good news, everyone

Our Gretta does not, it turns out, have cancer! Which came as a big surprise to the four vets who looked at her x-ray and said “that’s osteosarcoma.” And to the first oncologist who ran the biopsy and couldn’t quite believe that it came back negative, and sent it to a second oncologist.

As it turns out, they believe our doggo had a fracture sometime in her past that healed up wrong, without giving her any trouble running around normally — and then more recently, fractured again worse and was an untenable mess. The vet who did the surgery she said that if we’d chosen to do a bone biopsy first, she would still have recommended amputation, given the state it was in and Gretta’s age. So basically she got to get it all over with faster and with less stress on her body.

My parents have now had both their COVID-19 vaccines, so that’s a relief. My brother and his wife, both grocery workers, are waiting for theirs and I hope they can get them soon. My “aunt” (really a family friend, but like a sister to my mom) is apparently afraid of it because she’s had some bad reactions to flu shots in the past (and of course, the disinformation out there doesn’t help at all) but promises to ask her doctor. And as for my wife and I, well… the vaccine situation has been Extremely Not Great in the St. Louis area; last I’ve heard there have been zero doses sent by the state in the last three weeks. I’m signed up on three different pre-registration lists. I’ve also read news that Walmart is taking appointments, but I checked and they’re not doing it in our area, at least not yet.

We’ve been “enjoying” ( ಠ_ಠ ) real winter weather lately, with temperatures in single digits, snow flurries or light ice most days, and quite possibly a wind chill of -25F to look forward to this weekend. One advantage of not leaving the house very much is I’ve not once broken out the heavy coat, gloves, snow boots, and such and done very little driving in questionable road conditions.

We watched all four seasons of The Good Place over the course of 3-4 days, and it was great fun. We both agree that Janet is the best. The next time I have some excuse to hand someone a cactus I’m going to say, “I have the file.” It might be a while though.

I’ve just finished Charles Stross’s Empire Games and Dark State and am eager to jump into Invisible Sun. This is the second series in the Merchant Princes setting. Where the Laundry Files are a crossover of horror/SF/comedy/spy thriller, this setting is more fantasy/SF/alternate history/political thriller/spies. And these two books start pretty heavily into the spies and land on all fours in science fiction.