hornblower was a 20th-century man placed in the 
 early 19th century.  Aubrey and company seem much more to be men of their 
 In what context was 'gaffer" used?
#326 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Nov 24 19:23:27 2003:
 Gaffer as in making movies.  Is it related to sailing terminology?
#327 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Mon Nov 24 20:34:49 2003:
 Then a gaffer is  a lighting electrician on a motion-picture or television
#328 bruce allen price(bru) on Mon Nov 24 23:35:51 2003:
 I wish I knew where my book on ships is.   It has detailed drawings on various
 ships and their riggings.  Ill have to see if Ican find it.
#329 Dave Lovelace(davel) on Tue Nov 25 10:06:49 2003:
 (The current issue of _Smithsonian_ has an article on the Aubrey books & their
 author, FWIW.)
#330 David Brodbeck(gull) on Tue Nov 25 11:51:11 2003:
 Re #294: Is sailing also the origin of the expression "three sheets to
 the wind"?  I've always wondered about that.
#331 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Tue Nov 25 16:12:10 2003:
 Yup. From the web: "To be 'three sheets to the wind' is to be drunk. The
 sheet is the line that controls the sails on a ship. If the line is not
 secured, the sail flops in the wind, and the ship loses headway and
 control. If all three sails are loose, the ship is out of control." 
 I would only add that only some boats have three sails (and sheets), so
 you can also be out of control with one or two - and more - "sheets to
#332 John H. Remmers(remmers) on Tue Nov 25 16:50:52 2003:
 the wind".
#333 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Tue Nov 25 17:30:17 2003:
 "Gaffer" usually means "boss"; Sam Gamgee's father and
 predecessor as Bag End's gardener in Lord of the Rigns was
 known as Gaffer Gamgee, on account of his being an
 authority on all things gossipy, probably.
#334 Joe(gelinas) on Tue Nov 25 22:35:13 2003:
 }  Gaffer \Gaf"fer\, n. [Possibly contr. fr. godfather; but prob.
 }     fr. gramfer for grandfather. Cf. {Gammer}.]
 }     1. An old fellow; an aged rustic.
 }              Go to each gaffer and each goody.     --Fawkes.
 }     Note: Gaffer was originally a respectful title, now
 }           degenerated into a term of familiarity or contempt when
 }           addressed to an aged man in humble life.
 }     2. A foreman or overseer of a gang of laborers. [Prov. Eng.]
#335 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Wed Nov 26 01:05:37 2003:
 The definition of gaffer I gave in #327 was #4 copy/pasted from the
 Merriam-Webster online dictionary. At least they have caught up with the
#336 Joe(gelinas) on Wed Nov 26 01:13:17 2003:
 I wasn't disagreeing with your definition, Rane; I was responding to the
 response immediately before mine.
#337 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Nov 26 08:25:36 2003:
 I have also come across 'gammer'.  Jim says the electricians are the ones who
 are in charge at construction projects because they are there throughout most
 of the job.  He was once an apprentice electrician for a year.  This year he
 might get around to switching from fuse box to circuit breaker panel.  The
 insurance company says that can cut the rates 30%.  It will also cut our
 heating costs by 2/3 if he finishes the wiring.
#338 Joe(gelinas) on Wed Nov 26 14:22:12 2003:
 And 'gammer' is the feminine equivalent of "gaffer": "prob. fr. grammer for
 grandmother. Cf. {Gaffer}."
#339 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Nov 26 20:37:55 2003:
 Today I read an Agatha Christie novel whose blurb starts off:
 For thousands of years the ancient city of Baghdad had been the scene of every
 kind of evil known to mankind.
 The book continues with something about a secret organization stockpiling
 nuclear weapons somewhere in the mountains in some place like
 Baluchistan.....There is a band of men, mostly young men, so evil in their
 hearts and aims that the truth would hardly be believed....Antichrist!....
 There must be total war--total destruction.  The small chosen band of higher
 beings...when destruction had run its course, they would step in and take
 Apparently the current paranoia is not recent.  
 Today my legs are still so wobbly that I did not go for a walk.  It feels as
 if I would pull a muscle in my calves if I tried, or my knees would bend the
 wrong direction.  This seems to be getting worse each cycle.  I was warned
 the side effects could be cumulative.  Some people do eight cycles somehow.
 But I am much better than in July-September.  They told me things would
 average out between getting generally stronger and the side effects getting
 worse in some ways.  Hands are shakier than last time.
#340 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Wed Nov 26 20:44:00 2003:
 I didn't realise Agatha Christie lived long enough to see
 nuclear weapons, certainly not to fear rebel terrorist
 groups (not states) getting hold of them.
#341 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Nov 26 22:30:52 2003:
 This group was supposedly trying to set the Americans against the Russians
 (in 1951, McCarthy era) so that they could take over the world after both
 sides lost.  Agatha was still writing novels in 1973 and died in 1976.  The
 Baghdad novel was slightly autobiographical in that she really did go to
 Baghdad and she also met and married an archeologist there, as did the
 heroine.  There was reference to avoiding charming and lovely men - her first
 husband must have been both, and he fell in love with someone else after they
 married and moved out.  She wrote a 1973 Hercules Poirot novel in which the
 main character is an elderly lady with a servant who writes murder mysteries
 and is friends with Poirot and hates to give speeches.  
 The heroine of the Baghdad novel likes to invent stories about herself.
#342 John Willcome(willcome) on Thu Nov 27 02:38:05 2003:
 Whore's trying to take over the world, keesan?
#343 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Nov 27 10:02:52 2003:
 As predicted, got swollen glands in my throat and a headache yesterday evening
 but they went away overnight and with luck will not come back.
 I want to thank whoever entered invisible-to-me responses in the last ten
 items for treating this one seriously.  I plan to post it at my site after
 I am done with therapy for other patients to read.  Which is why I continue
 to discuss side effects even though it must be dull for grexers.
 My tongue is working better than last cycle and I plan to enjoy our Chinese
 Thanksgiving dinner today.
#344 Bruin the Bare Bear(bruin) on Fri Nov 28 08:30:25 2003:
 RE #340 Agatha Christie died in 1976.
#345 Dave Lovelace(davel) on Fri Nov 28 13:00:25 2003:
 (I think certain people may be unclear on when nuclear weapons became an
 issue, as well as on when Christie was writing.)
#346 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Nov 28 16:48:56 2003:
 Today I got what is probably my fifth bill from U of M for Jim's routine blood
 test done July 7 (he passed).  First time I called and asked them to fix this
 to 'preventive' so that the insurance would pay.  They billed me again.  Next
 I asked them what happened and they said the doctor had to fax them the
 correct code number for preventive.  They billed me again.  I had them talk
 to the doctor's accounting person.  They billed me again.  I called the
 doctor's office.  She said not to call her again and the amount was supposed
 to go towards insurance deductible.  Our policy is such that routine exams are
 exempted from the deductible (if billed properly).  I had the insurance
 company phone the doctor's office.  I phoned the insurance company.  They said
 they had explained it all.  I wonder who did what wrong this time.  I will
 have to wait until Monday to call U of M Billing and the insurance company.
 I think it might be time to recommend to PPOM not to use this doctor.  Three
 separate billing problems already.  
 	What really bothers me is that the accounting person refuses to accept
 any responsibility and hangs up on me and says not to call again.  The
 insurance company is being rather helpful.
#347 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Nov 30 11:39:56 2003:
 This is the time in the cycle when the  side effects start to go away.
 My legs are less wobbly, as oftoday my hands are much less numb.
 This cycle the headache lasted only one evening instead of 3 days (cycles 3
 and 4) or 6 days (cycle 2).  My left hand only had a few twinges of pain
 instead ofbeing swollenfor 3-7 days. The pain in my ribs due to pleural
 effusion is less frequent and less severe.  The laryngitis wasa bit better
 but is worse again now. 
 Jim has been sick for 10 days now - muscle aches, very hoarse,says he feels
 awful or terrible, sneezing, coughing...  I sneezed a few times this week but
 don't have his cold or flu.  Amazing.  
 I have gained only 1 pound in 2 weeks because he does not feel like cooking
 and I did not feel like standing on wobbly legs, or cutting with shaky hands
 (which are also getting a bit better now).  There is still no sign of any body
 fat or increased muscle mass. I must have lost a lot of internal fat.
 I am strong enough to sit putting linux on a computer for hours, but it still
 hurts to sit.
 We are getting Chinese food delivered daily or cooked here since Wednesday.
 Jim ordered more sticky rice pudding with jujubes.
 I may go for my first walk in a week today while the sun shines.  
#348 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Dec  1 12:32:08 2003:
 Today my voice is nearly normal and I can even sing.  Jim also feels enough
 over his flu that he volunteered to walk me.
 First I need to make lots of phone calls about insurance.
#349 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Dec  2 00:09:23 2003:
 I phoned U of M Billing and they put me on hold for a while to check why I
 was being billed more than 20% of $138 and then told me the insurance company
 was paying part of this and someone at U of M had 'posted' it wrong.  Who?
 'The poster'.  I owed $43.  This is actually 30%, meaning the insurance
 company also made a mistake (it is 70% of amounts over the deductible but 80%
 of preventive care up to $400 that they pay), however I decided to pay the
 extra $15 since this had been going on since July, just to end it.  I paid
 by credit card over the phone.  I will check my statement carefully.
 My hands continue to feel a lot better and today we went out walking in the
 cold and wind, and even took a shortcut through an area overgrown with trees
 and a bit hilly.  It still wears me out.  But my legs no longer feel numb.
 My feet don't feel anything but pressure.  I am hungry again.  My big chance
 to gain 2 pounds this week to keep up my average.  Jim feels like cooking
 again.  He is happy with the linux computer I am making him to use for photo
 editing and browsing (five browsers).  He is also happy that he was able to
 break a piece out of his printer so that it would work with the same
 cartridges as a friend's printer that he is doing refills for, and that lets
 him test the refills.  And use the friend's old cartridges for everyone. 
#350 Dave Lovelace(davel) on Tue Dec  2 12:06:25 2003:
 With Grace's arm we also, several times, just gave up & paid things.  I think
 that they dig in their heels knowing that many people will do that.  I suspect
 that it's not cost-effective in the end (for them), though.  
#351 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Dec  2 13:28:28 2003:
 Today I seem to finally have whatever Jim still has.  I am coughing and my
 throat is sore.  I emailed the nurse to ask if I should delay Monday
 chemotherapy so as not to infect other people.  Jim had muscle aches,
 very hoarse throat, and exhaustion as well as the usual respiratory symptoms.
 We have been putting off visiting mutual friends with our visitor until Jim
 was better and now we are both sick.  She continues to cook for us.
 I will try peppermint tea to stop coughing.  
#352 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Dec  3 16:39:36 2003:
 My sore throat has passed but I am still coughing.  I think this is not what
 Jim has/had but something new.
 Today U of M Billing phoned to say that my credit card number did not work.
 Turns out they don't have a way to deal with debit cards over the phone.  My
 debit cards work fine for internet purchases.  Also turns out that the $43
 I tried to pay is not 30% of $138 but the discount off $182 to $138 and they
 are still billing the full amount.  I phoned the doctor and was told he
 must have had some reason for billing this as non-preventive but he was not
 going to talk to me and I was hung up on.  I phoned the insurance company and
 got the name of someone that the doctor' refused to talk to.  I phoned ppom
 and someone spent half an hour trying to help and phoned the doctor's office
 and was told he 'exercised his professional judgment' in refusing to bill as
 preventive a blood count and PSA that he had recommended to Jim because he
 is male and over 50. If this is not a routine test, what is?
 PPOM said I could send them a letter of complaint and they also gave me the
 address to send an appeal to the insurance company to get them to pay this
 even if it was billed wrong.  I just wrote up 1.5 pages for each.  I hope that
 this doctor will be removed from the ppom list and that the insurance company
 will take responsiblity for fixing the problem he has caused.  The former
 might help with the latter.  If these were not routine tests they should not
 have been done at all since we made it clear that we were there because the
 insurance paid for routine tests.  
 I am getting tired of this but not tired enough to pay the full $138.
 If the doctor refuses to cooperate, who is responsible for the problem?
#353 Joe(gelinas) on Wed Dec  3 17:23:23 2003:
 (Have you stopped using that doctor?)
#354 klg(klg) on Wed Dec  3 21:08:30 2003:
 You may have covered this previously, but why are you receiving bills 
 for Jim's medical tests?
#355 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Dec  3 21:37:32 2003:
 We went to this doctor just once.  I pay Jim's expenses.  He is taking care
 of me.  
 Is there some virus going around that starts with three days of scratchy
 throat and coughing so hard you almost throw up?  I thought I had what Jim
 used to have but it is acting differently.  I would like to be able to predict
 if it will be better by Monday.  I started coughing Monday and thought I had
 a strep throat last night (which stopped hurting so much by morning).  
#356 klg(klg) on Wed Dec  3 22:02:43 2003:
 You pay for his health insurance?  Even so, wouldn't the deductible/co-
 insurance be billed to the policyholder?
#357 Scott Helmke(scott) on Wed Dec  3 23:50:17 2003:
 Sounds a bit like that I had a few weeks ago... never did figure out if it
 was a really nasty cold or the flu.
#358 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Dec  4 09:00:33 2003:
 How long did the nasty cold last?  Yes I pay for Jim's insurance and his
 medical expenses as well.  
#359 Scott Helmke(scott) on Thu Dec  4 09:18:50 2003:
 Not quite three weeks, I think.  
#360 David Brodbeck(gull) on Thu Dec  4 11:15:31 2003:
 My strategy for a while now has been, whenever I feel unexpectedly
 cruddy for no good reason, I take a day off work and sleep a lot.  So
 far I've been successful in avoiding getting truely sick this way.
#361 S. Lynne Fremont(slynne) on Thu Dec  4 11:42:34 2003:
 I had a pretty nasty cold in October that lasted for the better part of 
 two weeks. 
