RIP Randy Pausch

Somehow I missed this on Friday.  

"The Last Lecture" video on Randy's site is here.  He'd had quite a few chemo combos, among them gemcitabine + Tarceva, which I've had separately, not together.  He also tried Avastin, which sounds like it didn't work.
I've been looking at new clinical trials as well, and "the second generation of VEGF and EGF agents" are spoken of, as are vaccines.  Problem with these trials is one usually can't qualify if they've had other tyrosine-kinase inhibitors…
Anyway, I haven't watched the entire "Last Lecture", nor have I read the book, nor have I written a will…Damn.  I better get on it.
Recent scorecard, not including my breast cancer survivor friends, of whom there are at least 8:
Life  2 
Death 4 (not to mention the ones I don't know about)
Undecided 3 (Naomi, jp, and I)
Maybe "Undecided" isn't the right category.  Maybe it should be "In Battle", or "Waging War", or "Fighting Like Hell"…

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July so far

It's the middle of the month and my head is spinning.  Mostly I wonder where June went.

CT Scan/Cycle 22/The cancer front
My last scan (14th) was stable, but something, maybe the northern Cal fires (?), has been making my chest tight and breathing difficult.  I had a chest X-ray after chemo yesterday, but it's fine.  My left lower lobe is elevated "for reasons we don't have to worry about right now", so I guess that's the reason.  Basically, part of my lung is collapsed and isn't reinflating when I breathe.  More bad news, the clinical trial nurse, Suzanne Much, who took over for Rosalie, is moving on, which really bums me out because she was such a gem.  She took such good care of me when I was pawned off by the previous nurse Cindy, who didn't give a clam because I wasn't on the "real" study anymore (which screwed me over anyway).  Ugh.
At any rate, the onc says, "If the bottom falls out of you feeling good, you can't be alone, and Mike is going to have to change his mindset.  However you want to deal with that is up to you, but you need to think about that now, and we need to start looking for clinical trials again for you."  So I guess he's counting the days, because after all, we ARE at Cycle 22, which is a long time to be on something.
Tara told me of a cancer documentary in which a woman with lung cancer was going on her 9th year of survival.  She's just been hopping from treatment to treatment, playing each one out and hanging on till the next new thing.  If anyone knows the title of this film (something like, "Cancer in America" or "Cancer in the Modern Day", but I can't find anything under those titles), please advise!  In the meantime, I'm thinking of the new vaccine from Cuba called Cima Vax, which their extraordinarily large biotech industry has been working on since 1992.  It sounds something like my current oral chemo, Tarceva, but without the side effects (and believe me, the side effects are a total drag).  I may have to go to Canada or Cuba to get it.  Here's a link to a news article, if anyone's curious.  
Beyond this, my friend Naomi (sister in lung cancer) has returned to the east coast, headed to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (probably the No. 1 cancer hospital in the nation).  All my hopes and wishes to you, Naomi, for great treatment and new, positive outcomes.
Pipe Dreams
So many homes are in foreclosure now, and many are sold through massive auctions at various convention centers over a few weekends in a row.  The large circus-like caravans that hold the auctions are somewhat bizarre.  I attended one recently, out of curiosity, and was baffled by the theatrical antics of what I'll call auction workers.  They wear tuxedos, and when a bidder places a bid, they run over in a frenzy, point to the bidder with one hand while raising the other fist triumphantly in the air while yelling loudly.  It was definitely educational, but my head's still throbbing from the noise.
For Sale – 21-ft SeaSwirl Striper fishing boat
The hubby got a ticket for fishing in a Marine Protected Area, after driving an hour and a half south of Half Moon Bay to avoid such sanctuaries.  Talk about mental anguish.  We received a notice stating a complaint had been filed, when in reality, the court proceeded on the cite alone.  (Fine: $219.75)  All the maps available today direct a person to those areas specifically to fish, and make no mention of proximity to any protected areas.   An actual complaint was filed against his fishing companion, our neighbor, by the district attorney, alleging injury and possession of wildlife.  The poor guy was just along for the ride, and they had barely arrived in the area.  (Fine: $191)  I think this means no more crabs.  I smell the smoke from burning fishing licenses.  The map manufacturer should be sued, or something.  Furthermore, someone needs to tell the courtroom clerks in Redwood City (San Mateo court) not to eat in the presence of the public.
In Conclusion
Emperor Qin's Terra Cotta Warriors are at the Bowers Museum until October 12th.  Frida Kahlo is at the MOMA until September 28th.  And Dale Chihuly is at the De Young until September 28th as well.  Art to soothe the savage beast.

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