How to spot signs and symptoms of Breast Cancer
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Man's 'beer belly' was actually 77-pound tumor:
A California man who for years heard friends tease him about his “beer belly” even though he didn’t drink is now more than a 100 pounds lighter after discovering over the summer that the extra weight was actually a massive cancerous tumor.
Hector Hernandez, who sought help in July, knew something was wrong because, while his stomach continued to grow, his legs and arms were getting thinner.
His family urged him to seek help and, when he finally did, a CT scan revealed the massive tumor, later identified as a retroperitoneal liposarcoma, which is cancer that starts in the fat cells in the abdomen.
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You are unequivocally everywhere, yet you are nowhere. My eyes still wander for you while making my morning coffee as a hummingbird appears outside my window. I still spend my days chasing glimpses of you in the grocery store as a little boy who looks to be about four years old crosses my path. I search for you in the eyes of Quinn, the stoicism of Liam, and the mischievous giggles from Poppy. I desperately beg for you to make an appearance in my dreams, but you never do. Instead, I find myself having the most vivid dreams about things like freeing the Orcas at SeaWorld, your old Oncologists, and situations in my life that feel very unresolved or out of control. My dreams are never about you, and I still don’t understand why when you are constantly on my mind. Last night I went to bed thinking about a phone call I received earlier in the day and the email that followed. Because the email was on my mind as I drifted off to sleep, I spent most of the night dreaming about our friend, Taylor Swift. I woke up the following day in disbelief at the reality of what had occurred the day before.
“A number I don’t recognize called my phone and left me a voicemail. From somebody named Tree. I don’t have any idea who that is.” I looked up at Mr. Sparkly Eyes, and yes, his eyes still sparkle. “My darling, call the number back.” This came from the man who answers every phone call from every unknown number that rings him up. “Ok. Maybe. I’ll call back in a bit; I’m going to look through my emails first to see if I was supposed to talk to someone that I have forgotten about.” He kissed the top of my head as I got up to get to the appointment I was running late for. I did a quick search in my emails, but nothing came up from anyone named Tree. Maybe it was a newly bereaved mom I was supposed to speak to? I’ve been doing a bit of that here and there for Dr. Jo, and a couple of them I hadn’t heard back from. I decided to call back the number from my car, and a woman’s voice answered the phone.
“Hi Tree, it’s Maya Thompson returning your call.”
“Maya! I’m so happy to hear from you; I wasn’t sure if this was still your number.”
My internal dialogue was running wild. Shit! This person knows me, yet I can’t place her. I decided to give it another few seconds to see if I could figure it out.
“It’s still my number; how are things?”
“Great! Taylor has an email she wants to send you, but before she sends it, I need to make sure your email address is still the same.”
Taylor. OMG. It’s Tree. As in Taylor’s everything, Tree. That Tree! I tried to keep my composure as if Taylor contacting me was a daily occurrence. We spoke for a few more minutes as she confirmed my email address, and we said goodbye.
I pulled my car over and called my everything, my New York City, Little Rachel. She picked up, which I was so thankful for because it was the middle of the day, and I knew she was more than likely having sessions with her patients.
“Taylor’s sending me an email,” I blurted out as soon as she picked up. “What?” She squealed with excitement. “What is happening over there?” I told her the back story, and we went over the endless possibilities of what the email could potentially say. I continued refreshing my emails, but nothing new had come through. We chatted giddily for a few more minutes and I promised to call her as soon as I heard anything. I somehow made it to my destination safely, and as I pulled in, I checked my email.
Taylor’s email was there, but I won’t be sharing her entire email publicly. She is and will always be one of the things I hold dearest to my heart, and her beautiful words will remain private. I skimmed the email. Tears sprang to my eyes. I went back and read her words again, slowly this time as I tried to comprehend what I was reading.
