Monday, December 24, 2012

Working on the Cure

(illustration will not post)

Sometimes the best thing I can write on my blog is a recommendation that you read something else. Today is one of those days. You absolutely must read this long NY Times Magazine article by Daniel Engber: Is the Cure for Cancer Inside You?
by Charlie Leck

Over this weekend, both my wife and I have read this most remarkable article from the NY Times Magazine. It was one of the most intriguing and dramatic things that I’ve read in a long, long time. And this is not fiction, folks! This is the real thing.

 It is the story of Dr. Ralph Steinman and his diligent, incessant drive toward a cure for cancer—a story of his own serious, losing battle with pancreatic cancer. It is an account of how he literally looked inside in search of a cure.

 I very much want you to go to this story and take the time to read it. I think you will be moved and inspired as we were and you will be left in awe before the courage and dedication of this dying man.

 Normally, I cannot read for very long about medical science. I begin to get lost in the language and the complexities. Engber does a remarkable job of writing and keeps this very intricate subject as clear and uncomplicated as he can, so the layman can delve into this and come away with a clear appreciation of what’s at work here.

 And, we’re talking here of the future of cancer
and its eventual cure. A cure is not something I believed in too emphatically. I thought the disease was far too multifarious. Well, it is convoluted and multifaceted, but it is not beyond the ability of the human mind to chase it down. That’s the glorious theme of this article.

But, that a doctor could look inside himself at his own cancer and rationally examine it and look for treatment possibilities is just a little bit mind blowing.

 Here is how the magazine article begins. I find it hard to believe that you will be able to resist reading the entire piece after reading the following…

“Claudia Steinman saw her husband’s BlackBerry blinking in the dark. It had gone untouched for several days, in a bowl beside his keys, the last thing on anybody’s mind. But about an hour before sunrise, she got up to get a glass of water and, while padding toward the kitchen, found an e-mail time-stamped early that morning — “Sent: Monday, Oct. 3, 2011, 5:23 a.m. Subject: Nobel Prize. Message: Dear Dr. Steinman, I have good news for you. The Nobel Assembly has today decided to award you the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 2011.” Before she finished reading, Claudia was hollering at her daughter to wake up. “Dad got the Nobel!” she cried. Alexis, still half-asleep, told her she was crazy. Her father had been dead for three days.

“The Nobel Foundation doesn’t allow posthumous awards, so when news of Ralph Steinman’s death reached Stockholm a few hours later, a minor intrigue ensued over whether the committee would have to rescind the prize. It would not, in fact; but while newspapers stressed the medal mishap (“Nobel jury left red-faced by death of laureate”), they spent less time on the strange story behind the gaffe. That Steinman’s eligibility was even in question, that he’d been dead for just three days instead of, say, three years, was itself a minor miracle.

“In the spring of 2007,…”

You’ll thank me for putting you on to this story. You will indeed. So, I’ll just say now – rather than later – that you are entirely welcome.
My apologies about blog layouts!
My blogging service must be having
problems right now and service from
it has been very spotty and frustrating.
This is the first blog I've been able to get posted
in days and controlling it's layout (spacing et al)
has been extremely difficult. I have no
advanced idea how things will look.
I am working with them for a cure!


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