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The Diagnosis

| February 5, 2014

Thanks for the radiation. (© FlaglerLive)

Thanks for the radiation. (© FlaglerLive)

A few days before Christmas I sat in a chair as shapely as a hippopotamus’ snout and heard a doctor tell me the growth on my neck could be cancer. We’d know after Christmas. That made for an exquisite holiday. Two biopsies, two scans, a few more visits in the hippo chair and $1,800 later, the verdict was beyond appeal: stage 3 cancer. The demon had shacked up on my left tonsil and sprawled to a lymph node. It’s poised to make Fallujah of my Pharynx.

pierre tristam flaglerlive editor's blogHow it got there is one of those mysteries best chalked up to the body’s intuitive capacity for betrayal. This is the sort of cancer drunks and smokestacks self-inflict. I’m 49, I consume the required drink-a-day any doctor in her right mind would prescribe but not more. The rare pipe and rarer cigars I smoke add up to less carcinogens than our morning toast. I exercise enough to satisfy the cardiovascular quotas of a small neighborhood (I’m writing this on my exercise bike). My Mediterranean diet has me consuming quantities of olive oil and garlic that keep a segment of the Lebanese economy humming. I should be giving cancer panic attacks. Instead I’m the evil’s latest banality.

So goes cancer, the planet’s fairest equal-opportunity predator.

Strangely enough, my first emotion wasn’t disbelief. It wasn’t anger or shock. It was confirmation. I always thought death the norm and life the accident waiting to end, at least ever since puberty, which coincided with my father’s premature death and my front-row seat to Lebanon’s war. Covering wrecks and having a front-row seat to Florida’s gun fetish hasn’t brightened matters. We have a reasonable chance of escaping bombs and bullets, but random illnesses is what happens to most of us, a constant reminder, in the unforgettable words of Anthony Burgess, that “life itself is lethal but, we hope, not yet.” Five weeks before my diagnosis we’d buried my mother after her own endless illness. Walking away from the grave one of my brothers joked that we were next. Confirmation.

That said, as I sat there listening to the doctor’s serrated analysis of the terrorist cell in my throat I did feel my head sink roughly to those abysmal depths where only National Geographic capsules have gone before. On my way down I noticed my wife Cheryl rise from her chair, walk the step and a half toward me, and take my hand in hers, in effect halting the descent, her first of many acts of quiet CPR on my soul. It wasn’t so much the fear of what was ahead that had me sinking so much as the resentment I felt over the immense imposition this will be on my wife and child, the burden, the disruptions and sucking up of energy and concern and attention I will be to them, a betrayal of responsibilities I find the most odious aspect of this situation.

My mind was a swirl of emotions and internal dialogues, of sudden scenarios and possible outcomes even as the doctor kept speaking at great lengths about what we’d just learned and Cheryl went into Senate confirmation mode, grilling him like he was the next Surgeon General. Which of course for us he was. That white light you see at the end of the tunnel: nothing more than the guy’s lab coat.

My life didn’t flash in front of my eyes, but what future life I had imagined did, at least in so far as seeing my son through his teens and my slightly older daughter through whatever circles of hell she tends to cook up. Mostly, I wanted to cuss. I thought of the moment when, in Carlos Fuentes’s “Death of Artemio Cruz,” the old dictator in his death bed lets loose a superb stream of disjointed obscenities that culminate with “Viva Mexico, you fuckin’ fucked up fuckers frigging forking fugging firking mucking screwing plowing plugging screwed up fouled up: the world’s offspring.” It probably sounds even better in Spanish. I was in an Adventist hospital building, so going Artemio Cruz on its end times would have been poor form. It was instead my silent meditation, the solace of obscenities and the feel of my wife’s hand in mine having always done the trick when I’m at my lowest.

