Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Zealand, Ovarian Cancer, Self-Centeredness, and Facebook

1. Saw on Facebook that most Australians are talking about the earthquake.  During the cyclone and floods, an Australian friend of mine suggested that Australians are overly focused on their own problems. They don't pay enough attention to disasters elsewhere. I disagreed then.  I disagree even more so now; but respectfully. And with lots of love.    

Worrying about yourself and feeling sorry for yourself does not mean you do not care about the problems of others. You can have compassion for your own country, and you can have compassion for other countries.  One doesn't negate the other.
2. Read article about racism in Australia.  A survey was done about all of Australia, but the article concentrates mostly on Victoria, especially the Melbourne area. The general idea is that every area has prejudices about something.  The outer northern suburbs of Melbourne tend to be anti-Jewish, anti-Asian, and Anti-British.   The outer western tend to not like Muslims, but they're fine with Asians and Italians. Inner Melbourne suburbs tend to not like Christians and Italians.

The study showed that areas tends to be most prejudice against a group if there's a concentration of them living there. It seems people are more tolerant when there's ethnic variety.

That makes sense to me.  When there's too much of one group of people, I can start to feel overwhelmed.  Like in Texas, there's a bit too many Republicans.   It makes me feel a bit...something.  I can't think of the word.  Maybe alienated? I'm not sure I'd be happier in a place with an overabundance of Democrats. I think I'd prefer a mix of people.

3. Thought the title of the racism article was ridiculous.  "Australia's a land of racists".  Yes, because other countries are so much more tolerant!  Here in America we love everyone.  We welcome everyone with open arms, and never notice skin color or religion.   No one complains about having a black president. Everyone is treated completely equally.  La la la la la.

Is there ANY country out there lacking in racism?  I doubt it.

4. Heard from Tim, who heard from our friend, who used to live in (or near) Christchurch.   The place he had worked at was hit by the earthquake. There's been some injuries, but no reports of death yet.

My sister, my brother-in-law, my parents, and my cousins all visited Christchurch within the last three years.   I think they all loved the place, and are devastated to hear what's happened.    I mean it's sad for all of us, but probably even more sad for people who have been there to visit. And then it's even MORE sad for people who live there, or have loved ones there.    

5.  Read article about American tourist agencies trying to encourage Australians to visit America.     Meanwhile Queensland tourism is trying to encourage Australians to stay nearby, and visit Queensland. They need the tourism money.

6. Looked at website mentioned in tourism article.  It's an American tourism site for Australians.   They have this map where you're supposed to be able to learn about the various states. It's not working for me. I was curious to see what they'd say about Texas.

7.  Read Launceston article about ovarian Cancer awareness.  I'm getting that it's a big thing this month.  Is it just in Australia, or world-wide?  From what I see on Google, it seems to be an Australian thing.  Or it's at least not American. America has their ovarian cancer awareness in September.   

The article talks about how there is no screening test for ovarian cancer.  SO....they want women to be aware of the symptoms.   The problem is I'm looking at the symptoms on the Ovarian Cancer Australia site, and they're things that are pretty common.  We're supposed to worry if we feel bloated, have stomach aches, pee a lot, and feel full quickly.  My goodness.  That's pretty much the story of my life!  The only thing that doesn't apply to me on a regular basis is the feeling full bit.   I can usually eat an obnoxious amount of food.  A week or so ago I was shocked at myself for not being able to eat more than one pot pie.  I usually can eat at least one and a half.   Suddenly, I was too full to barely finish one.  But all is fine now.  The other night I ate my s'mores dessert, and then finished most of Tim's as well.  

But really. Am I supposed to call the doctor every time I feel a bit nauseous or have a bit of gas? 

8. Read this page of the ovarian cancer website, and it's a little more helpful.  They say you should worry more if the symptoms are new for you, and if they happened multiple times in four weeks.  It does make me a tiny bit nervous because I HAVE had some of the symptoms mentioned.....in the last few weeks. Bleeding between periods, frequent urination (always a problem for me, but it's worse lately) sudden weight gain....and my ear has been randomly hurting. The ear thing is not a symptom.   I just thought I'd mention it.

