Celebrate the Death

Dust to dust, the stuff of us, before and after life.

Cancer Cannot.

Doggerel Fails Me

An excerpt from the new e-book Cancer Doesn’t Give a Shit About Your Stupid Attitude.


Home Taping Is Skill in Buddha

We are musicians, sampling his breaks, writing our own songs hundreds of times.


Parting Shot

O Lord, grant me impatience.

From the 2011 Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference. Photo from the Philly Broadcaster.

Reporter in Transition

Initial reflections from the 2011 Philadelphia TransHealth Conference.

Killing the Buddha

A Debate Not for the Faint of Foreskin

Okay, here goes. Ready? The length of what follows should make this obvious: gird your loins. “Barefoot Intactivist,” from New York, wrote in last week about Gordon Haber’s ever-controversial essay “Uncovered” (see other discussions here and here): I applaud that you tried to approach this subject with logic, reasoning, and facts, but unfortunately you had…

Protest in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics Annual Meeting, by dbking, via Flickr.

Our Sons’ Willies

As expected, we’ve gotten a lot of mail about Gordon Haber’s circumcision essay, “Uncovered.” People get worked up about penises. Let’s start positive. Jessie Bennett, from Boston, writes: I’m just writing to say how grateful I was to read Gordon Haber’s completely sane, thoughtful piece on circumcision. It so closely mirrored my own thoughts on…

Protest in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics Annual Meeting, by dbking, via Flickr.


A father assuages his post-circumcision conscience.

Most Holy Rosary.

The Desiccated Finger of Fate

I reported to the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center yesterday for an appointment in the Avon Foundation Breast Center(!). The first thing I saw as I exited the parking structure was what I assume to be an Episcopalian priest in a dog collar. Then, while I waited in the waiting room, considering just how ugly the…

"imperial surgical" by D'Arcy Norman, via Flickr.

Faith Healed

Surviving the unwelcome prayers of strangers.

God's eyes.

God’s Eye Gives Back

Everybody’s favorite yarn craft puts its mystical powers under the microscope.

Killing the Buddha

Comforted by “Cancertainment”

Febz Beloy writes in from the Philippines with a note about Mary Valle’s essay “That’s Cancertainment!“: In its own odd little way, I find your article comforting. My mother has recently been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer that has metastasized to the bones and she’s a non-smoker. It’s tempting to ask “Why?” but then…

Note to cancer by author.

That’s Cancertainment!

Sexy corpses and smug survivors: cancer gets its own TV show.

Zelie Martin

Playing Through the Pain

Shelves don’t stay empty for long. The front of a nursing station is meant to be a wide-open vista where patients can perch (if need be) to ask a question, or family members can ask where they can find a bathroom. These horizontal planes, like everything else, soon become cluttered with things. Handknitted hats for…

Illustration by the author.

Farewell, Little Piece of Me!

Skin-punch biopsies in remembrance of Christ.

Illustration by the author.

Mottled, Speckled, Blooming in Colors

Medical report: “riddled with … indurations, erythemas, hematomas” I’d prefer to think of my thighs as some of Fr. Hopkins’ “dappled” or “brindled” things

Johns Hopkins ID tag

Dispatch from Johns Hopkins, Weinberg Building

My dog, Ginger, has been invited to play in the fenced-in yard of a neighborhood dog whenever she likes. The dad of the house saw me out there one day with the dogs and his eyes alit on the plastic ID card around my neck. “Where’s that ID from?” he asked. I ignored his question,…

Killing the Buddha

Cancer, Reality, and Mania

Paul R. Mazur, MD, MPH, from Northport, Maine, writes in with a letter about Mary Valle’s weekend essay about cancer-ward poetry, “Doggerel Fails Me“: Courageous bit of writing by Mary Valle. Cancers, and a good many other chronic diseases, of necessity bring one up against awesome realities. I admire those who give access to the…