Monthly Archives: December 2014

Natural Cancer Remedies: What You Don’t Want To Know (But Should)

Natural cancer remedies have been around for at least 3,000 years and yet it appears that modern science and Western Medicine either ignore these time-tested solutions or are in a conspiracy to keep them from the public. Why is this the case? The truth is much more insidious. But to understand it fully, we need to explore the history of cancer and how these natural cancer remedies are supposed to work.
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Bravery Is Stupid (and Clearly Bad for You)

I’m not brave. People have been using that word a lot about me lately, but I proudly reject it. Bravery is about overcoming fear and acting in spite of still being afraid. Let’s be honest: being brave is the equivalent of running into a fire knowing you are going to get burned. There is good reason to avoid that fire and not to act brave for the sake of being brave. Unless there is a helpless child in danger or some noble cause like that. Then, by all means, be brave and suffer the pain to save an innocent life. But is that really being brave, or just doing the right thing when called upon? Because at times like that, if you pause to be afraid and then muster your bravery, you are kind of wasting precious time. Heroes don’t stop to think, they charge ahead in their solutions. They are not brave, they are just able to rise to the occasion. And I am not brave, I’m just not afraid.

And I am resigned to moving forward, not stagnating.

Continue reading Bravery Is Stupid (and Clearly Bad for You)

The Chemo Diaries: Round One Recap

The first phase of my chemo has passed and I celebrated by going out to an amazing steak dinner with a couple of old friends from my carefree college days. It was great for a lot of reasons, but especially, perhaps, as a return to normal and a reminder of what normal is after two and a half days of feeling, well, kind of crappy.

No one said that chemotherapy was going to be a fun joyride or a walk in the park or any other cliché to imply ease. I did not expect it to whisk by unnoticed and without making an impression. Still, in spite of being prepared, there is no denying that feeling crappy is no fun. And yet…

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Sympathy: Not Just for the Devil, But Still Bad

I’ve got to tell you, I hate it when people feel sorry for me. It isn’t that I don’t appreciate a bit of empathy for what I am going through, but I can thoroughly do without the pity. I don’t need it and I certainly don’t want it. There is no “poor me” going on here, I don’t feel bad about my situation or somehow maligned by the universe. That just isn’t me. Maybe it’s because I’m something of a secular humanist at heart, but I find strength in knowing that I can get through whatever I need to and too much sympathy dumped in my path just makes it that much slower for me to move along.
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The Chemo Diaries: Day Three

And on the third day… I woke really, really early. After about three and a half hours of glorious sleep, my bladder decided that I needed to get up. And though I fought it for a good thirty minutes, there was no denying it was going to win and the sooner it had its minor victory, the sooner I could return to sleep. Except for a few minor glitches. First, I was absolutely awake. Then my stomach was acting all hungry and I started getting concerned that I would need some anti-nausea medication because it was hard to identify whether the queasy feeling I was getting was the driving factor or the result of my hunger pangs. So then my brain really perked up to take stock of the situation. By the time I concluded I shouldn’t worry and I was just getting hungry early, the rain really started coming down outside.
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The Chemo Diaries: Day Two

Chemo Brain

This morning actually started off fabulously. I woke early, probably around 5:30, but with no real desire to get up right away. So I laid there in bed, read some email after a while and then decided to rise about ten or fifteen minutes after my wife got up to shower. When I went to stretch my legs and let the cat in to the rest of the house, my knees were a touch wobbly, but I felt great, alert and happily not at all nauseous. Continue reading The Chemo Diaries: Day Two

The Chemo Diaries: Day One

And we’re off! I began in the height of luxury here at the Keck Medical Center in lovely Pasadena on a beautiful Wednesday morning. The sun is shining, my daughter was off to a great start and my wife has cleared the day to keep me company in our five star accommodations. I have a heated, massage-lounge chair and my own hi-def satellite television service, robust Wi-Fi and some decent natural lighting behind me. Continue reading The Chemo Diaries: Day One

The Letter to Other Parents

Today, I realized that it was important to let the parents in my daughter’s class know that I am about to start chemotherapy. Some of them already know about my cancer, but most do not. So I sat down this morning and wrote the following message (with some minor redaction). Tomorrow, my daughter’s teacher (who sent out her own thoughtful letter to the parent community) is going to engage in a brief talk with the class to address any concerns.

Dear fellow parents,

I am writing to update you all on an important issue that will be affecting my family, and which may end up coming home to some of you as a topic of discussion at some point. Continue reading The Letter to Other Parents

Well Intentioned Advice, Generally Speaking Ain’t So Grand

I’ve gotten a lot of good advice from well-informed people over the past few months. And I mean that. As I have discussed the factors of my cancer with peers, a lot of truly interesting and promising information has come out. Of course, there has been a lot of well-intentioned advice that has come around, too, without any of what I would call “proper vetting.” While I appreciate all of the advice, because it truly appears to be heartfelt and sincere, I’ll admit to it causing an overload of research. This is especially true of the well-intentioned variety, which I separate from the well-informed not so much based on the desire to help as by the ability to be helpful. Continue reading Well Intentioned Advice, Generally Speaking Ain’t So Grand

Bad News Can Be Good

I am a 46 year old white man with stage 4 lung cancer, but at least I’m not a young, unarmed black man minding his own business in a public space. That is my takeaway from the last quarter of 2014. Privilege certainly exists in present day America and a huge part of that privilege is not having to fear for one’s life when going out for something as simple as a cup of coffee (more accurately, a latte or cappuccino) or a vial of perfectly legal medical marijuana.

Continue reading Bad News Can Be Good