My name is Alistair Baillie. I am 68 years old and live in Laguna Beach, California- a paradise.
I have been married for 27 years to my savior wife Jennine and have 2 beautiful daughters, 3 dogs and 1 cat named Balthazar.
In the year 2000, at the ripe old age of 65, having experienced near-perfect health for my entire life, I was diagnosed with a squamous cell carcinoma tumor on my left tonsil. It had metastasized. Within a few days of finding the tumor, the cancer team at Stanford University Hospital removed it. Three months of radiation therapy followed, three times each week. My life was radically changed from that time on. continue reading →
My name is Arthur Lazarus. I was born in New Hampshire in 1935 and grew up in Waltham, Massachusetts in a stable suburban family. I graduated from University of Maine in 1957 with a BA in Geology. I served in the Army Reserve for six years. I met my wife at U of Maine and we have three adult daughters and four grandchildren. I live in Littleton, Massachusetts. I began my career as an Engineering Geologist in construction materials technology and ended as a Program Manager and Senior Engineering Geologist in hazardous waste site remediation. I was fully employed for the entire 45-year career. My volunteer activities at present are conservation land management, church participation, stained glass crafting, and participation in two Head and Neck Cancer Support Groups. Although I have been quite healthy all my life, the big change came in 2008 with severe oral cancer. Through extensive treatment and therapy activities I have done well for six years now.
Written by: Penelope Michel
“Gigi, your kiss is broken.” The wisdom of a six-year-old. I cannot pucker my lips to kiss this precious angel. Some of us have broken bones or broken hearts. I have a broken kiss. My lip muscles never quite made it back after surgery, so I drool too. Sometimes my saliva runs, I really am a spitty thing. That is the stuff that makes life very hard. People don’t like to be spittied on! Can’t say I blame them. Now choking in a restaurant is an all-star event. I have pretty much mastered the art of walking very quickly to the restroom or out of the front door, so as not to mess up the dinner service and enjoyment of other patrons. It takes an act of will power to bring down the shoulders, not panic, relax the throat muscles, try a gentle breath, and then hack up the offending bolus. It is frightening. I have had the pleasure of being Heimliched in a wonderful little greasy spoon in Houston when attempting to do Mexican breakfast with a girlfriend. Thank heavens for one very observant and well-trained waitress. So much for that idea! Ah yes, that sweet rush of oxygen! So far so good, I am still here to tell the tale.