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The Guffaw, I, want to break from writing bad jokes about history to write bad jokes about having cancer. Before I started this endeavor I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2009. I was lucky I was diagnosed early, the cancer had only reached stage 1. I was lucky that part of my treatment did not include chemotherapy (the cancer was literally ripped from my body before it spread to my lymph nodes). I was unlucky, my treatment did include an 11 hour surgery to remove my esophagus, a week plus stay at the hospital, what seemed like 8,000 stitches and staples (in truth around 65) and an eight month recovery period. My stomach is now my esophagus and thus ending my potential competitive eating career. The bottom-line, cancer hurts. Physically, your body has broken down and something has to either go or has to be radiated. Emotionally, when one hears they have cancer everything goes blank no pithy one-liners and no dramatic prose. For me at least, it was panic, frustration, blind anger all wrapped in a ball of stunned silence.

On June 2, 2012, I am taking part in my first Relay for Life in Falls Church, Virginia. Part of my efforts are to raise money and awareness for everyone still fighting cancer and the scars it leaves. Please feel free to visit my page, http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLFY12SA?px=26093367&pg=personal&fr_id=41141, if for anything to see what I look like (basically the love-child of Brett Favre and a Keebler Elf). If you feel persuaded please leave a donation, cool if you do and cool if you don’t. Even better, make a donation to a loved-one, family member or friend who is fighting or has fought a battle against cancer. Give your time or join a team at a local relay event. Feel free to pull up a picture of a cancerous cell and yell at it. Do something, anything to make it less likely that you or anyone you know will have to be told they have cancer. Through the last two-and-half years I have learned that cancer deserves many things, most of all to be beaten.

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