Whatever coping mechanism I might invent, cancer is the great up-ender. The absurdities of what’s to come began right there in the hippo chair as the doctor went through the possible scenarios ahead, not necessarily in that order–daily radiation assaults, chemotherapy, disfiguration, some butchery to remove the demons, a feeding tube (a feeding tube!) should I become incapable of swallowing, changes to my vocal cords, and a sprinkling of other gross possibilities only the body’s inhumanity to itself–which happens to be a definition of cancer–can serve up. So then I’m thinking: what about the goddamn county commission and city council meetings?

Anguish over my immediate obliteration was a bit premature, as we’d learn a couple of weeks later. It’s cancer, but the sort of purgatorial cancer that can be treated, even excised, for now anyway, and that may yet spare me death row, possibly even radiation and chemotherapy. One doctor is giving me an 80 to 90 percent cure rate, numbers that make even my instinctive pessimism glow Cherenkov blue. FlaglerLive is in good hands, with a few reporters and an editor–the exceptional Steve Robinson–even if I were to be on the disabled list for a few days. Having reported live-by-laptop from cars, trains, planes, bathrooms, theme parks, sordid hotel rooms, the ER at Florida Hospital Flagler, my own bed and the odd foreign country, to name a few venues, there’s no reason a sordid hospital room shouldn’t be added to the list. God knows it’s a better way to recover than drugs–pot excluded of course, should chemotherapy be in my future: in that case I might be looking for a supplier, and inviting the Flagler Sheriff’s Office to arrest me. I’d like nothing better than to be a poster boy for Florida’s medical marijuana initiative, and I’ve always wondered how our local jail might handle the booking of an inmate with a chemo IV sticking out of his chest. Might as well put this contemptible illness to some uses.

I’m also in good medical hands, with two sets of physicians working on the case, one here at Florida Hospital Flagler, where one doctor in particular has made the experience, intellectually anyway, almost pleasurable, and one in New York and Boston. Between Mt. Sinai Hospital and the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute, I should have this thing surrounded and D-Dayed by early spring. And that’s before taking account of more private blessings.


It’s often on the way to the abyss that we discover how lucky we are. Reprieves from the worst possibilities become victories. Weeks and months, rather than years, take on a more meaningful character. I’m moved by the reaction of the few people I spoke with of this before deciding to speak of it more broadly here, a couple of whom had no reason to extend me a hand, yet extended me two. The first person I contacted, instinctively if not desperately, was Jo Ann Nahirny, the Matanzas High School teacher and FlaglerLive columnist who memorably chronicled her own battle through a cancer recurrence in 2012 in these pages, with wit and grit more lethal to cancer than any radiation treatment known to man. The 90 minutes we spent together with our respective spouses–the cross-bearers in this calvary–was like a balm on anxieties running wild.

It’s Jo Ann’s example I’m following here by writing about it. I find the whole patient confidentiality thing not always necessary, considering what there is to learn from candor and the breakdown of those walls the health industry unhealthily builds around illness: when away from home, we are treated in brutal segregation from most things human as technology reduces us to extensions of its machinery. The body becomes a vessel to be prodded, needled, injected, scanned, transfused, irradiated, intubated, sliced, carved, reconstructed. We’re then billed for the pleasure and asked to come back in a month for variations on the shanking.  Paradoxically, we live in a time, not to mention a place (Florida), where obsessing over one’s health and age is the conversational equivalent of small talk. It is inescapable and unbearable, because there’s nothing so boring and self-absorbed as recitations about one’s health. There are certainly more interesting things in life to talk about, precisely because life is more interesting than its detractions.

I’m not sure if I’ll be doing much chronicling of this little war I’m about to wage. If I do, it’s not because I’m finding any of this newsworthy or unusual. That’s the last thing it is. But because if this illness is to have the last word, which it ultimately always does, I’d like it not to be a monologue even as it seems that everywhere one turns these days, there’s as much talk of cancer as there is of the weather. It’s our civilization’s physiological version of climate change, a slow, massive capsizing against which containment seems to be the most we can do.

