Friday, June 29, 2012

And the news is... husband got a good job offer.  It's a good, stable company that's been in business for many decades.  He likes them and they like him.  It's is the same industry he's familiar with but a different position which will expand his experience.  And it's also three hours away from our home.  I knew about this when he first threw his hat in the ring.  I accepted it, have tried to deal with it and be strong.  I know that change is inevitable and I can either embrace it or kick and scream against it.  The role entails less risk and responsibility he had before so it pays less.  And therein, is the rub for my husband.  Not me.

He got the offer Wednesday afternoon (48 hours ago.)  I was so happy.  We'd been waiting for this for almost a year.  I felt God's promise had been fulfilled.  All the pain had been worth it.  I went to adoration chapel that evening and Mass afterwards.  I cried during Mass because I was so happy.  I never do that.  This was special, to me, at least.

Thursday mid-afternoon my husband calls me and said he talked to my mother and now he's decided to negotiate for more money.  At first, I was receptive to hearing his case for more money but it was stirring around my brain while we were talking about it and I came up with several outstanding reasons why he should take the offer as is.  One example is that the offer was written.  Never did they verbally negotiate with him on salary.  They asked him what he used to make and they formulated the number that was good for them.  That's just one mild example.  All the others are profound and very serious.  Believe me on this one.

I used to believe that come hell or high water, a smart individual should always negotiate.  However, I did that once with disastrous consequences.  I was working at my first job after college, and it was going OK, but I wanted to move on.  A colleague had recently left the company and joined another.  He offered to interview me for a job with the new firm.  I met the owners and went through a fairly rigorous interview process.  They emailed a written offer.  The offer was good; the base salary was more than I was making and the benefits were about that same.  I was OK with it.  But I thought I'd look weak if I didn't negotiate.  So I upped the salary by 20% and asked for three weeks annual vacation instead of two.

My friend called me up and said, "[Author] I'm really disappointed and I think you will be too.  We can't move forward on this."  I said, "what do you mean?  Are you rescinding the job offer?"  "I wouldn't call it rescinding?  Let's just say it's not there any more."  My first thought was, "do I not know the meaning of 'rescind.'  Oh my God, this is awful."  I'd been so excited about the new work.  Despite how awful I felt, all was not lost.  I still had a job.  I gave up nothing except high expectations.  This is not the same as my husband's situation.

My evil, bully boss in D.C. gave me some good advice during an acquisition negotiation.  He said, "In a negotiation, you always have to be willing to walk away."  You cannot be so tied to whatever you're negotiating about, you lose your edge.  Right now, we cannot afford to lose our edge and we are not willing to walk away.  At least I'm not.

But, here I am on Friday afternoon.  No celebration dinner, no champagne, no nothing.  Just life like it always was.  Our life is so stable it's criminal.  That may sound like a strange statement but job loss in our household is not the disaster it was to so many millions of Americans.  We're fine.  We won't lose our house, we won't lose our cars, we won't stop enjoying the simple pleasures we always have.  We're pathetically fine.

I should add that "good" things come in twos.  And in this case, my husband has a follow-up interview with the owner of a start-up doing cutting-edge work.  It's cool stuff that my husband seems to be very excited about.  It's close to home.  He can still live with me.  But, it doesn't seem to come down to this.  It comes down to money.  Money he wants but money we don't need.  

If I sound depressed and a bit angry, it's because I am.  I feel like some core values are being betrayed.  Like doing work for work's sake, not for the payoff.  Like having a job is a core commitment to your wife.  When he kicks the can down the road, it hurts me.  It puts all kinds of pressure on me to be the good one, to be the responsible one.  I don't find it fair and I'm losing my patience.     

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ultrasounds and cigarettes

I still haven't received any word from the hospital where my ultrasounds were performed way back in February.  You'll remember (or you can read about) my insurance company sent me an explanation of benefits form detailing the hospital charged over $2,000 for a transvag and pelvic ultrasound.  I sent in a wonderful protest letter with supporting documentation preempting the bill.  So, I've received neither a bill or a response to the protest.  My husband predicts it will come, it's just taking a while to wind itself through the hospital bureaucracy.  Perhaps so, but it is a private for-profit corporation, so you'd think it would move faster than this.

We went to a totally cool party on Saturday.  Fun people, with no kids in sight.  It was like being 22 again.  I drank quite a bit, smoked a cigarette (sort of), and had absolutely no hangover the next day.  Amazing.

I might, just might have something big to reveal later this week.  I do not count my chickens before they hatch anymore (learned that lesson) but we're putting more than a 50% chance of this opportunity going through.  Now that my blog is no longer about (in)fertility, I think I'm either pretty boring or non-existent which is not what I want to be.  I've just spent too much time not focusing on my real life here (anything that has nothing to do with infertility) that I'm not sure I can catch up.  I want to be honest, revealing but there's so much pressure not to be.  Ok, this is all so stupidly cryptic but that's all I've got right now.  Maybe more later. :)     