My guess is my symptoms are random and meaningless. I can go through the internet and convince myself I have almost every physical and mental disorder out there.  I'm not trying to imply that cancer doesn't happen, and that it can't happen to me.   It's just that I often don't feel good.   I have all kinds of weird symptoms. If I went to the doctor every time I felt weird or bad, I'd be visiting the doctor way too often.   I wouldn't have a life. Well, I would have a life, but it would be really awful....full of doctor's offices and lab tests.

9. Went to consult Lord Wiki about Ovarian cancer.  I was curious about something Tim had mentioned yesterday. It was about early screening.   Well, we were talking about how I hate going to the doctor, and all that.   We got back on the subject of cancer screenings.   He said something about early diagnosis not helping in certain cancers.  I guess for some cancers, the prognosis is the same no matter what stage it's diagnosed.  Anyway, Lord Wiki says this is not the case for ovarian cancer.    He says the survival rate for all stages of Ovarian cancers is 45.5%. I guess that's the average for all the stages combined?  Then the survival rate for early detection is 92.7%.  Although that's just for five years.  If all that means is early detection is going to make you more likely to live five years, what's the point?   I mean I guess five extra years of life is nice, but it's really not that long.  Maybe I'm being a bit greedy here. Time goes by really fast though.  

10.  Looked at This article.  It disagrees with Tim. It says early detection does save more lives.    But maybe it doesn't apply to all cancers. I don't know.

I'd LIKE to agree with Tim.  I hate the idea of going to the doctor all the time. Although maybe they'll eventually come up with some simple easy test that will look for all or any cancers.   

Oh!  I think I see what Tim is talking about. It's on the third page of the article. Prostate cancer. It seems early detection and treatment don't make that much of a difference with that type of cancer.    But I think with most other cancers, it DOES make a difference.

I'm lazy and don't want to read the whole article, but I think it's talking about the fact that scientists ARE working on early screening tests. The question then is whether they'll be overpriced. My guess would be yes.

11. Read article about how various countries (including Australia and America) are reaching out to help New Zealand.  That's good.  There're many people trapped in a life and death situation.   Hopefully, most of them can be rescued.  It would be so scary having someone you love trapped like that.  And of course, it would be scary to be the one trapped—not just scary, but painful and horribly uncomfortable.  

12. Stopped being paranoid about having ovarian cancer, and instead worried that people in my family have it. 

13. Very touched by all the people on Facebook showing concern for New Zealand.

14. Read  Anthony Sharwood's editorial about the bond between Australia and New Zealand.  It's very sweet.  It's like siblings. They tease each other. They sometimes ignore each other.   But they love each other. And the love is especially remembered when one of them is hurting. 

Sharwood talks about how New Zealand news often has stories about Australia, but Australia pays less attention to New Zealand. It's kind of the same thing with America and Australia. Australia gives America a lot of attention. America barely notices Australia.  

Sharwood says  But when it comes to the serious, the shocking or the heartbreaking, New Zealand becomes a de facto state of Australia. We send our rescue teams and other experts. Our news cycle is their news cycle.

It's really so much like basic human relationships.  You know how we have some people that we give attention to no matter what.  We let them know that we love them on a regular basis. We don't take them for granted. Then there's other people that we kind of ignore.   In order for us to give them attention, they have to do something drastic like attempt suicide, get in a plane crash, have a heart attack, etc.  

15. Decided that when people update Facebook a fair amount, and don't mention things like the earthquakes....well, I think it makes them look really superficial and self-centered.  Maybe that's not fair.   But I'm sorry. If you have time to write about your stuffed up nose, what you're watching on TV, the cute thing your child said, the gift you got in the mail, the color of your toenail polish, etc....then you have time to mention the earthquake.  

16. Learned something shocking and new today. It started with me being annoyed and judgmental about a conversation I saw on Facebook.   They were inferring that humans were to blame for earthquakes.   It was along the lines of mother nature is striking back.   I saw it as no different than those who try to blame natural disasters on vengeful gods.  But I decided to look it up. To my surprise, earthquakes CAN be caused by human activity.   I had no idea.  That's not to say that the New Zealand earthquake was caused in this way.  Nor does it need to be our focus at this point.   Praying and rescuing should be on our agenda, not pointing fingers of blame.   But once things are fairly okay again, it might be something we need to look at, especially if limiting certain activities can prevent earthquakes.  

