liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Half Baked Biochemistry

My 3rd biochem exam was this morning and it was very easy. Multiple guess, as usual. I marked all the poorly-written questions, so I can go argue with him when he tells me I'm wrong. Perhaps I did myself a disservice by studying, because I knew more than I needed to know to answer the questions, and it opened up a world of possible exceptions, it muddied the waters. My grasp of the fundamental relationships is vague. My content knowledge of the subject approaches nil. I can only hope that the NEXT time I study biochemistry (which will be soon) there will be something useful of the few factiods and ideas I've absorbed this semester. Mostly it has seemed a waste of my time, energy and money. I do not appreciate that our local University offers classes such as this.

The kitten seems to have caught another bird today, tormented it indoors for a while leaving a trail of gray feathers, then taken it back outside. I saw the neighbor dog find it and crunch it a couple of times before he ran off. It sounded distinctly different from the sound of another dog I heard crunch a baby rabbit.

I am sick and tired of hearing about the "massacre" at Va Tech on Monday. Thirty one people (or more) die just about every day at the hands of our military, but that is not reported. Suicide bombers kill regularly in Palestine or Iraq, and it is mentioned in passing. When our rich college kids get shot, the media goes nuts. Day in day out, reporting about the families, the individuals, the human interest stories, sob sob sob. Even NPR. I want NPR to hold to a different standard with regard to what is important in terms of "breaking news" but they don't. Sensationalism and "human interest" rules there too. I go to the BBC and other non-American sources for international perspective and balance. I would not be at all sad to see NPR leave the pack of American media and choose its own stories instead of trying to compete with television.

Americans lives are not more important than non American lives.

C, a friend of mine who recently moved to Flagstaff, is going to move back east. She found out today that her sister has pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic has a dire pronosis; she probably won't live long. The tumor is the size of a football and has just in the last couple of weeks grown so large that it impinges on her liver and digestive tract, and she jaundiced. C's sister thinks the cancers could be caused by the chemicals their father used on the farm. Both of their parents have just died, father first then her mother of a broken heart. C's brother has also been diagnosed with cancer. She has one brother left that she doesn't like. And her sweet canine friend is dying too, perhaps of dogfood or who knows what else. My heart breaks for her. It would be too much to bear for some people. I hope that she can bear it.

Last night my friend M called. He's the one who had his thyroid removed last August because it was cancerous. He had radiation treatments, which work great for destroying any remaining thyroid treatment because they can attach the radioactive stuff to iodine which the thyroid hoards like crazy. He's doing well, though the hormone replacements do not give him the energy he used to have naturally. They keep increasing the dosage and waiting a few months, and finding his thyroid hormone levels still too low. My question was: "Why not try a different medicine?"

I may make a trip to Ca to hang out with M while he's in the states in May. He lives in Ecuador. He's going to a river network conference that I might be able to crash.

Another friend with cancer emailed yesterday. R has cancer of the throat. He's going this week for his last round of chemo. It makes him so ill that it is hard for him to keep his head up. But this is the last round, so he is hopeful that life will return to normal, after this terrifying experience with surgery and modern medicine...

Cancer, cancer, everywhere.

I'm very tired today. I think it is because I've been riding the bike more often and farther, in addition to walking and practicing yoga. I hope the tiredness passes soon. My last blood test told me that my thyroid is humming along just fine.

What did the Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor?
"Make me one with everything."
Tags: america, biochemistry, cancer, death, media

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