A Cure is Here

Given my intense irritation recently at the Anti-Safety, Pro-COVID-19 propagators in the news and their public defiance of intelligent, virological Social-distancing and Stay-at-Home Orders—while coronavirus infections continue to rise in alarming numbers—I thought it would be fantastic to post some remarkable, positive humanitarian news in the area of science and medical therapies in the fight against cancer! After all, we reasonable, well-educated people have been in need for an exciting story that reinforces the enriching necessity for expert, scholarly science, breakthrough medical science especially that ushers hundreds and hundreds of happy results, happy recoveries, and lengthy remissions! Ah, every so often something good does come out of Texas! It’s good to be proven wrong sometimes.

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Dr. Allison, the 2018 Nobel Prize Co-Winner in Physiology or Medicine, is the subject of a riveting documentary that shows the spotlight on his groundbreaking work and serves as a stark, prophetic reminder of the obligation for extensive science in the year of COVID-19. Perhaps COVID-20 as well.

Last night I was fortunate to catch the broadcast by PBS’ Independent Lens the documentary film Jim Allison: Breakthrough. Boy was it a much needed encouragement and frequent cheer-leading shouts of “YES, OH MY STARS & GALAXIES,” and “I LOVE YOU SCIENCE” that I needed right now. Watching too much current news can really begin to dampen and darken your spirit for life. Your levels of endorphins, dopamine, and oxytocin can suffer from too much prolonged cortisol.

From our own University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center website on Dr. Allison’s astounding research and work. I highly recommend reading the entire webpage:

Immunotherapy innovator Jim Allison’s Nobel purpose, some excerpts

Jim Allison, Ph.D., chair of Immunology and executive director of the immunotherapy platform, pioneered a revolutionary cancer treatment that frees the immune system to attack tumors.

“By stimulating the ability of our immune system to attack tumor cells, this year’s Nobel Prize laureates have established an entirely new principle for cancer therapy”

[…]

Allison showed that the protein CTLA-4, which is found on the surface of T cells, acts as a brake — a type of immune system checkpoint the body uses to avoid a dangerously over-reactive immune response. He then developed an antibody to block CTLA-4’s “braking” action, freeing T cells to attack cancer.

His work and determination led to the development of Ipilimumab, the first in a class of drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors. In 2011, the drug — commercially named Yervoy — was approved for late-stage melanoma by the Food and Drug Administration. It has yielded unprecedented results. Twenty percent of patients with advanced melanoma who took the drug now live for at least three years, and many live 10 years and beyond.

[…]

Crucial funding for his research over the years has come from the National Institutes of Health, particularly the National Cancer Institute, the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Cancer Research Institute, Prostate Cancer Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer and PICI.

Toward the end of this documentary film Dr. Allison is reading a letter he received from a lady, a wife, a total stranger. I am not going to spoil it for you, but it is definitely a moment that all we human beings with a grateful, compassionate, unselfish heart must hear/read more often than not. Perspective needed. This is unprecedented news in this daunting, beautiful life we’ve been privileged to live, inside this tiny minuscule space in time, on one tiny, tiny pale-blue rock among billions and billions of other stars and planets in our ONE little galaxy… among billions or trillions of other galaxies. It is called the Overview Effect. Get some.

Share any thoughts below you might have once you’ve watched the film, or not watched if you’re already familiar with this man’s phenomenal work and dedication over many decades of incessant persistence. It is truly a man, a scientist, and story to greatly admire. I do.

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always — Stay Curious!

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Visiting Our Cusp, Limits, Fearlessly

Sometimes during unsettled times when so many around us are disconnected, cold, detached, uncaring, and avoiding simple social kindness to one another, or hyper-charged looking for drama and some type of controversy—perhaps because they’ve been living too long in begrudging routine mediocrity or luxury—we lose sight of what really matters in life as simple human beings. We forget that there is very little difference between all of us. In fact, genetically less than 0.1%. If we would embrace this commonality, this intimate reality, our very fragility and vulnerability with each other in this daunting, life-giving Universe… then we are never alone. Never unwanted or not needed. Never without friend or family. This primal, very basic organic condition we all share will never, EVER change; at least not in the next 100,000 years or more.

Be that as it may, we do sometimes need reminding, refreshers in how very minuscule each of us are in this vast, never-ending, beautifully inhumane Cosmos that completely dictates our quality of life and death. Our time here is but a flash in the bucket in the biggest picture, BUT remarkably impactful for the ‘millisecond’ of life and memories with other loved ones. With so many things uncertain yet ready to experience, its marrow ready to be sucked down to the last molecule of our 80, 70, 50, 20, or 10-years of life, whatever it is to be, makes it… pure gold! Every second, every ounce! How will you spend it? How will others experience you and remember you?

I posted this years ago from Oriah Mountain Dreamer. I want to post it again, as a reminder… that we usually have only one chance to make the most of this short, mortal, beautifully remarkable gift called life really count the most. Oriah knows exactly how to best live and die in it:

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

For the rest of Oriah’s powerful, to the bone and straight to the heart realism, go here.

 

If we do not test ourselves when life is good, plush for ourselves, and push our abilities our kind empathy, understanding, and what we can manage and gladly give, then how can we ever truthfully know how much our proactive help matters? How much does our charitable action count? How much does our voice count to help make other’s lives easier, happier in a purely humane way? It takes so much more to join the disadvantaged… raw in person and heart than simply saying words or writing a check. Joining all of humanity, the worst, the most unfortunate is where the most profound, deepest fulfillment of live is discovered. The alternative is a planet of unfeeling, insensitive, self-absorbed, non-humanity, as the song aptly describes…

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Hallows Coming – Frost

Frost’s poem diverges a bit from my previous Halloween poems. Loss and loneliness is experienced in many various ways by different people in unique settings, none exactly identical. Memories of missed loved ones can inspire or haunt us, or both.

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I - Nemo font_halloween Dwell in a lonely house I know
That vanished many a summer ago,
And left no trace but the cellar walls,
And a cellar in which the daylight falls,
And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.

O’er ruined fences the grape-vines shield
The woods come back to the mowing field;
The orchard tree has grown one copse
Of new wood and old where the woodpecker chops;
The footpath down to the well is healed.

abandoned victorian home

I dwell with a strangely aching heart
In that vanished abode there far apart
On that disused and forgotten road
That has no dust-bath now for the toad.
Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart;

The whippoorwill is coming to shout
And hush and cluck and flutter about:
I hear him begin far enough away
Full many a time to say his say
Before he arrives to say it out.

It is under the small, dim, summer star.
I know not who these mute folk are
Who share the unlit place with me–
Those stones out under the low-limbed tree
Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.

They are tireless folk, but slow and sad,
Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad,–
With none among them that ever sings,
And yet, in view of how many things,
As sweet companions as might be had.

Robert Frost, Ghost House

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Halloween breaker

happy halloween

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