Post dated 2002-04-10 00:00:00

Wednesday, 10 April, 2002

Another day spent hard at work, troubleshooting a large Visual SourceSafe installation, and working some VFP code to automate incoming mail processing as part of a sales force automation system.

Had a great dinner out with my girlfriend and my son, who turns 20 tomorrow. Twenty years old!

Here’s a little essay I’m working on…


“Benign.”

Such a simple little word. Rather an ugly word to look at, but wonderful in meaning.

My brother, eight years my junior, called me two weeks ago to let me know that, as part of a medical workup for an unrelated problem, they found a mass where one shouldn’t be. In the smooth muscle tissues, not far from the kidneys, and perilously close to the vena cava, there was a dense mass they could not identify. Initial blood tests had eliminated many possibilities, but the one that remained was not good. Leiomyosarcoma is rare, but inevitably fatal, not responding well to chemical, surgical or radiation treatments. Survival is under 50% in 5 years.

Surgery was Monday, and the word came late afternoon. “Benign.” It was not the sarcoma they dreaded, but another, less dangerous growth.

Joe’s recovering in Surgical ICA at Mass General (in the ward he works in, strangely enough – he’s an RN).

And I’ve had a fresh reminder on the fragility of life and the importance of family.


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