[personal profile] jaipur
Yay, some time to sit and post! (as it were)

The GREAT NEWS is that my mom's tumor has shrunk almost miraculously. Her numbers are down (whatever it is they use to measure tumor "activity"), the tumor is down to a fraction of its former size. She is not dying.

I repeat: She is not currently dying (at least not any more than the rest of us). The chemo affected the tumor very strongly.

Now, the tumor is still firmly attached to the hepatic veins or whatever it was, so it is not amenable to surgery. She'll have to live with it, and get chemo every so often to keep it in its place. Her pancreas that "should be like a bratwurst" has been atrophied to "more like a slice of bacon", because of the blood loss, so she needs pancreatic enzymes for the rest of her life. Somehow she has not developed diabetes, and I don't know how that is, given her pancreas is so affected. Her isles of langerhans or whatever it is that makes the insulin must be hanging on for dear life.

She's still on for another 4-6 rounds of chemo if I understood her right. Which is no fun, but she's totally up for it now that she knows her tumor hates it. :)

Other than that--the semester is over, I have final papers to grade, final exam essays come in on Friday. Same class for next semester except I need a master's level version of the same curriculum because now it is cross-listed for graduate students too.

I'm at the ACNP meeting this week in Phoenix--it is a great meeting at which to catch up with people! Most of the old FBIRN people are here, all the New Mexico people are here, Stepo and the gang from California are here, etc. Apparently I know a lot of the members and fellows of the group, which I hadn't realized. I need to apply to be a member this coming year; for all it's a velvet rope meeting (that is largely "pale, male, and frail", which they are increasingly desperate to change), it would be good to be able to put it on the old CV if I can get elected as a member. A bunch of members told me I should apply, and several volunteered to write me the needed nomination letters, which I thought was very sweet! Downright flattering, in fact. We'll see if we can make that happen.

I do not have a good estimate of my worth; the hubby keeps pointing out that I don't appreciate my own productivity, but I am too aware of how much I suck when I'm left on my own. I had many years of flailing and not publishing and I sense that still hangs out in the background waiting to emerge. Over half my publications have been in the last 5 years, which is only the last 25% of my career--while it's good to be accelerating, I also know how much of that was freakin' luck at falling in first with Stepo and then Vica. Stepo got me into imaging genetics at the ground floor and introduced me around, and Vica is a paper mill all by himself. I am trying to keep up the momentum they both gave me now that I am on my own but I just don't know if I can do it. At a meeting like this, I vacillate between feeling like a grad student again (so much I don't know!) to feeling like a prof (wow, look at all this stuff I know!) but then feeling like a failure because I haven't done all the cool stuff "everyone else" has. I know I am falling into that trap of comparing myself to the top people, the ones giving the keynote lectures and winning awards, and I am ignoring or not taking into account the mass of people who are wandering around the meeting being perfectly reasonable researchers and clinicians. And Vica at one point surprised me by muttering about how I was being as productive as several people put together, which coming from him means a whopping lot (I just about floated into the next session ;).

But ah well: The big textmining grant I put in in June got torpedo'd, not even scored. Anla just got the reviews back; I haven't had the intestinal fortitude to read them yet. We'll discuss it on Monday. I haven't heard back from the one on ADHD that Jeli put in in June, but I imagine it also got shot down or we would have heard screams of joy, I'm sure. SIGH. I'm on a couple of current submissions Vica's put in, which is good, but even he's having trouble getting grants through. I need to put in more than two or three grants next year if we're going to keep this ball rolling--with funding levels below 10%, if you aren't on 10 grant submissions every year you aren't going to break even. ;)

I've been able to hang out with Jufo a good bit in the last two days and talk about hallucinations, and I got Irso from the Netherlands to promise me her healthy hallucinators imaging data--I have plans for that!! :) :) We are going to figure this out, I am determined. :) Jufo is currently arguing with someone from Europe who claims that it's all due to over-connectivity with the auditory cortex; but neither she nor I can find that in any of our larger scale Sz data. I need to look again a few more times just to be sure; we all expected it would be hyper connectivity or something in the auditory cortex, but it is not showing up in the analyses we have done so far. At this point I'm thinking it's a combination of salience network malfunction and something in the auditory and inferior frontal/insular cortex (which could be language or cognition or emotional function, in that area), but it's not the easy answer of hyperactivity or connectivity.
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jaipur

August 2015

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