Archive for November, 2012

Laughing Yoga – Laughing Matters


Sandra Boris-Berkowitz,introduces us to Laughing Yoga. For years we have heard that Laughter is the Best Medicine. A doctor in India founded a movement of Laughter Yoga which has spread to more than 60 countries. Got nothing to laugh about? You can get the same benefits from faking it. “Fake it until you make it.”

Teamwork to find the cure

Over the past two weeks I have enjoyed a wonderful celebration of our life and work through the last 20 years. With my husband we went through 15 years with von Hippel-Lindau, or VHL, without ever meeting another person with VHL. His father died of VHL, eventually he died of VHL. Our son was diagnosed […]

The Making of “I Once Was Blind”


Charlene and Jeffrey Chapman walk with Joyce about their experience creating the film “I Once Was Blind,” a new independent film documenting the life of a young woman living with VHL.

Widow: Moving on to the Next Chapter in Your Life


Joyce talks with June Wilcox, her mother, and Judy Powell, a social worker, about making the transition from marriage and caregiving to living on your own. People who have been a caregiver for many years go through a jarring transition when their spouse dies — they essentially lose their job, and sometimes with it their compass, their direction in life. June talks about making this transition at 92 after 68 years of marriage, and coming through it in a healthy way.

A Present Dilemma

Dear Fellow Travelers: An article in the AARP Bulletin for November, 2012 entitled To Test or Not to Test by Chris Woolston is the basis for our conversation today. In that article Woolston cites an eye-opening statement made by the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, Otis Brawley, M.D. that deserves serious consideration. […]

Conquering Kidney Cancer


Mike and Joyce speak with Dr. David F. McDermott, Program Chairman of the recent Kidney Cancer Symposium in Chicago. He helps us understand the role of biopsies in treating kidney cancer, the drugs currently available for kidney cancer, and the future of drug therapies for this condition. Should a person with kidney cancer consider a clinical trial?

Point of View

Dear Fellow Travelers: I believe in optimism; a positive attitude, good Karma, any of a dozen other phrases that emphasizes outcomes that are successful or are more advantageous for the individual. I believe that a person who looks at a glass as half full instead of seeing it as half empty can deal with adverse […]

On Becoming A Powerful Patient: Mike’s Proverb #1

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” Mark Twain Dear Fellow Travelers: I sort of like this putting a quote at the start of these conversations, for it takes a lot of […]

Lessons from the Steakhouse

Did you ever see the customers in health – food stores? They are pale, skinny people who look half – dead. In a steak house, you see robust, ruddy people. They’re dying, of course, but they look terrific.  Bill Cosby Dear Fellow Travelers: I hope you take a moment to reread and reflect on the […]

My Doctor: A Conversation

Dear Fellow Travelers: My wife and I stood in the parking lot of a very large medical center a few weeks ago talking with a doctor who had just been interviewed by a television crew. The parking lot had been converted into a place with a carnival-like atmosphere for the hospital’s annual Cancer Survivor’s Day. […]