cats

Allied

You said to report back as soon as it was finished but I don't think either one of us realized that would be 3am your time. It's a long movie-- just over 2 hours. And if I know you at all, dearest, I'd have to say skip it. Unless someone's paying you to write a review, because writing negative reviews is fun. And because money.

Anyway, it's not just long, it's also slow. And dark. And quiet! That was actually the first thing I noticed was how quiet it was. There was a scene where I thought there should be music and there wasn't any.

And Brad was awkward. I mean clunky, oddly shaped and stiff. Like he was padded and wearing a back brace for a lot of the movie. And you were so right-- she didn't steal him from Angelina-- they have NO chemistry. I still love her, but... no. They had a few hot scenes, but... no.

On the other hand it was sometimes beautiful. The opening sequence and a few others were breathtaking. And also there's this-- as I drove home, I caught myself watching for low-flying planes and tanks and spies. So it may be one of those pieces of art that gets in your head when you're not paying attention. Maybe I'll think it was wonderful in a few days, but I don't think so.

The love story was bland-- that audience will be disappointed. There were a few times they shot up a bunch of Nazis, but I don't think enough to satisfy that audience either. There were no zombies or vampires :) Or really any sexy men (Brad looked STRANGE).

The most fun I had watching it was thinking about what I was going to report back :) Talk to you tomorrow.
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YouTube and Mukbangs

So a couple of days ago I posted a link to a "friending" post from a featured LJ on which I had posted a profile entry.

In my profile there, I said I was into youtube and someone asked about what I watched. My response got long :) and so I have copied it here in order to give me more entries. And because it is about something I'm particularly "into" right now.

An aside for you who know me from here-- I started watching youtube when I was deathly ill from chemo and couldn't stand to move/eat/breathe. It's been a guilty pleasure ever since, so I guess I'm outing myself.

The question was about mukbangs-- eating shows-- and here's my answer...

As far as mukbangs go-- it really started with me because of the Korean cooking. There are three I still watch because I love the personalities and talking about their lives has sort of taken over their videos.


Mommy Tang was my first addiction, but she's on hiatus right now due to some really ugly vegan drama. She may not be coming back, but there are still lots of old videos. She cooks, eats and tells funny stories all while managing her four adorable kids.

I'm not vegan, but I aim to have some meatless meals and some meatless days. Mommy Tang has lots of good ideas and she's irreverent and funny about all of it-- hardcore vegans and vegan drama and youtube and Korean culture in America. Her husband and her kids are not vegan.

I also love Keemi. She's Korean American living in Chicago. She went to the University of Illinois-- same as me :) Her boyfriend and her dog have become regular parts of her videos now and she's become a really good cook. She is about as far as you can get from vegan-- so she makes a nice change from Mommy Tang.

And then there's Ben Deen. He's adorable and awkward. He's Korean American-- adopted by an American family but now going to college in Korea. He has a girlfriend who doesn't like to be seen on camera-- we only see her hands. She has a very cute cat. He eats takeout food almost exclusively :) and gives interesting insight into the food culture in Seoul and how it's different than where he grew up. He also makes vacation vlogs and videos about being adopted.

So I don't really watch the straight mukbangs or the ones where people are trying to eat ridiculous quantities of food :) I don't understand those. But it is fun sometimes to cook what Keemi cooks and then eat "with her." Silly, I know, but I'm really enjoying Korean cooking right now.

Mommy Tang: https://youtu.be/yhfxq3l-PsA
Keemi: https://youtu.be/QfGKr_3dhuc
Ben Deen: https://youtu.be/AaxDaIcZPsU
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When your whole life comes down to a number.

On Monday I had follow-up cancer tests again. I had blood drawn and saw the best doctor in the world, Dr. Stephen Tremont, at Duke Raleigh. The blood test results would say if I need a CT scan now or if it can wait until December. They take three tubes of blood.

One tube of blood is for the CBC-- that comes back within minutes. Duke MyChart says it was drawn at 8:25 and results were available at 8:41. Dr. Tremont had those results even before he came in to see me. Everything on that was in normal ranges. That makes him happy. Except for when my Neutrophils are off the chart and it puts me in the hospital, I don't pay much attention to the stuff on the CBC.

