Wednesday, July 20, 2016
My name is Melody, though everyone calls me Mel. My husband is Chris. And this is Christopher:
Christopher is 3. He's an adorable little creature, and generally very happy. He's a budding engineer and loves all things mechanical. He's obsessed with tools, anything that has an internal combustion engine, firearms, things that explode. and all things space.
His IQ is somewhere north of 160, quite like his father. In fact he is just plain QUITE LIKE HIS FATHER. I'm not certain whether I actually conceived him, or if I just acted as surrogate to a clone.
Why is this important? Well, Christopher's father is fighting Stage IVb endocrine cancer, and it's looking to be a hard fight. Christopher is in danger of losing his father to cancer in the early years of his life.
Yaknow what hyperintelligent hyperactive little boys who are engineers and obsessed with mechanics, technology, weapons, ballistics, and things that explode grow up to be?
Either awesome forces for good, or...
And seriously, I know how Syndrome's mother must have felt, without help from his father. Trying to help a kid who is smarter than you navigate growing up and dealing with the world, while not actually being able to understand him or sufficiently supervise his activities. It keeps me up at night, thinking about trying to raise Christopher by myself.
I know Chris's stories of growing up without his father. I know the struggles. If you've heard the stories, you know why it keeps me up at night.
Which brings me back to the entire point...
Chris's health is going downhill. Sometimes it plateaus, sometimes it gets worse much faster. He's in quite a bit of pain on a daily basis.
He's scheduled for surgery on Tuesday to remove the cancer that can be removed. But... well, let him tell the story in his own words:
"Anybody got a spare $20,000 lying around that they feel like giving us so I can have life saving surgery on Tuesday as scheduled, instead of letting my cancer grow for another month (its already been almost 8 months since we found it, and months of delays before surgery) while we wait for the goddamn insurance company, surgeon, endocrinologist, PCP, and hospital sort things out? That'd be great."
Yes, a few days before surgery we're scrambling to get it paid for. I've spent the past 2 days on the phone juggling 3 different doctor's offices trying to get insurance to pay for this surgery.
If we don't get it fixed through insurance or commit to paying cash before the end of the day tomorrow the surgery will be delayed.
Any delay at this point runs the risk of killing him. Of leaving Christopher without a father.
If we have to pay cash we will. But we need help to pay cash, or otherwise pay for it until insurance gets their heads out of their rear ends and pays for the procedure. The very important, life-saving procedure.
But I couldn't even afford to buy a coffee today without help, so I can't exactly cover a huge surgery bill.
We need your help, so so much.
Help us keep Chris alive, and make sure Christopher grows up with a father.
I've still got a GoFundMe up, and PayPal to chris@chrisbyrne always works. For other options ping me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, July 14, 2016
The goal of the Frankfurt school, Antonio Gramsci, Saul Alinski and the like, was to implant the notion in society, that everything must be perfect without question, or that it was entirely corrupt and worthless without question, and therefore must be destroyed. That something could not be good and true, but flawed. Any flaw or defect required the institution or principle be destroyed, and replaced or rebuilt to "perfection".
They presumed, that if they were successful in doing so, the system would collapse (and thus "western culture" which they loathed, would collapse with it), as everyone would understand that things were not perfect, and therefore everything was corrupt and worthless... and thus would remove their support from the system.
They have, in fact, been entirely successful. The dominant motive emotion... no thought is involved... in society today, is what we call the "zero defect" concept, and culture.
Where the radicals failed... and what has kept "the system" running as it is... Is that they did not understand that most people, have an absolute emotional need for stability and confidence in authority and "the system".
Thus, rather than rejecting the false and toxic notion of the zero defect culture, or tearing "the system" and thus western culture and civilization down with it... as the radicals believed and desired would happen; a large number of people simply refuse to acknowledge or admit any defect... and attack anyone who claims defects exist, as if they were attempting to destroy the country, and society.
Sunday, July 10, 2016
The next surgery is on the 26th, and we're not doing at all well.
Chris is effectively bedridden (in that he goes between the couch, the bathroom, and the bed, which are all within 15 feet of each other) and I am absolutely exhausted. I didn't know it was possible to be this exhausted without a newborn in the house.