Thirteen million Americans have some kind of cancer, roughly the same number of people worldwide who merely learn of having the disease every year. In the United States, where 600,000 will be killed by cancer this year (that’s more than 10 times the number of Americans killed in 15 years in Vietnam), it’s about to overtake heart disease as the leading cause of death. That says a lot about the gains against heart disease and the more pyrrhic slog against cancer. So there’s really nothing special about cancer, nothing special about its targets other than that it is “the emperor of all maladies,” as Siddhartha Mukherjee called it in his biography of the disease four years ago.

Given the numbers, it would be presumptuous to think myself immune or declare the diagnosis in any way unjust. Even anger seems to me a misplaced mask for the deadlier psychological cancer of self-pity and its derivatives: depression, despair, capitulation, though in the weeks since the original verdict I’ve ticked off each of those ulcerated little buttons despite knowing that I can afford to be more positive. I’m not in the end stages. I’m not even in the middle stages. I have no illusions that, depending on where I am on the Kaplan-Meier curve, I may be stitching my own white flag yet. But to go Betsy Ross on my ass now isn’t part of the plan. Kicking a little cancer ass is.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here.

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77 Responses for “The Diagnosis”

  1. Rich says:

    Good luck to you. Keep up the good fight. We are rooting for you.

  2. Genie says:

    Will be praying for you and your family. No time for self pity. All efforts must go into healing. Just get well, please.

    Prayers and best wishes going up for you and your family!

  3. Jan Reeger says:

    I read this with empathy and my usual appreciation for your writing. Kicking cancer’s ass is a good plan and somehow, I believe you will. My personal inherited and incurable optimism says so along with good stories of friends and family who have also kicked cancer’s ass. You are a survivor and I will be sending all my positive thoughts your way.

  4. Lin says:

    You’re a fighter Prayers with you Pierre

  5. Brad says:

    You and your family are in our prayers. We’re looking forward to the 100% cured article.

  6. The Truth says:

    You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Cancer is an ugly disease but I am confident you will kick it’s ass. Good luck to you and your family Pierre. Thank you for sharing your story.

  7. Steve Wolfe says:

    Pierre, may I add my voice to the chorus of best wishes. I really hope that this road will lead you out of danger and back to full health. We have so much work to do!

  8. marlee says:

    Damn! Pierrer I am so sorry to read this.
    You (no surprise) are hitting this head on….I hope this can be forwarded to other sites…Huffington?
    Your writing about this gives us strength and support. We need to read more about how people deal with cancer in an honest way.
    Please keep us updated…
    We are thinking of you and your family.

  9. debi Peterson says:

    My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family during this daunting and awakening journey. Stay determined and keep a positive attitude. Pray a LOT and accept the prayers of others. Rest when you need to, laugh a lot and at the end of everyday know you lived one more amazing day the way you wanted to. We all know (or at least get reminded by events like this) that every day is a gift that we should enjoy. Cancer doctors are amazing these days. I know that Dr. Michael Kelley is awesome. I am so sorry you and your family are having to go through this, I also know first hand, it is difficult.

    • Rick says:

      “Rest when you need to, laugh a lot and at the end of everyday know you lived one more amazing day the way you wanted to. We all know (or at least get reminded by events like this) that every day is a gift that we should enjoy.”
      These are the reasons I ‘liked’ your response.
      Very powerful & well said.
      Thank You.

  10. Perry Mitrano says:

    I’ll be praying for you. If there is anything Diana and I can do please simply just ask.

  11. orphan says:

    Pierre,
    Even though we have very different ideals regarding politics and much more, I sincerely pray to my own personal “GOD” that you will, with raised fist, turn this nasty demon aside! We need you.
    Dave

  12. A.S.F. says:

    Pierre–I am an oral cancer survivor myself. It’s been thirteen years since my initial diagnosis. I wish all the best for you and your family. Your website gives our entire community a chance to air our feelings and thoughts, no matter what they are (within reason.) I am sure I speak for all of us when I say that so many prayers and best wishes are coming your way. Take full advantage of the love and support of everyone around you. And continue to believe!

