Sunday, February 13, 2022

That word... I do not think it means, what you think it means...

I am absolutely certain that damn near every one of the folks who marched, protested, rioted, and ultimately stormed the capital on January 6th 2021; thought of themselves as patriots. 

I am absolutely certain that for most of them, what they thought of as their patriotism, was at least in large part... maybe the largest part... why they were doing what they were doing.

I think by most people's definition ( whatever other motivations were involved, whether those people were not entirely wrong, just plain wrong, deluded, misguided, or otherwise, and whether they understand their own patriotism in the same way) those folks were in fact patriots. 

At the very least, I think just about everyone, no matter how critical they may be of the events and the people involved; would acknowledge that at least the large majority of those participating in the events of that day, were patriots by their own concepts and definitions of patriotism. 

Many of them committed some fairly serious crimes, and a lot of what should be thought of as shameful and stupid behavior... criminalnor otherwise.

Their being patriots is not nullified by that. 

Nor does their being patriots, or their patriotism, or any other motivation or reason for that matter; excuse their wrongdoing (criminal or otherwise).

But... whatever you think of the events of that day, the people in question, what they did or did not do, or whatever motivations or reasons why they may have done so...

I can with absolute certainty, and without any equivocation whatsoever; say, that the events of January 6th 2021, were not an insurrection.... Not anything remotely like an insurrection in fact.

Why can I say that with absolute certainty?

Two things...

If it had been an insurrection:

1. They would all have been armed, most of them with rifles, which they would have used

2. They would have actually tried to "win", not simply disrupt and rage at the system... and at least in a limited way, would have been successful. Because they would have had rifles, and used them.

And I am so certain, because anyone knowing anything about the people involved, the events of that day, or actual insurrections (and I know rather a lot about all three), and thinking about it rationally for even 20 seconds or so; knows that both 1 and 2 above are absolutely true and correct.

Anyone calling the events of that day an insurrection, is either not thinking at all rationally or with any knowledge of the facts or the law... or just not thinking, period (they're reacting and emoting)... 

... Or are they lying for political reasons...


Friday, February 11, 2022

Ten years gone... But never, EVER, forgotten...

Today, it's been ten years since my mother, Jane Elizabeth Dinsmore, died; of I believe what was her 9th relapse, metastasis, or new occurrence, of cancer. That time around, it being oat cell lung cancer, that finally killed her, after a very long, and very painful decline.

My mother was a brilliant woman... A serial self educator and serial entrepreneur, who also had very severe physical and mental health issues, that made her life... something other than what she wanted, much of the time. She was an abuse survivor, an addict, and she had both neurological issues, and other mental health issues, that caused her pain and trouble through her entire life.... and that's not even including the cancer she fought her entire adult life.

My mother died having outlived her younger son, my little brother Rob by a year and a month, and never having met her granddaughter Shelby (now 19)... sadly Rob never got to meet her either... Or know her name or her birthday. 

My mother didn't survive to meet her grandson, my son Christopher, who was born in March of 2013, two years and one month after she passed.

She was just 55, and had been fighting cancer for more than half her life... Her first cancer.... breast cancer... having been diagnosed when she was, I believe, 26 but may have been when she was 27... My memories of those years can be... a bit fuzzy, thanks to my own cancer brain (I'm on round five of my own battle with cancer).

But she wasn't sad, or depressed, or beaten down by it except very rarely; living the best life she could, until quite near the end, when her body just couldn't take any more. 

She was not a very good mother... she tried to be, but she was not emotionally equipped to be one, nor was she physically or mentally healthy enough to be one... but she did her absolute damndest to try to be... she just couldn't be... because wanting to be, and trying to be, aren't always enough.... sometimes you fail. And sometimes you visit your own trauma and it's after effects, on the people you love, no matter how hard you try not to.

She was a difficult woman... a difficult person... in many ways... It wasn't an easy life... ever... not for one day. Maybe for as much as a few minutes or a few hours but never more than that. She was always frustrating, and often infuriating... a person of extremes, and inconsistencies.