Let’s back up for a bit. In 2019 when it became public knowledge that Taylor was being screwed over in the worst way possible by Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Records and the disgusting Scooter Braun who must be from the pits of hell. I watched from afar as her life’s work, her blood, sweat, and tears, were stolen from her by vile men because, at the end of the day, when you have an unscrupulous soul, greed is the ultimate decision-maker. You can read Taylor’s public letter below as the cliff notes to the unraveling of the painful betrayal.
I remember reading Taylor’s words and how nauseous I felt after. I had so many sleepless nights during the next few months. I worried about Taylor’s heart. I wondered what would happen to you. You are my life’s work. You are my blood, sweat, and tears, and now somebody other than Taylor “owned” you. I vented on my social media accounts about the unfairness of it all, not knowing if anyone was listening to what I was saying. There started to be chatter on the internet of Taylor re-recording all her old albums so she could own her OWN music again, which was such a bloody smart move. Taylor soon confirmed she was going to do so. I felt so proud of her upon hearing this news, and I let the happiness of that carry me through my grief of letting our song, ‘Ronan,’ belong to people who didn’t deserve it. ‘Ronan’ was always going to be a charity single, never attached to an album of hers. In my mind, there was no way she was going to re-record it, and I understood why. Knowing that Taylor had taken the most horrific situation and had found a way to get her art back made my wounds hurt less. I was just thankful she had done the most incredible thing for us in the first place. That was more than enough. It was always going to be more than enough, and I had let go of wishing it could be any other way.
Now back to a part of her email that I received.
“I’ve recently completed the re-recording of my 4th album, Red. It’s really exceeded my expectations in so many ways, and one of those ways is that I thought it would be appropriate to add ‘Ronan’ to this album. Red was an album of heartbreak and healing, of rage and rawness, of tragedy and trauma, and of the loss of an imagined future alongside someone. I wrote Ronan while I was making Red and discovered your story as you so honestly and devastatingly told it. My genuine hope is that you’ll agree with me that this song should be included on this album. As my co-writer and the rightful owner of this story in its entirety, your opinion and approval of this idea really matters to me, and I’ll honor your wishes here.”
It took me an hour to absorb the words in front of me. I shared the news with your brothers, Poppy, your daddy, Mr. Sparkly eyes, and a couple of my dearest friends. I cried while sharing the news. I called Tree back and spoke to her for a few minutes about what had just occurred. I told her of course, Taylor had my permission to put ‘Ronan’ on Red. I tried my best to articulate how much this meant to me through my tears, but there are not enough words in the English language that will ever be able to appropriately convey my feelings about this. Taylor has anchored you to this world so you will never be lost, and now she has ensured you will forever be safe in a new, permeant home. She is once again going to give a voice to the often voiceless, the bereaved parents of the world.
“Red (Taylor’s version)” will be out November 19th and on that album, there will be you. It is the most perfect album for you to be on as it represents so much heartbreak, love, and pain.
I have so much more I want to talk about and so much more I want to write about, but I’m under a book writing deadline that I need to get back to.
I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.
I love you.
My words of thank you will never be enough. Thank you for keeping Ronan safe. Thank you for never forgetting him. Thank you for breaking rules and breaking free. Thank you for that heart of yours that is made of pure gold. You are a constant source of inspiration to me in so many areas of my life, and there is nobody in the world I would rather have Ronan with than you. I’m going to write to you separate of this but for now, thank you.
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People saying “we can’t just get rid of coal, so many miners would lose their job!” Is the equivalent of saying “We can’t just get rid of Cancer! If we did so many oncologists would lose their jobs!”
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Lisa and I had to say farewell to Gunther last night. He outran his cancer longer than any vet or oncologist ever thought was possible, over 15 wonderful months. He went peacefully with the two of us by his side. I’ll have more words another day. For now, I just have a heavy heart struggling to let go of his amazing soul. 🖤
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“But that’s not how bodies work”
No, that’s not how healthy bodies work. I understand the impulse to try and debunk fake science with what you perceive as hard facts, but please be mindful that not everything that sounds incredulous actually is.
We are continually learning new things about the human condition, including things that would have previously been considered impossible until several decades ago.
