Saturday, November 22, 2008

Xavier Thoughts: When Seconds Count

One of my favorite (and daily "must read") blogs is Xavier Thoughts ... the link will always be available on my sidebar under "Websites That I Read Every Day".

Today (yesterday, now ... it's very late) he presented a video link to a newscast which discussed "Gun Free Zones". Incredibally, WCPO Television in Ohio (not to be confused with WCRP in Cincinatti, which was a very funny late-1970's television show) seems to understand that the "Gun Free Zones" sign is the same as posting a sign saying: "I don't have a gun; please come kill me".

The WCPO piece (transcript available here, along with a link to the article on "Active Shooters") emphasizes that
"While it use to be considered 'suicide' for a lone officer to take on an Active Shooter, it's now considered 'statistical homicide' not to, because the longer officers wait for backup, the more people die".
This may be considered only common sense by some of you, but it has taken a long time for the Main Stream Media (MSM) to catch up with this "Common Sense Solution to Gun Violence".

(Another approach to the same topic may be found here., as defined by Roger Fulton - a retired New York State Police Captain, )

I watched the video the samy way many of you may; it was final acknowledgement that the difference between Gunman and Unarmed Citizen in a Gun-Free Zone is the same as the difference between Wolf and Sheep.

And I thought: "This could be good. It may not appeal to the authorities who declare shopping malls, schools and churches Gun Free Zones, but perhaps it will encourage our Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) and their administrators to train the nation's police to more aggressively.

Then I went to read the comments by Xavier's readers, where I found this cheerful reinforcement of my faith in LEOs:
All I can ask is are any of the commentors [sic] so far LEOs. Are you? I ask because I am one. I would not place my life at unecessary [sic] extreme risk in such a situation where there are multiple shooters without back-up because I am not suicidal, nor am I an idiot. Sure I might try to stop such an incident from getting worse, but you can bet your bottom dolalr [sic] that no officer should be trained to seek out and engage multiple assailants in such a scenario without back-up. If you really think it is about time some dopey stuff like that is taught to officers, well all I can say is what has happened to all the talk about arming the students. Unbelieveable. [sic] Why not think long and hard about putting yourselves in one of the multiple attacker scenarios as described, or even in a one assailant situation when you have a 9MM pistol and the other guy has a rifle with large capacity magazines. There is such as thing as bravery, and such a thing as absolute foolishness, and another thing as absolute stupidity. I choose to avoid the later two, it keeps me alive. Mind you, I have been there and done that several times when it has come to dangerous duty, even when badly oputnumbered, [sic] and I have had the injuries and some scars to prove it - but I cannot call upon anyone to be an idiot when it comes to such things.

Remember that many of the readers of this site, and others like it, endorse arming all of the public, and endorse CCW, or open carry by anyone who wishes to do so - as do I. One of the biggest reasons has always been because of poor response time by police in bad situations. Now you suddenly want to depend upon a lone officer to save the day - ala a John Wayne type to come in shooting. Well this is no John Wayne movie, this is real life, so why not get real. When seconds count the people should be allowed to defend themselves. That way they can at least hold the bad guy at bay until the other good guys arrive. Expecting someone to go in on a suicide mission is not the right thing to do even if they, as I, would probably do.

Glenn B

The good part is, he mentions "...well all I can say is what has happened to all the talk about arming the students". I presume the commenter, Glenn, is in favor of allowing student to carry firearms.

Well and good, I say, as far as it goes. That would be an excellent response to one of my personal favorite topics: allow students on College and University campuses, who have been licensed to Concealed Carry, to actually carry the firearms as they have been certified to responsibly do.

As far as it goes.

Unfortunately in the context it sounds as if Glenn is willing for College Students to defend themselves only to absolve Glenn from having to interpose his precious flesh in their defense. He offers no solution to the problems in other Gun Free Zones, such as K-12 schools, shopping malls, and other private business establishments.

