Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tom Brokaw Has Cancer

It feels like it has been a very sad week and it is only Wednesday. Yesterday, Tom Brokaw announced to the world that he has been diagnosed with bone marrow cancer and has just a three percent chance to live ten years. He has always been a great guy and he said in a statement that he is optimistic that he will be one of the three percent. I hope he is too. When you are diagnosed with a cancer that tough to beat do you fight it like crazy or if you just turned 74 do you go out and enjoy all the years you have left without trying to fight it? I think at 74 if you could give me ten years of no pain or very little pain I would probably just enjoy the ten years. I would hate to spend the last ten years fighting a fight I didn't ultimately win and have no energy to do anything or enjoy life.

36 comments:

MISCH said...

Ten years ? I don't wish this cancer on anyone it took my gran….
Hope you beat it Tom…

TalksTooMuch said...

That's a fairly succinct right-to-die argument, Ents, but I think Tom figures he's gonna make it. All the good luck and juju, Mr. Brokaw

MollyMo said...

Cancer is depressing. Just reminds us that this life is fleeting and we need to make the most of it. We will all eventually go one way or another. Thoughts and prayers to Mr. Brokaw and his family.

Sarah said...

Well there won't be 10 years of "little to no pain" either way, so you may as well fight the damn thing. Good luck to him, the 3% are typically those who are optimistic!

TalksTooMuch said...

Well, succinct prolly isn't the right word

__-__=__ said...

I had a friend that same age get prostate cancer. He did radiation and 10 years later is doing fine. He said he would not do chemo.

Another guy had a cancer from smoking at 87. Something requiring brain surgery. All those years he smoked and defended his right to do it. He wanted the surgery although it was ill advised. Spent the rest of his life, a couple more years, in the home.

Tuff decisions.

Kourtney Kardashian said...

He is full of grace and dignity.
It's really not our place to speculate on the path he chooses.
What if it were you?
Would you want someone to say "don't bother, you're old anyway?"

nancer said...

we only live so long. if tom had 10 years left, he'd still exceed the average life expectancy in this country by 9 years.

and a guy who smoked is sick at 87??? everyone will say 'smoking killed him'. fact is, we all get sick with something eventually, unless we drop dead in the yard.

Karen said...

My father-in-law has this type of cancer. There is no cure for it--a person can go into multiple remissions but it WILL come back and more quickly each time. The key is getting diagnosed early and getting a bone marrow transplant which, in best case scenarios, will give about 30 months of remission.

I wish Tom Brokaw the best. I know how hard it'll be for him and his family. :(

Seven of Eleven said...

Karen, I'm sorry to hear that. I hope you and your families are able to enjoy your time with him.

My gran loved Tom Brokaw. I can still hear him in my head, "This is NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw." I wish him the best and that his suffering be minimal.

FU, cancer.

Kaye said...

74 is not old kids, lots of life left in him I'd say.

Nutty_Flavor said...

My great-aunt insisted on chemo at age 83. Her doctors recommended against it - suggested she just enjoy the time she had left - but she wanted to hold onto every day she could. She spent her last days feeling awful.

When it's my time, I want to move forward gracefully, and cede the floor to the next generation. It'll be their turn to shine. And someday it'll be their turn to move on, as well.

Meanie Rhysie, Enty #27 said...

I'm sorry, Karen. Much love to you.

WastedTime said...

A close relative of mine is in her early 70s and has been living with this same cancer for 7 years now, and still going strong (with chemo). So I don't think Tom is deluding himself.

Meanie Rhysie, Enty #27 said...

Fuck cancer. ;(

Renoblondee said...

How sad. I wish him the best.

aemish said...

+1

Cheryl said...

My father died of lung cancer. He decided against chemo and radiation and was on home hospice care. He only lived for 6 months after diagnosis, but he was in little pain and and had a chance to get his affairs in order. My best friend's mom had the exact same cancer, fought it aggressively, but still only lived about 6 months after diagnosis. It's really up to the individual and the quality of life that can be expected for them.

Kels said...

I'm never sad about these things because I feel this is the cycle of life but I love Tom! :/

audrey said...

I miss this man's face on the nightly news. If there was a disaster of any kind in the world I would turn to NBC so Tom Brokaw was the one telling me the bad news. He had a charm and grace about him that so many of the news anchors today are lacking. It makes me sad that he may spend the last years of his life fighting a painful battle against such an ugly heartless disease.

Anothergrayhare said...

Doesn't anyone have even a hint of a cure? What about coffee enemas and no sugar and flaxseed and cottage cheese? Budwig or something? Surely there is some way to treat this dreaded disease. I am starting to think that chemo just seems to delay the inevitable.

Mama Ray said...

Well said. Never thought I'd say this but the Kardashian comments are starting to grow on me. :/

Count Jerkula said...

74 years old and the cancer gives him a 3% chance to live 10 years? What are his friggin chances if he didn't have cancer, 10%?

