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Sympathies to long time Mac author Tom Negrino
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: February 27, 2017 02:51PM
For the last couple of years Tom Negrino has been fighting a losing battle against cancer. He is now in what appears to be the closing days or weeks of that fight. Those so inclined can send their sympathies through Twitter, @negrino , and read more about his situation on his blog backupbrain. His significant other, Dori Smith, is also posting updates on Twitter, @dori .

For those who may not make it to his blog, here's a chunk from the post where he talks openly about his illness.
~~~~~~~~~~
Let’s Talk About Talking About Cancer
It’s difficult to discover that someone you’ve know for a long time is going to die, and relatively soon. I’ve had a lot more time to think about it than you have, so here’s some ideas.

Things To Say To Me When You Find Out That I’m Dying
This is almost certainly not an exhaustive list, but it seems to be the useful things that I’ve learned people can say. The most common feelings most people have expressed to me is that they feel overwhelmed and helpless. That’s totally normal. If you’re the kind of person who likes to control things or make them happen, add on “frustration” to that list. After more than two years, here’s what I’ve learned are good things to say:
  • Express your sorrow and surprise that this is happening to me and Dori.
  • Express your empathy. The situation really sucks.
  • If you feel moved to, offer help. Most people say something like “Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.” You’re not obligated to say it. I won’t be offended if you don’t. But don’t be surprised if I accept your offer and ask you to do something. For example, a friend whom I know to be a brilliant social planner recently offered her beautiful home and planning services for a memorial celebration. I would have been a fool to say no, so I didn’t.
  • After I die, do anything you can to help Dori. She’s going to miss me a lot, and she’s going to need support.

Things Not to Say to Me When You Find out That I’m Dying
  • Please don’t ask me not to die. There really isn’t anything I can do about it. Believe me if there was, I would’ve been doing it for the past 28 months. In fact, I have been doing that for the past 28 months. I know that you don’t want me to die. I don’t want to die either. However asking me not to die is a frustrating request that I can’t fulfill, so it just makes us both sad.
  • Similarly, insisting that I can beat this cancer if I just have hope, or if I fight real hard is a crock of crap. I know you mean well, but this is really an expression of your own denial rather than a comment about me.
  • Since my diagnosis, I’ve been intermittently sending out an email newsletter. I’ve been publishing it approximately every three months, mainly so I didn’t have to make a zillion phone calls to family and close friends every time there was a medical development, and there have been a lot of them. If you are interested in reading these newsletters from the start, they are all available at this link on Dropbox. Feel free to subscribe if you’re interested in future details. If you have any problems using the links in the PDFs, let me know in the comments here and I’ll add a signup form to this blog.
  • If you suggest to me that everything will be better if I become a vegan/vegetarian/ignore Western medicine, or take some @#$%& treatment that you read about on Facebook or the University of Google or Joe’s Magical Cancer Cure Site, Dori has volunteered to delete your comment with extreme prejudice and unfriend you for me on Facebook and/or Twitter. The same goes for other superstitions like astrology, homeopathy, drum circles, and rubbing blue mud in my navel. That’s because at this point my most precious commodity is time, and I simply don’t have the time to waste on stuff that isn’t proven to work. “Anecdotal evidence” is a term like “jumbo shrimp” or “military intelligence.” I have already tried all of the things that have been proven to work. I won’t waste my time grasping at straws based on Internet anecdotes. I realize this is going to hurt some people’s feelings. So it goes.
  • Along the same lines, I appreciate that your cousin/great aunt/friend of a friend had an amazing experience with cancer after they did blah blah blah, but please keep those experiences to yourself. I do not want to read about other people’s cancer stories. I have all the cancer stories I need. I made my own.
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Re: Sympathies to long time Mac author Tom Negrino
Posted by: Speedy
Date: February 27, 2017 05:25PM
Even though his body is failing, his mind is still sharp!



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Sympathies to long time Mac author Tom Negrino
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: February 27, 2017 08:13PM
Those are really wonderful pontifications. I do not know this person in any way, but I will keep those thoughts and sentiments in my head for when I need to use these, either for me or for those I love.

esp this, which has always bothered me, as if cancer is a competitive game that can be conquered if somehow one were to just practice more:

insisting that I can beat this cancer if I just have hope, or if I fight real hard is a crock of crap. I know you mean well, but this is really an expression of your own denial rather than a comment about me.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2017 08:14PM by mrbigstuff.
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Re: Sympathies to long time Mac author Tom Negrino
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: February 27, 2017 09:35PM
Quote
mrbigstuff
esp this, which has always bothered me, as if cancer is a competitive game that can be conquered if somehow one were to just practice more:

insisting that I can beat this cancer if I just have hope, or if I fight real hard is a crock of crap. I know you mean well, but this is really an expression of your own denial rather than a comment about me.

Yes! My reaction, too.

I'm sorry that his life is ending this way.
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Re: Sympathies to long time Mac author Tom Negrino
Posted by: IronMac
Date: February 28, 2017 01:10AM
I only know Tom Negrino in a peripheral way (I used to sell his books) and it saddens me to hear that he is dying. I tried to leave a comment on his blog but that's been disabled.

I hope his passing is going to be painless and peaceful and I wish his family the best.
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