Life as an Extreme Sport

Novel Therapies Should Be Tortoises, Not Hares

I knew there were going to be a lot of hard things about losing Mom to cancer: holidays and birthdays and events like my sister graduating from medical school. This was almost a given, in those panicked moments after hearing the diagnosis and knowing what it meant, that it was a matter of when and not if. I didn’t realize quite how pervasive it was going to be, though, or that it would create such a strange position to be in every time I read about a new treatment for lung cancer, or I read through for work and see something being tested, or hear about new drug approvals. Each time, I have that brief flash: this existed five years ago. This may have saved Mom. Early on in treatment, a couple of colleagues pulled me aside and I got one of those lectures. The one that offered whatever

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Tuna Tuesday*: “Zeus, You’re Being Such a Butthead!”

One of the worst things you could tell me, when I was a teenager, was that we all grow up to become our parents. Actually, becoming my father wasn’t that bad an idea – my dad is funny, snarky, has a fantastically contagious laugh, and he made me the geek I am today. But oh, becoming Mom? Full body shivers and complete denial. I would never become my mother. Ever. Over my dead body. Thankfully, it didn’t take her dead body for me to realize that I am my mother’s child, as much as I am my father’s child. It was a slow revelation that crept up on my in my early 20s, as I made peace with my parents and the hormones and crankiness of the teen years flushed out of my system. Of course, being difficult, I noticed the negative traits first. Anyone who has ever noticed that

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these things go through your head

When I was little, my mother would buy the peanut butter that had separated in the jar. When we got home from the store, there was always the ritual of dumping the peanut butter into a bowl, stirring everything up, and then placing it back into the jar. I never had to do this; Mom always did. It was sticky and messy and lunch for all of us, so leaving it in the hands of an impatient child probably would have been a bad idea. Even though I never had to do this, I always hated it. It was so pointless, I though. Why spend the time and the mess and the energy when you could just spend a little more for the stuff that was already mixed? That was faster! It was cleaner! Therefore, it must be better. Mom would just shrug and say that this was the way

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