Live it up, Tom. See the world, try heroin, kill your enemies. There are now no consequences to your actions.

Amartel said...

Could you possibly get a better picture of Brokaw? Geez, it's not like he's an obscure person who never gets photographed.

D Brown said...

The fact that 3% last ten years is not as relevant as average survival rate. I believe for multiple myeloma the average suvival is 5-6 years. Also you should be aware that complications kill as much as the disease. My father had multiple myeloma but died of pneumonia as the chemo weakened his immume system.

Mindy Lopkin said...

The very first thing Mr. Brokaw ever said to me was

".... Shit." He then paused and asked "are you Mindy?"

I'll explain. I worked for his wife at her chain of boutique toy stores in Manhattan called PennyWhistle Toys in the late 80s - mid 90s. His wife, Meredith, is STILL the best boss I ever worked for. I had no clue when I started with the chain, that Meredith (besides being as nice as can be), talked to her family about the comings and goings at the store. Obviously, one of my goofy antics MUST have made the breakfast table talk in their house. The first time I spoke with him, he had called the West Side store, when he meant to call the East (where Meredith had the offices). I answered the phone "I hi-ho, PennyWhistle toys," and I guess since my voice was unknown to him, and there were no new employees over at the east, that I must be Mindy, the 'new girl' at the west side store.

That said... He is a truly nice man. His wife is the best. Their two daughters are sweet as well. I sincerely hope he has this cancer BEAT. He deserves to be one of the folks that lives to a very ripe age of 105.

Mindy Lopkin said...

The very first thing Mr. Brokaw ever said to me was

".... Shit." He then paused and asked "are you Mindy?"

I'll explain. I worked for his wife at her chain of boutique toy stores in Manhattan called PennyWhistle Toys in the late 80s - mid 90s. His wife, Meredith, is STILL the best boss I ever worked for. I had no clue when I started with the chain, that Meredith (besides being as nice as can be), talked to her family about the comings and goings at the store. Obviously, one of my goofy antics MUST have made the breakfast table talk in their house. The first time I spoke with him, he had called the West Side store, when he meant to call the East (where Meredith had the offices). I answered the phone "I hi-ho, PennyWhistle toys," and I guess since my voice was unknown to him, and there were no new employees over at the east, that I must be Mindy, the 'new girl' at the west side store.

That said... He is a truly nice man. His wife is the best. Their two daughters are sweet as well. I sincerely hope he has this cancer BEAT. He deserves to be one of the folks that lives to a very ripe age of 105.

teresa crane said...

Sending love and wheatgrass shots his way! Stay strong Tom!!

Sprink said...

@Mindy...that's a nice anecdote. But I wouldn't want to live to 105. Best wishes for Mr Brokaw.

Dazlondon said...

I think 10 years is if he fights it

Christine65 said...

I just lost my father to multiple myeloma in September. They gave him 18 months and we were lucky enough to have him for 16 months. He was pretty far gone when they finally diagnosed him though. Hopefully Tom caught it early. Typical survival is 5-6 years with chemo.

You do not end up dying of multiple myeloma but rather from something else. My father's kidneys had failed and he was on dialysis which caused calcium buildup and resulted in him having a fatal heart attack.

They figure he got it from Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam.

Cancer sucks!!

Good luck Tom and live it up in as much comfort as you can while you can!!

Momster said...

My dad is 77. He has fought against 2 bouts of cancer, E-Coli, and now a skin infection is threatening to do him in. But he fights back every single time. He's determined to live into his 80's, and see great-grandchildren born.

Don't give up, Tom. Put up a good fight!

Winnigirl said...

He is one of the most brilliant and classiest men I've ever had the privilege of meeting. Much love, prayers, and respect to him and his family.

Sunnyhorse said...

Christine, I'm so sorry to hear that. (My dad died of complications of MM back in the '90s -- he got seven years after his diagnosis, but a good friend's father was gone just a month after his MM was diagnosed.) It's a terrible disease. I hope Mr. Brokaw is one of the lucky ones.

KarenK said...

I hear you Tom. Wishing you and your family the best. Fight, fight, fight!

Stepforded said...

A good friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer and died three months later. She didn't even know anything was wrong but it was detected via a mammogram and had progressed so far that they could not do anything? How could that be possible? Who knows ... the same thing could be asked of women who suddenly give birth without realising they are pregnant. I guess some peoples' bodies hide the symptoms.

An acquaintance of mine was diagnosed with cancer and went through all the treatments, the all-clear, then the treatments again when it came back ... and died about 10 years later. Those 10 years were hell, with the person unable to work, the emotional toll that it took, the waiting, the hoping, more waiting, ...

Given the choice, I'd opt for the former - she had a great life (although was relatively young when it happened), and spent her last three months doing things that made her happy (not a 'bucket list' so much as spending time doing things she enjoyed, and with people she loved).