As some have noticed I have not been online or around events very much since last December.
Quite a few people have been asking where I have been, and what’s going on with events, websites I’m involved in and of course the VWS forum, while it had a few minor technical problems.
During most of this time, I have been reluctant to tell many people with the exception of a very tight circle of trusted friends exactly what’s been happening and where this is all leading.
On December 22nd of last year, was hospitalized due to an accident while walking my dog, resulting in the discovery of what was then 5, and now is 7 compression fractures in multiple vertebrae of my back.
Further medical examination found these vertebrae were degraded to the point past normal human osteoporosis, and in one case had completely collapsed. Further, I suffered from near kidney failure, anemia and many other problems pushing closely to a fatal situation.
The cause of all this, an advanced and somewhat dangerous cancer, Multiple Myeloma. It’s generally rare in a person my age, however it most likely could be due to exposures to certain items within my profession, one will never know for sure.
I am to a small extent lucky, had I not fallen, the cancer could have gone undetected for even longer. Obviously, just from what I have told you in this statement, my situation is not a good one.
I have been lucky enough to meet with some very top Oncologists in my area and they have improved my condition somewhat to a more stable situation. I was also lucky enough to be chosen to be put into an experimental program, but due to a near fatal reaction to one of the experimental drugs involved, I was dropped out of the study and am now under more standard and normal treatment for Myeloma.
Normal questions people ask concern life expectancy. The answer is variable from person to person and for me is not completely clear, but likely now that I am under constant treatment, only several years. As my treatment continues, and I survive certain hurdles within those treatments, a clearer answer to that question will emerge.
For now, I am slowly disengaging myself from certain long term projects I’m involved inworld. Projects I believe strongly in such as the Virtual World Sailing Forum, will remain the same, and my portion of the ownership will be decided and given privately, there will be no changes in scope, or how it’s run. I still expect to be teaching sailing, racing and participating, when I can.
I do want to take a moment to discuss fund raising for cancer research and support of cancer patients.
As some of you may know I have been a supporter and an organizer of events for Sail 4 Life, SL Sailing’s portion of the overall American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Program within Second Life. For the last few years there have been people critical of the American Cancer Society’s use of funds.
Arguments have actually appeared within SL on forums, including mine, concerning this issue.
I’d like to say only this. We are all People behind the avatars.
Number of people who will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes: 1 in 2 men, 1 in 3 women
Number of people under 40 diagnosed with cancer annually in the US: 1 every 8 minutes
Chance that you will know someone with cancer in your lifetime: 100%
Chance that it will be you: 33% for women, 50% for men
My Message to all of you.
It doesn’t matter where you give, it doesn’t matter what you give, but it matters that you do.
Don’t believe it can’t or won’t happen to you. I didn’t believe it.
Now, I do.
I know this is something all of you have heard at one time or another.
Be good to each other.
SL is not a game. But life and death isn’t either.
Maiti Yenni Resident, Second Life 2016