Holiday Potpourri

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~ I’d like to offer a few odds and ends, news and reflections.  Since we returned from Ireland (1) my back has gone out; (2) I have had a pesky cold and sinus infection; and (3) today I was scheduled for a root canal at 6:45 Wednesday morning.  I don’t do mornings well, and I don’t do pain, especially not the day before our big Christmas Eve dinner.  But then, Bob, my dentist called back to ask a few more question about my toothache.  Upon further consideration he decided the toothache might be related to my sinuses.  So he put me on an antibiotic.  Tuesday we’ll reevaluate and hopefully cancel the dreaded root canal.  Health issues! but I’m not complaining…

~ Check out the “About This Site” page.  It has been redesigned.

~ A few months back we featured a couple of Guest Posts from neuroblastoma blogs.  This is an update on Miss Madelyn (CaringBridge.org – missmadelyn) who just returned from a follow-up visit.  Her mother, Connie, relates this cute anecdote:  Madelyn had a great checkup! She is so darn funny! When she was in the lab- she asked the Tech, “can you count to three?” She said, “Yes, I can. And I can even count to ten!” Madelyn smiled and replied, “well in that case can you count to ten or better yet maybe even 100 before you take my blood?” I lost it! I also love how articulate she is with her Onc Dr! Madelyn wanted to know all about her study and what happens when she grows up and is too old for Childrens (Hospital)!

~ I added another link on the “Heath Care Reform” page.  It explains the bill that the Senate just passed.  The deal that won Sen. Harry Reid (we think) a filibuster-proof majority for health reform. – By Timothy Noah – Slate Magazine

~ Our friend and fellow blogger, Mel Majoros, who writes at The Cancer Warrior has opened up a new phase to her cancer crusade.  She now broadcasts weekly at Empower Radio.  Check her out at Empower Radio : Empowering You for a Better Life – The Cancer Warrior

~ If you happen to leave a comment on another cancer blog that you found on our “Cancer Blogs” links list, please mention the Being Cancer website.

~ The girls and I have an evolving “quiet time” routine.  I like the current version best of all.  Sophie and Isabel arrive just before two in the afternoon, their Mom dropping them off on her way to her new nursing job.  They sit in the big recliner together to watch “Calliou”,  their favorite TV show.  They munch on crackers and string cheese.  When the show is over, they each grab some books and head back to their bedroom.  They take off their shoes and socks, then climb up in the big antique double bed.  Isabel, 18 months old, lays in the crook of my arm.  Four year old Sophie lies next to her.  We usually read 4-5 books.  Izzy always chooses a Clifford the Big Red Dog book.

When the books are over, I pull Isabel up onto my belly.  Sophie then curls up in the crook of my arm.  The girls hold hands as I begin to sing a series of lullabyes – Twinkle, twinkle little star; Rock-a-bye baby; Summertime (from Porgy & Bess); Hush little baby; Lullabye and goodnight.

By now they are usually both asleep.  I slip my arm from underneath Sophie.  Then I lay Isabel in her little bed.  I pull the door closed, but just as I do, I glance back to gaze at them sleeping so peacefully.  These are the joys of a grandfather.  This is the grace of surviving cancer.

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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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