Multiple Sclerosis used to be misdiagnosed as mental health/hysteria, and people are often still misdiagnosed as mentally ill at the onset because of how symptoms manifest. Epilepsy and other seizure disorders were wrongfully thought to be a sign of madness. With the onset of Covid-19, people with ME/CFS are finally being validated as we find out on a mass scale that yes, actually viruses can disrupt the central nervous system and wreak havoc with the body’s ability to regulate itself. Hell, even mast cell research is seeing a massive influx of interest because of how Covid-19 is making some people’s immune systems overreact and start attacking itself. Mast cell stabilizers are being used as effective treatment methods to help people recover, and while a lot of the medical community are scratching there heads and going “we dunno why this works but it does”, the oncologists and geneticists who have been working tirelessly for over a decade to figure out mast cell dysregulation are whooping and hollering trying to get researchers to look at their work.
Yes, there is a lot of fake science and predatory bullshit out there. But please don’t dismiss chronically ill people as stupid. Please don’t think we’re talking bullshit just because something sounds implausible to what is, frankly, and I mean this with the utmost respect, your very limited understanding of the human body and it’s the capability to self destruct while still staying alive.
And yes, some chronically ill people do believe a bunch of hokum and bullshit and yes it’s unfortunate and harmful. But they are also victims of a medical system that abused and disbelieved them to such a point that they became desperate and were willing to trust anyone who told them they believed them. They/we are victims of systemic sexism, racism, and class warfare that prioritizes the experience and health of cis white men above all others. Sometimes we get lucky, sometimes we get a doctor who listens and treats us with compassion. But usually, we’re at the mercy of a system that is trained to minimize and ignore our symptoms and dismiss them as symptoms of mental health because they are atypical of the perceived norm.
Please don’t add to that. Please respect that not all of us are ignorant or uneducated and haven’t done all the very basic things you are telling us to do. We’re aware that bodies aren’t supposed to break like this. We’re aware that some of the things we say sound nuts. We’ve all been gaslit and misdiagnosed and told we’re insane at some point. Right up until there’s another breakthrough and we find out that actually, we’re not so crazy after all.
We’re the canaries in the coal mine of the human experience. We’re a warning of what can happen, and a testament to the ideology of that which does not kill you, makes you more tired, and that which does kill you gets chalked up to a statistical anomaly.
You’re right, I don’t know everything about the human body. But neither do you. And neither do the people trying to piece us back together again. And that’s the problem.
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New biomarker for colorectal cancers Identified
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, have identified a protein involved in cell proliferation and the development of new blood vessels that could serve as a marker for the early detection of colorectal cancers.
In laboratory studies, investigators found that expression of the protein, called beta-1,4-galactosyltransferase-V (beta-1,4-GalT-V), was increased in human colorectal cancer tumor cells compared with normal tissue. In fact, the researchers found roughly 6.5 times more beta-1,4-GalT-V in the tumor samples than healthy tissue. In colorectal tumor cells, the authors also noted an increase in levels of another enzyme, lactosylceramide synthase, the product of beta-1,4-GalT-V activity.
Good news is that researchers treated lab-grown human bowel cancer cells with the chemical D-threo-1-phenly-2-decanoylamino-3-morpholino-1-propanol (D-PDMP), which inhibits the production of beta-1,4-GalT-V. Within 24–96 hours, tumors were showing a reduction in beta-1,4-GalT-V production and greater levels of cell death.
This study gives medical researchers much to be excited about. Firstly, it may lead to a new way to diagnose colorectal cancer with a blood sample. Secondly, it might produce a way to slow the progression of this cancer.
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Oncologists have a great sense of tumour.
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Earliest Cancer in Central America Identified
Archaeologists, studying the skeletal remains of a teenager in western Panama, have discovered the earliest evidence of cancer in Central America. The adolescent was between 14 and 16 years old when she died, in about 1300 CE. Although her skeleton was first found in the 1970s, it was not until recent re-analyses were done that signs of a tumor were identified on their upper right arm.
