Sunday, December 31, 2006

Oshogatsu greetings...

Just wishing everyone a happy new year, and a very geeky Otakushogatsu.

Here's my card.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It's Multiple Myeloma.

The diagnosis is in. Richie's got Multiple Myeloma, which is a cancer of the bone marrow. It sounds super-scary at first but it actually is a fairly slow-moving disease that can be managed with both a current generation of drugs and a new generation that is being rolled out. It's not great news but it isn't a death sentence either.

My family is rallying around us, and so is what's left of Richie's family. We should be OK.

Thanks to all who have been thinking good thoughts, meditating, praying, and whatever else. It is appreciated. Please keep it going.

And the doctors, nurses, orderlies, respiratory therapists, counselors, case managers and so forth at Mission Community Hospital have been wonderful. Small hospital, big heart, good people.

I'll keep everyone posted about updates, unless TMI is involved.

Monday, December 25, 2006

I feel (not so) good.

It is going to be a fucking drag to break the news to Richie that James Brown is dead.

I can't keep this news from him. Regardless of what he's feeling like right now. I have to. It's my duty as his eyes and ears. He's sworn off TV and the Radio as part of his healing strategy, but I get him the paper every day. And it's going to be in there, of course.

As far as Richie's condition, things are actually better, believe it or not. There is now a theory of why Richie's experiencing what he's experiencing, and it is a curable, and also thankfully not fatal condition. It's called Hyperparathyroidism and basically results from the Parathyroid glands going out of control and leeching calcium from the bones and putting it into the bloodstream.

Hopefully if that is the explanation things will resolve well. If Borat would say, "not so much."

Update: the other possibility is Multiple Myeloma. As cancers go, it's not horrible, but it's not great. You can die of it, but you can also linger for years and years and maybe even do OK. My Great Aunt Charlotte had it, but it wasn't what killed her. What usually kills people with Multiple Myeloma is infections (it suppresses the immune system) and the consequences of thinning brittle bones.

We find out about the bone marrow biopsy tomorrow. We hope.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The official grades...and bad news...

Here's the official grades:

Meanwhile, Richie is going through a major health crisis. He's in the hospital now. The doctors are either not sure yet what is going on with him or they are keeping their cards very close to their vests. The uncertainty is driving both of us crazy. Even though Richie is strongly urging me to continue with my studies, he's going to need lots of help and so will I if this turns out to be something other than a temporary, immediately curable problem.

Needless to say, this is a really crummy holiday season. Since the death of my father on Christmas Eve Day in 1975 I've been in the "holiday blues" category. No, this isn't my freaking holiday, but the cultural, non-religious aspects of the holidays are still a big part of American life so I've been at least ambivalent about them for most of my life.

But this tops it all. Richie and I have had, rarity of rarities, a really good marriage for almost 20 years. I used to think I'd kill myself if I lost him but I think I have enough of a sense of mission in my life to want to carry on without him, no matter how difficult life will be. I want him to survive this, most importantly. However, if surviving means heroic measures, horribly poisonous chemo, punishing radiation treatments or other "cure is worse than the disease" treatments, he has said he will refuse them. I have to support him on this regardless of how I feel. And to be honest, after seeing what my mom went through, I would likely make the same decision.

I am not a happy camper. But I have to be strong now, for both our sakes.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Grades time...

As you recall, it's been already established that I have an A in Stats. Now then. I now know what my grades are for Fall 2006 semester.

Psychology of Gender 3 units B+ 3.33
Personality 3 units A 4.00
Stats for Behavioral Sci 1 4 units A 4.00
Influence and Persuasion 3 units A- 3.66

Total for S2006 3.77 GPA
Total GPA 3.73 GPA

GPA is just about unchanged if you keep the significant digits at two.

The Stats grade isn't officially posted -- Prof. Allevado is being a sweetie and holding the grades to let one straggler student bring his paper in -- but I already knew what he was going to post.

Of course, it's not as good as straight As, but it's still pretty impressive. I am on track to graduate Magna Cum Laude from Woodbury. 3.66 F2005, 3.80 S2006, 3.77 F2006. Woodbury doesn't make a big deal about the Dean's List like LAVC did, but I've been on it every semester since arriving there.

The project I started in Social Psych and continued in Stats 1 will continue into the future. We're going to put the survey on the web so that I can get more respondents. I'm going to have to figure out how to get people interested in the survey, though. Maybe giving away a Wii might be a good move. That costs, though. Time to learn the arcane art of grant proposals.

Monday, December 18, 2006

I'm now on Blogger:TNG for all my blogs, past, present and future

OK, now everything has moved over. I'm happy. There are still bugs in the New Blogger, but the Googleplex is pretty good at smashing 'em as they pop up. Spiffy, spiffy, spiffy.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

One the course I wasn't expecting to get one...

I'm now finding out what my likely grades are for this semester...well at least on one class, anyway.

Would you believe...STATS 1????!?!????

SPSS test went off with no hitches, the "statistics concepts test" was way easier than I thought, and even though I need to do a rewrite on my paper the current paper was graded an A. So I am likely to have an A. Amazing. Freaking amazing.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Three presentations down, one more to go.

Today was the day for my presentation about my Stats 1 project. This time I hit it out of the park. Very proud of myself, especially when I consider that the first two presentations was, although trouble free, not up to my high standards.

The project looks like it will continue after Stats 1 is over. This is the one on video games and desensitization to violence. I know the subject matter is going to yank some friends of mine's chains, but it's like this: there is something going on in this data and I want to find out the truth. I don't have an agenda. I would rather be the one to prove all the social scientists wrong about a link between video games and desensitization to violence. But I'm determined to see it through to whatever conclusion the data takes me.

I also have four term papers, two "wrap up the journal" papers that are a lot shorter than the term papers, and one short final exam to take.

I'd better get a move on and quit screwing around blogging....