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HPV16 Cancer Side Effects Include Blogs And Memoirs


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If you chose to be ‘The Face’ of anything, few would choose cancer of any kind. Be the face of something grand, something happy, something exciting. But cancer?


Add ‘The Face’ of an STD that leads to cancer and you’ve got HPV16 cancer. The same culprit for cervical cancer in women leads to throat cancer in men. ‘But how does that happen’ you ask? I’ll let you connect those dots.


A doctor recently corrected me, saying it can occur through kissing. Did I correct him? He’s the doctor, not me, and I was in his office. Kissing? Okay.


I didn’t ask where this kissing is supposed to happen. From all of the diagrams and posters in his Ear, Nose, and Throat office he probably had another one ready to whip out.


Besides, I was there to learn, not teach.

Part of my learning curve with HPV16 cancer is finding out how others deal with it, have dealt with it, continue dealing. The life long learning bug, or goal, led me to Pamela Tom and her site HPV And Me.


Here she informs, collects stories, gives warning from medical professionals and patients on video. With thousands of hits on youtube together with an increase in blog readership, Ms Tom is getting the word out. She and I shared emails, which led to an interview.


Today the post resulting from the interview is up and live. Please give it a read here.


“Portland Man Fights HPV Throat Cancer with Optimism.”


I’m that Portland man fighting HPV throat cancer with optimism. And I’m not alone. Hey O. Lucky me, right? Except cancer is bad luck. Back luck of the draw. Bad luck of timing. Bad luck of everything, even if you lead a lifestyle guaranteed to give you cancer, it’s bad luck.


I talked to a four hundred pound man about watching out of HPV16 cancer. He said he drank like a fish, smoked like a chimney, and everyone’s got to die of something. Did I reach him? Not even close. Some people come around sooner than later.


A man I met in a cancer treatment waiting room who said he had throat cancer, and this time he was taking it so seriously that he even stopped smoking. Good call.


Why am I fighting HPV16 cancer with optimism?

After chemo and radiation, the options are rather limited. Either wallow in the results of one heck of a harsh treatment, called getting the hell radiated out of me to the point of no more radiation ever, or turn the page.


I chose turning the page. And wallowing. It’s a good combination given the stigma and lack of action on what some call a ‘pandemic.’ Turning the page is the optimistic part; wallowing is the awareness part.


Since Ms Tom’s husband got throat cancer, she’s taken up the cause. And she’s great. I’ve blogged it out, written it out, posted, read, and done an interview.


Just between the two of us, you and me, no one else, just you, I’ll always be creeped out by this cancer. At the same time it makes me laugh out loud, you know, lol. This weirds me out too because cancer is no laughing matter in any manifestation.


But HPV16 cancer from oral sex?

Come on, man. I’ve been told my tongue would get me in trouble, but cancer? I run my mouth more than I should, but cancer. That’s a steep penalty to pay for an innocent moment in the dark.


Pulling the shade up on this strain of cancer is a tough job. No one wants to hear about it, no one wants to admit they’ve got it, no one thinks it’s funny. But being optimistic takes a little humor, don’t you think?


My goal isn’t to be ‘The Face’ of an STD any more than Mary’s family enjoyed typhoid. But???


I’m writing a cancer journey piece to share with the Knight Cancer Institute and Oregon Health Science University. I talked to a social worker there who asked if I had anything to contribute. I do, but from what I’ve read it won’t be a typical journey piece.


On top of that, and blogging, I’m further into a cancer memoir than I expected, and liking it more than I want to. Memoirs are funny like that, but writing is writing. No tears in the writer means no tears in the reader, though no one will be dehydrated reading it.


From HPV and Me:


“Gillaspie’s most recent blogs chronicle his observations as a cancer survivor. He writes about everything from the HPV vaccine to how cancer survivors can explain their illness to those untouched by cancer—all under the heading, “Toughen Up Health.”


Even before cancer, Gillaspie could be called a tough guy. An Army medic during the mid-70’s in the Vietnam War Era. An all-American wrestler in high school.”


Tough guy? Me?


I like the idea, even more when women think I might be a tough guy. Tough enough is good enough. Real toughness runs in the family. My dad was Korean War Marine tough. Older brother is four year college football tough. Younger brother is Alaska tough. Those are tough guys.


I just got cancer. Anyone can get cancer.


“As more and more breast cancer patients reveal their disease and find strength in numbers, transparency amongst HPV throat cancer patients remains minimal. When actor Michael Douglas revealed that HPV caused his oropharyngeal cancer, the public made jokes about oral sex and Douglas’ private life. In his 2012 public service announcement, Douglas does not say “HPV” by name.”


Could it be this is the true evolution for guys like me, cancer survivors, men on the other side of HPV cancer? Maybe I’ll wake up one day and forget it ever happened. Refer to it “As a difficult time in my life.”


Or maybe I’ll end up with a New York Times bestseller depicting the onslaught of a disease caused by those people, women, and be the lone voice of reason in a witch hunt seeking to blame others for our actions.


My memoir, Licking Cancer: The Full Response, will take readers behind the scenes, under the sheets, and explain how communication is the key to positive results with your play partner, your world, and the time you share with those you care about.


Run your mouth with kindness, let your tongue get you in trouble, just be aware of what sort of trouble might be waiting. Don’t. Take. Chances. HPV16 cancer is not very forgiving, I can tell you that much.


Please read Pamela Tom’s post, and if boomerpdx resonates, forward this link. Someone may tell you that you saved their life. You don’t even have to give me credit, but you will.
About David Gillaspie
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