In my travels I have met very interesting people. I believe that nothing happens by accident and tonight is a perfect example. The hotel I am staying in houses a group of employees of Genentech, a medical research facility here in South San Fransisco. An older gentleman observed me working on my computer in the lobby and asked me if I liked my Powerbook. I hugged it close to my chest, and told him I loved it. He pulled out a bulky Dell laptop out of a soft briefcase and said that “They gave him this piece of junk to work with”. After a little laughter, he and I engaged in conversation about computers and then he told me he works as an oncology research scientist for Genentech. When I told him I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma and that my mother died from leiomyosarcoma a year ago, he said that the two cancers were about as related as a grasshopper and a bear. He said that we are living longer and that as we get older, we are bound to get something or other. We have to die of something. Our conversation evolved to issues of quality, rather than quantity of life and that we live in a culture of quantity, not quality. He said that in different parts of the world, my diagnosis would have been treated completely differently. It made me realize, once again that life is precious and short and we must make the best of it, no matter how much time we have on this earth.

About Karen Elaine

Artist, author and teacher.
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3 Responses to Quality…

  1. Howie says:

    Interesting observation of the cancer.
    I have an old Dell laptop my son gave me for Father’s Day a few years back. I do like it and try to care for it. Yes, it is bulky but it is there when I need it on the road.
    Ironically, my son, Aaron, is an Apple nut but works on all of them. He and his wife have their own computer consulting company in Michigan.
    They are expecting their second child in August. 🙂


  2. Pat Hacker says:

    My wish for you is quality AND quantity……
    Pat H.
    p.s. and yet another hotel room…does this mean a new floozy haircut?


  3. nancy says:

    hi Karen – found your site kind of by accident. seems like we have a lot in common, including wonderful moms who passed away and are missed so much. my lovely younger daughter passed away 4 years ago (8 months after my mother) at the age of 29. my other daughter (an art teacher) got married a year later to a fabulous guy and now we are all blessed with a beautiful baby in the family, little Sawyer.
    i love seeing you on reruns of HGTV’s Carol Duvall Show (now that i’m no longer working, and am enjoying creativity and art in my life again). my daughter’s room is now my art room, as she would have wanted it. i need to buy your Fold-It DVD very soon and am trying to locate it.
    there’s actually a few more things we have in common…
    your stories are very wonderful and enlightening. take care, and i hope to hear back from you soon.


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