Friday, May 30, 2008

Wound Care visit

I'm home now and have recovered from the symposium. My colleagues and I think it went fairly well and we have some direction, I think, about how to move forward.

But as promised, here is what happened with the Wound Care nurse on Tuesday. Beware, it might get slightly graphic.

The nurse, Luella, has me using a dressing that has silver in it. It looks like gauze, but slightly gray. Apparently, silver is anti-microbial. I put this gauze over the open skin wounds and then cover it with another dressing that also has adhesive on it. This then goes over the gauze. Then, I use this spray that she called "skin wax" (I think) which creates a barrier on top of the skin. The tape goes over this and the wax keeps the adhesive from sticking too much to the skin and protects the skin from breaking out.

Advantages to these dressings are that they should only have to be changed once/day and also they contain the smell. I'd noticed the area smelling toward the end of the day as the dressing was saturated. I asked Luella about the smell and she thought that it was probably the cancer in the skin. Thank goodness the dressing contains it!

Unfortunately, there seems to be even more weeping - the whole dressing is leaking some by morning - I change it every day when I shower, but a couple of hours before I wake up, I find wetness on my shirt. Great!

It's hard to tell, but it does seem that it's healing under this regimen. Luella said that they (whoever "they" are) now believe that wounds heal more quickly in a moist environment - you don't want it to dry out. Well, it's certainly been moist!

But it is icky to pull off this really saturated dressing. The silver gauze gets darker and very wet and it sometimes sticks to the fatty tissue that is forming where that scab fell off 2+months ago.

Luella said that the area wasn't infected and that most of it was superficial. So, that was good news.

Since there's silver, she did say that I should make sure the silver is washed off before radiation as the metal might make things worse in the skin. Sigh . . .

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Nope, I haven't fallen off the end of the earth . . .

I am in Portland. I'm here for a 1.5 day symposium on Alaska Native corporations and comparing them to their Canadian counterparts. My colleagues, Tom Thornton and Rosita Worl, and I are working on this project together. it's been pretty interesting so far - but I won't go into it tonight. I'm tired. I will give a longer post tomorrow or the next day. But suffice it to say that I am enjoying myself - meeting new folks, getting to know people I've met before a bit better, and hanging out and visiting with friends.

I will also report on what happened with the Wound Care nurse on Tuesday . . .

So, I'm doing okay. I had a bout of loneliness last week - long story there but the gist is that I'm single again (broke up with my partner awhile back, but needed to process through stuff and I didn't want to blog about it). I realized last week (having been too busy with other things) that it really sucks having to negotiate treatments and dealing with cancer by myself. The one thing that I'd like to say about my partner was that he did stick by me through the cancer diagnosis, the surgery, and the news of the skin and bone metastases. We were negotiating all sorts of things related to my cancer relatively well. But in the end, I decided that we should make a permanent break -there was just too much going on in my life and in his life to really concentrate on our relationship - we needed to tend to our own stuff. We broke up more or less amicably and are trying to create a platonic friendship . . . but it's been hard.

But, I'm doing okay again. Good friends help. My work (which I love) helps. My son helps - and helping with stuff at his school. And, I may be meeting a new person next week . . .

Have a good night!

Monday, May 26, 2008

The flowers in my yard

Last week, I told Carver that my rhododendron was blooming and she said that the one that she had in her yard died in the drought last year. So, I took a picture of my rhodie for her . . .

Also, here's some pictures of my irises and one of my azalea. My roses are blooming, but they don't look very nice yet, because I think the very hot weather we had followed by rain made them kinda brown and then soggy/wilty. When they look better, I'll post those, too.

I planted these irises in 2002 (I think) from some single bulbs that my ex-husband got from someone at work. Three of them are really doing well, shooting up lots of blooms. This is the longest that I've ever lived in a single place and it's kinda fun watching things I planted grow from year to year.

I wish I had Carver's macro lens because these bearded irises (my favorite flower, by the way) look like they have fuzzy caterpillars in them.

There's a deep purple iris, too, but it just bloomed and I took the other pictures a few days ago. So, in the meantime, here's my azalea:

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Nun in Hooters

One of my friends, Rick, forwarded this joke to me. It's bad . . .

The Nun in Hooters

A nun, badly needing to use the restroom, walked into a local Hooters.

The place was hopping with music and loud conversation and every once in a while "the lights would turn off."

Each time the lights would go out, the place would erupt into cheers.

However, when the revelers saw the nun, the room went dead silent.

She walked up to the bartender, and asked, "May I please use the restroom?

The bartender replied, "OK, but I should warn you that there is a statue of a naked man in there wearing only a fig leaf."

"Well, in that case, I'll just look the other way," said the nun.

So the bartender showed the nun to the back of the restaurant.

After a few minutes, she came back out, and the whole place stopped just long enough to give the nun a loud round of applause!

She went to the bartender and said, "Sir, I don't understand. Why did they applaud for me just because I went to the restroom?"

"Well, now they know you're one of us," said the bartender, "Would you like a drink?"

"No thank you, but, I still don't understand," said the puzzled nun.

"You see," laughed the bartender, "every time someone lifts the fig leaf on that statue, the lights go out. Now, how about that drink?"

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Doing Okay

Jeanne (from NYC) asked me today how I was doing.

I'm doing okay.

I got a good 9 hours sleep last night, which I needed. I am getting frustrated about this skin wound and the lymphedema on the right side, which you could tell from my last post. I think the frustration was colored by the fact that I had work to do, too, and I'd already promised to hang out and help during Eddie's Field Day, which meant my work was going to be delayed.

Field Day was fun (but someone needs to show about half of those kids how to throw!) - I was able to cheer Eddie on the 440. He just kept running, even though he was near the end of the pack. I then stayed at his school and had a barbecued hot dog with the rest of the group. I was hungry, so it tasted wonderful!

So, after a quiet night and being lazy this morning, I have now finished the laundry, the dishes and the grocery shopping. Then took Eddie to the arcade and then to my sister's so that I could go garage saling with my folks. I found a few books, an unusual but nice, comfy warm jacket for work (I have a collection of unusual jackets that I wear with slacks for work - not the outdoor jackets, but more like blazers, but I hate saying "blazers"), a couple of games for Eddie, and one of those dish-like things to put under a potted plant. What are those called?

Eddie and I are relaxing and then in a little while, we take off to pick up Brenda and then we're going to play cards. That is, Brenda and me, and Eddie will get to play video games on the Wii, the Nintendo, or the Playstation.

