First of all, let me express my now-annual disappointment at not being awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant. Even worse, they raised the amount given this year from $500,000 to $650,000. Frankly, I could have used both the money and the ego boost.
Even worse, there were no cancer-related geniuses named this year, no one who is showing us some new pathway to curing cancer. The closest we have is some guy who has found a way to make sure that people who need health care can get it, efficiently and effectively, while lowering costs.What the heck does that have to do with me?
Meanwhile, a new study appearing in the Journal of Clinical Oncology shows that outcomes are better for cancer patients who are married. The researchers looked at data from over 700,000 people diagnosed between 2004 and 2008 with one of the ten most deadly cancers (including Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma). The numbers are kind of startling: "unmarried cancer patients, including those who were widowed, were 17
percent more likely to have metastatic cancer (cancer that spread beyond
its original site) and were 53 percent less likely to receive the
appropriate therapy." They speculate it's because married patients are more likely to have someone come to the appointment with them and ask question and remember important information. Probably true.
I think you can't discount the idea that you have a support system next to you. (Ideally, anyway -- you hear horror stories of people whose spouses just shut down and stop helping, but I like to think they are rare.)
Of course, I have my own excellent support system in my wife. She keeps me sane, asks questions, remembers stuff I don't (during doctors' appointments, and at lots of other times), and generally takes care of me.
And I was smart enough to marry her.
Which, I guess, makes me a genius.