How the hell can I compete with this?


If you missed it, the Science Times section of yesterday’s New York Times featured a lengthy piece titled BREACHING A BARRIER TO FIGHT BRAIN CANCER.

The story profiled a new approach to fighting brain tumors, where the cancer drug Avastin bypasses a natural defense mechanism to reach the tumor more directly.

To lift directly from Denise Grady’s excellent article: “The new technique refines the art of opening the barrier: it uses microcatheters — fine, highly flexible tubes that are inserted into an artery in the groin and then threaded up into tiny blood vessels nearly anywhere in the brain — to spray chemotherapy directly onto tumors or areas from which they have been removed. The catheters are normally used to deliver clot-dissolving drugs to the brain to treat strokes.”

The name of the brain surgeon who devised the trial—John Boockvar.

Doctor John Boockvar.

My wife’s high school boyfriend.


That’s him above—the man on the left with the green sleeves. As the photograph was being shot, odds are I was sitting in Cosi, writing a life-or-death column about Allen Iverson or Montana football or … awwww, hell. Who am I kidding? I’m doomed! D-o-o-m-e-d! My wife’s ex-boyfriend is a neurosurgeon, and I’m a friggin’ hack! I can’t compete with that. Not even close. What’s the point of living? I might as well …


Actually, John’s a really good guy, and it was thrilling to open up the newspaper and read about his dazzling work.

But if you’re my wife’s mother, well, what are you thinking right about now?  🙂