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First, a little about me, and about dealing with cancer

More about is owned and run by me, Jim Graham, a two-time cancer
survivor, and a portion of all sales (larger amount for larger order
sizes, etc.) will be donated to the American Cancer Society.  This is
very important to me, for many reasons.  But for this entry, I'd like
to share a few things that are far more important.

1) Cancer #1, cancer #2, and maybe cancer #3

I have already survived two cancers, and there is a slight possibility
that some elevated levels might be the return of cancer #1 as cancer #3
(or might be something completely unrelated to cancer).  My first cancer
tried repeatedly to kill me, but I refused to let it.  And with that,
allow me to point out one of the absolute most important things to do if
you or someone you know has cancer: you must remain positive at all
times, and if you're the one with cancer, you absolutely must fight back
as if your life depends on it, because depending on your cancer and how
far it's spread, it might.

   Sun Tzu wrote:
   VI.2. Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the
   enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him.
      -- "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu, ca 500 B.C.
         (1910 Lionel Giles translation)

When I was diagnosed with my first cancer, my (soon to be my) oncologist
told me I had a 50% chance of just getting out of the hospital alive.  I
not so politely informed him that he was wrong...that he should make that
100%, because I was going to beat the cancer.  As I was being checked
into my room in the cancer care center at the hospital, I told the nurse
exactly what I'd said.  She responded, "Well I sure am glad to hear you
say that, because it's people who come in here with an attitude like
yours that tend to walk out of here alive.  People who come in here
thinking they're going to die, usually do."  This got back to the same
doctor, now officially one of my oncologists, and my chance of survival
was raised to 80%, and after he saw that I meant what I'd said, 100%.

Know that you're going to not just win, that you are going to hurt the
cancer...that you're going to make IT feel more pain than it causes you,
and that ultimately, you'll be the one still living.  You may go through
some incredibly bad times with nausea, pain, and more, but you always
have to know that you will win, and the cancer will lose.

2) Other VERY Important Information For You

First, I can't speak for resources outside of the United States.  I have
no idea what resources are available in other countries.  Having said
that, here are some very valuable resources in the US:

a) The American Cancer Society / 1-800-227-2345

   The American Cancer Society has oncology nurses on staff 24/7 for any
   questions or concerns you may have about going through cancer, being a
   cancer survivor, or a caregiver.  They also have a huge amount of
   resources in print which you can request at any time, 24/7.  The
   American Cancer Society also has services such as getting a ride to
   and from cancer-related medical appointments, Hope Lodges for cancer
   patients and family/caregivers who need to travel for treatments, and
   much, much more.

b) Relay For Life is a local event in, well, just about everywhere.  Join
   as a survivor (if you're still a patient, you still join as a
   survivor), build your own team, or even volunteer with your local
   event's volunteer staff.  If nothing else, go, and walk that survivor
   lap (wheelchairs should be available if you need one).  Do that as a
   way of standing up to the cancer, letting it know you mean business.

c) Another great resource is CancerCare, Inc (
   phone: 800-813-4673). Like the ACS, they have some very useful
   information that they can send to you. Consider them another valuable
   information resource

d) Should you find yourself needing Medicaid, or Social Security
   Disability and Medicare, especially while you are still in the fight
   of your life, contact the Patient Advocacy Foundation
   ( phone: 800-532-5274). They fought for
   me when I wasn¿t able to. Another great resource, should you need
   legal assistance, is the Cancer Legal Resource Center
   ( If you are in need of
   any legal assistance, this should definitely be your first (and most
   likely last) stop.

e) One of my sites, Cancer Research Blog.  I have put together a blog site
   that checks various sites, such as the National Cancer Institute (the
   primary source of the most current information) and others.  The site
   is on auto-pilot (actual term: autoblog), and checks these RSS news
   feeds once per hour (not all at the same time, though).  The
   information you'll find on current research, and more important,
   actual progress, is absolutely amazing.

Other resources you will need to count on are family and friends.  Just
remember, if they're showing any kind of negative attitude around you,
politely ask them to leave until they have a positive attitude.
Negativity around you is the last thing you need.  You will, no doubt,
also find your oncology nurses to be absolutely amazing in how they are
always so very caring.  It takes a very special kind of person, with a
very special heart to be an oncology nurse.  I should know, I've been
around so many since my first cancer was diagnosed in January 2006.

Finally, always remember this.  Even after you've banished the cancer
that invaded your body to a medical hazardous materials (hazmat) bin,
you may have some damage inflicted by the cancer and/or treatment (I
certainly do).  You basically have two choices: learn to live with it,
laugh about it, and show your friends how they can help (e.g., I
sometimes can't pull a word I know very well from my brain in a
conversation, or I completely lose the entire topic of the conversation;
my friends have learned to recognize this and start filling me in on
what we were talking about, what I was saying, and so on), or, you can
be bitter about it and ultimately go insane.  I strongly advise learning
to live with whatever damage was done and laugh about it with friends.
Stay positive.  It's a much happier way to live.

And with that, I'll close this edition.  Next time, well, I'm not sure
what my own situation will be next time, so we'll see.  It might be more
about cancer, about my cancer #3 (or about how it isn't #3), or something
completely jewelry.


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