Until K-12 administrators recognize their vulnerability (and there are many stories which demonstrate that vulnerability), and until Private Businesses recognize their vulnerability more stories), and other organizations and businesses follow suit to the point at which they allow their visitors to carry firearms for protective purposes ... they must necessarily rely on the police "The Protect and To Serve".

Let's go back to the responsibility of LEOs to perform their primary duties:

All quotes here taken from the Protect and Serve link just above: in chapter 6 "Protection and Prevention of Crime" (pp:170 +) [Note that the cited materials commonly are directed to discusion in the context of international conflict and civil war; however, there are individual statements which do seem to apply to internal policing of civilians, especially in the context of the responsibility of Local Police Forces to defend civilians against violations of their civil rights ... including the right NOT to be shot by some wanna-be gunslinger in a Mall in Utah.)

‘‘To catch criminals’’ is, in most cases, still the first priority for law enforcement officials and their organizations. Service to the community, protection of victims and the prevention of further victimization present challenges to law enforcement that appear to have less appeal than the traditional game of cops and robbers."
(pg. 171)

"It is common knowledge that the number of crimes solved through law enforcement activity stands in stark contrast to the number of crimes actually committed. Furthermore, the interests of victims of crime are — at least from their own point of view — much better served when their actual victimization can be effectively prevented."


"The responsibility for the prevention and detection of crime is assigned primarily to law enforcement agencies. The full discharge of that responsibility, however, requires more than law enforcement input alone.

The effective prevention and detection of crime are critically dependent upon the existing levels and quality of cooperation between a law enforcement agency and the community it serves, and are as much a private responsibility as a public one. Politicians, members of the judiciary, community groups, public and private business corporations and individuals need to join forces if the results of efforts towards the prevention and detection of crime are to be better than the inevitably unsatisfactory results of merely attempting to enforce criminal laws."
This document reads like a United Nations declaration of principles, in that it is much more concerned with the rights of citizens to be protected from the depredation of citizens from their police. However, as is illustrated above, the document is sprinkled with the occasional comments which describe the obligation of police to Protect the citizens of a state.

I think this is significant. "Glenn", however, seems not to agree. His priority is his own personal safety, and in defense of his position he calls upon several suggestions which have already been made elsewhere ... because the Citizens of the United States of America have already learned that they cannot always rely on Law Enforcement Officers "To Protect, and To Serve".

Here, taken out of context, are a few of the positions which he espouses and which I support:

  • "... what has happened to all the talk about arming the students?" [Ed: I like the concept, but what about K-12 students, Glenn? Who is going to protect them? How about shoppers in a public mall which declares itself a "Gun Free Zone?]
  • "Remember that many of the readers of this site, and others like it, endorse arming all of the public, and endorse CCW, or open carry by anyone who wishes to do so - as do I." [Ed: fine, Glenn, we can live with that. But until it happens, we are obligated to depend on LEOs like you to defend us. What happens to us when police are unwilling to do their duty? Answer: we die, sometimes by the dozens.]
  • "One of the biggest reasons has always been because of poor response time by police in bad situations." [Ed: this is one of the reasons, Glenn, why we citizens want the right to defend ourselves in all public venues.]
  • Now you suddenly want to depend upon a lone officer to save the day - ala a John Wayne type to come in shooting. Well this is no John Wayne movie, this is real life, so why not get real. When seconds count the people should be allowed to defend themselves. That way they can at least hold the bad guy at bay until the other good guys arrive. [Ed: no, Glenn, this is not what we want. This is what we have had shoved down our throats for decades, with no recourse. If the Government, as you represent, is unable or UNWILLING to protect us, we want the right to protect ourselves. ]

Here's the single most dis-enchanting thing that Glenn has to say:
Expecting someone to go in on a suicide mission is not the right thing to do even if they, as I, would probably do.
This is not encouraging. This is the statement of a man who had just spent 300+ words describing how, and why, he would not attempt to come to the aid of civilians who were threatened by a gunman. Yet here, he positively states that he WOULD do exactly the thing which he has so vociferously averred that he would not do because, in his words, "I am not an idiot." How can a man so directly contradict himself, and believe that assertion to be accepted?

