Hello Again

1 Nov

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been on the PARPS for three weeks. It would be even harder to describe what’s being going on during that time. Most of it has been pretty negative and I’ve been too exhausted to tell you.

But I’ve been so touched and encouraged by your support – those that have wanted to visit, keep phoning or those whose emails I’ve failed to answer – that I have to get back to the keyboard. Hopefully, there’ll be lots to share with you in the future.

I had thought of using the blog merely as a means of updating you – but perhaps at another stage. For the moment I’d like to keep to my mandate of fighting this awful illness.

The euphoria of receiving the PARPS receded as pain seemed to take over almost immediately. But the following day, we’d been invited to a seventieth birthday party of one my golf partners – a retired surgeon. Against Pam’s better judgement, I prevailed upon her to go. It was a last minute decision.

As fate would have it, I sat next to one of my host’s long-time work colleagues. We start talking and, looking as I did, the conversation soon turned to my illness. He just “happened to be” co-ordinator of a massive EU funded project that is out to find early-detection for pancreatic cancer!

This most remarkable man, Prof Louis Shenkman, tells me about the project: four years to investigate pathways of cancer – and hence lead the team to a cure. The “team” is being led by the Nano-technology Department of Bar-Ilan University; 19 members, including three other Israeli universities, one from Russia and the rest from the European Union. What is fascinating to Prof Shenkman is the fact that most of the personnel involved are scientists who have little or no contact with patients. He himself, while still a practicing doctor, admitted that he hadn’t before had such a heart-to-heart discussion with a potential “end-user”. He persuaded me how our few words were added incentive to ensure that the team beat their “deadline”.

By co-incidence, he tells me, he was travelling the next day to Europe for a meeting with the team leaders. After eighteen months work, the SaveMe Project has reached a cross-road for decision making; finalising the short list of the paths they will follow. They know they’re on the right trail. He asks me whether he can quote part of our discussion in his opening address. I’m knocked out.

I tell him that I had to wait two years for the PARPS. If his team comes up with the solution in another two and half years – I’m prepared to wait around for it. In view of what’s been happening in the last three weeks that’s one hell of a challenge. Let’s all hope we’re up for it.

Check out the “SaveMe Project”. The link is   http://fp7-saveme.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1&Itemid=1

 

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6 Responses to “Hello Again”

  1. Colin Goldstein November 1, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    I hadn’t heard about you meeting Prof Shenkman – what a small world! Much love from us all, Colin

  2. Felicity November 1, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    fantastic to hear from you!

  3. Thelma Levy November 1, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    Great to “hear” from you again.shabbat shalom

  4. dgrebler@yahoo.com November 2, 2012 at 2:52 am #

    Martin,
    You and I don’t know each other, though my sistern Jane Vaknin, has spoken to Pam (her son is married to Jeanette Dick’s daughter, Tali).
    We have our own sad experience with this horrible disease, having lost our dear brother, David Grebler, to it last February after 5 quick months. But I want you to know that you and your blog have been an inspiration despite our grief. Your wisdom, humor and appreciation for life and what friends and family bring to it are awesome.
    I don’t pray any more, but I fervently hope the Parps, the support of all whom you’ve touched and your own inner strength keep you going so you’re able to benefit from whatever medical research develops to defeat this scourge.
    Best wishes,
    Dan Grebler
    Closter, New Jersey
    Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  5. Tracy Cohen November 2, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    Martin, you blow me away….

    Love, as always.

  6. Renee November 2, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    Well Martin , your blog gave me “goose bumps”.
    The coincidences in your life are always amazing!
    Hope that the PARPS are doing their magic, and that you will be quoted often in scientific meetings, as the guy who beat the cancer!!
    Much love
    Renee

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