Christopher is doing well and healthy, so there we count our blessings.
The suprasternal mass in Chris's mass has quadrupled in size since the last surgery, and the surgeon is concerned. Blood tests don't indicate that the cancer has gone anaplastic (thank God) so while this cancer is aggressive it is still very survivable.
After the next surgery Chris will be undergoing radioactive iodine ablation, and this time instead of the maximum non-emergency dose the dose will be titrated to account for his body mass. He will most likely be taking a dose that would be considered fatal for other people.
So as sick as he was last time... this time will be much worse. At least we have a basement in-law suite he can stay in through the isolation phase so he won't spend that time at the hospital.
Assuming we can keep up with rent and bills, of course.
His lymphedema and pain continue to be very bad, and he's still on expensive meds not covered by insurance, and we still need to get him an above ground pool and some exercise equipment so he can do something to help with the lymphedema.
I'm as depressed as I've ever been outside of hormonal causes, and need to get to the doc to get my meds adjusted, and that's rather high priority.
All our lives have revolved around cancer since right after Christmas and it's really taking a toll on everyone except Christopher, who isn't old enough to understand.
So that's where we are. Things are pretty damn horrible, but still survivable. We'll get through this.
We need help to make this month's bills and get Chris his equipment, and get him to his surgery at the end of the month (and hopefully a few nights in a hotel so I don't drive back and forth to Boston with a 3 year old several times in this process.
Anything you can give would be extremely helpful.
I've still got a GoFundMe set up and PayPal to email@example.com always works.
Friday, July 08, 2016
Someone tried to start a war in Dallas tonight... and I GUARANTEE you, that police around the country are going to react.
Reports are that 11 cops and one bystander were shot... by at least two people with rifles and two more with pistols... and at least 5 are dead right now, with 3 more in critical condition.
At best, police are going to be hyper-vigilant for trouble... Hopefully NOT seeing it where there isn't any and overreacting...
... but it would amaze me if there wasn't at least some overreaction. At least some anger and fear and grief and frustration that spills over into violence...
... and if you don't think there are people who want to exploit that overreaction, you' really don't understand what's going on in this country right now.
Think about it... if you were an enemy of this country... internal or external... If you were a white supremacist, or a black separatist, or an anti-american islamist... Wouldn't it be great if you could get us to start a civil war against ourselves? Set cops against the public, black against white?
... and how much worse will it get if... when... there are more incidents?
Understand... this wasn't a random or spontaneous act of anger or frustration. This was a deliberately planned and executed attack, with pre-planned siting, and a planned evade and exfil, that they executed properly.
That doesn't mean they were professionals, or had any training... but it does mean this was a deliberate act of political violence.
This was a terrorist provocation attack.
The purpose of terrorism is not just to cause direct damage... it is to provoke overreaction from the controlling authority, against the populace, in order to increase internal strife and chaos, and to increase resentment and reaction against the controlling authority.
... and I can't think of any better way to draw such an overreaction right now, than to start killing cops at a black lives matter protest.
Smart people... people who really should know better... Are already reaction in anger and fear, and saying things like "this is black lives matters fault', or "the cops deserved this"...
... That's exactly what they want...
... Because that's what terrorism does...
That is the goal, and purpose, of terrorist attacks. It is to create terror, chaos, strife... To draw overreaction and create resentment, that the terrorists can take advantage of.
... and it's working.
So... here's my advice... For everyone, but especially if you are a young black male.
Stay home... ESPECIALLY at night... until next Monday.
It's a heat wave weekend... violence always goes up with heat waves anyway... now this? STAY HOME.
Don't go anywhere there are big crowds. Don't go to protests or vigils or anything else. STAY HOME.
If you DO get pulled over, and you get hassled... don't get visibly angry, don't fight, don't yell, don't scream... DO record the encounter if you can...
Wait until you aren't under the control of an angry scared man with a gun pointed at you... Wait and get a lawyer. Wait, and file a complaint with the Justice Department and the state AG.
Is it wrong... Hell yeah...
But you can't fix it if you're dead.