Derek Miller’s Cancer Story

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – Derek is your typical Gnomedex geek, and last year wrote the Gnomedex theme song. Unfortunately, he could not join us in person this year. Instead, he comes to us from his bed… where he likes being a floating head on a screen.

Derek Miller is not only a Geek and a funny guy… he is a man of great strength and courage. Earlier this year, at the age of only 38, he was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. Most men are never even tested for this disease until they reach age 50 or so. After a small surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, and then a large surgery… the cancer has metastasized into small tumors in his lungs. Unfortunately, Derek has lost around 50 pounds, and cannot go through chemo again until he gains some weight. Since his health isn’t what it should be… and he wears out so easily… we were able to set up a live feed for him to talk to us from his home. Yes, he really was in his bed!

I don’t know that I could be as strong and positive as what Derek is. I am a very “out there” person, always putting myself in public, so to speak. However, I’m not sure I could talk about what was happening to my life and my body as Derek has. He has blogged all the way through his illness. A point Derek makes during the interview is that “the Internet does not isolate you or make you a hermit. It does the exact opposite. Because of the Internet… and my blog, specifically… I have gotten support, sympathy and advice from people I would have never gotten to come into contact with otherwise”. By blogging all the details, not only has he gained that network of support, he has also been able to spread awareness of what Colon Cancer is (and the importance of listening to your body when something isn’t quite right), and also to keep his family and friends up-to-date on his progress.

Thankfully, Derek hasn’t let the cancer become him, nor has he become “The Cancer Patient”. Instead, he does what he can to keep living his life. He watches a tv show, goes out when he is strong enough, and writes in his blog. He also produces free podsafe instrumentals. It’s crucial when you are facing an illness such as this that you don’t let your entire life be consumed by the disease, the treatments, the doctors.

I know I speak for all of the Gnomedex attendees… and probably every person who reads one of my sites or watches this video… when I say our hearts, thoughts, prayers and wishes are with you and your family, Derek.

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