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[travel] Such a mess

I woke up late for work this morning. I never do this. But yesterday my usual 11-hour door-to-door trip from my house in Portland to my hotel in Omaha wound up taking 18 hours. Including an hour to drive from the airport in Omaha through 3-4 inches of packed snow on the road, plus massive ice patches, plus a 30 mph wind blowing more snow. Plus, at one point, being tailgated by the only other vehicle on the road, one of those geniuses who things their SUV’s four wheel drive exempts them from the laws of physics.

My initial departing flight was cancelled. My rebook was only two hours later, but the logical connecting flight to Omaha was full, so my connection at DFW was over five hours. The earlier connecting flight cancelled, so good enough I wasn’t on it, so my evening flight was overflowing. And left ninety minutes late. And due to weather (I presume) they took about 40 minutes to get the luggage out.

And, and, and… I felt like Mary Robinette Kowal. Have another drink!

At any rate, I am here now, and about to set off for work. Regular wit and erudition should resume tomorrow.

[travel] Off to Omaha once more

Yesterday was crazy-busy, so while I got a lot of needed household stuff done, I didn’t spend enough time with either [info]the_child or Lisa Costello.

Off to Omaha today for a week of Day Jobbery. Unfortunately my flight was cancelled, so I’ll be in quite a bit later than expected, as my rebooked flight has a much less favorable connection. Guess I’m having dinner in DFW.

I’ll be home Friday afternoon.

[personal] Valentine’s Day Miscellanea

My friends in the Omaha Beach Party sent me some Family Guy boxer shorts. Which [info]the_child put on and started dancing around the house singing, “I’m too sexy for my shorts” while doing it Gangnam style.


Oy and vey.

Meanwhile, yesterday out on the street, I took a photo of a classic Hudson in pretty deep rat shape. Still a gorgeous car.


Also yesterday, the last of my Steri-Strips fell off. My surgical wound is healed and closed and clean. This means I can go back to Common Ground for a soak with my friends. W00t! Plus I look like a baseball with the seams plucked…


I hope all this gives you a Valentine’s Day warm fuzzy.

Photos © 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr. and Lisa Costello

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This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. and Lisa Costello is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

[cancer] Trying to be smart

The skin condition, and the severe photosensitivity, from the combination of Vectibix and Doxycycline is driving me nuts. Too bad for me, I guess, as there’s not a lot to be done about it.

Still, the fundamental issue of fatigue is the true killer of chemotherapy.

I made it through the workday okay yesterday. Went in about an hour early, left about an hour early and finished my workday from my hotel room. The Day Jobbe got my full commitment, but by the time I was done driving back and forth, I had nothing left. My friend D— dropped by the hotel after work with some Chinese food for dinner, and some groceries for me to graze on the rest of the week, which was very helpful. (She and her friend M— will be giving me some logistical support later in the week as well.)

But I hate feeling so trapped in my body. Spoons, baby, spoons. And Shedding Day did spill into yesterday as well. With luck, that’s largely over, but foolishly I had a lunch yesterday which included a lot of cheese. I wasn’t thinking about my cyclical post-chemo lactose intolerance.

Smart. Be smart. Be smart about sun exposure. Be smart about skin care. Be smart about energy use. Be smart about food intake. Be smart about resting. Be smart. Be smart. Be smart.

All of that while fatigue makes me stupid and peevish and less well equipped to be smart than ever.

Cancer: it’s a lousy hobby.

[cancer|travel] Yesterday I did something arguably very stupid

Yesterday I flew from Portland to Omaha. This on the first day of bounceback from chemo series three, session two.

Day one of bounceback is generally kind of rough, energy-wise. However, I do best in the early mornings at every stage of the process. Because biorhythms or something. So Lisa Costello and Ace Jordyn got up real early and hauled me to the airport, where I checked in sans peur, sans pitié, and even managed to get routed through PDX’s new TSA Pre✓™ line.

We’d prepped me with a travel back with copious snacks, as well as my required pharmaceuticals. Once in the airport and sorted out at my gate, I took a Lorazepam. I also burned from Frequent Flyer credits to get myself bumped up to First Class on both legs from PDX to OMA. The net result was early boarding, a big seat, and a lot of sleep in flight, both legs. Frankly, it was more restful than staying at home would have been.

On arriving in Omaha, I discovered I’d managed to lose my favorite hat somewhere in transit. (This from Blue Dolphin Charters in Kauai.) Grr. Otherwise no damage done. I covered up with face creams and a scarf, rented my car, and headed to my hotel, where I lay down for the day.

Mission accomplished.

