Sunday, June 6, 2010

“The meaning of life is that it ends”- Kafka

Just finished reading the book 'How Doctors Think' by Jerome Groopman.

Came across two moving stories from the NYT- I recommend the book to every one.

Floyd Norris talks about his cancer treatment.

I am undergoing radiation and drug treatment for cancer.

The drug is Erbitux, which at least is something I had heard about. (You may recall that was the drug involved in the Martha Stewart lying-to-the-S.E.C. case.) It has made my face look worse than anyone’s face ever looked when I was in high school.

I know that it is not news that radiation treatment can be miserable. I did not do all the homework I could have done, so perhaps I should have been better prepared.

But the pain involved is more than I have ever experienced. It is virtually impossible for me to eat. I am losing weight at an impressive rate, to the dismay of the radiation doctor. I have little energy, which is probably both because of the radiation directly and because of the lack of nutrition...

It is not fun, but it has been inspiring. In a way, I am happier about my life than at any time I can remember. Clint Eastwood once asked, “Do you feel lucky?” My answer is a shouted yes...

I am 62, and have had the honor of being a financial columnist here for more than 20 years. I have been happily married for 26 years, and last Friday saw our son graduate from high school. He will be attending an excellent college in the fall.

I hope to have a lot more years. But I’ve had a lot already, and they have been better than a lot of people have any reason to hope for. I am grateful.

A Scare, a Scar, a Silver Lining;
This is trite but also so, so true: A brush with mortality turns out to be the best way to appreciate how blue the sky is, how sensuous grass feels underfoot, how melodious kids’ voices are. Even teenagers’ voices. A friend and colleague, David E. Sanger, who conquered cancer a decade ago, says, “No matter how bad a day you’re having, you say to yourself: ‘I’ve had worse.’

My surprising inspiration (death!)

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