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The bus may be backing up

Waiting on a more official outlet, but this statement on the World Fantasy Convention 2015 Facebook group looks promising.


(Screenshot taken just now.)

Carrying Butterflies

Out today, “Carrying Butterflies,” a short story for your weekend entertainment.

I hope you enjoy it!



So, NOTHING DEFINITE, but, from the iPad of the Sarah:

“Rumors of possibilities of hints that perhaps it might not be impossible to go home today, or perhaps tomorrow, unless the tantalizing bits and bobs really refer to something else altogether.”



Best-Laid Plans

The surgery went great, they got all the cancer out of me, the incision is pretty well healed, and I’ve even gotten half the staples pulled.

And yet, I’m still in the hospital, festooned with drains and on the kind of floor where they check on you every two hours all night.

First there was the vomiting and the N-G tube. Then there was the utterly miserable experience of having a drain installed by people who didn’t do the drugs correctly. Then there was the other drain, put in by a team who didn’t do so badly with the drugs (though nowhere near what I wanted), but absolutely had to put the drain in thru my right butt cheek, thereby eliminating any possible comfortable position. And that’s completely skipping over the potassium wars, the pain med debates, and so many other fun things.

I have some sort of as-yet-identified infection. It’s small: my white blood cell counts are normal, etc, but I’m running a fever. Me and my cancer-free self will be going home as soon as they finish culturing the sample so they can be certain of having the best antibiotic for the job, and when I no longer have a fever.

My role in this is to sleep a lot, walk around regularly (and I finally have permission to go to the bathroom by myself!), and eat a lot, by which I mean nasty grape protein supplements, nasty vanilla general supplements, and meals that vaguely resemble food (I’ve been eating a lot of mashed potatoes).

I’m incredibly tired of being here. Incredibly. But if i leave too early and end up back here, that would just be so much worse.

And hey, no known cancer. I’ll deal with the rest of it.


Ladies and gentlemen, our girl has gotten up and gone for a walk.


And MORE email!

Sarah is not only emailing me, she has enough energy to grumble about things that annoy her! Yay, grumbly girl!



Stoned Sarah

Sarah has a clicky button for Dilaudid. Sarah is dozing.

We’re with her in the PACU. They’re getting ready to move her into her room. This will be her one-night  room, because the first night after major surgery they want her in the higher care level room, in the, um, SCU, I think.

Then tomorrow they’ll move her to the room where she’ll be for the next week or so, until they discharge her back into the care of her doctor kittens and Nurse Boxer.



And, done with Phase Three

Sarah is still in the operating theatre while they clean her up and get her ready to move to post-op, but all the surgery is done, and very successfully, no complications, and not even any required transfusions.  It will probably be a couple hours, or close to it, before we get to see her, but the day’s heavy lifting is all done.

Both sets of surgeons are very happy with their results, and with her health and her reaction to the procedures.

We don’t know yet EXACTLY how long it will be before she can go home, or when she will hit the various milestones, but everything looks good.

–  Nick

Way too early is NOW

We are getting ready for the drive to Danville, for Sarah’s 6am check-in. Whee.

Each step is forward

It’s over two weeks since I’ve poisoned or irradiated myself, and I feel as good as I’ve felt in 2014. It took a week and a half for the tiredness and digestive issues from the radiation to mostly fade, and as I understand it that’s pretty fast. My brain is even starting to work properly again. (Whew!)

I still haven’t much stamina, and my yoga practice reminds me daily that 28 doses of pelvic radiation does nothing good for your flexibility or muscle tone, even if you did yoga the whole time. My fingers and toes are still numb: they improved noticeably the first few days off of the Xeloda, but the rate of improvement trailed off over time. It’s still getting better, but frustratingly slowly. I wanted to do some longer walks and some jogging during my “free time,” but numb feet make that uncomfortable and even unsafe. (I’m still walking the boxer a mile or two a day, much to his delight.)

The medical appointment rounds started up again on Wednesday, with a very wet drive to Danville to meet with my colon surgeon. It was three and a half hours of driving (oh hi unexpected torrential downpour), and nearly an hour waiting around, for a fifteen-minute meeting in which I didn’t learn anything much.

The plans for my autumn are solidifying, though. My likely surgery date is September 23, much later than I’d hoped due to the insurance company screwing around, and late enough to jeopardize my World Fantasy attendance. Before then I have a follow-up with my medical oncologist, a follow-up with my radiation oncologist, an MRI, a CT scan, and the third colonoscopy of 2014 (there oughtta be a law!), plus a pre-surgery physical.

The only worrisome thing out of all that is the CT scan: if there are bad changes (tumor growth, or reappearance of the little lung spots that disappeared after chemo), I may get sent back to do more chemo before surgery, or even be declared a poor surgical candidate. So: scanxiety.

On the really good side, though, I had a CEA test this week, the first one since before the radiation.

10. That’s 1 0 – ten. TEN.

There aren’t enough exclamation points in the world for that number. Yes, the normal level is less than 3.5, but at diagnosis mine was 2200, and it spiked to nearly 4000 when I started chemo. It was 42 when I finished infusion chemo, so it’s less than 25% of my previous test. The science, it is working.

So I will continue forward under the assumption that I will have surgery, and it will remove the large tumors, and then I will probably have more chemo to mop up any lingering evil, and then I will be cancer-free and do ALL THE THINGS.