Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Getting the Word out about Oral Cancer

Well, I have a lot to report today. My first big exciting news is, that a small south side paper had contacted me today. It is called the South Side Times. They want to do a feature article on yours truly. PRETTY darn cool, is it not? They wish to do a feature on me. They called me and asked if I would be interested and I said, Of Course I would be. What an opportunity to get the word out about Oral Cancer. My interview in tomorrow at 3:00PM.

That brings me to my second bit of news. My sister has taken it upon herself to do a benefit dinner for me to help raise money for things like the uninsured medical bills and such. Since not working it has become a bit of a burden, but as always, I work through somehow the money just comes. ( Lord provides.) But she will be having a dinner this Friday a the Masonic Lodge between 4:30 and 7:30 PM to raise a bit of cash. I think this is very cool of her. Some times being my sister she is a bit of a pain in the rear. Always wanting to mother me and treat me like a big ol' baby. But beside that , she means well and has really gone all out and made this happen. Kinda cool too I think. Money is not the real issue it is more the thought behind it all. Guess it will be a spaghetti dinner with salad, French bread, chocolate cake and a drink all for $5.00. What a DEAL! This day and age a meal for $5.00, WOW! I guess the paper will be there also as part of the story.

I wanted the chance and now I am getting it. Come on Bob and Tom! or Heck, what about Regis or Oprah. Maybe a bit ambitious, but...why not? I will be amazed at that one I think.

Chemo went well this last Monday. I have gotten the Acne rash that was promised to me. Bringing back the old high school, teenage years. Only difference is you do not have to duck when I yarn. The pimples are not filled with that nasty stuff.. reminds me of water. But I bought some Oil-Free Acne Wash, a Foaming Cleanser by Neutrogena and it works well. I use it in place of soap twice a day and it helps dry it out. So there is my free plug for them. Now if Neutrogena Corporation wants to send me a dollar I would not turn it down. Or maybe some free bottles, oh... only 4.85 at your local Walmart. I do have some slight muscle soreness from the Erbitux, but that is not all the time so I can deal with that. I have a bit of rash, on the chest as well, but not bad, least not yet. The Erbitux is working though. It has reduced the tumors some. It has caused swelling in others. This is because the Her 1 pathway is blocked and the cancer cell can not grow so the agitates the cells around it hence causing some inflammation. This will go away after radiation starts.They are currently mapping out my treatment for the radiation. This will take about another week or so, then they will call me to start that. Then is 8 short weeks, I will be done. Ya, I make sound simple. I know I am in for a ride, but once you get on the roller coaster, you got to finish the ride to get off of it.

Finally, I toot of my own horn. I have officially been smoke free now for 3 weeks almost 4. I mean 100% smoke free and with no patch either. I was on some pain meds after the last surgery, that made it easier not to smoke. Plus I was in such horrid pain, that I did not care about smoking or anything else either. But now that I have not smoked even a puff of a stub since then, It gets tough. Not a day goes by that I want one. Even now as I think about it, I want one....BADLY. I just don't! Having a portion or your throat cut out and your teeth extracted and jaw line ground down is a good motivator as well. Would not suggest going through that though. Do as I say, not as I do. Do not smoke and get checked for oral cancer! Ya, I never though it would happen to me either!


Melanie Haiken said...

Hi John,
I like your blog; it's very moving. I wanted to let you know I linked to it in a round-up post on mine: http://www.caring.com/blogs/caring-currents/telling-our-stories-the-importance-of-personal-cancer-blogs
Thanks so much for sharing your story. It's really helpful.
Be well,
Melanie Haiken