(A microburst Twitter essay--to be finished before I'm done with my cough drop)
I just had an epiphany: #beautiful has become my new favorite word. That may seem strange given my circumstances. In June 2017 I was diagnosed with incurable stage IV #lungcancer.
I naively thought that maybe my lifetime of being a health and fitness junkie would insulate me from such a medical fate. Wrong. And So here I am, fifty-one years old and not sure how much time I have left on earth. I know I could, or maybe should, feel angry, cheated, jaded.
But I don't. I have this epiphany that my new favorite word is beautiful and I'm not sure why. There is nothing beautiful about what I've gone through since my diagnosis--lots of physical and emotional distress to be sure. But yet, I keep find
When low-dose aspirin is not only a bust, but is associated with higher all-cause mortality, #cancer, and more bleeding in healthy elderly nejm.org/doi/full/10.10…
3 @NEJM papers of a randomized trial of >19,000 people by @JohnMcNeil6 @ASPREE_aus and colleagues
This is just so silly. In the 19th century, there was a panic in the medical profession (and among social commentators) about women becoming ill with neurological and "nervous" conditions because they were overworking their brains/nerves, which were naturally weaker than men's.
This “fact” was used to bolster the argument in favor of stopping women's formal education after age 16 and most certainly not letting them enroll in university.
It's 3:30am and I am crying because I am just so sick and this past week has been an incredible struggle to find some kind of balance between grasping for shreds of wellness and trying to carry on writing and meeting deadlines.
It's just so terrible.
In the midst of this it is the grim anniversary of my being paralyzed. And #PTSD does not take a holiday.
I honestly cannot bear how my life is some days. The restrictions, the relentless pain, the anxiety, the yearning to be well.
I miss wholeness. Even the wholeness I had.
I'm not asking anyone for anything. I'm just crushed by all of it in this moment.
It is so hard knowing this is how it will be for always.
And I want to be brave and model that for others, but dear G*d suffering is NOT ennobling. It just wears you down every blessed day.
Cancer is sustained abnormal growth, the loss of tightly regulated mechanisms to control cell division and growth.
Every species of multicellular organism gets #cancer.
Naked mole rats.
Let's talk about tree cancer.
When a tree is injured, infected, or stressed, the cells affected can undergo a loss of normal function and out of control growth. These outgrowths show poor cellular organization, producing odd wood-grain patterns and blobby outgrowths we call burls.
The similarities to mammalian cancer is obvious in a side-by-side comparison of tumor and burl.
The #healthcare industry employs millions of Americans.
In the only vision Bernie Sanders has ever presented, that somehow disappears and is replaced by something completely different....by magic. He has never had a plan for it or "breaking up the banks." nydailynews.com/opinion/transc…
The most workable--and quick--plan we could get (if people vote in November and the Democrats regain the House)--is the #MedicareExtraForAll plan.
@jack 2. You now find many of those accounts on #GAB & users like #KoljaBonke, an author from #Frankfurt, who was suspended on #Twitter for giving daily updates about migrant #crime in #Germany (just posting articles or police reports). So content you find in a newspaper!
A plea to British people to take Donald Trump’s outrageous utterances “with a grain of salt” was made today by the head of the US Republican party’s supporters in the UK. (1/n) standard.co.uk/news/london/tr…
Ms Elliott says: "I don't apply the same criteria to the man I married (note: #VoteLeaveBrokeTheLaw's Matthew Elliott) to the man I vote for president."
In the same interview: "Ms Elliott said she did not vote for Trump in 2016".
Oh, but she "would now".
Because of "what he has accomplished in his first 18 months".
(Insulting other countries and leaders? Spreading #FakeNews about Germany&Sweden? Make people leave its team too fast for him to say "you're fired"? Getting out the Paris Agreement?
A day away from Twitter to face down #cancer drama with medical folks.
Then dealing with the financial devastation wrought by this administration on sick people with a social worker assigned to me via my health insurance.
I am so angry, it's palpable.
Trump is a monster.
I know we're all supposed to be drinking the #civility KoolAid--but I am so angry with the folks who put us here.
I guess that civility mantra is easier if you have money and aren't sick/#disabled.
Oh-my-G*d am I angry.
I'm angry for everyone--even the smug 3rd party purists still trying to keep us from winning back the House & Senate because something something privileged bs.
I'm one of a few million Americans awake when we should be sleeping because of the pain of #cancer or some other chronic illness.
Adding to our sleeplessness is knowing #healthcare is under threat. We may not be able to afford it due to the #GOP's actions.
My parents were Civil Rights workers. My father was a Freedom Rider. As a small child I was taught the legacy of #MLK.
I watched people invoking MLK on Monday. Not in defense of #votingrights or in outrage over how the #SCOTUS ruled on two pivotal cases on gerrymandering.
MLK wasn't being invoked for #votingrights but for Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who lies to America every day about policies that could very well kill me & others.
Policies that are hurting millions.
Policies that have kept me a citizen without equal rights in my own country.
Looking at my #Gucci, it's about that time. It's #Cancer time. (Older heads will know, I likely don't literally have a Gucci. But a stroll down hip-hop memory lane is apt for this sign, no?)
And this is special for me since there might be folks of a particular sign, either by Sun, moon or rising, who are your Ride-or-die folks. Well, #Cancers are mine. I don't have to go looking for them or that. It just happens. Consistently. So, they're dear people for me.
Once consciousness has explored dimensions of risk & curiosity in #Gemini, it seeks out safety, responsibility, containment & renewal in #Cancer
2-The story took off last night, but apparently has been going on for a couple of days. The group that called themselves ‘VOP Alpha Co - Team Pulaski’ (facebook.com/VOP-Alpha-Co-T…), a group of veterans with different backgrounds & experience, dedicated to help other veterans
3-...are the ones that brought all this out to light.
They have been live streaming videos from the area, and #Facebook keeps taking them down.
What happened? VOP was in the area looking for homeless vets they could help. #CEMEX
The Wife's fam are immigrants.
So tonight we were talking about #JohnKelly.
I am imagining #MothersDay with the fam all together & The Wife's mother, whose parents were a carpenter & a lacemaker who didn't speak English. The Wife's mother is a painter & retired art professor.
#JohnKelly's xenophobia & racism are over-the-top, even for someone in the Trump administration. How can someone who lost a child be so cavalier about children being separated from their mothers? How can he claim immigrants can't assimilate? How do Trump's people talk like this?
My father's mother was from Sweden, never went to school past 5th grade. Her husband, my grandfather, never went past 8th. She took in washing, he was a photographer. They were both functionally illiterate.
My father won a scholarship to an Ivy League college.
More hospital for me, today.
The rest of you, remember to breathe and keep the toxic at bay.
And take in some beauty.
The tulips and daffodils are in bloom!
Thanks so much to all the lovely, kind people wishing me well. Your support is so vital.
It was a harrowing day. #Cancer is a slog, but I am managing (except for some trolls who have sad lives).
I remain grateful for all of you, for great docs, for my fab fam.
Thank you. 💜🌿
Filing columns from hospital beds is exhausting.
Once, when I was at @PhillyDailyNews, before email was a thing, I wrote my copy long-hand from the ICU. That story, about the ICU, was later nom'd for Pulitzer, but all I remember was thinking those might be my last written words.