Friday, April 13, 2012

Testimony from a Brother in Arms

I saw this over on BoingBoing, a beautifully written account about the latest in a line of surgeries to cure a talented man of an abdominal cancer that threatened a "radical penectomy," one of the most horrifying procedures known to science.  He was treated at the same facility and I, by a man whose name I recognize, and spent some time in a hospital I remember on my darkest, coldest nights.  I'd recommend it to anyone who has found my own account at all interesting for whatever reason.

I've thought, from time to time, about how brain cancer stacks up to other cancers.  Mainly whether it would be better to have a more embarrassing, more survivable cancer.  Brain cancer is, relatively speaking, pretty dignified.  Despite its high fatality rate, it's more akin to growing old before one's time.  Rectal cancer or urethral cancer tend to be more survivable (though are still extremely serious, of course), but I shudder to picture the trials patients of those terrible diseases must endure.  A "radical penectomy" is a real thing, and a man can live without a penis much more easily than he can without a brain.  At least, physically. 

Anyway, it's good to hear that Mr. Dery appears to have dodged that bullet with his member intact. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting. Brilliantly written.

    Good point on whether it's better to have brain cancer (with, at least with a GBM, almost guarantee of death) but decent quality of life, or a more curable, but more dehumanising cancer like the author.