10 November 2008


Treatments and repairs

A few weeks ago I was contemplating skipping my next clinical trial of cancer treatments, but after talking to my doctors it seems that the drug under examination, cediranib, has a better potential for being effective, and is less likely to cause nasty side effects, than I thought. So today I took my first dose, in the form of a tiny pill no bigger than a small vitamin tablet. I only down one a day, quite a contrast to the several hours of IV dosing from my previous chemo treatments.

It almost seems like too little to do anything, but I've learned over the past couple of years that little things can have big effects in cancer treatment. So here's hoping. It will be a couple of months until my next CT scan indicates any activity (slowing, stopping, or shrinking my lung tumours) from the drug, but I'll also be having numerous blood tests and other evaluations, mostly in the next couple of weeks, as part of the scientific study. So I'll feel like something is happening.

I've felt no side effects at all so far—I wouldn't necessarily expect to, on the first day—so today I dealt with another problem. Or at least I hope I did. After this weekend we discovered that our roof appears to be leaking into our upstairs bathroom, bubbling up the paint all down one of the corners of the room. Last night I ventured up into our narrow attic crawlspace with one of our small digital cameras, where I confirmed the leak through from the roof. We last had the roof re-done in 1994, so it's no surprise it might be aging.

Luckily, today was a rare sunny autumn day in Vancouver. So this afternoon I schlepped down to Home Depot for a can of patching tar, then my daughters and I climbed up on the roof of the house after school (they'd never been up there before). The tar-paper roof tiles actually look to be in good shape, but the seams are indeed dried and cracking. The girls watched while I troweled the noxious black goop onto and around the most likely leak zone. The rain is supposed to return tonight, so we'll find out soon enough whether I did a good job.

We're going to have to repaint the bathroom no matter what. And next time there's a spell of good weather, it might be wise to re-tar all the seams on the roof, just in case.

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We were just talking about the roof for the house we're building. It's apparently going to be metal, because we want to collect the rain water that hits it. Apparently a tarred roof puts way too much grit and related stuff into the water that drains off it. I wonder if a metal roof lasts longer? Shows how little I know about this house-building stuff, eh?
I remember going up on the roof with my dad when I was little. So fun! Hope your kids enjoyed it as much as I remember enjoying that!
Darren, I assume a metal roof would last longer, although when we had ours re-done in 1994 it was already 27 years old. So "traditional" tar-paper roofs work pretty well.

I also assume people have figured out a way to make metal roofs (rooves?) not sound like an earthquake in a hardware store when it rains.
I dunno, I think there's something... something to the sound of hard pounding rain on a tin roof. Most of the roofs in Cayman were corrugated, galvanized steel sheets (I think tin itself has gone the way of the dodo)The good news is they seem to last a long time and are rust-resistant (good in a salt-spray climate) the bad news is that when they DO come off in a hurricane they turn into gigantor-sized ninja stars of death.

Is your house the same one that the Love Bugs used to have parties at back in the day? If so, then I remember climbing out the window at the landing on the stairs and sitting on that roof with a bunch of other people during one summer party in... 88? 89? :)
Nope, this is a different house. And I don't think we'll be putting a metal roof on it anytime soon.