Unfortunately, it was not a painless cancer. She would have experienced intermittent pain, as the sarcoma grew and expanded through her bone, until she died. Interestingly, a pediatric oncologist who examined the remains thought that the cancer was unlikely the ultimate cause of her death -- though there is no way to know for certain now.
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// THERE IS NO WORD FOR YOUR DOG //
This week I said goodbye to Tommy, my 14-year-old rescue basset hound and best goddamn friend in the world, and I am all kinds of messed up.
Tommy was already a senior when he came into my life at the age of nine—the oldest of a group of five bassets rescued from the worst backyard breeder that the rescue had seen in their decades of work. Fresh off a tail-amputation surgery to remove a follicle cancer tumour so big he couldn't wag his tail anymore, and still on roundworm medication, he burst into our lives and claimed a spot on the couch like this was the home he always knew he'd find.
Despite the abuse he'd been through, Tommy was kindness incarnate: impossibly pure, loyal, loving and gentle. Even dogs with histories of aggression and kids with a fear of dogs felt comfortable around him. So many times, other dog owners told me "My dog likes him, and my dog doesn't like ANYONE." Even last week I heard someone yell in surprise and delight as I carried Tommy down the stairs because she'd legit mistaken him for a literal teddy bear.
Tommy helped our older basset Roxy live longer by becoming her little brother and bringing out her competitive big-sister edge, and he never begrudged her getting more of our love and attention as her age and needs increased. When we lost Roxy to cancer in 2015, Tommy helped us through the grieving and healing process and we really got to see his explorer's personality come out.
At the age of 13, he joined us on our 8,000-kilometre round-trip cross-country road trip to be the ringbearer at our wedding. He made it right to the end of the Trans Canada Highway in Tofino, wandered through ancient cedar forests and log tunnels in BC, charmed a comfort food restaurant owner in Manitoba into giving him a bowl of ham, wandered through hoodoos in Alberta, and looked out over waterfalls in Ontario.
His adventures took us far and wide. He travelled by train, subway, streetcar, bus, car, ferry and airplane. He dipped his paws in both oceans. He spent an eight-hour day walking around Halifax with us. He joined us hunting for fossils in Joggins on beaches where Darwin found some of the first evidence for evolution.
He was also patient as a loving older sibling to five foster brothers and sisters who stayed with us. Despite the fact that he was getting on in years, he made room in his quiet home for five very different and variously loud personalities who, just like Tommy, all came from their own difficult backgrounds and particular needs.
When he was diagnosed with an aggressive osteosarcoma in July, he was given one to three months to live. We were told there was a 0% chance he'd be fit enough to travel with us to England in the fall, even if he lasted that long. Tommy had other plans. With each subsequent vet visit, his oncologist was shocked to find that Tommy was getting healthier and his lungs were clearing themselves of fluid when that should be impossible.
By November, well past the most wildly optimistic lifespan estimates, he had recovered to the point that he was cleared for air travel by two different vets.
And so we made a new home together in London, England, explored the city, walked Hampstead Heath and Waterlow Park, ate crepes, and met some jolly English bassets. Having him around on my 30th birthday in November meant absolutely everything to me, and staying in to celebrate Christmas and New Year's Eve with him was an absolute gift. I wish the miracle of his good health could have gone on forever, but he stopped eating in early January and in the last couple days his breathing became increasingly laboured. We kept him comfortable as long as we possibly could before making arrangements to say goodbye.
Tommy taught me so much about how to love, how to wander, how to be brave and gentle at the same time. That's the word he taught me.
And I wanted to share it with all of you.
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I left, and I’m with Izzie.
The kids playing with the chickens, and Izzie goes to work as a surgical oncologist. She’s amazing, Mer. Progress she is made, she is alive, and she is a miracle one keeping other people alive.
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"You ask an oncologist, they’ll see cancer. You ask a surgeon, they’ll cut you open. You ask a Luthor, they’ll tell you you’re a supervillain".
