Kirklin Clinic Head & Neck Cancer Support,  Birmingham, AL

Distributed by American Cancer Society
Pat Sanders, Editor
First Quarter, 2010


Pat ("Mama Pat") sent me this information about herself. As always she makes it an interesting educational discourse including some of the WW history.
Ed Chapman

Pat Sanders, President:

I have always thought of myself as a Southerner and a Chicagoan. A contrast? So were my mother and father. He was born in Chicago but, as he used to say, he was made in Germany. His mom was sick from that pregnancy all the way across the ocean while tending to her first son, about two. She also had to have been heartsick because they had lost their daughter, run over by a horse drawn wagon in the city streets not long before they came to America.

I often wondered if that is why they decided to move to the active, bursting at the seams, industrialized, city of Chicago. But what a place to select to live for a builder, master carpenter and cabinet maker (like his father before him and like his 4 sons after.) My dad worked around the country a good bit, was already in his 30's when he came South bringing his younger brother, who was in trouble with a romantic interest and needed to be spirited away from Chicago.

There were jobs in Tuscaloosa, AL. Here in Alabama, he met and fell for a young Southern woman from Mississippi, who was a telegraph operator for the Frisco Railroad. She came from folks who had been in this country since the 1700s and in the Deep South since her great grandfather. He farmed in Mid-Tennessee before enlisting in the war of 1812, was wounded by the Indians in Alabama in 1813. He settled right over the AL/MS line and raised a large family of farmers in Monroe County. My mother was born in Hattiesburg, MS because her own father was working in that area building roads. That whole family was as bound to land and the South, as red clay is here in Alabama.

I was born in West Suburban Hospital, Oak Park, IL, when my mom was 30, during one of their spells of living in Chicago and, as an only child, I was accustomed to being bundled up and shifted around to wherever we were going, be it for the night or the week or the year. I remember Chicago as the place where the snow was deeper than I was tall (when I was less than three).

My schooling was mostly in Birmingham and my dad's work place was often outside of Birmingham. They took me along to Arkansas for a year and I followed them to Florida after I finished High School. At age 21, I went back to Chicago to live and work. Married there after a couple of years and, at age 30, had my one and only son at West Suburban Hospital. His father and I had started and built an archery shop in Forest Park. I had become an archer after meeting him and attended many archery tournaments was even involved in National Championship tournaments. We were active in the formative years of the Chicago Bowhunters.

Those were my formative years, also. I grew up with a work ethic from different, but solid, backgrounds. Many years later, as a long time Birmingham resident, I was interrupted in a good life headed for retirement, by the discovery of breast cancer followed within the year by larynx cancer. I have written many times in HeadLines, which I started in January 1996, about the 14 months of biopsies, surgeries, radiation treatments for each type cancer, and my recovery. I first joined Compuserve cancer forum online and chaired the local support group for laryngectomees, not long before Dutch Helms started his Larynx Cancer site at the end of 1996. I joined Dutch’s group in August of 1997 and was caught up with this organization that was to become WebWhispers. I have been active ever since. I loved gathering the hints, excited at the suggestions and ideas from everywhere for Dutch's "hints" list and put them together to form the beginning of our WW Library. A little later, I was asked to be responsible for the WW newsletter and I formed a committee to work with all of the communications. This was what I loved and I did not want to get out of this area of expertise because, to me, education was what would put any of us ahead of the cancer we had.

Education has always been my goal and still is. How can we be rehabilitated to the best of our ability without understanding something of the changes that happened to us? We try to provide our members and the general public with knowledge of what it means to be a laryngectomee. Our first two presidents died in office and, in 2000, I accepted the appointment of Vice-President.

I was able to turn my educational work into the responsibility of the VP office and continued to work on gathering and sharing. I had a hand in finding and recruiting almost every officer we have but Terry Duga is the only officer still serving from the original set, before I was an officer. I became Dutch's backup in many of his jobs, and, in 2006, once it was known that he was not going to be with us much longer, I took the lead in setting up a new website that could be run by volunteers and in recruiting helpers for that so we could continue what he started. After Dutch's death and the resignation of our president, I was approved by the Board of Directors (BOD) to fill in the remaining one year term of office as President and then was elected to continue. As of now, I have been your WW President for 3 years, have just been elected for 2 more, and my primary job has changed to trying to set up all the divisions of WW into units with managers and backup people, who are all volunteers. Even if we suffer from the loss of any one of us, WebWhispers can survive.

Pat Sanders

Outside of Pat Sanders, Michael probably has the hardest and most time-consuming job of all of the BOD. He monitors all of the email lists, keeps track of the membership applications, tracks changes in addresses and much more. He does have help of others but is always there when needed. He seems to be able to write his opinion as if he is presenting it to you directly with a smile on his face.

This is what Michael sent. Ed Chapman

Michael Csapo VP - Internet Activities

Michael Csapo - aka CrazyDonkey! Curious folks often inquire concerning my “aka” so I will finally make public how I derived at that name: It was my "Forum Name" which I created back in 1999, pertaining to the first on-line forum I ever joined. The specific Forum was titled "Donkey Kong Forums" and I joined it to help guide me through one of my all time favorite Nintendo Video Games - Donkey Kong 64! This happened to be the first, ever, video game where I saw "The End" displayed on my television screen! For months, I marveled at this accomplishment! PLEASE do not inquire as to the amount of hours it took me to reach that final goal!

