SOCIAL SILVER SURFERS EBOOK WINNERS
On Friday, I wrote about a new eBook reporting on a survey about how elders use the internet. One of the authors, Erin Read who is a friend of mine, offered to give away three copies to TGB readers.
Now, with the aid of a random number generator, we have the online names of the three winners:
Congratulations all. I have forwarded your email addresses to Erin who will contact you to arrange delivery of the eBooks.
Erin tells me that part of her company's mission is to support those who work to enhance the quality of elders' lives so she will also send a free copy of the eBook to Anita Franzione who teaches a public health and aging class and to Judith Levkoe of Seniors Across Canada both of whom entered the giveaway.
Those email addresses have also been sent to Erin who will be in contact with you soon.
That was fun and it generated a lot of conversation too. I'll see if I can find another good book to do this with soon.
My friend Jan Adams, who blogs at Where is the Way Forward, has been walking the Camino de Santiago while visiting Spain this summer. She took the time to email this photo of a purple awareness ribbon at the Ministry of Health building in Madrid.
”I have been unable to confirm that this display of the purple ribbon on the Ministry of Health was really about pancreatic cancer,” she writes, “but as soon as I saw it, I wanted to capture it for you.”
And I'm thrilled to have it even if we don't know if it is meant to be for pancreatic cancer. That's because there seem to be more diseases than colors to go around and you can see the long list of them that use a purple awareness ribbon here.
Jan's photo gives me an excuse to update you, dear readers, who have emailed or left comments asking how I'm doing. I haven't written much about my cancer treatment lately because there is so little to say – which is, of course, good news.
I began chemotherapy infusions on Wednesday 13 September, repeated on each of the two subsequent Wednesdays. Also on those days and every other day of the week, I take two tablets in the morning and again in the evening of an oral chemo drug. This is my week off from infusion treatment, then I start another round of once a week for three weeks while continuing the daily oral chemo.
Did I mention how gruesome a few of the potential side effects can be? How about the dangers of infection due to a drop in the number of my red and white blood cells and platelets from the chemo? And other possible signs and symptoms that can even require an emergency room visit?
Many of you who have commented here about your cancer treatments are way ahead of me in knowing all about this stuff. Me? I'm still new at it, still learning.
But as I enter the third calendar week today of my six-month chemo treatment, I am – knock wood, cross fingers, light candles, etc. - side effect free. Whoo-eee! In fact, I have been feeling so good in general that sometimes I wonder how that can coexist with such a virulent cancer.
The hard part is how busy the chemo team keeps me even when I'm at home. I have pills timed 30 minutes before meals, with meals, 30 minutes after meals, some in the morning, some in the evening and one to take before every meal or snack I eat for the rest of my life along with two or three others I will need daily for as long as I live.
Here is a photo of what is, apparently, a permanent new feature of my kitchen:
Also, there is lotion for my hands and feet throughout the day, mouth rinses, exercises to keep up my strength and those six meals a day. I haven't been able to do six, but I can usually manage four and sometimes five.
Don't even ask about the food restrictions. I'm experimenting carefully and have been able to add a few “new” foods but mostly, for the time being, meals are boring and repetitive.
But guess what? I'll take it. I'll take it all (with some whining) because compared to what others in my condition go through, I'm getting off easy.
Given how dangerous and aggressive this cancer is, I know how lucky I am, and my gratitude grows by the day. Here is partial a list of why:
⚫ Only ten percent of people diagnosed pancreatic cancer are eligible for the Whipple surgery which is pretty much the only thing that can help. I am one of those few.
⚫ Although it seemed to take forever, I healed relatively easily from the surgery and have been back to full physicial capacity for well more than a month.
⚫ My chemo treatment takes only an hour once a week. Some at the clinic sit there with an infusion going for eight or ten hours and/or do it several times a week.
⚫ So far side effects from the chemicals have passed me by.
⚫ I am old enough for Medicare which pays for all but a small amount of this expensive treatment.
⚫ I happen to live where there is a world-class cancer institute with renowned physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals highly experienced in my kind of cancer.
⚫ And I have you, dear readers of this blog, who send greetings of good cheer and hugs and light candles and wish me well every day.
What makes me even more grateful in that regard is I'm not even all that likeable. Among other failings, I am short-tempered, cynical, cantankerous, impatient, judgmental and more.
Thank you all so very much for being on this journey with me.