Saturday, October 16, 2010

Shark Physics

Well, here we are.  It looks as though it has been a while since the last update.  I went in last Wednesday for my fifth treatment.  To those of you who might be counting (e.g. me), that means one more treatment pending.  I spent the last two working days at home, kind of tired, keeping nausea at bay by drinking ginger ale, and giving our Netflix account a workout.  It is days like these that you sometimes stumble upon real cultural gifts, advancements in the arts that frankly make everything that came before seem trite and uninspired.  One such gift is the film "Mega-Shark Versus Giant Octopus," available for online streaming.  I won't try to sum up the plot line here in a few words (although the title does a pretty good job itself).  Suffice to say, it is worth finding not only for its entertainment value, but also for its contribution to science.  I learned more about the geography and biology of the Chukchi Sea in the film's opening scene than I ever learned at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  There are apparently whole mountain ranges out there that were never discussed in any of my global tectonics classes.  For anyone wanting to delve deeper into the physics of mega-shark, I can recommend the following post:

When we came home from treatment last Wednesday, it turns out a little bird had turned our front door into a forest nest:

It may or may not be visible in the photo posted online, but the forest is replete with inspirational phrases marking the "one to go" milepost.  Thanks little bird (and little bird's helper)!

So dealing with a cancer diagnosis has certainly made me more sensitive to cancer news and announcements.  I've had family members who fought cancer, with both success and sadness.  We have a friend in Anchorage who has been fighting hard for as long as we have known her.  We have lots of friends with close family that have had to deal with cancer at one time or another, again with both success and sadness.  Somehow it never added up to a complete picture in the past.  The number of people who, upon learning that I have NHL, respond with: "My brother just went through that" is startling.  The number of people sitting in the big leather chairs with me on a tri-weekly basis is startling.  The number of newspaper articles in our local paper about celebrities with cancer is startling.  [The number of articles dedicated to celebrities instead of news is also startling, but that is a different rant altogether.]  Now we have learned that another friend in Germany has been diagnosed with colon cancer and is undergoing chemo.  I don't have a grand thesis with which to wrap up this paragraph, or rallying cry to bring us all together in the fight against cancer.  Just an awareness that my experience is far from unique and a sadness that so many people have to go through the uncertainty of a diagnosis and the rigors of treatment.  C and I send our thoughts to Wolfgang and Margret in Germany.


  1. OOOOO, LOVE the door! it like an enchanted forest! WAY TO GO you 2, an here hoping the down days pass quick an we get on to feeling better soon. take care scott an christie good night :)

  2. Luv the door & wish we were close enough to help you celebrate or make a pot of soup- keeping you close however in our thoughts & see that chemo milestone around the bend- our best to you, the runions

  3. Sadly, perhaps the only way to avoid the diseases of civilization is to decivilize...

  4. I'm a little slow responding to comments here. K'dawg, good luck in Seattle this week! And thanks for the thoughts, Judi! No to the important issue of decivilizing in order to turn back the rising tide of cancer occurrences. Voluntary decivilization on a scale larger than the odd back-to-the-land hermit is unlikely to happen anytime soon. But, keeping in mind the post that the comment was made on, I feel that Mega-Shark was making some good in-roads on decivilization. If Mega-Shark had only been able to partner with Giant Octopus instead of war, truly dis-mantling civilization as we know it may have been the end result.