Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Last night we went to a party thrown (strange word)by a former colleague and cancer survivor who had stage 4 lymphoma. Stage 4 doesn't seem to mean the same across the board in cancer world. In general it means it has spread beyond the original site past the lymph nodes into other organs. In her case, cancer was found in every major organ yet she survives and thrives after a year of hell. I've run across other Stage 4 lymphoma survivors also. Stage 4 breast cancer is a more difficult beast to contain. You can slow down the march but for now, little can be done to stop it completely. Hopefully that will change soon.

So my friend was the only one we knew at the party. Sometimes it is intimidating to make conversation with total strangers searching for some commonality (hard to find amongst all the deer hunters there with their tales of gore) but I did meet a woman who loved long distance bike rides, travel, and has done alot to further science education so I was entertained.

As for deer hunting; I realize that there are too many deer around here and since our collision with one, I am constantly scanning the shoulders, especially at night, for them to come bounding in front of me. These hunters like to go up north even though the deer are scarcer there. Too much cross fire down here for them plus they like rifles not shot guns. (There is a line drawn across Michigan above which rifles are legal) I don't believe that hunters though are doing a 'noble' service. I remember reading how one hunter was patting himself on the back for culling the weaker members of the herd-the albinos. Most hunters are encouraged to do the opposite: go for the biggest buck with the most points leaving the weaker males to breed with females. If they were interested in reducing the herd, extending doe season would help. But you won't find me out there anytime soon shooting does. I cringed hearing their stories. I turn off the nature channel when they insist on showing predator/prey interactions.

So I have one more week to tough it out outside before I can rejoin the Y. I went down to the river yesterday where they occasionally clean the paths. We've had only 2 inches of snow but somehow it melting and refreezing over and over again with no salt has made a safe running surface hard to find. In the past, I've run on much worse and maybe have fallen once due to ice but now I am super cautious and uneasy with my poor balance (due to chemo) and memory of breaking my arm. The path yesterday had a few clear areas and it was good to exercise again but annoying to deal with the many slippery parts. I will repeat this later today.

Shanna stopped by only briefly yesterday with her crew as she has lots of obligations to fulfill. They will return tonight for a 'family' dinner.

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