Travel is absolutely a fabulous gift. The return isn't always, as you can see by our forecast.
The bigger shock, though, has been the relentless march of cancer across the lives of people I care about. In the short time I was gone two women died of cancer way, way before their time; two more were recently diagnosed, and another friend had to have three separate surgeries to obtain clear margins in her early stage breast cancer.
Stranger yet was the juxtaposition of these events to an article about Kris Carr in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, "Kris Carr: Crazy Sexy Entrepreneur." Many of you are fans of hers, and I appreciate that. My concern: the grey line that connects newly emerging cancer celebrities to the Oprah and Dr. Oz powerhouse, and people accepting their utterings as gospel. That's alarms me. But as it's said, sex sells.
She beat cancer not because of who she is but because of the kind of cancer she had. What Kris Carr is famous for is writing about a cancer that -- most fortunately - has not taken root. No treatment. No surgery. No chemo. No radiation. But one woman's green drinks and enemas does not constitute evidence-based medicine. It is about marketing, her shrewd ability to fill a niche for a new cancer vocabulary, and our culture's voracious appetite for a fresh face.
Beyond all though is the nature of post 9/11 empowerment and our cultural need to believe that by golly, we can take control of any and everything with the right amount of vegetables, mantra humming, and "phabulouness."
But it isn't reality. There are many things we can not control. Cancer that is biologically aggressive in nature is one of them. And I find this kind of voodoo tremendously insulting to the millions of people worldwide who are not as fortunate to appear on the other side of the cancer treatment stream with limbs, psyche and mind intact.
Of all the cancer stories available that the Times profiled this is a sad reflection on what is perceived as "fit to print" about cancer. This story doesn't accurately represent people with cancer. It's more like a cartoon, and a bad one at that.