I was thinking this past weekend about the death of former congresswoman and vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro. She passed on from multiple myeloma which she had been fighting for about 12 years. During that time, as noted in our many programs on the subject, there has been tremendous progress in knocking back the disease. People are living longer and better and I am pretty sure the doctors at Massachusetts General brought the latest to bear for Ms. Ferraro. Of course, that’s one of the premier academic medical centers in the world – staffed by Harvard physicians. Not everyone has...

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If you follow me regularly, you know I enjoy watching the Fox television drama House M.D. on Monday nights (although I often watch the recording later in the week). Doctor Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) is a sorry character but a terrific diagnostician.  In almost every episode someone is on the brink of death from an elusive illness when House’s “light bulb” goes on and, in a flash, he saves the patient’s life by proving himself to being the world’s best medical detective. Dr. Lisa Sanders is watching 3,000 miles away in New Haven, Connecticut where she teaches first and second...

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My wife Esther had four pregnancies. One ended prematurely, but the three others produced our dear Ari, Ruthie, and Eitan. Now they are thriving at 21, 17, and 13. With them on their way and the house getting quieter, what to do? Have another baby? How about finally having the discipline to have another kind of baby – write a book and actually have the discipline to get it published? Guess what: I DID IT! With deep thanks to long-time friend and co-author Mary Thomas, we took the kernel of an idea Amy Gray and I hatched four years ago...

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Maybe you read the other day in The New York Times that the pharmaceutical industry has a problem. Big blockbuster drugs like Lipitor are going off patent and the industry leaders don’t have new blockbusters showing promise to replace them. So the big companies search for little companies with new discoveries and they consider buying them. Industry observers think the days of $5 billion- a-year drugs to lower cholesterol or control diabetes may be past for a while, and the companies will have smaller hits with new compounds for autoimmune conditions and cancer. When I saw my oncologist for a...

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I had breakfast this morning in Las Vegas with my friend, Dave Garcia. Dave is a pit boss on the graveyard shift at the Belagio Hotel where they made the modern day Ocean’s buddy movies. Dave is also a 52-year-old chronic lymphocytic leukemia survivor. He reached out to me online and we have been friends since soon after his diagnosis in 2002. Dave is a father of two young kids. He dreams of seeing them grow up. But, understandably, he worries. Some days more than others. Today was his day to see his oncologist and get the latest blood test...

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No, I am not talking about meeting on Match.com and then getting together at a coffee shop for a date. I am talking about being diagnosed with a serious illness, putting yourself out there online, and corresponding with someone else, across town, across the state or around the world who has the same diagnosis. That of course, is nothing new. Many of us have been doing that since the mid-90’s at least. But here is what is so cool – time and time again. It’s when I get to meet someone in person who I’ve known for years in a...

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I am not the best with remembering birthdays and anniversaries. But I think this is Patient Power’s 6th anniversary. It has been an interesting ride. Six years ago I was a vice president at the company I founded, HealthTalk.com. There were about 50 people there and I had sought venture capital five years earlier when treatment was imminent for my chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The VCs came in with six million dollars of investment and a plan to combine our talk shows for patients with an approach to have patients urge their doctors to write prescriptions for certain treatments. A...

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I didn’t know Elizabeth Edwards when we were both students at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But I certainly got to know her from a distance years later as she campaigned for her husband, John, and then publically spoke about her fight against advanced breast cancer that had spread. As she told an interviewer in 2007: "When I was first diagnosed, I was going to beat this. I was going to be the champion of cancer. And I don't have that feeling now. The cancer will eventually kill me. It's going to win this fight.” As you...

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Exciting Time with World Renowned Experts from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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I am really excited about serving as the emcee for next week’s Personalized Medicine World Conference in Mountain View, California near San Francisco. I also will be the moderator of a panel discussion on patient empowerment. As I prepare, I am interviewing the panelists and their stories are very inspiring. One panelist is Bonnie Addario. Bonnie had been an oil company executive in the Bay Area. She began having chest pain. Was it her heart? No. Was it a nerve problem? No. Doctors were stumped. Bonnie was frustrated, but she was also a woman of action – a “powerful patient.”...

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March 2011
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