I need your input…please vote!

I mentioned before that I had founded a non-profit organization. It is the Appendix Cancer Connection. It was a stretch for me to do that, totally out of my realm of experience and expertise. But I decided that was the right thing to do. I feel for those with breast cancer, but sometimes get jealous of all of the support they have, all of the funds raised to find a cure for their cancer. We with appendix cancer need a voice and support too!

I had to learn a lot to do that. I took a business course to learn about devolping a non-profit and writing business plans. I had to learn how to legally form a corporation (you have to be a corporation to apply for 501 (c)3 to be recognized as a public charity). I hired an attorney to help me with the Federal 501(c)3 application…which has been approved, our organization is now recognized as a charity by the Federal govenment! I needed a board of directors, and I recruited 5 people to be on the organization’s board. We have board meetings now complete with agendas and minutes. I am looking for a web site designer and recently went to a grant writing workshop. I now communicate with my Secretary of State. Yet another brave new world.

My goal is for all of us with appendix cancer to have a voice, to have support, to have information available, to increase public awareness of our struggle and to raise funds for research that will one day result in a cure for this cancer. The money required for founding this organization has been contributed by my late mother, my mother-in-law, my brother-in-law and husband and I. All people who believe in my mission.

I recently hired a company (The Logo Company)to design a logo for our non-profit. They will also do business cards and stationary for the organization at a very reasonable price. They have sent me logo designs to choose from, and I want you to be a part of choosing a logo…this organization is not mine, it is for all patients and family members struggling with this disease. It is OUR organization. A logo will haelp people recognize and remember us.

I am asking for your opinion on three of the logo designs. I have a favorite, but I want to know YOUR favorite. Please look at the 3 links to these designs and tell me which you like best. Email me your preference at carolyn@appendix-cancer.com. And thanks in advance for your help! We are in this together!

Logo designs:




Both Sides Now

I’ve recently been in contact with a woman who’s very good friend was diagnosed with advanced appendix cancer, she’s not sure if all of the cancer was removed during her surgery, and she was not able to receive HIPEC at the time of her surgery. She wants her friend to be proactive, to be eager to start chemo, to have an “I will beat this” attitude. She doesn’t want her friend to “give up”. But her friend has not been passionate about pursuing medical treatment or starting chemo. Why, she wonders? Why isn’t her friend waging an all-out battle against her cancer? Why isn’t she more aggressive in beginning chemotherapy? Why isn’t beating cancer her priority?

In my heart, as a survivor of a terminal diagnosis, I can relate to her friend. I don’t know what prognosis she was given. Maybe she is weighing the pros and cons of pursuing treatment. Maybe she’s overwhelmed right now and needing to regroup. When I was diagnosed, every one sent me stories of those who had survived terminal diagnoses, who “beat” cancer, who won. They KNEW I would beat it; I just had to stay positive and fight. They didn’t allow me any thoughts that I might not survive, though I was in the cancer community and surrounded by a multitude of patients who lost their battles in spite of the war they waged. While I wanted to fight and give myself the best odds, at the same time I also contemplated my husband’s and children’s future in case I didn’t survive.

I knew my odds (15% chance of surviving 3 years), and though I planned on fighting and wanted to fight, I had to look at both sides. I needed to prepare to fight, but I also needed to prepare to die in case I lost my battle. The odds were against my “beating it”, and I knew that. I had to work on coming to terms with both potential realities, surviving and succumbing….but no one wanted to know my thoughts about contemplating my own demise and preparing for that too. No one wanted to know about all of the books I read about death and dying, they weren’t “positive”. I had to pursue that in secret, but it was a potential reality important for me to contemplate and come to terms with. I needed to be ready for either outcome, surviving or not. Being prepared for either gave me a sense of control.

I know many appendix cancer patients who have been told further medical treatment will extend their lives but not cure them. So some choose not to aggressively pursue chemo and medical treatment…they prefer having less time, but quality time. It’s a decision that needs to be respected. Those surrounding them don’t understand that “giving up” mentality; I understand it fully, though. They were not “giving up” so much as they are giving to themselves what matters to them in the time they have left, taking control over what life they have left to live.

We live in a country and an era that pursues youth and wellness and longevity. We deny death vehemently; we don’t think about it or talk about it. But death is a reality all of us will face eventually, though most in our society choose to not contemplate that promised destiny. A cancer diagnosis makes us confront our own mortality, though, and in many cases inspires us to create a back-up plan in case we don’t have a good cancer outcome. We have to look at both sides of the coin. In a world where quantity matters and rules, we sometimes look for quality instead. It gives us peace to be prepared for whatever the future holds for us.