Honor Roll – new feature

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My greatest revelation in starting a “blogroll” for Being Cancer was the quality of writing that I found week after week.  I started printing examples of this writing as our Guest Post feature, one of the most popular and widely read features on our site.  For the most part these are not professional writers.  They are just folks who started blogs and were somehow able to connect deeply with what they were experiencing as cancer survivors.  They were then able to convey the depth of that experience in elegant, moving prose.  Excellent, compelling writing has always been my sole criteria for selection.  So I am launching a new feature called “Honor Roll“.  It will be a collection of those cancer bloggers who have been published as “Guest Posts”.  You can find it by clicking the menu under the Being Cancer banner or else selecting “Honor Roll” from the  “Pages” menu in the left-hand column.  Watch the Honor Roll as it grows from week to week.  Wednesday is generally our Guest Post day.  The award is called the Being Cancer Honor Roll for Excellence in Cancer Writing.

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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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Honor Roll – new feature — 1 Comment

  1. Fear of the What Ifs and I Didn’t Even Know I was Scared

    I didn’t realize how affected I was going to be by my recent mammogram. It was my 3-month check-up for my left-side (where the cancer car-wrecked my life) and my annual for my right side.

    I was doing fine, I went into my “let’s get this over with” mode and did not think about it. The mammogram was done, and then I had to wait for the tech to come back from talking with the radiologist about my mammogram. She was gone only 15 minutes, but it seemed like forever and my mind started to race, my heart started to beat really hard… Then she came back and said “congratulations, you’re good to go!” I smiled, we made small talk, I dressed and left.

    Out in the hall, I leaned up against the wall and called my daughter. I was so shaky and wanted to cry. I told her that I was so relieved and that I just came from my 3-month follow-up and I didn’t realize how it was going to affect me until just now, and I needed to talk to her for I was so shaky.

    My daughter was so wonderful, she said she loved me and she was glad I called her and that I got my mammogram. She helped me stop shaking from the “what ifs.”

    Whew. Mammograms sure make my heart ache… what a process this dance with cancer is.

    I then met with my surgeon this afternoon; at our hospital the surgeons follow-up with cancer patients once they are done with chemotherapy, I don’t mind because my surgeon is a rock star. I shared with her how I tweaked out this morning after my mammogram, and about my friend’s recurrence that metastasized. She just sat there and listened to me.

    She said my feelings were perfectly natural after all I’ve been through, and she said the next time if I needed a relaxer or something before the mammogram, just let her know so that we can make it easier on me; she was happy that I still went ahead and did the mammogram, then she gave me a hug. See a rock star I tell ya!

    Jiminy, what a day it was, and I guess I’m not completely over the “what-ifs.”

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