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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Marked the 5 year mark in my own way

I know - I wasn't going to do much, since it isn't a 'real' date for me (5 years out of cancer treatment does not mean you get to consider yourself in remission with ACC - let's be realistic about that), but I felt like marking a date anyway. Purchased breakfast sandwiches at Jason's Deli (I thought they were over-browned, but folks voiced their appreciation at work - I work with a lot of really great people!) and brought them in for a morning treat. Original intent was just to say it was celebrating summer, but I was outed by a colleague who let folks know that I was 5 years out. She even went and bought me roses as a congratulation/celebration gift - my whole office smells wonderful!
Number one daughter is getting ready to head overseas for language immersion study, and number one son is working a lot of evening hours, so it will be just me and the mister to go out whenever we can get out. He works every other weekend, so doesn't get off this week until Monday. We shall see if we can sneak out for a lunch together at the local HuHot Mongolian grill (ah, grilled veggies - the other steak meat).
5 years. Time marches on. Here's to many more years for us all, and every day filled with moments to cherish. At this very moment, Lucky the Dog is barking for a treat, so the bellybutton contemplation time is over.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma in the News

Just saw this column by The Rev. Paul E. Grabill in the Centre Daily Times of State College, PA:
Looking Toward Heaven With Love

In the column, The Rev. Grabill says it may be his last, as he has been told he doesn't have much time left due to ACC mets from his original diagnosis and treatment of 7 years ago. A great quote in the column is: "What has been overwhelming to me... has been the love and kindness of others, including thousands who have been diligently praying for my healing." Add the Cheeky Librarian to your list, Rev. Paul. I am pulling for you, too.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Coming up on the 5th year since original diagnosis

Yep, that supposedly-magical 5 year mark will happen next Thursday, right in the middle of our summer education push for the new M3 students before their rotations begin. That is how it happened 5 years ago, too - and I still owe my colleagues at work for taking on my duties as well as their own that year.
I am not going to mark the 5 year anniversary for anything special like "I'm cancer free" (I know I am not-just no evident disease [NED]); or "the rest of my life can now begin" (I have kept living and loving life through all of this crud, thanks to some of the strongest people I know: my family and friends); or even "look at me, I have lived another year without being in treatment" (well, I might mark this as another year without treatment-but I would rather mark a year where my 401k has doubled, or that I have been allowed to purchase life insurance again in order to set up an endowment for a library or two or three). I figure if I did mark the event with some big party, it will turn out to be a Bridge of San Luis Rey moment, and I will be struck down with a tumor or heart attack the week after (yeah, the ol' evil eye theory of living carefully, I suppose.)  I may bring some cake or donuts in next Thursday at work as an offering for those that I work with and drive crazy every day of the year - heck, we should all do that once in a while, admitting that as humans we can sometimes be difficult to live/work with. Sometimes... only a few times...maybe once in a blue moon-times. But it won't be a happy 5th anniversary, just a happy-summer-day-and-so-very-glad-I-get-to-share-it-with-you type of event. Then I will take my long-suffering husband (who knows he is darn lucky to have chosen a long-suffering wife) out for some sort of dinner or brunch later in the weekend.
For you, dear reader, I thank you for reading this blog, whether it is your first or umpteenth time, if you are new to my crowd or have been by my side since 2006. Here's to many more years for us all - there is way too much fun to have and information to share to sign off now. (I welcome arguments to the contrary in comments, though - whip them on me!)

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma in the news

An ACC warrior who is also a father discusses his life as a single dad in this story from the UK Midlands paper: Sunday Mercury
I am saddened to read that he is still waiting for additional radiotherapy - waiting for treatment is generally how things are done in the NHS when it comes to ACC treatment, from what I have learned from fellow ACC warriors in the UK.

Previous story about the dad and daughter:

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Yes, Virginia - there really is a Cheeky Librarian

Since the originators of blogs have come into suspicion (a la "The Daily Show" in this clip:  ),  I thought my readers might want to know that there really truly is a Cheeky Librarian behind this blog. The photo at left was taken at my computer workstation in the library. If that doesn't do it for you, the photo at right was taken at a wedding I attended last Saturday night in Missouri. Pretty much this should prove that I am not a middle-aged guy trying to work on your emotions with stories about a rare cancer. Rather, I am a middle-aged librarian trying to get you some information on the rare cancer, Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, as well as coping tips from others with head/neck cancer.  I have been contacted in the past by folks that I suspected weren't real, based on the messages that they sent. I know of at least one fellow blogger that was taken in by a highly-involved fake cancer author, and since that time most of us that run this type of blog are very suspicious when someone writes about a heart-rending story. Find out who you are dealing with, the same as anything else on the web (or in life, for that matter), before you start expending emotional energy taking on someone's story. There is a type of person out there that feeds on emotion of others - yeah, I know it sounds like a Star Trek episode, but they are there. Guard yourself and stick to the facts until you really REALLY know your contacts, whether or not your story includes a disease like cancer. This type of person likes any kind of angst - military mom, parent of a special needs child, lonely soldier on the front lines, teen questioning life - and will get on your good side to suck up your emotion-filled story. A true friend won't be criticizing your story or sending you emails saying, "tell me more about how bad you have it", or some similar line of crud (and I have received emails criticizing me for not giving more of my personal emotion in this blog, believe me).  Be safe out there, and network with the folks you know share your path.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What to say and what not to say to someone who is sick

Courtesy of The New York Times, Bruce Feiler writes about what to say and what not to say to someone who is sick:

Please add to the comments if you have additional suggestions of what you liked hearing or what you hope no one ever says again.

Monday, June 06, 2011

I missed the National Cancer Survivors Day, June 5

I guess I didn't get the email/postcard/Facebook poke about yesterday's events. If you went to something, let me know how it was. Here is a search in Google News on stories written about the day's events all over:

Since I am not feeling all that inspirational for others, I might have blocked out news alerts about the day, but not sure. I don't think I received anything in any of my network contacts saying that the day was taking place, which either means the ones organizing the 'national' part of the day took a wrong step, or nothing much took place here in Omaha.

No matter. If you have had a health professional look at you and say in so many words, "you have cancer", and you are reading this post, I send you a virtual high-five slap from one survivor to another.
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