Cancer is a Blessing – (and a little more about my diagnosis)

My wife Christi was diagnosed with brain cancer in early April of this year. Over the past 3 months, she’s been keeping all our friends and family up to date on facebook by regularly postings notes, and I wanted to copy/paste her last note here; it’s a great summary of where we’re both at in this whole process.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support!

That’s right, cancer is a blessing. I’ve known about my cancer now for a little less than three months and the past three months have been the worst and best three months I have ever experienced. Just to give a quick overview, it’s been the worst for obvious reasons; I’ve been away from my home and normal life, I’ve undergone 3 brain surgeries (not too bad for me, but my poor family having to wait 3-5 hours depending on the surgery), I missed so much of Cailyn’s little world, and Adam’s had to put his life on hold as well.

It’s been the best three months for much less obvious but much more powerful reasons. Life has new meaning. I’ve always known that God is supposed to love me… I’ve even always known that God DOES love me – these past three months I have felt more loved by God than I can ever remember. I see Him everywhere in everything… and isn’t God big enough for Him to actually be there!? Yes, I’m 100% convinced that He is… only my creator can know me SO well and speak to me so clearly exactly the words I need to hear. “I love you and I’m taking care of you”. What an amazing feeling and experience!!!

I’ve also grown even closer to Adam and our families. In the face of tragedy you learn a lot about people. I couldn’t have asked for a better support group!! Both families (mine and Adam’s) were so supportive and amazing. Once again it’s been confirmed that Adam is THE perfect guy for me. Before he was my best friend and the love of my life. Now, he’s also quite literally my hero. Had he not been there on April 5, 2009 I would not be here today.

There are so many more blessings that have come out of this situation. Typed words on a computer screen just can’t convey it. I desperately wish that everyone could see life through my eyes right now – how God desires a relationship with each of us and accepts us where we are at. I know that’s a hard realization to come to for a lot of people, but if anyone anywhere ever reading this wanted to talk to me more about it please do!!

I have been asked by loving people if all this positive talk is just a front or if it is from the heart (a very valid question!!)… let me tell you, I don’t know how to be anything but real. I know what it’s like to carry a huge psychological burden. I actually went to a counselor when I was in high school to try and manage all my feelings about my sister’s brain tumor, a friends suicide, and a myriad of other tragedies which took place very randomly all in the same year (things that would put anyone in counseling…). When we found out I had cancer, I was willing to go back to a counselor if it was needed due to the gravity of this situation. Then an amazing thing happened. I was given an overwhelming peace. I truly believe that I am going to be okay.

I wouldn’t trade this situation for the world. Why? – I know who God is and though my faith in Jesus Christ I know exactly where I am going when I die (so even if I don’t survive this I have no fears); and a close proximity to death puts life in a new, beautiful, perspective. Before I talk more about death… because, sorry, I’m going to… I really want to emphasize something – I do not think I am going to die any time soon. I have a huge peace about this and I am not the least bit worried about it… that said, I wanted to finally share my actual diagnosis.

Glioblastoma Multiforme – Grade 4 Brain Cancer

I hadn’t officially shared name yet, but at this point there’s just no reason not to. According to Wikkipedia, “The median survival time from the time of diagnosiswithout any treatment is 3 months. Increasing age (> 60 years of age) carries a worse prognostic risk. Death is usually due to cerebral edema or increased intracranial pressure. One in twenty of glioblastoma patients survive for more thanthree years, and approximately one in 5,000 glioblastoma patients survives for decades.”

I think I also already shared that the median survival time for someone with my condition who is under the age of 50 is approximately 17.1 months. That puts my cancer “due date” as I call it somewhere around September 13, 2010 – my parent’s 30th wedding anniversary. We’re going to have a party… a BIG party on that day… and, ummm, not for my parents (sorry Mom and Dad) but because, by the grace of God, I will still be here and will have crossed yet another important milestone.

Over the past three months my family has lived with this knowledge and we are continuing to trust God and see what is to come. We are not afraid. Praise the Lord for that!! We are not afraid.

