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Stan Collender
Stan Collender is executive vice president of Qorvis MSLGROUP in Washington, D.C. He is best known as one of the foremost experts in the federal budget and congressional budget process and appears frequently on television and radio. His blog is Capital Gains and Games. Follow him on Twitter at @thebudgetguy.

Entries by Stan Collender

The End Of The Process: Should I Tell Anyone I Have Cancer?

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 9:40 AM

This is the end of The Process.

The first set of scans since I completed my radiation treatment in January came back clean: There is no sign of Merkel cell carcinoma anywhere in my body. Although I will continue to be monitored for the rest of my life, it's...

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The Process, Part 14: It's Over!

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 12:47 PM

It's Friday, Jan. 17, and today is the biggest day yet of The Process: It's the last day of the last week of my radiation treatments.

Actually, the whole week has been an incredible ride.

It started on Monday with a small-but-important victory having to do with my prescription painkillers....

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The Process, Part 13: Life Gets Better

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2014 | 3:28 PM

It's Jan. 9, just three days after the cone-down began, and life is getting a bit better.

I'm getting the same amount of radiation in treatments 29-38 that I got for 1-28, but it's being directed at about half of the number of places ("fields" as we say in the...

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The Process, Part 12: Let the Cone-Down Begin!

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 11:41 AM

It's Jan. 6, 2014, and the past seven days have been the most momentous week yet of The Process.

First, I've now completed 28 of the 37 (75.7 percent!) of the radiation treatments and only have nine more to go. I'm down to single digits and not only can see...

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The Process, Part 11: My Life as a MasterCard Commercial

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 11:13 AM

If The Process works I'm going to sound like a MasterCard commercial if anyone asks what it cost.

Being cancer free? Priceless!

And that absolutely will be true. But there's also the undeniable economic reality that The Process is very expensive.

According to the "explanation of benefits" forms I...

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The Process, Part 10: When Losing Weight Definitely Is Not A Good Thing

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 11:45 AM

I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes almost exactly one year before dermatologist #2 told me I had Merkel cell carcinoma.

I didn't think I was heavy, but one of the first things my internist said when I found out I had diabetes was that I needed to lose weight....

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The Process, Part 9: Eating Just Isn't Any Fun

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 12:05 PM

It's Christmas Eve and it's very difficult for me to eat.

I don't mean that it's hard to ingest food. Thankfully, I'm still having no problem swallowing and don't have a sore throat. I haven't needed any painkillers - prescription or over-the-counter - in two weeks.

But everything I eat...

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The Process, Part 8: I Get a License to Nosh

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 1:36 PM

One of the truly classic episodes of original television series The Twilight Zone featured Burgess Meredith as a bookworm bank teller who didn't have time to read. The character -- Henry Bemis -- ate his lunch every day in the bank's vault so he could read undisturbed for an hour....

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The Process, Part 7

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 12:23 PM

It's Dec. 13, and week three is now over: I'm 38 percent (37.8 percent if you want to be precise) through The Process.

At this point I'm still feeling quite well, except that I've almost completely lost my sense of taste and eating has become exceedingly unpleasant. My mind...

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The Process, Part 6

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 10:38 AM

It's Dec. 3, 2013, the Tuesday of my second week of treatments, and I'm having a hard time not thinking that every hangnail isn't the result of my now-completed first five days of The Process.

For example, I'm having trouble sleeping. I'm writing this at 4:15 a.m. and am already...

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The Process, Part 5

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 11:40 AM

A large part of the reason I've been able to deal with The Process is my Beautiful and Talented Wife -- The BTW.

The BTW went though something like this 22 years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Many of the memories from that experience immediately came back...

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The Process, Part 4

(0) Comments | Posted February 21, 2014 | 2:39 PM

Nov. 20, 2013

I have doctors. Lots of them.

I should really say "health care professionals," because not everyone who is helping me deal with this is an M.D. All of them, however, are what I've decided to call "Team Stan."

So far Team Stan includes my regular --...

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The Process, Part 3

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 9:52 AM

Nov. 18, 2013

This all started in August 2012, when I wanted my dermatologist to remove a red spot on my face I thought was marring my appearance.

Thank god for vanity.

The small red mark on the bridge of my nose turned out to be Merkel cell carcinoma,...

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The Process, Part 2

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2014 | 7:47 PM

Nov. 16, 2013

When you have cancer, or when, as in my case, you've had cancer (I'm being my usual optimistic self here), there always seems to be something you didn't expect. There's another doctor to see, another follow-up to schedule, another test you have to take and more and...

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The Process

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 11:49 AM

Years ago I ran the Marine Corps Marathon with Oprah Winfrey.

To be more precise, I ran in the same race as Oprah. We didn't actually run together, although I was right beside or just behind her most of the 26.2 miles.

Oprah and I were both running in our...

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