And, Jeanne (NYC), thank you for the compliment about my smile. It made me smile! : )

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Skin Wound Update

I am heading to Wound Care next Tuesday. While the original skin wound is healing, more or less, it still isn't completely healed. It looks better than it did. However, the rest of the area over the tissue expander was a dark color, so sometime in the last week or so, I started putting turmeric paste over that. That skin seems to be healing, too, but it is weeping a lot more. I think Dr. Kenyon today said that it was "skin necrosis". Also, he said that the lymphedema under the right tissue expander was probably swollen because the cancer cells are causing the lymph fluid to back up. He decided to go to the wound clinic in order to maybe do some preventative stuff prior to starting radiation on June 2. He's afraid that the radiation will cause more of an open skin wound.

All I know is that I'm sick and tired of having it.

Things could be worse. Overall, I am doing okay, if a bit tired and dehydrated from Xeloda. Now, I really need to get some work done. Writing up a summary for NSF and also I need to draft up an application to get bought out of a class next year. Aargh!

Tomorrow will be fun, though. I am going to help Eddie's school with their annual Field Day - where they have track and field competitions. I will help with the softball throw.

We're both tired . ..

Jeanne left this morning, on a 9:45am train to Portland. We both admitted that we were tired and I suspect that Jeanne was more tired than she let on. She said it was okay giving three talks to three different audiences. Most felt that the presentations were very interesting.

I teared up, however, when I showed the students yesterday my blog. I was hoping to get them laughing at the boob jokes, but I had pulled up the post called "My Xeloda by Heather Kenagy" and remembered how touched I was that Heather composed and sang a song about the side effects of Xeloda - that she had done it to make me laugh.

Jeanne and I didn't even get near to finishing our list of things to talk about. I guess that means we'll have to meet up in Seattle sometime soon!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

OSU Barometer writes about Jeanne's Tuesday talk

Hi everyone,
I noticed a young man in the audience at Jeanne's talk yesterday - he had a camera - so I wondered if he was from the OSU student newspaper . . . so I checked and there it was! Here's the link:

Overall, he (Daniel Acee) did a decent job writing the article. Good job.

A Boob Joke

A friend sent me this joke (didn't know if she wanted to claim it or not, so I didn't name names):

How do you make five pounds of fat look good?

You put a nipple on it.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Radiation Reprieve

I am, apparently, a complex case for radiation. They thought I might start last week, but it turned out that they had to do a lot more programming and thinking about what to do for my radiation treatments. This is due to the fact that they are radiating an area that has already had radiation and they want to minimize the damage and also because I have tissue expanders.

So, I will be getting a treatment called "IMRT", which stands for "intensity modulated radiation therapy". Apparently, they can program the machine to give different doses of radiation to different areas with the same beam. So, one area will get more and one will get less. I think. Here's a news report about it:

Clear as mud, huh? The bottom line is that they hope to give less radiation to "critical structures" - the liver, the lungs, and the port for the tissue expansion.

I threw them a loop, today, though. I have a 2-day symposium in Portland next week and so would miss three days of radiation in one week. So, they decided to delay radiation treatments until June 2. The rationale is as follows: when giving radiation, they think that only a certain percentage of the cancer cells actually die, like maybe 50%. So, if I have a 100 million cancer cells, one radiation treatment only kills 50 million. Then, rather than allow the cells that are left to multiply, they give you radiation the very next day. That'll reduce the cells by 50% again (give or take because a few have probably multiplied) the next day so that you have only 25 million. And, so on and so on until hopefully, you've killed enough of the cancer and it can't multiply anymore. Taking a few days off actually allows the cells that are left to multiply and then you might be back at square one.

Okay. Now I understand. I thought of maybe refusing treatment after a few weeks, but now that I understand HOW it works, I may do all 28 treatments.

In the meantime, I think the rash continues to improve, albeit slowly. Take care!

Auntie Margaret

Auntie Margaret passed away last Thursday in Fairbanks. Her memorial service will be today at 2:00pm in Fairbanks and her body will be flown to Nome for the funeral at some later date. My mom was able to go up to be with Margaret's family.

I was fortunate to get to know Auntie Margaret while I was working on my Ph.D. at UAF. I'd go over and visit her every so often and many times, I was able to talk to her about King Island. I know that she worked with Larry Kaplan (now the Director of the Alaska Native Language Center) to document the King Island dialect of Inupiaq. She and her husband, Edward (who my son is named after as well as an uncle on his dad's side), were Elders in Residence one year at UAF.

There are two stories, if you will, that stand out for me about her. The first one is a story told by one of her daughters, Grace. Apparently, Senator Teddy Kennedy visited Nome in the 1960's. A lot of King Islanders went into Nome (they lived about a mile east of Nome, at East End aka King Island Village) to try to see him. But, he ended up going to East End. Aunt Margaret was one of the few who stayed home because she was baking her daily 8 loafs of bread for the family. As one of the few people left at East End, Teddy Kennedy visited Aunt Margaret, who served him fresh baked bread (which mom says was really good) and probably some tea.

Another thing I wanted to share (which really isn't a story) is that Aunt Margaret always said in her interviews that the "best" salmonberries, greens, ducks, or king crab came from King Island. It seemed like that whenever I did talk to her about King Island, she always talked about the food. One story she told me is that one of her daughter's friends gave her some ducks that he'd shot around Fairbanks. She cooked them and then tasted the meat. She then said to me, "I told her [her daughter], "Those ducks aren't from King Island!!" Her implication was that the ducks didn't taste as good as they did at the island, which is probably true. Fairbanks is more inland, so the ducks that were harvested there probably ate more land-based foods, while the ducks at King Island ate foods from the sea, so odds were that they did taste very different.

Her obituary can be found at:

She died of lung cancer. Damn cancer anyway. Rest in peace, Auntie.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jeanne is now here!

Jeanne arrived by train last night about 8:30pm. Once we got home, my son monopolized her time for a few minutes before bed - he couldn't wait to show her the Big Wheel from Price is Right that his uncle is making for him. She was a trooper and spun the wheel with him.

Her train was about 30 minutes late because of a fire on the tracks at Nisqually, south of Seattle. That was okay. It was a nice evening so my son and I didn't mind the wait.

Of course, we stayed up too late. We were up until about 12:30pm and then I had to get up about 7am to get my son ready for school.

Jeanne's talks are as follows:

Corvallis Breast Cancer Support Group presents:

Jeanne Sather
Blogging 101: If I Can Blog, You Can Blog
Monday, May 19, 2008, 7 to 9 p.m.
Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center

The Assertive Cancer Patient Talks About:
The (High) Cost of Cancer Drugs, Drug Repositories, Her Search for a Canadian Husband, Boycotting October, Breast Cancer Barbie (and Friends), and More!
May 20, 2008, 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Waldo Hall 201A

The Department of Anthropology Tan Sacks Lecture Series presents:
"Blogging About Cancer"
(I'm going to talk about how our group of cancer bloggers formed, from the first contact from another blogger--Sara, I think--through our joint blogging efforts, to the Cancer Bloggers Reunion which I am hosting in Seattle this July.)
May 21, 2008, noon
Waldo Hall 240

These talks are sponsored by Oregon State University's:

Dept. of Anthropology

The Women's Center


the Women's Studies Program.