#362 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Dec  4 14:06:35 2003:
 I hope this does not last three weeks as I cannot postpone therapy for two
 weeks.  Does it get somewhat better after the first week?  So far it is just
 four days of lots of coughing and scratchy throat, complicated by the
 pharyngitis so at night I am wheezing trying to get enough air.  Okay when
 I am standing up.  The week after chemo the pharyngitis is worse.
 Scott and Slynne, do you recall how you felt after just one week?
#363 Scott Helmke(scott) on Thu Dec  4 14:12:00 2003:
 Mine doesn't sound exactly like yours.  First couple days maybe I felt a
 little lower energy, and then a sore throat started to show up.  The night
 that I knew I was sick I had a fever over 100, then normal the next day.  Then
 a milder fever that night, after which it settled down to a bad cold.  Colds
 do tend to throw off my internal temperature regulation, though.  After some
 unremembered amount of time I developed a really bad cough, which at times
 seemed like I was about to pull a muscle.  Eventually things tailed off, but
 the cough stayed on for a few more weeks until I went to the doctor.  That's
 when I was on prednisone for a week, to reduce thoat inflamation.
#364 S. Lynne Fremont(slynne) on Thu Dec  4 15:52:08 2003:
 After a week, I still had a cough but I felt well enough to go to work. 
 Mine started with lots of sneezing and a stuffed up nose. By the third 
 day, I had a slight fever and a cough. The cough is what lingered but 
 it went away around two weeks after the initial illness. 
#365 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Dec  4 22:24:27 2003:
 Maybe we all have/had the same thing but responded differently?  I have been
 coughing for four days now, no stuffy nose but a sore throat two nights ago,
 and no fever.  I sneezed maybe five times the week before it started.  I will
 be on prednisone for five days next week.  My big concern is that the
 pharyngitis will interact with the infection and I will be choking on mucus
 like I was second cycle when I had a cold.  If I have a very runny nose next
 Monday I might ask to postpone a couple of days.
 Today I got notice from the insurance company that they are not reimbursing
 me for the mattress pads recommended to prevent bed sores because they are
 'for comfort and convenience'.  Yes, it is convenient to be able to sleep.
 I am now exchanging emails with someone who supports one of my favorite
 programs, whose brother had lymphoma 25 years ago and refused to be treated
 again after it recurred.  Chemotherapy was apparently quite a bit worse then,
 and the second time you get it they use worse poisons.  His mother was cured
 of leukemia for 15 years then died of a stroke.  Leukemia is usually harder
 to cure than lymphoma.  His brother had an advanced case.  They decided
 against surgery after taking a look inside.  We are discussing hospital diets
 and the advantages of having a Puerto Rican restaurant across from the
 hospital so visitors can bring cooked food.  
 He said his mother never regained her sense of taste.  Mine is cyclical and
 is worst just about now and returns around the beginning of the next cycle.
 The other side effects are worst shortly after treatment and my hands are
 hardly numb now.  I have had only one finger with shredded skin at a time this
 cycle (maybe 4-5 total) and no hand pain.  The laryngitis was nearly better
 until I started coughing a few days ago.  Leukemia treatment is more frequent
 so the side effects are worse and probably longer lasting.  
 I would REALLY like to get the last treatment over Monday.  The thought of
 this has been sustaining me recently through eating sour-tasting potatoes and
 drinking sour-tasting water and walking 3/4 mile each way in the cold on feet
 that I cannot feel, and pulling out clumps of hair when I know it is about
 to get a lot colder.  
 The hot flashes don't seem to be quite as hot or frequent (down from every
 45 to every 60 minutes?).  
 One leukemia patient said she had chemotherapy for a whole year and it did
 not help.  She was pretty cheery about it all, relative to how she could have
 been.   Her next step was a bone marrow transplant within 2 weeks.  It must
 have been nice to have that decision over with.  
 I am not coughing quite as much (yesterday I coughed so hard I nearly threw
 up) but now my head hurts a bit.  My eyes are sill runny.  Jim made me some
 more salt water gargle, which when I used it almost made me choke.  But it
 is much nicer tasting than the thrush treatment was.  
 Our visitor made a special trip here and tried to tempt my jaded appetite with
 stir-fried bitter melon.  It is green and has scalloped edges.  I grew some
 once and it had gelatinous looking red seeds.  I tasted one piece and it
 tasted exactly like prednisone and benadryl.  Apparently bitter things all
 taste the same, at least to me, right now.  Jim put lots of chili pickled
 cabbage on it and ate it all including mine.  I managed to eat a preserved
 egg and 2 small sour-tasting potatoes and some cocoa and baby cereal and
 steamed bread today.  As long as I don't lose weight for three more weeks I
 am not going to worry.  
 Jim wrote his first program in C and compiled it on the basiclinux computer.
 It is named 'hello'.  Today we also got a script for reading man pages with
 man2html going.  After three hours of testing different parts of the script
 separately (someone else wrote it) we reported that zcat does not operate
 properly for us on strings surrounded by ' '.  Turns out the characters should
 have been 1` ` (back quote) which is located under the ~ - first time I ever
 realized that character existed.  I spent most of the day on the couch under
 a warm down sleeping bag suggesting things for him to try, in between coughs.
 My head has finally stopped hurting enough to read the bbs.  Jim read it to
 me earlier, and answered my email, and reported our problem to basiclinux,
 and learned how to do all sorts of other things I had been doing for him.
#366 David Brodbeck(gull) on Fri Dec  5 09:18:42 2003:
 A brief introduction to how quotes work in shell scripts:
 Single quotes (' ') tell the shell "pass this on as a unit without
 changing it."  This is handy if you're passing arguments with special
 characters in them, like filenames that contain spaces or ampersands.
 (For example,  rm File With Spaces.txt  will try to delete three files,
 "File", "With", and "Spaces.txt".  rm 'File With Spaces.txt'  will
 remove one file called "File With Spaces.txt".)  
 Double quotes (" ") allow some processing, like replacing variables with
 their values, but otherwise they act like single quotes.
 Backquotes (` `) tell the shell, "run this command and used the output
 as an argument."  This is a very powerful feature and is used a lot in
 shell scripts.  It's as if you'd copied the output of the command and
 pasted it onto the command line.
#367 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Dec  5 11:25:56 2003:
 Very helpful explanation. Jim said with single quotes it would tell him 'file
 or directory not found' since what we had in there was a command and argument.
 He got all excited about this and wants to write a script with back quotes
 now.  He was about to go shopping (by bike) before it snowed.  Somehow
 computers don't seem to save any time.  It is now snowing.  
 So now we have a very small program and a one-line script that accomplish the
 same thing as the man package and the groff package (8 MB).
 Today my head does not hurt and my eyes are not as runny but I am still
 coughing.  I expect I will be enough better to do chemotherapy Monday.
 My legs are much less wobbly than last week. My hands are less numb.  My voice
 is less weak.  In three weeks I should feel the same but I won't have to go
 back to square zero again if I am lucky.  
 Jim says 'works fine'.  Must have been a very small script that he wrote.
 He wants to try dosemu (Do I need to compile it?) and run his editor under
 dosemu.  Does dosemu work with programs that call BIOS and DOS functions?
 The alternative is to rewrite his editor in C and recompile it.  
 Maybe I will try compiling lynx while Jim is out. He does not let me near the
 computer when he is in.   
#368 David Brodbeck(gull) on Fri Dec  5 12:04:31 2003:
 It's been a long time since I used dosemu.  I think it works with
 programs that use BIOS calls.  It'd be pretty useless if it didn't.
#369 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Dec  5 17:03:36 2003:
 Do you need to recompile the DOS programs or just load dosemu?
#370 David Brodbeck(gull) on Fri Dec  5 17:06:47 2003:
 No need to recompile.  You might try for details.
#371 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Dec  6 00:23:55 2003:
 We downloaded BOTH the required files (after I read the README of the first
 one I pointed out the need for the second one to Jim).  Now he thinks it will
 only run as some user other than root due to file permissions.  ???
 You can configure it to run with two monitors plugged in at once.  I never
 got DOS working that way, just linux - vga and ttl (hgc).  
 I am still having coughing fits.  Right now the left side of my throat is
 scratchy and my left eye has been runny most of the day.  I just realized that
 the hot flashes slowed down yesterday and decreased in intensity (not as hot
 and not as long) and today they seem to have stopped.  I wonder if being sick
 makes me underheated and therefore no hot flashes.  I have spent most of the
 time under a feather sleeping bag trying to stay warm.
 This temperature instability has been keeping me from sleeping very soundly and
 it is nice that it stopped but now the scratchy throat and cough have taken
 over the job of keeping me awake.  I seem to have lost at least a pound, maybe
 2-3.  Things taste worse than last week.   
 I read about an English man who tried to prove something by traveling through
 the desert of Mali with two camels.  To get to where he was starting he took
 trains, buses, and trucks and when the sandstorm stopped the truck he switched
 to a local sailboat with one mast that looks like a local treetrunk in the
 photo.  The truck was delivering charity rice to Timbuktu.  The sail was made
 of rice sacks sewn edge to edge and it came apart at the seams during the
 storm and when it was repaired, the rigging ripped and the mast came down.
 I think you are not supposed to sail during storms.
 I may have just had a mild 10 sec hot flash or else I got warm typing.  It
 does not feel like a blast furnace is emitting heat at me when I pull open
 my shirt collar to let the heat out, nor is there any sweating.  
#372 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Sat Dec  6 04:59:08 2003:
 Any DOS program that works with *documented*
 system calls from Microsoft will work on DOSemu,
 or that's the plan. DOSemu does *not*, afaik,
 attempt to work for any program that uses
 *undocumented* DOS calls (nor, it has to be said,
 did M$ ever support programs that did, since they
 reserved the rught to change those syscalls from
 version to version of DOS). DOSemu also does not,
 according to the authors, attempt to work for any
 program that uses features of the 386 and higher
 processors (so presumably the DOS Protected Mode
 Interface and any program that use it [Windows
 3.x in enhanced mode?] are useless under DOSemu.
 Finally, since UN*X only uses the BIOS to boot, I
 believe it's unlikely any program which makes
 BIOS calls will work, or work correctly.
#373 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Dec  6 10:50:02 2003:
 Jim wants to try dosemu on a little 4K text editor that he wrote in assembly
 language which will work on an 8088.  Dosemu claims to work with freedos and
 dr-dos as well as msdos.  I am interested in using WP51/DOS, which worked
 (from two floppy disks) on my 8088.  No protected modes needed, text only,
 fast (except it took a while to read off floppy disk).  I will warn him about
 the BIOS calls - his editor uses them, does WP51?
 Jim thinks he needs to have a user other than root for dosemu so he is
 installing shadow.tgz (419K zipped) to get adduser and password programs.
 Something about permissions.  I don't understand.  He is having fun.  If this
 does not work he may learn enough C to rewrite his assembly language editor,
 which he likes better than pico or even joe.  
#374 John O'Reilly(jor) on Sat Dec  6 11:34:45 2003:
 	'permissions' just refers to file protection.
 	You can set files and directories to be readable,
 	writeable, etc. by certain users or
 	groups of users.
#375 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Dec  6 17:40:34 2003:
 But apparently root cannot run dosemu.  So he installed shadow.tgz with
 adduser, made a user jim, and tried to run dosemu.  It told him he could not
 run it on that terminal, seemed to run anyway, worked with his text editor
 that makes BIOS calls, but would not save the file he edited.  Or let him
 access the rest of the computer, just the freedos directory.  This is not a
 major improvement over rebooting into DOS on the same computer.
 His next approach is to read about Linux assembly language.  The assembler
 and linker do not seem to be included with our CDs.  He thought it might be
 relatively easy to rewrite his DOS assembly language code.  So far no
 The other option is to learn to write the program in C, but it will be larger
 and a bit slower (larger than 4K and slower than instant, that is).
 I am back to going online with my DOS computer.
#376 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Sat Dec  6 19:20:33 2003:
 It sounds as if there are a couple of problems here. Firstly, in order for
 a program to be used by a user, either the user must "own" the program, or
 the user must have rights to run ("execute") the program. Most proframs are
 owned by root and can be executed by anyone, as the following listing shows:
 -rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root         807k Apr 14  2002 /usr/bin/vi
 This information can be obtained by using a file manager or by typiing "ls
 -la" in a terminal or terminal window (similar to a DOSbox on Windows).
 For our purposes the important parts are:
 root	root
 The first line shows us the type of the file (marked by -, meaning a regular
 file such as an executable or a text file), then the permissions, three each
 for the "owner" (usually the person that created the file) the owner's group
 (people other than the owner in a defined group who may have more rights than
 everyone else) and "others", or everyone else. In this case, the owner has
 permission to read, write, and execute file; the group and "others" have
 permision to read and execute but not write to the file (only necessary if
 we wish to change or delete the file).
 The next line (or third and fourth colums in the original) show the owner and
 the group of the file, both of which are named "root" (in WinXP terms, the
 Administrator). So in this case, even though root owns the file, everyone can
 use it.
 if the third character in any group of "rwx" characters is "-", then the
 relevant use, group, or others do not have the permission that would be
 represented by the appropriate letter if they *did* have it; thus:
 -rwxr--r--	1	root	root	18:49 29 April 92	/sbin/mkfs
 Here the root user can read, execute, or write to the file "mkfs", but no-one
 else may execute or write to it.
 Sometimes files need to be run by "ordinary" users, but need special access
 to some feature owned by root, such as a device (the screen, a disk, etc.).
 In this case a program will be "setuid" or "setgid" root. In this case the
 "x" for the owner or group will be replaced by an "s".
 The upshot of this is that this sounds like what neeeds to happen for dosemu
 to work properly.
