This morning I woke up thinking about the issue that nobody wants to bring up under normal circumstances, much less during a presidential election: cancer.
I asked myself: simply based on health status, would I be running for President right now? Well, after all, my cancer is inactive, so far, at least. Hmmm. So here are my morning ruminations…mainly but not exclusively from a health perspective (when I use italics, I am pretending to be…someone else). Just for the sake of argument, of course.
Let’s say that between 1993 and 2002 I had four cases of malignant melanoma. The one removed in 2000 was a particularly nasty one.
Let’s say that, in April 2008, my doctors had found and removed six adenomas–growths with the potential to turn malignant–from my large intestine.
Let’s say that they had also removed a basal cell carcinoma (considered to be highly curable) from one of my legs, in May 2008.
Okay, my doctors have pronounced me “cancer-free” and fit to run for President. Off I go.
But wait a sec…why in the world would I even remotely desire to run for President??? The stress of a prolonged presidential campaign could cause a recurrence of the cancer. I certainly do not want put my family through hell again, do I?
Out of curiosity, this morning I did a quick search on a possible connection between stress and malignant melanoma. Well, quelle surprise, I found quite a number of studies on this topic. The following, e.g., shows that stress inhibitors hold back the invasion of malignant melanoma cells: http://tinyurl.com/6gx3aq Another one on stress and malignant melanoma: http://tinyurl.com/5bb24s And here (on page 212, see also the bit on “anger,” to which Sen. McCain is no stranger): http://tinyurl.com/5t6399
Of course, I am not saying that cancer patients should crawl into a hole and isolate themselves from the rest of the world. Hah. That would be sooo silly. But why make matters potentially worse? I don’t get it. Not in this case, certainly. But let’s go on, for the sake of argument.
Let’s say that I am elected President of the United States and that my cancer rears its ugly head again, due to the overwhelming stress of a prolonged presidential campaign. To take the argument a step beyond the obvious consequences for me and my family, what would happen to my beloved country? Shudder…
As a cancer patient, I have a lot of empathy for Sen. McCain. In fact, I would have loved to hear him speak openly about his melanoma during the campaign. But he didn’t, or if he did, I must’ve missed it.
Indeed, from what I saw while I was in the States, and from what I continue to see over here in Italy (except when I watch Fox News), his campaign has been based more on shockingly reprehensible, angry and hypocritical mudslinging than on addressing the issues that concern us all. There are heaps of mudslinging examples from which to choose…but this morning I received a private note from a blog reader supporting Sen. McCain’s most recent attack on Sen. Obama. I have already responded privately, but now I will do so publicly.
The attack concerned Sen. Obama’s acquaintance with a highly esteemed Middle Eastern scholar, Columbia University Professor Rashid Khalidi. His impressive credentials are available online, I won’t bother repeating them here.
But I do have an interesting bit of news: since 1993, Sen. McCain has been chairman of the International Republican Institute (IRI). Tax returns show that in 1998 IRI gave $ 448,873 to the Center for Palestinian Research and Studies (CPRS), an organization co-founded by Prof. Khalidi. I kid you not. The 1998 IRS form is available online, just click on this link, go to p. 14 and look for “CPRS”: http://tinyurl.com/6nt6tx
The worst case scenario is that Sen. McCain and his script writers are suffering from a severe case of memory loss. The best (?) is that they are not able to do even a minimally acceptable amount of research.
Either way, I am not at all impressed. I hope U.S. voters won’t be, either.