My post about it is here:

I hope to see some of you there! It'll be fun, I'm sure!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Not Much Going On Today

Another breast cancer survivor, Jeanne from NYC, said in her blog the other day that she really didn't have much to say. Instead, she shared some little tidbits about friends and family. So, I'm stealing her idea and doing the same.

It got pretty hot here yesterday - mid-90s at least. It made me realize that I'm going to have to watch myself as I do seem to be more sensitive to the heat.

But my irises are about to bloom and my rhododendron bush bloomed a couple of days ago. Lilacs are starting to fade, but they are still pretty. Tulips are fading, too, but are still there. Dad put in some red hot pokers a couple of years ago and they all of a sudden sprouted. There was another word I could use . . . but that might imply that I have a dirty mind. LOL

Went to see Dana Carvey at Spirit Mountain Casino Event Center with Josh and Amy, Heather (of My Xeloda fame) and Kevin, and their parents (Steve and I'll have to get their mom's name. Can't remember - I blame chemo brain). It was a hoot - he had a great Reagan oracle bit about the presidential election, a riff on the use of the cuss word (s#&t) in various phrases (Does a bear s@*t in the woods? Are you s*#ttin' me? etc.), and he did a great improv about the neighboring towns of McMinnville, Grand Ronde, and Salem.

Saw my acupuncturist yesterday - no alien hickies. She said that my "san gao" (the triple burner, I think) was strong, slow, and healthy - a good thing. She says that I'm doing what I need to be doing to put that back into balance. My liver chi was still too hot . . . working on that. She offered a qi gong routine in the park this morning - didn't realize how tight many of my muscles were. Note to self: STRETCH every day.

I need to run errands, do some paint touch-ups in the bathroom and clean the house in preparation for Jeanne's visit that begins tomorrow evening. I'll pick her up after my softball game. Let's see if I can play and not injure my big toe anymore. I need to write up a summary for NSF, and draft up a narrative for another small grant proposal.

Otherwise, trying to stay comfortable. It's beautiful out there. Love it! Enjoy your day everyone!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bloggers Unite for Human Rights - "Burn This CD"

Hi everyone! Through Carver's blog, I found out about this effort to unite bloggers about particular issues. Today, they are uniting for human rights. They ask that you blog about a human rights issue and then call attention to their site.

The URL for the bloggers unite site is as follows:

There are a lot of human rights issues that I'm aware of, ranging from Native American and indigenous rights, to environmental justice issues, to health insurance for uninsured or underinsured people. In fact, I told a former student, Cat, and her husband, Jeremiah, that I just received my new mattress (I slept okay on it last night), which sparked a conversation about environmental contaminants here in the Willamette Valley and how that might be related to rising rates of breast cancer. Cat mentioned that health officials have noted an increase in thyroid problems in women who live downstream (Columbia River) of the disbanded and now EPA Superfund site at Hanford.

But there is one issue in particular that I just became aware of through the Indigenous Literatures and Other Arts symposium that I participated in two weeks ago (already? wow, that was fast!). Alice Te Punga Somerville talked about something that happened in New Zealand on October 15, 2007, in which 16 Maori activists were taken into custody and labeled terrorists. As a result, some other Maori got together for a project they entitled "Burn This CD", in which they spread the word about what happened by giving CD's out for free to people so that the Maori side of the story could be told. I don't know all the details and I don't want to misquote anyone, so here's the link to the project.

Burn This CD

Also, Wikipedia (yes, I resort to it on occasion), has this to say about the whole event.

Wikipedia New Zealand Anti-Terrorist Raids

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My new mattress

One of my friends, Rick, helped me pick up my brand new, all natural mattress. If you remember, I had some concerns about the pillow top (foam) mattress that I had from Spring Air . . . see my post on the topic.

So, I bit the bullet and ordered this all natural, rubber mattress, made by Sleeptek. The details are:

Sleeptek All Natural Organic Rubber Mattress

I will give you all a report tomorrow on how well I sleep on it. I bought it for peace of mind.

So, now I have this Spring Air Backsupporter Mattress that I would like to sell. Again, I will feel somewhat guilty since I believe it caused me problems, but maybe someone who doesn't have a compromised immune system could use it!

Thank you, Jill!

These cartoons were sent to me by Jill, whose grandmother (I think) sent them to her. Her grandmother has also been treated for breast cancer, and according to Jill, was one of the first women in Idaho to get her pilot's license in the 1960s (I think - Jill, if I got the story wrong, please let me know!)

How to train for a mammogram...

I had my physical today and...





Ok,now you've had your laugh,

Nobody needs to know.. It will be your secret!

Jeanne says "Oregon Ho!"

Jeanne and I are getting excited about her trip to Oregon next week . . . here's the link to her blog about it:

Personally, "Oregon Ho!" works for me - she says that since she's coming south, not west, and on a train, not a wagon, and because Washington was part of Oregon territory, the phrase doesn't quite work. But, like I said, I like it!

And, here's the poster my colleague, Missy Cheyney, developed for the event:

If anyone is in the area, please feel free to attend any of her talks. We again thank the Dept of Anthropology, Women's Studies, and the Women's Center!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Treatment Updates

I still haven't started radiation treatments yet. I'm not all that eager to start, but I will do them because there are still a few hard nodules under the skin, which are presumably little tumors growing up from the lymph channels. I may, however, not do the full six weeks, depending on how my body responds to them. When I asked the rad onc about doing less to begin with, her reply was that it would be 3 months before she knew whether or not the radiation treatments worked - in other words, we could do less treatment, but since it takes awhile for everything to settle down, we wouldn't know whether or not there is still cancer there for 3 months. And, if it didn't work, then I'd have to do the radiation treatments again. Medical science just doesn't know or hasn't studied whether doing less would be just as effective as doing more. So, they stick to the standard treatments.

But my thinking is that the medications I'm on - Xeloda and Tykerb - have or are sensitizing the cancer and it will be easier to kill with radiation. I also take a five mushroom pill (3 of which have anticancer properties), melatonin (which has been shown to stop and/or reduce breast tumor growth in mice), and turmeric (shown to be effective for skin disorders and studies have shown it to stop tumor growth in melanoma). So, I guess I think doing a little bit of radiation will tip the balance in my favor - kill the suckers - and then the meds will be able to do their work.