  13. Jack Howell says:

    Pierre…Sorry to hear about this my dear friend. Keep the PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) on this and it will help the fight to rid the body of cancer. Know that should you need someone to vent to, I’m here for you 7/24 and I mean that. Trust me, I’m here for you should you need me.

  14. NortonSmitty says:

    Oh my my. This really sucks. The first thought that runs through my head is for you to pretend you got it from inhaling all that printers ink at the News-Journal. That will get you fired up enough to kick that cancers ass for sure!

    More later after dinner and a few Bourbons. Good luck P.

  15. Mary Cannady says:

    Pierre, so sorry to hear this. i thought something was going on with all the latest postings. i am another cancer survivor here. I was 41, which was 24 years ago. Don’t worry about statistics, just concern yourself with you. YOU are not a statistic. And you WILL beat this.

  16. Justin says:

    So sorry to hear about that, I wish you all the best and you will be in my prayers

  17. Catherine says:

    Our family has been through the diagnosis of throat cancer twice, we are very familiar with all of the ups and down of treatment and life afterwards. In fact, we are in recovery right now! There is a wonderful support group for folks with Head, Neck and Oral Cancers that meet at Flagler Hospital Flagler the first Thursday of the month. When you’re ready, please join us. In the meantime, pm me if you like. Sending positive wishes to you and your family. You can do this!
    Peace

  18. Diana L says:

    Pierre, Your piece was very candid and personal. I was somehow transported in your room as you told your story. I felt some of your feelings as you told them, of course, nothing like you did but really close. My husband went through a huge health challenge and whenever it got to a point where one of us thought we could bear no more, the other asked “okay, name 3 things you are thankful for” and it turned the challenge around. It worked.
    Going thru something like this is a gift of some sort, I know that sounds really stupid and small but the small things are appreciated in a much bigger way and the joy of life is magnified.
    Live your life, don’t let your cancer define you. I am pretty sure you won’t. Thinking of you and your family.

  19. Andrea Stowell says:

    May God walk with you on the path ahead.

  20. Jack says:

    Sorry to hear about your cancer. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

  21. Concerned says:

    Sucks. Out. Loud.

    Be strong, know you are loved.

  22. Edman says:

    You are a shining light of literate reasoned and fact based articles that I look forward to reading and trust that you will beat this cancer and keep Flaglerlive a website we all cherish.

  23. Joe says:

    Pierre, as much as I disagreed with just about all of the pieces that you wrote, I must say that this one is a true article of facing your giants head on. I thought you were a pansy and it turns out you are a man of steel with leather skin and a life story far more interesting than the Life of Pi. I do feel for you and hope that this diagnosis wont be your demise, perhaps live by the pen die by the pen suits you a little better. Whatever you do, don’t ever give up, may your last days be spent writing more controversial articles and living each day with your family to the fullest.

  24. N.A. says:

    Pierre,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. You have always been someone very much respected in the community and I have always enjoyed reading your articles. You sharing this story must have been difficult, but it shows how strong you and your family are. Prayers to you and your loved ones during this time.

    Go kick cancer’s butt!!!

  25. Geezer says:

    Pierre,

    You are an incredibly gifted writer – you have a talent with words that amaze me on a daily basis.
    Thank you for sharing this highly personal experience with us.

    From my family to yours – we send our love and optimism.

    • rst says:

      Well said!

      ps: Pierre, so many of us have experienced the same news. I know these words may seem hollow right now, but give yourself credit for being intelligent enough (understatement of the year) to catch this early. The “C” word is devastating, but we that have experienced it know that, although deadly, great advances give those who are unfortunate enough to hear the news confidence that all will be well even if some pain and discomfort is in our near future. Trust me, being pricked and prodded and even a chest tube inserted without anesthetic are distant memories vaguely remembered until someone like you, a brilliant writer and a wonderful human being, shares his story. Believe me Pierre, you will be fine and this event in your life will make a person such as you even better. God Bless.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Pierre…..so sorry to hear of your diagnosis. Will keep you and your family in my prayers and will be looking forward to reading your article about how you kicked cancer’s ass! Wishing you peace and strength as you go through this battle.

