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Monday, September 30, 2013

Annual physical update, and good wishes to a fellow story lady with oral cancer

After annual physical, go outside and play!
So I have had my annual physical, complete with MRI (first one in a couple of years) and a chest x-ray. All is good - I got the NED stamp of reality from my head/neck oncology surgeon. (Remember: NED means 'no evident disease'). It was great seeing the team that have been beside me on this walk since 2006. I see them as a fellow educator around the University, but seeing them as their patient adds a humbling aspect to our relationship. I have the go-ahead to wait 3 years for another MRI, as long as I see the team every fall to see how things are doing. I am not thrilled that autumn is my time to face the scan-dancing, as I used to look forward to this season, but I can deal with it.

I saw these links to the story about Marie LePage in Cincinnati, OH/Boone County, KY today while searching for news about oral/head/neck cancer or ACC. Ms. LePage has been dealing with oral cancer with over 30 surgeries/procedures over 8 years. She is not a victim, for which I have great respect for her - she has even started the "Strange Cancer Supper Club" to offer support for anyone going through cancer issues, so they are not alone. Unfortunately, the treatment to fight her cancer this week entails a glossectomy - removing her tongue, and ultimately her ability to speak. So she will have to stop being the 'story lady' at her wonderful library system, but will continue to work in other areas of library program development. Her story spoke to me, so I wanted to share it here. Thinking of you, Marie LePage. Wishing you and your family all the best as you enter the next level of cancer treatment. And I thank you for shining a light for us others that walk similar paths with you! I am taking your advice to heart -

"Please tell people you love them. Tell them you're proud of them. Say thank you for everything, even if no one's around. If a bird lands on a flower at just the right moment, say thank you to God. Read a story to your kids. Read a story to your husband. Read stories to anyone. And listen – there are people who have a voice but don't have anyone to hear them."

And especially, "celebrate everything"!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma in the news

The annual run/walk fundraiser held by Attack ACC posted on Facebook their photos from the Meet & Greet this past Friday night. Take a look at the fellow ACC-wearers, and know we are among some of the strongest people on earth (yeah, I am biased.) Family and friends are shown there, too - cheers to you all for walking the path with us!

A fundraiser has been set up for Jaime Nichols, who has been fighting ACC since 1999: The gofundme site of the Jaime Ward Nichols Support Group has raised over $8500 towards their $9000 goal: . Sending supportive thoughts Jaime's way, as she is facing her end times. I am so thankful that she and her family have such a crowd of friends and supporters.

I saw a cool craft business site, owned by a fellow ACC survivor: Cottage Nest . The online shop is located on Etsy: . She gives me hope to ramp up the online footprint of my jewelry retail business!

This story isn't about ACC in particular, but head/neck cancer in general:

Head, neck cancer care being concentrated at teaching hospitals, academic centers
Referring to a study by Elliot Abemayor, MD, PhD, of the University of California, we who are being treated for head/neck cancer are being admitted to teaching hospitals more than other types. This means that if someone wants to get residency training for head/neck cancer, they will probably be aiming to match to a residence program at a teaching hospital. I would have figured this study would discover these findings, but maybe because I was treated (and continue to be 'watched') at one of my local teaching hospitals. The numbers of inpatient hospital stays for head/neck cancer in 2010 is what really caught my eye: 37,354, up from 28,862 in 2000. Bunch of us out there, folks.
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