 To change dosemu to setuid root, find out where the binary is by typing:
 whereis dosemu
 at a prompt. If there is more htan one file, the first file ~or the first file
 that has "bin/dosemu" as part of the name) should be the name of the file you
 need. If you have x, you should be able to change the permissions by logging
 in as root and right clicking on the file in a file manager, then putting a
 tick mark beside the setuid option in the properties dialog box.
 If you don't have the X Window System, it's alittle more complicated. The
 permissions on files can be represented by a number, where for each group of
 three permissions, a "mark" out of seven is given, calculated by adding
 read permission (score 4)
 write permission (score 2)
 execute permission (score 1)
 so a file with the following permissions:
 Would score 755.
 added to that, setuid programs sscore another 4, and setgid programs two, so
 the preceding file with setuid permisions would score 4755, represented as:
 To set permissions, look at the permissions of the file and prepend a 4, so
 that to change the preceding file /bin/mkfs to setuid, type:
 chmod 4744 /bin/mkfs.
 This should also solve the problem of saving the file once you've dited it.
 the reason why you can only see the dosemu directory is because dosemu
 emulates a complete (legal) dos environment. dos cannot access linux
 partitions, so the dosemu environmeent is essentially "black box" inside the
 linux operating ystem. However, since linux can access both dos filesystems
 and filesystems created in a file (which is what the dosemu environment looks
 like to linux), it shold be posible to access files created in dosemu by
 mounting the file as a loopback device (/dev/loop) with type "lo". Full info
 on the "mount" command can be found by using the command "man mount".
#377 John O'Reilly(jor) on Sat Dec  6 20:40:12 2003:
 	Yea. It's simple. :|
#378 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Dec  6 21:39:09 2003:
 jimd Re: dosemu
 dosemu would not let a user with root privelages create a freedos environment.
 adduser did work, but with a warning that it would not run on this
 DOS programs did work but couldnt access any disk or drive.  Now that I've
 seen how it works I doubt that dosemu affords me any of the advantages I'd
 hoprd for.  Time to put my efforts into learning C and loading linux from DOS.
 Sindi:  I wonder if we could use dosemu in terminal 1 and linux in terminal
 2 and write up something in 1 and access it from 2.  Quicker than rebooting
 to use DOS.  
#379 Jim Daloonik(naftee) on Sat Dec  6 21:57:27 2003:
#380 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Dec  7 10:08:07 2003:
 I forgot to mention that we cannot take your advice literally:
 We don't have whereis.  We use find -name.
 We don't have the usual man command, which requires groff and takes up 8MB
 total for all the required programs.  We have a little script that someone
 just wrote, which combines zcat, find -name, man2html, and lynx.
 We don't have the man pages for mount, which came with busybox, only --help.
 We have about 120MB of useful programs plus a compiler.  This includes X and
 Opera and four other browsers and lots of documentation.  photopc antiword
 two console mode viewers  kermit two X-mode image editors  spreadsheet
 calculators   Have we missed any good console mode programs?
 Today I am still coughing a lot.  Jim finally started sneezing.  I may have
 sneezed twice in the middle of coughing, hard to tell.  
#381 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Sun Dec  7 10:23:08 2003:
 Hope your colds clear up quickly. I think you're very courageous about all
 of this.
 Hmm, I understood it was linux you were using; it doesn't sound like it,
 unless it's a very old distro. Never heard of a version w/oi whereis before,
 but, at least the fact that you're having to use don't seem to be causing you
 too much trouble. Is that an accurate perception?
#382 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Dec  7 16:59:38 2003:
 'basiclinux' based on slackware 7.1.  A selection of useful files and we can
 add whatever else we like if we install it to hard drive.  There is one way
 to find things instead of three ways.
 Today we downloaded a couple of DOS C compilers so Jim can learn to write C
 in DOS with his editor that works only in DOS.  One produces assembly language
 that you can then assemble and link (link and assemble?).
 I coughed from midnight to 3, and from 6:30 to 7 am and for a while again when
 I woke up again at 9 but since then the coughing has been less intense and
 once this afternoon I actually sneezed and my nose is getting slightly runny
 so maybe things will progress enough that I can get infused tomorrow on
 schedule.  Jim started coughing a bit two days before me and today has stopped
 coughing and starting sneezing a bit and blowing his nose so when the
 pharyngitis hits on Wed. I hope to be at that stage.
 The problem is where are they going to put me for infusion for 5 hours where
 I will not be likely to infect people with low immunity.  Maybe the hallway,
 or an examining room somewhere?  By the time they start me it is usually 4
 pm and the doctors tend to go home by 5.  
 We went walking yesterday and today and admired the squirrels and the new
 additions on the backs of old houses.  My legs still feel wobbly, which I
 don't think was the case in previous cycles after the first ten days.  They
 said side effects might start getting worse after cycle 4.   I can walk
 anyway, and don't feel about to pull muscles.  Yesterday we saw the neighbor
 in her 80s out walking alone and Jim apologized to her for me that I was
 contagious and did not want to get her sick by walking with her.  
 Since we will be using the car tomorrow for the first time in three weeks,
 Jim fixed a tape deck and two boomboxes to drive to Kiwanis on the way to the
 hospital.  Today a broken vacuum cleaner arrived.  
#383 David Brodbeck(gull) on Mon Dec  8 11:14:50 2003:
 While I understand your "doing more with less" philosophy, I'd like to
 suggest that you'll have an easier time learning Linux if you start with
 a full distribution like everyone else is using, and *then* try to
 whittle it down after you know how things work.
#384 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Dec  8 13:51:30 2003:
 We tried full distributions of redhat, caldera, and suse.  The first two were
 unbearably slow to load and the third was still slow and they all put all
 sorts of things on that we did not want such as KDE or GNOME.  I could put
 ALL the files from Slackware basic installation but I don't want most of them.
 Easier to add than to subtract things like running processes at the same time
 every day, loading random number generators, etc.  
 I am back from the hospital.  They said to come again Wed. 8 am for my
 infusion, agreeing with me that I should not be coughing at the other patients
 or risking additional health problems until my cough is getting better.  I
 might need two more infusions after this, depending on the Jan 5 CT scan,
 which they will evaluate Dec. 29.  Someone will call me when they find me an
 earlier CT scan, but they were booked solid. I should schedule these things
 more than 2 weeks in advance, such as last time.  
#385 klg(klg) on Mon Dec  8 14:59:58 2003:
 Sounds like some fancy diagnostics to evaluate a CT scan a week before 
 it's taken!  Do they perform any other paranormal testing?
#386 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Dec  8 18:30:16 2003:
 With luck they will get a cancelation or decide to cram me into an already
 full schedule.  I think the CT scan machine is in use 24 hours a day, like
 the X-Ray machines.  The problem is that they are closed Dec 24 and 25 so
 things filled up fast for the other three days that week.  
 They decided they did not need to take my blood again this Wed. before I saw
 the doctor so I don't need to be there until 8 am.  
 Three things could happen on the next CT scan (assuming they find a time for
 1.  No changes since last time, when they found no enlarged lymph nodes but
 the two masses in the spleen were still there, but 1/2 the original diameter.
 This would mean that these masses do not respond to treatment - either they
 mutated or they are not tumors.  It might be possible to distinguish the two
 cases by a PET scan.  If not tumors, I don't need more therapy.
 2.  The masses are smaller, in which case they continue therapy for two more
 sessions since they have been responding to treatment.
 3.  The masses have disappeared, in which case they might still continue
 therapy but maybe not ? 
 I lost two pounds since 3 weeks ago, not good but they forgave me since I have
 been sick.  Today we went to the Chinese buffet and I made myself eat a plate
 of food including noodles and potatoes, and two ice cream cones, and a cream
 puff.  And Jim bought me juice so I would not drink calorie-free water.  
 Today I tried to get permission to put one of the comfortable chairs from teh
 waiting room into the hallway (against regulations), the phone area, or the
 video area (always empty) but was not allowed to do this.  So I asked if I
 could sit and cough in patient library, at which point the librarian went to
 argue my case, but while she was arguing it the technician called me to be
 weighed so I got to wait in an exam room and we brought a chair there.  For
 once everything was practically on time instead of 2 hours late for the doctor
 and 3-4 for the infusion.  A pity I had to postpone but Wed. I have 8 am
 doctor and 9 am infusion and they cannot have gotten too far behind yet.
 I may know by Dec. 24 whether I am done with chemotherapy this year.  It will
 be a lot easier to gain weight afterwards, and to walk, and talk, and breathe
 properly.  And maybe eventually even sing and dance again.  In the meantime
 I got some more library books and Jim brought home a curbside  laser printer
 to keep busy at home when he gets tired of learning to program in C.
 We stopped at my apartment and I did a bit of organizing.  Jim cleaned up for
 our visitor by piling things from the kitchen and bedroom neatly in one
 corner.  Sheets, jars, clothing, broken stereo equipment, books, a can of pens
 and pencils, telephone, sewing kit.....  No wonder our visitor thought I was
 rather a packrat.  She helped by leaving us a broken boombox, a bag full of
 straws in paper wrappings, her collection of free chopsticks, a few pots, the
 remains of some sweatpants.....  I brought the collection of headphone parts
 here and hope to recycle most of it, along with the basket cases among the
 portable tape players (the ones we gave up on three times already).  Now that
 we have a CD burner Jim might just want to concentrate on the crate full of
 broken portable CD players instead.
#387 Brooke Edmunds(edina) on Tue Dec  9 10:07:34 2003:
 I was thinking of you last night, Sindi, as I'm reading "Every Second Counts"
 by Lance Armstrong.  It's his second book, talking more about life after
 cancer.  It reaffirmed to me how really brave you (and anyone going through
 cancer) really is.
#388 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Dec  9 10:26:35 2003:
 People keep saying I am brave but I am really a coward.  I don't have a lot
 of choice about going through with this.  Other people go through much worse.
 I do have some choice about my attitude towards the treatment and how hard
 I try to eat properly and get my strength back by exercising even though I
 am tired.  
 I find it helps to admit I am a coward. I bring Jim with me when I give blood
 and hold his hand.  Nobody else there is holding anyone's hand.  Yesterday
 I held the padded chair arm instead as Jim was not there, and I joked with
 the technician to distract me as I have always been afraid of needles.  All
 of the infusion patients have some friend or relative with them, not just to
 fetch things (the nurses will do that) but to relieve the stress.  It helps
 to share your problems by talking with the other patients.  They all have it
 worse than me and they are mostly pretty cheerful about it anyway.  In our
 case the alternative to therapy is much worse than therapy.  I would have
 either starved to death or stopped breathing by now without therapy.  
 Today I am not coughing as much and I expect to do infusion tomorrow.
 They rescheduled the CT scan for Dec. 24.  I hope someone will be able to read
 the results before Monday the 29th.  I go at 2 pm.  I don't eat or drink for
 6 hours before that, so either I get up to eat at 5 am, or I go 14 hours
 without eating or drinking.  
 Today I get a sample of what I will feel like after therapy ends.  This is
 my first day not to have had an infusion for more than 21 days.  My hands feel
 even better than yesterday - numb only at the very fingertips and along the
 sides of my thumbs.  Starting tomorrow they will be number again for 2 weeks.
 My feet still feel like my socks are pasted to them.  I can feel only
 pressure.  My tongue feels less sandpapered than it did yesterday.  They have
 timed the treatment interval really close - let people start to recover a bit
 but not too much.  
 Treatment for five days a week for 3 weeks at a time must be worse.
 They will continue using a half dose of vincristine so my hands will be only
 half numb.
 I told the nurse I would expect to need two additional treatments so that I
 would be pleasantly surprised if I did not, rather than disappointed if I did.
 I will try to look forward to six additional weeks of vacation if needed.
 I wonder who is going to shovel the snow for me at the house we are building.
 Usually the neighbors and I try to be first to do everyone's walk.  They are
 going to get WAY ahead this year.  
#389 Brooke Edmunds(edina) on Tue Dec  9 14:32:20 2003:
 In my eyes, you are far from a coward.  Far far from it.
#390 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Dec  9 16:48:12 2003:
 I am a coward but I try not to act that way when other people are around. 
 I have screamed when the IV went in, but not near other patients.
 To celebrate this bonus day, we went for a walk in the drizzle.  Jim showed
 me a path around the local apartment complex, through a small overgrown patch
 of woods with green horsetails and ice and lots of vines and black raspberry
 shoots (purple bark).  There is a wooden bridge (slippery when wet) over a
 small creek which contains a supermarket shopping cart and three bicycles.
 We decided to leave them all there.  The banks are steep.  We continued to
 a very small park consisting of a sidewalk between back yards and a half
 basketball court (you reverse direction frequently).  There was a crow cawing
 in a treetop and a few very chubby squirrels who could not be bothered to run
 very far from us.  It started to rain harder so we came back.  
 My muscles are behaving today.  Maybe the weight loss was what made them
 misbehave longer than usual last cycle.
 The author of Two Years Before the Mast wrote about how they just got through
 their hardest two months.  They had to make one more trip along the coast of
 California, then unload all 40,000 hides and everything else, and fumigate
 the ship by burning charcoal and brimstone to kill the rats and cockroaches,
 then beat the dirt off the hides and put them back onboard and stuff them into
 as little space as possible with help from song.  Another related ship lent
 them some crew members who brought new songs.  The old songs were worn out
 and not working too well any more. Yo heave ho variety.
 After the really hard two months, they have 6 months of travel back around
 South America to Boston.  I am on pretty much the same schedule but I don't
 need to get my feet as wet. 
 Jim just fell asleep in preparation for getting up and leaving at 7 am
 tomorrow after packing breakfast and lunch.  This time we won't need supper.
