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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Debutaunt's last post - a must read by all

I saw this posted on the Assertive Cancer Patient's blog, and felt that it should be shared on my blog as well. Deb died on May 18, but this did not still her posting. Thanks to her sister, Deb left us 10 assignments that should be printed off and placed in every christening, birthday, graduation and wedding card you are sending out from now on:
I am one of the legion of readers that her writing touched, and I am grateful for knowing her through her blog. May I have a tenth of the class and style she had. Thank you, Sis #1, for your strength and skill in getting the post up and shared.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Graduations, anniversaries - time keeps on keeping on

Many wishes I made have come true since my diagnosis in June of 2006. Both of my kids have now graduated from high school - neither one went through a graduation ceremony, but they are just as graduated as someone that did. My hopes are now of watching them graduate college in whatever form or fashion that they choose to do so.
Next Tuesday is the 25th anniversary of our first date. The truck the mister was driving back then is parked nicely out in the side yard, still starting up whenever he asks it to. (I know my place in his life - it is after the truck!) He still blames my mom for getting him hitched, since she was his grandparents' neighbor at the time. She disagrees. They have been having this conversation for 25 years, at times debating the issue like some UN session. Naturally, I have no say in the matter - it appears that I was merely a pawn.
I know that none of us are guaranteed to reach the various milestones in life, especially since I have experienced very dark days when I wondered if I was going to outlive our family dog. I am really glad and humbled that I have been here to witness these particular milestones pass by, and grateful to each and every health care professional, friend, family member, blog supporter - any and all that offered their support to me and gave me strength to carry on when I didn't know that I could. The next milestone I am aiming for - our 25th anniversary on Dec. 1. We will be celebrating then, you can count on it - and the debate will continue to rage on between the mister and my mom...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma in the news

I just saw these two stories covering Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma support by those stationed in Iraq.

First found this one: Running for our lives in Iraq

Capt. Christopher Etheridge of the 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion mentions running to raise support and awareness of ACC in the "Who's Your Hero" run in honor of Andrea Whitesell O'Connell, who passed away in 2007 of ACC. The Live Like Andi Foundation sponsors these runs to raise money for research and scholarships:

The second one is a video showing (possibly a different?) "Who's Your Hero" run at Victory Base Complex in Baghdad, Iraq:
The video includes interviews of soldiers running in the event.

I am glad that the soldiers based over there have found this sanity-building outlet for themselves. My husband was in a foxhole and tents during 1990-1991 over there in the Gulf War, and mentioned in letters how frustrating it could be at times. It got pretty un-frustrating fast for him and his fellow soldiers, but his unit wasn't stationed over there for years, not like the current soldiers experience.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Countdown to the 2009 Cattlemen's Ball

June 5 & 6 will find me near Doniphan, Nebraska, at this year's Cattlemen's Ball . They hold the ball every year in a different location around the state, always raising money for cancer research here in Nebraska. In addition to 'manning' a promotional booth for the Consumer Health Information Resource Service (CHIRS), I was asked to take part in the fashion show. The photo shows what this lucky Cheeky Librarian gets to wear - mink! This and other furs that will be showcased at the fashion show are appearing courtesy of the Christian Nobel Furs Limited, located in Omaha. Their store is in the Regency Court shopping center, the location of that wonderful jewelry store, Borsheims. Oh yeah, I could get used to this kind of living! Before you think it will be all fun and games for me - remember that the Cattlemen's Ball takes place in huge circus tents out in a field, and the windy day (well, windy before the storm comes in) will no doubt be pushing 100 degrees. But I will endure the tribulations gladly (grin!) - after all, how many times in a woman's life can she have the chance to do this? I will be walking the runway with another blogger that I have linked to on my blog, and a friend that has saved my life many a time: The Assertive Cancer Patient is coming to speak, take part in the fashion show, and also bring her line of jewelry to sell in the general store tent. You can see photos of the jewelry she will be bringing to sell on her blog: . And I am sure that both of us will be talking about our experiences at the Ball during the week following the event. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Something that I think about all the time, now that I have been blogging on librarianship (since 2003) and Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (since 2006):

song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Will Ferrell Sunscreen to Launch Just in Time for Summer

Yes, you read the headline correctly - Will Ferrell is into sunscreen, and is launching it to benefit the Willpowered Scholarship Fund at the Cancer for College site The Fund grants scholarships to cancer survivors and amputees. (I hope Ms. Roark in the following post fills out a scholarship form when they come out in July!)
From the Cancer for College press release:

Will Ferrell’s Sexy Hot Tan, Sunstroke and Forbidden Fruit SPF 30 sunscreens launched today on Amazon, eBay and starting at $11.99. The products are Ferrell’s first foray into fundraising products for a charity he has been involved in since his college days.

Cancer for College was formed in 1993 by two-time cancer survivor and double amputee, Craig Pollard. Pollard was a fraternity brother of Will Ferrell at the University of Southern California. Since its inception, Ferrell has been a devoted supporter of the charity and has served as the celebrity host of Cancer for College fundraising events since 2002.


