There's at least a couple of threads to this tale and it's a tad long but I hope you'll indulge me as you read along.
Two years ago to the day (Nov. 14 at about 9:50 p.m.), LambtonShield.com went "live" on the Internet.
It was 158 years ago that Alexander Mackenzie, a 30-year-old Scottish immigrant who went on to become Canada's second prime minister, had started the paper, one of the first in Lambton County.
While the original Lambton Shield only lasted two years, its story, including the part that had Mackenzie helped by George Brown, a like-minded politician who had founded the Globe (now the Globe and Mail), lives on.
A few years ago, I had come across the history of the newspaper and decided that "one day" it would be a pretty neat thing if someone resurrected the name.
Which is what happened in November 2010.
It's been an interesting ride and we believe that LambtonShield.com continues to add to the vitality of our community. Simply put, we believe in the power of local news (as distinct from editorial that has appeared in other newspapers around the province or which is readily available elsewhere).
We also believe in a "if you build it, they will come" philosophy that is going to take a lot of work and a lot of patience. But it will be worth it.
The second part of the story is somewhat personal but still needs to be told.
And it has a lot to do with this time of year, November being widely recognized as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
In the summer of 2010, I went for what I thought would be a "routine" physical examination. Typically, I've sort of sloughed off the blood work that typically comes with these sorts of things.
This time I didn't.
One of the tests, the one for PSA (prostate specific antigen), came back higher than it should have been. Two weeks later, after a specialist gave me a dose of antibiotic (to rule out other issues), the number was higher still.
A biopsy followed and I was dealing with third stage prostate cancer, inoperable due to the spreading of the disease beyond the prostate gland.
When I remarked to the doctor that I had no symptoms, he replied as firmly as one who has heard it before: "It doesn't matter."
So here's the plea to the men among you:
Get tested. The older you get, the more important it is.
And to the women who care for those men: Do whatever it takes to get him to get tested.
It quite literally may save your (or his) life.
Two years later, after a series of still-ongoing hormone therapy injections and two months of daily radiation in London, my numbers are down—like golf, the lower the better—and I've regained the energy that the treatments had zapped.
But I'm here and happy about it.
LambtonShield.com is still here too and, we believe, making a contribution to our community, a great place to live and work.
So thank you for your continuing support. We'd love to hear from you if you have a story to share concerning either the work we're doing or your experience in dealing with a disease that we hope one day will be a distant memory.
Publisher and Editor