National Lung Cancer Partnership EVENTS
click the link above, for events.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month!

April is National Donate Life Month

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Year End Wrap-Up & 2008 Goals

Another year has come and gone so I need to set some new goals as I have satisfied last years goals.

2008 Goals are:

  1. Live to see 2009
  2. Increase my energy level (start doing more cardio)
  3. Spend more time with my family
  4. Increase awareness about organ donation and defeat the stigma associated with lung cancer

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Sure am glad to be home this Christmas.

I am putting batteries in every noise making toy made this year and is every Baby doll called Arial or the Bratz. I do realize that I am turning into my parents when I start looking forward to the children wearing themselves out on Christmas and taking a nap (so I can take a nap).

What a day, glad to be here.

Monday, December 24, 2007

FAQ's about BAC and Lung Transplant (patients point of view)

This is a living blog post that will be re-visited frequently as I remember new stuff to add, subtract, and other transplant/cancer hommies send me info.

Disclaimer: These are thoughts and suggestions provided by myself and others that have experienced cancer (i.e. BAC) and also undergone organ transplantation (i.e. lung transplant).

BAC (Lung Cancer) FAQ's:

  1. BAC (Bronchioloalveolar Carcinoma) suck!!!
  2. BAC is a type of lung cancer often found in non-smokers
  3. For many diagnosed with BAC there is no way of EVER knowing how the carcinoma developed, since it is often diagnosed at such a late stage. (for me I was diagnosed at stage 4)
  4. When you are diagnosed with cancer or other life threatening conditions you need to study and read medical white papers so the highly lettered doctors don't try to talk over your head. An example of words they might use that are suggestive until you really understand the true medical meaning as it applies to your condition are stage 4, metastasized, spread... I was stage 4 b/c my BAC non-small cell cancer had spread or metastasized to both lungs, in this case you don't want it to spread but the spreading was okay b/c it was contained in my lungs and I had no lymph node involvement.
  5. Chemo (chemotherapy) is overrated as far as making you deathly ill. Don't get me wrong it is unpleasant but you more than likely won't be vomiting bucks or be totally out of it. The new Chemo is often time targeted for your specific cancer type based on its protein signature which means it focus on a specific area of the body. You will also be given pre-meds before chemo starts to help with nausea, you will also be given plenty of snacks during your chemo infusion (mmm MMMM mmm snacks)
  6. Keep hard candy on hand and suck on it when your IV is flushed with Saline and Heparin as they will leave a nasty taste in your mouth and the candy will of-set that taste.
  7. If you can get a port inserted in your chest for chemo, and blood draws it will make life much simpler; your veins will start to get worn out from the chemo eventually and the port again will make life simpler.
  8. Flush your port at least every three weeks or as the doctor orders.
  9. Eat what you can the newer chemo does not really alter the taste of food contrary to popular opinion.
  10. Stay active work-out, walk, swim, hit the whirl pool, and get a massage as these activities help push the chemo (Ratt poison) through your system and will help with the joint/muscle pain you are going to experience.

Transplant FAQ's:

  1. TRANSPLANT IS NOT A CURE; you are trading a terminal condition for MANY other conditions that can be monitored through life style changes (i.e. exercise, diet) and medication.
  2. Some conditions that one can expect with lung transplant are; diabetes, osteoporosis, weight fluctuation, muscle mass loss, mood swings, fatigue, various respiratory viruses..... BUT YOU ARE ALIVE keep that in mind.
  3. Your children / or younger relatives will be your greatest inspiration to fight on and do well with the transplant but they can also put you in the hospital as they will unknowingly give you little presents (germs and bugs) they get from daycare.
  4. YES, they transplant was painful the first two days hurt like *&^% *&^%; it helps to be in shape, work on your abs, back upper and lower, possibly learn some yoga or stretching before hand to concentrate on your posture, work on your legs too as the meds will quickly eat away your leg muscles.
  5. Wear your mask and get T-shirts made up to answer the ignorant questions you will get from people wondering why you have on the mask.
  6. It will probably take a good year to recover from the transplant.
  7. I started back to work after 6 months but that might have been to soon b/c a week after going back to work I was back in the hospital for two weeks with CMV
  8. Watch your sugar intake after transplant b/c the high doses of steroids will alter your blood chemistry and you will soon develop steroid induced diabetes.
  9. The diabetic stomach shoots don't hurt remember all you have been through they are a piece of cake.
  10. Get your port removed if it is accessed alot it could be a source of infection; it will be accessed alot b/c you will have blood drawn several times a week. Ask for a picc line so you don't have to get stuck so much.
  11. While out of work recovering find something to do to stimulate your mind as you are not going to sleep much because the medicine won't allow it.
  12. Check the $4 med list that Wal-mart has b/c some of the meds you will need can be purchased there rather than paying an arm and a leg at your local chain pharmacy.

More bullet points to come as I remeber more stuff to add (prednisone brain)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dec. 15, 2007 SMU Graduation Pictures (School of Engineering)

seasons greetings

graduation links

Seasons Greetings to you all. I have finally finished my studies at SMU now what do I do for an encore???

Attached are the links to my SMU Graduation, I don’t know what I will do next maybe medical school, or climb Mt. Everest.......

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

SMU Graduation

Tonight is a very special evening for each of our graduates and their families and friends.

Mustangs, you have taken such unique paths in getting to this great achievement that we celebrate this evening.

However, for one of our engineering Master’s degree graduates, his path has been nothing short of miraculous.
And given the special season we find ourselves in, it seems appropriate to share his journey with all of you here to remind us of how life affirming the pursuit of knowledge can be.

Jerrold Dash is an accomplished individual. At 34 years of age, he has already attained two Masters degrees and will be granted a third tonight in systems engineering from the SMU School of Engineering.

Jerrold is currently a staff systems engineer with Lockheed martin Aeronautics and is celebrating tonight with his lovely wife Rhonda, two beautiful daughters – Reagan and Ravyn, and of course his extended family and friends.

Jerrold’s journey to this evening begins in February of 2006. It was in this month, less than two years ago, that he and his family learned that he was suffering from stage four broncho-alveoli carcinoma, a form of lung cancer that occasionally afflicts non-smokers.

What a devastating shock to everyone – you see Jerrold was the picture of health, an active fit non-smoker who was a gifted scholarship football player in college. Simply put, no one saw this coming.

Yet, this terrible diagnosis did not stop Jerrold – against the odds and struggling to deal with the constant miserable chemotherapy, Jerrold continued to work on his degree and to move forward with his life.
Jerrold went on the transplant list for a bilateral lung transplant at Stanford Medical School, one of the few places in the world that would attempt such a complex surgery. He moved to the bay area awaiting the call that could save his life – and this too did not stop Jerrold from pursuing his degree. In fact, during the course of his illness, Jerrold said “If I could work, take classes, exercise and receive the support of my family, I would be dead emotionally. The idle time would kill me as I would just be going through the motions of living.”

And then he got the call that a pair of lungs was found.

So tonight, breathing the fresh cool air of December, Jerrold and his family celebrate the gift of life and the passion for learning.

Against immeasurable odds, no because of immeasurable odds - Jerrold, you are an inspiration to all of us and a reminder of the sacrifices we have all made in our lives in the pursuit of knowledge.

Geoffery Orsak, Ph D. Dean of the SMU School of Engineering