I grew up and attended school (Kindergarten through 12th Grade) in the greater Los Angeles County area here in California. I eventually relocated to San Diego County in my late 20's as I much preferred the San Diego area. I have proudly made it my home ever since, and presently reside here in the community of Escondido, California. I have spent many years employed in the Machine Shop and Automotive Industry, eventually ending up in small business management and ultimately worked my way up to my own retail business.

Cancer, it's diagnosis, treatment, and lack of health insurance robbed me of the latter, drained all my finances, and ruined my credit for many years. I had dropped the health insurance I had in order to invest and go into that business. Not one the best choices I made in my life.

After nearly 18 months of struggling for every single breath and then going into respiratory and cardiac arrest on two separate occasions, I was finally diagnosed with the "Big C" in spring of 2000. CT scans showed a huge tumor in my throat and the ENT phoned me at home and told me to be at the hospital that very afternoon for emergency tracheotomy surgery and biopsy. The growth in my throat was too large to remove surgically and radiation would not do enough. Only option offered was some rather heavy duty Chemotherapy (taxotere, flourouracil and cisplatin cocktail) in hopes that it would shrink the tumor enough to allow surgery.

Summer 2000 was taken up by spending one week in hospital on constant Intravenous Chemotherapy followed by 3 weeks recuperating at home. That was repeated 3 times....June, July, and August.

In September of 2000, I became a laryngectomee. Throughout November and December, I underwent and endured 35 sessions of radiotherapy treatment in hopes of eradicating any residual cancer cells. For many reasons, mostly above and beyond my control, I fell into a massive pit of depression, desperation and despair.

It was then that I found WebWhispers and began to get informed and educated but, most of all, learned that there were many others like myself. Over the course of those months and years, I developed a great admiration and respect for the founder of WebWhispers - Dutch Helms. The impression that Dutch made on me was enough to recruit my services to his organization to this day. Were it not for WebWhispers and a few of its caring and understanding members at that time, I could not say for certain where or how I might have ended. WebWhispers contributed greatly in restoring my faith, not only in myself but in humanity. (Thank You, Vicki and Avis, members who helped.)

My hobbies and other interests...... I most enjoy spending any free time with my significant other, Lisa. We have shared an ongoing relationship for over 23 years and it somehow seems to get better with each passing year. Lisa most often plays the role of caregiver for me, assisting me with situations that I can no longer manage on my own, due to multiple other debilitating and chronic health problems.

Together, we still very much enjoy camping, light to moderate hiking, (nothing extreme for me anymore), Geocaching, an occasional fishing adventure, and just generally spending time out in nature, beach, desert, mountains, parks, and observing wildlife. I am a supporting member of the San Diego Zoo and often spend a good part of a day at either the Zoo or the Wild Animal Park which is located about 5 minutes drive from my apartment. Occasionally, I still enjoy computer (video) games as well as playing board games such as Backgammon, Scrabble, or other classics when with the right company. I also spend way too much time on the computer.......just ask Lisa!

Just like most of you out there, I also enjoy many (except rap) types of music, an entertaining movie, a good reading book, and/or a fantastic meal coupled with great company and good conversation. I'm not a bible thumper but I do attend church whenever possible on Sunday mornings. Finances dictate a stringent household budget but I am quite content with life and truly want for nothing except a slower, rather than faster, deterioration of my health due to those multiple chronic conditions and to retain the ability to be able to be of some good service to others.

Peace, love and serenity to all, and a word of advice: Do NOT let your health insurance coverage expire or lapse!

Michael Csapo

2010 - IAL MEETING AND VOICE INSTITUTE  June 16 thru June 19, 2010

IAL Annual Meeting and Voice Institute will be in Clarksville/Jeffersonville, IN, just across the river from Louisville, KY at the Holiday Inn Conference Center.

505 Marriott Drive, Clarksville, IN 47129

VI classes will begin on 6/16 with the AM opening on 6/17 and closing with the IAL Banquet on the evening of 6/19.

The room rate will be $82.95, plus tax and room fees, per night.
Free airport shuttle to and from Louisville, Kentucky airport
Free parking
Free Internet service in all guest rooms.

To view general hotel information go to http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/hi/1/en/hotel/sdfcv
General Information about Louisville and the surrounding areas: http://www.sunnysideoflouisville.org/
I feel that the 2010 IAL Convention will be a great opportunity to come to a beautiful part of America. The hotel is easy to get to and affordable for most everyone. Louisville KY is within driving distance of most of the eastern US.

Louisville Metro KOA Campgrounds http://www.koa.com/where/ky/17138/
Just 10 minutes from downtown Louisville-with quick and easy access from I-65 and less than a block from our convention hotel, this KOA makes an ideal base camp for attending the IAL.
You'll find all the conveniences you need here, including full hookups and cable TV at every RV site. All campers have access to free wireless Internet. RV Service is next door; a pool and water park are just a half-block away.


HeadLines Newsletter:
B’ham:  Pat Sanders,   205-980-8416; pat@choralmusic.com

For cancer information call 800.ACS.2345 or visit our Web site at www.cancer.org
American Cancer Society in Birmingham:   Nancy.Price@cancer.org







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