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Cancer and Paper Napkins

August 3, 2010

My good friends Shayne and Rebekah Miel, over at This Machine Kills Cancer, are certainly traveling a road most hope with all their heart to avoid, especially at such an early stage in life. (Kids with cancer are heartbreaking, but I find it hard to see how someone who is barely 30, with all the artistic promise a person could posses, is much different.)

I spend a fair amount of time being bummed out about Shayne’s diagnosis and prognosis. Their blog gives a good look at the day-to-day realities they are face but they rarely play the numbers game. The numbers game is depressing. I work in cancer research. So, I know too well just how bleak those numbers look.

Today, or last night, they talked statistics for the first time really. They kept it light, and, of course, Shayne ended it with the same hope he always shares.

As I said, it is hard to know where I fit into those statistical sets. There are always outliers, people who don’t fit into the graph that our scientists predict. I plan to be one of those people. I had a friend tell me once that everything in life is 50/50. Either it does happen or it doesn’t. No matter how hard I tried to convince him of the fallacy in his logical reasoning, he maintained his position that everything was 50/50. I’m beginning to think that he may have been right. I believe with all my heart that I am going to live to be a crotchety old man who embarrasses his children, spoils his grandkids, and still holds hands with his wife. Because I believe that, it will be so – no matter what the numbers say.

I want to believe that some day, there will just be numbers scrawled across “Paper Napkins” that eventually find their way into the trash.

I hope you meant it
When you said that married life is the best time that you’ve ever had
And all of these songs that I’ve written / on paper napkins
Are finally where they belong in the trash

Although, I hope there are songs born out of his battle with cancer, and I hope they make it onto a disc, sandwiched between a love song for Rebekah and a whiney gem about wishing the kids would shut up.

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