Monday, May 18, 2009

2400 Annoyed

Monday, May 18, 2009

Frost warnings for tonight. High twenties low thirties predicted. It might get all the way up to a high of 50 F tomorrow.

I don't understand.


I got annoyed at the morning news. They did a piece on a woman with a "pea-sized" brain tumor who had a new, immediate, non-invasive treatment "by robot! whoop whoop" which required very little recovery time.

Of course that drew my attention.

They then showed a focused narrow beam radiation doohicky swinging around her head, shooting beams from multiple directions, all of which converged on the tumor.


That's fractionated radiosurgery. It's not new! It's been around for more than a decade. Jay had it in 2000. The improvement is not the "robot" or the converged radiation. It's the preparation that's improved enormously.

Back when Jay had it, the radiologist had to map the beam directions by hand, so that they could enter and exit from as many directions as possible, all crossing at the tumor, without hitting certain areas of the brain, the eyes, the optic nerves, throat, and so on. He then fed the coordinates to the machine.

The big news is not the "robot". It's that now that CAT and MRI scans are digital, a computer can do the mapping, and feed the coordinates directly to the machine. That's faster, but not a great leap in "robotics".

But I guess that's not as sexy a story.

It also annoyed me that they presented it as a cure. Like, just snap your fingers, ten minutes with the machine instead of 10 hours in surgery, and voilĂ , all fixed. Yes, they actually said something like that.

Sorry folks, but if her tumor was malignant (which, without biopsy, they don't really know), this probably bought her six to nine months, and it can't be repeated. So she is likely to end up in surgery anyway. If it's operable. Otherwise, she's SOL.


The Man and I were supposed to get together again this week, but a work emergency has come up, and it may be another two weeks. Hearing this, I of course got annoyed and depressed.

Thinking about it, I realized that over the past two years, almost all my interests have died one by one, and my life has devolved to The Man, Daughter, and the internet. I don't do much of anything else any more.

  • The only bar in the village has closed, so there's been no afternoons of throwing the bull with the guys for a long time now.
  • Since the market dip, Piper has been too busy for our walks, and manages lunch only about once a month now instead of the old once a week.
  • Friends have gradually moved away, or have become much less active (I'm surprised at how many people my age have aged so quickly).
  • I've gradually wandered away from the dance community. I find I've lost interest in shows and haflas. I went to Rakkasah Spring Caravan only because the Gypsy needed someone to work her sales booth while she rehearsed and danced. Otherwise, I wouldn't have gone.
  • I haven't been to a Mensa activity since February, when I realized that of the ten people I'm most likely to see at functions, I enjoy only three of them. The other seven are major stressors, and I don't need that. So I see Roman, Angie, and Nate occasionally outside Mensa, and since Roman has realized that, after two years, The Man is not a flash in the pan, his phone calls and invitations to lunch have tapered off. I guess we weren't friends after all. He was just waiting for another chance at reconciliation. ('Taint gonna happen!)
  • Last month I resigned as Mensa Ombudsman when I realized that there were some conflicts brewing, friends would call or email and tell me about shouting matches in restaurants, and it looked like FW would be at the middle of all of them. I don't care to mediate a conflict involving FW (whom The Man teasingly calls my psycho ex-girlfriend).
  • And so on.

I didn't replace those activities with anything else. Some days lately I don't even bother to get dressed. When I don't see The Man, I go into hibernation. I've gained 12 pounds in the past eighteen months (that's like 20 on a regular-sized woman).
That has to stop.

Over the weekend I went looking for activities.

I have signed up for two dinner groups, two movie/discussion groups, got on the mailing list for a science cafe, and joined a group in Woodstock that takes dogs for easy hikes. Their flyer said they welcomed people without dogs, and I miss my dogs. I'm hoping I can enjoy theirs. A friend has been trying to talk me into a line dancing thingy she goes to, but I'm not sure I'd like that. It's "called", sort of like square dancing, and I can never remember what name goes with what pattern. I also joined an over-50s singles group, but only because they have interesting activities - like a dinner cruise down the Hudson next month. I'm not looking for pairing up, and I may not last long with that, anyway. I remember those groups as being more than a bit vicious (but maybe I won't get into trouble if it's obvious that I'm not competing. "I don't want your man, lady. I have a perfectly good one of my own.")

So, we'll see. I have a feeling I may have some problem getting off my butt - sometimes it seems like too much trouble to get up, dressed, and out - but at least I've found some directions I can go.


Sydney said...

The pounds will go when you get busier. I found the same thing happens to me when I am not running around, especially in the evenings. I packed on about 10 lbs when I moved here and went from a really active life -- constant fun and varied work, a city where walking was how you got around and I went to the gym on top of it for stress relief, and was constantly stimulated -- if not by cultural activities, then by everything I was walking by from storefronts to panhandlers --to sitting on the couch every night watching back to back reality shows, or going to for drinks and the movies once a weekend night.

Still working on getting it off. Sounds like you have put several good irons in the fire and hopefully a few will stick.

Wondering Woman said...

Wa La -- is this the twilight zone? Where days disappear?