The open skin wound continues to heal. I've recently started putting turmeric paste over a larger area than the original open wound - the skin over the implant was dark - and now the whole area is weeping more. I need to change the dressings twice a day. The way I see it is that my body is expelling the cancer through the fluid drainage.

I don't have as much lymphedema over the right ribs as before - I do some lymph massage everyday - and interestingly, the whole area is fading again. The area was getting redder AND more swollen after I painted my bathroom, so my guess is that a lot of redness is from the lymphedema, not the cancer. But as I said, there are a few little nodules that are little tumors, so I will submit to radiation, too.

Have a good Tuesday everyone!

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Black Toenail for a Losing Cause

Last night was the first softball game of the season. We stayed pretty close the first few innings and then we just lost it - we had too many errors and not enough hits! Bummer deal, man! And, then, the next to last inning, as I threw a ball in from outfield, my left big toe jammed into the front of the shoe! I think the shoe may be too long (but I had to go up 1/2 a size because part of my foot is so wide), so my foot slipped while the shoe stayed put. I just took off my toenail polish (a nice turquoise blue to match my ipod) to see what it looked like - and there's a lovely black and blue area under the nail. Crap! Don't know if that'll affect whether or not I can play next week. And, we ended up losing 19-9. Darnit! But the pizza and beer afterwards was still fun. Our new teammate is only 25! He was born the year I graduated from high school. Doesn't that make me feel old? Talk about adding insult (age!) to injury (turf toe, I think).

The Cat Took a Joyride!

Yesterday, my whole immediate family (my folks, my sibs, my sister's family) came to my house for an informal, finger-food Mother's Day get-together. Dad did some work on my yard and my brother-in-law worked some on Eddie's Big Wheel (modeled after the Price is Right). My brother, Kevin, then took off to do a round of golf with some buddies. A few minutes later, he drove back up. I walked out to ask if he'd forgotten something and he informed me that our cat, Elizabeth, had been napping in the back seat of his Jeep and he was a few minutes away before she jumped into his passenger seat to say hi.

I wish I'd gotten a picture of it. She's been hanging out in my car, too, lately, when I leave my windows down at the house. I think she just wanted a joyride!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I just wanted to say Happy Mother's Day! Sshh! The weather guys (why do I assume that they are males?) said we were supposed to have showers today . . . but the sun is out. It's breezy, too, apparently, but it's sunny! I took a few pictures of various plants blooming on my property, but my son erased them yesterday so he could take some mini-movies of himself and his Big Wheel. So, instead, I will post a couple of photos.

This first one is in honor of my mom. She's on the left and Aunt Cecilia (who died about two years ago of lung cancer) is on the right. They dressed up in the lobster suits they had to wear for flying in the helicopter to King Island. The lobster suits would keep them alive (for 20 minutes, I think) in the frigid Bering Sea if the helicopter crashed. But obviously, the makers of the lobster suits were thinking they'd be for white men, not for little Eskimo ladies. They all laughed so hard at themselves!

The next one is a picture of me and Eddie in January 2007 (yikes! 16 months ago) when we visited a friend and former colleague (John Kilburn) and his family (Judy, Maddy, and Bo) in Laredo, Texas. I worked with John (Bubba) in Connecticut and then we both moved on to bigger and better things! (Sh, don't tell them that - I think we were both happy for the opportunity to get that first teaching job.)

Anyway, this picture tells me that I need to get someone to take another picture of me and Eddie here soon. He's much taller - at least up to my shoulder! Last night, as I played cards, Eddie sat on my lap and reached across the table for popcorn - so then I reached my arm out to measure mine against his - and yikes! - his arm is just about as long as mine. He'll be 8 this summer.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Life on the Edge

First, let me say that I am, overall, doing well emotionally, at least in terms of the cancer stuff. But I am feeling a bit overextended at work. It's a busy month anyway - was away at Univ of Oregon last week-end, I have one large and another smallish grant proposal due in the next two weeks, I have to do some reading and writing for a committee I'm on at NSF, and I also have to make revisions to an article by June 1. Then, Jeanne will be visiting soon and the week after that, I'll be participating in another symposium at Portland State. Hadn't intended to do either of those grant proposals, but the opportunities seem too good to pass up.

Something that I've begun to realize in the past couple of weeks is just how much on the edge I am. Another way to say it is that I have a delicate balance in my life. I do fairly well, for the most part. But I just seem to be knocked on my ass - pushed over the edge - lose my balance - fairly quickly - or at least a lot easier than I used to.

Last night/yesterday was a case in point. I spent the day with a friend - we drove to McMinnville and then had lunch and then we went to a nursery - we thought we might go to the outlet mall. I figured a day hanging with a friend would be fun and give me a change of routine. But I ended up feeling nauseous most of the afternoon and into the evening. I think it was due to motion sickness - I was the passenger and we ended up on some back roads that were curvy. Usually, when I eat, it goes away. It did for a bit, but then it came back. So, I incorporated some the strategies that my acupuncturist gave me, plus things that had worked in the past. These included eating, having candy/sugar, drinking peppermint tea, and wearing some magnets on accupressure points just below my wrist. I felt better by evening, but I felt slightly nauseous again this morning, so I've been wearing the magnets all day.

I also felt nauseous last week-end, after riding a bus up into the foothills of the Coast Range to go to a winery for dinner. By the time we got to the winery, I felt sick, but after eating I felt better, and then nauseous again on the way back to the hotel.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I seem to be getting nauseous a lot easier than I used to in the past. This has got me a bit worried for plane travel because I do have a tendency to get motion sickness on the plane, so I'm beginning to worry that the nausea might deter me from traveling.

Also, being away from home for two days last week-end got me out of my routine - it wasn't the activities so much as it was eating on a regular schedule, taking the meds, etc. I'm gonna have to pay more attention to that, I guess.

But to get back to life on the edge - last night, when I felt nauseous, I started feeling really discouraged because I wondered if this was something I was going to have to deal with for the rest of my life - and probably when I travel. I like to travel, but I really really hate feeling nauseous. I hated morning sickness when I was pregnant and the nausea with chemo was absolutely the worse.

So, to make a long story even longer - feeling nauseous yesterday made me more discouraged than I thought it would. And, realizing that this is going to be something I'm going to live with probably for the rest of my life - well, that sucks. It sorta knocked me off balance - and almost put me over the edge again.

Time for an attitude adjustment, I think. I need to stay busy, but make sure I get lots of rest, and try not to overcommit. I need to stop feeling sorry for myself - need to take a lesson in doing that from Liz Kreger at She seems to manage to talk herself out of funks - a good model for me.

