2015 FAV. POSTS

This page is an edited excerpt of my longer post “WORLD IN MY EYES (FAVORITE POSTS OF 2015)” https://adventuresinlivingterminallyoptimistic.com/2015/12/17/world-in-my-eyes-favorite-posts-of-2015/

My Favorite Posts of 2015 (listed at bottom of page) – Needles in an Intimidating Haystack 

A relatively small cadre of family/friend/co-worker readers have been with the blog from the start but I’ve had many new readers in recent months Looking at my “Most Recent Posts” list on the right side/bottom of the page – there are >50 of them.  I think that must be intimidating to new readers – if a current post brought them to the page and they are curious to read more, where to start???

As a writer who consciously has “a cancer story I want to tell”, I didn’t like the fact that my new readers who wanted to read more posts didn’t have a clear idea of which posts to focus on first. As a writer who has a strong emotional connection to my writing, there are also some posts which are especially close to my heart – and my heart wants to share those posts with as many people as possible and not have them get lost as needles in the proverbial haystack!

So taking this opportunity to close out & sum up both a simply incredible year (the most exciting & fulfilling year of my life!) as well as my first year of blogging (my first ever stab at creative writing, with my first blog post “Taking the Latest Treatment Plunge” published on January 13, 2015), listed below are my personal Top-20 (10 & 1) favorite posts from 2015, listed in chronological order.

Since my posts refer to each other and since this blog chronicles my current journey through cancer – I think reading posts in chronological order is ideally the way to go. Yes, some of the info is dated – but all of it was important in shaping the patient-scientist-advocate you see and hear today.

I hope even long time readers are enticed to re-read some of these key posts, they really do offer a succinct snapshot of the incredible 2015 I lived and experienced. Sadly, some posts I really like had to be left out (e.g. “A Tale of Two Scans” & “List on Request Only” I’m looking at you!) unless I wanted to make this a “Top 50 posts of 2015” list 🙂 – but all posts will continue to be archived on the site for anyone wanting to binge read! 🙂

To new readers: in a nutshell these posts are the story of a formerly introverted scientist, who unexpectedly became an extroverted patient-scientist-advocate by nervously sticking his toe into the blogging waters for the first time in January, 2015. 

And from my viewpoint, something very unexpected and positive happened.

I’m glad I not only stuck my toe in but eventually made the leap of Faith to dive into the deep end.

THANK YOU for reading and joining me in seeing the World In My Eyes. Across 108 countries and counting (added Gibraltar today!), we are all interconnected together on this long strange trip called LIFE.

