November Cancer News

sightsandculture_historyheritage_tcm26-32131Ireland – here we come.  At least I hope so.  We haven’t packed or done any other preparations.  But I have been working on the website, putting together journal posts and guest posts and storing them as drafts.  This way I can publish them ready-made from abroad.  I may post a quick Irish update or two just to let you know what’s happening.  I want to regain momentum in my writing.  Six weeks of various viral illnesses has made for unsteady progress for the blog and website.  I hope to take a lot of photos there though the forecast is for steady rain.  That means, among other more obvious things, pretty flat lighting for photos.

My email box has accumulated a number of pleas and requests to assist other bloggers and cancer-related enterprises.  I endorse none of these but merely pass them along to you as potential resources.

~ The “Journal” posts that you have been reading since the blog’s inception have been excerpted from my on-line publication Diary of an Illness. This was my original exposition of my battle with leukemia.  For the past seven years ther story has been hosted on the website of the Oncology Nursing Society.  They have recently revamped their website and the on-line journal is no longer available.  As with many changes there comes opportunity.  I am making plans to republish it in its entirety as a free on-line e-book with its own website.  Over the years many people have found it helpful.  So it will be my honor to offer it free to a wider audience.  Several colleges have used it as reading for various cources, including one entitled “The Biology of Cancer” at Mount Wachusett College.

~ Speaking of books, Donald Wilhelm, who descibes himself as a five-time cancer survivor, author and cancer advocate, asked me to mention his website (Learn cancer experiences from 5-Time Cancer Survivor Donald Wilhelm.).    He is offering a free 5-day “video boot camp on cancer”.  There is an introductory video on the website.  Then, if you want to subscribe, you enter your name and email address.  For the next five days, he will email you inspirational video chapters.  Since I’m leaving on Saturday, I didn’t have time to subscribe.  After the five days, I don’t know if there’s an “angle”.  Donald has written a book “Thriving With Cancer” that is listed and reviewed on Amazon.  So if you like the videos, you may be presented with an opportunity to purchase a copy of the book.  Let us know what your experience was.

~ My post on “Little Things” was republished as a Guest Post on the above mentioned Oncology Nursing Society blog at RE:Connect

band~ Some late reporting on our favorite “band” of musical gynecology surgeons, N.E.D. (“no evidence of disease”).  The band N.E.D. performed at the Inaugural GCAM Race to End Women’s Cancers that took place Sunday, November 8th, in D.C.  The race, organized by the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF), aims to raise awareness and funds for gynecologic cancers through a 5K, half-marathon and 1-mile walk.  N.E.D. has filmed a PSA about the race that can be viewed here:    YouTube – N.E.D. & The GCF Race to End Women’s Cancer As you know, the band’s debut EP, No Evidence of Disease, released in September to coincide with Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month, benefits the N.E.D. Fund of the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF). Since its release, the album has been charting on Amazon’s best selling albums chart (peaking at number 235), and has been reviewed by likes of All Music Guide. The band and their EP have received support from MTV’s social change site, ThinkMTV where they were a  featured topic, and Lifetime Women’s Network, who throughout the month of September, featured their public service announcement pushing women to know the warning signs and get checked regularly for gynecologic cancers.

~ This just in: Hi, I’m Ricky Byers and I am a 2 time cancer survivor.  I wake up every morning with a true sense of accomplishment.  I just love life.  Knowing that you can beat cancer is truly a great feeling.  At the age of 33, I was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Little did I know that I was about to fight the biggest fight of my life to date. During my 5 year fight against Laryngeal (Throat) cancer, my biggest inspiration came from the 7 time Tour De France winner, Lance Armstrong.  Reading Lance’s story and using all the tools that are available to all cancer patient’s on his website, was an absolute lifesaver for me. Knowing that it is possible to beat this and knowing that people like Lance have spent their lives raising money for research, cures and  helping cancer patient’s find information about their illness  is truly amazing!
The thing that I want most in life now is to help Lance in his fight for Cancer patient’s.  I may never have the opportunity to meet Lance in person, but I am determined to help him in this fight.
My passion has always been in racing.  I have raced for over 20 years in numerous types of automobile racing, but no race in my life will be more important than the race to the finish line for cancer.  I know that a lot of money and awareness can be raised for cancer research.  I know this disease can be fought.  I know that every family will one day be touched by this horrible illness and I want to do everything in my power to help get rid of it.
My goal for 2010 is to be in the Arca Remax  Series or the Camping World Truck Series to raise money for cancer research and awareness. I want to partner with sponsors that share in my belief, that cancer can and should be a thing of the past.    Anyone interested can visit my website
I look forward to being here at NASCAR Ranting and Raving and I hope you enjoy reading about my racing expereinces both on and off the track.

~ Also just in: Freedom can be yours — freedom from smoking, that is.  November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month — free yourself from smoking with a great resource from that offers the inspiration and support you need to stay the course. With clever quitting tactics and a network of ex-smokers to offer strength and motivation, explore Beliefnet’s “Freedom From Smoking” gallery for support to help you kick that bad habit.  Beliefnet’s Health Editor Holly Rossi can provide tips and inspiration for staying healthy in mind, body and spirit as you or someone your love takes that step toward cutting ties to smoking in exchange for a new, healthier life. The Journey to Freedom from Smoking –

~ New book coming to me for review:  Called Back, a memoir of the author’s (Mary Cappello’s) struggle with cancer and her long recovery, Alyson Books.

~ We’ve come a long way from the 1990s, when radical mastectomies were the primary treatment for breast cancer. Today most women who are diagnosed will survive the disease. Most advances in breast cancer treatment are the direct result of clinical trials, yet myths and confusion about research studies keep many people from participating in trials that could provide early diagnoses or potentially life-saving therapies. (Welcome – is the ONLY trial matching and breast cancer information resource EXCLUSIVELY dedicated to breast cancer. The free, non-profit website and customized trial matching service was founded by two breast cancer patients in partnership with the University of California, San Francisco ( The site was designed from first-hand experience as an easy-to-use, one-stop solution for patients who are coping with their own dramatic health changes while trying to keep up with day-to-day life and, at the same time, learn about potential treatment options.


About Dennis Pyritz

Dennis W. Pyritz, RN, BA, BSN, has been a cancer nurse since 1987 and a cancer and bone marrow transplant survivor since 2004. In December 2001 he was diagnosed with t-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Dennis was treated with the then new monoclonal antibody, alemtuzumab (Campath) as this disease has a median survival of 7.5 months. He achieved a 26 month remission but relapsed in February 2004. He was retreated with Campath and went into a second remission. In August 2004 he underwent an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant with his brother, Mark, as donor. Dennis has remained in remission since - a near miracle. Throughout his career as cancer nurse and patient, Dennis has had the opportunity to speal to both lay and professional groups. Dennis has spoken on cancer topics and survival issues across the country as well as in the United Kingdom, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cyrpus, Israel, and India.

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