Tuesday, April 19, 2011

March of the Salarymen. 

Tokyo. Using a guidebook/map is so much better than GPS. You learn much more with a real map. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Back in Tokyo....

Our Tokyo campus is having its opening ceremony tomorrow. In Japan the academic year starts in May.

I've done some reading on the radiation threat in Tokyo, and here's what I've been able to figure out for sure: No one knows much about much.

That's slightly sarcastic, but it is frustrating that there is such a wide range of allegations of facts about the situation and its impact. Most of the doomsday predictions are predicated upon either 1) the Japanese government hiding the true information about the amount of radiation released, or 2) a catastrophic explosion happening at the Fukishama plant reactors.

Well, I've never thought governments were competent enough to manage large conspiracies. Except for the Roswell incident, as the U.S. gov't did a nice job covering that one up. (Okay, I'm just joking, no need to send the men in black out to visit me, I believe the cover story!!) I don't think the Japanese government can prevent independent measuring of radiation.

Speaking of that, what I am pretty sure of is that I should worry more about the CT scans I receive (I've had SIX in the past year and a half!!!) than the background radiation in Tokyo. Check out this graph, you can click on it to make it bigger.

You can see the orange dots are measurements from Tokyo during this crisis. About the same or lower than Denver (Denver's altitude gives it a high natural exposure rate, here's the article that explains this chart--these folks are not nuclear physicists, I know, but they explain it well).

Look at the white circles, those are the medical procedures. CT scans are pretty high up there. In the past year and a half, it's like I've been working in a nuke plant for 6 years, given my six CT scans. Or, if I had been a smoker for 6 years. Radiation is cumulative, so exposure builds up over time. Ugh.

I had my miso soup for breakfast, by the way. With kelp.

Will the Fukishama plant go Chernobyl? Highly unlikely. It is and will be a terrible disaster for years to come, but, knock on wood, it should not explode like Chernobyl. Unless the Japanese government is hiding something from us....

You can google all these subjects yourself. You'll find opinions all over the map. Internet is too full.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

WTF, Sheboygan?

I was just about to recycle my latest Froedtert Cancer Clinic magazine (I had my first surgery at Froedtert, an excellent facility with first class doctors), but I thought I'd best thumb through it and see wazzup with cancer.

And guess what--the magazine featured a profile of a Sheboygan resident. Suffering from abdominal pains last April 2010, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She sought a second opinion at Froedtert (no details of where her first diagnosis was) and they said "hmmm...this is not something that started in the cervix or ovaries...something weird here, let's see." After surgery to remove several tumors, yep, you guessed it. Appendix cancer. Signet ring cell.

She had the HIPEC treatment after that. I'm going to call her and meet her.

Many thoughts in my head--another initial misdiagnosis, nice catch by the great folks at Froedtert, and good work by Dr. Sam Pappas and the others down there in Milwaukee (it is great that they are building an expertise in this area). Of course, wow, more Sheboygan. That is four Sheboyganites I know who have fought this disease in the past 6 years.

It's an under-diagnosed disease. If any of you know any women diagnosed with ovarian or cervical cancer, insist that they have their doctor look for signs of appendix cancer. And anyone that has colon cancer that doesn't seem to act like like "normal" colon cancer should consider whether appendix cancer is the culprit.