Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Good news in the blood, bad news on the ice
Monday, April 18, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
This should be a fun show, full or exciting art by a great collection of artists including my sons, Ben and Will, and amazing photos by my friend Hoiyin.
Patty and I will be there. Hope you can join us.
Labels: Art Show
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Weird Tests: Low ciclosporin and Lowish Copper
Labels: ciclosporin copper
Sunday, April 10, 2011
A thousand wishes
A recent post by a friend on Facebook;
Most of us have a thousand wishes. To be thinner, to be taller, have more money, have a cool car, a day off, a new phone, to date the person of your dreams. A cancer patient only has one wish, to kick cancer's ass. I know that 97% of you won't post this as your status, but my friends will be the 3% that do. In honour of someone who died, or is fighting cancer, or even had cancer, post this for at least 1 day.
I can only speak for myself, not for all cancer patients. Although I wish more than anything to be free of cancer, I am still greedy for 1000s more wishes. It is what I do with that extra time, what wishes I make come true that will define my legacy, not whether I die with or without cancer.
Labels: 1000 wishes
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Chaya Venkat is a great gift to anyone with CLL or for the matter, any catastrophic illness.
Her fine article on how to handle the CLL diagnosis could easily be applied with a little tweaking to any major health.
I suggest you first read her overview of the subjest at
Then read my comment below:
Another great article.
The only thing I might add is that not only doesn’t one specific outsourcing strategy work for everyone, one strategy may not work for anyone all the time,
I have needed many tactics to get me through this roller coaster ride.
Mostly, I tend to be deeply, some say too deeply, involved in the minutia of my disease management, seeking multiple expert opinions when a big decision is needed from the team of CLL gurus that have helped me so much over the last 5 years. Yet when it is crunch time, I make most of the calls myself. As many know, I am a MD, but not a hematologist, but a family doc. They say the doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient. I argue who has more skin in the game than me. Can I separate out my fears and make a cold calculated decision? Not always, but I trust myself and my research and my gut more than that of any one expert.
But there are times, such as the first few weeks post transplant that I was way too sick to decide chocolate or vanilla, let alone what to do next, and I handed control over to my docs, with the eyes of my wife and a dear friend and very sharp doc who beat Hogkin’s Disease watching closely.
Other times, I chose to coast. Enough with CLL. With a deep enough remission, I think it is crazy not to live for a while in denial and have the best of times, worry free. That is never easy, but family and travel and serving others are a big help for living in the moment.
And finally, there is there is the outsourcing to the world of the fantastic and the unlikely, but possible. I do things that my intellectual side say are ineffective, but give me the important sense of doing something positive- eating organic raw vegan food, drinking tons of green tea (the real stuff from Japan), taking vitamin D3, regular exercise, and Budwig supplements. It is lovely to think I am making a difference, and it is impossible to prove that I am not. Besides, as you said, I have CLL, I don’t need CAD or osteoporosis complicating therapy.
There is a high price for being the constant master of your destiny- worries and regrets, but for me most of the time the price of outsourcing my future to anyone else is much higher.
Thanks for the chance to reflect on this
PS There is a bone marrow donor drive by BE THE MATCH at the Kings game tonight. Please sign up.
Labels: Worry. Bone Marrow Donor Drive
Friday, April 8, 2011
Quack, quack, quack
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Labels: No news
Monday, April 4, 2011
by Ethan J. Leib
Our cultural zeitgeist clearly pays homage to friendship. Some of the most successful TV shows are about friendship: Seinfeld, Friends, and How I Met Your Mother are obvious ones, but House and Grey’s Anatomy are probably more about friendship than they are about hospitals. And one of last year’s most acclaimed movies, The Social Network, is dramatic and affecting because of its portrayal of a friendship betrayed; it isn’t the fake friendships on Facebook that make that movie poignant. Yet with all the attention our culture lavishes on friendships – and as important as they are to our overall well-being – we often leave friendship to fend for itself.
Our societal norms – as reflected in our laws and public policy – focus a great deal of attention on our familial relations and our workplace relations. But friends simply don’t register – these are human relations beyond the reach of the state.
As they should be, you might think. Nothing seems more off limits in a liberal society than telling people with whom they ought to spend their free time. And yet, it is hard not to notice that the liberal state routinely gives people many incentives to sort themselves into families, rather than into groups of friends. From our criminal law to our tax laws, we find strategies to protect and strengthen familial bonds.
There is nothing that should prevent our liberal state, then, from encouraging and nurturing friendships as a matter of public policy. But what would such a strategy look like?
For one, we could imagine employment laws that enabled us to take care of sick friends, not just family members. As it stands, the Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers to give us time off to take care of sick kin. Yet, study after study tell us that non-kin support is actually more curative and helps us live longer. The law could help the institution of friendship by allowing us to make claims against work and the state – giving us the time to perform acts of friendship.
We could also envision a system of taxes that didn’t only give us deductions for adding to the country’s population or buying homes we might not really be able to afford. It seems right that little tax incentives to give charity make the world a better place. But some nudges to incentivize us to drive our friends back from their next colonoscopy – and some small deductions for celebrating our friends’ rites of passage (how about making travel to weddings deductible, much like unreimbursed work travel is?) seem perfectly unobtrusive ways to reinforce the value of friendship in society.
Unfortunately, when the government fails to respect and think about friendship, we have a tendency to make bad decisions. When governments give people vouchers to move out of their neighborhoods to higher income communities – hoping that the change of scenery will give people a boost out of a life of reproduced poverty – we disrupt friendship networks and sources of support. It is thus no wonder that these programs actually can leave the poor families “moving up” feeling alienated. When we insist that hospitals consult with family before friends to help make end-of-life decisions for the incapacitated, we are likely following family wishes rather than respecting the autonomy of the individual. Friends often know us better – so shouldn’t the law, as a default, defer more to our “BFF” to make some of these calls on our behalf?
Sociologists have sounded alarms recently about the decline of friendship. Notwithstanding our elaborate technologies that enable us to be in touch more often and notwithstanding our promiscuous “friending” practices, it may be that we are often failing to develop intimate bonds outside the family. It is unrealistic to think that some quick tinkering with our public policies will restructure our patterns of affinity and lead to greater social cohesion. But it is dangerous for our laws only to focus on the private ordering within the family and the economy and to ignore our chosen bonds that provide us with so much support, fulfillment, and community.
Our new Congress won’t be able to agree on much; but promoting friendship seems to be a nonpartisan value. They may not be friends with each other but they all value friendship. In these times of economic stress, it is worth remembering that friends can’t always take care of themselves – and that friendship itself may not be able to take care of itself either.
Ethan J. Leib is a Professor of Law at UC-Hastings and a Visiting Professor of Law at Fordham Law School. He is the author of Friend v. Friend: The Transformation of Friendship – and What the Law Has To Do With It (Oxford 2011).
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Recurrent CLL in the skin versus a bug bite
Labels: Pathology report
Friday, April 1, 2011
Lab reports: So far, so good
Labels: lab results