You, sir, are in the wrong profession.

Your sworn duty is ...

To Protect, and To Serve.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

ARPC Newsletter December 2008

Albany Rifle and Pistol Club has been putting out a monthly newsletter for several years now, and in the past year they have been making it available on-line as a large PDF. (You can see it here.)

The newsletter includes messages from the various disciplines, some commentary, a few advertisements, a "for sale" area for club members, contact information and a calendar of events.

In this issue, there was even a URL for a Microsoft "Live Search" Earth satellite picture of the range. (Click on this image for a larger image. Click on THAT for a full-size still image.) I thought that was particularly interesting, but it was a very long URL

so I loaded it into a TINYURL.COM form and shortened it to

Much easier to type.

One of the more interesting features this month was a series of photographs depicting recent range improvements. For example, they now have handicap-accessible bathrooms on the North Range. Also, they have improved the parking situation along the North Range access road by placing concrete parking curbs new the clubhouse. This allows the club to keep vehicles out of the equipment storage area.

There's also a free 'drawing' for "a gift certificate from Sierra Bullets for 5 boxes of bullets of your choice and a Techwell Magwell / Grip system for the 1911."

Hint for readers of this blog only: the two winning gate-card numbers are 1927* and 2609*. I won't give you the full numbers, I wouldn't want to deprive you of the fun of searching for them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

National Ammo Day, and other stuff

According to the inimitable Kim Du Tuit, today is National Ammo Day.

Unlike National Buy-A-Gun Day (which falls in the spring), N.A.D. falls in the ... uh ... Fall.

Today you're suppose to go buy 1000 rounds of rimless ammo (eg: .22 Long Rifle) or 100 rounds of Centerfire ammunition.

Well, that doesn't work for me. Most of the guns I shoot (10mm, .38 Super) regularly take ammo which is custom-built for IPSC competition. Sure, I still have The Beloved Kimber, but reloading .45ACP ammunition is easier to reload than the Prima Donna loads I prefer to shoot in competition.

It doesn't help that I haven't seen the front sight of the Kimber or the 10mm STI Edge for the past five years. Oh, I still shoot them from time to time; I just can't hit anything quickly and reliably, because mostly I'm counting on muscle-memory and instincts to get the gun pointed at the trget. Need I mention that this Game Plan ain't working for me so well lately?

I have plenty of .22, .45 and 10mm loaded up (most of the latter is loaded with really lame bullets, which don't feed reliably, and while I've had a case of Montana Gold 200gr bullets in 10mm I've not bothered to load them because .. I can't see the sights), what I really need to do is to load up some .38 Super for this weekend's match at Dundee.

So, instead of buying 100 rounds of ... whatever ... I'll go out to the garage Thursday night and load up 300 or 400 rounds of .38 Super, which I like to shoot and whose C-more sights I can see.

So much for buying ammunition. Instead, I already have the components, and I'll turn this into National Reload Ammunition day ... one day late.

During the reign of King Bill the First, I was fond of saying "My President is Charleton Heston!"

That didn't help.

And now that Obama is the President Elect, I'm trying real hard to say "My President is Barack Hussein Obama!" This may take some getting use to.

Notice I mentioned last week that the only thing that conservatives have left to teach the country is how to lose? That's not working out too well, either. Now we see a number of private citizens trying to get Obama thrown out of office-elect on the grounds that he's not qualified ... that is, he's not able to prove that he's a Natural Citizen of the United States of America.

That's not going to work. He'll ignore them (as he should) and those folks will fall by the wayside while Obama, The Emperor Who Has No Clothes, marches into office next January 20.