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In COVID times It is a good time to reflect, value and above all be thankful for your health, your family, the roof over your head, the food in your cupboard and to be thankful that you can read this from the comfort of your home, and to remember you are not stuck at home you are safe at home. We all have to play our part.
WE WILL WIN THIS FIGHT.
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Katie I'm going to beat your ass because of Theo. What happened to him, how is he doing? I want to see reunite with his Husband, dang it!
I was originally going to name Theo “Marco”, but then Season 5 came out and Lance mentioned having a brother named Marco and I was like -_-
Shiro and Theo met on a blind date that was set up by a mutual friend!
Both of them ended up being almost an hour late to their date because of their busy work schedules, but luckily they both arrived at the exact same time.
Being late for dates becomes a running joke between them because it happens so often lmao
They met when Shiro was 23 and Theo was 25; Shiro had just started working full-time at the Garrison, and Theo was nearing the end of medical school.
Theo started college when he was 17 because he’s a #prodigy (also because he skipped third grade), and ended up graduating early as well thanks to his accelerated undergrad program.
They both hit it off immediately and started dating quite happily for a few months. Then, at the end of the school year, Theo graduated from med school and ended up accepting a residency offer at a hospital a state over.
Although Theo isn’t actually that far away, the demands of his residency program + Shiro’s responsibilities at the Garrison meant they basically had a long-distance relationship. Fortunately, technology in the Voltron universe seems to be a little bit more advanced than our own, so they had no trouble staying in contact (Skype dates, babey!!)
Theo was the one to propose :’)
He accidentally dropped the ring in the grocery store and decided “fuck it” when he realized Shiro saw it.
After the Kerberos Mission failed and Shiro was declared to be KIA, Theo flung himself back into his work.
“I’m fine,” Theo lied.
He formed a support network with Colleen Holt and Shiro’s close relatives, though he focused more on helping Colleen with her grief instead of dealing with his own.
Theo also tried to stay in contact with Keith and encouraged him to stay in school, something that only lasted a few months before Keith was booted from the Garrison and dropped off the face of the Earth.
Keith’s disappearance did Not help Theo’s stress levels.
Unlike Keith and Pidge, Theo wanted nothing to do with the Garrison after the accident. Obviously he also wanted answers as to what the hell actually happened, but asking questions required interacting with the people who left Shiro to die in space, which was something he couldn’t stomach.
After the funeral (which was televised, to Theo’s complete distaste), a Garrison official approached Theo and asked him when he’d like to clear out Shiro’s room at the Garrison.
Theo, rather appropriately, lost his shit and almost had to be escorted out of his goddamn husband’s goddamn funeral reception.
Theo is the reason why Commander Iverson has to wear an eye-patch.
They’re both broke millennials (even with all his scholarships and financial aid, Theo has SO MUCH student debt) and for a really long time they considered getting married at the courthouse just to save on having a wedding.
But then Theo’s mom bullied Commander Iverson into letting Theo and Shiro have their ceremony and reception at the Garrison for free of charge.
Theo’s mom: You’re throwing my son-in-law into God knows where space, the least you could do is pay for his wedding!
Iverson: Ma’am, the taxpayers-
Theo’s mom: I am the taxpayers!
Commander Holt was the officiant of their wedding :’)
Shiro wore his uniform because he knows Theo thinks he looks super sexy in it.
Iverson was also invited to the wedding as thanks for the venue, even though Theo hates his guts. He and Shiro compromised by sending Iverson the expensive gift list.
Iverson gave them a wicked expensive toaster.
Months later, after the Garrison blamed Shiro for the failure of the Kerberos Mission, Iverson opened his door to find a smashed to hell toaster on his step.
Theo was kind enough to include the receipt with it.
