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Posts Tagged ‘Cancer’

Our culture likes its heroes undaunted, especially in the stories we tell.  When I did end up writing the scary-robot show, I found myself clashing with executives.  I argued that bravery in the face of death shouldn’t be the protagonists’ default setting.  Because when we glorify strength without showing empathy for weakness, we end up with a toxic version of heroism, one that links bravery to goodness and cowardice to getting what you deserve.
And when we do that, we can no longer tell stories of grace, or forgiveness, or connectedness.  We can no longer tell stories about real people — the ones who fail, the ones who are afraid and the ones who let themselves and others down.  These are the stories we need more than ever, especially those of us walking on life’s edge.
   —    Josh Friedman
From his opinion editorial: “It’s O.K. to be a coward about cancer
Time Magazine, 7 August 2017
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On This Day In:
2016 Heart Trouble
2015 From The Inside Out
2014 Alone And Free
2013 Superstition Is Your Way
2012 Escape Hatches
2011 Sing Like No One Is Listening

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Roughly two years ago, my brother was diagnosed with cancer on his tongue.  They operated on his tongue and removed a good chunk and they had a good look around inside his throat glands.  They hoped they got it all, but a few weeks ago another lump started to appear.
Today they had their second go at him.  They removed the lump and the immediate biopsy was negative for cancer!  (Yea!!)
They’ve kept him over-night for observation and for his dialysis.  He usually goes Tues / Thurs / Sat, but with the procedure today, he got pushed back a day.
Anyway, we’re all relieved and praying for a speedy recovery.
God is great and God’s blessings are many!
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On This Day In:
2013 Chasing His Dragon
Shaped And Molded
2012 Believe In Yourself
2011 Cultural Equivalence
Why Not?
Books About Books
The Basis For Adult Continuing Education

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Back on 17 July 2010, I added two pages for two of my favorite poems (sonnets) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  I also added a post (Browning…) which included a little poem I used to read on the bus going to school.  I noted in the post that I wasn’t sure I was remembering it correctly (or well), but it now seems I got it pretty close.
Today I was going through one of my old journals and found the source and then was able to look up the whole of the poem – which I have also added as a page off of my Poems tab.
The poem seems to go by a couple of different names.  One is “Song” and the other is the first line of the poem: “I prithee send me back my heart”.  The author is Sir John Suckling.
The particular verse I really like is:
But love is such a mystery,
I cannot find it out:
For when I think I’m best resolv’d,
I then am in most doubt.
It turns out the other verses are fairly good too.  Anyway, I hope you have a moment to enjoy the poem (and maybe take a second look at Browning’s sonnets).
Hammerin’:
Tonight I finally got around to watching the “Thor” DVD my son (James) gave me for Christmas.  We saw the movie when it was out at the cinema and both enjoyed it.  I actually think I liked the movie more this time.  I seemed to follow the story more and got more out of the dialogue (which was actually pretty funny).  I did find the movie did not translate to the smaller screen as well, though – particularly the scenes in Asgard.  Strangely enough, the scenes where Thor uses Mjolnir (his magic hammer) seemed more realistic on the smaller screen than they did at the theater.  So, like I said, mixed reactions, but I enjoyed it.
More good news:
I got off the phone with my brother who reports his doctor got the final results of the biopsy on his throat and it confirmed the preliminary finding – there is no cancer in his lymph nodes.  Very good news to start the weekend.
And lastly: Go Niners, beat the NY Giants!!!
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Tearful Joy!!

As I was getting into my car to drive home this evening, I got a call from my brother.  Through croaky voice he told me he’s home from the hospital and the biopsy shows no more cancer in his tongue, throat or lymph glands!!
We only spoke for a minute or two.  I was laughing and sobbing at the same time.  I don’t believe I’ve ever experienced “tearful joy” before, but I’m happy to say I certainly have now.
I love you, Bro!!  That was the most welcome news I’ve heard in quite some time…
After a few more laughs, tears and pounding on the steering wheel (and a quick thank-you prayer), I was able to drive home.
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Back on December 14, my younger brother (Sean) called and I made a typically crude male joke about a recent “minor” procedure he just had to remove a sore on his tongue.  He’d had a similar procedure about five years ago, so it didn’t seem like a big deal.  His response shook me: “Yeah, about that.  I’ve got cancer.”
Of course I didn’t believe him and thought he was trying to punk me with a riff off of my joke, but when I said, “Man, you’re just kiddin’.”  He replied, “No, really.  I just got off the phone with the doctor and they just got the biopsy back.”
I felt dizzy…
We spoke for a few moments.  I told him how much I love him and how I’m here if he needs anything.  He broke down crying and said he had to hang up now.
I waited about an hour and called back.  We talked some more and he sounded better.  He apologized for earlier and said he just had to get used to the news so he could move forward.
About a week later, I went to the doctor with him and his doctor said it was “good news, bad news”.  The good news was the earlier operation appeared to be successful and they got it all off of his tongue.  They took off a bit around it and there was no cancer there (more good news).  But just to be safe (the bad news), my brother really should agree to another – more lengthy – exploratory procedure in his neck (his lymph glands) to see if the cancer has spread.  The doctor was reassuring, saying it was probably only a 25% chance they’d find anything, but better safe than sorry.  He wanted to get my brother’s agreement so he could arrange for the surgery in early January.
Well, to make a longer story shorter, tomorrow is the procedure.  It’s supposed to take 6+ hours, so it’s not a trivial “nip-n-tuck”.
If you believe in God (and I do) or some ultimate force for good in the universe, please offer up a prayer for my little brother.  (He’s bigger than I am, but he’s still my “little” brother.)  If you don’t believe, just think a positive thought for him.  To quote John Coltrane: “One thought can produce a million vibrations…”
I love you, Bro…

Sean and me at the Grand Canyon

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