Friday, July 31, 2020

Cleaning up desk. See a 27 April 2020 letter to a doctor, husband of a Tindall cousin. Things are bad now, but so much better!


Hershel Parker <>

5:03 PM (3 hours ago)

to Robert, me

Robert, thank you.

I hardly know what to say. Thursday with the PET image up we were assured that I had cancer all over my torso.  The only problem facing the oncologist is that they were small and he worried about how to get a biopsy. He sent me over to the blood draw for 12 or 14 vials. 8 had been my limit before this, months ago, checking CK. Over the weekend he texted (the first text we ever received--we learned for him) that there was a tumor in the gastro-intestinal area. Then this noon he telephoned. He had received some of the lab results back. I had TB in the 1950s, but the TB was still dormant.  He tested for some long coccid . . word which I have not learned yet . . . and found that I had antibodies for Valley Fever. He decided that all the little cancers were really Valley Fever points. Now, that leaves me with the possible loss of the good right eye. We need to find someone to see if it is also a result of Valley Fever and we need to see if someone can remove the brown liquid without damaging the center of vision. I have already taken 2 Fluconazole (maybe misspelled) pills and will take 2 more tonight. Big bottle--30 day supply. So we are back worrying about my loss of vision, and wondering who to trust. The local oncologist seemed quite admirable to both of us--but he was fooled (if he was) by the PET scan.  Still, he asked for a check of that antibody and found antibodies. The great man in Stanford dropped the ball in several ways, including a rush to assume that cancer in the eye meant cancer in the body. I don't want to go back to him for surgery. If there is surgery. Maybe the eye will begin to respond to the anti fungal drug?

We just told people the bad news--as I told you last night. We are not talking about this till we know more.  I am still greatly concerned about my vision. We behaved, I will tell you, much better than anyone had any right to expect. I was astounded and indignant sure, after all the steamed broccoli decade after decade and no alcohol at all since 1986, and running since 1978 until I changed to walking three or four years ago. I was all set to outlive my mother, 92 and a few months. Heddy took it harder. I began working every day on the book I want to write, and have gotten seriously into it. This morning I worked 3 hours with a patch over my right eye, to rest it. Anyhow, what I did was go to work. It was very strange to be more than a little angry that I should have cancer, after all that running, but I was laughing at the absurdity of it.  So the upshot is that I may have cancer of the eye but probably do not have cancer in the body. The eye is in doubt, and I am going to take 2 more magical anti-fungal pills tonight.  In Stanford Heddy said, He can't have cancer--look at him. Of course I had a big mask on, but I absolutely agreed with her! Do you think it possible that Valley Fever could resemble cancer on  a PET scan? . . . .



Thursday, July 30, 2020

Walked a whole eighth of a mile and still had strength to take a picture

This is better. It's not running two miles on the beach, but it is better. When you don't go outdoors you forget what your house looks like from the street. It's still there, and the Norfolk Pine is growing fast.

Take me back to Tulsa? Herman Cain went without a mask and look what happened.

When will they learn?

Time-Team last night and Warwickshire Peter de Montfort's vanished castle

Trying out the new Blogger format.
You don't really have 2000 or so 20th great grandfathers because some men in there are also your 21st great grandfathers or even 17th great grandfathers and the same man may be your 20th great grandfather several times, But, hey, there is a certain amount of fun for an aged Depression Okie (fewer of us every year) to see that according to Geni great grandmother Fanny Hill 
   takes me back through the Sims family of Somerset
to the 13th century Peter de Montford, Lord of Beaudesert, the castle that disappeared. 20th great grandfather! And not even a shard of a floor tile in Fanny's hands.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Only a man in Mongolia older than me, Lamar University says

Well, he may be younger but he graduated in 1958. My paragraph is not elegantly written, you will see. The skepticism about my being the greatest Melville scholar of all time could have been avoided by saying "Harrison Hayford called him . . . ." However, it's my fault. I wanted to get the 2019 publication on the Lamar State College of Technology record.

Friday, July 24, 2020

What will happen when Trump puts his Private Army to work?

Republican election fraud:

Talk of election fraud may conjure images of high-tech operations, ones that rely on hacked emails and a network of fake social media accounts.
A recent case in West Virginia, however, was decidedly less sophisticated. According to federal prosecutors, it involved just one mail carrier and a little bit of black ink.
The mail carrier, Thomas Cooper, 47, of Dry Fork, W.Va., pleaded guilty on Thursday to one count of attempted election fraud and one count of “injury to the mail,” according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of West Virginia.
Prosecutors said that Mr. Cooper admitted to altering eight primary ballot request forms with black ink. On five of those forms, the political party was changed from Democrat to Republican, officials said, and they would have resulted in Democratic voters receiving ballots featuring Republican primary candidates.