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my girlfriend wrote me a really cute vrisrezi fic for my bday based on some headcanons of mine.... she doesnt want to post it on ao3 LOL it has some jokes thats sort of... for esports/league fans so it is a pretty nice fic she wrote specifically for my happiness (AND GOD ARE THE JOKES SO GOOD) but yeah ive JUST PUT IT UNDER A READMORE
A line of yellow text pops up in between the lines of Vriska’s teammates whining about something, begging for ganks if she had to guess, which she would, because no way she’s reading that shit! A whisper from someone means she’s put them on her friend list, so they could possibly be worth her time. Maybe!
Bronze Oncologist: WHEN YOU’RE DONE WITH THAT GAME DO YOU WANT TO CRAM FOR THE TEST WITH US?
Vriska furrows an eyebrow while she powerfarms her jungle.
CumshotIn8: What test?
Bronze Oncologist: FOR BIO?
Bronze Oncologist: LUL YOU’RE FUCKED.
Vriska feels a little shock of panic in her gut then stuffs it down. No way, Karkat is wrong about everything, no WAY there’s a bio test tomorrow, she would know! That or it’s the world’s weakest attempt at trolling. She covers her bases quickly.
CumshotIn8: Nice meme, dum8ass.
She doesn’t get a response, so obviously she called his bluff and he went off to sulk. This is why he’s bronze, it’s sad to be honest, tilted by every little misplay!
CumshotIn8: If you losers ask for a gank again, I’m fucking inting.
She manages to carry the game, of course, though her mid laner doesn’t make it easy.
She glances at the Victory screen before noticing 9+ Discord notifications.
Karkat has posted a screencap of their conversation in the friend group general chat. It has 5 LUL reactions, two screaming cats, and some anime bullshit.
The rest of the chat is @ing her and laughing.
Vriska: Are you guys fucking serious?
Sollux: holy shiit iits true wtf LOL
Vriska feels that panic well back up in her chest.
Vriska: IT WAS A FUCKING JOKE, IDIOTS.
That message gets 4 thinking face emojis.
Vriska: Choke on my dick, assholes. Why would I study with you? I don’t want to fail.
And that one gets two eggplants.
Vriska closes Discord with a frustrated groan. She doesn’t fucking want to fail! There’s still time to study though, the class is stupidly easy it’s not like anything on the test could take more than an hour or two to learn.
She rummages through her bag for her biology notebook and flips through it. A couple of sentences about cell bodies, a few drool stains, and a lot of drawings of spider webs.
Vriska reopens Discord in a panic then sets herself to invisible as quickly as she can. Someone must have some stupid fucking notes she can borrow.
Vriska: Heyyyyyyyy, Kanaya can you send me your 8io notes rq? I left my note8ook in my locker.
Kanaya: You Know I Sit Next To You In Biology
Kanaya: I Saw Every Note You’ve Taken This Quarter
Kanaya: Here They Are
Kanaya: Mitochondria Is The Powerhouse Of The Cell– and then she sends a line of spider emojis.
Vriska: C’mon Kanaya, it’s not a 8ig deal. I’m not trying to cheat off you or anything!!!!!!!! I just wanna study, you should 8e happy for once lol.
Kanaya: Or Maybe You Should Have Accepted Any Of My Offers To Study In The Past Month
Vriska groans. It was peak grinding season, why would she do more fucking useless school?!
Vriska: Whatever, fuck off prissy 8itch.
Kanaya: Alright I Will
Kanaya: Good Night Vriska Good Luck Tomorrow :)
And her little green circle goes grey.
Fuck, shit, FUCK.
She reviews her remaining opinions. Karkat, no. Sollux would never do it. Eridan would ask for something creepy in return and have garbage notes anyway. Aradia, not a chance in hell. Really, she doesn’t have a chance in hell with any of these miserable fuckers she calls her friends.
Feferi: Do you really not )(ave notes for bio ??? 38(((
Oh thank god, the stupid bleeding heart of a stupid airheaded fish.
Vriska: Yeah I left my note8ook at school ::::/ Can I 8orrow yours just for tonight?
Feferi: LOL no way!
Feferi: You really t)(oug)(t Id fall for t)(at lmao???
Feferi: Youd )(ave to be blind to not see you sleeping t)(roug)( every class LOL!
