Thursday, July 20, 2017

Something in the Washington, DC, Water?

John McCain, recently diagnosed with a glioblastoma or out-of-control-growth brain tumor shares that diagnosis with Ted Kennedy, who died of it in 2009 at the age of 77 after a 15 month battle.  Joe Biden's son Beau lasted longer, nearly two years, only to die age 46, in 2015.

It does make me wonder about the drinking water in DC ... except many politicians seem to prefer bourbon or Scotch to water.  Maybe they know something the voters don't?

Writer John Gunther's son Johnny died of glioblastoma brain cancer when he was 17, having been diagnosed at 15.  The book was written in 1949 shortly after he died  after a three year struggle when treatment protocols were nowhere near as sophisticated as they are now.  At that time, treatment was largely brain surgery to remove the mass and to leave a hole in the skull to accommodate new growth.  You can imagine the danger from infection with not only your hair free to blow in the breeze, but the surface of your brain as well. 

Measuring the poor kid's "bump" sticking out of the skull was a near-daily experience for parents and doctors. 

It's an informative if depressing book and provides a great contrast to treatment then and now.  "Death Be Not Proud" by John Gunther. 

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