[personal] A brief user’s guide to this blog

Given all the Internet activity around me lately, especially with new readers coming in from the fundraisers and/or the recent PayPal kerfuffle, I thought I’d make a quick informational post.

Except in extraordinary circumstances, I make three or four posts per day, almost always in the morning. Posts are always tagged in the title in [brackets] for the benefit of readers using RSS feeds, so they can tell if they want to click through or not.

Link Salad is always the lead, and basically documents my browsing from the day before and that morning, as well as interesting things people send in to me. It covers topics I care about, such as publishing, health (including a lot of cancer news due to my own long-term illness), science and nature, culture, generalized weirdness, and a variety of political topics including climate change, religion in the public square, gun control and conservative hypocrisy. (Yes, I am a flaming liberal, at least by American standards.) I arrange Link Salad in roughly the order described above so that readers who are indifferent to or bothered by my political stances can enjoy the earlier topics then move on if they prefer. Link Salad post titles are fairly random, and tend to reflect my mood, current events in my life, or something that strikes my fancy. I assume the [Link Salad] tag is sufficiently informative. Please feel free to send me interesting links if you find them, especially from out of the way sources.

Moment of Zen is always the second post. That features photos, usually from my photo files, but occasionally something that came across my email inbox from a friend or family member. If you want to send me a photo, it should be your own work. With the exception of photos involving me or my family, I try very hard not to reproduce photos from others for both copyright and creative reasons.

Otherwise, I post about cancer when that’s on my mind, as it has been of a muchness lately. When I have the mental and emotional bandwidth, I post about my daughter (a/k/a [info]the_child), or any of the topic areas mentioned above: publishing, health and healthcare, science and nature, culture, generalized weirdness, and a variety of political topics including climate change, religion in the public square, gun control and conservative hypocrisy. I like those to be a bit more substantive, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

My blogging philosophy is that I will talk about anything except things which will embarrass my daughter, things which will breach business confidentiality, and things which will breach other people’s privacy. On a related note, in talking about the events of my life, I try very hard not to ‘out’ people in my life who don’t have an established public persona in the form of an online footprint. With those exceptions, my own life is pretty much an open book, especially the cancer journey I’ve been on since 2008. This means if you have a question or suggestion for a post topic, I’m interested in hearing it. This also occasionally means that big, difficult stuff happens to me which I never mention here, for the sake of others’ privacy. As always, anything I post here is available for quoting or reposting, but please retain the attribution, especially on photos or fiction to which I hold copyright.

While my audience isn’t on the scale of some of the really big dog writer blogs, I have an interesting, friendly and vibrant community of readers and commentors. If you’re one of those already, thank you so very much. If you’re new to the blog, welcome, have a look around — if this is to your taste, stay a while.

3 thoughts on “[personal] A brief user’s guide to this blog

  1. SteveC says:

    Thank you so much for putting this difficult part of your life online. I think that many of the things you have written here could be incredibly helpful to others facing this dreadful disease, especially someone just finding out and beginning to explore what they are going to be dealing with.

    I’m one of those new readers. Your story is just heartbreaking and I’m extremely sympathetic. To be perfectly blunt though, I’m here for my own selfish reason. I got here via Scalzi, and while I’m an avid SF reader I somehow hadn’t previously encountered your work. Beyond the realm of SF – let’s just say that I’ll be skipping your political posts (as I skip Scalzi’s).

    My “selfish reason” is also known as my wife. Her journey dealing with this began very much like yours – about the same age at diagnosis (46), first sign of trouble was rectal bleeding, ER visit and bad news via CT scan (“baseball size tumor”), one third of her colon resected… Where her story diverges is that her cancer at diagnosis was Stage III involving four lymph nodes so adjuvant chemo was clearly called for. We previously knew that she had had one very fortuitous piece of good luck when we finally took our very first two week vacation. We had taken several weeklong vacations over the years, but after being together 30 years and working for decades it was our very first two week break, long scheduled and planned in great detail. It was a driving vacation and after four days on the road the rectal bleeding showed up. Something about 8-10 hours a day in the car with the continuous jostling about made the tumor begin bleeding. Now in terms of vacation it was certainly a buzz kill – nothing like dealing with that 4 days drive from home. But otherwise it was extremely good luck as it otherwise may have gone undetected for many more months. After reading your story though I now think she had a second stroke of good luck in that the staging of her cancer meant that there was never any doubt about adjuvant chemo.
    I’m obviously extremely interested in how this genetic testing works out for you. So far we’re very optimistic as she is halfway to that 5 year mark and things look pretty good. There have been a couple of scares that turned out to have other causes. Unfortunately she turned out to be one of the small percentages of people with chronic neuropathy from the Oxaliplatin, but otherwise came through the treatment pretty well. Her oncologist has pushed her to get genetic testing though as she is way outside the norm for this (46 year old white female).

    I’m not the praying type, but I’ll be sending good thoughts your way daily as I check on your progress. Good luck with everything coming up.

    1. Jay says:

      Oxaliplatin gives me grief, but it fades once I’m off the meds. Your wife has my profound sympathies. As for the genetic testing, I plan to be as open source as possible about the process and outcomes.

      In any event, good luck and good health to her.

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