So today begins a, hopefully, trend of 4 decent-good days until the next infusion. I know I’m on the upswing when I can stand for my whole shower. My brain has mostly come back online by Day 10 where I feel like I can accomplish some tasks and set up the family schedule for the next cycle. Taste still gone, but I can manage to eat a little bit more. It seems that I lose weight the first 9 days, then I can put some back on in the 4 days, but there is still a deficit. I meet with the nutritionist next Thursday, so hopefully I can get a better handle on things for future cycles. I do think that I need to request hydration on my pump disconnect day, so I will be on top of that.

The weirdest thing that kicks in on these last few days is that my nose gets cold, just my nose. My nose is froze. My toes isn’t froze. And I’m not hungry mothah. (a chemo variation on the best quote from 101 Dalmations) There is a dryness in my nasal passages that starts earlier in the cycle, but the nose being cold becomes more pronounced later in the cycle. My sinus passages tend to hurt more on these days as well, but that’s more easily managed. My cheeks get cold also, but I FEEL the cold on my nose just sitting inside at room temperature. Going outside hasn’t really mattered what the temp is, I’ve gotta cover my cheeks and nose. I imagine that will be different when we head to the desert again in a few weeks!

Aside from my chemo journey, I’m having a lot of distress around the state of our world. Obviously there is the whole apartheid and heartbreaking deaths of 10s of thousands of children in Gaza and all the other disturbing acts happening there… But also in Africa: Congo, Mozambique, Sudan. War in Ukraine. And then back here at home we are not suffering such dramatic violence, but we are funding it elsewhere. I am disheartened about our currrent status as a country of the world.

The U.S. has had our major faults, but I used to feel like the people’s voices had an impact. However, I currently feel that our upcoming presidential election leaves us two pretty terrible choices. I will be forced to vote for the one that doesn’t have the stated motive to dismantle checks and balances and federal agencies. The one who has helped with student debt relief. The one who doesn’t desire to strip women of bodily autonomy. But also the one who perpetuates a false narrative about peaceful protests. The one who supports police brutality and shutdowns of beautiful and diverse students coming together as communties to understand each other and stand up for human rights. The one who keeps sending money to aid a military that is far from “the most moral military in the world” that continues to violate international human rights laws. The one who can’t seem to draw a red line because of “right to defend itself.” The one who can’t seem to understand the concept of proportionality. The one who refuses to retract falsehoods about what actually happened on October 7th. Note: I do not support the atrocities committed by Hamas on that day, however there are lies perpetuated about what actually took place and lack of responsibility taken by the IOF with how many civilian and hostage deaths they are responsible for. The one who can’t seem to differentiate between Israel and Judaism. The one who keeps letting the abuser investigate itself. The one who pulled funding from humanitarian aid without actual evidence of wrongdoing. The one who is susceptible to being pulled into a regional war. All I ask, if you can’t find it in your conscience to decide between these two candidates, is that you at least still vote down ballot. The President only has so much power (for now until Trump tries to implement Agenda 47 or Project 2025). The only way to change the system currently is to pay attention to down ballot races, otherwise we will continue to have to hold our noses and vote for the least terrible option. I know for me I will have to focus on the fact that I will be voting for human rights that WILL be protected under one candidate and not under the other candidate.

So yeah, when it comes to thinking about my own death, which I still hope is far in the future, I don’t feel like I’ll be missing out on a great trajectory for humanity. I hope that I will be. Younger generations seem to have their moral compass set in human rights direction, but people age and get jaded and selfish, so who knows. Progress is slow. I’m okay with that (ish). I’m not okay with stagnation or regression. And right now, I’m seeing very little progress when recognizing what our world needs.

Onward…..knowing I probably pissed some of yall off. But I stand firm in my belief that we can figure out how to honor the humanity of ALL without playing politcal chess.