Cheeky Librarian here again. Since I am REALLY into sunscreen these days (and hats, and Lands' End sunscreen clothing-my experience with it here, and being inside most days during the hours of noon until 8pm... ), I figure I will be buying some of Mr. Ferrell's product. This I will be doing for many reasons: the protective properties; the hilarious labels on the bottles (Will Ferrell in a fig leaf - priceless); and for the fact that all proceeds go to the scholarship fund. Thanks for not making us save and mail in sticky lids, Will - I for one appreciate it.

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma in the news

This is a follow-up story on a KU student, now grad:
Battling Cancer Changes Student's Outlook

Congratulations and a standing ovation for all you have accomplished, Jessica Roark. Just let us know when you do that fund raiser for AACRF.

In a previous Cheeky Librarian ACC in the News post, Ms. Roark was featured in a story about college students with cancer just one year ago:

In other news, I found this interview of Peter Tork written and copyrighted by Susan Walsh: An Interview With Peter Tork - the Former Monkee Talks About His Cancer Diagnosis and Recovery

I really like his response to her question: "Has your perspective on life changed as a result of having cancer?" A portion of his reply: "No, my perspective on life hasn't changed a bit as a result of having (had) cancer. I've worked kinda hard on my attitude toward life, and damn' cheap it would have been, too, if I hadn't made provision in it for illness and death, wouldn't it?"

Go Peter, go.

The words and link that follow showed up when I took the excerpt out of Ms. Walsh's article, and must be there to serve as a trackback:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma in the news

The StarTribune has a story about one of the Gophers track stars' experiences since being diagnosed with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma:
Gophers Runner Finds Strength In Numbers

I wish Ms. Anderson, and anyone else newly diagnosed, the very best. May everyone have the support group that I have experienced (and STILL experience - thanks, guys!) And may the day come when I no longer have stories to post on Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma in the news...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Back from a road trip in the Cheeky Scion

I took off and drove with my mom to St Louis this past weekend. We had a great time together, save for 4 young inebriated gentlemen in the hotel room next to us that got us up by wrestling and yelling at 4am on Saturday morning. We gave serious consideration to knocking at their door at 6:30am, 7:00am, and 7:30am, but went to the St. Louis Art Museum instead (they have the best url ever!). After refreshing our sleep-deprived eyes with great art (I was able to see my favorite: Monet's "Water Lilies"), we watched the new movie "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past", then had dinner at Cheesecake Factory. Driving east back to the downtown Hilton, Market Street was EMPTY, a wonderful experience as we drove towards the Gateway Arch, shining in the setting sun. The brunch yesterday at the Missouri Botanical Gardens was another wonderful experience - tables full of cheese grits, barley risotto, roasted green beans, and hummus (yes, they had many other goodies that regular people would like, but I was concentrating on my type of food this time!). Even though the menu wasn't a surprise (I had even called ahead to ask if there were spices in the different dishes), I was in heaven. The beautiful flowers and plants, the great weather (Saturday and Sunday, at least), a buffet with no food issues, and being with my mom - a magical day. I am a mom also, and my kids had honored me outside of the weekend - also magical experiences. I figure none of us get many more of these days, so I want to make them all count.
On the way back to Omaha, I get to drive by Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. I saw cars heading up the Mamba, the last roller coaster I will ever ride (probably not a good thing to get on thrill rides with radiated bones and that titanium screen door on my skull). I am proud to say that I was over 40 when I road that thing with the mister, shocking my nephew when I did so. After reflecting on how great it was that the lucky riders were on a roller coaster in early May on a Monday (has to be a good thing, right?), it came to me that the ride is a fairly good metaphor for what I have experienced since the testing began in May 2006 that led up to the cancer diagnosis, and treatment/recovery that followed. I pulled out of the station, went around the first bend, then up that great big hill, slogging through every physical test they came up with, ending with a parotidectomy. At the very top of the hill, the doctor told me it was cancer, kicking me and my family and my friends loose on that first stomach-losing drop. My support team have watched me go around the track many times, and have met me each time I have pulled into the station to get off the ride until the next scan/test/lump shows up and I have to go strap myself into the coaster again. Years ago, each of the people that rode the Mamba with me had different experiences while on the same ride as I was on. Now I know that all the people that have been diagnosed with cancer (AdCC and all other kinds) have different experiences than I have had during their treatment, recovery, and learning how to cope with this new addition to all of our lives. I wish we all had good experiences, but that just doesn't happen. By recording my experiences, even 3 long years later, I hope this blog may let someone else know a bit more of what to expect or plan for when they find themselves at the top of that diagnosis hill. Hang on tight - you are not alone in this. And if you are diagnosed with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, please let me know if I can be of any help.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A great cancer rant over at After Cancer Now What

I want to state that I would not be where I am without the love and support and INFORMATION from many different people, some of whom will never know how much they have helped me since my diagnosis just shy of 3 years ago. With that said, there are a whole bunch of people, some the very same supportive humans, that said the lamest, most hurtful things to me or my family while we were going through cancer treatment, and wondering if I was going to outlive the family dog. In the interest of keeping them from repeating those comments to anyone else, I offer this link to a cancer rant:
Who links to my website?