Thursday, November 17, 2022

Status Update • 17 November 2022



A lot of people have been asking lately, “What’s going on with Stupefying Stories?”

My honest answer is that I don’t know. My attention has been elsewhere. 

As most of you already know, my wife, Karen, has always been the heart and soul of Stupefying Stories and Rampant Loon Press. She’s also been battling metastatic breast cancer since 2010, and as a consequence we’ve had a lot of ups and downs, and more than a few times when everything seemed to be going sideways. 

I’ve been going back through my planner, trying to figure out what went wrong this time. With the benefit of hindsight, it looks like things started to go wobbly in July. There followed a slow and steady decline through August, and then—

Well, a picture being more effective than words, here’s a photo of her I took in late August.

When things really went wrong was when she began treatment with a new chemotherapy drug on August 30th. This drug is so new, it was only approved by the FDA on August 5th. While it does seem to have done a good job of suppressing the spread of her cancer, systemically, all sorts of other things started to go wrong. Not all at once; not things that were obviously interrelated. But throughout September, she took an accelerating downward plunge that came to a crisis in early October. 

From the ER, she was admitted to the ICU. From the ICU, she was transferred to the Neuroscience wing. After a day or two they decided trepanning her to let the demons out was not the best option, but a month later she remains in the hospital, while her medical team struggles. Each new day is one step forward, two steps back, and perhaps a little skip sideways. We can get this problem under control, but doing so just opens the door for that problem to get worse…

When a doctor pulls you aside to tell you it’s time to call the family—and the family priest, if you have one—things are not going well.

So where are things going with Stupefying Stories? Right at this moment, I don’t know. My attention is focused on the person who has been in my life for more than fifty years and my partner for most of them. Good Lord, we were so young when we began this journey!

Thank you for reading this,
Bruce Bethke