Thank you all for your prayers – we have felt them. While in Houston we had another tragedy befall our family. Adam’s grandfather was put into hospice and passed away at the end of June. Adam was actually able to be there with both his mom and grandfather when he passed. We were all able to go to the funeral home in Houston for a little memorial before they had the real event in Louisiana. And, Adam was able to attend the funeral while I stayed in Houston for treatments. What a blessing that we were already there and able to join together as family in the face of sorrow.

As of now I am back at home in the beautiful city of Portland. We’ve been home since Saturday, July 11th and things are going really well. Adam is back at work and has seen amazing support from his bosses and co-workers (seriously, we love this company!!). I am home with Cailyn and have someone with me almost all hours of the day to ease my load and to ease everyone else’s minds. I am confident that I could handle Cailyn on my own and will do just fine once the day comes, but until then I’m enjoying a little more time off and just being home with my little girl and hubby. I can honestly say that it’s a good life!

Head Tracking App for iPhone! Sorta!

The day has finally arrived. We are finally living in the future. Buck just sent me a link that head tracking for the iPhone is real (kinda). The horseless carriage and printing press have nothing on this!

Just barely over a year ago, I posted that somebody should build a head-tracking iPhone app. Since the iPhone can’t literally track your head/eyes, it couldn’t be “real” head tracking, but it could infer from the accelerometer well enough… and sure enough someone has done just that! Awesome!

The good folks over at Drömsynt have fullfilled my dream and built Diorama, the first head-tracking-but-not-really iPhone app in the entire universe ever. They even built stereoscopic-i-need-blue-red-glasses 3d into it (?!) incredible! I am purchasing it right now.

Dynamic Multi-Page Multi-Column Newsletter Layout with Columnizer

A Columnizer Case Study

Sample Page LayoutI got an interesting email this week, asking about how to use Columnizer to help layout a multipage and multicolumn newsletter. The length of the content would vary from week to week, so the newsletter needed to be grow/shrink to as many pages as necessary. It also needed a custom header and footer for each page.

Here’s the sample page showing the solution in action.

The HTML

How does it work? Let’s take a look at the source, beginning with the HTML:

<body>
	<div id="page_template">
		<div class='header'>This is a header<hr></div>
		<div class='content'></div>
		<div class='footer'><hr><span>Page: </span>This is the footer.</div>
	</div>
	<div id="newsletterContent"> Newsletter Content Goes Here</div>
</body>

We define the template for what we want each page to look like. For our case, every page will have the exact same header and footer (with the page number shown in the footer), and page content should be split into 2 columns. Beneath our template, we just print out the entire contents of the newsletter that we want columnized.

Columnizing the Content

Our basic algorithm will be:

  1. Copy the page template and append it to the bottom of the <body>
  2. Columnize what’s in #newsletterContent into that last page until it’s full
  3. Put whatever doesn’t fit back into #newsletterContent
  4. Repeat until #newsletterContent is empty

Awesome, so lets see that in real life code:

		$(function(){
			// the height of the content, discluding the header/footer
			var content_height = 652;
			// the beginning page number to show in the footer
			var page = 1;
			function buildNewsletter(){
				if($('#newsletterContent').contents().length > 0){
					// when we need to add a new page, use a jq object for a template
					// or use a long HTML string, whatever your preference
					$page = $("#page_template").clone().addClass("page").css("display", "block");
					
					// append the page number to the footer
					$page.find(".footer span").append(page);
					$("body").append($page);
					page++;
					
					// here is the columnizer magic
					$('#newsletterContent').columnize({
						columns: 2,
						target: ".page:last .content",
						overflow: {
							height: content_height,
							id: "#newsletterContent",
							doneFunc: function(){
								console.log("done with page");
								buildNewsletter();
							}
						}
					});
				}
			}
			buildNewsletter();
		});

The Result

Check out the fully columnized and multi-paged newsletter sample, and be sure to check out the Columnizer project page for more samples, documentation, and of course, to download Columnizer!

It’s been really fun over the past few months to see how different people are using Columnizer. If your site uses Columnizer, give me a shout in the comments, I’d love to check it out!

Google Author link
Page 22 of 50« First...10...2021222324...304050...Last »