Acromegaly, the Shrek Condition – My story. [Part 3: Brain Injury – Dark Cloud, Silver Lining]

My apologies for the delay in writing this update. As you’ll see, its quite a difficult post  to write, and this is my third attempt, after aborting and doing something less distressful. Like killing some pigs on Angry Birds. The first part is based upon my understanding of what happened, and the remainder  is based upon my recollection.

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Acromegaly, the Shrek Condition – My story. [Part 2: Initial Treatment]

In my previous post, I described how I was diagnosed, in my early 30s, with a Pituitary Tumour causing a one-in-a-million condition called Acromegaly. It is referred to as the Shrek Disease on the Internet after French wrestler Maurice Tillet (upon whom Shrek was based),  although I call it a Condition as you can’t “catch” Acromegaly. In my case it was identified, by chance, by a student nurse in an ER ward; and then confirmed by simple blood test which showed that my Growth Hormone levels were over 30 times higher than the safe maximum for a healthy adult male. That night, I was given four years to live unless I was treated urgently.

In this post I describe what happened next.

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Acromegaly, the Shrek Condition – My story. [Part 1: Diagnosis]

Well, its taken me a few years to get around to writing this post. Partially because I’m still learning about it, but also because I am also hearing of other people in Australia who are going through similar episodes (either themselves or of a loved one), and are suffering similar difficulties with finding out more about this.

I also want to get the truth out there.  Particularly to people who work in the HR, Recruitment and OH&S fields, because when I come across their radar, they get excited, scared, or both. I also work in Risk Management, and I also believe in being up-front with my medical condition so my employer/client can make their own decision. I believe that any decisions that are made must be made rationally, based upon accurate, proven information and not based upon an initial, knee-jerk reaction, on emotion, nor on fear, uncertainty or deceit.

I do have a rare form of cancer in the brain, that has caused a condition called Acromegaly. It is an increase in growth hormone production in the body, and whilst it makes me look like Shrek, its being extremely well managed. I am very likely to survive, because its been caught so quickly and whilst I am so young. It – nor any treatment – is not a danger to anyone I work or socialise with. I am not on chemotherapy or any other medication that would cause risks to anyone else, if I ever do end up going down that path, you will all be the first to know.

It all started in my early twenties, about twelve years ago.

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Mashup Idea of the Day

With yesterday’s unsalted password dump at LinkedIn (seriously LinkedIn, wtf are you doing not salting your passwords?), the password dump of eHarmony and today’s suspected compromise at last.fm, this would be an ideal time to provide a service that tells the truth behind an eHarmony profile simply by matching email addresses and passwords.

For example you could enter an eHarmony profile ID in, and it would check the user’s LinkedIn and last.fm profiles. A sample output could be:

“Sorry love, you know that 28-year-old, dashing, handsome, eco-friendly power company executive who loves 80s and 90s ballads whilst sunset walks on the beach, kittens and surprise weekends away? He’s actually a married 45-year-old IT Support Executive who’s favourite hobby is being Waldorf on World of Warcraft (as per the Twitter feed connected to his LinkedIn account). His favourite bands are Slayer and Megadeath, but recently has been listening to the Eurovision Song Contest Dusseldorf 2011 CD … a lot.”

Not a bad idea, hey? Please send all revenues from this service, if you implement it, to one of my nominated charities. Or buy me a book from my Kindle Wish List.

Opinion – What are common concerns about adopting cloud computing?

I am yet to be convinced that the current "Cloud Computing" wave is little more than vendor-driven marketing hype, driven by technologists that are chasing business revenue through the promise of "bottom line cost savings" – whilst conveniently ignoring business-critical issues such as Information (and not just IT) Security.

As a colleague highlighted to me recently, all Cloud Computing is, in reality, outsourcing IT to shared infrastructure – running your stuff on other people's kit via an internet connection. It is easy to see how the Outsourcing vision has rarely delivered the promised business value to the customer, as promised during the sales cycle from consultancies, offshoring shops and global system integrators. Whilst there has undoubtedly been costs savings in technology and skills acquisition; these savings have been negated by the increased overhead of "managing" the outsourced provider … re-insourcing is common even here in Australia.

The recent CA/Ponemon Survey around Cloud Computing Security highlighted some distribing issues – that the majority of Cloud proivders regard Information Security as the customers' problem and responsibility to deal with, rather than theirs: Gideon's blog is a nice summary at http://www.rationalsurvivability…. Sahil, this is in direct contrast to your Myth #8 (although to be fair SaaS != "Cloud" per se!)

One example is avaiability. Until CSPs increase the business value of their service through some sort of shared risk, shared reward model with the customer I can't see how businesses can justify the Cloud for anything above non-sensitive information. Look at Amazon EC2's compensation for its lack of availaility – 10 days hosting credit. Does this even come close to the estimated lost revenue for its major customers who were affected?

The Australian Government's Defence Signals Directorate have an excellent guidence note for organisations considering cloud. I would like to see CSPs review this – particularly para. 17 onwards – and if they can come up with a commercially viable answer to questions such as these, then the implementaiton of on-demand Cloud Computing may live up to the promise: http://www.dsd.gov.au/publicatio…

What are common concerns about adopting cloud computing?

A repository for whats on my mind at the time. Including acromegaly, information security, ranting and dodgy humour…