And I need to remember to educate myself before judging.  Although, fortunately I kept quiet. I didn't join the conversation and make a fool of myself by revealing my ignorance.

17. Read article that says Newcastle Earthquake was caused by human activity. Scientists believe it was caused by coal mining.

18. Thought maybe I was being too hard on those people who frequently update Facebook, and don't mention the earthquake. Maybe they're not caught up on the news.   It happens sometimes.    Sometimes people are busy, and in a bubble.  BUT....then I thought, so many people are mentioning the earthquake.  Even if people don't keep up with news via TV, internet, newspaper, etc....wouldn't they at least see it mentioned on Facebook?   

Maybe they're not reading their newsfeed.   Maybe they have time only to update everyone on THEIR lives.  You know what I think of that?  I think it's like tipping in America restaurants.   There's this rule/saying that says if you don't have the money to leave your waiter a tip, then you can't afford to eat at the restaurant.  My feeling is if you're too busy to read the newsfeed and find out what's going on in the world, and what's going on with at least some of your friends; then you really don't need to be taking the time to update people on your life.

I mean I'm fine with super busy people who drop by on Facebook occasionally, share important news, and then rush away.  No worries there.  I'm talking about the people who update excessively (like more than ten posts within a 12 hour period), but don't take the time to show that they care or think about others.  

19. Saw that the Red Cross Australia is collecting donations for the earthquake.  Or we can donate to the New Zealand Red Cross.   The American Red Cross doesn't seem to be collecting money for that yet.  I wonder if there's any American organizations where you can send donations.   It doesn't matter though, seeing that these days you can just pay online internationally.  

20. Tried to donate to the New Zealand Red Cross, and it's not working. I'll try Australia instead.   Okay. I think that worked. 

21. Back to being paranoid about ovarian cancer, because my lower back started hurting. That's another one of the symptoms.  By the end of the week, I'll probably have given myself ALL the symptoms.   My mind (imagination) is a powerful thing.   Seriously.  But just in case, it's not in my mind....I shall talk to my doctor at the next appointment (if I'm still having symptoms).   Although who knows if that will help. I'm looking at comments on a New York Times article about the cancer.  There's lots of talk about doctors acting dismissive of women's worries and concerns; and the women have to struggle to get a diagnosis.  I've heard that tale before, and it's another reason I'm not a fan of most medical professionals.  

Anyway, it's probably not my imagination OR ovarian cancer. It's probably just that I'm getting my period soon.

22. Learned from the National Film and Sound Archive Facebook Page that today is the anniversary of Nellie Melba's death.  

I decided to listen some of her singing.  Here's a video of Lo Here the Gentle Lark.

23. Might have signed a petition that was meant for Australians only. Oh well. It was for a good cause.  And you know what.  It was an anti-discrimination thing. So wouldn't it be rudely ironic for them to exclude me?  

24. Read that the Australian government has donated 5 million dollars to the earthquake.  That's very generous of them.  It's really nice when people are going through their own troubles, but still find a way to help others.  

 Both Australia and America are sending in search and rescue experts.

I hate hearing about the hotel that's about to fall.  It reminds me of 9/11.

This news report has some good news though. It says a woman was trapped under her desk for 24 hours.  She was rescued.  She's alive, and not hurt.  She is blessed.  I hope all her family and friends are okay; and I hope they can have a beautiful reunion.  

25. Listened to more of Dame Melba.  

26. Listen to Boy and Bear's Blood and Gold.   I like it.  Most times I have to hear a song repeatedly before beginning to like it.   Every so often, I'll hear a song for the first time and like it.  This is one of those songs.

27. Played my game where I pick a random photo from Adelaide and a random photo from Hobart, then see which I like better.

For Adelaide, I got this photo from an early childhood conference.   For Hobart, I got a photo of fireworks.   I like children better than fireworks, so Adelaide wins the point for this round.  Right now Adelaide is in the lead by 14 points.