There is really no other way to do this than just to blurt it out: six weeks ago I was diagnosed - unexpectedly and completely out of the blue - with pancreatic cancer.
What has one of the deadliest forms of cancer got to do with "New Media"? Quite a lot, it turns out. Because thanks to the Internet, I was able - before my consulting surgeon could even say it to me - to learn that in cases such as mine where by some quirk of fate pancreatic cancer is detected early enough, there is a very radical surgical procedure that is claimed to be curative. Curative as in, if everything goes okay, you emerge from the operating theater cancer-free.
Needless to say, Wikipedia played its role here. Its entry on the so-called "Whipple procedure" is a classic of detail and balance.
But Facebook wasn't far behind. There is both a Pancreatic Cancer topic page and a separate, and invaluable, topic page on the Whipple procedure. Honestly, who'd a thunk it?
The final new-media pièce de résistance came when I was thinking about what to do, having had Whipple surgery just ten days previously, with the entry I had already secured last December into this year's San Francisco Marathon on July 31.
The answer was obvious: use the Web to transform it into a fundraising run, a personal 26-mile journey toward helping raise funds towards doubling the pancreatic cancer survival rate by 2020.
Here is the donation link: I am not saying that it is exactly a barrel of laughs to have cancer diagnosed one week, Whipple surgery three weeks later, and chemotherapy due to start just three weeks after the surgery...but I will say that, if you have to undergo such a fate, then using the Web to make it easier to endure, manage and understand is definitely the way to go!