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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Time for the annual scanning to begin

Ah yes, that time of year when one allows the health professionals to peer into one's skull, using the top-notch technology and scanning contrast and one honking-big MRI apparatus. I will be experiencing the thrill of chasing my claustrophobia demons (not claustrophobic yet, but another few years of this and I might grow the phobia) at the end of this week, and find out the results (no doubt, alien-free) next week. With any luck, I will be someone's learning subject somewhere - something good should come out of all this, other than what I have personally done to stimulate the healthcare economy in Omaha over the past 5 years. Grateful that I am still casting a shadow and paying taxes - you betcha. Angry that I 'get' to do this annual scanning - you betcha again. Afraid to jinx whatever good luck I have had with the cancer powers - yep, and that is why I will agree to the annual scan a few more years. I saw somewhere (swiss-cheese brain won't pull up the location) that ACC survivors are not considered cancer-free for 20 years. Another 15 years of one MRI scan a year is some serious money - not sure I will be continuing this long-term. I have already nixed the lung x-rays, figuring that my first case of pneumonia will clue the doc into my having grown mets. Also nixed all other scans/tests/whatevers for a woman my age - had my ticket punched, and this is my personal decision to make. If I start growing an extra tumor somewhere else, I doubt that I would sign up for additional treatment anyway, unless it is to whack something off that is causing pain. (Oh yeah, the Cheeky Librarian is a tad tired and cranky today.)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Post-traumatic growth

Defined as "the ability not only to bounce back from adversity but also to flourish", post-traumatic growth is the topic of this CNN Health article:
"Steps to help you thrive in hard times"

Since I just spent tens of hours welcoming new students to their health care professional education experience, I understand and look for resilience in others, as well as myself. The book mentioned in the article is titled just that: "The Resilience Factor", by Reivich and Shatte.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Emotional intelligence, or the art of keeping it together no matter what

I saw this on CNBC, and thought it applied to going through life with initial stages of cancer:

One Thing the Boss Appreciates More Than Being Smart

I am in no way suggesting that melt-downs or anger or frustration won't bubble to the surface during the bad times (or, as I found out, after the bad times are pretty much over and one has to resume normal life, when nothing is normal ever again). Generally, I was able to move away and be private for those moments (a few were saved for my extra-special caregivers, but they were pretty savvy and didn't give me much drama time. After all, they were going through crap too, just different levels.)

I am suggesting that one might want to follow the advice in the last line whenever possible:
"Seriously, dude, hold it together." 

Even in the darkest times (still have them, plan on more when/if cancer comes back), there are opportunities that come up that I would miss if I was 'losing it'.  While I count on those around me to put up with me, no matter what (ah yes, unconditional love-what a goal),  folks (family, caregivers, health care professionals-they are all human too)  just wouldn't find it positive to hang around very long if I was constantly losing my temper or cool or whatever you call 'it'.

Also found this Yahoo link along those lines, in case we want to start a discussion about  tv characters offering a foil or at least a model of what to do/not to do when faced with cancer:
Coping with Cancer: How 4 TV Characters Reacted When They Were Diagnosed

Feel free to comment and tell me I am all wet, or if I have some valid points. I am up for it.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

What has the Cheeky Librarian has been up to lately?

I have had 3 goals during these summer months:
1. survive the heat
2. go through and get my house in order
3. support number one daughter in her flight to Europe for an exchange program

I think I have managed to do all three, though none are officially completed yet. Tonight's temps are due to be in the low 60's (amazing!). I have disposed of about 7 large bags of items out of my house (maybe taking me off the next season of Hoarders, but still not done yet), and number one daughter still has a month to go in her overseas studies.

It has been nice to have non-cancer-related goals to aim for, and I have relished the experience. The time for me to shove my head in an MRI tube again is right around the corner, but I am not expecting any aliens to be identified in my skull (but I am not the expert on that subject, am I). At the moment, I am seeking new goals for the colder months, in addition to my efforts to keep my head warm with fashionable headgear to fight the pain.

Here's my wish that your summer has been a great one!

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma in the news

Update on the benefit held for Gary Eccles (Illinois - mentioned previously in this blog here) on Saturday:
Big Peru crowd supports Peru firefighter Eccles

Update on fundraiser for Melanie Jaggard (Abergavenny, Wales - mentioned previously in this blog here): Ride for cure for Abergavenny mother-to-be with cancer

From the Phillipines:
Man with malignant tumor needs help
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