Sunday, October 24, 2021
Blog
Feb 14

Written by: Diana West
Thursday, February 14, 2013 6:07 AM 

Larry Auster, author of the blog View from the Right, broke the very bad news to his readers almost in passing: given the discovery of "multiple metastatic lesions" in his brain, he is hoping to undergo treatment that, if successful, might give him "several more months of functional life before decline and death."

He writes:

It’s more cancer, appearing in a whole new front. Several doctors—including my own oncologist—said they had never heard of pancreatic cancer spreading to the brain. But now other doctors have said that because I have survived the pancreatic cancer so long it has had more time to do things and go places that is normally not the case. I was checked into the hospital yesterday and today was given me an MRI for a closer look at the brain. The hospital neurosurgeon speaks of “multiple metastatic lesions.” I’ve already been seen by the consultant neurosurgeon and the consultant oncologist today, who all came to my room. (Things move a lot faster when your’re in the hospital than otherwise, as I can testify from my hellish experiences of the last seven weeks). The treatment they’re looking at is radiation therapy for three weeks (15 sessions, five times a week as an out-patient), which would stop the physical and mental deterioration that would otherwise immediately occur and might give me several more months of functional life before decline and death. Tomorrow the doctors are doing a lumbar puncture to see if cancer cells have gotten into the spine and we will [be] discussing treatment further. I’m now in the hospital for the second night. It’s my first time staying in a hospital in my life—except for when I was born. It’s a pleasant, pleaceful place from which to embark on one’s last journey. I’ve been reciting Homer to my friend.

Larry has been managing/besting/suffering/enduring pancreatic cancer for years now, a medical miracle in and of itself. As readers of his blog know, the last couple of months have been painful and unbearably uncomfortable for him for reasons unrelated to the cancer treatment. Having emerged in great relief on the other end of that trial, Larry ran smack into this new and, by his own account, final health battle.

Nonetheless, his most recent update about his condition and expectations has a bouyance to it that is, yes, otherwordly.

He writes:

I’m currently resting comfortably in my single, spacious, and very pleasant hospital room in what is really a very nice hospital. My one major activity today was a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) in order to determine whether there is cancer in the cerebrospinal fluid. If the test is negative we will probably proceed—even as early as Friday—with the outpatient radiation theory I described earlier. It does not sound as though it is terribly debilitating; there may be some loss of short-term memory, though not of long-term memory. Radiation therapy kills cancer cells but not, for the most part, healthy cells. Here is the reason. The radiation breaks in two the DNA in the cancer cell and thus kills the cell but, but the radiation, while somewhat damaging healthy cells, allows them to recover and does not break the DNA in two. At least that is the way one of the oncologists described to me this morning. My understanding is that surgery cannot be used in my case because there are at least three metastases in the brain.

A remarkable irony is that just before this new cancer was found I had largely recovered from the terrible intestinal pain and discomfort and non-movement that had made my existence a hell for many weeks. If those problems were still going on now, along with this new, more serious problem, my situation would have been much more terrible. So I feel very lucky. My existence is not at present a misery, as it had been from mid December until about 11 days ago when I had the nerve block procudure and we also worked out anti-pain regime and an intestinal regime that worked.

The way I feel now is somewhat lightheaded, tired, and fragile, and it’s hard for me to read much because of the double vision, and I need to be careful when getting out of bed (in fact I am not supposed to get out of bed without assistance at all) because of the risk of falling, but I’m not suffering or seriously uncomfortable or even uncomfortable at all—and that, as long as it lasts, compared to the way I was up to a week and a half ago, is a great deliverance. I also seem to have come into a hospital and among doctors that are very well suited to care for me. And I have a friend at my side who is helping me through every step of this. I am extremely lucky.

Thank you for the many encouraging and loving e-mails I’ve received (I’m sorry I won’t be able to reply to them personally).

It may seem strange that a man who has just learned he has brain cancer speaks of how fortunate he is, but, as I’ve said, I always call it the way I see it, if I feel it is legitimate and appropriate.

I'm damned if I'm going to wait for the end to note in "appreciation" Larry's deep and challenging, provocative and exacting, disturbing, irascible and trenchant commentary, all crafted in his compulsively writerly way to search not only for truth, I would venture, but for a way out of the cultural abyss we find ourselves in. His means? The sharpest, starkest expression of the facts and phenomena he is able to convey, as unadulterated, as unjumbled, certainly as unvarnished as humanly possible. Whether in agreement or opposition, a reader of Larry's work is on his mettle, keenly aware of the laser at work.

Whenever it may be that Larry turns to his body's fight and lays that laser aside, I will greatly miss its light.

Tags:
Archive
<October 2021>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
262728293012
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31123456
Monthly
October, 2021
September, 2021
August, 2021
July, 2021
June, 2021
May, 2021
April, 2021
March, 2021
February, 2021
January, 2021
December, 2020
November, 2020
October, 2020
September, 2020
August, 2020
July, 2020
June, 2020
May, 2020
April, 2020
March, 2020
February, 2020
January, 2020
December, 2019
November, 2019
October, 2019
September, 2019
August, 2019
July, 2019
June, 2019
May, 2019
April, 2019
March, 2019
February, 2019
January, 2019
December, 2018
November, 2018
October, 2018
September, 2018
August, 2018
July, 2018
June, 2018
May, 2018
April, 2018
March, 2018
February, 2018
January, 2018
December, 2017
November, 2017
October, 2017
September, 2017
August, 2017
July, 2017
June, 2017
May, 2017
April, 2017
March, 2017
February, 2017
January, 2017
December, 2016
November, 2016
October, 2016
September, 2016
August, 2016
July, 2016
June, 2016
May, 2016
April, 2016
March, 2016
February, 2016
January, 2016
December, 2015
November, 2015
October, 2015
September, 2015
August, 2015
July, 2015
June, 2015
May, 2015
April, 2015
March, 2015
February, 2015
January, 2015
December, 2014
November, 2014
October, 2014
September, 2014
August, 2014
July, 2014
June, 2014
May, 2014
April, 2014
March, 2014
February, 2014
January, 2014
December, 2013
November, 2013
October, 2013
September, 2013
August, 2013
July, 2013
June, 2013
May, 2013
April, 2013
March, 2013
February, 2013
January, 2013
December, 2012
November, 2012
October, 2012
September, 2012
August, 2012
July, 2012
June, 2012
May, 2012
April, 2012
March, 2012
February, 2012
January, 2012
December, 2011
November, 2011
October, 2011
September, 2011
August, 2011
July, 2011
June, 2011
May, 2011
April, 2011
March, 2011
February, 2011
January, 2011
December, 2010
November, 2010
October, 2010
September, 2010
August, 2010
July, 2010
June, 2010
May, 2010
April, 2010
March, 2010
February, 2010
January, 2010
December, 2009
November, 2009
October, 2009
September, 2009
August, 2009
July, 2009
June, 2009
May, 2009
April, 2009
March, 2009
February, 2009
January, 2009
December, 2008
November, 2008
October, 2008
September, 2008
August, 2008
July, 2008
June, 2008
May, 2008
April, 2008
March, 2008
February, 2008
January, 2008
December, 2007
November, 2007
October, 2007
September, 2007
August, 2007
Privacy Statement  |  Terms Of Use
Copyright 2012 by Diana West