I am just back from a whirlwind (19 day) trip to: Italy, Turkey, Greece, Croatia, Austria and Switzerland. I feel like Obama, having covered a lot of ground fast. But it was very, very enjoyable and our family of two parents and three kids actually got along quite well. The positive health effects of a restful and enjoyable vacation are continuing to last and I am grateful for that and also that we could even make the trip. Some musings on health: The first part of our trip was aboard ship with 2,000 of our "closest friends." As you may...

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Aboard the MS Zuiderdam in the Greek Islands – Our cruise with family and friends continues as does the battle to have the teenagers wear enough sunscreen and get to bed before 2:00 a.m. As we travel there is some news to note about the death of a celebrity in the news and the fight for life of a celebrity on board. A few days ago we read of the death of Tony Snow from advanced colon cancer. Although I never met him, Tony seemed to be an honorable journalist and political commentator as well as a recent White House...

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I am blessed. It's summer and I get to go on a vacation with family and friends. And not just a gas guzzling vacation down the highway. Once again I am at sea…this time the Mediterranean on a cruise from Italy to Greece, Turkey, and back to Italy. I have saved for months to pay for it and it is worth it. I am not working other than to send this message to you. This is my downtime and, believing in health for mind as well as body, I am sure this break helps me live longer and certainly better....

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My life insurance agent, Mike Oling, is a nice man. And as an agent for Northwestern Mutual, a top grade company, he tries to do the right thing. In my case, as a 12-year-leukemia survivor who has extensive disability and term life insurance with Northwestern Mutual, the right thing would be to allow positive changes to update my policies. But when you are a cancer survivor the insurance companies, in my experience, are not really thrilled to have you in their book of business. That's their view even though there are now 10 million cancer survivors in America, and the...

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Tim Russert was just 58. As the Washington bureau chief of NBC News and host of the very popular "Meet the Press" Sunday television program, he was at the pinnacle of his journalism career in a political year when the news may get white hot and the "scoops" too good to be true. A fatal heart attack got in the way of Tim relishing that. A week later, this past weekend, we lost another celebrity, comedian George Carlin. He was 71, but again, at the top of his game, and eager to follow George Burns by earning a living on...

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I have a Facebook page. It seems to best way to keep up with my 14-year-old daughter even when she is at home. I have a LinkedIn page at the urging of business associates. I don't want to be left out. It's all part of the "social networking" rage and, as I have thought about it, I have been part of it for many years when it comes to health. Back in 1996 when I was diagnosed with leukemia, I joined a "listserv" at acor.org and rapidly became part of a community of people who shared the same diagnosis. The...

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Can Microsoft pull it off when nobody else has before them? Can this technology giant bring together doctors, hospitals and the whole world of health information technology players to allow you to have your up-to-date-, easy-to-use, and secure medical record at your fingertips online? This would allow you to plug in devices to measure your blood glucose, or your calories, or your exercise and much, much more, add the data to your record and zap it to any doctor or hospital you wanted to have it. It would also allow you to stop having to fill out endless forms each...

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Isn't it interesting? Senator Ted Kennedy chose to leave Boston and his doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital to have brain surgery today hundreds of miles to the south at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. How come? My guess is the Senator and the Kennedy family did their research and felt most comfortable putting the Senator in the hands of world renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Allan Friedman. That is not to say neurosurgeons in Boston are not great - it's just that the Kennedys felt Dr. Friedman was best for them. The follow-up treatment of chemotherapy and radiation will be...

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I am a fan of the television show House, M.D. on the Fox Network. That's where diagnostic whiz Dr. Gregory House figures out the secret to a parade of patients' illnesses while, at the same time, saying the most inappropriate things. Viewers love it, real doctors hate it. I can't get enough. That's why this past Memorial Day weekend I was reading former CNN medical correspondent Andrew Holtz' book The Medical Science of House, M.D. On the last episode, "Wilson's Heart," there was a little sidebar scene where we found a young female member of House's team, "Dr. Thirteen," in...

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Kathi Goertzen is a big name in Seattle. She's one of the most prominent anchors on television in my hometown. She is a lovely woman. Also, for the past ten years, she has been a brain tumor patient. There have been highs and lows. Now she is moving into the world of experimental therapy and will be getting on a plane to cross the country to New York City where they'll try a kidney cancer drug for the tumor, a meningioma, in her brain – a tumor that threatens her hearing and her speech and, if left unchecked, would spell...

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