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Introductory Notes

(Note: Although we've both been dealing with this cancer in sense, Helena will tell the story from her viewpoint.)

Since I saved nearly every posting I've submitted to CompuServe's Cancer Forum during the early 1990's, several people have encouraged me to share these experiences with a wider audience. We think "the immediate Net" should be sufficient...

I have been dealing with a cancer called adenoid cystic carcinoma. It's a salivary gland cancer that usually originates in a gland that secretes something; usually the adenoids (hence its name). In my case, the "culprit" was the gland that secretes ear wax.

No, I'm not a doctor; and can't even begin to think of playing one on TV (or anywhere else). However, anyone touched by cancer eventually learns a subset of the vast medical vocabulary that sounds impressive to the "average" person. But since I'm in the business of making things easier for people to understand, I'll try to keep the jargon to a minimum.

It takes time to dig through 20-plus years of memories and transcribe them into a format suitable for the average reader. Most of the material in the first 6 parts comes from memory. (However, I've recently unearthed some old reports; and some of the information I've discovered has been incorporated into these latest revisions.) On-line recollections begin with Part 7 - this may explain any change in tone/approach. As you can imagine, this process is not only physically taxing, but also emotionally draining.

To ease matters for all of us, the story has been broken into parts. We'll indicate the date each part was written (or modified) and insert NEW labels where/when we've inserted brand-new information.

We hope you find our story informative, instructive - and maybe even inspirational.

Modified 3/4/2000