I really don’t understand the mechanism by which chemo side effects kick in; I have had a massive spike in fatigue but at the same time the digestive stuff has died down and I think my hair is starting to grow back.

R is on day 5+ of an over 100 degree fever, but is improving and we were able to video chat today. She’s had to drop out for this quarter, though, which is a major bummer.

 I am currently adding RBG’s passing to the things I can’t think too much about.
This entry was originally posted at https://jeliza.dreamwidth.org/1103306.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


Drove myself to the hospital today for a non-chemo doctor visit, which is my first substantial alone and uninterruptible time in freaking forever.  My bloodwork is good enough to clear me for the last cycle of chemo (three weeks) and then if the bloodwork continues to be good, probably a month after that I will officially no longer be immuno-suppresed. I forgot to ask if I regain that status when I start radiation, but that doesn't happen until 4-6 weeks after the end of chemo.

It has felt like chemo would be never-ending, so this is a good thing. This entry was originally posted at https://jeliza.dreamwidth.org/1102592.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

handling indoor wildfire smoke

So I'm linking this because I can't find it written up anywhere useful elsewhere, but you can do a thing with pans of water and/or spray bottles to improve indoor air quality from the smoke that manages to get through:


(TLDR: having lots of half-full pans of water around will help capture the smoke particles, as well as spritzing water on every surface you can  safely leave wet, but there is more useful detail in the post.)

Looking out our windows is like lookng at a faded polaroid of the landscape, it's so yellow. This entry was originally posted at https://jeliza.dreamwidth.org/1102417.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Iced Coffee Concentrate recipe

 Iced Coffee Concentrate

(Note the *concentrate*, this isn't for straight drinking. Modified from the Pioneer Woman's recipe, because she likes her coffee weaker than R.)
1. In a large container  combine 

3 cups of ground coffee
11 cups water

Optimizing for surface area affects results, so a rectangular food storage container, loaf pan, cake pan, etc. Plastic, ceramic or glass recommended.
Halving the quantities works fine.
Which ground might make a difference, but we didn't extensively test this.
Freshly ground vs hanging around in the bag for a while did make a difference, but it wasn't necessary for a good result.
We used an 148 ounce snapware container that was 8x6x9inches vaguely, which had more room than needed and a securely fastening lid because I am hella clutzy.
2. Stir to combine, cover, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours or overnight.
3. Layer a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and place over a separate container (preferably a pitcher you can serve from/store in).
Slowly pour the steeped coffee through the strainer, allowing all the liquid to run through.
I do a little smooshing at the end to get the last bits of liquid out of the grounds.

We strained directly into a rubbermaid 64 ounce pitcher.  Don't try to make it in the pitcher, it will be weak. Rinse cheesecloth thoroughly and store for next time.
4. Keep concentrate in fridge.
To prepare, add milk, flavors, etc to taste. We did 3/5th coffee to 2/5 milk+creamer, no ice. Mileage will vary.
(posting here because it took me forever to find our version again after not making it for a while.) This entry was originally posted at https://jeliza.dreamwidth.org/1101672.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

we have returned to a regular schedule.

We appear to have survived the first day of school with no major incidents. I very much approve of the zoom-classes with the same bell schedule as regular classes schedule. At least for O I suspect it will be much easier to keep up than the everything asynchronous approach of spring quarter. More frequent access to snacks is also going to be helpful, I'm pretty sure. This entry was originally posted at https://jeliza.dreamwidth.org/1101500.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


We finally saw "Knives Out", which we had intended to see in the theater, via a "watch party" so we could chat with R in New Mexico during, and it was really excellent. Both Daniel Craig and Chris Evans were clearly absolutely relishing the opportunity to get away from their recent action movie typecasting. The music was great, the set dressing fantastic, and I would overwhelmingly recommend it for anyone who likes Great Detective/whodunit stories. This entry was originally posted at https://jeliza.dreamwidth.org/1100324.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

freaking murphy

I woke up feeling fairly good and ready to have a productive day. So of course I not only threw up trying to take my meds, but when I got started on some weeding I apparently found a ground-based wasp nest and got stung *10 times*, leading to both shrieking like a little girl and having a panic attack (while Sean was trying to have an online meeting). I have benadryl-ed and klonopin-ed and am not going upstairs until I get confirmation that the wasp that might be in the house is no longer in the house.