  27. Will says:

    We all know you’re strong and purposeful, and you’ll fight all you can. We, your readers, can help, if you’ll give us updates as you feel appropriate, so we can channel energies and thoughts toward your speedy recovery. You’re important to our community. It’s the least we can do.

  28. Willy says:

    Tighten up, be tough, and thoughts are with you.. Hope you get past this fine and in good health..

  29. rickg says:

    Hang tough my friend things will work out. You have a great partner in your wife and use her to keep strong. My wife beat breast cancer 2 years ago and the fight we waged together brought us closer. I can see the same happening to you and your family. I will keep you in my thoughts and will always be rooting for you and your family. Be strong my friend and beat this motherfucking disease.

  30. Paul Anderson says:

    I not agree with your politics whatsoever, but I wish you a speedy recovery.

  31. Bethechange says:

    Pierre, The dreadful title in all its insidious simplicity conveys volumes. I send you, Cheyl, Sadie and Luka positive energy and prayers for grace, and skilled and compassionate healthcare professionals. Whatever is mine is yours, if needed. You all know where l live; how to reach me. Anything at all.

  32. Becky says:

    Pierre
    I’ve only met you briefly a couple of times but if anyone can get to kickin’ it’s you!! Thoughts, prayers and a speedy recovery!!1

  33. Ben Dover says:

    Pierre I`m very sorry to here of your diagnosis, I know we`ve had arguments over what I can and can t say on here , Most of my family smoked like chimneys and was lost to the decease, as I told you my G/F Sandy last year was diagnosed with floor of mouth and tongue cancer, Mayo in Jaxonville is oner of the best for head and neck cancers , she`s still got her feeding tube in , the 6 weeks of 5 days a week drive to Mayo for chemo and radiation were a drag for me I can t even imagine how they must have been for Sandy , but I kept her positive and that`s something you must do too my friend stay positive, the feeding tube is very important to have , you have to keep your weight up , they will make a mess mask for radiation you have to be placed exactly right on the table it why the change in weight can throw off the exact spot the radiation beam must hit , if you do get radiation one of your best friends will be Wendys smoothies its something you can get down and it is cold and helps the burn of radiation , and if you get radiation insist on a feeding tube its the difference between life and death, dont get treat at out local hospital stick with the other two , but I gotta tell you Mayo is amazing the organization , the Dr`s , the friendliness , and they are rated #1 I think in head and neck cancer, G/F is cancer free now , has to have surgery in March to have a graft added to her tongue , right now scar tissue has in tethered to floor of mouth , I wish you the best and will keep you in my prayers , I cleaned and flushed her feeding tube for the first two weeks kept clean bandages and wiped with alcohol wipes after that its not so bad , but local hospital didn t give her best friend feeding tube , she wasted away and died , if your getting radiation , demand it, like at least a few weeks before radiation starts , right after your neck surgery, but stay positive and know your in many`s prayers , Sandy may have a case of the high ;protein drink it better then ensure and boost , more nutrients and caleries , keep your calerie intake as high as possible it promotes healing , and make sure they check you thyroid right after radiation , Sandy was taking long time to heal , the radiation gave her hypothyroidism it`s very common in radiation patients soon as they got her thyroid levels back to normal she healed right up, you have my emails , she just went through it I went to every appt with her you should bring someone too , I remembered a lot of questions she needed to ask, and I remembered a lot of the answers for her , I was basically her nurse , keep lots of purell in house , make sure everyone , including yourself uses it especially if you have any pets , good luck , I`m sure you`ll be fine , stick with the big hospitals you need a radiation staff that`s been together for yrs , smaller hospitals have a lot of turn over , placement on table and keeping your weight up during the whole ordeal is very important and staying positive, praying and keeping family and friends close to keep your mind off nrgative thoughts is very important , our brain when positive sends out the right signals to heal , so keep a sense of humor if you can stay positive , Im sure you`ll be fine, Take Care My Friend

  34. Brian says:

    I`m also Ben Dover lol

  35. Ambroz says:

    Well written article as usual. Praying for your speedy recovery.

