Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Vaccine Against Lung Cancer

Cuba is using a vaccine against lung cancer.

Well, if you grow and sell tobacco, it's in your best interest to have a vaccine.

May the US offer this vaccine soon--because lung cancer is the leading killer among cancers.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

In Memory of Denver Hutt

Denver Allison Hutt was one of a large circle of friends who graduated from Santa Monica High School in 2005, including my daughter Marie.

Most are working, living with friends or married.  

This was Denver's work after she graduated from Indiana University:  
the executive director of The Speak Easy for more than three years, helping launch the Broad Ripple worksite and turn it into a thriving center for entrepreneurs to collaborate and grow their ideas into businesses.

Her partner was Tom Hanley, who launched a youth-wellness nonprofit called Nine13sports.

Denver's rewarding life in Indianapolis was interrupted by ovarian cancer in 2013.  It finally took her life on January 16, 2016.

Her obituary:

A tribute to her by Indianapolis Star columnist Matthew Tully:

Marie's friend Grace flew to Minneapolis to speak at her memorial service.

In her last blog post, on January 3 titled "I'm angry," Denver said:

  I won’t leave you with a “you should be thankful” plea; you already know that. I will ask that you smile at strangers more this week. Be kind simply because you are a kind person. Judge a little less. Hold the door open.

May we not rest in peace unless we are doing these things.

My deepest sympathy to Denver's parents and family. 

Thank you to my friend Rebecca Bender in Indianapolis for the link to these articles in the Indianapolis Star. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

In memory of Lily Meza

Lily Meza, a classmate of my daughter Ellen since their days at Edison Language Academy, died on January 14, 2016, at age 30.

She graduated from Santa Monica High School in 2003 and worked as a nanny and freelance photographer, traveling to China and Greece.

In 2013 she was diagnosed with angiosarcoma.  She would have turned 31 on February 12.

Angiosarcoma is a cancer of the inner lining of blood vessels.  8% of these cancers occur in the breast.

"Primary breast angiosarcomas occur most commonly in women between the ages of 20-40 years, and typically present as an ill-defined breast mass.  Secondary angiosarcomas usually occur in older women years following the treatment of breast cancer."
Born in Mexico, she was brought to California as a child.  Her lack of papers complicated her efforts to get health care.

My deepest sympathy to Lily's parents and wider family.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Of Breath, Air and Lungs

Paul Kalanithi 

When Breath Becomes Air is the title of the new memoir written by Paul Kalanithi, who died in 2014 at age 37 of lung cancer.

May we all reflect on our lives as much as this young man did.

When discovered, his lung cancer was advanced.  

Why weren't there any earlier signs?

This disease is so silent.

He had postponed fun in order to go to medical school and become a surgeon.  

By the time he was ready to live, he had to prepare to die.

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of both men and women in the US.

Since 1987, it has killed more women than breast cancer per year.

My friend Kathy McTaggart was one of those killed.  

Like Paul Kalanithi's cancer, her cancer was not discovered until it had spread to other organs.

If we have a persistent cough or flagging energy, check it out.  In some cases it's a sign of lung cancer.