For those not following Donna van Toen, the wonderful organizer of SOTA, announced on Facebook that she has lung cancer. Her site is DonnaVanToen.com We wish her well in her journey forward.
I had a very good friend, Marnie, eight years to the day, younger than I, who got lung cancer at 38. It started in her case as melanoma, skin cancer, and we were hopeful, but as scans went on, they discovered that her skin cancer had metasized from her lungs and it was inoperable. Further investigation revealed hers was genetic. I believe they tested her for some genetic markers for further research; her aunt had died of the same at 43. They gave her some drugs that made her sick as dog, and then suggested chemo that made her sicker. She died six months after receiving her diagnosis right before Thanksgiving, but we had a great summer together swapping stories, reading tarot cards and laughing; I miss her still.
Warren Zevon, the wonderful singer songwriter, got mesothelioma, a type of tumor that can occur in the membranes around the lungs. Zevon’s, like Marnie’s was too far advanced for treatment, and was given a few months to live. He made almost a year and worked on his final album, completing it and lived to see it released before he died on Aug. 26. In an interview before he died, he said that the diagnosis had led to “the intensest creative period of my life.” Like Marnie and Donna, he refused to give up smoking, as felt “What was the point?”