New Year’s New Face

Looking up ...

Looking up ...

Welcome to the new face of Being Cancer!  Well, it’s not as complete as I had planned – I am still struggling to place a photo image in the “header” or top section of every blog page.  But if you look closely at the same header, you will notice some changes.  The 2010 iteration of this website includes a shift in wording in the blog title.  Being Cancer has evolved into Being Cancer Network.  The word networking in the subtitle has been dropped, leaving People Transformed by Cancer.

Why the change?  I want this year’s focus to be more on our blogging community than on me.  I want to target the idea of cancer community more directly, emphasizing sharing ideas, posts, readership and enabling more discussion and dialogue.  My own health status remains solidly in remission – not so much to write about there.  Though I naturally cringe at saying out loud (bad luck?) that I am doing well as far as cancer goes, I do need to say it.  I am down to transplant clinic visits only every three months.  And, except for the occasional short hospitalization, I only have to deal with a persistent proclivity to viral infections.

I spent this weekend continuing in my naive struggle to learn programming languages – HTML, CSS, and PHP – in order to have more control over the look and functions of the website.  I did manage to successfully add some “widgets” to my left sidebar.  First is the colorful “Translate” widget that enables the Global Translator plugin to translate posts into a variety of languages.  It is always fun to view my familiar home page in Dutch, German, or Swedish.  I also expanded the “Categories” widget to include the number of posts in each category.

Next is a new box called Top Ten Commentators. This feature ranks folks who have offered comment based on the number of comments.  Hopefully it might encourage more participation.  The names on the list are hotlinks back to those blogs.  There is also a new countdown widget, displaying how long it has been since my stem cell transplant.  This might offer hope and optimism to those considering a transplant.  In the Askimet box, you can see how busy the spammers have been.  We are now at 31,000 legitimate visits.  I want to add a visit counter to the page in the future.  Finally, just for fun, you can see how many people are on the website at any given time.  This is supposed to include a world map page but I haven’t gotten it to work.

I have added some navigation features to the Cancer Resources page and hope to do the same with Book Club, Book List, and Reviews. The next thing I have planned is a different publishing schedule to emphasize the new community focus.  I plan five posts a week.  Monday will remain devoted to cancer books, either a review or the book club.  Tuesday and Thursday will feature Guest Posts.  As much as anything, this feature seems to strengthen the community.  I don’t want readers to miss out on great writing so I am doubling the number of weekly guest offerings.  Wednesday will center on a descriptive review of a selected cancer resource.  Friday will be either cancer news, a healthcare reform topic, or another cancer resource review.  I will continue to write reflections and articles occasionally.

Hopefully you have noticed the new Honor Roll page.  This is an Honor Roll for Excellence in Cancer Writing. Again this is designed to highlight the great writing and wisdom to be found in personal cancer blogs.  Cancer Blogs remains our most popular and unique offering. I will be adding to and expanding it, including descriptive modifiers on diagnosis, child survivors, inactivity, and other relevant bits.  I will be separating out Hodgkin’s bloggers as a distinct group from the other (non-Hodgkin) lymphoma survivors.

Please, please let me know about any new blogs you have found, any new cancer resources that you use, and any links that no longer work.  We are all in this together. We are the Being Cancer Network.

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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.

Comments

New Year’s New Face — 6 Comments

  1. Now you know Denis that this is a gift for all of us, don’t you.

    You are doing important work here and I want you to know that I appreciate it.

    I am so happy that you are stable and I do not believe you are cursing yourself by saying so.

    All the best my dear friend.

    Love Renee xoxo

  2. Dennis,
    Thanks for working so hard on the blog. I have struggled with HTML/CSS as well, and have found it a challenge I enjoy – something I can conquer, unlike cancer. Thanks for your wonderful compendium of internet resources that help us establish and maintain a sense of community through the dark valley that is cancer survival.

    Genevieve

  3. Dennis – what you are doing is so important for all of us – we’ve all been doing our own thing and you have pulled it together in one place. Cancer is very isolating and once diagnosed, it is hard to find what we need to know and other’s going through the same. You are an inspiration to us all on what you have done. Congratulations!

  4. Hey Dennis,

    Great to hear you’re doing better. Would love to have my blog on the cancer blogs list––othersideofcancer.blogspot.com––to help spread the word of hope and understanding. Thanks for giving your precious time to all of us.

  5. I’m not trying to be self serving but when you asked for more resources I did think of my site, http://www.cancerinsuranceinfo.com
    I think your readers might be interested in learning more about this. I’m a California agent and can only write here but you can find this coverage in whatever area you are. I’m not a cancer survivor but do know the trauma it brings, my husband was diagnosed in 1996. I hope to reach out to more people to explain the benefits of this and how it works. Let me know how I can help. Thank you!

    • Loreen, Thanks for your other email and all of your comments. I visited your site and thought that it offered some limited value. However, most of the other resources on my list are non-profit. If they are for-profit (like the news organizations), they offer readers substantial value for no cost. Therefore, I am not quite comfortable adding Allstate’s cancer insurance site as a resource to readers. If you wanted to place a commericial advertisement, that might work. Thanks for thinking of us. Take care, Dennis

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