Lovely Blog Award Nomination - February 9, 2015

Friends and Family,

You may have noticed that this is Award Season. The Emmy, The People's Choice, the  Grammy, the Lovely... What? You haven't heard of the One Lovely Blog award?  Fortunately, you didn't miss my acceptance speech. I'll start now... What? it's time for commercial break? I was just getting started!

At first I wondered what the award was about. It's not restricted to cancer blogs, so any blog is eligible. It simply means that you have been nominated by another "winner" that appreciates your blog and wants others to see it as well. To accept the award, you need to take the four steps below:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you for the award.A big thank you goes out to Craig Blower, who nominated me.
  2.    Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post.
  3.    Share 7 facts/or things about yourself.
  4.   Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog.

It was the last item that makes the award special to me. It takes a lot of time and scouring the internet to find good blogs, so to offer you 15 good options is the benefit to you. The research involved is why it has taken me since October to respond to the nomination. I was going to procrastinate even longer, but I didn't get around to it.

After all, I still have a day job, and writing has been taking up a fair amount of my free time. So gradually over the past four months I have done my homework in order to do this award justice.

I digress. Like a good student, I will do my homework in the order assigned. Here is the Lovely Blog Logo:

Isn't it lovely? I do appreciate that it's all about heart, which to me what it's all about.

Next, here are seven facts/things about me that you probably don't know:

  1. Many of you have encouraged me to write a book. It may not have seemed like it, but I really was listening. I did it! The working title for my book is "Beating Cancer With Heart and Attitude."©  The book is about what has kept me alive for nearly nine years, about how I have grown with a big nudge from cancer, and all the love you have shown. The content is 99% new. If any of you have suggestions or connections to get it published, I would love to hear from you.
  2. I have three brothers and a sister. All five of us knocked out one, two, or three of our front teeth in childhood, although my youngest brother Mike barely gave it a token effort. He merely chipped a tooth. I knocked out my front two at the age of six when I was shoveling snow, pushing the shovel in front of me until the shovel stopped -- and I didn't. I had silver teeth until I was 12 or 13. 
  3. I lived in Australia (Sydney) for three years, back in the early 1980's. I love how Australians make a point of expressing differences with friends, believing that you aren't much of a friend if you can't be yourself. They even turned teasing each other about differences into a sport. They call it "stirring." If you hate Obama, for example, they will sing his praises and wait for you to go off. Very entertaining.
  4. I have webbed toes. Not all of them -- just the second and third toes on both feet. My ring and middle finger on my left hand were also webbed at birth. My parents had them separated at the age of five, because they thought other kids would make fun of me. I was in the hospital for a week to cut a little skin between my fingers... Medical care has changed a bit since then. 
  5. My personal speed record for getting fired is three hours. It was a temporary job in a brewery in Sydney. I was fired before even taking advantage of the "beer breaks." True story: Free beer at both breaks and lunch. I was fired for pushing around a cart full of fluorescent light bulbs because I had the wrong union card. I would have just stopped, but my egregious action set off a turf war with the electrician's union guys.
  6. I have had about twenty-one different paid jobs. Yes, I know how flaky that sounds. Here they are:
    1. Paperboy
    2. Doberman show dog trainer
    3. Pooper scooper at a dog kennel
    4. Dishwasher
    5. Busboy
    6. Waiter
    7. Cook
    8. Cashier
    9. Bartender
    10. Probation officer
    11. Halfway house counselor  
    12. Volunteer coordinator (I was paid, the volunteers were not)
    13. Psychologist on a mobile psychiatric crisis team in Australia
    14. Drug counselor
    15. Case manager for people with chronic mental illness
    16. Family therapist
    17. Psychiatric hospital intake coordinator
    18. Insurance quality improvement project coordinator
    19. Psychiatric inpatient therapist
    20. Commercial real estate broker
    21. Writer (Okay, so I haven't been paid for that one... yet)  

For good measure, here are the temporary jobs:

  1. Clearing fire trails in the woods
  2. Placing grass seed and fertilizer on bails of hay, running them through a chipper and shooting the mix onto hillsides for erosion control
  3. Janitor
  4. Cutting down trees in suburban neighborhoods
  5. The brewery job
  6. Railroad welder's assistant
  7. Cleaned up an oil spill at a manufacturing plant  
  8. Kool-Aid stands
  9. Door-to-door sales of cookies, light bulbs, newspaper subscriptions, and box cutters


7.   I have two adopted sons, a stepson, and six grandchildren. Matt is in Montana, and Mike is a missionary with his family in the Philippines. My stepson Aidan and his family, who live nearby in Vancouver, Washington are the ones we get to see the most often.

And now for my final duty: Tell you about fifteen blogs. These blogs don't need to be about cancer, but that is of course where my focus is these days. Here are my favorites, in no particular order: Craig’s blog: Lung cancer with a dose of humor and an upbeat attitude. And graphics that make me laugh. Tori Tomalia’s blog: Full of warmth, thoughtfulness, and a deep look into the experience without any self-pity. Beth's blog name says it all. Lisa goes right to the heart of key issues confronting people with lung cancer. Living through Luna's experiences, like the false positive on a test of cancer growth... and what she learns from it. Tami is inspirational not only for her own long-term survival, but also for all of the stories she shares about others who are doing the same. Straight to the heart. Run by professionals that are very well tuned in. They provide resources and a forum for discussions. If you want to read how a young adult can pull off dealing with cancer, prepare to have your spirits lifted. Another professionally run site with great personal stories and cancer news. Janet shares not only her own experience, but also the latest research "translated from geek to patient-speak." She is doing a tremendous service for the entire cancer community. A go-getter who is staying on top of cancer. Venerable site with just about everything you’re looking for. This breast cancer support site provides education, inspiration and support with a lightness of heart. "A 22 year-old girl beating lung cancer" who is all about living with cancer rather than worrying about dying from it.

So that's my list. If you get time, check out some of these other blogs. You will come back here, though, won't you?