 I typed up a summary of things that chemotherapy has cured, to make the nurse
 and doctor happy.  They really liked my summary of side effects during cycle
 four.  I had one rather strange symptom since 1995 - sort of an allergy to
 cold with flu-like symptoms.  I was sleeping in socks whenever it got under
 75, and in long sleeves and long pants in all weather, and I no longer have
 this reaction to cold.  (Of course it is winter so I am sleeping in warm
 clothing again).  Before developing this symptom, suddenly, I had three weeks
 of what I thought was the worst flu in my life, following several months of
 working on the house we are building, in the cold.  Lymphoma can follow viral
 infection.  I don't know if the virus itself causes the lymphoma by inserting
 a DNA copy of its RNA into the cell's DNA, or whether my own immune system
 was just so worn out that it could not do its usual job of killing cancer
 cells.  But I think I have had the lymphoma for 9 years.  Maybe it won't come
 back for at least that long.  I will not be working at 20 degrees again.
#391 Cadet Eugene Tackleberry(tod) on Tue Dec  9 16:51:22 2003:
#392 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Dec  9 16:56:48 2003:
 My mother also slept in socks.  But I did not need to do that until 9 years
 ago.  Can you inherit things suddenly at age 45?  And then uninherit them 9
 years later?  
#393 Cadet Eugene Tackleberry(tod) on Tue Dec  9 18:50:01 2003:
#394 Rane Curl(rcurl) on Tue Dec  9 23:09:54 2003:
 Chemical changes in your body occur every day (every second too). 
#395 Dave Lovelace(davel) on Wed Dec 10 10:37:30 2003:
 Heh.  Even if you're dead ...
#396 David Brodbeck(gull) on Wed Dec 10 14:12:44 2003:
 Re resp:391: I have the same problem, but I drape a folded blanket over
 the end of the bed to keep my feet warm.  I find caffiene aggravates the
 poor circulation so you may want to avoid it close to bedtime, even if
 it doesn't keep you awake.
#397 John Willcome(willcome) on Wed Dec 10 14:53:20 2003:
#398 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Dec 10 21:30:20 2003:
 I have never used caffeine.  I will try being barefooted next time it goes
 over 70.
 Today we got up at 7 am.  I put batteries in a rooster alarm clock and when
 it went off I thought at first it was me wheezing really loudly.  We got there
 at quarter to 8 and saw the nurse practitioner at 8:15 and then waited until
 only 9:30 for the 9 am infusion.  Lost of empty seats but not many nurses yet.
 They let us be #1 so as to cough on other people in only one direction.  The
 first two people next to me did not blast the TV so we played some back oboe
 concertoes.  Three of the nurses stopped by to appreciate them.  My nurse said
 she had been to a meeting where she and some others urged that they require
 headphones for people listening TV, for the benefit of both other patients
 and staff.  10 hours of screaming and banging is hard on my nerves.
 My first neighbor left as I was getting my IV.
 My second one had breast cancer and spoke Greek.  This was her first therapy
 after surgery and she would also have radiation.  She had diabetes.  The nurse
 spent about an hour explaining what was happening and what to do at home.
 The third had multiply myeloma and had to have infusions every month, forever,
 recently upped to every two weeks,.  Only 2 hours at a time.  And then four
 steroid pill days, four off, four on, four off.  She has trouble walking as
 a result.  She said when someone in the room happens to have their last
 therapy everyone cheers.  Nobody will be cheering for her.
 It is apparently up to the doctor to decide whether I get two more sessions
 if every sign of the tumor is gone.  Probably I will get them since it shows
 I am responding, and we can go after any invisible ones.  If there is no sign
 of change maybe I won't get two more sessions, but perhaps a PET scan will
 reveal surviving tumor cells.  I won't know much until the 29th.  With luck
 a doctor will come in day after Christmas to read the results of my Dec 24
 Jim is supposed to get a flu shot (not oral live vaccine) after he gets over
 his current infection of 3 weeks duration so that I don't get flu from him.
 He boosted his immunity by sampling all the cupcakes.  I ate tylenol,
 benadryl, kytril and some other pill in applesauce.
 My blood pressure today started at 98 over 52 and went down to 92 at one
 point.  The benadryl does that.  My pulse gradually drifted down from 100
 (when I walked in) to 82 (after sitting two hours).
 We wound down by taking a few photos and checking out C++ courses at WCC with
 Glenda, who runs the lab there.  We will go back tomorrow  to their annual
 holiday buffet banquet, cooked and served by students and with lots of
#399 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Dec 11 22:11:39 2003:
 Today we signed Jim up at WCC for a C++ programming course and got him a
 half-price textbook (used) at  I eventually figured out how to
 unsubscribe him from all the junk mail that they warned us about, and we did
 not fill out the survey to get $10 off the next book he buys within 3 months
 because that also signs you up for something else that costs $9/month if you
 forget to unsubscribe after the first month - half price meals at Pizza Hut,
 etc.  He got the professor's signature to override the prerequisite, which
 was some type of high school algebra.  He mentioned he had already taken a
 course in programming assembly language.
 The banquet included mushroom soup, pineapple lime soup, cactus leaf and squid
 salad, fried plantains, green beans, artichoke-cauliflower-celery, squash,
 potato croquettes, two types of noodles, some meats, and cheesecake.   My
 sense of taste comes back at the end of each cycle and lasts a few days into
 the next one, also the prednisone has restored my appetite which the couch
 took away, so I disregarded the fact that I should not be eating salt. It
 helped me to get down three glasses of water (needed to flush out the
 chemicals).  Jim does not eat cheesecake (milk and eggs) unless it gets close
 enough.  The other side of the room was close enough.  
 We sat at a table with one of the cooks, who is 19 and really enthusiastic
 about opening his own restaurant some day.  The culinary arts program first
 teaches the students how to clear tables, then how to serve soups and entrees
 wearing white jackets and tall white hats, then how to cook, and only then
 how to wait tables.  He also took a course in 'drinks' in which they went on
 winery tours but could not sample the wines.  He is 19.  They are allowed to
 sample wines in class for educational purposes.  The waiters need to be able
 to recommend wines to go with different dead animal dishes.  He is also
 working in a local restaurant where he says everyone takes turns doing
 everything.  That way the cooks don't make too many dishes dirty since they
 have been dishwashers.  Also at our table was an art professor who donated
 the WCC sculpture.  
 On arrival home a friend called to let us know she had dropped off a small
 apple pie so we had that for supper (with two more cups of liquid for me).
 WCC has buffets every Wed and Thurs (starting again in Feb.) but fewer courses
 and about half the price.  Same menu both days.  And sit-down meals Mon and
 Wed.  Today we had two tablecloths, cloth napkins, fancy water glasses, bread
 and butter plates, and a jazz band.  This was the international banquet, which
 included Europe and Mexico.
 Jim still has a bad cold.  I wish I could lend him some neutrophils as my
 count was more than double last time.  
 Today's exercise was walking around three buildings at WCC and climbing some
 tall stairs a few times.  The place is really overheated.
#400 Glenda F. Andre(glenda) on Thu Dec 11 22:52:39 2003:
 It depends on where you go.  The classroom you saw me in yesterday is usually
 very cold.  The one I spent today in was the hottest on campus, until they
 finally figured out what was causing the air conditioner to not work, now it
 is almost as cold as yesterday's.
#401 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Dec 12 08:56:43 2003:
 The thermostat in the hallway outside the computer lab was set at 74, which
 is pretty warm for winter.  The computer lab felt even hotter.  U of M Cancer
 Center is 70.  You need air conditioning in computer classrooms in winter?
 We used to air condition the gym in winter for folk dance classes because if
 you turned the heat below maybe 75 the air conditioning automatically came
 on.  In the old gym we only had to open the window - no window in the new gym.
 I got about 5 hours sleep after 3 am.  This was the two days I had to drink
 a lot and it comes back out when the prednisone wears off in the evening. 
 I should still drink a lot and eat lots of fiber while taking prednisone.
 My other side effects have not escalated again yet.  Hands still have
 sensation, leg muscles still work pretty much okay.  Probably by tonight my
 hands will be numb again.  Laryngitis hit yesterday morning, which made it
 even harder to talk to people over the loud jazz band.  My tongue and throat
 are not feeling raw yet or my hands shaky.  Jim has not been feeling well
 enough to drag me out walking recently, but of course that did not stop him
 from dragging us all over WCC for two days.  Everyone keeps telling me to get
 a flu shot except my doctors who tell me specifically not to because I am
 likely to get flu from it with a weakened immune system.  One friend called
 and said Washtenaw and Oakland counties are out of the nasal spray, which Jim
 is not supposed to get either because it is live vaccine.  Is the dead vaccine
 (the injection) free somewhere?  
#402 David Brodbeck(gull) on Fri Dec 12 10:36:00 2003:
 If you put enough computers in a room it heats up pretty good.  My
 office is in the server room at work and it hovers around 80 degrees in
 there, year 'round.  I've been trying to get them to put a separate A/C
 system in here but they keep putting it off because they don't want to
 spend the money.
#403 S M(mynxcat) on Fri Dec 12 11:47:11 2003:
 Depends on how they tend to cool the room. The server room where I 
 work is freezing, because they have the temperature way down to off-
 set the heat from the computers.
#404 biologic aqua absolute standard premium grade of pure all natural water(flem) on Fri Dec 12 13:14:24 2003:
 I used to have this huge old compaq file server running in my apartment.
  When I finally managed to offload all its functions onto other
 computers and turn it off, the average temperature in that room dropped
 at least 5 degrees.  Not to mention the noise level.  
#405 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Dec 12 15:35:39 2003:
 Can WCC take the heat from the computer labs and move it to where it is
 wanted?  For a start, they could turn the hallway thermostat down to 70 and
 run a fan in the doorway of the lab.  
#406 Glenda F. Andre(glenda) on Fri Dec 12 16:13:19 2003:
 There isn't much that can be done.  The power plant is old and outdated.  It
 was going to be replaced with a modern, more efficient one when the state
 budget cuts hit.  That caused a cutback in a lot of planned renovations to
 avoid huge tuition increases.  We deal with it.  We have learned to dress in
 layers in the winter and to carry a sweater or long sleeved shirt in the
 summer.  We run fans when necessary, but they don't help much and add to the
 electricity bill.  Most people don't complain about the heat until it gets
 closer to 80, and complain when it goes much below 72.  I have called about
 a room being too cold when the thermostat read 75 because most of the
 workstations in it were directly under a vent.  So we just cope.
#407 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Dec 13 10:26:46 2003:
 The timing was just right on postponing chemotherapy.  Wed chemo, Thursday
 pharyngitis and less coughing, Friday stuffy nose, today sneezing, which means
 I am finally fighting off that cold before my immunity is gone tomorrow.
 The side effects come back within a couple of days of therapy - hands are a
 bit shaky again (but still not numb), laryngitis hit the morning after.
 Today I managed to sleep from 1:30 to 6:30 and another 2 hours in the morning
 and feel the best in a couple of weeks.  
 I took a bath yesterday since the water was already hot from Jim soaking in
 it.  His cold is still worse than mine and he is also eating lots of
 grapefruits.  Grapefruits don't mix well with baths - the oil gets in the
 water and burns.  I noticed in the bath that all the skin had finished peeling
 off my soles, that I have very small red speckles all over my front torso
 where small blood vessels are not healing, and that my upper thighs are now
 actually larger than they were and I can no longer reach around them with
 thumb and middle finger -there is a 1" gap.  Last night I was able to sleep
 without a pillow between my knees as cushioning, and I have gained back enough
 muscles and/or fat around my shoulders that I also don't need a pillow under
 my upper arm to sleep.  It was rather a nuisance having to rearrange all this
 whenever I wanted to turn over, or when I woke up every hour to throw off the
 blankets due to hot flashes (which are also much better).  Sleep is nice.
 I have to get back to exercising but perhaps had better wait until I stop
 sneezing since it is unlikely to get warmer soon.  
 We are finally going through the last 20 or so sets of small headphones that
 we took home four years ago to fix from Kiwanis.  Made four pairs into one
 good one since they broke in different places - plastic things that the actual
 speakers fit into tend to break easily, the cords break in multiple places
 and cannot always to diagnosed to solder them, and sometimes the speakers
 themselves go bad.  Jim has been making new foam pads, too.  We have one pair
 with purple foam, and one with green foam.  
 Jep stopped by yesterday and we confirmed that his vacuum cleaner did indeed
 need a new roller because it was made of plastic and the race for the ball
 bearings had worn out from friction.  It was nice to see him.  He said he had
 already had our cough/cold.  I am now going to avoid people for about five
 days until my immune system comes back.
 Only today and tomorrow and I am done with prednisone for a while, and only
 two more months of therapy.  It was nice of the doctor not to let me know at
 first that it was likely to be 8 sessions total.  
 My hair is coming out faster again.   My leg muscles are still not weaker.
 I have an occasional shooting pain in my left hand where the IV was but
 otherwise am feeling pretty good for this time of cycle.  My sense of taste
 is getting worse again but the prednisone at least makes me hungry.  I still
 have a chance of hitting 110 by Jan 1, but not a high chance since I lost two
 pounds instead of gaining last cycle.  I will aim instead at 115 pounds by
 the end of therapy in mid February.  More than I have weighed for 4 years.
#408 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Dec 14 05:55:46 2003:
 I got four hours sleep (prednisone keeps me up late) before waking at 5 with
 a long hot flash and sweating. I don't know why it let up for a few days -
 either the cold was keeping me cooler, or the chemotherapy has knocked out
 whatever estrogen-producing cells were starting to recover.  I am hoping for
 the latter, because it implies that I will recover again shortly after about
 Feb. 20.
 My bone marrow is 'depressed' again.  I am blowing my nose a lot and getting
 a bit of blood on the ripped up old sheet that I am using instead of good
 handkerchiefs.  It is odd to be off the usual weekly schedule, since I expect
 my bone marrow to be worst from Friday to Monday and today it started on
 Sunday instead.  By next Friday I should be back to normal blood counts again.