I say again: I don't like him, I didn't vote for him, and I don't want him to be President.

But he is, so we have to learn to live with it.

Heck, I was prepared to hold my nose if McCain was elected, I can do no less for the guy who won the vote by a healthy margin.

Still, I don't have to like it.

I especially don't like the ominous loomings of signs that he is going to swat the Second Amendment like a fly at a picnic on a sultry day. He's packing his staff with Fellow Travelers, and their influence won't need to be much for Obama (I've never trusted a man whose name has more vowels than consonants, but that's just Me) to be influenced by the soft whisper in his ear that his fondest dreams can come true.

Second Amendment restrictions? Done deal. Go buy all the guns and ammo you can't afford, you'll lose it in the end.

Socialist Policies? Count on it. This is the guy whose plans for a National Health Service (similar to the failed health-care policeies of Canada and England) were even more extreme than those of The HillaryBeast.

Support for a strong military? Fuggedaboudit. Instead, he'll be drafting our boys and girls to three- to six-month terms of service in a National Somethingorother Organization which is as well funded as the Military. Guess where the money to support that will come from. Yup, think "Soldiers on welfare". Well, there's nothing new about that; although it has been, and will be again, a National Shame.

But Obama is My President.

The Economy? Never mind, there will be no Entrepreneurialism in America for the next four years. Taxed into morbidity, count on it. No new business start-ups, because there's no profit in it. Accumulated taxes, including a raised Social Security limit, will put the tax burden of successful entrepreneurs at over 90%. Good thing I'm just a Worker Bee; it's more profitable to make $50,000 a year for myself than to make $500,000 a year and in so doing create new jobs.


From England: The Inmates are Taking Over The Asylum - Junior Division.

From Minnesota:The Soros Connection in the Minnesota Race Vote count.

From Poland (Global Summit): President Elect Obama promises a "new chapter in American leadership on climate change."

[Counterpoint: "The World Has Never Seen Such Freezing Heat!"]

California: "Scott Eckern, the Sacramento theater director whose political donation in support of California's Prop. 8 ban on same-sex marriage turned into a lightning rod in the debate over gay rights, resigned Wednesday, saying he wanted to protect the California Musical Theatre, his artistic home since 1984, from further controversy."

Egypt: "Female Egyptian Lawyer Promotes Sexual Harrassment Against Jews".

And finally, in Wisconsin, David Olofson's lawyer says "Malfunction Doesn't Make Firearm an Automatic".

Fat chance that will get past the Liberal Judges and the lawyers for BATFE.


We do the web-surfing that American's Won't Do.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Check Box To Conceal Weapons Permit - Oregon

Corvallis Gazette Times: Community News

I'm afraid I've quoted this article in its entirety, because I'm not confident that if I just linked to it (as above, which is my preference) it would remain available in detail as long as I would like for you to be able to read the entire thing.

Therefore I have quoted it (below) so you will have all of the information.

If I had been confident that the Corvallis Gazette Times would continue to make this article available, here's what I would have said:

In America today, we are usually "allowed" to carry a concealed weapon in accordance to the Second Amendment. This is because we, and our Governmental agencies, generally acknowledge that we are constitutionally acknowledged to the right to carry a weapon (usually a firearm ... the right to carry a Knife, for example, is often more closely regulated) defend our persons, our loved ones, other persons, and property.

The vast majority of states in America have accepted that certifiably law-abiding citizens should be allowed license to Carry a Concealed Firearm to provide them the ability to so protect the People and Property which are important to them, and to aid Law-Enforcement Officers (who cannot possible be immediately available to thwart predators) in defense of The Law-abiding and The Law.

However, there are powerful forces ... most frequently, Journalists ... who have set themselves in a self-declared 'higher Moral Level' to identify those who have been vetted, qualified, and defined as legally qualified to Carry Concealed firearms. Their goal, they suggest, is to identify people who are legally permitted to arm themselves.