Really, I am doing much better tonight. Went with my sister, her kids, and Eddie to see Speed Racer. I like the movie - the sets and the costumes gave it a cartoon feel. Then, we went to dinner, I took the kids to the arcade, and now Eddie's cousins are staying the night with him. They're occupying each other and I get to chill out.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A bunch of jokes

My friend, Karen, is putting together a poster for when she does the Relay for Life. She asked me to send her more jokes. So, I typed a few up that people gave me and then I found the website where a lot of jokes can be found. The result of what I sent to Karen is below. There are a lot of jokes there, so you may need breaks! Enjoy!

From Jeff Foxworthy:

If you think a 401K is your grandmother's bra size, you might be a redneck.

My 62 year old wife was thinking about doing a boob job. I told her, "You gettin' a boob job would be like hangin' a new chandelier in a haunted house!"

The new Wonderbra:
The designers of Wonderbra, encouraged by the success of their bra for under-endowed women, have developed a bra for overly-endowed women. They've named it the Sheep Dog Bra. It rounds them up and points them in the right direction.


Jiffy Boob:
Owing to the advance in medical technology,surgical technique and the fact that silicone breast implants have been determined to be perfectly safe, a California cosmetic surgery practice is opening a new office where breast augmentation surgery is done on an outpatient basis in about 30 minutes.
They are going to call the practice, "Jiffy Boob."


A flat-chested young lady goes to Dr. Smith for advice about breast enlargement.

He tells her, 'Every day when you get out of the shower, rub the top of your nipples and say, 'Scooby dooby dooby. I want bigger boobies.'

She did this every day faithfully and after several months ... It worked! She grew great boobs! One night she went to a party, got trashed, and went home with some strange guy. In the morning when she woke up, she didn't know where she was, so she took a shower and left for work.

On the bus she realized that she had forgotten to do her morning ritual. At this point she loved her boobs and didn't want to lose them, so she got up in the middle of the bus and said, 'Scooby dooby dooby, I want bigger boobies.'

A guy sitting nearby asked her, 'Do you go to Dr. Smith by any chance?'

'Why, yes, I do. How did you know?'

'Hickory dickory dock ...'

The rest of the jokes can be found at:

True Love Prevails
A young man had been seriously dating three lovely young women and finally found himself faced with the dilemma of which one to marry. As a test, he gave each of the women one thousand dollars.
The first girl decided to go for a complete hair and face makeover and new wardrobe. She returned to show off her new look and said, "I want to be at my most beautiful for you. Why, you ask? Because I love you, dear."

The second girl returned with new golf equipment, new TV, DVD player, stereo and a month's supply of beer and said, "I've purchased all these things for you, dear. They are my gifts to you because I love you so."

The third girl invested the $1,000 wisely and very quickly doubled her original amount. She reinvested the profits, which continued to multiply, and returned the initial thousand to the young man and said, ""I have taken your money and made it grow as an investment in our future. That is how much I love you, my darling."

The young man was extremely impressed with all three of their responses. After giving everything long and careful consideration, he married the one with the biggest breasts.


A flat-chested woman was delighted when her Fairy Godmother said her breasts would increase in size every time a man said 'Pardon' to her.
She walked down the sidewalk, accidentally bumped into a man and he said, "Pardon me." Her breasts instantly grew an inch and she was ecstatic. The next day, she bumped into a man in the grocery store, he begged her pardon and another inch was added to her breasts. She was in seventh heaven!

She walked into a Chinese restaurant, collided with a waiter who bowed and said, "A thousand pardons for my clumsy behavior."

The next day, the headline in the local newspaper read, "Chinese Waiter Crushed to Death!"


Mirror Mirror, On The Wall
A guy, returning home from a trip, noticed that his wife's breasts were larger, so he asked her what she had done.
She replied, "I said mirror mirror, on the wall, make my breasts DD and it happened."

The guy went and stood in front of the mirror, and said, "Mirror mirror, on the wall, make my penis touch the ground."

His legs fell off!

Pamela Anderson's Breasts
What's the space between Pamela Anderson's breasts called?

Silicon Valley

Square Breasts
Why did the blonde's breasts look square?

Because she forgot to take the kleenex out of the box.

Breast Obsession
A man was obsessed with women's breasts, so he went to a psychologist and told him his problem.
"Let's play a little word association game," the doctor said. "I'll say a word and you say the first thing that comes to your mind."

"Plums," said the doctor.

"Breasts," the patient said.


"Breasts," the patient replied.


"Breasts," said the patient.


"Breasts," the patient said.

"Wait a minute!" the doctor said. "I can understand the connection between plums, oranges, watermelons and breasts. But, automobile wipers? Where's the connection?"

"Easy, doc," the patient explained, "one on the left and one on the right!"

No Refund On Specials
A woman entered a department store and told the clerk that she wanted to return a coffee maker for refund because it didn't work. The clerk told her that he couldn't give her a refund because she bought it on special.
All of a sudden the woman threw her arms up and yelled, "Grab my Breasts! Grab my breasts!"

The clerk didn't know what to do, so he called the store manager who asked her if he could help.

She explained that she wanted to return the coffee maker for refund because it didn't work, and he told her that he would not give her a refund because she bought it on special.

Once again she yelled, "Grab my breasts! Grab my breasts!"

The manager was taken aback and asked her why she was yelling that particular phrase.

She replied, "Because I like my breasts grabbed when I'm getting screwed!"

Hear The Angels Sing
As the minister was preparing to begin his sermon he noticed a young woman in the front pew, dressed in a tight, skimpy dress with her breasts almost hanging out. Unable to concentrate on his message, he dismissed the parishioners and asked to speak to the young woman after everyone else left.
"What is the meaning of this? he said sternly. "What do you mean by coming to church dressed in such a fashion?"

"Why, Reverend," the young gal replied, "All of my boyfriends tell me that they can hear the angels sing when they put their heads on my breasts."

"Well, let me check," the Reverend said, as he placed his head between her breasts.

A few minutes later, he raised his head and said, "I'm sorry, young lady, but I do not hear any angels singing!"

"Well, of course not, Reverend," she replied. "You aren't plugged in yet!"

Hit By a High-Speed Ball
A guy is out on the golf course when he takes a high-speed ball right in the crotch. Writhing in agony, he falls to the ground.
He finally manages to get himself to the doctor and says, "How bad is it, doc?" I'm going on my honeymoon next week and my fiancee is still a virgin in every way."

"I'll have to put your penis in a splint to let it heal and keep it straight, but it should be okay by next week," replies the doctor.

He then took four tongue depressors, formed a neat little four-sided bandage and wired it all together - quite an impressive work of art.