Vriska mentally chalks up another win for Feferi before mentally erasing it again. Using Vriska’s distressed mental state against her was clearly cheating. Though she did have a point.
Vriska: Hey Terezi >::::D Can I 8orrow your 8io notes? I left mine at school.
The chances of Terezi actually having Discord open are low, but chances of her help seem the highest of her options at this point.
Terezi: LM4O S3R1OUSLY??
Vriska breathes a sigh of relief.
Vriska: IKR fucking stupid lol.
Vriska: So i can?
Terezi: 1 DONT H4V3 TH3M ON TH3 COMPUT3R
Terezi: 1 C4N L3ND YOU M1N3 1N TH3 MORN1NG THOUGH??
Vriska does some quick mental math. Bio is directly after lunch, so if she powers through that and skips her dumbass band class she should have plenty of time to cram for a reasonable grade.
Vriska: Thanks you’re a lifesaver!!!!!!!!
Terezi: BUT SHOULDT YOU B3 4BL3 TO G3T YOUR NOT3S FROM SCHOOL TOMORROW MORN1NG >:????????
Fucking shit fuck.
Vriska: It would still be nice to compare with yours! Just to be safe you know?
Terezi: LM4O OK4Y S3RK3T
Terezi: S33 YOU TOMORROW
Vriska leans back, relieved, and tabs back to League. What, it’s not like she can do anything about it now! Might as well cash in on her free LP while the garbage players are still online.
Vriska fidgets anxiously by her locker. She’s already made sure to soak the entire inside with a water bottle as backup if Terezi grills her on where Vriska’s notes are. A couple of books got drenched too, but sacrifices have to be made!
Vriska finally spots Terezi bumping down the hallway.
“Hey Pyrope! Thanks again! Everyone else was being huge bitches about this but you’ve always got my back!”
Terezi grins wide. “All for you.” She hands over a pristine black notebook. Vriska’s smile dies a tragic death as she sees every page in it is either blank or covered in nonsense.
She glances back up to Terezi just in time to catch her start cackling in her face.
“What the fuck Terezi?
“I’m blind!! What kind of notes did you think I’d have?” She erupts in another peal of laughter.
Vriska’s face blushes hot.
“Yeah, real fuckin’ funny, well played Pyrope, you really got me this time.” Vriska mumbles flatly. Her heart pounds with stress again. She calculates how exactly she’s going to explain to her mom how badly she bombed an easy fucking bio test.
Terezi cocks her head. “It was funnier than that. Don’t be a sore loser, Serket!”
Vriska sighs. “I’m gonna fail this fucking test, Terezi.”
Terezi’s eyebrows shoot up in surprise. “I thought you were joking.”
Vriska wails. “I wish!!!!!!!! I didn’t take notes in the STUPID fucking class and I didn’t fucking study like a STUPID fucking bitch and now I’m fucked!!!!!!!!”
Terezi flinches at the sudden outburst before righting herself. “What time is it?”
Vriska glances at a clock. “Uh, like, 8:30?”
“You’ve at least got the bio textbook right?”
Vriska glances at her locker sheepishly. “I– left it at home.”
“Well, I have mine, and we have 4 hours to teach you everything I know about biology.”
Vriska feels a weight lift. “Seriously?”
Terezi barks one sharp laugh. “I got my prank, I can take pity on you in return. Don’t get used to it though, Serket!”
Vriska giggles, giddy.
They skip every class before lunch poring over Terezi’s textbook, syllabus, and a shocking number of practice tests Vriska had somehow missed.
Terezi knows an impressive amount about the course material.
In the end, Vriska gets a C+. She’s more than happy with the outcome.
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Mum got her cancer prognosis today too. There’s good news and bad news, but it’s not as bad as it could have been. The good news is the margin of tissue removed showed that the cancer has not spread to the rest of the breast beyond that one lump they found. The bad news is out of the 3 lymph nodes they removed for testing, they found it in on of the nodules. So that’s not entirely ideal, but still better than finding it in all 3, I guess? I dunno. Either way she is starting radiation in March when she gets referred to an oncologist, and they’ll see from there if she’d be a good candidate for chemo.