  36. Mario says:

    My God Pierre … the big C?! You WILL beat this thing, without any doubt. You MUST keep writing about it, as your incredible gift for assembling just the right words, must never be silenced. We are with you, standing beside you, in your battle against this unfathomable evil. During times of incredible difficulty, our community becomes one inseparable Flagler Family. Let us feel your pain, your conquests and your Victory, for together … this hideous demon shall be stricken down! God bless you and your family and many prayers for a quick recovery coming your way. Let us know what we can do to help you and your family, during these difficult times.

  37. KMedley says:

    Pierre: First and foremost prayers for you and your family. God has blessed you with an extraordinary talent for lending your voice to any circumstance through your pen. Never put down your pen.

  38. justwondering says:

    Thank you for sharing with us. Good luck!

  39. Lili says:

    Pierre: You are an optimist person and that’s the most important thing you may use for recovery. You are now where my husband was 6 years ago. He was diagnosed as a stage 4 with a 20% of chances to recover. He succeeded, he is alive and well. What he did was easy to say and very hard to do: he strictly followed the treatment indicated by the wonderful doctors of Florida Hospital Flagler and stood always positive, strong and determined no matter what. Also meditation was a powerful ally for him, I can tell you. I can talk volumes of the doctors, nurses and staff of our hospital in Palm Coast but the key to success is yourself, your attitude, your confidence.

  40. Julie says:

    My thoughts are with you and your family!

  41. Outsider says:

    Wow! For some reason I just read this article now….thought it was something about a new piece of medical equipment at the hospital for some reason…….now I wish it was. I am so sorry you are going through this. I will pray for you and your family, and if you are in need of anything please let the readership know. We really appreciate the service you provide to Flagler County, and the intellectual challenge you provide to those on both sides of the political spectrum. I enjoy political debates, but this is beyond that now. It is about humans helping humans at this point. Good luck in your fight !

  42. confidential says:

    Shocking to say the least Pierre, as probably many of us hold you as the invincible crusader that brings the news to us, day in and day out.
    As that brave crusader your will go into this battlefield set out for you and will fight the greatest battle of your life, to achieve a victorious result!
    Rest assured that we are all rooting and praying for you!

  43. Donna Heiss says:

    Beautifully written. A huge compliment to you. It is a very difficult thing to write.

    You are bigger than any cancer, It takes all you have, all you want, all you are and all the support you can get from family, friends and community.

    When we are faced with a life changing diagnosis, something happens to us. At least it did for me. No longer was it about me. I fought for those around me and in turn they fought for me.

    You have the support of your beautiful family, friends, community and me. I know what it’s like to look death in the eye and cheat it. You my friend are a fighter and this journey will prove how very powerful you and those around you are.

    I’m sending only positive thoughts, healing wishes and strength to you. Much love to you and yours. You can do this! I know you can.

  44. Nanci Whitley says:

    Pierre, incredible column, sending lots of positive thoughts your way. Best to you.

  45. Old Pete says:

    Pierre,
    I don’t often agree with your views. However, you are a fellow traveler and I will pray for your swift recovery and for the Lord to wrap you in HIs arms during your treatment. God bless and with faith and determination you can beat this thing.

  46. karma says:

    We may never have the same political views(maybe once),but that does not mean we don’t care. As we cling to our guns and Bible, we will pray for you and your family. I look forward to many more stories from you that will surely piss me off.

    • Geezer says:

      I find your comment oddly moving.

