A close friend of someone I know at Brandeis recently died, which caused me to pause and reflect on life and her struggle with a rare form of cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. I never knew Liddy, but she shared her experiences on the web, and I had glanced at the site a few times. Now I’ve read through much of it, have learned a lot about suffering, a lot about the human spirit, and way too much about cancer.

1/15/04: Liddy took her final steps on her journey with Ewing’s sarcoma today at 11:15 AM. No more pain. No more labored breathing. No more trembling hands and wobbliness. No more auras. She is at rest and at peace.

A few days ago President Bush announced a new initiative to send Americans to Mars, a mission that will end up costing anywhere from 500 billion to over 1 trillion dollars. I very much believe in our future in space and the wonders of what we can achieve. But perhaps that money could be best spent, at present, in another, more noble and more immediate cause: the eradication of cancer, a terrible, terrible, and mostly human-created disease.