Cells Most Vulnerable to HPV Are Identified

Cells Most Vulnerable to HPV Are Identified

Scientists have located the cells in the cervix that give rise to cancer when attacked by the human papillomavirus, a discovery that may lead to new methods of preventing and treating the disease.
Even though the virus pervades the entire genital tract, HPV infection causes precancerous and cancerous lesions in just one part of the cervix, called the ectoendocervical squamocolumnar junction, or SC junction. Now researchers have found that cervical cancers are linked to a small population of distinct cells in that region.
The researchers began by examining cells from the SC junction in the cervices of patients not infected with HPV. Among the samples they found some cells that under a microscope looked different from those in adjacent areas.
Then they looked at the cells of precancerous and cancerous lesions, comparing the form and genetic makeup of those cells with the SC junction cells. They matched, and so the scientists believe that they have found the cells in which most, if not all, cervical cancers arise.
Dr. Christopher P. Crum, the senior author, said that the discovery follows findings in a 2011 study led by Frank McKeon and Wa Xian at Harvard, who found the same cells in Barrett esophagus, a precursor of esophageal cancers. (Research has linked these cancers, too, to HPV infection.)
The new study was published online June 11 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“These markers could be used to more clearly define which precancers need to be treated versus those that need to be followed, so you don’t go doing surgery on women who have innocuous infections,” said Dr. Crum, a professor of pathology at Harvard.
Dr. Mark H. Einstein, a gynecologic oncologist at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx who was not involved in the study, agreed that this could be an important clinical application of the finding.
“The procedures that treat the precancerous cells can lead to preterm birth in some women, so we want to avoid them if possible,” he said. “Sometimes doing less is more.”
Although the researchers say they cannot rule out that SC junction cells might develop spontaneously, they are almost certain that they appear during fetal development and exist in all women, regardless of age.
Markers of SC junction cells are always present in high-grade precancerous and cancerous lesions, and they are absent in most low-grade lesions. In this study, their presence accurately predicted the precancerous lesions most likely to become malignant, those infected by HPV Type 16.
The discovery might also lead to prophylactic treatment, at least in areas of the world where routine care like cervical cancer screening is unavailable.
“Given how small the area is that these cells occupy,” Dr. Crum said, “they might very easily be removed or ablated by some means which could be a cost-effective way of preventing cervical cancer. There are people who claim anecdotally that this would work, and it’s a concept worth thinking about.” The cells do not regenerate after they are cut away.
Clinical application of the discovery could be very close, Dr. Einstein said.
“This is something that could probably be adopted by clinicians and pathologists pretty soon,” he said. “These investigators have actually identified the type of cells which can then be used to target new methods of testing, treatment and screening. It’s fantastic.”

Friday, June 15, 2012


You might wonder why I post news stories about the Church, the Vatican, health topics, etc.  One is that I'm  just trying to keep track of what I find interesting and two, not that you should consider me a news source, I like to publicize certain events to our little community.  As a fairly beginner Catholic, I love reading and learning about internal Vatican politics because I'm nerdy about organization theory.  Corruption really gets my goat and  I think it's very important to understand the structure of what we're believing in.  That's it in a nutshell.

So, I'm not dead, obviously but I am just now finishing up one of the most exhausting, maddening periods in my work life.  I don't like to talk specifically about my work here because, although this is an anonymous blog, I don't believe anything done online is ever truly anonymous and therefore I am concerned that speaking badly about my co-workers, employer will land me in hot trouble.  Let's just say at times, the situation had become so embarrassing, so belittling, so unjust, so aggravating it was giving me persistent headaches.  Heck, I still kind of have it.  It starts on the lower right side of my brain then moves to the top frontal region and now has landed on the lower left side.  I take a lot Aleve.  And some random days off, here and there.  I took a mental health day just yesterday.

Last Friday, my husband had a meeting with a sta.te sen.ator that included several other folks (the Land.ow.ners) that have a serious beef with the Companies.  Since I had the day off, I joined him.  We were way overdressed (everybody else were in jeans, we in suits) but I subscribe to the "better off overdressed than under" theory.  In our state, apparently mineral rights supersede those the landowners.  Example, if you own the mineral rights on my parcel(s), you can come in at any point, don't have to even consult with me, and drill your own little oil well on my property.  You can put it anywhere you'd like, carve out a road, and don't have to pay me or take any mitigation measures to compensate me for lost income, i.e. I might be growing some crops that you've obliterated because of your oil well.  We're on the side of the good people.  So, Lando.wners were there to lobby for legislation but the senator suggested arbitration which no one felt very confident about because the are so high and mighty, they agree to meet then promptly cancel the meetings.

But, this gets me to my real reason for telling this story, inappropriate winking.  The Landow.ner ringleader who is a well-connected, rich guy (but all rich people are well-connected, I know) who leases a little property from my husband's family.  Last Friday was the first time I'd met him.  When we started the meeting, we were waiting for one person to show up so the conversation turned to promoting healthy food for school lunches.  Hey, I like the idea but I was observing a self-imposed silence as I'd done as much talking that week than my little brain could take.  So, I might have looked uneducated, air-headish (I am blonde.)  In the middle of other people taking, Ringleader makes eye contact with me, gives me a little devilish smile, and winks.

Devilish is the best adjective I can come up with but the smile and wink really struck me as, "It's OK there, doll, I know this stuff is over your head, but it'll be OK."  I wasn't so much offended as thinking, "why is this guy acting like he knows what I'm about when he doesn't have the first clue."  But I am judged by my looks a lot.  I think in this case, I'm looking pretty dolled up, next to my husband who is old enough to be my father, so I look like a gold digger, idiot.  When we got married, it never really occurred to me that we'd be judged by our age difference but it is a fact of life.  People are judgmental about men marrying much younger women.  I get it.  But it can blind side you when you're just trying to live your life and people think you're shallow, vapid, untrustworthy, etc.  Other examples are, "You don't look like you're ride a motorcycle."  "You don't look like you'd hike 75-miles in Peru, etc."  I'm tempted to ask, "well, what does that person look like?"  Maybe I'll start.