I see criticism of the ads by the Lincoln Project

I have watched two dozen or so of these short videos and have found every one to be breathtaking--relentlessly truthful, saying what almost no one else is saying.

Jonathan Swift--anything to avoid Doom-Scrolling

So the inventor of Yahoos is a cousin on the Hill side. Cousin Muriel, I bet you knew this already,

My cousin Ted Yoho

I broke my word and checked Geni. We are indeed cousins through the Knoxes and the Yahoos.

And of course Roger Williams of RI is a distant cousin, as is the Roger Williams in the news today

The Texas representative who was with Ted Yoho when the representative from Florida Ted Yoho proved that having a wife and two daughters and loving God and his country could not overcome his passionate hatred of a liberal young representative. Why had New York sent a beautiful young extremely liberal woman to his Congress? If you think I will look for a connection to Ted Yoho, you are wrong. Southerners are connected, though--even to people dead in Rhode Island.

75,000 Thugs from Trump's Private Army? Look at what happened when Lincoln called for 75,000 Volunteers

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he's willing to send as many as 75,000 federal agents into American cities to quell violent crime, a recent campaign theme for the President.
Speaking in a telephone interview on Fox News, Trump began by saying he was ready to dispatch "50,000, 60,000 people" into American cities.
But eventually he upped the figure to 75,000 --

Maybe I am wrong, but what if Lincoln had not called for 75,000 volunteers just then? What if he had waited a few days to think of a better strategy? I don't know about South Carolina, but the majority of people in North Carolina were not in favor of going to war. What if Lincoln had waited until he could devise another approach? Let's just think about what he MIGHT have tried, just for a few days or a few weeks. Could there have been better ways of assuring that black lives really mattered, then and over the next many decades? 75,000 is a formidable number.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

What I clearly see that you just can't see and I can't photograph

It's been since this time in March--four months now--that I first had pain in the right eye. This progressed to an aggressive lesion which imposed brown over my right eye, always my good eye. I began seeing a huge spot on the wall at night proceeding me as I walked about partially lighted rooms. Worst was a great tumbleweed bouncing along at floor level ahead of me. Many, many photographs of my eyes have been taken since all this started--in Morro Bay, in San Luis Obispo, in Palo Alto, in Santa Maria, in SLO again. They document the progress and retraction of the lesion. I can see in the color photographs the current location of the lesion. By great luck it erupted into the eye a hair above the macula. Otherwise I would be irretrievably blind in my good eye. I have been able to track its retreat--a slow retreat starting on 27 April, when I first took Fluconazole not for the previously diagnosed lymphoma but for Valley Fever. I could tell that the drug was helping as soon as two days later, although when I informed doctors of this I was assured that it could not help the eye. I knew. So I watched the tumbleweed shrink to an overlong watermelon and [I left this out when I posted the piece: a human foot with a distinct heel and a high arch, which I took to mean that the lesion was high at that point, above the macula], then finally down to a teardrop and an elongated C and now to a small thick walled circle. [As of 24 July, from a foot away the size of the circle looks slightly larger than a dime, but with thick green walls and maybe white specks in the center.] The thing is, since the teardrop the thing has been Hunter Green, not black or gray. I stand a foot from a wall at night, some light on, and see the thing perfectly, in vivid color. I don't like the walls of the green circle being heavier than they were at the elongated C stage, but the whole thing is smaller, just with heavier walls. You see the problem: now I want to photograph that wonderful Hunter Green ring while I can. I have my iPhone right there, but it seems that no one else can see what I see on the wall. How can I see something so clearly that I cannot photograph? How can I prove to you that I am seeing Hunter Green (and I did check color charts)?