I am now in much less pain, but also distracted by the remaining stinging and perhaps a bit loopy from the meds.

In happier news, I did make it to my parents moving open house thing, and got to talk to various family members and also bring home a copy of my mom's book (I *probably* have a copy somewhere, but IDK where) and a couple of hmong embroidery pieces that match with a piece I inherited from my mom.

Chemo is still chemo-ing a long, and while the side effects are ramping up slowly, they are still fairly tolerable. I've started losing weight but I don't know if that's chemo (apparently breast cancer patients in particular tend to gain instead of lose) or the slightly weird food changes I've adopted to keep one of the side effects under control, and I don't know how much I actually care. 15 pounds is barely a difference at my size. This entry was originally posted at https://jeliza.dreamwidth.org/1100119.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

end of an era

Due to my father's new and significant health issues, he and my step-mom are moving out of and selling the house they have lived in for almost 40 years. The number of wonderful memories I have associated with this house is kind of amazing (mind you, I never *lived* there for longer than a month, so much less chance of developing bad memories) especially since it is where family reunions and our extended-dance-remix Christmases were usually hosted. It watched it go from a small fixer upper to a gorgeous house with an award-winning garden, with new changes every couple of years.

They are having a limited sort of open house thing for people to come and see if there is anything they would like to keep; I haven't interacted outside the family with anyone but hospital staff, but am seriously considering going to the "family only" day. I have no idea if there is any stuff I will actually want to bring home, but I have a brain like a sieve, and well, it feels kind of worth the risk to go see my Dad.

It was absolutely time for them to move -- the house and garden require a lot of upkeep, and post-stroke stairs are a bad idea for Dad, so I am glad they found a new (single floor) space that still not too far away, it's just a little odd to think that I'll probably never have a reason to go back to Hoyt Street. This entry was originally posted at https://jeliza.dreamwidth.org/1099619.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

a small good thing

Black Widow's new release date is November 6th, and if I've calculated it right, I will be done with chemo and will be slightly less immunocompromised. (Still going to find the showing with the most empty seats, wear a mask, etc. etc.)

I mean, I'm still mad it's a mid-quel that *should* have been released right after Civil War, but I've been waiting for this movie for fucking ever, since BW is one of my favorite characters. (Kind of tired of Scarlett Johansson but whatever.) This entry was originally posted at https://jeliza.dreamwidth.org/1095712.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

itchy progress

As predicted, several days out from my 2nd chemo treatment I have begun the losing of hair. Given the short length and color of my hair, I keep looking down and thinking that my departed cat Lulu has come shed on me. (I buzzed it all three weeks ago, but my hair grows *fast*. I buzzed it again just now and it will be interesting to see how often I need to keep doing that.) I am somewhat hoping I will be one of the people whose hair comes back a different texture, since the factory-installed hair texture is pretty useless.

I kinda hope it works on my PCOS-generated mustache, but it apparently isn't consistent on whether it takes out facial hair as well.

R is safely arrived in Santa Fe, and has begun adjusting to the altitude and unpacking. The dog is disconsolate; once we get to Phase 2 of the stay at home order in King County, I am hoping he can go back to having a day at doggie day care regularly because it made him a happier doggo to get that kind of social time.

I have a five pound bag of cinnamon bears; it remains to be seen if I have the strength of will to not eat all five pounds in the next three days. This entry was originally posted at https://jeliza.dreamwidth.org/1094113.html. Please comment there using OpenID.