I realize that given the growth and evolution of the world most of us live in, and how business is transacted, there are two words, a phrase actually, whose very existence is threatened: "Bill me." "C.O.D.," "Cash on delivery" is likely itself on the precipice of extinction, a dodo bird if there ever was one. However, since "Money makes the world go 'round," - or at least it made the hit musical "Cabaret" go 'round in 1966, credit and one's good name can only stretch the dollar so far. Bills have to paid or else the world doesn't 'go 'round' so far.
Nearly nine years into a "13 month to two-year" prognosis, I can hardly believe my good fortune. And though I rarely look a gift-oncologist in the stethoscope, I am happy nonetheless to count my blessings as I continue to look ahead rather than stress behind, and try not think about what was said and when.
Not a reference to the iconic television series of my youth, but there was "danger," Ken Lourie, and it wasn't caused by Dr. Zachary Smith nor by "robot," (Robbie) either. And it wasn't a conspiracy. It was simply a confluence of absenteeism by my health care providers. Both my oncologist and internal medicine doctor were absent with leave and yours truly was caught in the crossfire, so to speak. Let me provide some context to help you appreciate my dilemma.
A very happy new year to all of you (though maybe a few weeks late)! I just returned from India visiting family – and have come back all inspired. My new year’s resolutions are to advocate for more funding for lung cancer research and better access to medicines.
When I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer at 40 years old, my life as I knew it changed forever. After finding a way to cope with my mortality, having several harsh treatments and surgeries, I decided I needed to find a new purpose. We all need something to drive us and, in my soul, I needed to help others. That’s when I became an advocate.
Is a plant based diet recommended for a cancer patient?
With so much nutrition information at our fingertips, it can be hard to make sense of it all. For the cancer patient, it be even more of a challenge. One common question that gets a lot of attention is a plant based diet. So what does this mean, and should you be following it?
Though I want to treat the disease—and my having been diagnosed with the disease—with respect, I don't want to treat it with the utmost reverence. I mean, it's not the Pope. It's an affliction, not an affection. Certainly not one worth embracing anyway. But definitely one that needs engaging. Treating and living with lung cancer shouldn't be a vertical-type, up or down, either-or set of options.
I don't want to self-indulge too much about last week's column but, sometimes in my unexpressed desire to fulfill my writing obligation/not let me cancer/cancer treatment affect my schedule, I write my column under less-than-ideal circumstances. Post chemotherapy/(last week) - the immediate week after, is about as challenging as it gets for me. I'm a bit irritable. I'm a bit out of sync/unable to focus. I'm somewhat impatient. My hands are shaky. My eyes are "squinty." I'm hungry yet I can't eat. My self-editing skills are below average - more than usual.
"Some club," as my late mother would likely scoff. And the club to which I refer is, to spin an old Groucho Marx joke: a club you'd rather not join especially if they'd have you as a member. This is of course, the cancer club, a club whose membership continues to grow despite worldwide efforts to the contrary. According to Medscope.com, one in two men and one in three women will be affected by cancer in their lifetime. Hardly a statistic to be ignored.