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Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Cripple Liberation Front Marching Band Blues

(Part I)

They draw me into an arch so that they can run an eighteen-inch horse-needle in between the plates of my spine for an hour or so to get a copious sample of the cerebrospinal fluid. So the doctors can tell my family. What they know already. That I am very sick. That I might die.

By Lorenzo Milam April 1983
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


Cholestiatoma is a loving beast; as with other cancers, he comes like a string around the finger, a chain around the throat, to insure that we do not idly forget why we are here. Cholestiatoma (Chole when masculine, Choleste when feminine) lives in my skull between the meninges and the right orbit.

By David Koteen February 1983
The Sun Interview

Doctors As Equals: Beyond The Medical Mystique

An Interview With Dan Domizio

It would be so nice if we didn’t have societal inertia, history, intransigence to deal with, but that’s a dream. We’ve got a system that was primitive, evolved to an enormously sophisticated set-up and is now riding on the myths and images and reputations of the past medical tradition. We need to recognize it, understand why it is what it is, and then step by evolutionary step take it apart and put it where it needs to be.

By Sy Safransky March 1981
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Mysteries And Metaphors

A New Look At Cancer

I’m on my way to the biggest — and for me the most enigmatic — of cities, New York, to attend Cancer Dialogue ’80, an historic gathering of physicians, scientists, and researchers brought together by the Omega Institute to shed light on the most frightening and puzzling disease of our time.

By Sy Safransky November 1980
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Medical Doctor Diagnoses Reality

“There’s Nothing Out There. It’s All Happening On The Back Of Your Eyeballs.”

The suggestion coming down from the best minds in the scientific community today is that the world is crystallized thought. What you think creates your world. There’s an old Buddhist image of two mirrors facing each other — each one reflecting and creating the other. That’s the way it is with your consciousness and your physical reality.

By Dr. Irving Oyle March 1980


The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.


February 1980
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Good Medicine

An Unorthodox Prescription For Health

I can tell you everything you need to know about nutrition in one sentence. “Good nutrition consists of eating a wide variety of chemically unaltered foods.” That throws out 90% of what you’ll find in the grocery store.

By Dr. C. Norman Shealy February 1980
Readers Write


A pituitary tumor, a shot of thorazine, the flu

By Our Readers February 1980
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Facing Cancer

“Peg has left us. She died peacefully. . . .”

There seems to be more of me in this letter than I like. However, I want you to know that, though tired, I am peacefully sad yet thankful that Peg’s pain is over.

By Andrew Staley January 1980
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Facing Cancer

Do Doctors Do More Harm Than Good?

It angers me that he can share that ambivalence about the value of treatment with a surgeon and get enraged when I, not only a patient but also a woman, question his recommendation.

By Peg Staley November 1979