Dec 04 2005


My last taco for a week

First of all, a big thank-you to Tammy, who sent me a bunch of excellent hats and a Neil Gaiman book and some wacky Canadian chocolate bars (Eat-More? What tha?) all the way from British Columbia. You’re a peach!

Meanwhile: Monday, I am sorry to say, kicks off another chemo week for me. As usual, you can expect posts and emails to be nonexistent, or irregular, or at the very least stupid for a few days while the poison knocks me on my entire milky-white ass. My oncologist has thrown everything she’s got at my predeliction for Xtreme Kweez, but in the end has thrown up–pun intended– her hands and deemed me A Puker and that’s all there is to it.

Speaking of pharmacology: if you’re like me–and of course you are–you can’t turn on your computer these days without reading about some nutjob pharmacist who won’t fill some poor schmo’s prescription because it would kill the Baby Jesus. I just read at Pandagon about some asshole who, anecdotally, refused to give a woman her fucking Valtrex because "God is punishing you for your sin."

When exactly did pharmacists morph into a tribe of insane judgmental godbags storming the countryside, refusing to pharm? Has the profession been infiltrated by fetus-lovin’ drugophobe terrorists whose ultimate goal is to stop entirely the flow of medications to sick people? Because, as Shakespeare’s Sister astutely points out, how do they know God has stopped at merely sticking women with herpes for the crime of getting laid? What if He sometimes issues, say, cancer as punishment for other, non-pussy-havin’-related misdeeds? "And if he does," she wonders, "how do the pharmacists know whose prescriptions to rip up and whose to fill?"

The answer is: naturally God rewards his adoring pharmy minions with what they want, so he skips over the boring shit and only tells’em about the lurid sex lives of unclean women. And it’s a damn good thing, too, because I suppose you might say I’ve committed some pretty sinny acts in my day, such as hubris, and gluttony, and coveting my neighbor’s wife, and if the pharmacists knew that God had given me cancer to punish me for this stuff, I might never get my stool softeners.


1 ping

Skip to comment form

  1. San Francisco Knitter

    If I could puke for you, I would.

  2. MzNicky

    Oh Twisty, my darling child. You’re a cancerland-dwelling young hipster, which should be an oxymoron but, given the current state of the world and the culture, isn’t. You’re incomparably astute and educated as to the insidious ways and the perfidious depths of patriarchy, yet your persistent pique at its capitalistically-enabled insidiousness occasionally surpises me. Readily-available pharmaceuticals that would relieve sufferings above and beyond what is economically sustainable to the dominant paradigm? ’tis but to laugh! Ha Ha! Wherefore? Suffer and weep, harridan! Weren’t you asking for it?

  3. CafeSiren

    Valtrex?!? Jesus fuck. Kiss my ass.

    That’s it — just had to express myself. I’d probably be punished for my sin, if I knew any pharmacists.

  4. Nora

    Twisty, I posted when you were first chemo-fied about an antinausea combination drug my mom used during treatment for ovarian cancer — she got hers at the compounding pharmacy at MD Anderson and it’s a blend of Ativan, Benadryl and Haldol (known as ABH). It did knock her righteously on her ass (um, yeah, Haldol’ll do that), but she too was A Puker and on a platinum-based therapy (which can be especially pukifying), and this really helped her.

    Not trying to harp by reposting, but wanting to offer this up in the event it’s of help.

  5. a.m.

    J: Thinking of you a lot lately. I can’t imagine how you’re managing to grin and bear it during the invasion of the radiant toxins. But you are. Me, I vomit on swingsets, at the sound of Cheney’s voice, when the bass is up too high. But you, you’re a tough-guy all right. You don’t need my well-wishing, but you have it nonetheless.

  6. LMYC

    Hey, babe — you MUST be able to get your taco-lovin’ hands on pot down there in Austin. Any chance of a little cannabis settling your stomach? Hey, it’s not like you’ve got to let your oncologist know where you get it from … I’m serious. I knew a woman getting chemo for leukemia that loved the stuff.

  7. CafeSiren

    No wait — there’s one more thing I have to add to this whole stupid mess: What’s with pharmacists saying that they don’t want to perscribe things that conflict with their personal beliefs — and acting like they’re being oppressed if the government or their employer “makes” them? Nobody forced them to be pharmacists. One assumes that, in pharmacy school (a long and grueling process) they learned about many, many drugs whose application they disagreed with. So, why sign up for a job that you *know* you won’t be able to do?

