Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Dead Bosses Society

A disproportionate number of my bosses died before their time. New bosses of mine were warned  of what bad luck it is to be my boss. I did not wish these men dead: I was actually quite fond of them and wished them well. My worst boss ever is still alive; an evil bitter woman who was profoundly depressed and committed to take those down under her control. I remain friends with most of my former bosses. A few more may not be among the living but three died either while my boss or shortly thereafter.

Boss one: Age 55. Gunned down by a 19 year old prostitute at the order of her pimp. As I had alerted the police to her possible involvement, I was afraid I would be her next victim. She still is in prison; her pimp was sentenced to 'involuntary manslaughter' and probably was quickly out.

Boss two: Age 42. Drowned while trying to save his 7 year old son caught in a riptide. The son was saved by is 11 year old sister. A nine year old sister watched the tragedy unfold from the shore.

Boss three:  Age 74. Died of a BENIGN brain tumor. Aside from the brain tumor, he was a very healthy, engaged person  destined to live the 100 years his father did. His mother did not fare so well; she died shortly after giving birth to him due to a blood clot that formed while she was just laying around as the custom in those days.

I have discussed the first two bosses on other occasions. Boss three was a man two years older than my father and in his spare time was a photographer with quite the  artistic reputation. His work was shown in galleries around the country. He also usually had a booth in the juried section of the Art Fair though his best seller was a ciba chrome print of the law quad that law alumni seemed to like. As my father was a photographer too with a completely different focus ( commercial photos ultimately purchased by ad agencies and puzzle manufacturers), their paths would cross occasionally. My father would dismissively refer to my boss's ilk as 'artsy-fartsy'. My boss was amused by my father's pink hair (once red, it faded to pink) and not so amused by my father peddling his photographic inventions. They knew some of the same people including this creepy friend of my father's who I was fairly sure would give me obscene phone calls when I was only 10. I asked my boss if from what he knew of that man, would that be consistent? Yes it was. The boss lived on the very same street my father grew up on (until my grandfather moved them to the mansion just outside of town). The boss had many interests and opinions. One thing that he didn't find particularly interesting was our job and he failed to keep up. But we had lots of interesting conversations and we were fond of each other.
 Shortly after our company made him an offer he couldn't refuse, he developed olfactory hallucinations. He specifically smelled acrylates. Once he figured out that was impossible, he went in to see if he had a brain tumor. Although they didn't find it in the specific lobe responsible for smelling, they found  a tumor in another lobe not causing any symptoms. It was considered benign. Here is where common usage and medical usage part. To most people, benign means harmless. But a benign brain tumor is one that grows slowly, does not cause inflammation and it does not spread to other parts of the brain or the body. For a couple of years, it did not grow nor cause symptoms. But then it started to grow. They tried to remove it causing 'collateral damage'. Now that they have 'cyber knife' I wonder if that would have cured him.  The parts that were left, continued to grow and ultimately killed him.

But to his knowledge, he had this thing more than 10 years versus a glioblastoma that kills almost everyone in less than two years so I guess that makes his 'benign'. My friend managed to live a record three years with a glioblastoma but it was not a good three years. Yesterday I read that a herpes virus has been selectively modified to kill glioblastoma cells in mice. As these patients have next to nothing to help them, hopefully this will pan out to use in humans.

A good portion of the last two days was taken up with Maya watching so I was not able to run, which made me antsy. I was out there today trying to make up. Aside from Maya's lack of speech, she also was found lacking in fine motor skills. I have been trying to concentrate on that. She is fascinated by people writing and wants to do it too. Alas, she tries to hold a pen sideways. Finally we got her some giant crayons and she was able to make marks on the paper while squealing in delight.

Tomorrow, my grandsons and their parents will make the long trip here.

No comments:


Blog Archive