      I hope that Pierre rattles his detractors for at least another forty years.
      The man has the courage of his convictions – he gets his message across artfully. (I’m jealous)
      Pierre tells it like he sees it.

      Funny how those that don’t “like his politics” are drawn to his website like bugs to carriage lights.

  47. John F. Pollinger says:

    Pierre,

    Not an easy diagnosis for anyone to hear and having to face it head on must be a severe jolt to one’s psyche. Yet your choice to share it with us with such eloquence reminds me of your skills as a writer as well as your passion for issues that touch us all. I hope it was a bit cathartic as you sat with your trusty keyboard detailing a personal story in such a profound way. Janet and I want to add our prayers and well wishes to the list of those who care.

  48. Anita Noad says:

    Pierre, my heart and positive thoughts will be with you, Cheryl and your children.

  49. Jenno says:

    Like others , I am so sorry you have cancer. My best advice is put it in Gods hands. You already have seeked the top medical advice. I also was dx with stage 3 but with a not yet curable cancer. I am so fortunate to have Mayo Clinic.I appreciate that you have gone public with it. Others, like myself can find encouragement and strength through your column. Just to know we are not alone in our struggle. May God bless you and your family with a positive attitude to give you the strength to battle your cancer.

  50. rhweir says:

    Sorry to hear this. Best of luck to you!

  51. Sgt Saber says:

    Ever comment seems to be heart felt and sent with good intentions. Like others, I really don’t like you. With that said, I really don’t like heart disease either but I have it and deal with it. If you wussie out now I’ll have no one to hate and bitch at….So suck it up and keep pissing me off !!!!

  52. Jeremy says:

    This is courageous and gives the faint of heart strength.

    I hope you recover quickly and keep this site flourishing with your words and ideas!

  53. Pink Army Supporter says:

    Pierre, very sorry to hear of your medical challenges. Would this in anyway be connected to oral sex as we have been learning other cancers may be? My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I wish you a full speedy recovery!!

    • Mario says:

      What the heck are you talking about … cancer from oral sex?! Never heard that one!

      • Steve Wolfe says:

        Remember Michael Douglas suggested publicly that he thought he got it from his wife. There are lots of hits if you Google it. I deleted a link I was going to send you because this isn’t the place.

        But this sounds like a barb from Pink Army. Pretty insensitive to suggest such a thing, implying what it does. Don’t know about some people’s minds. I doubt this is the case. More likely the cigars and pipe smoke, and a genetic predisposition or sensitivity to carcinogens. Pierre has taken good care to guard his health, but cancer is so far from being fully understood. If I was a researcher, I think I would have lost all my beautiful curly hair by now from stressing over the need to HURRY UP.

        If I could have reached you privately I would have.

        • Mario says:

          Yes, I’ve heard the rumors. I find the oral sex comment incredibly insensitive, rude and just plain ridiculous, as no one’s proven a definitive association between the two. Regardless, it’s extremely personal and nobody’s business what goes on between consenting adults.

    • orphan says:

      Jesus! What the hell was that supposed to infer?
      I hang my head in shame every day of each year over the apparent loss of intelligence around the world.
      Jeez.

      • Geezer says:

        I’m going to need a chiropractor very soon, as I too hang my head in
        disgust at my fellow commenters on a seemingly daily basis.

        I live by the addage: “if you can’t say anything good, then don’t say anything at all.”
        My little amendment to the golden rule…

        I belive that the oral sex inference was just an instance of projection onto Pierre per
        the toxic troll who typed it. All I can say to that person is to venture out of the closet.
        Coats, shirts, and hats make for dull company…..

  54. w.ryan says:

    Live’s curve balls…Sometimes it’s a fast ball that’s coming at you on the strike zone. Pierre I see you hitting this one out the park!

