ONCOGENES

We started this year’s blog with the revelation of my (our) situation with prostate cancer.  A number of people told us they were pleased that the discussion of this difficult topic was out in the open. And so we continue in honesty.

In the midst of all this great life here in Paris, I got thinking about my cancer.  This was triggered by blood tests that basically showed that all was stable. The numbers are stable but there is no way of knowing about the lesion in the bone until CT and Bone Scans are done when I get back to California.My thinking has been engendered by Siddhartha Mukherjee’s book, “The Emperor of All Maladies” and my belief system, which is pretty much fashioned from Hindu theology. Interesting that Mukherjee, aside from being of Indian (Bengali) extraction, has the same name as the Buddha.

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What I’ve been thinking is that here I am eating well, drinking good wine, walking through Paris, exercising at the gym 3-4 times a week, going to concerts (classical, jazz, dance, rock and roll) and at the same time, the cancer – MY cancer – is leading its own life.“Cancer comes from within the human genome,” wrote Mukerjee. I would say, taking a phrase from Walt Kelly’s Pogo, “I have met cancer and it is me.”

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If it comes from within, is it an enemy? And what kind of enemy? Again quoting Mukerjee: “Cancer is indeed the load built into our genome, the leaden counterweight to our own aspiration of immortality.” And since “… we do not know the biological basis for this heterogeneity (cancer) we might as well focus in prolonging life rather than eliminating death.”

So I have decided to prolong my life without eliminating death. I have decided that the cancer is mine and it will live its life based on its karma…   ccell192.jpg

as I am living my life based on my karma.

That doesn’t mean I sit back and do nothing medically. I listen to the doctors and the alternative practicioners. I take hormone therapy and supplemental concoctions. I eat well, less cheese, less meat, more vegetables and fruits and consume wine – not less than the doctors would like, but certainly not as much as I used to.

And most important, the best medicine is the love and support I get from Renee, not to mention her incroyable cooking.

So how long will this accommodation last: Who knows when the last breath will be taken? So I am taking as many deep breaths as I can and enjoying my life.

 

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