Or, as it is expressed in this article:

" ....the public has a right to know who has a concealed weapon."

(Jack Orchard, a lawyer on retainer with the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, says: “It’s not something you are entitled to keep confidential,” he said. “No one forced you to acquire a handgun.”)
Orchard, and Newspaper Publishers through-out the country, deny the right to keep confidential the list of people who are licensed to carry a defensive weapon. Again, they cite the right of the public to know who is armed.

They claim the "public right to know", but it seems to me that this a particularly Liberal point-of view.

Liberals love Gays. I wonder if they would be as quick to embrace the rights of the Public to know who is gay.

Then the quote may be:
“It’s not something you are entitled to keep confidential,” he said. “No one forced you to acquire a handgun be Gay.”

Is this a Public right, or a Liberal preference?

In either case, this journalistic drive to full disclosure for the 'public right', may not be as appealing for journalists when voiced in terms of a societal right which is more personally acceptable to them.

I reject their argument of "public right". This is a personal bias, and it is an effort to sell newspapers without regard to the possible detriment of the safety of the law-abiding individuals whom they would target.

To post a list of people who are licensed to carry a concealed handgun would be to pillory these individuals in the stocks of public opinion. Oregon is a Liberal state; generally speaking, most people here don't care about the Second Amendment. More important, they are afraid of guns. This wasn't the case two generations ago, when guns were widely accepted and a 'frontier' (in current terminology) attitude toward firearms was assumed and accepted. Two generations of Liberal education have changed the local attitudes.

The Journalists take an impersonal point of view. They don't own or carry guns, their friends and acquaintances don't own or carry guns; they don't see any reason why anyone should want to own, let alone carry, guns.

My friends almost always own guns; several of them carry guns. The people I work with, and my friends, ALL know that I own guns.

Only a few of them know that I have a CHL (Concealed Handgun License) and you may be surprised as a reader to learn that I very rarely carry a gun.

Well, I work on a College campus where it is worth my job to be caught carrying a gun ... even though it is legal. Show me a college campus in this state where the rules of employment (or attendance) do not restrict firearms carry? Answer: Nowhere in the Oregon University System is this acceptable whether you are faculty, staff or student.

Still, I have a CHL. Whether or not I carry on campus, if it became wide public knowledge that I had a CHL I would find myself under intense scrutiny by my employer, and general suspicion on the part of my co-workers, for fear that I was walking around with a gun in my waistband.

I don't, but my social and employment situation would become untenable if I were "outed" as a CHL owner.

What they decided I was Gay?

Nobody would even blink.


I had no idea, until this weekend, that I was subject to being"'outed" for my mere PERMISSION to carry a handgun.

Thanks to this article, I will immediately contact the Benton County Sheriff's Office and inform them that I definitely do NOT want to be identified as a CHL holder.

I could handle the stigma of being almost any kind of social pariah, except that of having exercised my Second Amendment Rights.

What if I were a Journalist, and I was outed as being determined to exercise my First Amendment Rights?

Oh, they would say; that's okay. You can carry a pen.

But not a Sword.


Benton County Sheriff Diana Simpson said people who carry concealed weapons for personal safety shouldn’t have to reveal their names. So she’s giving them the opportunity to remain anonymous.
am indebted to Benton County Sheriff Diane Simpson for her bold stand for the privacy of her neighbors and constituents. I emailed her office immediately after writing this article; she personally replied with the information that I could find an online PDF of the updated application. She said that there was no fee for re-filing an updated application.

I downloaded and printed the application, filled in the blanks, and included a cover letter of explanation along with a both-sides picture of my CHL. That letter is sitting in my mailbox tonite, waiting for pickup tomorrow. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Check box to conceal weapons permit
By Tom Henderson
Corvallis Gazette-Times

Lawyers with the Portland firm of O’Donnell Clark & Crew want to know the names of Benton County residents who hold concealed weapons permits.