The guy mentions none of this to his girl, they marry and go on their honeymoon. In the motel room that night, she rips open her blouse to reveal a gorgeous pair of breasts. This was the first time he saw them.

"You're the first, no one has ever touched these breasts before," she says.

He quickly whips off his pants and says, "Look at this, it's still in the CRATE!"
Language Barrier
There was this Asian woman married to an English gentleman and they moved to London. The poor woman was not very proficient in English, although she did manage to communicate with her husband. The real problem arose whenever she had to shop for groceries.
One day, she went to the butcher to purchase some pork legs. Not knowing how to put forward her request, and in desperation, she lifted her skirt to show her thighs. The butcher quickly got the message and the woman went home with pork legs.

The following day, she needed to buy some chicken breasts. Again, she didn't know how to say it, so she unbuttoned her blouse to show the butcher her breast. She got the chicken breasts she wanted.

The next day, the poor woman needed to buy sausages. She brought her husband to the butcher shop ...

What were you thinking?


Her husband speaks ENGLISH!

Medical Warning
The AMA and NZMA have declared that the long term implications of drugs or medical procedures must be more fully considered.
Over the past few years, more money has been spent on breast implants and Viagra than on Alzheimer's Disease research.

It is now projected that by the year 2010 there will be thirty million people wandering around with huge breasts and erections who are unable to remember what to do with them.

Excellent Checkup
A man arrived home from work one day and found his wife alone in the kitchen in a great mood, dancing and singing.
"What has you in such a happy mood today?" he asked.

"I had my checkup today," she explained, "and my doctor said I have the breasts of an eighteen year old."

"Really," the husband replied, "and what did he have to say about your fifty year old ass?"

"Actually," she said, "your name never came up!"
Always Failed
A very well-built young woman was lying on her psychiatrist's couch telling him how frustrated she was since she always failed at everything she seemed to try.
"I've tried to be a secretary and failed," she complained. "I tried to be an actress and failed. Then, I tried sales and I failed at that too."

The doctor thought for a moment and then said, "It is important for everyone to live a full and meaningful life. Have you tried nursing?"

She thought about his suggestion for a second, then opened her blouse and revealed one of her luscious breasts. Pointing it at the doctor, she said, "OK, I'll give it a try."
Top Ten Things Men Know About Women

They have breasts.
Darn Those Interns
Walking down the hospital corridor, the Nursing Supervisor found it shocking to see one of her nurses walking towards her in total disarray. Her uniform was wrinkled, her hair was a mess and if that wasn't enough, one of her breasts was hanging out of her open top.
Yelling at her, the supervisor said, "Miss Thomas, how do you account for your appearance. Not only do you resemble a derelict, but your breast is exposed!"

Quickly stuffing her breast back into her uniform, the nurse replied, "Those damn interns. They never put anything back when they're finished using it!"

Know What I'm Doing?
All the doctor's professionalism went right out the window when he saw the gorgeous woman walk into his office. He instructed her to take off her skirt, which she did, and he began to rub her thighs.
"Do you know what I'm doing?" he asked. "Of course, you're checking for abnormalities," she replied.

He then told her to remove her blouse and bra, which she did, and he began to rub her breasts.

"Have any idea what I'm doing now?" the doctor asked. "Yes, checking for cancer," she replied.

Finally he told her to remove her panties, which she did. He then had her lay on the table, got on top of her and began to have sex with her. "Do you know what I'm doing now?" he asked.

"Sure do, getting herpes! That's why I'm here," she said.
Shave and a Shoe Shine
A cowboy entered a barber shop, sat on the barber's chair and said, "I'll have a shave and a shoe shine."
The barber began to lather his face while a woman with the biggest, firmest, most beautiful breasts he had ever seen knelt down and began to shine his shoes.

"Young lady," the cowboy said, "you and I should go and spend some time in a hotel room."

"I'm married and my husband wouldn't like that at all," she replied.

"No problem," the cowboy said, "just tell him you're working overtime and I'll pay you the difference."

"You tell him," she said. "He's the one shaving you."
Crime of Passion
A little old lady appearing before the judge on a murder charge was explaining the events that led up to the crime.
"Your Honor, I'm 85 years old. I was sitting out on my porch enjoying a beautiful Spring evening when a young man crept up and sat down beside me. He began to rub my thigh and it felt very good.

Then, Your Honor, he began to rub my poor, old breasts. My goodness, I hadn't felt that good in years so I just spread my old legs and said to him, "Take me, take me, young man!"

The old woman continued, "Next thing I knew, the bastard yelled out "April Fool" and that, Your Honor, is when I shot the son of a bitch!"
The Facelift
A woman wanted to have a facelift, so she went to see the doctor. "Yes, I can do it, but you'll have to return in a few months for a follow-up," the doctor says.
"I would much rather have it done all at once. I don't want to have to back," she tells him.

Thinking for a few minutes, the doctor tells her, "We do have a new procedure. We put a screw in the top of your head, then any time you happen to see wrinkles reappearing, you turn the screw and it pulls the skin up causing the wrinkles to disappear."

"Perfect," she says, "that's what I'd like to have."

A few months later the woman bursts into the doctor's office. "How's the procedure holding up?" he asks her. "Horrible!" she shouts. "It's the biggest mistake I've ever made."

"What do you mean? What's wrong?" asks the doctor. "What's wrong? Take a look at these bags under my eyes," she screams.

"Ma'am, those are not bags," the doctor says, "those are your breasts. And if you don't leave that screw alone, you're going to end up with a beard!"

Still In Mourning
Marie was widowed five years ago and still hadn't gotten out of her depression, mourning as if it were yesterday. Her daughter was constantly calling her and urging her to get back into the world. Finally, Marie agreed to go out, but said she didn't know anyone.
"That's not a problem, Mom," her daughter said. "I have someone for you to meet."

Her daughter introduced her to Max and they took to one another immediately. After dating for a few weeks, Marie agreed to join Max for a weekend in Cape Cod.

On their first night there, they both undressed. There stood Marie, naked except for a pair of black lace panties, while Max was in his birthday suit. Curious, he asked her, "Why the black panties?"

"My breasts you can fondle, my body is yours to explore, but down there I am still in mourning," Marie replied. Max knew right away that he wasn't getting lucky that night.

The following night, it was the same scenario. Marie was standing there with black lace panties on and Max was standing there in his birthday suit; except this time he had an erection on which he was wearing a black condom.

Marie looked at him quizzically and asked, "What's with this ... a black condom?"

"I want to offer my condolences," Max replied.
A Hundred Bucks Each
A guy goes over to his friend's house, rings the bell, and the wife answers.
"Hi, is Hank home?" he asks.

