Friday, October 27, 2006

Happy Birthday TCRC!

Today marks 10 years (since folks first started counting) since the Testicular Cancer Research Center first made its appearance on the wild and wooly internet. In addition to being the home page of the TC-NET discussion list for TC-affected folks, the TCRC is also a great source of information for all things TC. The site gets an average of 800-plus hits a day from more than 170 countries around the world.

I found the TCRC in a flurry of internet research the night before my first trip to the urologist. While I was impressed with all the concise info, I had basically convinced myself at the time that it wasn't cancer and I would get a nice script for an antibiotic and everything would clear up in a couple of weeks. Well, you all know how that turned out. The TCRC has been great for me and I have recommended it highly to others new to the TC ride.

The folks who founded and edited the site are long-time survivors (10, 14, and 19 years respectively), and I plan to join those ranks eventually. For now I can just say thanks.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Smooth Tunes...

Hat tip to NotherFrog for pulling me down into this abyss. Welcome to Yacht Rock, where you get the (made-up) behind the scenes stories on musicians like Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Hall & Oates, Steely Dan, and others. Their music is so SMOOTH!

The show ran on Channel 101 for an unprecedented 9 months before it fell out of the ratings and was "canceled".

I would warn that there's adult language, but because the music is from the late 70s/early 80s those children whose ears might be affected by the language will be absolutely bored out of their skulls by the plot lines and music anyway, so I doubt they'd even want to watch.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Baby News, Vol. 2 Issue 1: A New Journey

Or...The Tao of Adoption

Also, I show off a few new stupid HTML tricks I learned. See if you can spot them all. Anyway, moving on...

In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu says "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."1

And so we begin again. Our adoption portfolio (our "marketing piece") has been chosen by a potential birth mother, and after studying her profile, we've decided we want to work with her. We've spoken on the phone and The Rev. and I are excited in a cautious way, if that makes any sense.

What can I tell you about our partner in the adoption process? Well, she lives within driving distance, has children, and has an immediate family that is supportive of her intentions. These are all good things.

We are currently proceeding in the manner of an open adoption. Birthmom is keeping a pregnancy journal that she has offered to share with us and also has invited us to be present at her next doctor appointment (including an ultrasound) in the upcoming weeks. Granted, the phrase "open adoption" means different things to different people -- it's a notoriously vague descriptor.

She is due sometime in late March/early April, and as they say in golf, there's a lot of green between here and there. Anything can happen, thus the reason for the caution that tempers our excitement. Still, we are once again jumping in with both feet. As they say (all too often) in Texas Hold-em, we are "all in" (as we at the same time continue the overuse of random goofy jargon). Can you tell we're excited about becoming parents?

I should add that The Rev. had the requisite Target trip to celebrate this event. She purchased some burp rags emblazened with baby turtles, along with coordinating washcloths. She takes pleasure from the little things in life, you know.

1 Depending on the translation you read. Sometimes it's rendered something like "A journey of a thousand miles begins at the spot under one's feet." Whatever. You get the idea.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

If you're really interested

There's been a couple of graphic things shared lately on the TC Cancer Forum that I regularly participate in. One of them is a link to the University of Virginia Health System's Pathology Department. They have a page that has in-depth discussions of the various types of testicular tumors. And there's pictures too! NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH, GROSS OUT ALERT!

But even more fascinating was the sharing of a picture from one member's RPLND. While I had a 7x10 cm node taken out, another guy had a node removed that was 34x24x17 cm and weighed 8 1/2 pounds. His surgeon took before and after pictures. Here's the link to the discussion. You have to click on the picture links to actually see them. Again, major gross out alert.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Cancer in Comics

There's a web-based comic strip called "Innies and Outties" which I will admit is a bit weird, even for me. The main characters are children who seem to function as adults in their world, kind of a fantasyland of sorts. Anyway, one of the characters is a vegeterian zombie named Harold (the vegetarian part is important, otherwise he'd be eating the brains of the living, you know) who happens to be dealing with cancer in a certain area of his body. The writer never comes out and says it, but it sure looks like TC. Currently in the timeline of the strip, the zombie is undergoing surgery. I'm curious to see where it will lead.

Enjoy at your leisure. As I said, it's a bit weird, but there you are.