Winter                                                          Waning Moon of the Cold Month    3 degrees

In all the hoopla and aftermath of the party I forgot to mention the gospel.  The good news.  The friend’s wife I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, the one diagnosed with cancer?  She came to the party.  Not only that she said her energy was better than it had been for a while.  She looked good, too.  Both she and her husband looked still vulnerable, the residue of concern, fear lingering.  She has a hormone treatment, recommended by her oncologist, that may keep the cancer at bay.  Not cure it, but keep it from getting a firm grasp on her.

As Leni said, another party goer that same night, about his throat cancer, “Well, you know, the goal now is to make cancer a chronic disease.  Something you can manage.”  He’s living proof, having survived in apparent good health for several years now.  He and the friend’s wife were not alone, either.  Hank, another party goer, has leukemia, a disease kept in check now for many years, so much so that it almost recedes into the background.

These are the three I know about.  There were probably others.  Cancer no longer has the skull and cross-bones attached to its every appearance.  Think of it.  Cancer is not a new disease.  It killed people relentlessly in all centuries before the last one.  Now, it begins to look, at least in many cases, like the caged tiger, pacing back and forth within its chemical compound, its lethality imprisoned, though not rendered harmless.

Kate has retired from the practice of medicine as others graduate each year to take up the responsibility, this tricky act we call healing.  It has more parts than chemistry and technology and knives, we know this, yet those parts themselves, the fruits of engineering and science, have a great deal to offer.  Perhaps this next century is the one where the enlightenment driven side of medicine will meet the ageless truths of the human spirit, joining together in a medicine, a healing for the whole person.   It may be that the last years of the baby boom generation, now upon us, will provide the impetus for this fusion.

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