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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."


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 21st, 2007 02:43 am (UTC)
you do sound tired. me too, until the chicks are both in bed. now i'm awake. and there's all this chocolate from the --easter giving of treats to small children bingoola-- and i want to go eat A LOT of that, mmmmm chocolate. but, i'd best not start. i ought, in fact, to take a large amount of the chocolate and disperse it at work. which brings me to, i ought also to go to bed, because i must get up early tomorrow and trundle off to the hospital.
but, here i am awake..... wanting chocolate
there does seem to be all this cancer. perhaps in part because we're "getting older" so we have the sad fact of death in all its forms coming for those we know and love, but certainly our environment is growing progressively yuckier. i heard another sobering article about meds and other "trace" odds and ends percolating around in our watersheds. i've thought long and hard about pesticides, herbicides, petrol etc even bleach, but somehow i'd not really considered medications, shampoos, etc. sigh.
it makes me feel tired.
okay maybe i can go to sleep.
ah, and no i don't think i'll really have a journal.
not yet. time to sit at the computer is still fairly rare.
we're all kicking along.
i have begun a small garden. nice green things, some broccoli, and leeks -- and asparagus and a cherry tree. and that too. there isn't much time without someone attached at my knees. i tried weeding with my attachments the other afternoon, and i don't know if the lilies and peonies will survive their "weeding". oy.
sleep out.
Apr. 21st, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
cherry tree
It is so good to hear from you this way! I can imagine your garden.....when I get done with school and open my health center, will you help me figure out what to plant and where? Can we grow cocoa in N America??? MMMMmmm chocolate. Hope you slept well...
Apr. 21st, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
It is everywhere, it seems. My mom and I talked about it the other day, and she said if she ever gets sick, all she wants is morphine. "Just give me morphine and make me comfortable. No treatments, no surgery." OK. I will do that, and I understand why she wants it that way, and I don't blame her. She doesn't want to be a guinea pig.

I am terribly sorry to hear of C's sad news. It does make one wonder if it was the chemicals on the farm, but these days it seems that we're so surrounded by chemicals and such that it would be difficult to pinpoint what the 'cause' was.

I agree too, with your comments about the news. I'm sick of hearing it, and especially sick of hearing NPR report on it. I miss out on real news because I can't stomach the other reports, and I turn it off.

Sigh. Time to hit the books. It's my last weekend of real homework, yay!
Apr. 21st, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
Your mother might want to put her desires in writing, notarized, or to make you her medical power of attorney, so that she can get what she wants. If she's unable to communicate, you may not have as much decisionmaking power as you would wish, in the absence of a record of her desires. A medical power of attorney form can probably be found online or at the library. I have designated my mother as my power of attorney, in case I get bonked on the head and can't say for myself.
Apr. 21st, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC)
We discussed it, and she said she would get this done. We shall see.

Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner on getting together for a cuppa or something this weekend. I kept thinking I might want to take a break at some point today, but really I just wanted to be home getting things done. I suspect tomorrow will be much the same. I'm getting ready to go for a walk in the 'hood to see if I can find where the urban trail comes into the neighborhood. Rumor is, it is nearly complete from Cheshire to town. Talk to you soon. D.
Apr. 23rd, 2007 02:33 am (UTC)
Cuppa something can happen anytime. My weekend went by fast. I rode with C down to PHX today, and that place is hell no matter when. She got a new computer and I got some chocolate covered macadamia nuts at Trader Joe's. Whooooppeeeeee. Did you find the trail???
Apr. 23rd, 2007 02:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah, PHX SUCKS. No way around it. Ack.

Yes! I found where the trail comes into Cheshire. I didn't follow it all the way to the other neighborhood but I think it will be pretty easy to do. If it is nice later this week, I will ride my bike to work, the entire way on the FUTS. Have you heard that they are also doing a paved trail along Ft. Valley Rd, from Sechrist school out to Cheshire? Bikes will have two options and either will keep us off of the highway. I am thrilled!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )



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