Book details woman?s cancer fight

I am sure that not many people in this area know Michele Longa?baugh of Wichita. I didn?t either until Larry Hatteberg of KAKE-TV and ?Hatteberg?s People? put us in touch with each other around the first of the year.

In early 2010, Michele was diagnosed with Stage 4 anal cancer even though she had none of the markers that are associated with this type of cancer. She went through a long, rugged treatment?surgery, chemo and radiation?and came through it in the latter part of 2011 with the cancer in remission.

The amazing part of this journey is that she blogged about everything she went through. She described the treatments and her thoughts in great detail. She said she wasn?t afraid to die but didn?t want to.

She has had tremendous support from her husband, three children, family and friends. After meeting her, I believe she is still here because of her strong spirit and positive attitude. Her husband is from Herington. Michele is originally from New York.

So how did I come to meet Michele? Larry featured her on ?Hatteberg?s People? this past November because he was on her bucket list of people she wanted to meet. After the TV segment, he suggested Michele call me about putting her blog into book form as he felt she had a compelling story to tell.

Now, after 60 days, the book, ?If You?re Not Laughing, You?re Dying? is out in paperback as well as an eBook.

Michele?s goal isn?t to make money, but rather to help someone else who is facing cancer like she is. She said if it helps even one person she will be satisfied in making her story known. And $1 from each book sold will be donated to cancer research. The book is available on the Free Press online store or on Amazon in the Kindle store.

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I am trying to quit, or at least cut down on drinking Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi. I?m in my third week of just one can per day, instead of the three to five per day I?ve been drinking for a lot of years now. Yes, you can become addicted to diet soda.

I really don?t like iced tea, and I do drink hot tea when I?m sick or if it?s really cold outside?which hasn?t happened this winter. Plus, I have to put sugar in it because drinking hot tea will otherwise make me sick.

Hot chocolate will make me fatter, so that?s out. I have never tried energy drinks, which would be expensive. Drinks like Gatorade would also be expensive, plus I really don?t like the taste of them.

Which leaves water. I?m trying to drink more of it since I am drinking less soda, but I really don?t crave water. Putting lemon or lime or cucumbers or anything else in water makes it taste even worse, in my opinion.

Some might say drink wine with dinner but I really don?t care for it either.

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Has anyone else noticed the great deals we used to find regularly on airline flights have practically disappeared?

I just wonder what will happen when Southwest finally takes over Airtran operations in Wichita.

We have booked flights to see the kids and grandkids on both ends of the country in the months ahead. It took a red-eye ticket to get decent prices to the northwest and the best sale prices we?ve seen to Atlanta were what the regular prices used to be.

If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@hillsborofreepress.com.

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