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?  🙂

6 thoughts on “How the hell can I compete with this?”

  1. You’re a better (or more secure)man than I am, Jeff. I would be on the bathroom floor right now, writhing in spasmodic self-hatred.
    Plus, the guy’s got some guns!

  2. Actually, I am your wife’s Mother and let me say first off that I am damn proud to be! Long ago I learned the true value of my favorite son-in-law (only current one). His subtle sense of humor, humble intelligence, loving nature and of course the fact he has been voted Father of the Year 6 years in a row endear him to me. He even skypes with the kiddies and me just to keep me in their lives. John or Jared or any guy who’s name begins with “J” can’t top that!

  3. “…if you’re my wife’s mother, well, what are you thinking right about now?”

    How about, “how the hell did some guy who uses emoticon smiley faces manage to give me grandkids?”

    Now if I myself used smiley faces I could put one at the end of that statement to show that it’s all in good jest. However, I still maintain a shred of dignity and have managed to avoid using them, so you are just going to have to assume my light-hearted intentions.

  4. You can’t be serious. You’re a best-selling author and (from what I can tell) a superior husband and father. Why would you care that your wife ex-boyfriend is a brain surgeon? She chose you for a reason, dude. Have some confidence and security, man.

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