Benton County Sheriff Diana Simpson said people who carry concealed weapons for personal safety shouldn’t have to reveal their names. So she’s giving them the opportunity to remain anonymous.

Simpson has added a box to the county’s application form that people can check if they want a permit for personal protection. People who already have permits also can submit the revised form. Simpson said she won’t reveal the name of anyone who has checked the box.

Simpson issued a press release Thursday to inform the 2,000 Benton County residents who have concealed weapons permits that they have the option of keeping their permits secret.

Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller is revising his county’s application form, as well. So are a lot of other sheriffs across Oregon in response to an April court ruling that permits obtained for personal safety may not be subject to public record laws.

It is unknown how many counties’ permit information O’Donnell Clark & Crew is seeking. Three calls to the law firm were not returned.

Simpson said her office is complying with the law firm’s request, but because records are not automated, the process is very long and time-consuming. In the meantime, the sheriff’s office will accept amended applications requesting their information to kept confidential, she said.

“This is a difficult situation to be placed in,” she added. “On the one hand, I need to respect the public records law request. But on the other hand, I need to respect the expectation of privacy and confidentiality.”

Renewed concern over the confidentiality of concealed weapons permits began when Shirley Katz, a South Medford High School teacher, insisted she needed to carry a concealed weapon in her classroom to protect herself from her ex-husband.

Editors of the Mail Tribune newspaper in Medford wanted to know how many public school teachers already had concealed weapons permits. Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters refused a public records request from the newspaper, although the county’s concealed weapons permit application form indicated that weapons permits are public records.

The Mail Tribune’s publishers took the county to court. Meanwhile, the forms were changed to omit the statement that permits are public records. Jackson County Circuit Court Judge G. Philip Arnold ruled April 25 that concealed weapons permit information may not always be protected under Oregon’s public record law. He said people who hold permits for personal safety could ask that the information be withheld from the public.

Jackson County officials are appealing the decision with the support of the Oregon Sheriffs’ Association.

At issue is whether or not permits can be altered retroactively.

John Haroldson said that they can. As Benton County District Attorney, he is the primary custodian of public records in the county. “What you have is a court ruling that recognizes the need for carrying concealed weapons for personal safety,” Haroldson said.

Laura Cooper, a Bend lawyer who specializes in public records, said changing existing records puts sheriffs in an ethical and legal gray area. “That seems to be the destruction of a public record,” Cooper said. “Basically, what you’re doing is amending a public record.”

Although the sheriffs’ decision raises questions, Cooper said she doesn’t have any definitive answers. “It sounds problematic, but I can’t say that with any authority.”

Jack Orchard, a lawyer on retainer with the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, is more definite. Orchard said the public has a right to know who has a concealed weapon.

“It’s not something you are entitled to keep confidential,” he said. “No one forced you to acquire a handgun.”


UPDATE: 18-NOV-2008

I deleted the contents of my email, and added the comment about mailing an updated CHL application.

I also corrected the link address; the original article had been moved to the newspaper archive.

SWMBO Report: November

I haven't been writing much lately, because there's a lot of 'other stuff' going on in my life.

The most important part is, of course, the continuing efforts of her doctors to help cure SWMBO.

This is a very long, involved and technical discussion. If you are not intrinsically concerned about the background and current status of SWMBO's battle for survival, I urge you to stop reading now.

Okay, for the information of the few remaining readers, we'll continue with the description of the November SWMBO Report.


To recap, on July 29, 2008, SWMBO was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. She doesn't smoke, but that is not a requirement for contracting this particular brand of Cancer. The good news, she doesn't smoke. Nor do I smoke in her presence, except incidentally outdoors where the smoke is carried away from her.

Being a non-smoker, her chances of survival are much better than the usual lung-cancer case. Her lungs are clean of tars and nicotine deposits, she is generally healthy and in good physical condition. She has ever been careful to observe a good regimen of healthy food and exercise.