2015 Recap: My Top 20 (10 & 1) Favorite/Key Blog posts in Chronological Order

(Bold = My Top 10; *** = My first & still my favorite post. My baby 🙂

  1. TAKING THE LATEST TREATMENT PLUNGE***  Where it all started.“My goal is life; I’m trying to figure out what it takes to achieve this; and this week we planned the (latest) necessary treatment plunge — with no fear.”
  2. THERE IS ALWAYS SUN BEHIND THE CLOUDS“They say cancer battle-hardens you to handle almost anything that life can throw your way. You know what, they’re right.”
  3. SCHÖPFERISCHE ZERSTÖRUNGThe repercussions of my Stage 1 (Cured) Melanoma diagnosis hit. “The ironies keep stacking up… but my Faith and optimism continues. … Like houses, sometimes even the best-laid plans end up destroyed in order to build the path to better ones. Schöpferische Zerstörung.”
  4. A SCIENTIFIC GUARDIAN ANGEL APPEARS“For a scientist experiencing an extreme low last week with being excluded from many clinical trials, this was exactly the kind of Guardian Angel life vest I needed to be thrown, exactly when I needed it most.”
  5. WHAT THE HECK IS ANTI-EGFR THERAPY? (WITH AN AUDIBLE PLAY CALL AT THE END)But the moral of the story is to illustrate the wild and unique world of being a Stage IV cancer patient. … Oh yeah, the second moral of the story, hell hath no fury like an oncology scientist excluded from clinical trials”
  6. THE HUMAN SIDE OF ANTI-EGFR THERAPYThe magic of life is that if there is love, it will find a way around whatever little barriers that may arise in life. … It may not be a “normal life” but we’re living the one we’ve been given with as much love & childhood fun as possible – treatments and cancer can’t take that away if we refuse to let them.”
  7. A VERY GOOD DAY ON THE BATTLE FRONT! (CT SCAN RESULTS ET AL) “To me it feels almost like pre-scan, my cancer status is in a kind of “quantum superposition” which doesn’t collapse down into a definitive reality until its CT-scan-observation, like a neoplastic version of Schrödinger’s cat. … a part of life is celebrating battle wins despite the wars, so celebrate I will.”
  8. TIME FOR A COUNTER OFFENSIVE “Opening up a new offensive battle line, taking the battle directly to the cancer and hitting it mercilessly with brute force – like it is trying to do to me – feels good. Really good.”
  9. HAPPY JUNE 4TH! (V. 3.0) “Some people look at their diagnosis anniversary with sadness, I prefer to make it a Holiday celebrating Life. We’re hoping it is an annual Holiday which will continue on for many more years!”
  10. IT’S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL My Stage IV diagnosis letter to Family & Friends – via China “I was like “Whachu talkin’ ‘bout ZZ” since I had no idea he had translated & spread it to Chinese readership! … And it all began with a simple letter. We are all interconnected & it is a very small world after all.”
  11. ELEVEN NEW SISTERS AND BROTHERS (AND MANY MORE COUSINS) “I have quite simply never met so many people in one place who have not only endured incredible levels of hardship but have THRIVED – filled with hope, humor, heart, zest for life and strength beyond anything I can convey in words.”
  12. TRYING TO KEEP LUNG TUMORS AT BAY, THE MAD SCIENTIST WAY “…as a scientist, I don’t want to have any thoughts in the back of my mind “I had that cool idea to try — that I think my doc might have agreed to — but I didn’t have the guts to say it to him…”.  I think that would be the worst feeling in the entire world for a scientist in that situation. A feeling I have every intention of never 
  13. DOR-TOR ETEK NASH-GAD VOKAYA T’CHRIS “I lost a Brother. Chris Shomenta was quite simply a fine man. I didn’t get to know him directly as much as I truly wish I could have – but what I did get to know was exceptional. … Dor-tor etek nash-gad vokaya t’Chris. Nam-tor ek’etek nelauk k’tevakh hi vesht tvidonik k’ha’kiv t’osa-veh.”
  14. LUNG RFA ROUND 2: THE POWER OF POSITIVE ROLE MODELS “Hope is one of the most powerful human emotions and lately I have been filled with more & more of it. If my new found Hope, and its consequences, buys me more time for the immunotherapy cavalry to arrive, it could perhaps save my life.  The Power of Positive Role Models indeed.”
  15. HAPPY 71ST BIRTHDAY MOM – INSPIRATIONAL PATIENT ROLE MODEL AND IMMUNOTHERAPY PIONEER “Some posts are closer to my heart than others. This one is very close – it shows what made me the patient-scientist-advocate I am today… and it comes down to Mom. … Most importantly, as a fellow-patient, she inspires me daily in terms of how I approach my own disease with Faith, humor, vitality, exuberance, and the guts to follow an unbeaten path while reaching for a cure.  She is a tremendous role model that I strive to live up to everyday.”
  16. 乐观地和绝症一起进行人生冒险 (ADVENTURES IN LIVING TERMINALLY OPTIMISTIC) An introduction to me & my original diagnosis – via China. “The title to this post is “Adventures in Living Terminally Optimistic” in Chinese. It should also have a subtitle “First, an Introduction… Part 2”. Aka “Oops”.”
  17. 114 MILES, $4766 AND THE PATH TO CANCER GOALS “If that isn’t a great analogy to being a Stage IV cancer patient, I don’t know what is. I plan to accomplish that goal (LIFE) too – whatever path I am required to take to get there.”
  18. THE FACES OF SUCCESSFUL COLORECTAL CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPIES: VOL. 1 My single most important post and the most shared. “I once again urge all CRC patients to discuss MSI testing with their MD. What we are seeing right now, illustrated by Leta and Stephen, is just the tip of the iceberg.  I honestly believe the future of cancer immunotherapy will be breathtaking to behold. Fasten your seat belts…”
  19. IT’S A MARATHON NOT A SPRINT “My goal is simple: LIFE. As of right now, balancing everything, I believe the above strategy is the best way for me to achieve that goal. Time to shrink some tumors and keep running this marathon called Life…”
  20. TIME TO TREAD SOME WATER My 2nd most shared post. “Why Immunotherapies Changed Everything … Treading Some Water … The Big Picture … We didn’t chose this battle, it surprise attacked us. It’s time to tread some water while we wait for the coming cavalry. To do so is a Life based upon Hope; without Hope, none of us – cancer survivor or otherwise – would truly be Alive.”
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