Cancer

(25 May 2020) Oh, Export A. You took my breath away. I smoked like a chimney for forty years or more. Probably more. Looking back, it wasn’t the brightest thing I could have done. It didn’t seem harmful when the deep wisdom and maturity of a typical 14-year old guided my decisions. I had my last cigarette in 2006 while waiting to go to the hospital to have a heart attack checked out. I mention this by way of pointing out that I never came down with lung cancer. It is the most common long term misery waiting for heavy smokers, but not everyone getsRead More →

I share one big difference, and one identical thing, with Steve Jobs. The difference is he’s dead and I’m not. The identical thing is a neuroendocrine tumour on the pancreas. He lived with his for eight years. I’ve known mine for about three months. I have more money available to fight the tumour than Jobs had. When he died, Jobs was worth about US$10 billion. The Canadian health care budget for 2019 was CAD$264 billion. At current exchange rates, that clocks in at about US$190 billion. I can dip into this bucket of cash whenever I need to buy a bag of carboplatin and thereRead More →

If I ever have to make a choice between reading a book or getting chemotherapy, I know what I’ll do. Unfortunately, life seldom gives us clear choices like that. Lynne, and a bunch of doctors, made the decision for me. It was unanimous. We don’t care, they said, if you ever read another book in your life. You’re getting chemo, and that’s all there is to it. I can still read books on chemo. I got the thumb’s up on this. Not books on the topic of chemo. Books to read while I’m on chemo. Traditional books at home, e-books while I’m in the chair.Read More →

Cheering and booing swept across the country after hospitals cancelled elective surgery. People on the list for a colonoscopy sang out in perfect harmony: put it off for as long as you like was the chorus. The boos came from everyone waiting for cataract surgery who’ll have to put up with cloudy vision for a while longer. They will welcome the moment they no longer see the world through what looks like a Vaseline film. Those of us with more immediate needs like child birth or chemotherapy will still be attended to. For myself, there are no more grandchildren on the horizon. No grandnieces orRead More →