Sunday, June 28, 2009

TV on the Radio Benefit

Hello, friends of C (Colleen, not cats—though clearly cat lovers are welcome here, too). News update: TV on the Radio are playing a benefit on August 7 at the Double Door. Proceeds will go to Colleen, to help offset the cost of healthcare. What what!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Radioactive Iodine Treatment, Target Pants, and the Unflagging Strength of GCM

So it has been awhile since we've updated Don't Go It Malone. The August fundraisers—rock show at the AV-aerie in Chicago and community garage sale in Bellingham—were hugely successful. Thanks to all who participated and donated your time, old clothes, card tables, baking skills, and musical abilities. It's amazing to see a community come together in such ways, and it's a testament to Colleen's awesomeness that she has such loyal and supportive friends. So let's keep it going!

Colleen starts radioactive iodine treatment today. I put up the link to more info., because I feel somewhat unequipped to explain it, but basically RAI targets thyroid cells only and is thus a safe way of treating thyroid cancer (albeit the treatment requires a lot of preparation and precautionary steps).

Following her RAI scan today, Colleen will be hanging out in her apt. this week, because the treatment—being radioactive and all—requires that she stay out of contact with others for a few days. Colleen reported that in addition to readying her home for this unconventional "retreat," she bought a couple pairs of funny lounging pants from Target (which I encouraged her to post pictures of here or elsewhere!) and will spend the next few days reading and just generally taking it easy. That being said, if ever you have felt the impulse to send her an email, crossword puzzle, or original drawing, now would be a great time!

Thanks again and hope you're enjoying fall!


Here are some images from the AV-aerie show:






Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hello and Thanks

Hey. This is Colleen.

I feel like it is time (and past time) for a lot of things. And while this statement could be applied to many, MANY aspects of my life, at this particular moment I’m talking explanatory statements and bales of gratitude. The show last night was unbelievably amazing. Bellingham friends, thank you for selling and buying wares for me. I can only say that I am extremely grateful, but that doesn’t come close to explaining how well loved it made me feel.

I guess all I can really say is thank you—to all of my friends and family and acquaintances for making a confusing and crazy situation somewhat easier to bear. A lot easier, actually. The financial help was much needed, and the cards, care packages, visits and general positive thoughts sent my way kept me sane in Mexico. I am hoping, by the end of this, to become an expert in negotiating the healthcare system. A year from now I would like to be able to give solid information to anyone asking about topics like:

-how to get quality care in Mexico
-how to qualify for Medicaid
-options if you are uninsured and don’t qualify for Medicaid
-what NOT to say on health insurance applications (i really fucked up on that one)
-charity care with physicians groups and hospitals
-…and so much more

Quality care in Mexico and the insurance application thing is all I really know about at the moment. Starting next month however, I’m making a full time job of figuring out the other stuff. I am hoping that by the time I get back from this last portion of treatment I will either have a job with benefits, or have some other sustainable way of handling the financial aspects of this situation.

As far as what happened, and where I’m at now, this is more or less what is going on. I went to Mexico to visit my parents at the beginning of April and thought I should go to the doctor. I didn’t really have any symptoms. I just hadn’t been to the doctor in a long time and figured I might as well. I’d seen a doctor down there a few years ago and it was something crazy like $4 for the visit. All the standard tests came back normal and it was only through touching my neck that the doctor suspected that something was wrong. A few weeks later I had a surgical biopsy scheduled. It came back positive for papillary thyroid cancer which had metastasized to the lymph nodes. In general, this cancer is slow to grow and easy to treat. Mine however, had spread to enough of my lymph nodes to require a bilateral radical neck dissection. It was for sure the most terrifying part of all this…really sharp knives really close to the carotid artery and jugular veins. After the surgery another test revealed that the surgery had not been able to get rid of all the cancer. Because of the size, location and number of tumors removed, external beam radiation was necessary in order to kill the cancer that was still there. I finished that treatment a few weeks ago and have to return at the end of October for iodine therapy—which is the standard therapy for this type of cancer. For me, the cancer has been atypically aggressive. I am hoping that after the iodine therapy, it will begin behaving in the normal manner (although I guess I actually just hope that it will be gone). I won’t know if the cancer is gone until I have a body scan a few months after the iodine treatment…so January or February.

The last couple of years have been kind of rough, these last few months in particular. I’m not just speaking for myself either. I think a lot of people will be happy to put this year behind them. I know I will. So here is to 2009 being better than 2008 (it shouldn’t have to try too hard). Thank you again for all the support. I cannot say it enough. I hope that you would feel comfortable asking me whatever. I’m around.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chicago benefit show @ AV-aerie

The benefit show is only a week and a half away, and it would be awesome for people to spread the word to everyone and their brother...and their brother's friends...and their brother's friends' brothers.

The excellent lineup is now complete: SLICK CONDITIONS (a new band featuring Elliot Dicks, Leroy Bach, Ryan Rapsys, and Kurt Niesman), HEAD OF SKULLS! (playing new material from their upcoming full-length) and MAKE BELIEVE (sweaty as ever).

All-ages! Baked goods for sale! Posters by Chicago artist & screenprinter Mat Daly available for purchase!

Doors at 9 pm. $10 suggested donation.

The AV-aerie is located at 2000 W. Fulton St. (third floor)

See you there!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Garage Sale! Rock Show!

It has been awhile since Mr. Scottie Fold has updated this thing (what a lazy cat blogger). Nonetheless, contributions have been coming in, and we want to extend a sincere THANKS to all contributors. We'd like to keep up the fundraising momentum, so please continue to spread the word, direct people to the PayPal link, etc.

There's a great fundraising event that's going on in Bellingham, Washington, next month. Amanda Kalfwarf is organizing it, so here's the info. from her:

Hello all friends of Colleen!
or friends of friends of Colleen,
or people who need to get rid of things,
or people who want to buy other people's things,
or those who like to do things for a good cause in general:

I'm just putting the word out that we will be having a HUGE garage sale at the end of August where all benefits will go to Colleen Malone's medical bills.

Do you want to help out? Make signs? Put up signs? Place newspaper ads (the free kind)? Do you have things you'd like to donate? Would you be willing to work it? Any other helpful ideas or contributions to the cause?

Colleen is a peach, and it would amazing if we could all rally together as a town and help her make the slightest dent in her bills. Clean out yr closets! Grab those mugs/books/trinkets/shoes/stereos/chairs you never use and get them ready to sell!

Call me or send a MySpace message. Whatevs.

P.S. Thank you Crystal for thinking of this.


Also, Chicagoans!—Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 23rd. Nate Kinsella is organizing a benefit show for Colleen at AV-aerie. The show will include Make Believe, Head of Skulls!, and another band (tba). More details forthcoming. It's guaranteed to RUUUUUUUULE!

Happy end o' July. Check back soon.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Uncle Sam Thanks YOU!

Thanks to everyone who has donated so far. You all rule—just like the U.S.A. rules...but more.

Have a great 4th!