It’s gotta go

My uterus, I mean.

Complex Hyperplasia with Atypia

Many women who have symptoms of endometrial cancer (vaginal bleeding after menopause or abnormal menstrual bleeding) may have a biopsy that shows precancerous changes of the endometrium, called complex hyperplasia with atypia. Risk is high that 25 to 50 percent of these women will go on to develop endometrial cancer.

To reduce the risk, doctors usually advise women with this condition to have a hysterectomy (surgery to remove the uterus) if they are past childbearing years or do not intend to become pregnant. Many gynecologists refer these women to a gynecologic oncologist for their surgery because of the chance of finding true cancer at the time of the hysterectomy.

Hopefully this will be done before the end of the year and that the final pathology report doesn’t indicate cancer. My biopsy report left that window open, and I don’t think it can be ruled out until they can take a good look at everything.

On Hold

Something’s wrong. What, exactly, is not yet known. We’re supposed to find out tomorrow. Or sometime this week. Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe it’s something. If it’s something, it may be bad. If it’s bad, just how bad?

This post has been sitting in my drafts for ten months. Not much has changed.

I’ve been told that when you go through trauma, you should not make any life decisions. You should hold off on getting married, or quitting your job, or starting something that’s completely new.  Don’t make any important life decisions when you’ve experienced a traumatic event. Give yourself time to heal, we are told.

And the only experience I ever had with actual trauma was when we went through the Reno Air Races crash in 2011 and we availed ourselves of grief counseling where we were told we should be careful. We should be careful… not to drink too much, for instance, and to not make any important life decisions at that time.

It made sense. When someone is traumatized, they feel helpless and will grasp at anything that will help them feel some sense of control again.

So, it’s been a little over a month since the election and I kept thinking that, at some point, the trauma would ease. That the panic and grief I felt that night would would abate. And although I don’t cry every single day any more, it still happens on a regular enough basis that I know I am not past this.  And I don’t think that I ever will be.

So where does that leave me? What do I do in my life?

I have a very good job. I am paid well. I am surrounded by good people and my supervisors respect and trust me. But I am so very, very restless right now and feel like I don’t offer enough to the world in that position, and that I should be doing something so much more meaningful than making travel arrangements, filing expense reports, scheduling meetings and the like.

I can’t find any satisfaction in it right now. And I used to. I used to find satisfaction in the job that I did well and allowed me enough money to pay my bills, be helpful to my family, pay for my toys, and support causes I believed in. Because all was pretty nice, pretty good in my world, but now I just find myself stuck.

And I don’t know when that’s going to change.

What does Carl Sagan have to do with Hillary Clinton?

Re-upping this 2010 post from my now shuttered blog, Blue Lyon. The only edit I would make is to add this to the third paragraph: “See also the treatment of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election and its aftermath.” 

A Sunday Morning Reading: Carl Sagan, Science and Witchcraft

In The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (Ballantine Books, 1996), Carl Sagan stressed over and over again the need for science literacy, critical thinking and skepticism. We need not understand the finer points of each scientific discipline, but we need to understand the scientific method and how to apply it in our daily lives, as well as in our national and international policy-making.witch-torture

Sagan also argued that ignorance of what-came-before can set us up to commit the same errors in the here-and-now. Understanding the past is key to living in the present and planning for the future. To not know our history and our human propensity for unskeptical thinking  is to doom us to continually make the same mistakes, to never move forward, or worse, finish ourselves off as a species.

In Chapter 24, Science and Witchcraft, Sagan revisits the witch hunts of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries that consumed Europe and America.  The parallels in the following passage to today’s political environment are striking: Guantanamo, indefinite detention, military commissions-vs-civilian courts, National Day of Prayer, torture, the run up to the Iraq war, the prosecution of whistle-blowers, even the 2008 Democratic primaries.

Sagan appears prescient. He wasn’t. He was just aware of history.

If we do not  know what we’re capable of, we cannot appreciate measures taken to protect us from ourselves. I discussed the European witch mania in the alien abduction context; I hope the reader will forgive me for returning to it in its political context. It is an aperture to human self-knowledge. If we focus on what was considered acceptable evidence and a fair trial by the religious and secular authorities in the fifteenth-to-seventeenth century witch hunts, many of the novel and peculiar features of the eighteenth-century U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights become clear: including trial by jury, prohibitions against self-incrimination and against cruel and unusual punishment, freedom of speech and the press, due process, the balance of powers and the separation of church and state.Friedrich von Spee (pronounced “Shpay”) was a Jesuit priest who had the misfortune to hear the confessions of those accused of witchcraft in the German City of Würzburg (see Chapter 7). In 1631, he published Cautio Criminalis (Precautions for Prosecutors), which exposed the essence of the Church/State terrorism against the innocent. Before he was punished he died of the plague – as a parish priest serving the afflicted. Here is an except from his whistle-blowing book: Continue reading “What does Carl Sagan have to do with Hillary Clinton?”