Monday, October 27, 2014


Yesterday we talked about the latest cancer term: “Previvor”.
We are seeing the first generation of Previvors, people who find through genetic testing a high likelihood for a cancer.
Angelina Jolie may be the face to associate with that. Considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, Angelina discovered through genetic testing that she had an 80% chance of developing a breast cancer.
She had a double mastectomy before that could happen.

But genetic testing is not just for famous movie stars.

Joyce Walmer had lost her father and uncle to Thyroid cancer. She was diagnosed with it herself at 15.
There was a 50% chance that the gene would be passed down to one of her three children. The gene, MEN2A, guarantees you will develop thyroid cancer.
The results confirmed what Walmer had feared: Each of her children carried MEN2A, and would eventually develop thyroid cancer. So, their thyroids were removed.

Clearly, genetics are going to be more and more important in the journey to save lives and mitigate cancers.
Testing is commonly covered by health insurance and public healthcare programs for people at high risk for having a mutation, and not covered for people at low risk. The purpose of limiting the testing to high-risk people is to increase the likelihood that the person will receive a meaningful, actionable result from the test, rather than identifying a variant of unknown significance.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Remember the Georgia Satellites and their big hit "Don't Give Me No Lines And Keep Your Hands To Yourself"??
They have a greatest Hits album. 
Guess how many songs are on it?

Twenty songs, all hits. 
What makes that even more impressive than that is that the Satellites managed to glean 20 hits off of only 3 original albums.
But wait!
Even more impressive than that is the fact that from those 3 original albums they managed to produce four (4) Greatest Hits albums!
But the capper is that one of those greatest hits albums, the “Essential” Georgia Satellites, doesn’t even have “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” on it! 
And guess how much THAT one goes for?
60 bucks! 
For 60 bucks you get a greatest hits album that doesn’t even have, you know, a greatest hit on it! That is some slick-ass kind of marketing!

Saturday, October 18, 2014


What I learned at MD Anderson Cancer Awareness Seminar in Houston:
A person becomes a survivor at the time of diagnosis. Their healthy friends and family members are also survivors.
If you have Cancer, and you woke up this morning, you are a survivor.
One in 30 people are either currently undergoing treatment for cancer or have done so in the past.

And there is a new term floating about; the Previvor.
This is the first generation in human history who, armed with information about a predisposition to a cancer after opting into DNA testing, can make informed choices prior to cancer diagnosis. The typical previvor has tested positive for a BRCA mutation and learned that she is at high risk for developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer, and is attempting to manage that risk through a combination of increased surveillance through mammograms, breast MRIs, pelvic ultrasounds, oophorectomy,bilateral mastectomy, and other medical procedures.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


"You know what frightens me Commander?"
"Whats that, Jim?"
"Presbyterians. Presbyterians scare the bejesus out of me"

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


"James Madison’s Constitution contains the Supremacy Clause (federal law “shall be the supreme law of the land,” regardless of state laws “to the contrary”) because he knew that state legislatures, even more than the national legislature of an “extensive” republic, were susceptible to capture by self-seeking factions."
George Will

for future reference

Saturday, October 11, 2014


I used mascara when I was in the 8th grade, but I didn't use it on my eyelashes.

Friday, October 10, 2014


From a true story, where a Breast Cancer survivor takes a phone call…

“Hello... I’m sorry but he’s not here... Yes, it is... Oh, I’m afraid I don’t need any light bulbs right now... Five Years? That’s quite a light bulb. Tell me this isn’t a scam, is it? If it is, please hang up... Disabled Vets, eh. Five year guarantee, my God, my oldest boy will be twelve. Twelve, eight and five. What was your name again?... Do you have children, Mr. Shaw?... Oh, my. You’ll have to sell a lot of light bulbs won’t you? Children have such a strange attitude toward light, don’t you think? Have you ever noticed how they can read after the sun fades? And the lights aren’t on? But then again, children have their own inner light, don’t they? I love my children, Mr. Shaw.”

“Tell me, what’s the price of this extraordinary light bulb?... That’s a rather expensive light bulb, isn’t it?... I know, five years, but what if it burns out in four, four and a half, where will I find you?... Won’t burn out, eh? You must have some remarkable scientists down there. They don’t happen to have anything on the old drawing board for cancer do they, just kidding, Mr. Shaw. Just an old disabled vet’s joke.”

“Tell you what, you can put me down for a light bulb, okay?... I have to buy six? That’s thirty years. My my. Alright, Mr. Shaw, put me down for thirty years.”

From Paul Linke's story of his wife Francesca, lost to Breast Cancer a few days later.

Friday, October 03, 2014


So, let me get this straight.
My nephew Dave gets diagnosed a month ago, starts chemo and gets sick like a big dog, but manages to run a 5k one week into the therapy. Then today, while he is in the middle of a 25K (still doing chemo), he takes the time to stop and take a selfie with an 8 foot Arkansas Blacksnake, and still not only completes the marathon, but completes it with two hours left to spare.
Way to go Dave!
No matter what you are doing, whether its cooking salt dome turkeys, firing hockey pucks into trash cans off the back porch using a sheet of plexi-glass to simulate ice, building a guitar, mowing grass and getting poison ivy, collecting drums, sorting bolts, running the Cassotot in a kayak, or taking catfish off trot lines till your hands bleed; no matter what your latest endeavor might be, you are fun---and amazing-- to watch.

Dave is a total inspiration.
Keep him in your thoughts and prayers, OK?