 Luckily there is only one more day of prednisone so not too much overlap with
 the hot flashes and I hope to get some sleep Monday night (the garbage trucks
 will wake me Monday morning).  My hands and leg muscles are still not numb.
 It is nice the side effects are somewhat spread out.  
 Jim spent two hours on the phone talking with his sister in Warren.  We are
 probably not going to have Christmas dinner with his family there since I may
 be continuing infusions the 29th.  I don't want to risk catching any illnesses
 first.  It would have been cheaper to drive to Detroit and back than talk two
 hours on the phone, but she likes talking on the phone anyway.  And it is
 warmer than driving 3 hours in late December.  The small nephew with
 hemophilia has not had any problems with it yet, or needed treatments yet.
 When babies get bigger they start to injure themselves.  
 It is nice not to be up half the night coughing (and the other half of the
 night with hot flashes and prednisone side effects).  I am too hungry to fall
 back asleep because prednisone makes me hungry.  My mother (with a brain tumor
 that you cannot treat with chemotherapy because of the blood-brain barrier)
 was given prednisone indefinitely and at the nursing home would eat double
 meals.  I wish my taste buds would keep working during the hungry period.
 Lima beans taste fairly normal. Rice/bread/noodles do not.  Tangerines tasted
 better three days ago.  I will try a warmed up glass of milk.  The pharyngitis
 makes me cough if I drink cold things.  
 How long does this cough/cold last?  It is two weeks now and I still feel
#409 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Dec 14 14:27:21 2003:
 Jim still feels more awful than I do but he went out to help his next door
 neighbor finish shoveling off Jim's walk.  The neighbor is a nurse and said
 flu shots may be rationed to babies and the elderly and we might need a
 prescription for Jim since he was told to get one to protect me because I
 should not get vaccinated until I finish chemotherapy since I could get the
 flu from even a weakened vaccine.  
 I hope my neighbors are shoveling my walk where we are supposed to be building
 a house.  Usually whoever gets there first does both walks.  It will be more
 difficult for us to reciprocate this year.  But they do seem to think they
 owe Jim something for the plumbing repairs besides a watermelon.  
 Jim is fixing headphone radios while waiting for the water to get hotter for
 his daily boiling bath.  I am learning to make slackware packages.  We got
 dosemu to save files to D: (/home/user/).  
#410 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Sun Dec 14 14:34:20 2003:
 yay slack, and yay dosemu.
#411 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Dec 14 16:09:16 2003:
 Yay linux but I just failed to compile lynx.  Echo:  command not found  ???
 I think I have to manually edit makefile before I can do make.  configure
 seemed to work except for not finding a directory that I know is there.
 The author of a small free linux wordprocessor is letting basiclinux (or me,
 anyway) test his latest beta version.  To read online documentation from the
 program do I just dial the ISP before accessing the 'help' menu item?  He
 added four new mysterious features that are not on the menu, just on the
 toolbar, with cryptic icons for them.  There is also an arrow that is chasing
 its own tail, which is different from the back arrow which lets you write from
 right to left.  
#412 Dave Lovelace(davel) on Sun Dec 14 20:25:39 2003:
 (In your error message: was the capital "E" in "Echo" in the original message?
 There's probably not a command "Echo" - it's "echo".)
#413 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Dec 14 22:11:26 2003:
 When I typed make all I got:
 /bin/sh -c' .cfg
 make: echo: Command not found  [upper case C in command, lower case e in echo]
 make *** [help-files.sed] Error 127
 I think I need to edit makefile to tell it where to find my source code and
 where to put the output files.  
#414 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Dec 15 10:52:56 2003:
 Makefile does not need to be edited except for changing shell from sh to bash.
 I have been given instructions how to test by typing 'type echo' and then
 invoking /bin/sh/ and doing it again.  What is this all about?  What is sh,
 a simpler shell than bash?  We have bash, which does echo.
 Today I don't need to take any more prednisone which is nice for both of us
 since I did not need to wake Jim up to mash pills for me.  I woke up at 4
 (after 3 hours sleep) with hot flashes back full blast, digestive problems
 (due to the chemicals acting like a broad spectrum antibiotic) and a runny
 nose (probably normal with this cold, but I am in my second of four days of
 little immunity).  It is all uphill this cycle starting tomorrow when I can
 get a full night's sleep.  This morning I fell back asleep before the 7:30
 garbage truck and actually slept through the next three for two hours to get
 a grand total of about 5 hours sleep.  Linux seems to work okay on 5 hours.
 Hands are getting numb again gradually.  Laryngitis is at its worst now.  Legs
 are not yet wobbly/numb for a day or two.  
 I emailed our doctor friend asking his opinion on whether JIm's five lab tests
 were 'routine annual exam' type tests so that I can have this info when I call
 the insurance company to ask what happened to my written appeal.
 This would be a good year to cash in a savings bond to pay for the rest of
 this year's expenses and the $5000 for the 8th chemotherapy in January and
 the first couple of CT scans next year and our property taxes in June, since
 I doubt I will be paying any income tax this year with no work earnings and
 high medical expenses.  I am lucky I don't need to work during chemotherapy.
 This week I have been receiving lots of mail.  Frequent little emails from
 a Macedonian friend whose boyfriend was recently diagnosed with stomach
 cancer, more from the older daughter of another Macedonian friend whose mother
 died of it, snail mail from someone who is about to go to Florida to care for
 her daughter who is being treated for it, email from a high school friend
 whose father in law is in the hospital with leukemia and her father is also
 in the hospital after his second stroke and now they put in a pacemaker.  I
 am very happy not to have stomach cancer.  So what if things taste funny.
 Or leukemia that needs to be treated forever.  A friend in Trieste writes that
 her sister finished chemotherapy and surgery for stomach cancer in July and
 was able to go on summer vacation.  The friend was taking care of her while
 working full time and was exhausted and taking sleeping pills but is better
 now.  Jim is lucky he is not working full time and I hope he will get over
 his cold soon.  It is discouraging to make nice meals for someone without a
 good sense of taste.
#415 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Dec 15 12:36:03 2003:
 I changed SHELL = /bin/sh to /bin/bash in the configuration script, as
 instructed, and it compiled for about 15 minutes of making .c files and
 produced 1M of lynx that works!!!!!!!  It sure helped to have this supervised
 by a world expert in compiling lynx for DOS and other systems.  All I need
 to do now is install the executable, config file, manual and doc pages with
 make install and then create a lynx package for basiclinux.
 The next three garbage trucks after 7:30 did not wake me because they did not
 come by until after 9:30.  
 My hands are shaky again.
 Jim is playing with a slide scanner.  At 1200x800 dpi it scanned a slide to
 340Mb, which I think is too big for our computer that has a 1G drive.  I
 suppose he could make a CD from each slide but why bother?  
#416 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Dec 15 14:26:10 2003:
 Today's mail brought a letter from the insurance company for Jim.
 This is an adjustment of a previously processed claim, they say.
 They agreed to pay 80% of the $138, or $110.66, leaving $27.66 for us to pay.
 We have to check my mail at my apt to see if they will also pay for my
 mattress pad that Medicare would have paid for.  
 Just got both an emailed and a snail mailed photo of Jim's niece's really cute
 kid dressed in a Santa hat.  He can sit up by himself.  He does special
 exercise for kids with Down syndrome because they have joint and muscle
 problems.  I am not the only one working hard to get better.  
 Jim is thinking of something yummy to do with last year's frozen zucchini and
 I think I may have regained two pounds unless it is still fluid retention.
 The 340MB slide was scanned at 400%, which increased it from 5MB.
#417 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Dec 16 09:03:27 2003:
 My immune system ought to start coming back tonight or tomorrow.  I am
 coughing and have runny eyes again.  My hands are numb all over.  But I
 managed to sleep, on and off, a large part (3/4?) of the time between 11 pm
 and 8 am.  My hair is coming out faster.  Jim says he is interested in
 knitting but I already have enough wool caps.  
 Today we hope to make me the start of a linux/DOS computer.  I discovered that
 I cannot put in a sound card to play with in that computer unless I give up
 the ISA modem or the Hercules Graphics Card because it has only two ISA slots.
 A previous computer would not work at all with HGC in any of its three ISA
 slots.  What do people put into FIVE pci slots?  Winmodem, windows-only sound,
 network card, and what else?  
#418 David Brodbeck(gull) on Tue Dec 16 09:43:17 2003:
 Hmm...the PCI slots in my desktop computer contain a video card (which
 is also a TV tuner and video capture card), a sound card, a DVD hardware
 decoder card, and a network card.  If I threw in a modem I'd have five
 slots full.
 Of course if I bought a motherboard now it would probably come with
 video, sound, and a network interface on-board, so I wouldn't need to
 use slots for those unless I wanted something better than what was built in.
#419 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Tue Dec 16 10:20:55 2003:
 FireWire cards, IrDA cards, IRMAboard 3270 terminal emulation boards;
 someone somewhere has probably come up with a board with PC Card
 slots; the Amiga 1200 desktop computer had a PC Card slot built in;
 someone developed an external SCSI + NIC card for it.
#420 David Brodbeck(gull) on Tue Dec 16 10:36:08 2003:
 Wow, there are PCI 3270 terminal emulators?  The last one I saw was
 8-bit ISA, and was in an IBM XT.
 Boards with PC Card slots not only exist, many PCI wireless network
 cards are actually PC Card-to-PCI bridge cards that you slide a PC Card
 wireless adapter into.  Some of these are more full-featured than
 others.  The one that's sold for Orinoco cards is actually a
 full-fledged PC Card bridge that you can plug any PC Card device into.
#421 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Tue Dec 16 11:21:12 2003:
 I don't know that there are specifically PCI 3270 cards, no.
#422 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Dec 16 18:30:11 2003:
 We don't have any TV or DVD cards, or any need for network cards, and as far
 as I know all the pci modems and sound cards only work with Windows.  I don't
 really need sound for anything, I guess.  The video card in there is AGP. 
 So I have five empty pci slots.  
 Jim went off to pick up some books on C++ despite feeling like his cold will
 never end.  He dressed in a goretex raincoat instead of a warm jacket so he
 would not get overheated biking.  He can get a flu shot even if he has a cold,
 as long as he has no fever, if he gets to the County Health Dept. in Ypsi
 before they run out, because as a pair we count as 'high risk'.  I am not
 supposed to catch flu from him and I can't get the shot myself.  Maybe we will
 take the car to Ypsi Thursday if he feels better since my immune system is
 due to come back by then.  There is also a holiday party at the Library for
 the Blind and Physically Disabled, where he gets his books on tape, halfway
 to Ypsi, which would be our big event of the week. I am getting a bit tired
 of having to avoid people.
 My friend in Macedonia writes that her boyfriend has been to Greece and Serbia
 for medical reasons.  He got his stomach cancer diagnosed in Bulgaria. 
 Macedonia does not have a lot of medical equipment.  He has a doctor friend
 in Toronto where I think he might get treated.  He has to continue working
 until spring first.  I sure have it easy.  So what if my ankles and wrists
 are numb today and my tongue feels sandpapered again.  
 The reason for the narrow stripes in the darker areas of scanned photos is
 scanner noise.  Jim thinks he has a way to fix this by setting the black and
 white somehow.  The library book also explains how to use a black and white
 scanner to scan color by scanning three times with colored filters and then
 combining the outputs.  The noise is amplified when the signal is weak (which
 it is in the darker areas).  At least we won't run out of toys.
 Are the latest computers now coming with TV tuners and DVD players built in?
 I thought PCI cards (PCMCIA?) were only for laptops.
#423 Cadet Eugene Tackleberry(tod) on Tue Dec 16 18:33:28 2003:
#424 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Dec 16 18:42:18 2003:
 I meant are PC-cards the same as PCMCIA.  Typo.  
 Yesterday we hooked up some low technology to our high technology in the form
 of a boombox with 'line in' plugged into the sound output of our Windows
 computer and tried to listen to Realaudio.  I think it sounded better a couple
 of years ago with a slower modem.  The sound keeps cutting out now.  And there
 are too many formats - streaming MP3, Windows Media Player (somewhere it said
 this is also MP3), Ogg Vorbis (????), and Realaudio, and lots of required
 plugins and things still don't work unless I download the latest WMP for 60
 minutes - forget it.  I am taping CDs instead.  Radio Swiss had nice music.
 Jim fixed a couple of computer speakers to sound slightly better by stuffing
 them with old orlon socks.  The Linux Realaudio software appears to be about
 2 versions out of date.  Can Linux do the other streaming formats? (In a
 computer with more ISA slots, of course). 
#425 Cadet Eugene Tackleberry(tod) on Tue Dec 16 18:49:48 2003:
#426 Scott Helmke(scott) on Tue Dec 16 19:17:44 2003:
 Part of the standards for PCMCIA cards were upgraded after a couple years for
 better drivers, more funtionality, etc.  They also decided that "PCMCIA" was
 too hard to remember or say, and created the term "PC card" as a replacement.
#427 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Dec 16 21:51:30 2003:
 We have discovered that of our 11 pci video cards, only 2 of them will work
 in our 300 MHz pentium.  So will an AGP card.  The AGP card is S3 and my
 DOS ghostscript works only with Trident, Tseng, ATI or SVGA16.  Does anyone
 know if linux ghostscript has VESA or S3 support?  One of the working PCI
 cards is a Tseng but it has only 1M RAM in VESA mode and 256 colors in Tseng
 mode.  Why won't the other cards work here????
#428 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Wed Dec 17 04:36:50 2003:
 ghostscript should work with any card you can get the X window system working
 for. I haven't heard of ghostscript being used with the text interface of
 Linux, but again, it should work with any card that the text interface works
 with, if you can. (The reason why DOS ghostscript only works with a few cards
 is probably because many DOS cards do nasty hardware-dependent things with
 the hardware, and they'll have only programmed it to do those things on those
 three cards. In Linux, "ordinary" programs (like Mozilla, lynx, OpenOffice,
 pine - an emailer - etc., *can't* do "nasty hardware-dependent things".