    What if I told my employer that I felt that having men in my women’s studies class inhibited the women in the class, so I refused to teach male students because to do so would conflict with my deeply-held feminist beliefs? (Not so outrageous: Mary Daly did just that at Boston College.) I’d be fucking fired. You accept a job, you should expect to do it.

  8. CafeSiren

    Oh, and Twisty, I’m sorry about your puking. Glad you got some tacos in there in your brief respite.

    Sometimes I get so caught up in the blaming that I forget about the love.

  9. The Fat Lady Sings

    I’m with LMYC – you really should try some pot to help with the nausea. If you’re not allergic to it, and have no moral objections – it’s a last ditch effort, but what the hell? I have used pot to help with severe menstrual cramps, as well as a queasy tummy (I have chronic pain). As I am allergic to all the prescription anti-puke meds, pot was my only possibility. Anyway – I do hope something works that will ease the discomfort.

  10. Twisty

    Just so all of you can be relieved of any anxiety that I am not getting sufficient drugs: I am on, or have been on, every anti-nausea dealio there is. I take Kytril, and Decadron, and Emend. I take Phenergan and Zofran. I take a few others I can’t remember. I take Ativan every day whether I need it or not. And this time around, I have added, for the first time in 20 years, a popular herbal supplement from Small Farma. Of course none of this is enough, but I am sure that without it I would feel even worse than I do.

  11. Kelley

    Twisty, what would I do without you to continuosly inspire me??!!! I wonder if these fuckwads refuse to fill prescriptions for AZT, because, as we all know, AIDS is God’s curse on homosexuals? Or, if they refuse to fill prescriptions for Viagra or Cialis for a single man because it promotes the wicked practice of fornication?

    Seems to me the discrimination is three-fold. Not only does the refusal to fill prescription for EC (or other contraception) unfairly single out customer based on gender, but also on differences in religious preference (or non-preference). Then there’s the fact that some pharmacies (Target, par example) that says their pharmacist can ONLY refuse to fill prescription for EC based on their “values” but not other types of prescriptions.

    I really wish the Romans had finished the job properly when they had a chance.

  12. Betsy

    I have nothing witty to say; thank goodness there are so many reliable others to do that. But I love you, Twisty, and I’m wishing you all kinds of non-puke-inducing good things.

  13. Joolya

    What if He sometimes issues, say, cancer as punishment for other, non-pussy-havin’-related misdeeds?

    Twisty, haven’t we established that cervical cancer is God’s fair and just retribution on women for being slutty? That’s why we can’t innoculate against HPV – then those bitches would never learn their lessons, and we would not be able to identify harlots by the scarlet letters emblazoned on their cervixes!

  14. Anonymous

    Ugh, chemo and pukiness. Sorry you’re having to go through this. Thank you for keeping this up in the midst of it all.

    Yeah, I don’t have much sympathy for the pharmacists, even assuming I did have any sympathy for their insane bullshit about controlling womens’ bodies in the name of Jeebus, which I emphatically do not. It’s like: what, you’re a PETA activist, you go work for Burger King, and then refuse to serve anything but the veggie burgers? Um, dude, believe whatever you want, but…you’re fired. This isn’t the place for your proselytizing; you need to find a different line of work. Why should this be any different, for fuck’s sake?

  15. belledame222

    and OH GOD the cervical cancer vaccine EVIL fuckheadedness makes me want to go start harassing any one of these fuckheads who ever gets prostate cancer:

    Regular prostate massage helps prevent prostate cancer. Clearly, you did not practice sodomy enough. Also, God is using this disease to tell you you are a GIANT CHOAD. Sorry, no meds or special treatment for you. Want to get better? We can chop it off. No, there are no other options, you selfish dickhead; what do you want to use it for anyway? It’s not like you can still procreate. Now: here is a psychotic nurse with a rusty cleaver and a bottle of vodka. That’ll be $59,999, please. (btw, if you get liver disease from the alcohol? Also your fault, and your problem; and your insurance isn’t covering it either, TOOOOO bad).

  16. belledame222

    (ooops, message two posts up from here was mine also–sorry for multiple postage!)

