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Fighting cancer, lawyer finds blog cathartic : Drop Jim an email & spread the word on your blog

The day after Virginia lawyer Jim Guy, age 40, learned he had esophageal cancer he created a blog. He named it 102704 in recognition of the date of his diagnosis — Oct. 27, 2004 with a subtitle, ‘Confronting My Cancer.’

Jim’s blog and story are chronicled in an excellent story written by Stacy Hawkins Adams in last Saturday’s Richmond Times Dispatch.

In that first entry, just a week before his 40th birthday, Guy acknowledged his shock about the diagnosis.

The next day, he told prospective readers who he was: He loves practicing law, spending time with his wife and three children, and performing with Uisce Beatha, the Irish-American band he has grooved with for nearly eight years. He told readers that immediately after the diagnosis, he felt as if he were fading away. The blog was a cathartic way to stamp his existence into eternity. It also became a way to keep people abreast of how he was faring.

‘I thought close family and friends would read this,’ said Guy, who lives in North Rich mond. ‘I’ve been surprised at the interest the broader community has had. The support I’ve gotten back from them has been so enormous. ‘People have told me that it’s an inspiration,’ he said. ‘I feel like it’s an extremely selfish exercise, but I’m glad it can be helpful to someone else.’

You think you have struggles as a lawyer. Read Jim’s entry from Tuesday November 30 and count your blessings.

I’ve been thinking about how cancer could happen to me. Then I have to think about all the worse things that happen to other people, like when kids get cancer. This is an easy list to make and I won’t belabor it here.

I’ve got to acknowledge that my getting cancer is not even in the top million worst things to have happened in the history of the world. But it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. I think it’s probably the worst thing that has happened to my wife and kids, too.

Sometimes perspective is not especially helpful. Today was a good day. I took my IV, spent some time with my strep infected child, then went into the office for a couple of hours. At 1:00, I went to St. Mary’s for a CT scan for my radiation oncologist to use in planning my radiation. Evidently my weight loss means they have to recalculate the radiation measurements. Happily – no barium swallow for today’s CT scan, just the IV contrast. No medical appointments tomorrow. Thursday I see Dr. Rowles. Friday I go back to radiation therapy for a dry run.

Sometimes it’s easier to look at the steps right in front of you than to look too hard for perspective.

Jim did maintain his sense of humor this last Lent, noting that he had given up a lot of odd things for Lent while growing up and this year he was giving up his esophagus. When Jim got so weak following surgery, Jim’s wife, Judy maintained the blog.

As Adams reports, Jim completed chemotherapy in late April and returned to work June 1.

Jim continues to blog as a means to support others like him fighting cancer and at last count, more than 1,500 people had read his blog. There are a lot of decent caring lawyers publishing blogs out there. Let’s spread the word about Jim’s blog and tell folks to drop him an email. Jim is a shining example of the best in our legal profession. God Bless.

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