"No, I'm sorry, he's out running some errands," she replies.

"Would you mind if I wait?" he asks.

"No, that would be fine. Come on in," she says.

They go into the kitchen, sit down, and the guy says, "You know, Laura, you have the most beautiful breasts I've ever seen. I'll give you a hundred bucks if I could just see one."

Laura thinks about it for a second and figures what the heck. She opens her robe and lets him see one. He promptly thanks her and throws a hundred bucks on the table.

They sit a while longer and Ben says, "They really are so beautiful. I just have to see both of them. I'll give you another hundred bucks if I could just see both of them together."

Laura thinks about it and figures what the heck. She opens her robe and gives Ben a nice long look. He thanks her, throws another hundred bucks on the table and says, "I really can't wait any longer. Please tell Hank I stopped by," and leaves.

A short while later, Hank arrives home and Laura greets him at the door. "Your friend Ben stopped by to see you," she says.

Hanks thinks for a moment and asks, "Did he happen to drop off the two hundred bucks he owes me?"
Mammogram Preparation
The importance of regular mammograms should never be forgotten! There are many women who are afraid of their first mammogram, but there is no need to worry. By taking a few minutes each day for a week preceding the exam and doing the following practice exercises, you will be totally prepared for the test. Best of all, these simple practice exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Exercise 1:

Open your refrigerator door and insert one breast between the door and the main box. Have one of your strongest friends slam the door shut as hard as possible and lean on the door for good measure. Hold that position for five seconds. Repeat the exercise for the other breast.

Exercise 2:

Visit your garage at approximately 3 AM when the temperature of the cement floor is just perfect. Remove your clothes from the waist up and lie comfortably on the floor with one breast wedged under the rear tire of a car. Ask a friend to slowly back the car up until your breast is sufficiently flattened and chilled. Turn and repeat exercise for the other breast.

Exercise 3:

Freeze two metal bookends overnight. Strip to the waist. Invite a stranger into the room. Have the stranger press the bookends against one of your breasts and smash the bookends together as hard as possible. Repeat exercise for the other breast.

You are now properly prepared for your mammogram.
Not Entirely Defective
A guy decides that he'd like to have a pet. While looking around in the pet shop, he spots a parrot sitting on a little perch but it doesn't have any feet or legs. "Geez, I wonder what happened to this poor parrot," the guy says out loud.
"I was born this way," says the parrot. "I'm a defective parrot."

"Ha," the guy laughs, "It sounded like the parrot actually understood what I said and answered me."

"I understood every single word," the parrot says. "I'm a highly intelligent, very well educated bird."

"Yeah?" the guy asks. "Then answer this: how do you hang onto your perch without any feet?"

"This is a little embarrassing, but since you asked I'll tell you," the parrot whispers. "I wrap my little parrot penis around this wooden bar, kind of like a little hook. You can't see it because of my feathers."

"Wow," says the guy. "You really can understand and answer, can't you?"

"I told you I could, didn't I?" the parrot says. "I speak English, French and Spanish. I can converse with reasonable competence on almost any subject: politics, religion, sports, physics, and philosophy. You really ought to buy me. I'm a great companion."

The guy looks at the price tag. $200. He says, "I can't afford that."

"Pssst," the parrot hisses, motioning the guy over with one wing. "Nobody wants me because I don't have any feet. You can get me for $20, just make an offer."

The guy offers 20 dollars and walks out with the parrot.

Several weeks pass. The parrot is sensational. He's funny, he's interesting, he's a great pal, he understands everything, sympathizes, gives good advice. The guy is thrilled.

One day the guy comes home from work and the parrot says, "Pssst," and motions him over with one wing. The guy goes up close to the cage.

"I don't know if I should tell you this or not," says the parrot, "but it's about your wife and the postman."

"What?" says the guy. "What?"

"Well," the parrot says, "when the postman came to the door today, your wife greeted him in a sheer nightgown and kissed him on the mouth."

"What happened then?" asks the guy.

"Then the postman came into the house, lifted up her nightgown and began petting her all over," the parrot says.

"My God!" the guy says. "Then what?"

"Then, he got down on his knees and began to lick her body, starting with her breasts slowly going down and down," reports the parrot.

The parrot pauses for a long time.

"What happened? What happened?" asks the frantic guy.

"I don't know," says the parrot. "My dick got hard and I fell off my perch."

Update on Alien Hickies : )

I forgot to mention yesterday that on Monday night, after I had the "cupping", I slept really really hard - two four-hour stints, which is unusual for me. Last night was more my typical night - I think I woke up 2-3 times. Part of what my acupuncturist is trying to do is to help my body "retreat" (including sleep) so that it could heal. I guess what I'm trying to say is that while my neck looks funny, I think I had a better night sleeping overall because of the cupping.

And, my skin is continuing to heal, although the open wound seems to be weeping more. My guess is that because the wound is still open, and as I do lymph massage underneath the implant, I might actually be massaging the backed-up lymph out of the wound - I'm directing the lymph fluid down and toward the center of my torso, but backed up fluid could really go anywhere to drain and the open wound is a path of least resistance.

Since I've been doing lymph massage in that area under the implant, it seems that the red is starting to fade again (it had gotten more red after I painted the bathroom). Both my massage therapist and the radiation oncologist asked whether or not the red rash was really cancer cells or whether it was red from swelling/lymphedema. It's probably both and no one really knows. This just really shows the limitations of our knowledge of what's going on here.

Still no word yet on when I start radiation. It looks like it may be next week. I do think I have a couple of new little skin tumors growing - hard little nodules under the skin - so I think radiation is the best course to get rid of that.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Assertive Cancer Patient Will Be Here Soon!

I am very excited - I will soon be meeting Jeanne Sather, the Assertive Cancer Patient, in person! Jeanne has really been a mentor and a great source of support for me. We have a whole list of things we want to talk about - including linguistics, sociolinguistics, writing, teaching, family, raising boys as single women, and men (of course). The details are in this flier:

A big thank you to Missy Cheyney, for designing the flier and for offering to do publicity! And, other thank yous go to the Women's Center (Beth Rietveld), Women's Studies Program (Susan Shaw), and the Department of Anthropology (David McMurray). (You can click on the image and it will get larger so you can read the fine print.)
Please let me know if you have any questions!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Yes, I met a handsome alien!

First, let me thank Bev for giving me a new title for this post!! (It was originally, "No, I don't have hickies on my neck!") She was joking with me about them, so I thought I'd share the joke.

So, yeah, I have hickies on my neck - both sides in fact. And, it was a handsome alien. Really. Truthfully.


