Bad news

(Updated with more accurate information, 5/23/21.)

Just heard that two old friends are fighting for their lives. One is a close friend’s father who has been diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer, and at age 82 his odds are not good. We’ve played hundreds of rounds of golf together over the years – he’s a great guy. He’s been on a ventilator, but just got that removed. I hope he’s strong enough to deal with the treatments he may be offered.

The other is a friend I met at SAIC years ago, a brilliant guy who has stayed in my professional orbit (or mine in his?) for over 25 years. We have a common close friend, the one whose father is also sick, so we’ve stayed in touch socially over the last decade – dinner parties, holidays and such. He moved to Minnesota about a year ago to be close to family, but as of today he’s on his second or third round of treatments for a cancer that has invaded his abdomen, after starting as a melanoma on his leg. He has some short term good news on an experimental treatment, but the long term prognosis is…iffy. Damn…life is fragile. And short.

I don’t believe in an interventionist god or God, so I won’t be a hypocrite and say anything about prayers. But times like this I understand the need to ask for help from a higher power, because for all our technological advancements, we’re still helpless toward the end. All I can do is hope for a good outcome for each of my friends and keep them “alive” in my memories. Hang in there, guys.

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