Tag Archives: Facebook

Blogging Your Cancer

29 Jan

An interesting column by Bill Saporito in last week’s edition of Time magazine addressed the growing phenomenon of blogging about cancer. Former New York Times editor Bill Keller and Emma Keller of the U.K.’s Guardian both wrote columns questioning the necessity and taste of patients blogging about their cancer and their treatments. Both columns made valid points but set off a debate about over sharing and fighting cancer with dignity.

When I was receiving treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, I felt no need to share what I was going through with the public. Although I wish I would have had a Facebook account at the time so I would have been able to update family and friends on my treatments without having to make multiple phone calls. How primitive.

Since the publication of The Year My Dad Went Bald, I have found myself in the position of sharing my experiences with people I’ve never met before on a regular basis.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I sat down to write and illustrate the book it gave me a unique perspective to happened to me and how I would never look at life the same again.  Initially, I wanted nothing to do with any sort of self-help encounters or discussions groups. Since my recovery, I have found myself speaking and participating in these encounters that I was so desperate to avoid. What changed?

I never wanted to be the “cancer guy” but like it or not I have become a voice, especially for fathers, for those who are going through this ordeal. I can only hope that my story and recovery has given comfort and hope.

I have been fortunate that companies like Genentech and the Ohio State University to be given me the opportunity to share my experiences with researchers, and future doctors. Everybody handles adversity in different ways; The Year My Dad Went Bald has changed the course of my life and made me a different person. Hopefully better.

Robert Kessler who writes for Gawker has started to blog about his diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  As a well-known writer he is in a unique position to share his story with a large audience. I wish him well and look forward to his posts.

If people like the Kellers can’t handle it or find it distasteful there plenty of other websites to distract you from the realities of what some people are going through.

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Feeding the starving artists

8 Jul

I always get people telling me how brave I am for facing down cancer, which I don’t really get. What other choice did I have? To me people who go out on a ledge and express themselves creatively or artistically are the courageous ones. What is it that compels someone to put out a song, story or piece of art that is strong enough to offset the fear of negative reaction or judgment. Upon the publication of The Year My Dad Went Bald, I noticed that the first people lining up to purchase were creative types that I knew. Musicians, Pat and Linda Dull, (Pat Dull and Media Whores, Betty Machete and the Angry Cougars) Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks, Gaunt, The Sun, Your So Bossy and drummer for just about every good band in this town) Matt Reber of the Wexner Book Store and Phillip Fox have all been great supporters. Author Charles Leerhsen (check out his great new book Blood and Smoke, which is about the first Indy 500) was one of the first purchasers on our Amazon site.

Ken Eppstein publisher of Nix Comics Quarterly has taken to Facebook to help get the word out about some of the great things happening around town and Ohio with his “30 Days of Shilling for My Friends” which he highlights projects currently being produced by folks that he knows. What a cool idea. I was honored to be a part of it, and hope to do my part by supporting other folks.

I am sure that I have left somebody out in the haste of banging out this post, but do your part and help them by feeding a starving or thirsty artist today

Feeling Fine

18 May

Amazingly, I turned forty-five this week. Not amazing that I lived this long, but I remember my friend’s parents being forty-five and thinking that was old. I sneak peeks at old high school classmates on Facebook and wonder where the all rowdy dudes and seemingly, out of my league, cheerleaders went. Did we all turn to mortgage brokers and soccer moms overnight? That’s never gonna happen to me. But as I pulled up support stockings (for my varicose veins, I know, TMI) this morning I realized that it already has. I am good with it though. As a cancer survivor you can’t take these things for granted. I am still having a hell of good time and despite the various aches and pains. And my prized birthday presents from my family were Philadelphia Union soccer hat and an Evan Turner 76ers jersey, so I think I still I have some growing up to do. I think I will take my time.