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Home and a Wonderful Essay

Posted 12/9/2013

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  Home again, very happy and full of splendid memories. Our trip was everything we had hoped for with an added bonus of very mild (mostly in the 40s) weather. Last time we were in Paris in December, it snowed, so this was a big improvement. The system of walking and eating and more walking seems to have worked as the scale said the same thing this morning as it did before we left. And that, I must say, is quite amazing when I admit to the amounts of cheese and bread and wine and other delicious things that I ate.

  Paris was wonderful in all ways, as it always is. I love the grand boulevards and buildings and monuments, and all the tiny streets with beautiful doors and brass knockers. I like the dusk, when lights come in, and I can then snoop and admire beautiful carved ceilings and bookcases filled to the top. We went to a museum each day, usually in the morning, then lunched, and then walked all afternoon. A perfect schedule that also set us up to enjoy a wonderful dinner each night. Some of you have heard me say that my perfect lunch is a omelette. small salad. frites (and I thing they must fry them in duck fat, because, boy are they good), and a glass of red wine. This may still be true, but we had one lunch which has become a contender: oysters and then a shared order or mussels in blue cheese. I am on the hunt for that recipe!

  Thank you for bearing with me over these paragraphs and for returning to read this after a week's lapse. As a thank you, here is another of Susan Gubar's terrific essays. This one is about nude mice, and I bet you don't know, scientifically, what that means. Now you will. Here is the start and then a link:

Living With Cancer: Nude Mice

A tense moment at a meeting of my support group convinced me that cancer patients have wildly divergent needs for information about their condition. This is especially true when the disease is considered chronic, rather than curable.

Judy had just returned from California where she took the opportunity to get a second opinion about her late-stage uterine cancer. Elated by the doctor’s unexpected recommendations, Judy repeated them to us. He had congratulated her on completing her first round of rigorous treatment and discouraged her from planning the next. “There will be time enough at recurrence to look into suitable protocols,” he told her. “And why subject yourself to so many blood tests and scans when they trigger your anxiety or expose you to radiation?”


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