Really, though, I had an acupuncture appointment today and as part of the treatment, Brodie did what is referred to as "cupping" (see She applied the technique to my neck, on both sides, to try to release heat. I told her that for the past few days, I've felt more dehydrated than usual and have been drinking a lot of water. My lips also feel really dry. The treatment was supposed to release that heat and also some of the powerful emotions - mostly sadness and disappointment - that I felt last week. The emotions were still hanging on. With traditional Chinese medicine, the goal isn't necessarily to rid yourself of the emotions, but rather to make sure you allow yourself to feel them and then let them pass through you, instead of burying them within yourself where they could fester. When you hold on to them, your body diverts some of your own energy to either containing them or dealing with them, so when you release it, your body is better able to spend its energy, or more of its energy, on other things, like in my case, say, fighting and ridding my body of cancer.

So, yep, I have these red circular hicky marks on the sides of my neck. Wonderful, eh? And, no, I'm not seeing anyone right now! Even if I was, I don't do that hicky thing.

And, I do feel better. I feel calm and on an even keel and in a fairly good mood, especially since it's beautiful and sunny (70 degrees or so) and most of my lilacs have bloomed and I can see some iris buds out there, too. Dad's been working on my yard and it's looking pretty good. Thanks, Dad!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

An Indigenous Spin on Academia

As an academic, we are expected to participate in conferences, a place and time in which you present your research and/or writing. I do enjoy conferences - sometimes the papers given are really good, but the real fun comes in just hanging out with fellow colleagues interested in the same things that you are.

But this symposium I participated in yesterday and today, well, it was different than usual academic conferences. I'm going to try to do a play on an old saying, but I may not be successful . . . so bear with me.

This symposium was like a wolf in academic clothing.

What I'm trying to say is that on the outside, it looked like a normal academic gathering. But it took place at the Many Nations Longhouse on the UO campus. The whole group consisted of either 1) indigenous people or people of indigenous descent; 2) academics who have long-standing relationships with indigenous communities and/or literatures; or 3) faculty and/or students interested in indigenous literatures. Some, if not most, of our conversations revolved around colonialism and how that affected indigenous communities. As you can imagine, this sometimes brought up tears.

I lost it myself, though, when two of our Maori participants, Jo and Alice, presented their "conversation" about museums, using the metaphor of the Maori "tukutuku". The tukutuku are the woven panels in geometric designs that adorn the walls of traditional Maori meeting (?) places - I think they are called the marai, but my memory is not sure I got that right. These tukutuku are placed between the "poupou" which are wooden carved poles that depict various ancestors. Women weave the tukutuku and men carve the poles, generally speaking, although there is some flexibility in gender roles.

Tukutuku are woven by pairs of women, each of whom usually work on just one side. Each one creates their own pattern on their side, but pass the flax (what they weave with) to the other woman, who then creates her own design. In order to do this, the two women have usually established a fairly good rapport, enough so that they trust the other that the pattern they are weaving works well together.

So, what Jo and Alice did is that they pretended to pass the flax from one to the other and once one received the flax, she discussed her own individual perspective on museums and collections as indigenous Maori women. There is no way I will be able to report here what they discussed. I know the gist of what they were saying. But suffice it to say that it was powerful.

What touched me the most was that instead of doing a typical academic presentation or conversation, they instead did the presentation that was grounded in Maori tradition and culture. It was uniquely Maori and by doing it that way, they communicated a lot about colonialism and its various affects. It was really amazing and I teared up when I told them how much I appreciated what they presented.

The symposium was really good for me - I met some amazing and interesting people here and I believe we created friendships (and some were able to maintain already established ties) that might last the rest of our lives. I want to end by thanking each of them for being here and for engaging in some intense conversations and for also taking time for laughter and humor. So, thank you to Chad (for organizing the conference), Susan, Tanya, baby Sassa, Jo, Alice, Craig, Allison, Michele, Lisa, Shari, Hugh, Gail, Emily, and Phoebe. There were others, but I can't remember them all. Thank you for very interesting conversations and I hope we continue these conversations for years to come.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Exhausted but Enjoying Myself

Today and tomorrow, I am participating in a symposium entitled "Indigenous LIteratures and Other Arts", hosted at the University of Oregon (yes, enemy territory!!). My conversation partner, Tanya Lukin-Linklater, and I were the first presenters. We talked about performance, with an eye to what performance art and/or anthropology can contribute to literary studies. I think our "conversation" went fairly well. I presented first, particularly talking about "traditional" singing and dancing traditions and how, for me, they are inextricably intertwined with story, art, kinship, politics, economics, religion, humor, etc. In other words, a dance is not just about dance, but instead ties into religion, humor, kinship, inter- and intra-village politics, etc. I showed some short film clips from King Island, performed a dance, and watched a snippet of the Wolf Dance. Then, my partner, Tanya, who is Alutiiq and a performance artist, talked about her own work and the process of how she creates her own dances, based upon a more formal, western training in dance, but drawing upon her own traditions. Then, we talked about things like "tradition" and "authenticity" and change in tradition through time.

Other participants are from New Zealand and from other indigenous nations. They're all very nice and the whole atmosphere is informal but revolving around interesting questions about art, literature, dance, story. So, it's fun!! But I'm exhausted! I hope I get a good night's sleep tonight .. . good night!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Relay for Life Update

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that a friend of mine, Karen Brewster, is doing the Relay for Life in Fairbanks, Alaska, in honor of her mother, another friend (Ann), and me. She just informed me today that she's already raised $1250, the most for her team! And, it's the second highest amount raised for Fairbanks. Her relay is May 30-31. The link to Karen's page is:

Go, Karen! On behalf of myself and everyone one else who is fighting or has fought this disease, thank you!

Drug Repository Update

I forgot to mention that I met briefly with Sara Gelser last Friday, April 25. She says that the process will probably go forward as follows:

1) She drafted up a bill, which she sent to me earlier this week for comment. I made a suggestion to have the repository include more than just cancer meds.
2) She will then send the bill to the lawyers, who will fix it and make sure it has the correct legal language. This may take a couple of months.
3) Once it's ready, she will introduce the legislation for next year's legislative session. I think she said this will be in late fall/early winter.
4) This is when we mobilize support for the bill. This can take a lot of forms, like getting letters to the editor written, asking whoever (individuals and/or organizations) to write to their state legislators to support the bill, etc. This will happen next winter, most likely.

So, at the moment, things are out of our hands. I am just so happy that Sara is taking the ball and running with it on the legal/legislative side of things. I will keep people posted on its progress. I think, though, that we may want to advertise the proposed legislation during Jeanne Sather's talk here at OSU on May 20 and May 21. Jeanne is planning to talk about it.