A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Friday, December 9, 2011

Colon cancer, a laughing matter

About now, mom and dad are preparing for a drive to the outskirts of Baltimore, armed with a diagnosis. Since around Thanksgiving, a debate has raged about whether dad has lung cancer, or whether, as the chemical markers indicate, the peach sized lump in his lungs is actually colon cancer. Nobody could believe what they were seeing. Why hadn't the cancer spread to other organs? Why did the colon itself seem cancer free? While the debate raged on, the rapidly growing tumor with a sense of humor did not care whether or not colon cancer is supposed to develop only in the lungs. The deviant cells simply decided that normal rules did not apply to them. Now that the deviant cells have been exposed for what they truly are, not lung cancer cells, but colon cancer that has spread to the lungs, thanks to the same oncologist who cured dad's colon cancer before, dad might cheat death a second time. In a race against time, mom and dad have managed to secure an accurate diagnosis, and find one of the few doctors in the world who knows how to attack a rare form of cancer with a cyber knife that can cut in a minimally invasive manner in a place next to the heart where one slip would mean instant death. In an odd sort of way, dad is lucky that his cancer is so interesting, because if it were not so different, nobody would want to experiment on it.

As I was leaving their house last night, having dropped by after class, I told them about how Norman Cousins had cured an incurable form of cancer by laughing continuously for several days. Now, I don't remember whether it was Norman Cousins, but I do remember the treatment worked with somebody. Dad, who has seemed unflappable throughout this process, laughed as he was reminded of Father Morlione, who was the go between between Kruschev and Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Cousins had written a book about Father Morlione. A few years before Father Morlione died, Morlione was making regular pilgrimages to our house, engaging in serious discussions about Social and Economic Justice with Dad and Father Ferree into the wee hours of the night, chewing on Cuban cigars, staining his shirts brown from the tobacco juice, loving Mom's cooking, savoring our wine, and joking about how he convinced Niki how serious Kennedy was. Morlione had been working for Vatican Intelligence at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Cousins wrote about it. Now, on the hour long drive to Baltimore, mom and dad will have something to laugh about. Father Morlione was a funny guy. He loved his cigars.

Mom pulled out My Cousin Vinny and for the first time in days, she managed to crack a smile. "We need to watch it tonight," she declared.

Happy Anniversary Karen. Sorry I didn't pick up a card.

Now, to the Final Demo, where I have fewer than 5 hours to cheat professional death, and live to fight another day. Why the hell am I writing on my blog? ADD sucks!