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The night outside is ringing like a bell, thanks to the grasshoppers and crickets. The night air is warmer than I am used to it, or have been used to it in past summers.

The sun is down an hour earlier than it had been down at the height of summer, when I was still thawing out from this very cold past spring, when I never thought I’d be warm again, when I had pneumonia without even knowing it. Now I am warm again, and I have my windows open for the warmth. And the sounds.

I’d turn on the air conditioner, just to keep everything in the house from smelling of mildew, but I can’t quite bring myself to doing that just yet.

I understand the fear that cancer brings; I’ve felt it myself. But surely part of winning the fight, or at least partaking in the fight, against cancer is simply showing up.

However, what if I had received worse news from the doctor? I did “only” have stage one of the cancer. Right.

(highlights are mine)

Older Patients with Cancer at Heightened Suicide Risk
In the first study, researchers at the University of Washington analyzed U.S. data from 1973 to 2002 and found that the suicide rate among cancer patients was 31.4 per 100,000 person-years, compared to 16.7 per 100,000 person-years in the general population.

Higher suicide rates were associated being male, white and older at the time of cancer diagnosis. Patients with the highest suicide rates were those with lung, stomach, oral/pharyngeal and larynx cancers. Suicide risk was greatest within the first five years after diagnosis but remained elevated for up to 15 years after diagnosis.

The second study found that older Americans with cancer are more than twice as likely to commit suicide as those without cancer. The Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School study compared 128 New Jersey residents, age 65 and older, who committed suicide between 1994 and 2002 and 1,280 living people in the same age group.

The suicide risk was 2.3 times higher among cancer patients than among those who were cancer-free. This increased risk held true even after the researchers adjusted for age, sex, race, medical and psychiatric illnesses, and use of prescription medications.

I changed the template, then vanished for three days. Sound logical? Well, I think it does at any rate. I’m favoring this template right now over the one that has been here simply because it uses Matt’s “asides” technique, which I’d love to use on the previous template but it wasn’t in there, and I was too timid to add it.

I figure that if a piece of code works, don’t mess with it. I learned this long ago, in a time far away. Or was that “planet far away?” I forget. But you get the idea. I’ll live with this a few days, and see which is the lesser evil: new template, or hacking the old.

The local trees, a few of them at any rate, like the buckeyes, which get leaves first and drop them first, are starting to change color a little bit. They are turning a paler green, in preparation for the yellows to come next month.

There is definitely not the uniform lushness of deep green that there was everywhere in June.

I make a point of spending hours outside, sometimes writing, usually not, in order to store up the feelings for winter, when I will only rush out to the porch long enough to get Sophie inside, or to pick up a few more logs for the fire. I want to remember summer as the natural state of things, not winter. With the long, cold spring we had this year, it’s going to be difficult, but I think I’m up to the task.

Blogging more later… must wake up the chihuahua now.

Every time I’m thinking of voting for Obama, I get a dash of cold water in the face. Thanks, Venomous Kate!

Another Take On Obama’s Inexperience
Not surprisingly, he immediately backed off from his statement because, after all, Obama himself only has 143 days of actual Senate experience yet believes he’s qualified to lead the free world.

It’s the debates — the one particularly at Saddleback — where I start thinking he maybe isn’t so very bad after all. Then reality hits. I truly appreciate my fellow bloggers.

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