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[travel|photos] Visiting the Space Telescope Science Institute

On Friday, September 14th, after my oncology consult at John Hopkins, I went to the Space Telescope Science Institute (also at Johns Hopkins) with Ace Jordyn and Lisa Costello. This is the organization that manages the Hubble Space Telescope as well as the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope, along with numerous other space science projects. My good friend astronomy professor and hard SF writer Dr. Michael S. Brotherton had arranged the tour with his friend and collaborator STSI program scientist Jerry Kriss.

Jerry met us outside the Bloomberg building. He took us through there, including views of some really cool historical astronomy artifacts, a number of spacecraft mockups, and a look at his own office. We then crossed the street to the STSI building, where we saw a lot of space art, more mockups and models, the control center from which Hubble was managed for a while, and where JWST will be managed, as well as lots of scientists, grad students and odd and interesting factoids. As Jerry had said when setting up the tour, “All the interesting stuff is in space, we’re just a bunch of people doing things with computers.”

Except they’re a bunch of people doing really cool things with computers. And Jerry’s passion for his work shone through like a bonfire. The man is in love with space, and he works there every day. I envy him his enthusiasm.

We got a lot of information about how JWST is being built, an overview of the history of space-based astronomy, and a look at some pretty neat stuff. My thanks to Jerry for hosting us, and to Mike for arranging it.

The STSI logo

A classic telescope from Johns Hopkins’ early days as an astronomy center of excellence

Satellite mockup

The main hall of the Bloomberg Physics and Astronomy building

The Hubble Space Telescope model

Jerry’s office sign

The astronomer at his work

Ace Jordyn

Lisa Costello

Me, and Hubble

Jerry Kriss

As usual, more at the Flickr set.

Photos copy; 2012, Lisa Costello, Ace Jordyn and Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

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

[personal] Taking it easy

Still taking it easy, doing a lot of processing. Had a very nice afternoon and evening with Ace Jordyn yesterday. This afternoon is a planned viewing of season 2 of Sherlockimdb ], on DVDs provided by the inestimable Lisa Costello. That mini film festival will be attended by [info]the_child, [info]tillyjane, Ace Jordyn and possibly Mother of the Child and [info]lillypond as well. There may be cooking involved.

Tomorrow, back to Day Jobbery, writing, and real life. Chemo session one is this coming Friday.

[cancer|photos] The week in pictures

It’s been such a crowded, difficult week that I haven’t really kept up with the news and information as well as I normally prefer to. For those playing along with the home game edition of “Where’s Jay?”, here’s some deets.

Tuesday, Ace Jordyn and I flew back from Baltimore after a tearful good-bye with Lisa Costello. (I still owe posts on our visits to the Space Telescope Science Institute, and to Goddard Space Flight Center.) On our return, I was presented by my parents with the new super duper powered chair, a Luxury-Lift from La-Z-Boy. I am now calling this the Big Chair.

Me with the Big Chair, on my return from Baltimore; photo by Ace Jordyn

Wednesday, Ace and I had lunch with [info]kenscholes.

Ace Jordyn and [info]kenscholes at lunch this past Wednesday

That afternoon, Mother of the Child and I met with our attorney a while concerning estate planning and copyright inheritance issues.

On Thursday, I went back in for a CT scan. As a result of the scan, we determined that my tumors (Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld) had grown 20% in the three weeks since the last scan. My oncologist is not particularly alarmed, but this is why we’re going chemo again next week.

Me getting prepped for my CT this past Thursday

Thursday night, my friends and family assembled for my traditional pre-treatment party. That was a lot of fun, and it was good to see some of my closest Portland home boys and girls.

Thursday night’s pre-treatment party with family and friends

Friday, Mom and Dad took me up the hill to the OHSU main campus for the port implant surgery. Ace came along as well.

Me, pre-op on Friday morning; photo by Ace Jordyn

I spent the rest of yesterday in the Big Chair. Ace and [info]the_child
made dinner.

[info]the_child cooking with Ace Jordyn, one of Jersey Girl in Portland‘s recipes; photo by Ace Jordyn

The finished product, photo by [info]the_child

All in all, a good week, but with plenty of busy-ness and thoughtful sadness.

Some photos as noted © 2012 Ace Jordyn, used with permission.

Other photos © 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr. and B. Lake.

Creative Commons License

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

[cancer|personal] The second Johns Hopkins consult, flying home now

Yesterday, I saw a surgical oncologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In brief, they confirmed the treatment plan proposed by my doctors in Oregon. That is to say, chemotherapy now with surgery after six sessions, then six more sessions of chemo post-operatively.

I did learn a little more about next stage treatment options, and they recommended an MRI for my pre-surgery scan in order to better look inside the liver which will have grown more fatty on chemo. The surgical oncologist also concurred with the observation that this is likely to come back repeatedly, with the ultimate implications of that, while still pointing out that we should continue to look for cure as much as possible.

Which I will and I have. I do not give up.

More details to come in a day or two, once I unpack the notes and comments from Ace Jordyn and Lisa Costello. Flying home today in the company of Ace, very sadly leaving Lisa behind in Baltimore. I will spend this evening catching up with [info]the_child, who I have not seen in two weeks, and who has started high school while I was gone.

I have various medical appointments through this week, then the port implant surgery on Friday. Chemo begins on Friday, September 21st.

More details to come.

[cancer|personal] Another busy day, more busy people

Back to real life today. Not much posting today, nor likely tomorrow, due to busy-ness. Shortly, Lisa Costello, Ace Jordyn and I are heading for Goddard Space Flight Center for a tour, including possibly of the test facilities, time permitting and our two contacts being able to integrate. Then we’ll be over to Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center for my surgical oncology consult, and possibly a meeting with an oncological nutritionist.

Tomorrow, Ace and I will fly to Portland. The week is filled with other appointments, including port implant surgery on Friday.

I may know today if we’re likely to change the treatment course from the current plan, but assuming nothing does change, I’ll start chemotherapy on September 21st. So, yeah, a lot to do.

More to come from me with details over the next few days as my time begins to be more flexible.

[personal] Another dinner out

Last night, I went to dinner with Lisa Costello and a number of her closest friends. Which was pretty awesome to do. I wasn’t terribly impressed with the food, but the company was very enjoyable. It’s always odd, going to someone else’s party. Some of these people have known each other since college, which is to say, more than three decades now.

Lisa is relocating to Portland next month. She’s planning to share a house with Jersey Girl in Portland, conveniently close to Nuevo Rancho Lake. This means her lifelong friends are saying goodbye to her. And a good portion of this is probably my fault.

No rotten tomatoes were thrown, thankfully. I had worried a bit.

Sometimes there is great goodness, even in the middle of being inducted once more for my latest tour of duty in hell. This weekend will also be great goodness.