I never loved her any less... not for one second. I never resented her for not being able to be the mother she wanted to be... or I needed or wanted her to be... I never hated her for it. How could I? I saw how hard she tried, and how much it KILLED her that she failed. And how the cancer, and her steadily deteriorating physical and mental health over my entire lifetime, just made it worse and worse. 

I loved my mother very much. She loved me, and my brother, and our family...FIERCELY... maybe too much. 

I still love her very much.

It's been ten years today.

I'm crying right now thinking about her.

I still think about her every single damn day.

You don't ever get over losing your mother, or your father... It doesn't even hurt less over time... you just deal with it better, and it doesn't hurt as much, as often. 

But sometimes, it absolutely hurts just as much as the minute it happened. 

It's been ten years.

I still think about her every day.

 I think I always will. 

I hope so.

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

The Absurdity of My Continued State of Being Alive

In case you haven't noticed, I have a somewhat odd, absurd, and dark sense of humor... Given my background it would be amazing if I didn't. 

Obviously, as a cancer warrior, I am among the more heavily medicated humans, not actually residing in a long term care facility. 

I take something like ... I think it's 17 maybe, it's easy to lose track, and miss one or two?.. different medications on a daily basis, and a couple more on a weekly or monthly basis; between cancer and associated paraneoplastic syndrome, endocrine dysfunction (or total lack of function, since my thyroid was removed in 2012), nerve damage, autoimmune inflammatory issues and arthritis, and every other damn thing wrong with me.   

Funny thing about cancer, and cancer treatment; especially endocrine cancer with paraneoplastic syndrome... you end up taking a lot of odd medications for odd reasons.

Paraneoplastic syndrome makes you have symptoms of diseases you don't have, because it causes your body to not make some hormones, and make too much of others. Endocrine cancer does that already even without the paraneoplastic syndrome.... So you end up with issues that seemingly have nothing to do with where your cancer is, or what kind of cancer it is...  And the treatments for the cancer have odd side effects on top of that.

... Thing is... I actually do think it's funny. It's really quite absurd just how hard everything is trying to kill me, and that I'm alive at all.. And with my twisted sense of humor, I find it all utterly hilarious in its absurdity... 

One thing I find particularly absurdly funny, is that I spent decades in competitive physical pursuits... weight lifting, football, wrestling, jiujitsu, etc... And never took "performance enhancing substances" more serious than ECA...

... Side Note: ECA is Ephedrine (or pseudoephedrine), Caffeine, and Aspirin. Three completely legal over the counter drugs which in combination can slightly improve oxygen uptake and aerobic performance; and improve energy, focus, and alertness... mostly it's like drinking several cups of strong coffee, and many people take that combination every day without even knowing or thinking about it...  

... And yet now, as a middle aged nearly bedridden man, I take enough testosterone, and dextroamphetamine, to rival an 80's WWF wrestler. Sadly, not to "enhance performance", but just to not lose all my muscle tone and muscle mass, and to stay awake and be able to focus enough to be functional.

Another thing I find absurdly funny, is some of the actual drugs I take, and what they're usually prescribed for, vs. what I actually take them for. 

Right now, I take EIGHT different drugs that have significant anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, or anti-psychotic effects; five of which are actually specifically considered antidepressants or antipsychotics... 

Meaning those meds are often or primarily prescribed as first line or second line treatments for depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, OCD, various psychoses, and even schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder (oh, and three more meds... hormones... that aren't used specifically for those issues, but which also tend to help with them).

... And I don't suffer from any of those issues, and I'm not prescribed any of those meds for treatment of those issues...

So what am I prescribed them for? 

Well, as it turns out, we don't really understand either neurological pain, or nausea... I'm tempted to say "at all" but I suppose we have some small understanding of them in some ways; just not very much. 

Other than obvious issues like organ or other discrete specific systemic dysfunction, physical damage, dehydration, clear blood chemistry issues, or severe vitamin, mineral, or other nutritional deficiencies; we don't really know what causes either, and we don't really know how either work. 

As such, we don't really know why many medications that may help some people to relieve either of those sets of symptoms, work on those sets of symptoms; or why some  meds work for some people, and not for others; or why they work great for some and barely work for others; or they work in combination with other meds for some, but not for others.

