As the title says this blog is one man’s effort to make sense out of his journey fighting melanoma. I have enjoyed reading some of my fellow melanoma warriors’ blogs and thought it might be an interesting way to share what this journey has been like for me. If you find this interesting great, if not that’s great also. Selfishly this is more about me getting this out and moving on from being a cancer patient to being a cancer survivor.

Let’s clear up a few things. Yes, I know how to use spell check and no I don’t always use it. I majored in accounting, not english. I have always been a below average writer, which is why I find the therapeutic value of doing this surprising. I think for this blog to make any sense you pretty much have to go to the archive and start from the beginning which is titled “Life Is Good”

I am not a doctor or medial professional of any type. My blog is not endorsed by any medical professional or facility mentioned in it. Every decision I have made about my care was done after careful consultation with my medical team. Decisions I have made were right for me but should not in any instance be considered right for anybody else. I don't recommend taking medical advice from an accountant.

Key West

Key West

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Livestrong, My Angel Tim and Cancer Math.

Livestrong Manifesto

I have posted two links above that I think all cancer patients and their support group should check.  One is the link to the Livestrong manifesto.  I have the first paragraph stuck the wall in both my offices and read it often.  It reminds me that I cannot sit around and feel sorry for myself.  The second is the Livestrong video shot by Lance Mackey.  Now I will admit I am a bit of a Livestrong video addict.  I think I have seen them all and this one really strikes a cord with me.  Ironically my son has met this guy on his travels in Alaska and somehow ended up hanging out with him for a day. 
I was always a Lance Armstrong fan.  I think what he did in coming back from cancer and winning all those Tours was simply amazing and you cannot overstate what an accomplishment this was for a guy who had testicular, lung, and brain cancer at the same time.  Simply amazing and very inspiring.  He then started this organization to help people who were stricken with the same disease.  I find their web site very informative and helpful.  I have reached out to them directly for help on more than one occasion and they have been incredibly helpful to me.  One of the best things they did for me was they turned me on to an organization called Imermans Angels.  It’s simple enough.  They match cancer fighters with cancer survivors who had the same type of cancer and treatment.  It’s one on one and in my case all done via e-mail.  I had been spending a lot of time looking at Cancer Math .Net check my chances and was really getting down and feeling a bit overwhelmed.  The livestrong people suggest I try registering and try talking to another Melanoma survivor and see if that didn’t help me understand that those statistics mean nothing to any one member of the sample pool.  Now as a numbers geek I understand what those statistics really mean but they were right.  The imermans people set me up with my angel whose name was Tim.  He is a nearly 10 year melanoma survivor and hearing from him made a big difference for me.  My family and friends were so supportive and wonderful to me but there is just something about this journey that only people who have been through it can understand.  I will paste a link to the Imermans site below and if you think it can help I strongly recommend it.  I hope to be able to volunteer with them and be of assistance to somebody else some day.  I maybe have heard from Tim four or five times in total but it made a big difference in my attitude.