Monday, February 23, 2009

The DC House Voting Rights Act

I have tried to keep my posts on this blog specifically separated from my personal and professional advocacy efforts, but today I am making an exception. I am posting a link to my guest entry on the Religious Action Center blog about the DC House Voting Rights Act, a bill that the Senate may vote on as early as tomorrow. The bill gives Washington DC a voting member of the House of Representatives. Please take a moment to learn more about it by clicking on the link, and please take the additional step of following the links within the blog to send a letter, or, even better, to call your Senators today, and ask them to vote for this important civil rights legislation! Click here!

And a shout out to the RAC's wonderful press secretary, Kate Bigam, for her encouragement and editorial skills!

Friday, February 13, 2009


I have been home for about two weeks now, and am luxuriating in sleeping in my own bed, being unhooked from the IVs, and able to have some privacy and freedom of movement. I am feeling better everyday, and grateful that my immune system is bouncing back quickly. All signs indicate that things are improving very steadily.

While recuperation has been basically right on target, so have the side-effects. I have been tired, but feeling better as the days pass, and dealing with the residual impact of such a high dose of chemotherapy, including some stomachaches, headaches and nausea. But there have been a couple of surprises as well. Three days after getting out of the hospital, I began to have a sharp, steady, pain in one of my teeth. It got increasingly worse, resulting in me interrupting my doctor during a super-bowl party (which he was very nice about). I then interrupted our neighbor, an oral surgeon, during his super-bowl party (which he was also very kind about), who scheduled me for the very next morning, where I immediately had an emergency root canal. I wasn’t too surprised by this, as I had some dental issues after my first round of chemo two years ago.

The real surprise came a week later. I was brushing my teeth and looking at my face in the mirror, when I realized that something was…different. I leaned in, and first noticed two new birthmarks, one above my upper lip, and one on my chin. A closer look revealed several more faint freckles - to the right of my lips, next to my eye, and above my nose. An examination of the rest of my body revealed dozens more. Subtle enough that someone who didn’t know, well, the back of their own hands, wouldn’t have noticed, but absolutely new. I found this side-effect pretty remarkable. I asked my doctor about it, and he explained that this change in skin pigmentation is a rare, but possible side-effect of one of the most recently administered chemotherapy drugs.

The doctor also gave my freshly-freckled self other exciting news. If my next set of tests, in two weeks, show that my immune system is continuing to improve, I can return to Washington shortly after!