  17. Hattie

    Twisty dear: keep this in mind as you go through the sheer awfulness of chemo: I have a photo of eight of my friends and relatives at a music festival, among them four cancer survivors. One of them is my daughter, who had breast cancer at age 25 and is now 30. Two other breast cancer survivors are in the picture. The fourth survivor got colon cancer and went through the kind of severe chemo you’re getting.
    None of these people would be alive without enduring the much excoriated treatments of today. Ask them if they’d do it again, and they’d look at you as if you were crazy. Of course they would.They are happy to be alive and well now. Nice gentle treatments don’t work, alas. Everyone with cancer I know who opted for herbs, aromatherapy, massages, odd diets, instead of conventional treatment, has since passed away. Such things are nice but don’t cure you.
    Not that you don’t have a right to bitch! It’s only right! Because it IS awful.

  18. Steph

    mmmmm Eat More bars. They’re yummy.

    Hoping your SmallFarma remedy also helps with taco indulgence.

    Off to check out the pharmacy courses offered here–I didn’t know there was one on being an Agent of the Lord on Earth. I’m hoping there’s a Smiting 101 too because I could really get into that.

  19. Zuska

    All my sympathies on the chemo. I don’t know what to say that others haven’t already said, but I’m pulling for you.

    Regarding the evil pharmacists: there is too much of this going on for it to be mere coincidence or multiple spontaneous incidents of testifyin’ from the pharmacy pulpit. I think that someone is organizing pharmacists who are evangelicals to make these moves. And possibly, encouraging young people to become pharmacists to carry out this kind of work. Who? Why? I suspect this is being brought to us by the same folks who gave us Intelligent Design to oppose evolution. This would be the Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture, now just called the Center for Science and Culture, which is part of the Discovery Institute. These folks are spearheading all the challenges to evolution across the U.S. The Center for Science and Culture has written a document detailing their Wedge Strategy, based on the belief that materialism is destructive of our “moral, cultural, and political legacies” and must be opposed on every front. Their ultimate goal is “to see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life.” They are backed by a lot of money, are very organized, and have made a scary amount of advancement on their long-term goals. They want to “address the specific social consequences of materialism”.

    In the brave new world of design theory culture and morals, women’s access to things like morning-after pills, drugs to treat herpes, or any other chemical means of supporting immoral behavior on the part of the womenfolk, will not be tolerated. Pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions believe that they are soldiers in a religious war against materialism, and their God is on their side. It doesn’t matter what the law says because ultimately those laws will be changed to align with the culture and morals of design theory.

    These people are scary, and they are well-funded and well-organized, and they are leading masses of evangelical Christians to accept their agenda and work for its achievement. If you don’t much care about the Intelligent Design versus evolution debates going on all over, you ought to, because I think those are the same people who bring you The Pharmacist With Values. And this is but the beginning. The fundamentalist evangelical patriarchy is definitely who I blame for this.

  20. Kyra

    Awesome organization skills, Twisty, for conveniently putting two things of the same species (puke and conscience-clause pharmacists) in the same post.

    For the former, if I were stuck with chemo and the frequent reversal of the contents of my stomach, I’d see about shoving one end of an empty toilet paper roll against my throat each time I felt the need to pray to the toilet god, in the hopes that most of it would go through the toilet paper roll, rather than touching my mouth. I haven’t managed to try it yet, but it’s a thought.