#429 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Wed Dec 17 05:25:00 2003:
 s/many DOS cards do/many DOS programs do/
#430 David Brodbeck(gull) on Wed Dec 17 09:24:06 2003:
 Re resp:425: "Cardbus" works into this somewhere, too.  I know that the
 Cardbus cards I've seen are keyed differently than older PCMCIA cards
 (the ridge on the side is a different height) and won't fit in some
 really old laptops.  I think this is a 5V vs. 3.3V distinction.
 We have two laptops at work that will only take the older cards, which I
 can no longer get. Fortunately one of them just died in a way I can't
 fix, so I may finally get a budget to replace it.
#431 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Dec 17 10:06:04 2003:
 Regarding ghostscript, I installed the console version of it, not X.  In DOS,
 it works properly with Tseng but with Trident it displays and prints sideways.
 I set -sDEVICE=tvga as instructed for Trident.  With ega and vga the Trident
 card also displays sideways.  I will experiment with S3 and linux console
 ghostcript.  Jim disconnected that computer from the monitor that works with
 S3 so he could experiment with scanners and Win98.  I will put it back.
 Got to learn to print with linux soon.  
 Last night, I hope, was my low point for immunity because I was up again
 coughing my head off until after 3 am.  Jim was also up late but he says this
 is because he was testing a CD that turned out to be defective (the copy).
 We also have an ISA 56K modem that works perfectly with basiclinux but Win98
 says it cannot communicate with it.  I will stick that in the linux-only
 computer.  Standard non-winmodem.  
 Jim says if you make three primary partitions (for Windows, DOS and Linux)
 Windows will not recognize the other partitions - is this correct?  Linux will
 recognize all of them, and DOS two of them.  We have one 20G drive.  I would
 consider putting in a Windows-only sound card and using Windows only as an
 internet radio since the Linux Realaudio is out of date.  
#432 David Brodbeck(gull) on Wed Dec 17 11:35:25 2003:
 Windows will recognize a DOS partition, but not a Linux partition.
#433 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Dec 17 15:20:26 2003:
 DOS won't recognize a linux partition either, but will Windows recognize a
 SECOND primary partition?  I really don't care, won't be using Windows for
 much of anything except to play with realaudio.
 Today we went through our CD-ROM drive collection. One requires a SONY
 controller, another might also require something odd as it worked in the 486
 it came out of but won't work with a regular IDE controller.  Recycled them
 both.  We chose a drive that has little tabs that slide over the CD to hold
 it in place when the drive is vertical instead of horizontal because I want
 to put the tower computer under the monitor to save desk space.  If i put it
 under the desk I cannot get at the back of it.  
 Jim is thinking of putting in a second CD-ROM drive in teh computer with the
 CD writer but someone said it makes more accurate copies to copy to hard drive
 first and then CD, rather than between CD-ROM reader and writer.  ?  The
 second drive will be a challege since he used the space where the floppy drive
 was supposed to go to attach a hard drive after the previous owner put this
 out at the curb with the cage removed, and then put in a 5 1/2" version of
 a 3 1/2" floppy drive in the large bay where the CD-ROM drive is supposed to
 go.  He will improvise a floppy drive cage somehow if it is really better to
 copy between drives.  It might at least be less confusing.
 I read up on ghostscript and it looks like you might need to run it under X,
 which is a nuisance.  
 Since this is my 'journal' I guess I can post anything I like in it, meaning
 whatever I happen to be doing while surviving chemotherapy, but this is
 certainly drift.  Today I swept snow off the neighbor's walk and discovered
 that I get out of breath really fast.  I have a long way to go before I feel
 physically normal again.  Supposedly it takes 6-12 months after therapy ends.
 The neighbor is out now getting even with us.
#434 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Wed Dec 17 15:45:30 2003:
 By al means keep up the drift if you want to. I'm finding it
 interesting to keep up with your everyday trials and tribbleations,
 My understanding re: primary drives is this:
 Linux or Windows, or just about any OS can be installed on a primary
 partition. non-MS OSes can also be installed on logical partitions.
 Most non-MS OSes can be coerced into reading Windows/DOS partitions,
 although not all can read and write NTFS paritions (the type used by
 NT, W2K, and XP.)
 Further, an MS OS will recognize other primary or logical partitions
 on the same drive, if they are formatted by an MS OS (caveat: DOS
 cannot understand filesystems formatted for NT and versions of Windows
 later than 3.1, at least not without added drivers). If >1 MS OS or
 =>1 MS OS and OS/2 are installed on primary partitions, each OS will
 see its own drive as C: and number the rest accordingly.
 MS-OSes (anmd OS/2) number all primary partitions before all logical
 partitions, thus with two hard drives in the same computer, each of
 which has 2 primary and two logical partitions, the numbering for MS
 OSes and Linux will be as follows:
 Drive 1:	MS	Linux
 Primary 1:	C:	/dev/hda1
    ""	 2:	D:	/dev/hda2
 Logical 1:	G:	/dev/hda5*
 Logical 2:	H:	/dev/hda6
 Drive 2:
 Primary 1:	E:	/dev/hdb1**
    ""	 2:	F:	/dev/hdb2
 Logical 1:	I:	/dev/hdb5
     ""  2:	J:	/dev/hdb6
 * Linux reserves partition numbers 1-4 to primary partitions, whehter
 or not there are four primary partitions, and always numbers logical
 partitions from 5.
 ** This assumes that Drives 1 and 2 are on the same IDE channel. on
 systems with 2 IDE channel, Drive 2 may be hdb, hdc, or, rarely, hdd.
#435 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Wed Dec 17 22:17:49 2003:
 If you use DR-DOS the partitioning gets further complicated (things are
 numbered in an unexpected order in linux).  DR-DOS also won't recognize a
 FAT32 partition so if Windows shares a computer with DOS it needs to be
 Windows (MS) DOS.  It should be interesting to have three partitions each
 formatted differently, on the same computer.
 I got 2 out of 3 ESS pci soundcards working with Win98.  The third was dead
 but it took a while to figure this out since you cannot hear anything at all
 with headphones plugged into the speaker hole like you can with Creative sound
 cards since they have no amplifier (except the dead one did, and it probably
 burnt out).  Also finally found the right video driver but did not think it
 was working until restarting Windows.  It improved from 16 color VGA to 256
 color 1024 and after restarting to 1600 res and 64K colors.
 Jim somehow managed to get a second CD ROM drive in his computer with the
 hard drive/floppy drive cage missing.  I saw him doing something with a hot
 glue gun to cover up the surgery.  He now has four CD burner programs to play
 with and will compare them and try to make two CDs into one 90 minute CD -
 is it possible to make a 90 minute CD?  I made a 90 minute tape of them
 We are hoping tomorrow to be able to get Jim his flu shot.  My cough continues
 to be pretty annoying - this morning I nearly threw up coughing again - and
 the platelet count is still down so I am still using old sheets to blow my
 nose into.  I think I gained back the weight I lost during the first 10 days
 of the cough.  It helps to drink orange juice with everything since everything
 tastes sour and orange juice is expected to taste sour.  We mixed it with
 pineapple juice.  
 Somehow the basement is not getting insulated.  It has only been 21 years
 since the materials were purchased.  Maybe when Jim feels better?  
 The bill for the latest chemotherapy arrived.  The cost of my miracle drug
 went up this time from $5000 to $5900, wonder why.  This means I will be
 paying the full deductible next year for four CT scans and one chemotherapy
 since they add to at least $15,000.  Two tylenol pills are $4.29.  I was
 thinking of bringing my own to save the insurance company some money but it
 seems to upset the nurses when you even take your own vitamin pills.  
#436 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Thu Dec 18 05:40:37 2003:
 Bummer about the bills, the pills and the cough. Bummer about hte
 insulation, yay for the weight gain. I believe the limit on CD-R(W)s
 is 80 mins, if you get ones that are specifically meant to last 80
 mins, and you're lucky.
 I never tried DR-DOS (my first IBM-compatible was a Win95 machine. It
 is now rebranded as OpenDOS, I think, might try it out.
 I regularly have (more than) three partitions on my computer. Assuming
 I have Windows on at all, I usually have 1 partition for some flavour
 of Windows, 1 foran "expirimental" OS/Linux distro (slack, at the
 moment), and a couple for my main Linux distro - at the moment I have
 /, swap, and /home partitions though I plan to reformat and probably
 have /, swap, /home, /usr, /usr/local, /opt and /var.
 This is turning into Sindi's Lymphoma and Sindi and Jeff's OS Journal.
 Oh well.
#437 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Dec 18 07:00:29 2003:
 We put all of our linux partitions into one ext2 partition which we formatted
 all at once.  Why do you have separate ones?
 The weight gain was probably just clothing.  Right now I just weighed in at
 104 pounds, which after eating breakfast might be back up to 105.  I think
 my neutrophil count might finally be going up slightly today.  Got to sleep
 at a reasonable hour, woke coughing at 2:30 and again at 5:30 and then sneezed
 three times, which is a sign of some progress except I sneezed blood (low
 platelet count).  I probably should not go sneeze at people at the library
 for the blind party.  We will reevaluate the situation around noon and maybe
 vaccinate Jim tomorrow instead.  I have been a 'virtual person' for 2.5 weeks
 now and would like to stop avoiding the rest of the world soon.  I think Scott
 and Slynne said this cold lasts just under 3 weeks but without an immune
 system I bet it lasts a bit longer.  I just washed four more handkerchiefs
 and filled a fifth.  Cough cough, cough cough.  
 I think my legs and knees and elbows are a bit less wobbly today, right on
 schedule, and my hands not quite as numb.  I am a bit sore in the spleen area
 again (I was sore all last cycle but it improved for ten days now) probably
 from the coughing.  My tongue even feels a bit less sandpapered and my throat
 is not raw.  I get to feel better again for ten days now and after that it
 is only two more treatments and I will feel just as good as today in six
 weeks.  Assuming I avoid the flu successfully.  
 Some of the side effects have disappeared or are less severe.  This cycle only
 one very small area of shredded skin around one fingernail.  No jaw or upper
 arm pain (which occurred this time of previous cycles).  Occasional aches in
 the IV hand but previous cycles it hurt for 1-7 days straight.  No peeling
 skin on my feet.  No thrush or mouth sores.  
 Things still don't taste very good but no nausea.  No headache (yet) this
 cycle, maybe in a few days.  Hot flashes continue and it still hurts to sit.
 I should go lie down again for a while as the coughing has stopped.
#438 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Thu Dec 18 11:38:49 2003:
 Reasons to have separate linux partitions:
 1. If you have an old BIOS, and more htan 1 OS on the same disk, you
 might need to make sure that all bootable partitions are under the old
 8MB limit, in case the BIOS cannot boot partitions above 8MB. So you
 would need a x00MB /boot partition for Linux.
 2. If you need to reinstall, or switch to a different distro, and want
 to keep your data and any programs you may have installed that aren't
 part of the standard distro, you can make separate /usr/local (that's
 a separate partition "local" under "/usr") and /home partitions that
 you tell the installation program not to format, thus preserving those
 progs and data. You can also have a couple of distros/UNIX-like OSes
 and keep all your data on one partition - though you'll probably have
 to have different user accounts on each, as each seems to store
 slightly different config files which could mess up your settings if
 you try to keep them together. For example, you could have accounts
 "debu", "slacku" and "rhu", for Debian, Slack, and RedHat, and on each
 distro create a group "user", writeable by al members, and create aa
 folder /home/data, onwed by group "user", with links to it in
 /home/rhu/data, /home/slacku/data, and /home/debu/data; or you could
 just use two of the distros for "bumming around in", and do any real
 work in one distro anmd not bother with the whole /home/data thing.
 3. By separating / (or / and /usr) separate partitions, you lessen the
 chances that these partitions are going to be messed up if you mess
 up, say, the partition with /home in it; also, if you make /usr a
 separate partition, you can make this partition read-only, increasing
 security still further.
 4. The other reasons all relate to servers. If you have, say, separate
 /, /boot, /tmp, /usr, /usr/local, /opt, and /var filesystems, users
 cannot accidentally or deliberately fill up the whole system by, say,
 keeping huge mail files in /var. (Although this is most useful in
 servers, nothing prevents you from doing it on desktops or
 single-function boxes like a computer set up to act purely as a
 firewall.) (Note that you can have a separate partion, for any or all
 of /usr and /usr/local).
 5. One other reason that may not relate to servers. If you have two or
 more disks, and want to use more than one disk for linux, before Linux
 version 2.4 it was not possible to make a partition that covered all
 or part of more than one disk; thus you had to (and stil can) split
 partitions off so that, for example, / is on /dev/hda1 and /usr, /var,
 etc, are all on another (presumably much larger) hard disk.
 (Unix puristsmay replace the word "partition" with "filesystem" in
 mine and Sindi's last responses, passim.)
#439 David Brodbeck(gull) on Thu Dec 18 12:22:30 2003:
 I think you mean the 8 *giga*byte limit, not 8 megabytes.  Technically
 the BIOS limit on older machines is at 1024 cylinders, if I remember right.
 For home systems I often just create /boot and put everything else in /.
  For servers I like to seperate out /var, /usr, and /tmp, and sometimes
 other filesystems depending on the function.
 There are other good reasons for creating multiple partitions.  Some
 boot loaders have trouble booting systems where root isn't one of a few
 specific filesystem types -- for example, some Linux distributions can't
 boot with a ReiserFS partition as root.  But you might have reasons for
 wanting to use that filesystem for other parts of the system.  Also, if
 a filesystem gets corrupted the damage is limited to one partition, so
 for example having / seperate from /home means if you blow up /home, you
 can still boot.
