Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Update: rubber bullets

Dear friends/well-wishers:

Given your wonderful messages of support, some posted here in the blogosphere, some sent privately, I thought I should provide a short update about Marianne, and take this opportunity to thank all of you for emotional support that we have sorely needed.

Please excuse this little side-excursion first, though. For some reason, I've been wrestling
recently with the notion of how to shoot a person in the back of the head while he's choking me, but my imagination has so far failed me. Such a claim, though, seems to make perfect sense to the RCMP and to the Attorney-General of BC, and has an ignominious precedent in the shooting death of Michael "Wade" Lawson by Peel police officers in 1988. (In the latter case, the officers first testified that he had been trying to run them down in his car, and that they had fired in self-defence. But he too was shot in the back of the head.) What is needed, it seems, is either a contortionist with extensible rubber arms, or a flexible rubber gun that fires real bullets. I still haven't figured out how you get to dodge the bullet that takes out your assailant, but I'm working on it.

OK, enough current events, but this sort of wonderment does keep me sane about now (or insane, depending on your politics).

On the other hand, what has been striking my partner and myself recently is a series of rubber bullets, and the Sniper seems to have plenty of ammo left. You know the diagnosis, and a quick Google search will give you the prognosis too. We had begun to get over the shock, if that is possible, and were looking forward to a promising clinical trial. Today, however, we were given the word: she doesn't qualify. Something is wrong with her lungs, and the new drug can compromise even healthy lungs. So she starts a regime of gemcitabine tomorrow. She will be getting a celiac plexus block on Monday to deal with intractable pain that doesn't seem to respond well to narcotics; meanwhile, there are nausea and GI tract problems to overcome as well.

Folks, it isn't pretty, but I felt you should know the details, likely more than you probably wanted. I guess I want to tell it like it is, not how I'd like it to be. We still hope for a happy ending, which occurs in 10% of pancreatic cancer sufferers. But we're living one day at a time.

I will at some point have more to say about our much-maligned medicare system. It's a bum rap, people: take it from us. We've had top-quality care, no interminable waiting, prompt, efficient, sympathetic teams of people. It helps, of course, to live in a major urban centre, but still.

But back to our many well-wishers, from across the political spectrum. When I get back to regular blogging, if I ever do, how the heck am I going to be able to go after certain people (you know who you are) with the same gusto as before? Some of you have made this damned near impossible. I guess I should thank you for that as well. :)