Interestingly, Shedding Day [ | LiveJournal ] also began yesterday. This is two days early per my usual pattern. I wonder if the relatively high level of physical activity on my part (ie, changing planes, driving myself around Omaha, etc.) sparked my GI to move faster. Also, last night I was in some small but material pain from peripheral neuropathy in my hands and feet. Also unusual. Clearly the activity pattern matters a lot. I wonder if I can put this to use at home.

I’m off to the Omaha office early this morning, and will probably head back to my hotel early this afternoon. We shall see what we shall see.

[cancer] Minor notes

Some minor notes.

My recent post on the life logistics of cancer [ | LiveJournal ] has gotten some links and reposting from various quarters. I just want to add that almost everyone one of those line items decomposes into multiple subtasks. Sometimes dozens. The discontents of this disease are fractal in their complexity.

Still working through some late stage and end of life thinking. Those are not issues for this year, or even this treatment round, but I think it’s important that I know my own mind and understand my basic options now, while my head is still clear, rather than in some post-treatment panic a year or three down the road. With luck, none of this will be needed, but luck has been in notoriously short supply in my life since cancer became my boon companion.

Made myself cry twice yesterday. On leaving my hotel, I said good-bye to Fred K— the night clerk I’ve been on good terms with for years. We talk about the weather, each others’ kids, my cancer episodes over the year. I realize that if things go a bit poorly, I’ll never see him again. When I got in the car, I was in tears.

Leaving the office at the end of the day, I was talking with one of my co-workers about their father’s death from cancer some years ago, when they were a young adult. They told me one of the things he’d said to them near the end was, “You’re only losing me, but I’m losing all of you.” That really hit me. Once more, I got in the car in tears.

And so it goes.

[photos] Leaving Omaha

It was a good week here in Omaha. Day Jobbery was productive, the balloon ride aboard Emerald City Express was wonderful, we had a grand time at last night’s cheese party special edition of the Omaha Beach Party. I renewed some old friendships and made a new one. Who knows when I’ll be back?

Meanwhile, some photos. (Inexplicably, I failed to photograph the cheese.)

Bookmark art of and for me, by Dani Martin

Speed Limit 10

The breeding population of radios in the bathroom of [info]elusivem and [info]garyomaha

Their Windows compatible toilet

© 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

[personal|travel] Forthcoming forthcomingness

Once chemo starts, I’ll be almost completely grounded. There may be one or two quick business trips in the early phases, and I might manage to pop up to Seattle, time and occasion permitting, but I’ll pretty much be home in Portland full time from September 14th through about next May.

Apparently in an effort to make up for this in advance, I am very busy now.

I fly home from Omaha tomorrow. I’ll spend time with Jersey Girl in Portland tomorrow afternoon and evening. I have brunch Sunday morning with another friend, a movie date with Team E— Sunday afternoon, and I’m trying for Trek in the Park Sunday evening with Ellen Eades, [info]davidlevine and some other folks. Monday I have workie bits, an eye appointment, the rescheduled Skiffy and Fanty interview, and a dinner date with an out of town friend. Tuesday I have workie bits, a therapy appointment, am spending some time with [info]tillyjane (a/k/a my mom), and then picking [info]the_child up at the train station on her return from her Seattle sojourn. At the crack of dawn Wednesday, I’m off to Chicago for Worldcon, from there to Baltimore for the Johns Hopkins second opinion consult (and Lisa Costello), then home for port implant surgery and chemotherapy.

I guess I’m getting all my busy done in advance.

Also, if you’re hoping to see me in Chicago, be aware that all of my Worldcon mealtimes have been booked. I still have some bar time/meet for coffee availability.

[personal] Up in the air again

Here’s what I did yesterday afternoon:



A longer post with photos to come sometime in the next few days, when others have posted their shots. I didn’t take very many myself, due to being in the moment.

Photo © 2012 T. Rotundo, used with permission.

[travel] Off to Omaha once again

I am away this morning for my (probably) final trip to Omaha this year. I don’t expect to go back until I emerge from chemo, possibly around May of 2013. I am going to discuss with my boss the feasibility of one more truncated trip early in the chemo cycle, but it’s not clear to me yet what business value that may hold for either me or my employer.

On arrival, weather permitting, I am going hot air ballooning with [info]elusivem. Photos and narrative forthcoming, assuming the weather holds and the flight ‘makes’.

If the weather holds, we’ll fly about 6:30 or 6:45 Central time today. [info]elusivem‘s balloon is the Emerald City Express. The flight can be tracked in real time via Enter the call sign: KB0SIS for location information. (The “0” is KB0SIS is a zero, not a capital /O/.)

Meanwhile, another week among the children of the corn.