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.