The second tube is for a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel. That was drawn at 8:25 and came back at 9:22. It was available on the website by the time I got in to work after my appointment that day. I do worry about that one, because it reports my blood glucose-- which was all over the charts while I was on chemo (and steroids) and has made me feel like crap at other times. It also includes the BUN-- which is about your kidneys and liver. Since I was dehydrated a lot Sept 2015-Mar 2016 and since there is a suspicious spot on my liver, I have had bad BUN before. But a good BUN this time.

The third tube is for my CA125. This is the tube on which my future depends.

"CA 125 is a protein that is a so-called tumor marker or biomarker, which is a substance that is found in greater concentration in tumor cells than in other cells of the body. In particular, CA 125 is present in greater concentration in ovarian cancer cells than in other cells." (http://www.medicinenet.com/ca_125/article.htm)

Now, I don't/didn't have ovarian cancer. CA125 shows up in other gynecological cancers too, but not usually in mine. I have/had endometrial cancer-- sometimes listed on some documents as a uterine cancer. It is far less deadly than ovarian or cervical or even breast cancer. Mine was moderately advanced, but still-- as far as types go, I am lucky.

(I'm not at all superstitious about saying anything that implies I'm cured. Not me! No way!)

Anyway, because it's not usually linked to my sort of cancer, the agency that I started with, Cancer Centers of North Carolina, didn't include that test in my protocol. I was diagnosed in July 2013 and my first CA125 test was Sept 2015-- when I had mysterious weight loss.

An aside here-- I've actually been thinking about making a video about this someday. Since 2013, I've belonged to a few different cancer support websites and talked to many many many cancer patients. Mysterious weight loss is something everyone experiences.

I believe that cancers are voracious. I think I knew almost to the day when my cancer came back-- my hunger was different. SO if you experience mysterious weight loss RUN to the doctor and if, LIKE ME, you could use some weight loss, mysterious or otherwise, don't let the doctor ignore your concerns!

That first CA125 test result was 96.4. Normal is anything under 35. That test led to other tests and my 2nd diagnosis.

I started chemo in mid-September. By Christmas my CA125 was down to 16, but that mysterious spot on my liver hadn't shrunk enough, so I did another three months of chemo. And the end of that, my CA125 was down to 9.

That third tube of blood was also drawn at 8:25am Monday.

All I've been doing for the past two days is wonder why that test takes so much longer than the others. Why do have I have to wait so much longer for the one number I really care about? Since learning about CA125, this is the longest I've gone between chemo and testing.

The results came in today at 12:03-- it's dropped to 6.6.

If you actually read this whole thing, give yourself a gold star. You are a Gold Star Friend. I'm so lucky to have you all, old friends and new, and I hope all your life's test results are magnificent.
cats

stuff

Hi.

I don't really have anything new or interesting to say but I need to start posting again. I've become addicted to twitter. It's bad. I need to start coming here again and writing in complete sentences. So here's a pointless update in the form of a list.

- Animazement was this past weekend. Emma didn't have a table this year, so it was more laid back (for us) that it's ever been. They're reporting that attendance was up and I noticed a lot of old people this time. Not OLD old, but my age (HEY, I'm not OLD OLD!) -- many 30s and 40s. When we first started going it seemed to me that it was mostly teens. Not this time!

- Emma's got her eye on a voice-over con in DC. Maybe next year. She continues to take the train to Savannah every other month to visit friends and loves that. She's still waitressing and likes it fine, but not with the passion she had when she was getting tips for the first time ever.

- My last medical stuff was good but sort of non-conclusive. I go again next month, but am done with chemo for now. I'm busy growing hair.

- I watched "Chefs Table" on Netflix on Sunday and Monday. My new girl crush is a chef named Dominique Crenn. She has restaurants in San Francisco and she's very elegant and poetic and all about family. I'm thinking of driving to California just to go to dinner.

- Work is good. We became a CBS affiliate in March. March? I think it was March. The transition was smooth and sort of fun and I've probably written about that before.

Whoa. My life is pretty boring. I just sit around and heal and grow hair and tweet and watch Netflix. I need to get into some trouble. Oh well. Love you all.