She found the fest Oncologist within reasonable distance; in this case, it was the Seattle Cancer Center in Northern Washington State ... 300 miles, a five-hour drive away.

Her primary Oncologist, Dr. Cunningham, determined that she had a single tumor in the upper quadrant of her right lung. This is different from her local Oncologist who had determined (incorrectly) that she had two tumors, one in each lung (both considered "inoperable" because they are loath to cut out a tumor lest they miss something and, in the process, spread the infeection.) This simple correction in diagnosis moved her from the "Type Four" (no hope) to "Type One" (perhaps manageable) categorization.

Her Seattle doctor prescribed a new drug, Tarceva, which is "... a targeted Cancer treatment for second-line advanced for Non-Small Lung Cancer (NSCLC) ...". This medication had previously been prescribed after all other tratments had ceased working, but recently has been designated as the drug in choice for an otherwise-healthy Lung Cancer case, which perfectly described SEMBO's situation.

It worked for several weeks, until in mid-October SWMBO experienced sudden and dramatic mood-swings and an obvious decrease in energy and Oxygen acquisition.

A consultation with her doctor in Seattle resulted in the conclusion that the Tarceva was no longer working. Her Oncology team, in consultation, determined that she should immediatly dicontinue the Tarceva treatment and stat an intensive program of Chemotherapy.

SWMBO was required to take WEEKLY treatments of Chemotherapy, including (among other drugs) Benedryl ... an antihistimine (makes it easier for her to breath without coughing much), and a 'cocktail' of heavy-metal compounds such as Platinum which are deadly poisons, but intended to actually kill the tumor.

For the first few weeks there were a number of bad reactions, including extreme emesis (vomiting) which is generally acknowledged to be a common reaction to this kind of Chemotherapy.

SWMBO's drug treatment has been adjusted to treat various kinds of secondary side-effects of the primary drug treatment. She has been prescribed and anti-emesis drug called "EMEND", which has stopped the violent regurgitation commonly associated with anti-cancer chemotherapy.

Also, she has been severely debilitated by the drugs. She has no energy, is often unable to concentrate. She must sleep with a nasal oxygen feed, which causes irritation in the nasal passages and especially a slow-to-heal sore on her upper lip where the oxygen feed rests. She cannot move around without a portable oxygen source. She cannot go out shopping without cotton gloves and a filtration mask, because after the fourth treatment her immune system is severely debilitated and she is particularly subsceptible to secondary infections. If she catches a cold while shopping for food, it could quickly become a life-threatening illness.

I mentioned earlier that she is receiving infusions of these cancer-killing 'cocktails' on a weekly basis. Because she is (other than the Lung Cancer) so healthy and strong, her Oncologist has determined that she would respond well to a weekly infusion. This is notably different from the usual Chemotherapy schedule, which is one treatment every FOUR weeks.

The usual reaction to treatment is a first-day feeling of euphoria, caused by the supporting drugs. The second day is an almost 'normal' day; not euphoria, but a general sense of well-being. By the third day, the sense of well-being is gone; day-to-day sensation is one of sickness and no energy. By the sixth day, she is beginning to recover, and by the seventh day she may be able to get out of bed and move around with no great and particular sensation that she is unable to function.

In the usual case, the following three weeks until the next infusion are difficult, but endurable.

For SWMBO, there are no 'following three weeks'; she begins the cycle immediately, and the reaction to the chemotherapy is greater ... more extreme ... every week.

Which brings us to the current month.

Last week SWMBO took her second treatment in her home town. Three of the five weeks required an all-day drive to Seattle, which her sister (The Saint) was willing to accept as the driver. Bless her heart!

This Friday, SWMBO drove herself the five minutes from her home to the local hospital, and was able to drive herself back as well.

But there were problems, which weighed heavily on her mind.

