Lists, lists, lists....

The Schaft asked a very good question down below, in the comments of the "Minions" post: Why on earth would I be asking for feedback on a tips jar now, rather than looking around at my local community and seeing what needs to be done there?

It's a question that deserves an answer. Here's the answer:

I donate my time, money, and rather a lot of food to local community groups and food banks. I give X amount every month to stinking pinko liberal commie causes, add extra to my gas bill to help keep the heat on for other people, add extra to my electricity bill ditto air conditioning, and give my time and expertise (such as it is) to places like my beloved Planned Parenthood. I do all this already.

What struck me when I was diagnosed with this cancer is this: you can get help for all the shit you need help with, except for what you need help with the most. I've been all over the Innerwebs, and the resources for people with orphan diseases--especially ones that are falsely linked in the public's mind with "lifestyle choices"--are slim to none. Try being a person with no risk factors who has a disease that, at best, 339 other people will be diagnosed with in this country this year. It's a freakin' desert.

If I were in danger of freezing, baking, starving, or having an abnormal Pap test, I could find help. But now? When I have questions about how radiation might affect my thyroid, or the surgery will affect my voice, or how an obdurator might affect my sex life (not that I have one now, but hope springs eternal)......nothing.

That's what's different. That's why I suddenly care about people who are diagnosed with such wierd, off-the-wall shit that, if they're not in my position (working for a research-driven institution; having a surgeon who's one of the few who's seen hundreds of these things), are screwed.

Not being able to find somebody like me sucks. I want there to be somebody like me out there the next time somebody like me goes looking.

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Having cancer is rather more complicated than you'd think at first. Thanks to Beloved Friend Pens, I have now--drum roll--ordered a TV set with a built-in DVD player, and have signed up for a month's worth of Netflix.

I was such a newbie that I typed it in as "netflicks" on my browser.

I've also, since I won't be able to talk, ordered a new phone with a better keyboard and unlimited texting.

And I've got a list of the things I need to buy a month's worth of: dog food, cat food, toilet paper, detergents of various sorts, painkillers, saline solution for contacts, you name it.

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I've got to make my own picture board. The ones at the hospital won't cut it: they have symbols for "pain medicine" but not a symbol for "bring me the good drugs, dammit!" or "get that asshole out of my room."

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Met with the speech therapy person and the physical terrorist today. They're both going to be looking for me after surgery. I also have nurses lined up and people reserving a room for me.

Too much to do. Too much time to do it in; not enough energy for any of it.