Wednesday, February 27, 2008

video blog... denied

I tried to make a new post yesterday using an embedded video to actually show y'all how I'm doing. It was a good day for being an on chemo day. I got some nice surprises to offset the early onset of our friendly side effects, the least of which being a new laptop. :D

And ya know, I really wish Blogger included little smiley graemlins like the various web forums do.

Yes, I bought a new Dell Inspiron 1525. It was a top 5/10 pick in several recent pc editorial reviews and I know the Dell outlet site often has super bargains on refurbs and new orders not delivered; I paid $150 less than the current Dell $300 off code that's on the retail site now. That's nearly half off! Bada bing! This one was a refurb, but it does carry a years warranty and I have strong doubts I'll need it. 1.8GHz dual core, 1Gb memory, 160Gb storage, a/b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth, DVDR+/-, firewire, 15.4" widescreen, Windows Vista Home Premium edition, and some tres cool extras... twin headphone jacks for Jody and I to both enjoy a movie when traveling, a media access that starts a micro operating system to get onto the disk without starting Windows, and a 2 megapixel webcam hidden in the screen frame barely the diameter of a cheap ballpoint pen shaft. So yeah, that brought a smile to my face. :D

I got it out of the box and started setting it up for our network. First came permission to use the network then came the ubiquitous updates (only 9 since this box was built), then anti-virus (ask me privately if you really want to know my choice), and Firefox because IE 7 is a spitefully ugly tool. VAG-COM came next because it was the reason for buying a new laptop. The old one had served me well but the battery would not hold a charge making the VAG-COM cable useless when I needed to scan for trouble in the GTI last week (airbag fault!). The old one was a buy from back before Jody and I were even engaged so it was time for a new one.

In the midst of setting up the new machine I got a phonecall from Cigna... specifically my work incentive program officer. We'd not spoken yet, directly, though she was aware from comments on my case that I am seeking to get back to work. We discussed the resistance I'd encountered policy-wise from both Cigna and Lockheed. When I explained I was getting ready to campaign both my company and customer management chains to get their okay for my proposed schedule (one week on, one week mostly off) she agreed that would be workable. :o

See? There just isn't a way that :o conveys my total shock at hearing that news. Help me out, Schultzie...
So we chatted a little more for a whopping 20 minutes and by the end, I had just a slight change to make to my lobbying plan to get back to work. I can go back -today- if I want to. All I need to do is send in any statements for pay I earn and they can be evaluated retroactively.

That was possibly the best twenty minutes of the the last two months of my life.

So yeah, that brought a smile to my face too. I carved out a new area for cancer stuff on the new laptop and started with my lobby outline. I will solicit letters of recommendation from all of my doctors and management peeps and forward any that I receive on to both Lockheed and Cigna. Cigna will also get their own copy of Dr. Lee's initial part time release/limitations on me working at all. That will keep me smiling today while the 5FU drips away.

I had to blog about it but hey, why not try out the little webcam in the process? It worked well producing a four minute video (I outlined what I wanted to share like a little script) that chewed up 1.8G of storage. D'oh. Waaaaay too big for Blogger to swallow. I tried watering down the video capture settings but only got down to 350Mb which was still too big. I will give it another try because I think it would be nice for you guys who can't see and hear me.

Meanwhile, I have some prayers to ask you to join me in.

First is wonderful news from my cousin, Richelle, and her husband, Johnny; they are expecting a baby toward the end of the summer! I pray for a healthy kid and two sane parents on the other side and am so happy for them. :D

Next is my pal, Dave. He'll be going in for a biopsy/exploratory surgery on his spine where the edema and fractured vertebrae is. That's Thursday or Friday this week and I'm hopeful that at least the swelling can be abated and give Dave some relief. He and his wife, Shaye, also need to know exactly what's up so I'm praying for definitive results of the biopsy.

My chemo buddy, Greg, is off the drip this week but having more difficulties with his neuropathy causing pain and locking up joints now and then. He really deserves a break and if the supplements can't do it, God most definitely can. Please pray with me that he gets some specific help in those areas and can withstand the remaining chemo rounds we've both got coming up.

Me? Well The Bubblies are still there and this week's chemo seemed to wake them up earlier than normal; that's usually Thursday when the 5FU is done and my poison tank is full. Finding other things to concentrate one helps as does a little snack to keep The Bubblies occupied. Thus, the getting back to work campaign will help but a little more effectiveness from my pills or a little Providence would not be unwelcome. My car has an airbag fault that had been compounded by what appeared to be the steering convenience control module also dying. She goes to the dealer on Monday despite the steering controls coming back on Monday. :kookoo: I go in next Wednesday for a flouroscopy x-ray that Dr. Grasso will appraise to see how his work has healed. If he gives me the okay, we can schedule the ileomostomy reversal! And oh yeah, my hair is falling out. I'm getting this little sideways strip across the top with a little patch up front and a Shaolin kung-fu monk style in the back. I'm not happy and it's just the latest demoralizing loss in this whole deal. I don't know what to do about it.


James said...

Sco, great news, enjoy the new toy. Try running 340x280 capture with medium/high quality and you should be able to get the size manageble.

As a person permanently loosing ones hair I recomend just going and saying #4 buzz all over please. The shorter it is the less you will notice has gone missing.

tinkknitz said...

Welcome to my world Buddy. Try being a girl. At least I get to knit some of my own hats!

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