Ted Kennedy has a brain tumor. That fucking sucks. And it's human nature to imagine the worst. But should we have our worst expectations broadcast over every media outlet; media outlets that he can and still does read?
Every oncologist - even those who are particularly empirically oriented - will tell you that a positive outlook is an essential component of every patient's prognosis. Positive thinking alone can't save a life, but negative thinking can surely hinder expectations. The mind-body connection has long been proven in terms of the relationship between stress and heart attack/cancer mortalities. If you read below the headlines, you will find that roughly 7,000 males of the roughly 12,ooo a year who are diagnosed with Ted Kennedy's cancer have a positive 5-year survival rate. So why are we assuming he will fall within the slight majority? He hasn't yet. Not even close.
Ted Kennedy has given more eulogies than most of us will ever hear in our lifetime. He has buried more siblings than most of us can count among our brothers and sisters. He did a really, really bad thing once- and it may have been even worse than what it was on paper. Only he and the Secret Service knows the truth (and I'm not even certain of that). But we forgave him that enough to exalt him as a symbol of enduring democracy: Ted Kennedy's red face is the reason that Massachusetts will always be blue in the eyes of this nation. So why is his death sentence the first thing he will see if, tonight, he types his name into a google search?
The light at the end of the tunnel is dim enough. Let's not clog it with the black dress we've already picked out for a funeral that hasn't happened yet. Let's let a man live, for as long as he can. It might be longer than we think.