Mum is surprised. I think she thought given her family history with cancer they’d turn round and tell her “you’ve got three weeks to live” (which is what happened to her father) not “10-15 years provided treatment goes well.”
They also told her it’s not the genetic kind (so my risk is lesser I guess, which she was more worried about I think), but a result of a toxic build up of estrogen, which, mum has been struggling with her hormones for years and the doctors didn’t do anything to help her. They just kind of shrugged and prescribed her the pill at age 60. So now they’re about to put her on meds to lower her estrogen, which is apparently extremely high for a woman well into her 60s. I think she’s a little miffed at the idea that maybe this whole thing could have been avoided if the doctor had listened to her when she showed up aged 60 complaining she still hadn’t hit menopause yet and still got her period, but honestly, nothing shocks me about medical negligence anymore. The only time I am surprised is when it doesn’t happen.
Anyway. I’ll probably be heading home in March to be with her for a bit, provided my neck stabilizes some more and my pain goes down enough to tolerate flying.
But. Yeah. Tha’s that for now I guess. Thank you to everyone who has been sending well wishes, prayers and good thoughts. I know I’ve been quiet while I try to deal with all of this, but it’s honestly meant so much to me to know you’re there. You’re good people. Thank you.
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People saying “we can’t just get rid of coal, so many miners would lose their job!” Is the equivalent of saying “We can’t just get rid of Cancer! If we did so many oncologists would lose their jobs!”
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calling all cancer biologists and oncologists alike! have you heard of
it’s a super comprehensive and interactive tree of every cancer lineage and sub-lineage
if you click on a tissue site it expands into lineages!
look at that! i’m in love.
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Health update!!! I don’t get all the details until my next oncology appointment on July 10th, but this is FANTASTIC!!! Jorge and I opened the email together and collapsed into happy tears together, I’m so glad my medicine is working 💕
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In the 1950s, cervical cancer was a leading cause of cancer deaths for American women (it still kills more than 260,000 people a year in developing countries). Now, it’s almost completely preventable, says Linda Nicoll, MD, a gyno at NYU Langone Health.
This is largely because of better screening techniques and the HPV vaccine, which protects against the riskiest strains of the STI that causes most cervical cancers. But treatments like LEEP also played a role. The procedure, first performed in the U.S. in 1990, is like a second line of defense, excising cells that may otherwise lead to cancer. It’s fast—a doctor slices into the cervix and scoops out sketchy tissue, the same way you might cut a bruise out of an apple. And it usually works.
It’s also super common. Up to one million women in the U.S. are diagnosed every year with abnormal cervical cells, or what MDs call cervical dysplasia. Not all cases are high risk, but if doctors feel the precancerous spots need to be removed, LEEP is the most popular treatment. Because it’s so simple, it flies under the radar: No one knows exactly how many are done each year, since they’re considered as minor as, say, having a skin tag cut off, says Noah Goldman, MD, a gynecologic oncologist at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. (“You’d never know how many people have skin tags removed,” he explains, “because most doctors just say, ‘Oh, I’ll numb it up and take it off for you.’”)
There are other ways to get rid of suspicious cervical cells, including freezing them off with cryotherapy and using a scalpel to cut them out. But doctors love LEEP because it’s so easy to perform. It’s also considered safe, with seemingly straightforward side effects like bleeding and discharge and an increased risk of pregnancy complications.
Except that Sasha—and hundreds of others—insist that it carries a devastating risk their doctors never mentioned. In a Facebook group called Healing From LEEP/LLETZ (LLETZ is the term used overseas), women share how LEEPs radically altered their sex lives, how penetrative sex is now painful, how they’ve lost sensation in their vaginas, how they could now go the rest of their lives without sex. “I haven’t reached orgasm since the operation,” wrote one woman. “I miss my old self, who burned with lust during sex.”
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