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On the move… November 30, 2009

Posted by PAS in the 'net, Uncategorized.
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Those of you who’ve been reading Life Out Loud for awhile might have been expecting a new post today. But this weekend instead of writing posts, I was building websites – movin’ on up to self-hosted blogs at my own domains. These include include patsteer.com, which will be the new home of Life Out Loud and my freelance writing projects; one for my food blog Kitchen Jam which is in development here; and one for Dog Trainer’s Log, evolving here.

Each of these sites is still, to some extent, ‘under construction’ – I’ve planned some offical ‘launch’ activities later this month. Meanwhile, I’ll be putting up new posts on the new sites, tweaking, re-arranging the virtual furniture. When the move is complete, your links, bookmarks and RSS feeds to my WP.com blogs will re-direct you automatically to each blog’s new home on its own domain. Until then, wish me luck as I work to make 30 years of writing and 10 years of tech training pay off. 😉

Please come by and check out my new online digs. Look for some special December blog-warming projects: “The 12 Jams of Christmas” at Kitchen Jam and a new training series for the Divine Miss M. at Dog Trainer’s Log. And adjust your dial to stay tuned for plenty of the same old me (working under my real name now!) at Life Out Loud.

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Every step makes a difference! November 1, 2009

Posted by PAS in cancer, research, survivorship, the 'net.
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A few weeks ago, in an effort to improve my blogs I joined http://www.problogger.com. I know that the tips and tricks I’ve picked up so far are improving my blogging – who knows, maybe someday I’ll even move my blog(s) to their own domains!

One of the things I really enjoy about the blogging community is that I’m always finding opportunities where my blogging can make a difference. I’ve blogged here to support Yoga Bear and tweeted to support Cancer and Careers – two organizations who give direct, real-time support to cancer survivors, support which makes their days easier. The most recent opportunity was a call for bloggers to help compile an ebook designed to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation and raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research and support.

Yeah – I know. I don’t have breast cancer; I have rectal cancer…and we have our own awareness and funding issues. But at the end of the day, I’m a woman. I have breasts. I have cousins and an aunt who’ve had breast cancer, and one of my cousins died of recurrent BC. I work in pre-clinical research, helping to make cancer drugs – and in the vivarium, drugs don’t wear single-color awarenss ribbons. Drugs that work on some kinds of cancer often become candidates for treatment regimens in other types – and every step forward makes a difference for all types of cancers.

I submitted one of my favorite posts, “The (reluctant) cancer warrior,” — and I’m proud to announce that it was accepted and appears in the Blog4Cause ebook produced by Lance Ekum (@lance02) and Joanna Sutter (@joannasutter), authors of the Journey of Life and Fitness & Spice blogs, respectively.

Every donation, large and small, to the Komen Foundation from the targeted Blog4Cause page gives the donor a download key to the ebook Ekum and Sutter compiled. Even more important, the ebook puts survivors’ perspectives in the hands of even more people. Through this effort, awareness about and understanding of living with cancer will reach a new audience. I’m very proud to have been accepted in Blog4Cause’s effort – and very happy that by doing something I enjoy, I can do a little good.

Ekum and Sutter’s effort also stirred up some sleeping marketing and PR skills, has me thinking that there’s ebook potential out here to raise year-round awareness about colorectal cancer.

Bloggers and friends – would you be up for a similar effort targeted as a colorectal cancer awareness/fund-raising effort? Take a look at your best posts (or write up a new one) and let me know!

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Look to your right – it’s not all about me! September 13, 2009

Posted by PAS in cancer, survivorship, the 'net.
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When I started writing this blog, it was all about me — what I was feeling, my treatments, my surgeries, my struggles, my doctors. But as my life out loud lasted longer and moved into remission, and then recurrence, and now back into remission, I wrote here about different subjects. Some of my other passions (as you might have noticed from reading older posts) are my dogs, dog training, research, camping and cooking. This blog has become very personal, and for the most part, it’s still all about me.

But now and then I’ve written about causes which inspire me: the lifestyle study examining cancer prevention which is taking place in NY state’s Mohawk Valley; the foolishness of some proposed NY state canine legislation; Yoga Bear‘s efforts to get funding for programs that bring yoga to cancer patients; the Army of Women’s efforts to bring more women into cancer patient research. And the last few days I’ve mentioned Everything Changes, Kairol Rosenthal’s blog about living with a cancer diagnosis in as a 20 or 30-something adult.

Kairol writes a great blog, one that makes me think (in a good way) about how I’ve chosen to live with cancer. As much as I enjoy her blog, it’s only one of the links in my sidebar. So today, it’s not all about me. It’s time to spotlight some of the other folks who make up my blog roll. Those links in the right-sidebar are there because I find their blogs or the sites interesting, thought-provoking, inspiring — and sometimes they make me laugh out loud (LOL is on purpose an acronym for my Life Out Loud.)

Casa Az is my friend Azahar’s personal blog. Like me, Az is a stage IV cancer survivor. Unlike me, she’s an American ex-patriot (Canadian) living abroad in a place I’ve always wanted to visit: Seville, Spain. On her site, you’ll also see links to her beautiful photos at Azahar’s Sevilla, Azahar’s Kitchen, and Sevilla Tapas. Dealing with cancer outside of the battered US health care system is very different from what I’ve experienced here, and sometimes orders of magnitude more complex. Az inspires me daily, mainly because most of the time she lives her life and doesn’t talk about cancer.

Dr. Mike Eades’ Protein Power Blog can cover any subject that crosses Mike’s radar, but it most often focuses on diet and nutrition research. I’ve been a low-carber since 2002; some of my docs think my diet may have helped me withstand the rigors of over 75 chemo infusions, three surgeries and 25 days of radiation. I’m not going to argue; low-carbing just makes me feel better. Mike’s trademark post is an analysis of the latest hot-topic nutrition study — and he generally can make even the most complex nutritional science interesting and accessible.

The author of My Cancer Deployment calls herself ‘Sugarmouth O’Riordan.’ Be warned, this isn’t a sweet-as-pie discussion of life with rectal cancer. The subhead for the blog says it all: You’ll find no pretty ribbons here. Sugarmouth spells out what she’s feeling, how she’s feeling with the appropriate asterisks included. Her blog is gritty and real and Sugarmouth always makes me think.

Whidbey Woman is a caregiver to her husband, Ron, a recurrent colon cancer survivor. She’s been journaling about her experience at Ron’s Road to Recovery. Mixed in with observations and thoughts about coping as a caregiver are tips for survivors like how to prepare as a patient when you’re about to start chemo again.

I met Rotorhead at the Colon Club, an online support community for colorectal cancer survivors and caregivers. Rotorhead’s Waterblog is about RH’s journey with cancer, and his physical and mental return to wellness. I think what I find most appealing about RH’s blog is that he’s done as much as he can, as often as he could, to focus on living his life. And he writes about surfing in Hawaii. When things were tough for me, I’d visit RH’s blog for the sheer vicarious joy of reading about his daily adventures on the ocean.

There are more blogs out there which talk out loud about survivorship; I’ll spotlight them in another post. Meanwhile, you might find some thought-provoking interest if you check out the links in my Blogroll. There it is in the sidebar — just look to the right. Survivorship isn’t all about me.

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