The on-off nature of Prednisone (10 mg one day, 0 the next), while mercifully sparing me feeling crummy, has had a few minor side effects. My energy level appears to be a bit more variable – some days I nap, other days not, my stomach has more burbling than before, and my strength seems to vary more, with a bit more muscle fatigue. Even my biking time a bit slower this week (I don’t think I can blame it all on the wind!). All part of the adjustment process, and nothing that prevents me from doing things, but interesting to experience. This will diminish, I expect, once I further phase down to alternating between 5 and 0 mg each day.
I went to see Batman: The Dark Knight Rises with my daughter. More conventional than the last one (hard to outdo Heath Ledgers’ Joker), with less wit, a bit of a mish-mash of allusions to Occupy Wall Street and the French Revolution (the people’s court), an overall message of the danger of anarchy (as noted by a number of conservative commentators), but with some interesting twists and turns in the plot. And I liked how the ending tidied up all the loose ends in a satisfying manner (I would have said credible but given how the whole idea of someone like Batman operating on his own without a large team to support him is not credible ….).
On a completely different note, we watched Waiting for ‘Superman’, a documentary about education in the US and how, while particularly acute in inner city schools, the US has lost its former competitive advantage in education has been overshadowed by many other countries. While a bit simplistic – yes, rigidity by teacher unions is a major part of resistance to change, the issues also reflect family situations (e.g., ‘Goodnight Moon’ reading time) and overall economic and social conditions (e.g., more affluent families can provide more of enriched activities than families that are struggling). Worrying, given the importance that education has had on innovation and mobility. That being said, some fairly moving testimonies of families of modest means trying to do their best for their kids and get them into schools that provide a strong learning environment and focus. As we watched it with our daughter, just graduated from high school graduate, a good opportunity to discuss her school experience with her (and she recognized how fortunate she had been).
And of course we have been catching some bits of the Olympics.
I finished reading Guy Vanderhaeghe’s A Good Man, as I needed some fiction for a change. I really enjoyed it. Set in the both the Canadian and American West shortly after the American Civil War and Custer’s defeat, it captures nicely the dynamics across the Canadian-US border at a time of ‘pacification’ of the aboriginal populations. The characters are rich and believable, the depiction of the time engaging (I was not all that familiar with this period), and some of the themes (e.g., aboriginal and ‘white’ relations) remain pertinent to our time. And it is a bit of a ‘page-turner’ as one is so curious to see what happens next. A great summer read (or any other time).
July was my blog’s most popular month ever, with the most popular posts (apart from the weekly updates and various reflection and tip pieces) being the following:
- Darcy Doherty and ‘Last Chance’ treatments (Darcy Doherty: Cancer patient’s death strengthens a push for last-chance drugs, Terminally ill patients should have access to last-chance therapies, In one man’s fight against cancer, safety trumps hope)
- How Stress And Sleep Loss Are Shortening Your Life
- Life, Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad
- Is organic food too costly?
- Patients seek Internet information to start dialogue with physicians and Researchers Find Potential Key to New Treatment for Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL)
Hard to believe, but only one week to go to my one year anniversary. Life is sweet.