Friday, May 30, 2008

Leaving the Ranch

In response to Scott McClellan's decision to leave the ranch, the defensive batteries of the right have predictably begun their volleys...

From the very podium at which McClellan in his day issued billowing clouds of lies and deceit, Dana Perino offered this venom:

Scott, we now know, is disgruntled about his experience at the White House. For those of us who fully supported him, before, during and after he was press secretary, we are puzzled. It is sad - this is not the Scott we knew.

And then, emerging from the smoldering ashes of the city on the hill, none other than Bob Dole wrote this spittle to McClellan:

There are miserable creatures like you in every administration who don't have the guts to speak up or quit if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues. ... No, your type soaks up the benefits of power, revels in the limelight for years, then quits, and spurred on by greed, cashes in with a scathing critique. ... In my nearly 36 years of public service I've known of a few like you

Poor Scott McClellan. He got in so far over his head. How grand it must have been to play with the big boys. And what agony to learn the rules they played by.

Good for him to come clean in the end — late, alone and far from home, but able I suspect to finally sleep at night. He was not the first. He won't be the last. History will unlikely be kind to those he left behind.

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What the Experts Said

We were convinced that the taxi had delivered us to the wrong place. Certainly they were going to tell us that our reservations were for the other Radisson, a not-so-fancy one. Instead, they smiled, handed Trudy the keys, showed us to our room and got a rollaway bed for Ben.

The next day, we went to the cancer center at Johns-Hopkins. How do you feel? they asked. (Ironically, I feel very good.) Then they confessed that they don't know how to treat my case.

I guess my case has become a little complex. Testicular cancer 23 years ago. Surgery. A benign testicular tumor in 2004. Surgery. Prostate cancer last June. Surgery. (With all the removed body parts, shouldn't I weigh less than I do?) And last March, an ominous spike in my PSA that led some of my doctors to recommend radiation and chemo.

So we flew to Baltimore to see to the experts. We had sent them all the records we could find. They had absorbed all the details. We talked with them for more than an hour. And they didn't know what to do.

They did, however, recommend against radiation. And they recommended against chemo. And they agreed with the recommendations of my radiation oncologist back home to watch and wait.

Wait how long? For ever. Watch for what? For the cancer to reappear. Not exactly a victory, but consider the alternatives.

We celebrated with a big dinner at Sabatino's in Little Italy. The butter on the bread tasted very sweet.

A visit to Johns-Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center
Baltimore, MD

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