Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This Blog Has Moved

As of right now this blog has moved to it's own new web site and server on Squarespace.

You can find me here from now on:


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cancer free... maybe... probably...

Back in July I had my latest PET scan. Here in France they send the results to your doctor(s). As he hadn't contacted me I've called my ORL a couple of times in the past weeks to try and get the results. No reply.

I know he will tell me, like he did last time, that "if there were any problems we would have contacted you immediately and reacted". But, he just doesn't understand that, I actually need the reassurance. He has no idea how we cancer survivors eagerly await those simple words "there's nothing" just to let us know the damn things haven't come back somewhere else in our body.

I think quite a lot of cancer victims/survivors feel a bit out of touch with their body. They don't know how these things got in there and once they've gotten them out (hopefully) they definitely do not, under any circumstance, want them back. That's why we go through these tests. That's why we go through these scans. It's not just because the doctors tell us to.

It's because we want someone in the medical profession to simply look at a test and/or a scan and then say "There's no cancer in you".

It doesn't matter if they add the "right now" modifier afterwards. It's a wonderful feeling, every now and then, to know that at any given moment there is no cancer in me.

Waiting for my doctor to return my calls...

In the mean time keep following me on Twitter to keep up with the day-to-day trials and tribulations of my life: @dcefrance.

New F*©k Cancer T-Shirts

Some of you may remember the F*©k cancer shirts I found back in June 2008. As you may remember I thought it was a great idea and I ordered a bunch of the shirts. A year and a bit later and quite a few e-mails back and forth and I still never received the T-shirts I ordered and paid for.

Recently I saw a whole new batch of T-shirts with cancer-related phrases on them. I decided to make my own. The Internet is truly wonderful when we live in a time when you can design your own T-shirt (text, fonts, size, placement, images, ...), pay for it online and have it delivered to your home in a couple of days.

This is my first try and I am so pleased with it I am probably going to make some more real soon. As you can see the front says "CHEMO GRAD 2005" in a font which reminds me a bit of both the military and high-school. It fits how I was feeling when I made the shirt. I am also obviously proud to have survived chemotherapy and the year is a healthy reminder.

It is really difficult to take a picture of the back of a T-shirt. You have to set the webcam on timer and try and sit, or crouch, right. It ain't easy. The back says "F*©K CANCER" in the same font and precisely where I wanted it (a bit high on the shoulder, right between the blades). Just in case people didn't understand the front of the shirt they'll definitely get the back... if they or I turn around.

I promise I'll take photos of any other T-shirts I decide to make. This is too much fun!

Scarface.... 4 years later

Here's a picture of me and my scar 4 years after the surgery. The goal is still to show the evolution of the scar which may be of interest to others who may, unfortunately, have to go through the same type of procedure:

September, 2009

The photo below shows my scar last year which was, of course, 3 years after surgery. It comes from my blog entry of December 19th, 2008. It doesn't look, to me, like anything has changed in a year. Even my office looks the same. The scar may be a bit browner but it's hard to tell as last year's picture looks so red. It's perhaps faded a tiny bit more. I still get the same brief spasms of pain and blockage when I sit in the wrong position. But I get over it pretty quickly as I'm more used to it now.

December, 2008

The photo below shows my scar the previous year which was, of course, 2 years after surgery. It comes from my blog entry of October 2007. Not a lot had changed since the previous year. The scar is perhaps a slight bit faded and a bit more brown and less red.

October, 2007

I think there was much more evolution and change between years 1 and 2 than between the later years. But it gets better all the time...

I didn't take any photos the first year. But below is the photo from right after the bandages were taken off. It comes from my blog entry of September 26th, 2005.

September, 2005

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Still (throat) cancer free!

I wish I could find the time to update this thing properly.

I remind you if you want to keep up with me then follow me on Twitter:


I took the afternoon off today as I knew I had my semi-annual appointment with my ENT (ORL in French) doctor. I took my Xanax an hour beforehand, as usual, and was ready for my appointment at 17:30. I took the métro as I knew I would be drowsy afterwards.

The appointment went very well in all aspects of the term. Even though he numbs my nostrils with some sort of local anesthesia the procedure is still rather horrific as he shoves a camera tube up each nostril and down my throat. But it's actually worse when he does his manual checks in my mouth and throat by shoving his gloved finger down my throat and pulling on my tongue. All of this actually went better than usual and I only gagged a couple of times. I still don't look at the images of the inside of my throat which he projects on a big screen. But it was all definitely easier.

He is very happy with the insides of my throat, my mouth, my tongue, my chest and so forth. Obviously the happier he is the happier I am. Everything's healed quite well and there is nothing to worry about.

He checked out my blood test results and everything was normal there as well.

We talked a bit about my intermitten neck pain and he recommended swimming and stretching, again, and this time gave me a prescription to see a kiné for some massage sessions. I'm probably more likely to see the kiné than I am to actually take the time to swim.

As he was so pleased with all my exam results the rest of the news was all good. My next semi-annual visit (in 6 months) will be my last semi-annual visit. After that I will see him one year later which will mark the 5 year anniversary of my surgery and treatment. I will be going for a PET scan within the next couple of months and he and I will both get the results. If all goes well then my 5-year anniversary visit should actually be my last internal throat checkup. This gives me something to hope for and work towards. No more throat checkup visits? I couldn't hope for more!

For those of you who may be interested here are my previous visits up to now:

Monday, January 05, 2009

Some things just don't change

I don't know why... but I wanted to read where I was at this time last year. I thought I might write something inspirational for 2009. It turns out I hadn't written anything at the beginning of last year (200) and so I went back a year to my first entry for 2007:


I became very depressed reading this entry. Nothing has changed. I don't seem to have learned anything or advanced at all in two years. I'm still relatively healthy and I'm still relatively happy. But I still have absolutely all of the same problems, weaknesses and self-destructive habits I had 2 years ago.

I still have a lot to learn and it's time I changed something...