Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Family Update

It’s been a while, and I think it is time to do one SERIOUS family update.
We have had a VERY eventful weekend which we’ll say started Thursday.
Jon’s colonoscopy was not a huge catastrophe.
There was nothing to biopsy at all!
Very exciting seeing as in July he did have a carconoid tumor. The scarring from inflammation caused by his crohn’s was gone, but so was 18cm of his bowel due to its resection.
There was a small ulcer at the site of amostinosis or where they hooked the bowel back together.
This is okay. It is not the very best. It’s not the worst either. On a scale of 0 (being no disease) to 5 (I imagine being something absolutely terrible, he looks like a 1.5.
This scale is actually a specific measuring tool used in staging named after the scale’s creator.
What I want to know is WHY people name terrible things after themselves. Take Alzheimer’s for example.
Would you really want that to be your legacy? Would you really want people who are slowly mentally deteriorating to be called “an alzheimer” if that’s your last name?
Lou Gehrig’s Disease is another example. That man is not going to be remembered completely for his athletic skills, people are going to associated him with a fatal neurologically degenerative disease.
If I had a disease to name, I would name it after an arch nemesis, not myself.
Einstein didn’t name the atom bomb after himself.
I would focus on a positive connotation such as “Hillary Healing” to describe a treatment style. I would not name a vicious life threatening cancer “Hillary’s Disease” like Hodgkin’s did, and if it is not Hodgkin’s Disease, maybe you have “non-hodgkins.”
Bad way to be remembered, buddy.
Jon will be seen again in August to discuss possible treatments and he’ll have another colonoscopy a year from now.
Lexi’s basketball team won their division championship in Claremont a couple weeks back.
I always did know she was a baller! I’m sure they’ll be more of those to come.
She did have a health scare this past week. One of her cervical (neck) lymph nodes swelled significantly (I’m talking the size of a golf ball). She went to see her doctor who ordered a series of blood tests to check for the possibility of cancer.
The node is soft, moveable, and painful, which all point to a viral infection. However, my nodes started soft, moveable, and where always painful.
Generally, a practitioner would not order blood tests for a lymphadenopathy that occurred so suddenly with these characteristics, but seeing as I have Hodgkin’s and Jon had a carcinoid tumor, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
Everything was negative.
When she asked me what I thought (and this is a loaded question, one suggestion of the word “cancer” by a provider can alter a person’s feeling of safety forever, specifically my gorgeous young neice’s), I asked her if she’d been playing with a new cat.
When she showed me her scratches I told her “cat scratch fever” would cause her symptoms and sang her the song.
Cat scratch fever is not just a fun song, it’s also an infection that causes swelling of lymph nodes. I made her dance to my rendition before she decided she was satisfied and ditched me for her friends.
All is well.
Xander turned SIX on Sunday. He decided to celebrate at Chuck-E-Cheese. Sometimes, if you ask him when his birthday is, he’ll reply “when I’m at Chuck-E-Cheese.”
He also shared the party with his cousin, Carter, who turned six ten days before. Unfortunately, Carter has a huge fear of Chuck-E-Cheese, he has since he was four. He’s still running away when he sees him and crawling under my chair for protection or on his mother’s lap.
Afraid or not, he still had fun.
This week I’m working with The American Cancer Society and preparing for NH Legislators visit on Thursday to the River Valley Technical College in Claremont.
I am SO excited!
Time to holler for health.
Most of my postings this week will be part of my “Stand For the Sick Series.” I will be writing points and circumstances that will need to be said.

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