Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How to create a blog, thanks to Jen

Thanks to Jen's comments on my last post of links, I have some links here that should help anyone that is considering creating a blog of their own to record their experiences, either in or out of the cancer world. I use Blogger, owned by Google, since my email id and password work for the blog, too (and how many ids and passwords does a person really need to have in this life??) I also like Blogger for its ease in posting pictures, and for their already-created templates, since my goal is to write and not crunch code. There are other very good blog software programs out there, in addition to Blogger. Some links for you to choose from that are free:
Blogger http://www.blogger.com
WordPress http://wordpress.com
Sampa http://www.sampa.com
Weebly http://www.weebly.com

Some sites offer a blog creating service on a particular topic. eCancerAwareness has a place where you can create a free blog on their site.

Your hardest duty when creating a blog is probably deciding what to name it. Just know that your story is worth telling, and worth telling in your own words. Keep blog posts coming - that is the second hardest thing, blogging consistently.

You will probably run into ads offering you great riches if you start selling ad space on your blog. That is an individual decision that you have to make. I chose not to accept ads on my blog, since this is me talking, and I don't want to muddy the message. On the other hand, if I had a blog about my favorite type of tractor, say a 1953 Super H Farmall, having ads on the blog might be just what my readers want to see.

Just remember that your blog should be written in the way you speak, not how you think. Which means that my year's worth of posts have been a long conversation with you, my reader. I only hope it has been an entertaining and informative one!

If you create a blog, please let me know what the address is. We are in this world together, and if you are writing on a topic I like to read, I will add you to my links in one of my 8 blogs-honest!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Searching Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma using the Internet

In case you can't see the Links section on the right side of the page, I have added searching links for Google, Google News, Google Blog Search, ClinicalTrials.gov, and PubMed.Gov. You can click on the Search links, and retrieve what is currently listed at those sites that has to do with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. The PubMed search is not currently limited to date - I may choose to list only the last 3 years at a future date. For Google, I only search for adenoid cystic, not the three-word name, since (for some reason) more results appear when I only use the two word phrase. Here are all of the links I currently show on the right side of my blog:

Monday, September 17, 2007

I have been feeling the urge to organize my photo collections

One thing I promised myself that I would do once radiation was over with last year (and am holding myself to it) was to organize and scan all of my mom's and my photos. I don't know if it is the need to revisit life's happenings (I could totally skip ages 13-17, thank you very much) or the urge to simply peel my mom's photos off of her 'magnetic' photo albums once and for all (one is brand named 'Valiant' - oh, yeah, it is hanging on to every one of those 60's era Polaroids and not giving them up). I visited a photo store here in Omaha - Archiver's - and bought her a new, safe, acid-free photo album that will hold her pictures that I can pry off of the Valiant. For those photos that won't pry off intact, I am scanning the entire pages into a graphics software, and cropping like a mad woman to make individual photos, enlarging and smoothing out the old scratches along the way.
If you are interested in taking on photo editing, there is a free class at Cnet on Scanning Photo Basics:
http://photo-scan-basics.classes.cnet.com/
. The class also mentions a free editing software download: IrfanView4
http://www.download.com/IrfanView/3000-2192_4-10021962.html
. I have not used this - I use iPhoto, and am considering Adobe Photoshop Elements for the Mac (just considering, haven't bought it yet.)
Whatever you do, make sure you keep a backup of the photos (your safe deposit box has room for a few CDs), and add captions somewhere so a year from now folks will not have to wonder "is that Uncle or his wife or the neighbor at the old 5th Street house?". If you have digitized a collection of photos, and would like to publish them in a book format to give to loved ones, there are services on the Internet for that, called print-on-demand. iPhoto (a Mac program) encourages creation of photo albums/books and uploading to a professional printer for not a lot of money (30pages in a hard bound book under $50): http://www.apple.com/ilife/iphoto/. I have purchased 4 of these for retirement and presentation gifts at work, and they are beautifully constructed. The online photo site Shutterfly has photo books for sale, and Flickr has partnered up to offer many products with which you can publish your photos. Picaboo (love that name),
Lulu, and Viovio
all offer similar services.
We all have a story in us, and maybe the diagnosis of cancer has pushed your urge to share your story with loved ones and future generations to the front. Hopefully, these print-on-demand services will help you share it while highlighting your own personal style.

Friday, September 14, 2007

More news about Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma

This September 14th article from Annapolis describes a fundraiser, and links to a holistic clinic in Switzerland where a fellow ACC survivor is getting treatments:
http://www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi-bin/read/2007/09_11-37/CKI

And here is a link to the archived article (original date: August 19, 2006) that Julie Anderson of the Omaha World-Herald wrote about the Cheeky Librarian blog (you might be able to read it if you sign up for a free trial of HighBeam Research): http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-149719267.html. I was pretty excited about the article last year - I hoped it would lead others with health questions to their nearest library, instead of surfing the net all alone at 4am. Our consumer health service statistics did show a small increase, so maybe those folks read the article and called the library.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Adenoid cystic carcinoma in the news again

Family fights rare form of cancer: http://www.dailysouthtown.com/news/547120,cancer-907.article
I found 17 in Nebraska with my kind of cancer, which can have a primary location of any secretory areas on the body. The national cancer statistics don't list where the cancer starts, so I don't know if anyone in Nebraska with ACC is 'cheeky' like me or not.
The family started an organization to raise funds to help further research on this cancer:
Attack ACC http://www.attackacc.org/. The funds raised will be sent to the University of Virginia http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/cancer/teampages/moskaluk/ACCdonate.cfm. The University also maintains an ACC tumor registry http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/cancer/teampages/moskaluk/ACCregistry.cfm, but I haven't quite figured out how the process works to send my tissue samples (for example, are they still around in the hospital somewhere??).
The Attack ACC site has a good description of the progress of ACC on this page http://www.attackacc.org/page7.html. Knowing that this might be my progress (but also knowing everyone is different) is what keeps me focused on getting things done in the next 5 years or so, but the sooner the better.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Solo road trip - wonderful!

I took off this past weekend on a solo road trip to visit parents and relatives in Missouri. This was my first solo driving since last year, and I relished every minute of it. Don't get me wrong - I love traveling with my family. I also love traveling solo.
So that is why there were many Ninja Librarian sightings all up and down I-29 in Iowa, and I-70 across the middle of Missouri. I haven't seen the photos turning up in the Enquirer yet, but give them time...
Update on treatment side effects: I had many adventures with eating - the most successful was the fried eggplant that my mom did up for me one night. While at her house, we ate only meatless meals - farm fresh produce, the fried eggplant, cantelope - good eating! Since I am not losing weight (dang it), I know I am adequately nourished. My year of covering my face (the rough estimate from the radiation folks was to give it a year) is nearly up - it will be the pain or lack of when in full sun that will either keep or lose the face-covering hat. Lucky for me, the days are getting shorter. I have had more pain in my cheek/neck/head lately, enough that it sidetracks me at work - not thinking it is a sign of anything returning (yeah, right, and I have a bridge to sell to you if you believe that! ), probably just more signs that my nerves have healed up. I will optimistically hold that thought, and discuss the new pains with the head/neck surgeons when I see them next month for my checkup.
 
Who links to my website?