Starting with 1. MEDICAL
Crabby Old Lady is sorry to have been absent here for a few days. This blog is Crabby's job. It is what she does. She enjoys it still even after all these years. She learns a lot both from the work that goes into it and from readers too. She misses it when she is away or out of commission for awhile.
To bring you up to date, Crabby's cancer has disappeared or at least gone into hiding and last Thursday, doctors did an amazing maneuver to stop an internal bleed they and Crabby have been keeping eyes on for two or three months.
With two little holes, one in in Crabby's neck and the other in her groin, they used “interventional radiology” to thread their way to the bleed somewhere in her abdomen, insert a stent – not unlike the kind used for heart patients – that will force blood to go where it should be instead of where it has been going.
For Crabby, it was easy – she slept through the procedure – and woke with two small Bandaids covering those two tiny incisions.
There was no pain afterwards and she went home that evening, slept like a newborn babe and felt terrific on Friday, enough to attend her regular current affairs discussion group.
Crabby hopes the stent works; she's tired of anemia, blood transfusions and iron infusions that had become a regular part of treatment.
2. PANCREATIC CANCER AND THE MEDIA
There are a few words in the English language that are terrifying: for Crabby, “pancreatic cancer” is at the top of the list.
Has Crabby mentioned that 35 years ago her father died of it? Until her diagnosis last year, Crabby had almost forgotten. Now she can't avoid it and the reason is that it appears to be the media's new go-to disease.
Pancreatic cancer is much less common than, for example, breast, lung and prostate cancer but it is much more deadly. Only ten percent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are eligible for the only treatment – the Whipple procedure - and many of those patients die soon anyway.
Crabby is deeply grateful every single day that she could undergo the Whipple, that it was successful and that she has recently been pronounced cancer free. She would like to stop thinking those words now but there are reminders everywhere she turns.
There are the ubiquitous cancer treatment commercials on TV, in magazines, even giveaway newspapers and Crabby made the mistake of searching for some information about pancreatic cancer online.
Now, pretty young women with big smiles on their faces follow Crabby everywhere on the web promoting a link to a pancreatic cancer website. It's not unlike those marketing idiots who spend six months showing Crabby ads for the shirt she already bought.
Shirt. Kitchen sponges. Cancer. What's the difference?
It gets worse. This past season, Crabby has seen at least half a dozen television dramas that have made pancreatic cancer a plot point. “Fred won't be back. You know he has pancreatic cancer and won't live more than a couple of months.”
Over the weekend, Crabby read Barbara Ehrenreich's new book, Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer.
It's a strong polemic with, among other kinds of information, a lot about how cancer tumors in general work and how new types of treatments are being developed at the cellular level.
But even Ehrenreich, among all the different kinds of cancers she might mention, won't let go of making pancreatic cancer the centerpiece.
In the space of two pages she tells readers that Rockefeller Foundation director John H. Knowles died of it in 1979, at age 52; Apple CEO Steve Jobs died of it in 2011; Henry S. Lodge, co-author of Younger Next Year (a dubious assertion) died of it in 2017 at age 58.
Crabby wants nothing more than to leave this horror behind and the media just refuses. Maybe zombies have worn out their fright value and pancreatic cancer is writers' latest ploy to scare the bejesus out of us.
3. CRABBY IS DONE WITH POLITICS AND TRUMP
Crabby Old Lady has silenced the cable news channels in her home. No more. The anchors and hosts treat every Trump tweet as if it's a revelation when it is only repetition. Different topic sometimes, same complaint: “I'm so wonderful, why doesn't anyone like me? Throw them all in prison.”
He's an idiot, a con man, likely a criminal but no one with the power to do anything will deal with it. They've always got an excuse. There are 535 members of Congress and even the few good guys are weenies in the face of Trump. They all deserve to be thrown out.
There is only one effective group of activists trying to make the U.S. a better place and they are all 17 years old. Aside from her excellent medical team, Crabby Old Lady is in a very bad mood today.