A Mother and her Two Daughters

04 August 2010

Post #2 for today: Hitchens on the Topic of Cancer

A very well written article in Vanity Fair by journalist Christopher Hitchens, about his recent encounter with cancer. (Click here) For anyone battling or caring for someone w/cancer, I highly recommend this short read.  

"Working back from the cancer-ridden squamous cells that these first results disclosed, it took rather longer than that to discover the disagreeable truth. The word “metastasized” was the one in the report that first caught my eye, and ear. The alien had colonized a bit of my lung as well as quite a bit of my lymph node. And its original base of operations was located—had been located for quite some time—in my esophagus. My father had died, and very swiftly, too, of cancer of the esophagus. He was 79. I am 61. In whatever kind of a “race” life may be, I have very abruptly become a finalist."

"The oncology bargain is that, in return for at least the chance of a few more useful years, you agree to submit to chemotherapy and then, if you are lucky with that, to radiation or even surgery. So here’s the wager: you stick around for a bit, but in return we are going to need some things from you. These things may include your taste buds, your ability to concentrate, your ability to digest, and the hair on your head. This certainly appears to be a reasonable trade. Unfortunately, it also involves confronting one of the most appealing clichés in our language. You’ve heard it all right. People don’t have cancer: they are reported to be battling cancer."


Regarding my day, I think I'm going to build a marble shrine to the Visiting Nurse Association.  This is a top-notch organization, very handy for the faint-of-heart like me. I'm very thankful to add them to my medical team.  

This morning Dr. McDreamy called me, I mean Dr. Makhoul.  This is the first time I've been able to speak to the good doctor since receiving my wonderful pathology report.  Of course I oozed with appreciation, and I might have even promised to bequeath to he and  my fine china, fur coat and terrarium collection in exchange for giving me long life.  However, this gentleman tries to turn the tables and give me credit.  Honestly?  What a fabulous oncologist he is!  Arkansas and UAMS are so fortunate to have him here treating tough cancer patients like me, and so many others.  Here's another story about another successful cancer patient under his treatment plan.  (Click here)

Here's to my very own Dr. McDreamy - I mean Dr. McCool, I mean Makhoul!  


  1. Way to go. I have so enjoyed reading your journey through this.

  2. I like the Dr. McDreamy name. Well Bless his Heart!


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