Tag Archives: Ohio State University

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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Back to School

27 Feb

I guess I made a good impression. Was invited back by Maryanna D. Klatt. Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Clinical Allied Medicine to speak to her “The Evolving Art and Science of Medicine” class at The Ohio State University about “The Year My Dad Went Bald,” and the healing process that went along with the creation of the book for the second year in a row. It was a great class with lots insightful  questions from the students. I look forward to visiting the class again next year. Also was honored to meet co-speaker Mary Fisher who is helping the fight against cancer with her Grateful Hearts Designs. She makes and sells wonderful mittens from recycled sweaters and all proceeds benefit the Arthur James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Check them out at http://www.gratefulheartdesign.com/

Evening with Children’s Author at the James

9 Oct

The James Cancer Center at The Ohio State University has been a great supporter of The Year My Dad Went Bald since it was published. The JamesCare for Life support program has been using the book to help families and it is a great honor to be involved in their great program. Needless to say, I am very excited to be a part of their Fall class programming.

On October 25, the James will present An Evening with Children’s Author featuring yours truly. I will be presenting The Year My Dad Went Bald, sharing my story and there will be a panel discussion for question and answers. The event runs from 6-8 pm and it should be a great evening. If you or someone you know are interested call JamesCare for Life at 614-293-6428 for information or visit them on the web.