After the previous Friday treatment, when she went to the pharmacist to pick up her current round of prescription refills, the pharmacist informed her that they could not fill the EMEND (anti-nausea) prescription because her insurance carrier refused to pay for a refill more frequently than once every 23 days. This was based on the usual once-in-four-weeks schedule of Cancer Chemotherapy treatments. They were either unaware of, or chose to ignore, the fact that she was receiving infusions every week rather than every four weeks.

Her Seattle Oncologist started negotiations with her Insurance Carrier to explain that the 4-times more frequent prescription was necessary, but the communications were slow and exclusive of the patient.

She couldn't really afford to just pay for the medication herself, because the cost is $220 for one week's medication.

And she couldn't do without it; before the new EMEND medication was available, she lost her voice due to dramatic and uncontrollable emesis.

We talked it over, and finally by Thursday we decided that we would have to pay for the vital medication ourselves, and hope that later we could try to submit a claim to her Insurance carrier after the (hoped-for) successful negotiation betweet Oncologist and Insurance Carrier.

In the meantime, last Monday SWMBO had all of her hair shaved off her head.

She was already pulling the hair off by the handsfull, and she decided that there was no reason why she should chance plugging up her bathtub drain with the hair. Her eyebrows were almost completely gone, too.

So she had her head shaved. I went to the store and bought her a handful of soft (non-scratchy), warm caps so she could keep her head warm. Also, "Spicy", the wife of The Hobo Brasser, knitted some wool-felt hats for her. These are soft, non-irritating, and stylish. Also, warm!

In the meantime, her Oxygen Supply Company installed a humidifier attachment to her overnight Oxygen Generator system, so her nasal passages wouldn't be irritated by the infusion of oxygen. They also provided a non-flammable lubricant so that she could protect the delicate nasal passages, and her Oncologist prescribed a steroid which would help prevent irritation.

When I picked up her prescription on Wednesday, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the only bill was the $20 co-pay, rather than the $220 full-cost.

Saturday we picked up her two latest prescriptions, designed to help her resist the nasal irritation.

I watched her while she took all of the medications this morning. I couldn't count the number of pills she took. These are apart from the cough syrup needed to keep her from coughing every time she changed her position ... sitting down, lying down, standing up ... everything (including talking, and laughing) makes her cough.

The VERY good news is that before her Friday Infusion, she received another thorough check-up from her local Oncologist.

Her weight is the same as last week, if not a bit better. She's not losing weight, which is a good sign.

Her Blood Oxygen is up, which means that her lungs can supply oxygen to her blood better. Another very good sign.

The size of the cancer tumor in her lungs has not changed, which means it is not growing.

Her blood-pressure is 'Normal', always a good sign.

Indications that she is responding well to treatment include:

  • We went shopping for groceries yesterday. She was gloved and taking oxygen from her portable tank, but she know what she wanted (stuff that I would starve rather than eat!) and was able to spend 40 minutes in a store without needing to stop for a rest;
  • She is enjoying her surroundings, and we worked a crossword puzzle. She took phone calls from family an Spicy, and enjoyed them;
  • A co-worker visited her at home today, they had a pleasant one-hour conversation. I didn't eaves-drop, but she reported that they had "a nice chat";
  • She received a catalog of wigs and caps for chemotherapy patients during her last treatment .... we discussed what wigs and special caps she might purchase ... she was alert, vivacious and interested;
  • We rented and watched the animated movie "Kung Fu Panda" ... one private vice is that we enjoy animated cartoons such as "Shrek" ... we both enjoyed the movie, and she /we laughed out loud all the way through.
There are a lot more indications that SWMBO is responding well to her treatment, as burdonsome and as uncomfortable as they are.

If you care at all, I hope you will join me in welcoming this very positive SWMBO Report.

Our girl is coming back.

I'm always said she was a fighter. I hope I've managed to convery that I also believe she is a Winner.

Next year, we'll see you in the Rifle Pitts at Dundee.

She's going to kick your ass.