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The 21 April PET and CAT scans that got me diagnosed with Lymphoma

DEFINITION: fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET). The role of this procedure is to detect metabolically active malignant lesions including lung cancer, colorectal cancer, lymphoma, melanoma, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, brain cancer and multiple myeloma.

page 2:

Graduation in a Time of Distancing

Monday, July 20, 2020

Not kin or connected to Brian Kemp (oh, thank Heaven), but tenuously connected to the great John Lewis

When I made a pilgrimage there in 1979 no one at all was there. Now there is a possibility that the bridge will be renamed for John Lewis.
John Lewis, US Congress is your fifth great uncle's uncle's wife's great niece's husband's fourth great niece's husband's first cousin once removed's wife's second cousin once removed's ex-partner's aunt's husband's first cousin once removed.
Susanna Costner
his mother
Julianna Ohlinger
his daughter
George Palmer
her husband
Johann Adam Balmer
his brother
Jacob Palmer
his son
Viola Palmer
his daughter
Charles Johnson
her husband
Woodrow Johnson
his father
Beverly Johnson
his father
Lula Jane Purdie
his daughter
Johnnie Moore
her father
Jesse Moore
his father
Estelle Jordan
her sister
Joe Tom Siler, Jr.
her ex-partner
Gertrude Siler
his mother
<private> Carter
her husband
J.P. Carter
his father
Dink Carter
his brother
Willie Mae Lewis
his daughter

Sunday, July 19, 2020

So now we know he will use the private army to suppress voting in November

The military will resist but Customs and Borders and Homeland Security will make up his private army to  harass candidates, shut down polling places, intimidate voters.

He has tested his private army in Portland.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Finally, I dared to cook a pound of pinto beans. The recipes had seemed so very intimidating!

So for Wednesday you start on Tuesday. And you follow Ronald Johnson and not Fannie Farmer and certainly not Julia, who wants an oven on all night. But you hover, and hover. And wait and you check and you wait and then add. And the result is wonderful. I could not capture the bubbling with this picture.

The Governor of Oklahoma--with Coronovirus

Stitt came under criticism in March when he posted a photo of his family at a restaurant saying "It's packed tonight!" Stitt later deleted the tweet.

He was in attendance President Donald Trump's rally in Tulsa about three and a half weeks ago, where several Trump campaign staffers and Secret Service personnel had tested positive for the virus.

Woke up today worrying about Jerry Lee Lewis

He's still alive, even at 2 months older than me. Take care, Jerry Lee.
He is, of course, a cousin, albeit distant, on my mother's side through the Hendersons as well as a distant connection through the Knoxes and Stewarts.

Ten years to the day older, in today's obituaries

I read the obituaries of course, especially after having been mis-diagnosed as going blind and dying of cancer and then developing a blood clot to accompany Valley Fever. This is the first time I have encountered an obit of a man who was born 10 years to the day before me. I find it inspiring.

Monday, July 13, 2020

The Hunter Green truncated Teardrop and Ocular Oncologists

After the three thrilling weeks of living under the diagnosis of eye cancer and body cancer, I was diagnosed with the great mimic, Valley Fever, and put on fluconazole. Not, within 2 or 3 days I was sure my right eye, sealed over with brown, was beginning to improve. No, said the ocular experts, that cannot happen. Well, it did, and soon I could read, and for weeks at night a large black tumble weed would race along the walls ahead of me, then after sudden improvement the blob became an extremely long watermelon then other shapes until it became a smaller teardrop on its side. They were all black. The latest, 2 or 3 nights old, is Hunter Green, the C on its side, still smaller, without the point of the teardrop, and the thick line in the base of the C has been solid, intense Hunter Green. Now, can an occulist tell me if this means that any day now it will disappear, meaning that the lesion has closed? What will happen to the gray film that persists, although thinner? How often does one get to witness the diminishing of a lesion in the eye?

color hunter green

Looking toward Cayucos and looking toward Morro Bay from the North Forty

The longest-serving tank of gas in living memory gets slightly reduced

Got outside for a controlled drive.

Our hospitality to Todd, now back in Texas

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Sonny Copeland! Anyone this smart has to be one of my 1772 SC Copelands

The confusion about whether the Spring Bike Rally was still “revving up” started Monday night, after the Atlantic Beach Town Council cancelled their annual Atlantic Beach Bikefest for 2020, citing safety concerns about the pandemic.
This had some people wondering if the Spring Bike Rally, which is expected to go from Monday, July 13, until Sunday, July 19, was going to be cancelled.
Sonny Copeland, one of the organizers for the Spring Bike Rally, said: “absolutely not.”
Copeland said despite what organizers for other events may choose to do, the Spring Bike Rally is gearing up to “ride off” on Monday and he’s confident those participating in the event will be prioritizing safety, wherever they go.
“As far as this virus, if people are smart enough to ride a motorcycle, handle a motorcycle and have a family, they are smart enough to take care of themselves and take care of their family,” Copeland said. “And if you are a rider, you’re not going to do anything that’s going to endanger your life. So yes, I think having bike week is not going to be an issue.”