Hell... some meds can work great for one persons neuropathic issues or nausea, and the next person can have a paradoxical effect and those meds make the problem worse. I've had that happen with several different meds over the past 15 years.   

So, you end up cycling through various medications, and cycling up and down dosages, and cycling in and out of combinations of different meds; hoping that this one or that one will work for you, or this or that combination or dosage will work etc... etc... 

It can be maddening... sometimes literally, because of the side effects.... but it's so absurd, I can't help but find it funny. 

Three of those eight medications, I take to treat moderate to intermittently severe cancer and cancer treatment related nausea. For whatever reason, most nausea meds, are also antipsychotic meds, or from the reverse perspective many anti-psychotics are also effective for some or most people at reducing nausea. We have no idea why. 

Two of them are to treat a combination of both ADHD, and severe fatigue, and sleep dysfunction. We don't know why or how one of those meds works either, except that it seems to temporarily suppress the brains fatigue response. Both also tend to reduce depression and anxiety in some people (and paradoxically increase them in some others). 

The other three, are all for neuropathic pain and other nerve damage related symptoms... and again we don't know why, but a lot of antidepressant or antipsychotic drugs, are also effective for SOME people to SOME degree, in treating neuropathic pain and associated issues. For some folks they work completely, for others they barely work at all, or they work in combination but not singly, and we have almost no idea how or why.

Reading that, a lot of people will have the instinctive response "no, bad, wrong, the problem is all those medications, you should stop taking all of them and just do XYZ"... whatever they thing XYZ may be.


I've been going through this for 15 years now... I've done all the experimenting and testing with my body and what goes into it, and where I'm at right now, if I remove or reduce any of my meds, it makes things worse. Sometimes MUCH worse. Sometimes INTOLERABLY worse. 

I HAVE done the "stop everything and start over" thing, a couple times now; all under doctors supervision, because the docs were concerned about the number and dosage of my meds and their interactions as well. It resulted in me being completely non-functional, or almost killed me, each time. 

It's not like my docs and I haven't thought of this, and tried, and tested it... and it's not like my doctors are trying to pump me full of medications I don't need. Every single one of my docs is trying to MINIMIZE the medications and dosages I take... and this is the minimum right now.

... In fact, it's below minimum on a couple of them, because one of my docs is TERRIFIED of how screwed up my system is, and how high my dosages have to be just to work (I literally take what should be a lethal overdose of a couple of my meds, and they just barely work at those dosage levels) and is erring on the side of caution as we slowly and incrementally bump the dosages up every few months, as she sees the lower dosages aren't doing enough... 

Oh, and before someone chimes in with "just smoke weed"/"just use thc/cbd edibles"/"just take cbd"... I've tried. Not only do they not help even with my nausea, they actually make the nausea worse. They work great for some people... I'm not one of those people. 

Once the cancer is knocked down a lot, then I will be able to drop dosages on some meds, and likely drop some entirely. It's what happened each of the last four times. 

What you've got to understand, is that cancer... particularly endocrine cancer...  is a systemic disease. It causes every part of your body to malfunction and every system to dysfunction... and you have to manage that, or those malfunctions and dysfunctions can and WILL kill you. 

...In fact, it's very rarely the cancer itself that kills you directly, its the combination of all the other issues the cancer causes, simply overwhelming  your bodies ability to function.

That said... I am certainly looking forward to the day I can stop taking about half of the meds I currently take... which I will be able to, if this time is like the last four times Ive been through this. Within a few months of the cancer going into remission or being removed, I was able to drop MOST of my meds. 

... Not all by any means though... Since some of my meds aren't for the cancer and side effects (ADHD, inflammation and arthritis, some of the nerve issues), and the cancer itself has done some permanent damage, requiring medication for the rest of my life (thyroid meds for example, and some of the nerve meds). 

All of which together is why I say, how can this NOT be funny? It's so completely absurd, its barely believable... and in fact my docs often DON'T believe it until they see it themselves. They don't believe the tests, or the past records because "that can't possibly be right... you'd be dead... you shouldn't be able to walk, or stay conscious, or your heart or brain should have failed already". 

... Yup... 

If that aint frikken hilarious, what the hell is?