October 2012

A fresh start on setting priorities

Nearly five months ago I suspended my consulting and freelance business in the face of Robert’s then-impending surgery to remove a large melanoma from his scalp. I was too distracted, not to mention too busy with medical appointments and emotional upheaval, to concentrate on work, and I didn’t want to let any clients down by not meeting deadlines or by handing in sub-par assignments.

Now that the scare of a four- to eight-month prognosis is behind us and Robert’s status is “healthy” and “No Evidence of Disease,” the question comes up from time to time: am I “ready” to go back to work? And the answer is – NO!


NED my friend - so happy to see you again!

We heard from Hopkins today - all Robert's tests and scans were clear. There was no evidence of disease in his body, and we are cleared to begin the GVAX trial on November 6. YAY!!!

Shorter - but still long

Our day at Johns Hopkins on Friday turned out to be shorter than we expected - they called at the last minute to say not to come until 10. We were very busy (yes, a little "hurry up and wait") until 3 p.m., and we left with only one reservation - that we still didn't have much more information than we left home with. I promise to post again as soon as we know something - and if you don't really care very much what our day was like, feel free to skip this post. Check back in a few days to find out the results.

Looking at life differently

A Washington Post article about a Bethesda teen who’s recovering from an infection with necrotizing fasciitis (also known as “flesh-eating bacteria”) got me thinking – after I read every word. I couldn’t help but see a few parallels between her 16th birthday and my own. We both “celebrated” in hospitals, uncertain about our futures. And both of us were changed by our brushes with death at a young age.

A worthy experiment with open accounts

When I first set up this site, I configured the New User settings so that people could register for an account but I would have to approve any new accounts before the user could gain advanced access to the site - to blog, for example. I want my family, friends, and colleagues with my same interests to be able to post their thoughts on the site. However, that experiment is now over - I'm annoyed by the number of requests I'm getting from people who are interested in "cars" or a jumble of characters (just for example), and who were claiming to be my family, friends, colleagues, or clients when - clearly - they were not.

So, as of now, if you want me to set up an account for you, please use the contact form or one of my email addresses (if you know one!) to ask me to do that. I will follow through if I know you, or if you send me links to web pages that show me you are interested in discussing melanoma, drupal, or publishing/journalism/blogging.