#440 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Thu Dec 18 12:31:05 2003:
 I do indeed mean the 8 GIGAbyte or 1024-cylinder limit, and thanks for
 clearing up the bit about blowing up /home.
#441 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Thu Dec 18 13:06:02 2003:
 I thought it was a 1G limit - is 1024 cylinders 8G?  We boot from the DOS
 partition with loadlin and make DOS the first partition (or Windows 98).  
 I am still operating as root except when using dosemu (which requires that
 it be used by 'user') but someone said to be 'user' when going online with
 a browser.  I think you can dial as root and then switch to another terminal
 and be user before loading the browser or telnet program.  I have not managed
 to get the dialer working except as root.  
 What is the purpose of using three different linux distributions?  Fun?
 We were going to go on our big adventure but I started coughing again.  I
 cough so hard that my stomach contents starts rising - I can taste it.  This
 never happened before - is it specific to this particular cold?  
 How difficult is it to get a CD writer working with linux?  
#442 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Thu Dec 18 13:32:42 2003:
 I usually do what I suggested in my earlier response - use one as my
 "main" (production/work) OS, and try out other distros on other
 partitions. I'm using Slack at the moment to get a more "hands
 on"/"Unixy" feel to things - slack is closest among Linux distros to
 what many consider to be "real distros", with
 RedHat/Mandrake/Xandros/Lindows being progressively less "Unixy" as
 you read from right to left. I'm having terrible trouble deciding
 between Slack and Debian. I was previously leaning towards Debian, as
 it comes with tons of software (so I wouldn't have to download much
 over dialup), and as I was afraid of compiling packages, which iirc
 recall correctly never worked properly for me before. (I might have
 needed to comile from source as not many people release software as
 Slackware .tgz packages anymore). However, the position is now more
 complicated as I have succesfully compiled a few packages (on Debian),
 and there is now the prospect of getting broadband fairly soon.
#443 David Brodbeck(gull) on Thu Dec 18 18:12:53 2003:
 Re resp:441: No, 1024 cylinders is not the same as one gigabyte.
 Hard disks are physically laid out in cylinders, heads, and sectors. 
 For example, a hard disk with two platters might have 600 cylinders, 4
 heads (one for each side of each platter), and 63 sectors.  Cylinders
 are like tracks on a floppy disk -- they're called cylinders because of
 using multiple platters.  (Visualize projecting a cylinder down through
 all the platters, picking up one track on each one, and you get the idea.)
 In the days of MFM hard disks, the cylinder/head/sector settings in the
 computer's BIOS would correspond to the actual physical layout of the
 drive, but these days they're a fabrication of the disk controller --
 they simply form a useful coordinate system for identifying specific
 bits of information on the disk.  But the total capacity that a
 computer's BIOS can handle is limited by how big these numbers can get.
  This is where the limits on what the BIOS can boot come from -- it can
 only find boot sectors that are on the part of the disk it knows how to
 The limit used to be around 540 megabytes, but it was pushed out to 8
 gigabytes by BIOS changes.  Once the operating system is booted, it has
 other ways of addressing data on the disk, so the limitations imposed by
 the BIOS disappear.
 Re resp:442: If you like to tinker, you might want to try Gentoo.
#444 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Dec 19 01:35:36 2003:
 I managed to compile three programs for Slackware and I also managed to
 unpackage a Debian package and use it with Slackware.  You type ar -x
 filename.deb and it produces three files one of which is data.tar.gz and can
 be unpacked in the root directory.  You can also use RPM packages with
 slackware if you unpackage them (using mc-menu or unrpm).  SuSe 6 and Caldera
 2 programs work with Slackware 7.1 in theory, but they might try to put things
 into nonexistent directories.  
 Redhat has /usr/share/ and Slackware does not, for instance.  
 Today we copied two music CDs to one 79 min CD (copied all but one piece,
 totalling 71 minutes).  Jim put a second Cd drive in the computer, an 8X. 
 One CD went into the CD writer, which reads 24X but copied the CD at 5X, and
 the 8X player copied a CD at 2X, both to hard drive.  We may put in our 40X
 CD.  I presume software and data files can be compressed so would copy faster.
 After we made the CD we tried to play it on the CD writer and it skipped, so
 we tried playing the original and it stopped after 30 sec or so at the part
 where it had skipped.  We  thought maybe we had made a bad copy but both the
 original and the copy play fine in the 8X player, so apparently the writer
 will copy files to hard drive just fine but not play music CDs properly.  We
 wondered why someone put it out at the curb in a computer.  
 To celebrate we walked to the library and supermarket, first time we had gone
 anywhere for a week.  Jim carried back 16 pounds of grapefruits, a
 pomegranate, some brazil nuts and some ice cream.  The latter two taste funny
 to me but I am trying to eat more calories.  Jim offered to help eat them.
 The supermarket was full of turkeys, hams, electric roasters and broiler
 ovens, cookies, pies, and lots of cream cheese in two locations.  They were
 playing some awful rock music rather than the expected Christmas music.  
 I got back to the warm house and immediately started to cough, then was okay
 for the evening until I went to bed at which point I coughed to the point of
 almost throwing up again.  Since I don't want to lose any calories, I got up
 for a while.  I think my immunity goes down in the evening, also the mucus
 does not drain as well when I lie down.  
 Jim's C++ book from arrived.  He loves reading computer books.
 I got some more CDs.  It was actually faster to tape them because first teh
 program tested both drives, then it copied from them to hard drive, then it
 wrote from hard drive to CD (at 2X).  Next Jim wants to try making a CD into
 some MP3 files.  What compression rate is good for Beethoven?  We may try
 variations and listen to the results.
#445 David Brodbeck(gull) on Fri Dec 19 10:10:31 2003:
 Your best bet is to try some settings and listen to the results, because
 what sounds good varies greatly from person to person.  MP3 is a lossy
 "psychoacoustic" encoding method; it relies on how your brain processes
 sound, and compresses files by dropping information where your brain
 won't notice it.
 A good lower end for testing stereo MP3s is 128 kbps.  I find artifacts
 distracting at that bitrate, and consider my personal minimum to be 160
 kbps, but some people can't hear any problems at 128.  Encoders also
 vary a lot in quality.  Bladeenc should be avoided, as it's one of the
 worst in my experience.  LAME is pretty good.  I haven't tried any
 commercial encoders so I can't comment on them.
 If I'm not concerned with fitting a lot of music into a small space,
 I'll sometimes use MP3 at 256 kbps.  At that rate it's essentially
 indistinguishable from regular CD audio, to me.
#446 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Dec 19 11:56:30 2003:
 Realone (realaudio) comes with a music CD maker that offers three settings
 for realaudio quality, one of which was 160 (168?) kbps and was chosen as the
 default.  So we could also make our own .ram instead of .mp3 files. I think
 they also offer mp3 and wav.  Does ram sound different from mp3 and do you
 know how that is encoded?    I presume what they are transmitting at 20 kbps
 is encoded that way too.  Some stations send at 64K (half of 128) or 48Kbps.
 Hard to tell if the cheap speakers or the encoding are what make it sound not
 so good.  We might hook up a receiver and good speakers.  
 This morning I woke coughing at 7:30 and got lots of blood on one of my
 improvsed hankies but then no blood on the next two, which suggests my
 platelets have gone up and maybe neutrophils will be numerous enough now too
 to shake off this cough.  This particular virus appears to depress the immune
 system though, since Jim has had mouth sores and an infected fingernail that
 won't heal.  Must be how viruses help cause cancer - they stop your body from
 fighting things off.  Some of them also cause mutations.  
 I keep getting emails from concerned translators and agencies, most recently
 from one in Texas where I used to do lots of medical translating.  She says
 another of their translators died suddenly of cancer and she knows several
 other people dealing with it.  The new epidemic. A library book said 43% of
 men will get cancer in their lifetimes and almost as many women.  Lung,
 prostate, and colon are more common than lymphoma.  You can reduce chances
 of some common cancers by eating properly, not being obese, and not smoking.
 This is a book on exercise that says exercise is good for the immune system
 (except when you have a fever).  A library magazine suggested that you try
 to get exercise while doing chores, in order to lose weight, by wearing a 15
 pound vest.  Jim suggested gaining 15 pounds instead.  Chores used to imply
 exercise.  Another suggestion was to pace while on the phone - it finally
 struck me that the phone must not be attached to the wall likes ours are. 
 SOmeone in the basiclinux mail list posted a link to WORD 5.5 for DOS,
 available for free download now from MS. 3.5MB.  Supposedly makes smaller
 files than WP, but since it is gui I don't know if I can use it on a TTL
 monitor to translate with a gif on the VGA monitor of a 2-monitor system. 
 With dosemu if I can figure out how to mount DOS drives to dosemu.  Last time
 I tried to mount the C: drive under /usr/jim/ it acted like /tmp instead -
 listed me all the files in /tmp but in 8.3 format.  There is a SUBST command
 - how does this work?
 I have no idea why WORD 5.5 for DOS is filed under Word97 for Win98  or what
 is be(n).  Someone says if you omit the help files it fits on one floppy disk.
 Without dictionary.  
 I will try WORD first in plain DOS, VGA and then HGC.  
#447 klg(klg) on Fri Dec 19 12:51:54 2003:
 Leafing through the newly-arrived Winter 2003 issue of Cure magazine 
 Ortho Biotech Products offers to send "valuable information on managing 
 chemotherapy side effects."  Send in the postcard or call 800.776-8998.
 Sidebar on "Unraveling DNA."  "Gene analyzing techniques" have found a 
 way to "(predict) the response to chemotherapy treatment."  This "may 
 help identify patients . . . who are unlikely to be cured by 
 conventional therapy
 A Q&A on radiation therapy answers the query, "Will I be radioactive?"
 "Tumor Humor?"
 "Cancer isn't funny, but . . ."
 Book suggestions:  "Not Now . . . I'm Having a No Hair Day" and "I'd 
 Rather Do Chemo than Clean Out the Garage"
 Registration form for the first Patient & Survivor Forum, May 22-23, 
 Dallas TX.  $50 registration fee before 4/1.
 "Bexxar:  Birth of A Drug"  About a new radioactive adnitbody based 
 therapy for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL).
 Reader's Forum article by Doug Strawn, a NHL patient who played back-up 
 with The Carpenters for 10 years. 
#448 David Brodbeck(gull) on Fri Dec 19 13:49:34 2003:
 Re resp:446: RAM probably is a different encoding scheme than MP3.  I
 can't say whether it sounds better or worse at the same bitrate because
 I haven't tried it.
#449 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Dec 19 16:05:06 2003:
 Ghostscript for linux DOES work in console mode using svgalib but there is
 no support for newer S3 cards.  I could view as plain vga (illegible).  When
 I tried to print the same way I do in DOS (-sDEVICE=deskjet) it took a few
 seconds and sent the pages somewhere but they did not print.  I tried to
 understand the book about how to print but I could not, something about a
 print spool.  How do I print things from a print spool?
 I ended up printing the four page file with DOS ghostscript.  Someone sent
 me a translation.
#450 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Dec 19 18:55:09 2003:
 I apparently need to install lpd - what then?  
 Today things no longer taste odd, they taste bad and my tongue is sore and
 there is still slime on my teeth.  In just six weeks things will start getting
 better for good.  We are playing Beethoven's 9th Symphony and someone sent
 me a short translation (about bronchial asthma) to distract me.  Jim is bug
 hunting because his little text editor does not scroll properly on wide files.
 First things first.  
#451 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Fri Dec 19 20:19:03 2003:
 Re: #443: I do like to tinker; Gentoo is off limits until i get
 broadband; I get moaned at enough for taking up the phone line as it
 Re: #444: Slackware has no /usr/share? Hmm, have to lok at that again.
 Re: #450. With lpd installed, you should be able to pipe ghostscripts
 output to lp (a la "ghostscript | lp").
#452 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Fri Dec 19 21:44:47 2003:
 So if I do that (pipe to lp) will it automatically print?
 The format is gs -sDEVICE=deskjet -r300x300 filename.pdf   
 I wish people would send me gifs instead of pdf files as they are easier to
 display and move around in and I don't need to print them.  There is no point
 that I know of in making an image into a pdf file when there is no text in
#453 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Sat Dec 20 07:27:54 2003:
 Yes, the lp command says "print this"
#454 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Dec 20 09:44:12 2003:
 Today I only woke up twice coughing and then slept 6 hours straight without
 waking for anything but hot flashes and then even sneezed!  This is the day
 in the cycle that they used to test my blood and discover my blood counts were
 back to normal.  They could have been back for three days before that - no
 tests then.  So I am still hoping the cough will go away soon.  My tongue
 feels less slimy than it did.  I noticed yesterday that there is a largish
 area of numb skin where they did the spleen biopsy.  I wonder if anesthetic
 can have lasting effects?
 I am told there is some disagreement between grex's vt100 and the vt102 used
 by my xterm, which makes lynx display links double.  Where might I go for 
 definitions of the two of them?  When I run kermit from xterm lynx is not
 usable, when I run it from console it is.
#455 Joe(gelinas) on Sat Dec 20 09:55:16 2003:
 Your xterm may be using "vs100" instead of "vt100".  If so, you can change
 it with an option when the xterm you connect to grex from is started up.
 Something like
 	xterm -tn vt100
#456 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Sat Dec 20 09:57:06 2003:
 Hmm, interesting. what's a "vS100"?
#457 Joe(gelinas) on Sat Dec 20 10:03:31 2003:
 Among other things, it uses an "alternate screen" for less, vi and the like.
 so your command-line text is hidden while paging/editing, and the paged/edited
 text disappears when the pager/editor exits.
#458 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Dec 20 10:07:18 2003:
 The xterm is defined with -tn vt102 - should I change to vt100?  I am using
 one that was supplied to us with a few modifications to make it full-screen
 and have a scrollbar.  I tried vt300 and it made things even worse - Pine
 displayed the cursor one line or two lines down from where it should be.
