Science & Medicine

How Richard Silver, MD saved my life.

4:00 AM is my new wake-up time.

   I can go to sleep past midnight and still wake up at 4.  At that time on my bedside radio the BBC is winding down and NPR is revving up.  For months, there’s been a sameness about this routine. Every news story starts “ Today President Donald Trump…” and moves on to news of wars, domestic protest and  mayhem, status of the pandemic curve, ferocious weather and fires out West.Dow Jones futures. .

I flip on the coffee I had setup the night before, take my cup back to bed before fully facing the day.    My favorite outfit these newly chilly, still dark mornings is a ratty gray striped woolen sweater. I can’t remember its history. I cut out those annoying tags in the back of the neck so I don’t even know who made it.  I just wear it. 

I pull on stretchy cotton lounge pants that could easily serve for padjama bottoms.. Slip into either slides or rubber clogs, depending on whatever is closest to the bed.  And then go out to feed the animals. And face another boneless, pandemic day.

   Good morning.

Today and likely for the last time, I’m putting together an issue of MPNforum. Ellen Jacquart has already forwarded the updated List of Hematologists.  The lead story is an event I almost missed until I got an email from Dick Silver.  Dr. Richard T. Silver, the diminutive legendary giant of MPN science and medicine, is my MPN specialist …. to the extent I even have one.  I’ve seen him twice at Weill-Cornell, the loast time nine ypears ago.  And many memorable times since  at ASH or around the MPN circuit.

  He reminded me of the virtual CR&T meeting to take place October 28

Truthfully I had missed all notice of it.  My attention had been focused on the origins of my gray sweater and filling the contents of my parrot Bozo’s feeding dishes and ushering my dog and cat out to the backyard for their morning routines.  And, of course, coffee, the upcoming election, the pandemic, the uprising of Planet Earth in revolt against the Anthropocene, etc.  There has been a lot on my plate lately.

  Looking over the CR&Tprogram I saw  Hans Hasselbalch, another passionate, brilliant Interferon Hero, would be there. His clinical research and advocacy has supported innumerable successful patient demands for interferon therapy. He will be making a major presentation  on new findings and therapies for MPNs and inflammation — a major contributor to our fatigue and disease progression.

  And then it started.

The old MPN passion kicked in. Where is everybodfy? How is everybody? Is the mourning period over for our fallen.  Have the newly arrived patients been welcomed.  What happened to the MPN Research Foundation now that the Old Guard is mostly gone? How is Mary Cotter doing?

Anything new in research. Is Incyte still paving clinical trials and medical institutu8o9ns with gold?

  The great relief of a work day. Contact and interviews. Research and writing.  Who knows. The sun could even come out and shine this fine Fall day. I’ve got to get to work.

   Thursday, October 22,  MPNforum Magazine will hit the newsstands. And computer monitors everywhere.

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