Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

HCR -- To survive with cancer, you need to accept that you are going to die.

By John Ballard

I'm snipping this entire post from Kevin MD.
The writer, Dr. Salwitz, is an oncologist who blogs beautifully at Sunrise Rounds.
The emphasis is mine, added for the benefit of those who don't take time to read more than a few soundbites, hoping to catch their attention. 

To have cancer is to change forever. It is a devastating declaration. Each of us copes with the diagnosis differently. How people adjust and move on with their lives are lessons in humanity.

I take care of a patient who explained to me how he deals with incurable cancer. Stan is active and able to enjoy grandchildren, friends and hobbies. He describes himself as happy, despite his terminal diagnosis. The key was both difficult and simple. He said, �that in order to survive with cancer, you need to accept that you are going to die.�

For Stan the obstacle was his struggle against the unstoppable. When diagnosed he responded by attacking the disease. He demanded extra tests, multiple second opinions and became obsessed with an investigation of treatment choices. He threw himself into conventional and alternative therapies. He filled binders with data, radiology reports, tumor markers and medical articles. He cataloged every event. Stan was absorbed in the disease process every moment of every day and with every ounce of his being.

Wherever Stan turned, he found that his cancer was indeed incurable. No matter what he did, he would eventually die. Frustration overwhelmed him. The more time he spent with the disease, the more he became lonely and frightened. He was the prototypic cancer patient�sick, exhausted, isolated and buried in medical care. He fell away from life and started to die.

According to Stan, the answer came as a revelation. In a particularly depressed and forlorn moment, a realization saved him. Stan did not have to fight an opponent he could not defeat. There is no shame in mortal limits. If he stepped back and accepted there were things he could not change, he would be alright. Stan discovered that to be set free, he needed to drop the burden of struggle.

With his family and doctors, Stan put together a basic medical plan. It consists of chemotherapy, nutritional support and exercise. He has set terminal limits. Most importantly, Stan carved out large blocks of time to be away from �health care� and return to his life.

Stan spends most of the days enjoying his family. He has done a little bit of traveling. He has been reading and learning. He is looking forward to spring garden planting. Stan hugs all his grandchildren every single day. He is happy.

Each person needs to find their own way through the challenges of life and those caused by illness. For this man the formula is difficult and simple. Accept what he cannot change and hold on tight to the things he loves. Seize life today, for that may be all there is � but sometimes that is enough.


  1. Or, perhaps, simply decide to live in today and that the eventual outcome doesn't really matter. When I was diagnosed with Parkinson's my wife wanted me enrolled in Tai Chi, yoga, and all sorts of other things that might slow the progress. I just decided to live in the moment, not let the disease control my life, and just let life run its course. As it turns out, I am happily very responsive to medication and six years later have essentially no visible symptoms. Neurologist says I will likely die of something else at a ripe old age with Parkinson's as nothing more than an inconvenience.
    Yesterday is a cancelled check, tomorrow a promissory note, today is cash. Spend cash.

  2. Thanks, Bill. This is one of the most satisfying comments we have ever had. It makes me feel my blogging is still worthwhile.