 In order to see things at grex without them wrapping I needed -geom 78x25,
 anything narrower made it wrap.  But 78 cuts off the vertical right line of
 the terminal, not that I care.  I can see all the characters.  The scrollbar
 takes up a space or two but I need it to scroll back when using kermit. 
 Kermit works fine without xterm but no scroll buffer that way.  
 A friend offered to drop us off some Christmas cookies, on the porch.
#459 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Sat Dec 20 10:12:11 2003:
 AFAI am aware, if it has modifications then your terminal (a) only has
 support for them compiled in for vt102, or (b) should present a
 scrollbar with all vt types, so sswitching to vt100 would be a good
#460 Joe(gelinas) on Sat Dec 20 10:22:33 2003:
 I suggest reading the man page for xterm, Sindi.  You can probably find the
 command line options you need, like "-geom 78x25".  (I'm surprised your screen
 can't display an 80-column terminal, though.)
#461 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Dec 20 13:21:57 2003:
 I fixed the problem with lynx by changing the font from 10x20 to linux8x16
 but now bbs is messed up.  Someone suggested specifying -fb (boldfont)
 as well as -fn since the links in lynx are in bold.  Will try that next.
 To print I need to install lpr.tgz (contains lpd) and three parallel port
 modules parport parport-pc and lp.  Will be back when I fix my terminal.
#462 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Dec 20 13:43:11 2003:
 If I use -fn 10x20 the bold parts (links) in lynx are doubled.
 If I use -fn linux8x16 lynx is okay but bbs is scrambled.
 Someone suggested setting -fb (bold font).
 I could not find 10x20 bold but I did find 9x15 bold and set
 -fn 9x15 and -fb 9x15bold and it all works now but the print
 is awfully skinny.  I will keep experimenting.  Maybe I can mix
 10x20 and 9x15bold or some other bold?
#463 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sat Dec 20 23:49:57 2003:
 Today we learned to make mp3 files from Bach and Dvorak music CDs.
 Roxio and RealOne both have audio to mp3 conversion programs.  RealOne
 converts at about 3 times as fast, Roxio at 1X but offers a few more sampling
 speeds.  We tried 32 (sounds really garbled with sort of a whirring sound)
 48 (which I think was a bit buzzy on the violin), 64, and 128, the latter two
 indistinguishable from the original to both of us.  Jim now wants to record
 10 CDs worth of music to one CD and play it all day long on the computer,
 which he hooked up to the stereo system with a very long cable.  A couple of
 blocks from here we saw a discarded rubber thing that is used to go over
 electric cords so you don't trip over them - might go look for it again.
 Burn4Free free CD burning software, about a 1M download, will let you copy
 tracks from audio CDs, rearrange the order, rename the tracks, and burn them,
 and you can do almost all of this without a mouse (except for moving files
 around into different orders).  We will use this and RealOne.
 I am putting ice cream on my oatmeal and eating it again for supper.  The
 coldness sort of numbs my tastebuds.  Jim is eating the chocolate with soggy
 rice crispy candy ice cream.  The rice crispies taste sour to me.  Anything
 starchy tastes sour, including cookies.  A friend brought us cookies.  I put
 cheese on the potatoes and managed to eat two bowls of them.  I continue to
 shed.  Jim had some old photos of me in the hospital with thick hair and very
 skinny arms.  I would rather have thicker arms and thinner hair.  I might try
 some exercises from the library book tomorrow.  
#464 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Dec 21 10:56:34 2003:
 Cough seems somewhat better this morning!
#465 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Sun Dec 21 11:10:47 2003:
 Goody! ;-)
#466 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Dec 21 17:47:51 2003:
 It has changed into sneezing, hooray!  I guess my immune system does not work
 instantly.  If it gets better by Tuesday we may take the risk and go to Jim's
 sister's annual family get-together in Warren on Thursday.  Jim is also
 sneezing and he is supposed to have a normal immune system.  
 Today we went for a walk in the slush and looked at tree trunks.  There was
 a burr oak with some unusual thick bark that was peeling off it from the
 bottom up, and the trunk of a huge willow (the branches fell through the
 nearby roof and were removed) with large round gnarly areas all over it and
 short skinny branches growing off the top in all directions.  The lucky owners
 put a bench in front of it.  Two birches.  A variety of evergreens.  One
 neighbor out shoveling slush for a 3-way shared driveway because one of the
 other neighbors (that we know) was in the hospital with a really bad sinus
 infection.  We did not find the rubber thing to go over electric cords but
 Jim brought home a somewhat droopy abandoned poinsettia plant.  The adjustible
 flagpole was still there next to it.  
 I have been translating, one page at a time because it still hurts to sit.
 I think that is the symptom I would most like to go away, but it requires
 eating more so I guess I need my taste buds back first.  Jim kindly ate the
 whole 2 half gallons of chocolate ice cream when I complained the first bowl
 tasted funny (it was the rice crispies in it not the ice cream). It took him
 under 48 hours.  Not bad for a vegan out of training.  
 I am reading Chaucer in modern translation (all about sex and violence and
 religion, with some drunkenness thrown in for laughs) and a good book on
 medieval art.  Clothing styles closely paralleled architectural styles. 
 People in the Romanesque period wore rounded hats, in the Gothic period very
 tall pointy ones, and they tried to pose in ogee shapes, and then in the
 Renaissance they tried to look short and squat and square with flat topped
 hats and squared shoes and super-wide shoulders.  I also noticed a lot of
 parallels between 30s glassware and sweaters in two other books - both were
 relatively plain shapes decorated with narrow stripes or other fine patterns,
 as opposed to bicolor designs in the fifties.
#467 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Sun Dec 21 17:57:09 2003:
 ogee shapes?
#468 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Dec 21 19:18:24 2003:
 The shape of the top part of a Gothic arch, somewhat S-shaped.  They would
 pose with their torsos bent backwards and their heads bent forwards.  
#469 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Dec 21 19:21:47 2003:
 I have linux to the point where it sends the printer a page feed but it won't
 print.  I installed lpd, insmod three needed modules, typed lpd, changed sh
 to bash in printcap for generic printer, and tried to print with
 lpr filename.txt
 Nothing appears to have gone to the print spool.  lpq  - no entries.
 What did I miss?  The book says to use Redhat printtool.  I don't have that.
#470 Jeff Rollin(twenex) on Sun Dec 21 19:26:54 2003:
 Try rebooting; lpd should come on on its own. try lp instead of lpr.
#471 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Dec 21 19:42:01 2003:
 There is no lp command on my computer.  I also tried another method of
 printing that is supposed to send files directly to the printer and again I
 got just a paper feed.  I then tried to print a test line with Jim's text
 editor and it printed the linux file I had been sending it instead.  !?
 Seems like the file was sent to the printer by linux, but did not print until
 I tried to print something else.   The printer works fine with DOS (unless
 it was first sent a linux file, apparently).  
 I can print my files this way (typing lpr and then switching to DOS) but it
 is rather time consuming.  May as well just copy them to the DOS partition
 and print from there.  
#472 Scott Helmke(scott) on Sun Dec 21 21:58:04 2003:
 cat myfile.txt > /dev/lp0
 do anything for you?
#473 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Sun Dec 21 23:26:12 2003:
 I will check tomorrow on the linux computer.  DOS is so much easier to use
 for connecting to grex since you don't need to fiddle with fonts and xterms
 in order to get a scroll buffer.  Or change X resolutions and virtual screen
 sizes.....   Console C-kermit has no scroll buffer.  I think I already tried
 the cat to lp0 approach with nothing happening as it was in a book.  I might
 try a different printer next, dot-matrix instead of HP540 (DOS inkjet).  The
 latter might not be sufficiently 'generic'.  I tried some other setup that
 sends things directly to the printer and it also just put out a blank page.
#474 Dave Lovelace(davel) on Mon Dec 22 08:49:20 2003:
 Sindi, you probably need to set up a printcap file (/etc/printcap) with a
 proper entry for the type of printer & some other stuff.  (That's part of
 what printtool does for you.)  There also are other things, which depend on
 what lpd you're using.  (Likely alternatives include (but aren't limited to)
 CUPS and LPRng.)  This gets complicated & messy to debug.  But quite possibly
 some filtering is set up by default which assumes that the printer wants some
 particular type of input (such as PostScript) and converts what you send to
 that.  Stairstepping text is also a likely problem.  printcap & other
 configuration files control all that kind of stuff.
#475 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Dec 22 10:04:55 2003:
 The problem might be that I was trying to print a DOS file with linux so I
 will try printing a different file that I write with pico.  There is a default
 printcap file set up for generic printer that should have printed text.  
 Today I am coughing but much less.  It would have been no fun to cough during
 my CT this Wednesday because they make you lie down and keep still and lying
 down is what made me start coughing.  I also just realized that my breathing
 has been okay for the past week and no rib pain, which means the fluid around
 my lungs has finally gone away after four months.  Now if only fruit would
 stop tasting awful.  Jim brought me frozen blueberries as a treat and I forced
 myself to eat four of them.  He had to finish my small orange, much too sour.
 I think my sour taste buds must be the only ones not killed off.  We might
 get Jim a flu shot today if he is also sneezing less.
#476 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Mon Dec 22 17:39:47 2003:
 We got Jim a flu shot.  He was number 2 but they had to get to 25 before they
 started over again with 1.  The waiting room was full of people aged 6 months
 to 2 years, talking to everyone, and their parents, who were talking about
 nothing but babies.  I went out in the hallway to wait so I would not cough
 on them.  On the way we stopped at Dynasty Chinese Buffet in Ypsi and I
 sampled the various fruits and vegetables.  All the fruits tasted sour except
 the bananas and the unripe canteloupe (which did not taste at all, just
 crunched).  They had four vegetables dishes, which don't bother me much.  I
 made myself eat a few greasy things for calories (deep fried cream cheese in
 a crust, fried noodles with soup).  Jim sampled the egg rolls and spring rolls
 several times each and ate what I could not manage to eat.  We were there once
 just a year ago and were forced to listen to a CD of bad Christmas music
 (Silent Night in 4/4 time, other things jazzed up) but this time it was
 Nutcracker Suite and Night Music reorchestrated for the masses.  The salad
 section was outstanding for a Chinese restaurant, not just iceberg lettuce.
 I ate cucumber, tomatoes, seaweed with too much garlic, carrot and daikon
 shredded with rice vinegar, some sort of cole slaw with minimal mayonnaise.
 Skipped the chocolate pudding and yellow jello and pizza and mini hotdogs.
 On the way back I climbed three sets of stairs at the library.  Puff puff.
 It hurt a lot to sit for that long so we probably won't go to JIm's sister's
 place Thursday (3 hours of sitting to get there and back).  
 I hope I did not catch the flu on our big adventure of the month.
#477 Tim P. Ryan(tpryan) on Tue Dec 23 11:16:30 2003:
 	Have you tried sitting on one of those funky pillows that
 is like a piece of foam in a wave, you know for better neck support?
 You might be able to get it so that the sore part is not in most
#478 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Dec 23 11:17:55 2003:
 Yesterday someone sent me a translation in the form of a zipped file
 containing two files whose names come out the same when truncated to DOS (one
 of those files named with a sentence including spaces).  Jim suggested when
 it asks to overwrite the first file with the second file of the same name,
 to answer NO the first time, rename the first file, then unzip again and
 answer yes so that the second file overwrites the first one of the original
 name.  I got two 1.2M files and converted to 10K text with Antiword.  This
 seemed wrong, so I converted to postscript (after moving over a missing
 mapping file from the previous version and renaming the directory so it could
 be found).  Still looks the same.  Somehow MS converted two pages of text with
 a lot of blank spaces to 1.2M of WORD.  I will download the free WORD viewer
 and take a look some day.
 The text is Polish and displays just fine with a VGA screen font.  It won't
 import into WP51/DOS because they use a different system for symbols so I
 could not print it that way.  I checked the printer manual for our HP 540 and
 unlike the manual for the HP 500 at my apartment it won't tell you how to
 access the built-in fonts for things like E. European (CP1252 or CP852) - use
 the software with your DOS program, its says, or order another manual by its
 part number.  So I could not print out the file on my HP.  My dot-matrix
 printer can't print Polish unless I design my own font for it and load it.
 I once designed a lambda for my 9-pin Star printer.  
 So I translated between the Polish lines with Jim's text editor.  I could have
 displayed the Polish and one document and translated to another document while
 switching between screens, but this was easier.  At the other end they won't
 be able to print the Polish unless they have a printer with a good manual,
 because it does not import into WORD, which uses a different method of
 displaying and printing fonts.  
 Or I could have tried to translate in Linux with a computer that had two
 video cards and two monitors (display the text on the VGA monitor, translate
 on the TTL monitor with any text editor) but I don't have this set up yet
 How else might I have done this other than downloading MS's free WORD viewer
 (does that also print?).  Or using two side-by-side DOS computers.  
 I woke up only once coughing my head off and today am not coughing yet.
#479 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Dec 23 11:18:49 2003:
 Re 477, no I have not, and I just remembered that my 2" foam camping mat
 actually came with one and I have it in the closet.  Thanks.
#480 Sindi Keesan(keesan) on Tue Dec 23 18:54:39 2003:
 Major events of today:
 Hospital called to remind me to arrive at 1 pm tomorrow for CT scan and not
 to eat or drink anything after 6 am.  I am debating whether to get up and eat
 in the middle of the night like people do for Ramadan.
 A friend who brought cookies stopped by again with fruit cake but would not
 come in so as not to infect me.
 We went for a walk in the rain and looked at Christmas lights.  One house had
 a striped red and green effect on their bushes.  Another had a 'tree'
 consisting entirely of a metal frame with pink lights.  There were at least
 four styles of reindeer.  The pumpkins were more interesting.  It is getting
 harder to find things to look at.  Maybe we will look at porch steps next.