I just noticed this is still called "Sleeping Under Butterflies" and I still am sleeping under butterflies. Below is my latest acquisition... a photo by Matthew Schueller of butterflies on the floor of the Amazon. He's at http://www.matthewschuellerphotography.com/ I love his work. I actually won the print online :) so sleep under it every night.

butterflies
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Cancer dates for my records

I sort of started looking this all up to see when I could expect my hair to come back in (September) but noticed that I kept more medical records this round and not so much aesthetic records (like i have no eyebrows right now but didn't notice when they went)

Anyway-- just for my records. I have referred to my previous post like this A LOT.
(updated 9/16/16)

ROUND ONE
07/10/13 Found out

07/22/13 Hysterectomy
08/23/13 Chemo #1
08/26/13 Neulasta shot (1st and last!)
09/08/13 Hair fell out
09/12/13 Chemo #2- anticipatory nausea beforehand
09/28/13 Neupogen-- do-it-myself bone marrow shots
10/02/13 Chemo #3
10/18/13 Neupogen
10/31/13 Had a bad cold
11/05/13 Radiation set-up appointment
11/11/13 Eyebrows and lashes fell out
11/12/13 Started radiation (dose #1)
12/19/13 Ended radiation (dose #25- skipped weekends and holidays)
01/15/14 Chemo #4
01/30/14 Hair fell out again
02/02/14 Neupogen
02/05/14 Chemo #5
02/23/14 Neupogen
02/26/14 Chemo #6
03/14/14 Neupogen
04/11/14 Eyebrows and lashes fell out again
04/16/14 CT Scan- Good Scan
07/04/14 Hair coming in
In this year span-- Two good CT Scans & a good mammogram
08/26/15 CT Scan- Bad Scan

ROUND TWO
09/03/15 CA125- 93.40
09/28/15 Biopsy- "Suspicious for Malignancy"
10/28/15 Chemo #1
10/28/15 CA125 - 91.10
11/23/15 Chemo #2
11/23/15 CA125- 16.50
12/04-12/06 In the hospital (dehydration, lowered immunity)
12/11/15 CA125- 15.80
12/30/15 Chemo #3
01/15/16 CT Scan- Better but not totally clear
01/15/16 CA125- 12.80
01/15/16 CEA- 1.9
01/19-01/23 In the hospital (high blood sugar, low protein, dehydration, immunity)
02/18/16 Chemo #4
02/18/16 A1C- 5.4
03/10/16 Chemo #5
03/10/16 CA125- 9.90
04/06/16 Chemo #6
04/06/16 CA125- 9.30
06/30/16 CA125- 9.40
09/12/16 CA125- 6.60
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stanislaw lem story

There's a story about a couple who do not age-- and time stands still-- when they're in a particular bed together. A friend said it was a Stanislaw Lem story. Does anyone know this story? Thanks!
cats

checking in

Here's the latest picture. I don't really have anything else to post that wouldn't be pointless fretting :).
Still don't know what I'll be doing in April, but except for the weather everything is good here.
North Carolina can't do snow. At least not my part of North Carolina can't... love you all.

haircut
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what is an identity anyway?

Facebook has been telling me I might know this particular strange guy off and on for months. Not that he was strange-- just a stranger. I was puzzled by it, but had no idea who he was and we have no friends in common. Awhile back I figured out that one of my friends was friends with one of his friends. But my friend is not friends with him and I am not friends with his friend. I didn't know facebook looked beyond the first level.

THEN on Sunday, I met a neighbor who I knew existed but had never seen. He drives a distinctive car and another neighbor told me where he works-- because-- as explanation for why he's never seen-- he works overnight at a hotel.

ANYWAY-- I was on Facebook and that mystery man popped up again and it was my mysterious neighbor! Now I don't remember putting an address in Facebook ever and if I had it would have been my old address. If I had changed an address after we moved it would have been recently enough that I would remember.

So ... I'm feeling a tiny bit violated. I mean-- I'm glad to know the guy and still don't know which way Facebook connected us, but it does seem as if Facebook knows where I live and that I've moved.

And then yesterday ... well our company switched to Anthem just last month. And now they got hacked. I think it might be safer to make everyone's information public and just make establishing an identity and getting credit and... stuff... a LOT more secure. Like eyeball scans for online purchases. DNA samples for credit cards. GATTACA! I love that movie. That is all. Over and out. Love you all. GET BACK TO WORK!