Other writing

04 July 2020 I never passed a chemistry exam in my life. Not in high school, and not in college, and I haven’t tried one since. In fact, I always thought the world is a better place because I never got hired by a research lab. Who knows what might have happened if the boss told me to find new cures for old diseases? In retrospect, maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad. A lot of new medical advances and treatments were discovered by gosh and by golly. They popped up while the researchers were looking for something else. No doctor ever started looking forRead More →

01 July 2020 People who feel poorly in the prime of a pandemic will develop three classes of side effects. There are the ones we are warned against in the chemo manuals. These could be fatigue, or constipation, or diarrhea, loss of hair, or any of a host of other things. None of them are a matter of choice and there’s nothing anyone can do to avoid them. The best we can do is take another drug to relieve the effects of the one we just took. If a dose of carboplatin gives you the runs, a doctor might tell you to take 2mg ofRead More →

21 June 2020 The worst time to get chemotherapy is the day on which you get it. The second worst is every other day. It is not pleasant. What they are doing is pumping a poisonous concoction through your veins. When this starts, the race is on to kill the cancer before the cancer kills you. The poison attacks rapidly growing cells which are the bedrock of all cancers. The trick to treating the disease is to stop the cancer cells from multiplying out of control. Treatment also targets other rapidly growing cells and is one reason hair often falls out under chemotherapy. The mostRead More →

15 June 2020 Sometimes bigger is good. At others, smaller is better. Unless we’re talking about tumours, in which case nothing at all is best. These are three facets of a twenty-first century health crisis. With the Corona pandemic, bigger is good but Ontario is pulling back the safeguards that keep it this way. Big should be the distance between people. Close-up can be deadly for vulnerable folk. I tend to worry about this because I’m one of them. In fact, I am finding it increasingly offensive and worrisome when I hear people talking about acceptable collateral damage as the economy is reopened. Think backRead More →