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August 01, 2005


John L


I'm so sorry to hear this but am pleased that you are handling it so well. It is hard to deal with and your approach will be inspirational and instructive to many.

You know so many FMU listeners will be wishing you the best. Me too.

Take care,



I'm sorry to hear your cancer is back. Been a fan for a long time, ever since I heard you talking about the Ranters on the radio while I was writing a paper on Abiezer Coppe. I am sending you my best wishes and prayers.


Jeezus, this is the third cancer story i've heard about today...first my boss (thyroid), then bob moog (brain) and now this.

I've always wondered how much more prevalent cancer is in these days then say two hundred years ago. I know people living longer would naturally increase the odds but I have this nagging suspicion that we're doing things to ourselves through our environment and what we eat/drink/smoke that it negates it. But I'm no scientist or expert.

Take care...


That sucks. My wife has had cancer. She's free for now, which is good because if it comes back, it's double plus ungood. We also had extremely premature identical triplets at the same, lost one, two are doing great.

So I really appreciate your How To Help rules. Because until this stuff happened to me, I didn't have a clue.

I'll add my own take on the above.

First, don't be afraid to ask. But someone under that much stress might not have time for you at the moment, and don't be offended if they aren't up to rehashing the bad news for the umpteenth time. If you are very close to the person in question, they might appreciate it if you spread the news for them to others you know in common - ask if you can tell so and so for them, and accept the answer.

Two: don't tell someone how lucky or unlucky they are. They know, or are figuring it out. You probably don't. Like "Wow, triplets, what a blessing". Not if they're all going to die and your wife has cancer and you can't have more babies. "Oh, that's terrible, I'm sure you'll love them even though they turned out like this". Well, thank you very much but I'm still hoping they'll turn out fine.

Three, don't ask how you can help. Just do it, or, where appropriate, just offer something appropriate to the situation. "You've had a terrible week. Can I bring you dinner." "So you're going to get some tests next week. Would you like me to come with you?" Do anything you really know will help and be appreciated, no matter how small. There were times when we were so overwhelmed that having someone take out the garbage was like having a vacation. "What can I do to help - oh, sorry, I'm playing tennis today" - not so helpful.

Four, the best kind of support you can give is "this is normal now" and "you're doing great." If the person this is happening to is consoling you, you're doing it wrong. If you're talking about how it's getting to them, you'd better be offering them some relief. You look terrible" should really be followed by "give me your grocery list and take a nap". Also nice: "you look fine - just come to the beach. you've got scars - i'm fat and scars are cool. let's go."

Five, pray for them. They need it. People do get fuel from positive support. If you're a hardcore atheist, think of it this way; you are training yourself to make them feel better when you interact with them, even remotely or second hand, and by expressing your sympathy for their situation, you are making an important connection with your own feelings about it. And if you aren't honest with yourself about how you feel, your interactions with that person will be clouded by these feelings you can't confront, and your behavior won't be what it should.

Finally, I wish you the best, Bronwyn. I remember hearing you talk about your cancer before my wife got hers, and I remembered your honesty and candor about it when it happened to us. This is the first thing in a long time I've read that's made me cry. As you know, the only thing to do is let the disappointments be what they are and keep going. You already know you have the strength to do that because you've come this far already. It's turtles, all the way down: whatever happens, you've already confronted mortality and so no matter what happens, it's pretty much about going on like you are now. I'll say a prayer for you.

Listener Bob

Miss Bronwyn,
I hope and pray that all goes well for you. My best wishes go out to you & Sluggo.
Miss you a lot,
Listener Bob


awww, yr still cute, Bronwyn. i lost the vision in my one eye. not so bad. just can't catch any baseballs.

Listener Mark

You've given me years of pleasure through your various radio shows, the least I can do is offer to help with #5 and dedicate my meditations to you this week. Hope you're feeling better and best wishes.


I think Kelly should give some of her Ass to the Dog With No Nose.

(P.S. Though he looks freaky, the Dog With No Nose always looks like he's smiling, in a freaky No-Nose way. That counts for something, don't you think? That counts for a lot.)


I was sitting at the reception desk and hurting from my allergies when this woman in our office went by and asked how I was doing. I told her that my allergies were acting up. She said that that is one thing she has not had a problem with.

I admire this woman so very much as she has had both breasts removed from cancer and then had a hysterectomy after that. She always has a smile on her face. She never seems to let things get her down.

I guess it is all in how you look at it. Most people not having dealt with some of these issues we have, have no idea what to say or do and it is only when it happens to you that it makes you realize what others have been living with for so long.

I am totally disabled for four years from a messed up spinal fusion surgery and I live with chronic pain and it took me a long long time to not let the comments from others who do not understand bother me.

If you can learn to laugh about things and not take the cancer seriously most of the time, you will do very well. I had to learn how to live with constant pain and I can laugh again and have a very sedate life now, but I learn to do things differently and I don't take most things so seriously.

I will pray for you that you have a full and speedy recovery. Remember when things get so bad, to stop and take stock of the good things in your life and maybe it will make you happy again.


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