Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Tag: Writing (page 2 of 2)

I’m Still Alive

Sorry I haven’t been very active on my site or Twitter over the past few months. The whole presidential race took it out of me, and I’m really only now starting to come out of my little mental self-protective ball. I’m not making any promises I’ll be back in any way permanently on Twitter until after January 20th, and I’m not willing to give a specific date. My bipolar is doing its thing, making me not care about crap to the point where it’s taken quite a bit of effort to type this message up. I have some goals for the year, and I’ll get around to posting them once I’ve managed to organize them enough to do so.

I think, for the site, I’m going to be pretty random with posts for a while; I’ll try to get something up at least once a week, but there’s just no way I’m mentally capable of keeping to a schedule at this time. Still not sure just what I’m going to do about the site, though I intend to make some decisions about it this year and do some sort of overhaul on it. Last year was just not a good year for anything, really, except my writing, and I’m hoping that this year will improve shortly.

2016 started off with a bang on the writing front, but so far 2017 has proven to be very lackluster on that front. I’ve managed to write maybe one or two scenes and done some editing of one of my complete stories since the 1st, but not much else. It hasn’t been a completely uncreative writing downswing, though, so I’m not feeling depressed quite yet. I’m hoping my Creative Mind will wake up pretty soon though. I’d love to write some more.

So that’s where I stand.

Side Effects Update 3

This entry is part 26 of 44 in the series Breast Cancer Posts

I had my third chemo treatment on the 31st of December. Yes, New Year’s Eve. Then I proceeded to sit up past midnight (not really celebrating, but just zoning, fiddling with different things, and generally being a nuisance to myself).

Oops, I forgot to take my prep-antinausea meds the evening before and the morning of my treatment before leaving home. Nurse who did my chemo was displeased. I felt baaaaaad for forgetting my meds. I’m usually very good about taking them. It’s a good thing they provided about 20mg of the antinausea medication as part of chemo at the hospital, or I may not have been able to eat lunch. There was no appreciable difference in my administration-condition regarding stomach upset, though I did feel just vaguely uncomfortable in a very distant way.

Otherwise, my chemo treatment went pretty well. Had a little fun once I realized I could adjust the foot of the bed as well as the head, and had myself quite comfortable once treatment started. I read about halfway through a paperback by a favorite author while I was getting treatment, which was nice.

The next day? I was out most of it. Though I was up between seven and nine that night; there’s an entry on one of my writing logsheets for me starting a new project on that day. I’m not going to say much on it in this post, however, though I will admit it’s my Casi/Vel story.

On Thursday, I had an appointment with my Oncologist, and I was fairly alert for that. Was still draggy due to chemo fatigue, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the second day after the first treatment, even if it wasn’t as good as it was after my second treatment. Apparently, the severity of side effects fluctuates.

Like the diarrhea. That started the Monday after treatment, and lasted most of the week. Was uncomfortable by the end of last week, but not as tortured as I was after the first treatment’s experience with that week of PottyTime.

Chemo mouth wasn’t as pronounced this time around, either. The most I had was a slight sensitivity to spices and temperature, not nearly as much as after previous treatments. Tongue felt only a little dry, and for a shorter period of time, and I didn’t get any spots on my gums which felt particularly dry. It was more an all-over condition on the roof of my mouth, and not as severe as the spots were.

I have one more chemo treatment, and that’s supposed to happen on the 21st. Following that, I’ll be going in for my radiation setup appointment and then begin radiation. I’ve decided to join the research study they’re performing, so I’m not sure how long I’ll be going in—could be anywhere from three to six and a half weeks. I’ll discuss it more once I know what’s going to happen.


I sometimes think of myself as a veteran by accident. Not because I didn’t intend to join the military, but because I wasn’t able to make it the career I planned to. I joined the Navy on the 17th of December in 2001. In basic training, my knees developed issues which caused pain and discomfort due to a disciplinary practice the petty officers of my division’s brother division instituted in order to get the females in my division to shut up because they seemed incapable of having quiet conversations: kneeling at attention. I don’t know why this simple and harmless discipline caused my knees to go bad; nobody else suffered ill effects from it.

I gave up writing in order to make the Navy my career, and I stuck it out in boot camp despite my knee problems. In part because I was so determined to succeed in the Navy. The rest was because my petty officers were supportive and told me I could get proper help for my knees at my Advanced Training School. I was never happier than the day I graduated basic training, and I had utmost confidence I’d succeed in every future endeavor I made while in the Navy.

Unfortunately for me, my condition, patella-femoral syndrome, where the kneecap slips out of place, was considered irreparable by the head officer of my training school’s medical center. Even after physical therapy and practicing a separate physical fitness regimen designed to “repair” my knees by strengthening specific muscles so my kneecaps wouldn’t shift, I was discharged based on my medical problem on the 1st of November 2002.

So, I sometimes consider myself a veteran by accident.

And it makes me very appreciative of those who have been able to serve in the US’s military on a more permanent basis. From those who enter merely for a college education, to those who have spent twenty or more years serving our country—I cannot help but respect and admire that kind of dedication. I have some small inkling of the price they pay, and the rewards they gain, for their Service.

It is no small thing to enter the military. It requires dedication, determination, and a strength of will not many people have. I have known people who entered and dropped out because it was “too hard” to go through basic training. When I was in basic, I admired my petty officers. Hell, I admired pretty much anybody I met who was in the military before joining the Navy. They’d done something admirable, and I still hold immense respect for them. Perhaps even more respect than before, because I know something of what they went through to become the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines they are today.

So, on this Veterans day, I wish all our Veterans—those still in Service as well as those who have left it and rejoined the civilian world—a happy Veterans’ Day. You have my respect and my admiration, and always will.

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