Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ketsup, catsup

throughout mason's treatment, i have been amazed at the knowledge we have now. sure, it's not as much as we would like and i am sure there is a long way to go, but mason has been very blessed.

each time he gets a course of chemo, he also gets various adjuvants to help with some of the worse side effects. we know that with certain chemos, he needs to be monitored until it has left his system, he needs lots of fluids to prevent the chemo from gathering in his bladder and eating a hole through it, etc. every time a nurse or doctor explains something like that to us, i cannot help but feel incredibly blessed. there was a time when medulloblastoma meant death from ignorance. there was a time when it meant death on the operating table. there was a time when it meant organ failure and hearing aids. suddenly, the side effects mason has to worry about are not seeming so bad.

i often think about the kids who found out the hard way that cisplatin causes kidney failure and hearing loss. i think about the ones who found out the hard way that cytoxan causes secondary aml and bladder cysts. i think of the children that are the reason we know radiation to the brain causes severe learning disabilities. the ones who led us to know it also causes sterility. i like to think of them as the brave generation that came before. they were diving into this world of chemotherapy and radiation basically blind.

there are countless children who did not have it as good as mason. countless kids who unknowingly lost their lives to the pursuit of science. maybe the pursuit of science was their only option. there are still kids who have cancers that we don't know how to cure. i just think that childhood cancer is probably the cruelest invention ever. mason still has some pretty serious side effects to worry about, but he has been so blessed, it's hard to focus on those possibilities.

anywho, go here to find out how you can help mason and other cancer kids. a cure is what we need, and tomorrow is just not good enough for some of these kids.

Friday, June 24, 2011


well, i am at the hospital with mason and pene, he had a hearing test and now is waiting for chemo. right now, he's being evaluated for a study on the cognitive effects of radiation in small children. it's kind of fascinating, but it is like watching someone take the rorschach test. i can't help but wonder what the purpose of the questions he is being asked is. is it bad that i am totally rooting for him to get them all right? is there even a right answer?

masey's being asked to explain some words, and it's quite hilarious. here are some of his answers:
what do you know about glow: if you put a glow on a firefly, it will light up
hero: saves the day
castle: for princesses
swing: you could swing
shoe: it's a shoe. to keep your feet clean
letter: to send to someone
bike: to ride your bike around the neighborhood

i was going to make this post a lot more deep and philosophical, but i decided against it when mason started his answers. i feel like i have to add in that i saw a spot on a local show about a mother who dressed her kids up in stereotypical "indian" outfits when they visited the pueblo ruins. she thought it would put her kids in the mood for the history of where they were visiting. she's selling the kits, too. you know, in case you want your kids convinced that pueblo indians looked just like pocahontas on the disney movie. i think it's a little arrogant and very offensive. it's like dressing up as a "black person" to visit jamaica. if you want to teach your kids history, teach them actual history not stereotypes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


my name is latu. remember me?  it's been forever since i have posted anything, and it was forever before my last post. it's almost embarrassing. the issue is not having something to say. i have no fewer than 17 drafts that i have not posted, but written in the last three months. not drafts with a few words in them, but entire posts. i honestly cannot remember why i did not post them at the time, but now that i see them it is stressing me out. part of me wants to just hit post on all of them, part of me wants to delete them and forget they ever happened. that's about what i ever do when i feel overwhelmed. i get rid of the evidence :) avoidance is an awesome lifestyle!  anywho, today i am determined to post something. maybe not anything profound or worth reading, but i have got to post!

i've been doing a lot of thinking lately. i am taking an ethics class, and i have a 3-4 page paper due every day. not too rough for me; they're about ethical topics, so i just ramble like usual. i've never been known not to have an opinion! but, it has caused me to think. a lot. i guess uvu is shaping me into a more well-rounded person as we speak :)

one thing that's been on my mind a lot lately is the past. everyone has those moments in their life, where you suddenly realize that your world and life now occupies two different sides of an event. the before and the after. it can be a trivial event, like an amazing dinner. or it can be completely life-altering, like life and death. because the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, it is very hard to not look back at the before part of your life and feel nostalgic.

the city i live in used to be full of orchards, and called the provo bench. my backyard was once an orchard, and the guy who lived in my house was a geologist of some sort who collected hundreds of rocks. when i was younger, we were constantly finding rocks in our back yard. some of them were normal-looking, some were fascinating. each of them were a link to the before part of our house's history. sometimes, we'll get letters from random geological societies, addressed to whoever built this house. it's interesting to wonder about this house; it is about the same age as my parents, and it is obvious that some parts are additions.

the good old days seem to be so for most people. everyone (barring those with horriffic or traumatic childhoods) sees their childhood as an idyllic, innocent time. definitely better than nowadays. my great grandmother (the oldest relative i ever knew) felt like this, my grandmother felt like this, and i feel like this now. maybe the before, or our past, is just another example of how we're more alike than different.