    For the latter, it’s therapeutic to develop and memorize a rant directed at any pharmacist who attempts to refuse one’s prescription. Some suggestions: Tell them their morals are reprehensible, or they have no morals worth having, or how fucked up their personal code of ethics is, if they find it acceptable to be such control freaks as to try to prevent another human being from living her own moral code instead of theirs. Compare them to the Taliban. Accuse them of trying to increase the business of the local “abortion industry.” Tell them that you, being of a different religion (or no religion), do not fall under the authority of their god. Ask them who died and made them God. Ask them what the hell they’re doing impersonating a pharmacist. Tell them that they’re a delivery system, that’s all, and they have no more business denying you what your doctor has earmarked for you, than the Yahoo Mail server has deleting emails from certain of your friends. Inform them that they don’t get a vote—you and your doctor form a duopoly and you and your doctor have agreed and who the fuck are they to try to say otherwise. Be LOUD—yell down the store. It doesn’t matter what their opinion of the drug in question is—who’s making them take it? You don’t go up to random people on the street and tell them to get you your medication—you go to pharmacists! Because IT’S THEIR FUCKING JOB!!! And *this* particular “pharmacist” has decided that he’s NOT going to do his job on the basis of YOUR gender and YOUR moral beliefs. That is discrimination. Make sure the whole store knows it. Then turn to the manager and ask him (somewhat more politely, perhaps), if it isn’t somewhat counterproductive to employ a person who deliberately sends business elsewhere, to the store’s competitors. Ask said manager if perhaps the pharmacist has signed a contract, in which it was stated that he didn’t have any objection to fulfilling his duties. That’s three reasons to fire said pharmacist, or at least discipline him. Request that the manager arrange for the prescription to be filled immediately. If that doesn’t happen, inform them of your intent to get the prescription and all of your future business taken care of by one of their competitors. Recommend, as a parting shot, that in all fairness they should put up a warning sign—no fair advertising “pharmacy” when they really mean “moral lectures.” Then over the next few months, you might send them copies of your reciepts from these other stores, so they can put a dollar amount on what the pharmacist cheated them out of.

    Much fun to imagine, yes?

    If you’re really pissed off, and the prescription is for Plan B, you might come in about two months later, wait for the same pharmacist to come on duty, and inform him that you’ve just had an abortion, and while you’re irritated that you had to spend several hundred dollars instead of thirty or whatever, you’re glad that you supported the clinic instead of him. And all in all, the abortion was only a minor inconvenience, made up for by the fact that some of the money you spent went toward supporting/preserving the precious freedom of choice, and avoided paying part of his salary. (You do not need to have had an abortion to say this. And he almost certainly already thinks you’re a selfish murdering slut, so why not live up to the name, just to him.)

  21. ms kate

    Dear Santa,

    Please send Ms. Twisty Faster an offical, autographed, laminated or plastic likeness of GWB to place in her toilet or other vomitorium of choice.

  22. Anonymous

    Get well soon.

    Looking forward to a rant on the new King Kong movie…

    (Can you think of a more grotesque exaggeration of patriarchal roles than that?!?!)


  23. susan

    Thoughts and care are with you.

  24. octopod


    Utterly off topic, but this should be something to make every patriarchy-blamers’ day a little bit sunnier. Watch the driver’s seat of the Mercedes.

  25. Hattie


  26. The Fat Lady Sings

    Completely off subject – a friend sent me this link, and I immediately thought it was something you’d shake your head at. Frankly, I am having a hard time believing it’s real. Anyway – I’ll let you and your readers decide. It’s about a cosmetic procedure called Anal Bleaching. I kid you not. All I could think was OH. MY. GOD!!!

  27. Ms Kate

    Twisty, those taco photos are a real turn on.

    Here’s one for the SAT:

    Twisty:Taco as O’Keefe:Flower

  28. Sylvanite

    I hope you get through this week with as little nausea as possible.

    On the positive side, I’m pretty sure I saw something over the weekend about how Walgreen’s was having none of this “moral objection” to filling out certain prescriptions nonsense. Shame there’s don’t seem to be any Walgreen’s here in sunny Philadelphia; I think they may deserrve my business. I’ll try to find more info.

  29. Sylvanite

    Feh. I must have been hallucinating. Or I may have heard a snippet about Austin’s attempt to pass a law forbidding the prescription-refusal nonsense. Everything I saw when I just tried to look this up indicated that Walgreens is as spineless as all the other pharmacies. Fooey! Sorry for taking up space in this comment thread.

  30. PrissyNot

    TF – hope you’re dealing with the uckiness; on another, less personally horrific level, try this link http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/06/international/asia/06highway.html?pagewanted=2&th&adxnnl=1&emc=th&adxnnlx=1133886503-ShskCW6Ro0XZ8fOhIb1dow for news on the AIDS epidemic in India, which is being spread up and down their new, civilized, superhighways and carried even unto truckers’ unsuspecting wives . . . Just a little rant material to take your mind off.

  1. Liberal Serving

    “When exactly did pharmacists morph into a tribe of insane judgmental godbags storming the countryside, refusing to pharm?”

    Not going to post at all about yet another faith-based phramacist refusing to fill a prescrption based on some imagined jesus-oriented logic, but only because Twisty @ I Blame the Patriachy said it better than I could:When exactly did pharmacists

Comments have been disabled.