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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Community Comment

Just say NO…

The incomparable Jeanie-of-Spokane (The Spokesman-Review)
The incomparable Jeanie-of-Spokane (The Spokesman-Review)

Good morning, Netizens...

The news the last few weeks has been to put it bluntly, depressing. No, I'm not talking about the pile of Jello that our nation's finances have turned into, although I could easily write two or three pages of raw vitriol about the impact a few millionaires have had on a lot of our lives. I have already tried, with some limited degree of success or failure to achieve journalistic ambivalence while writing about David Elton in jail, but it is hard to write news about someone you know. Then there are all the natural or man-made disasters that always crop up in the nation's news wires, which are depressing by themselves. They don't need my help today, although I have a 20 page analyses of the tornadoes that swept through the Midwest the other day that bears some serious consideration. We will get to that later.

But the one-two punch that has most caused me great depression and anxiety is the threat of the C word in the lives of two women with whom I am most-intimately involved. Cancer.

Perhaps the woman with whom I am most closely involved, other than my own beloved wife, is Jeanie that green-eyed red-headed woman I met many years ago at a picnic, a Gathering of the Phoenix Faithful. We held newsgroup Gatherings then, much as we do now although the circumstances are quite different today. Since Jeanie was a frequent voyeur and sojourner of that internet newsgroup, she and her significant other were there, and a friendship was formed.

Today I passed you on the street

And my heart fell at your feet

I can't help it if I'm still in love with you.

Fast forward ahead to when this Blog was first formed, and based upon my years of writing each day for the Phoenix, I knew for a certainty this time I would need a strong partner, someone who could help with the journalistic load each day, and upon reuniting with Jeanie, I knew I had found the perfect silk to more than match my literary saber.

The mere thought of Jeanie perhaps having cancer is perhaps the most-depressing news of the week. However, in utter frustration and most tender caring, all I can think of to encourage her, to keep her hope and good cheer facing the sun each day, is of the little train who is climbing the long, steep hill, repeating with each puff of steam from its tiny engine, “I think I can, I think I can” and thus successfully climbs the hill that bigger steam engines dread.

Whenever you mention the word Cancer, you immediately subconsciously presume someone is going to die. Thus is not always the case. I have had several friends who died of it, yet I am proud to say I have had four who are now in remission and still punching tickets at the door of life. It seems very unpopular these days to talk about dying, but it is something, given my medical conditions, that I face as I arise from my bed to greet the day. Sure, I'm going to die...some day. However I can see the sunlight coming through my window, so it means that time is not now.

Mark my words. If, and only if Jeanie has cancer, and that is yet to be determined, I will teach her the mantra “I think I can” and faithfully stand at the rear of the train she is pulling up the hill pushing for all I am worth. Call it self-serving, but I need her to sing “Ave Maria” at my memorial services.


Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.