  55. Cyd Weeks says:

    {{{Hugs}}} to you, your family and all of us! I’m feeling a little..stupid…that I was bugging you for a police report and annoyed that I wasn’t getting it. Imagine that…you have a personal life. I am wishing you and your family all the best in your recovery. May it be full, complete and short.

  56. Sherry Epley says:

    Dear Pierre,

    Sending a huge hug from Cape Town, South Africa. This news is heart breaking. When your head stops spinning for a moment. . . there is a book. . . The Law of Attraction by Abraham and Hicks. YOU are strong, You are blessed with your family and the many, many that love you and need you to light our way.

    Looking forward to reading Flagler Live, and seeing you at meetings 50 years from now. Yes!

    xoxo
    Sherry

  57. Rick Belhumeur says:

    Pierre, I can’t imagine how I would feel getting a death sentence when I have done nothing wrong. I do know that you have a long hard battle ahead of you and your article gives us readers some insight into human coping mechanisms. Many have fought the battle and won and I get the feeling that you will add to that list. You have my sincere best wishes.

  58. Jack Stewart says:

    Pierre ……I don’t agree with anything you write about. We couldn’t be further apart on any political discussion …I was diagnosed with cancer myself over 5 years ago…..I understand what you are going through…it’s a tough battle a head ….keep your head up, stay close to family and friends…if and when you run out of hope…they will be there to bring you back……Because I don’t agree with you dosnt mean I don’t have compassion….I hope you beat this thing…..

  59. Enough says:

    Pierre,

    Please be brave and fight through this for your family, friends and yourself. I really enjoy reading your articles, and I appreciate your approach to journalism. You really connect with the common sense side of life!

  60. Alan Peterson says:

    Pierre,
    We’ve had many good conversations over the years and I’ve always enjoyed your very well written articles.
    Today’s technology offers lots of hope for cancer patients and I’m wishing you all the very best for a complete cure. After all, it’s hard to keep a good journalist down.

    Please take comfort in the fact that you have a large community hoping that you get well quickly no matter which side of the political table they sit.
    Alan

  61. My Daily Rant says:

    Pierre; I wish you the best, and hope you beat this because you are the only Liberal
    I enjoy reading.Be strong….

  62. dlf says:

    From a conservative to a liberal, I will include you in my prayers, you have many more liberal articles yet to write. Wishing you the very best!!!!

  63. S Robinson says:

    I will be praying for you and your family. FlaglerLive is the highlight of my day. I pray that you make a full recovery.

  64. Bill says:

    MY thoughts and prayers are with you. May you have a speedy recovery from this ilnesss and the liberal one infecting your thoughts LOL on the last get well

  65. RAKA says:

    AS A SURVIVOR OF NECK CANCER MAY I SUGGEST THAT YOU KEEP THE “KICK ASS” ATTITUDE!. IF REQUIRED, RADIATION THERAPY AND CHEMO ARE A BITCH BUT SURVIVABLE AND .HOPEFULLY, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO RESUME LIVING AS BEFORE. FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH . . . .GOOD LUCK!.

  66. Raul Troche says:

    Pierre, may you prosper and be in good health even as your soul does prosper. Don’t worry, be happy. Take no thought for tomorrow because sufficient are the problems of today. Take care of today and tomorrow will take care of itself. I would like to tell you about how myself and others have overcome cancer without harmful radiation, chemo, or surgery. I hope to meet you soon to give you the facts.

  67. My husband and I have you in our prayers and we know you will beat this monster.. You have become a household part of our ‘political’ lives and your can count on many of us out there to keep your spirits up. Recently I found out a feisty co-worker from my days at Alitalia Airlines was told in Sept 2012 she would never see 2013 …. Just got an e-mail she is coming to Fla in May 2014!….. Hugs help so I’m sending you many with this little note…

  68. ryan says:

    I know this is a late reply, but I wish you the best Pierre and I hope you make a full recovery. Too many people seem to be coming down with cancer mysteriously, and when you feel better, I would like to join you in doing some investigative reporting to find out why. Get well soon.

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