Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dr. Randy Pausch Passes Away (DAY 146)

I am sad to report that Randy Pausch passed away on Friday from Pancreatic Cancer. He was 47 years old. He is survived by his wife, Jai, and his three young children, Dylan, Logan, and Chloe.

Dr. Pausch, a Carnegie Melon University professor, became famous in recent months after delivering "The Last Lecture," about achieving your childhood dreams. It is my opinion that he faced death with a lot of courage and bravery and was able to use his unfortunate situation to help and inspire millions of people.

I first learned about Dr. Pausch and his story through researching the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Since then I have followed him in the headlines as he has made appearances on Oprah and ABC. I also frequently checked his personal web page, where he posted updates about his health. In recent weeks the posts had stopped and I wondered if something was wrong.

For more information about Dr. Pausch and Pancreatic Cancer, please read my posts from April 8th and April 27th.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Update (DAY 132)

It has been a while since my last post, so here is an update of what I have been up to.

Two weeks ago, I started work for American Trails West, a teen tour program. The tour I am on takes 14 and 15 year olds to different areas along the East Coast. The trips are Monday to Friday and I come home on the weekends. The first week we did Boston and last week we went to Montreal, with stops in Burlington, VT and Lake George, NY. So far everything has been excellent. I am enjoying myself and I really like the other staff members on my trip. I eat great, sleep in nice hotels, and get to do cool activities. Last week we went jet boating in Montreal, which was thrilling and my favorite event so far. I am getting excited to head to down to Virginia next week.

I would not say the work is hard, but the job keeps me active and busy all day. This is great, because I do not think about or crave cigarettes at all during the week. Even if I was still smoking, I would not have the time for it, so it is especially good that I quit.

Our bus driver is a chain smoker and is constantly lighting up when we are not on the bus. This has not been a problem for me at all. I am proud of myself for that. One time however, the driver asked me to hold his cigarette while he went to get something on the bus. I did it, but felt very uncomfortable. I held the thing like it was a dirty sock. I was not so much tempted to smoke the cig, but just holding it felt weird to me.

There is a camper on the trip who brought cigs the very first day. After hearing that these were not allowed, she came to me and I told her to give me what she had and I would give it back at the end of the week. I told her about my efforts at quitting smoking and try to show her that she does not need cigs and now is the time to stop. I lent her a few sticks of my Trident the first few days to help her out. I think she feels comfortable talking to me about it and I am glad. It felt good to be able to give advice as someone who has been going through the same thing. The second week she brought no cigs with her and I hope she can keep up the good work.

That is all for now. Stay tuned for more updates and posts. Thanks.

Thanks for the love and support:
The Math Family