Before I get started this morning, I wanted to share some sage advice that I received from one of my regular readers after they learned I was struggling with my father’s life nearing the end:
My father died suddenly a few weeks before his 39th birthday. I was eighteen at the time, my sister 11. It was a terrible shock. He wasn’t sick, but was overweight ( about 25 pounds ), a smoker, sedentary and not a careful eater. But he never got to see his kids graduate college, get married and have children. He loved kids, loved us and we adored him.
As a Rabbi, many years later I was called to the home of a 93 year old woman who was about to pass away. She wanted to see me. Gathered at her bedside were her 6 sons.
I spoke with her about her life and the wishes for her kids. Actually she used me as the excuse to give instructions to her children and to reassure them that she loved them and was ready to go.
As I was leaving the oldest son took me to the door. He was in his early 70’s. He had the saddest expression on his face. I said to him,” Listen you can be so happy that you had her all these years.” All this a reflection of my experience.
He looked at me in shock and responded sternly, ” Rabbi, you’re talking about our MOTHER!”
I never made that mistake again.
God bless you and your family. If you will send me his name I will pray for him that he finds rest. At the same time I do Believe in miracles!!! (Having witnessed them on many occasions.)
Rabbi Simcha Freedman
I’m not sure if Rabbi Simcha is a myeloma patient or caregiver. He sends me parables like this from time to time. I find them uplifting and incredibly reassuring. I appreciate him giving me the go-ahead to share one of them with you today.
Switching gears, trying to figure out the stock market is a nearly impossible task. For example, Celgene releases clinical trial results from a an innocuous, practically meaningless study and their stock soars, making big time business headlines like this one:
Celgene hits all-time high on Revlimid study
July 11, 2013 – Boomberg Businessweek
Shares of Celgene Corp. rose to an all-time high Thursday after the company said its cancer drug Revlimid slowed the progression of newly-diagnosed cases of multiple myeloma, a bone marrow cancer.
The company said the late-stage trial compared Revlimid and dexamethasone, a steroid, to a standard treatment regimen including thalidomide. Celgene has been looking for ways to broaden the approval of Revlimid to increase sales, and the company said it plans to start discussions with regulators.
Celgene shares climbed $8.38, or 6.7 percent, to $133.46 in afternoon trading. Earlier in the day the stock peaked at $136.36.
Revlimid is approved as a treatment for multiple myeloma in patients who have received at least one previous round of treatment. The drug is also approved as treatment for severe anemia and in June the Food and Drug Administration cleared its use against mantle cell lymphoma.
Revlimid is the Summit, N.J., company’s biggest-selling drug. In the first quarter sales rose 16 percent to $1 billion, which was about two-thirds of Celgene’s revenue. That total includes $568 million in U.S. sales.
Celgene reported $3.77 billion in Revlimid sales in 2012 and expects $4.1 billion to $4.2 billion this year.
Thalidomide. A “standard treatment regimen?”
Of course Celgene’s stock had already shot up following their announced mega-million purchase of the rights to MOR202. I wrote several posts about this new immunotherapy, made from the HuCAL antibody a few weeks back. If you’re interested, this link should bring you up to speed:
The positive aspect in all of this: more and more patients are receiving cutting edge therapy as the norm.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat