Jan 18 2010

i have a dream.

Happy MLK day all! I hope you all take the time to honor our literary + revolutionary geniuses that have graced our millennia. I know many who take this day as an other, as a free paid holiday to frolic in the snow + get mad that the banks aren’t open. But today, is a day that shall hopefully be continued to be honored as a day that a man spoke out against injustice, and that we will continue to speak out until all men, women, children (yes pets too) are treated with the great care, love + respect that they deserve. We have come so far from where Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stood on that August 28 day of 1963. We as Americans, as people, as children of God, as a global community have continued to raise our awareness of injustice, of cruelty, of discrimination, of poverty – and we have done what we can to eradicate it, however, it is happening, still everyday, on the streets in every nation, its around our corners + somehow we have become blind to it. We need to stand up, we need to face this head on because, its now or never – its 2011 – 43 years after this amazing man stood up to the crowds of opposition and we have not done him the justice that he deserved. His speech may be “outdated” to the modern world, littered with 1960’s lingo, but it still rings true today. Please, re-read it, please, I promise it will inspire you to make a change. To be a change.

If I am not at home accepting the things I cannot change, I am out changing the things I cannot accept.


Dec 12 2009

medical miracles and misconceptions

Disappearances happen in science: Disease can suddenly fade away, tumors go missing, we open someone up to discover the cancer is gone. It’s unexplained, it’s rare, but it happens. We call it misdiagnosis, say we never saw it in the first place; any explanation but the truth: That life is full of vanishing acts. There *are* medical miracles. Being worshippers at the alter of science, we don’t like to believe miracles exist, but they do. Things happen. We can’t explain them, we can’t control them, but they *do* happen. Miracles *do* happen in medicine. They happen every day. Just not always when we need them to happen.

The past few months I have been working on a research project for my organic biology class on pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Acute leukemia is the most common childhood malignancy, which accounts for approximately one third of all pediatric cancers. ALL constitutes about 75% of pediatric acute leukemias, in the United States is approximately 3.4 cases per 100,000 individuals less than 15 years of age. Children with ALL develop symptoms related to infiltration of blasts in the bone marrow, lymphoid system, and extramedullary sites, such as the central nervous system.

“The overall 5-year survival of children who received all of their doses of standard chemotherapy was significantly better — 81 percent — than those who missed doses — 58 percent. This significant difference was observed in children with both high-risk ALL (72 percent survival versus 49 percent survival for those who missed doses) and standard-risk ALL (85 percent survival versus 63 percent).”

Having worked at a pediatric specialty hospital, I am a bit tainted by this some-days I feel like through what I have seen, these rates should be much higher, there is so much that we can do for these patients compared to what we could do 5 years ago. There are miracles, children who other physicians have given a “death sentence” on remission, come through with flying colors -while other children, just disappear. Its not fair. It baffles me how vulnerable yet resilient these little angels can be.


Dec 4 2009

made me think.

I am sure you have all heard of the sites, FML (F*MyLife), TFLN (TextsFromLastNight), & MLIT (MyLifeIsTwilight). These sites are dedicated to users posting comments/texts or other thought provoking stories, here is a new one that has recently popped up – MMT – MadeMeThink. This one really struck me while I was reading today.

Today, I interviewed a woman who is terminally ill. “So,” I tried to delicately ask, “What is it like to wake up every morning and know that you are dying?” “Well,” she responded, “What is it like to wake up every morning and pretend that you are not?”


Nov 25 2009

astonished.


Nov 16 2009

waking up.

“Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does. Even for me.”