Q&A With Entertainment Editor Joel Siegel

Joel: The good thing about cancer (and yes there are good things) is the way it helps you prioritize your life. You learn what is important — love, family, friends, being nice to the other people we share this earth with, being nice to the earth, too. That's the lesson — to live that way without having to go through the pain. My friend Gilda Radner put it this way: If it weren't for the downside, everybody would want to have cancer. But there is a heck of a downside.

Kristie, of Staten Island, N.Y., writes: What do you want Dylan to take away from your book? What was your key motivation to putting your life into words for your son? Did you want to give Dylan a better sense of "who dad is", or are there lessons you want Dylan to pull from your words? What are your hopes for Dylan?

Joel: I want Dylan to know who I was — the way I knew who my father was. I want him to remember me laughing — the best memories of my dad. And, most of all, I want him to know how much I love him.

Walter Crosby, of Ann Arbor, Mich., writes: Joel, I understand the motivation of writing the book. I lost my middle son who was 8 years old to cancer in 2001, then was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer Rhabdomyosarcoma in the neck. After multimodal treatment I am cancer free, but left me without my voice. Precious is every day I can spend with my surviving children. God Bless

Joel: Thank you for your note. But, sorry, you didn't lose your voice. Your note speaks loudly and eloquently.

Perry, of Oxford, Ohio, writes: All the best to you man. I had Hodgkins 13 years ago, radiation and it came back. Chemo, and its gone. They thought it was back two years ago and just the thought damn near killed me. It's hard, hang in there, keep breathing, and hold onto your loved ones. And find the good nurses, they're the angels!

Joel: Yes, yes, yes. I write about the nurses, one in particular, oops, make that two in particular, who made me believe I could get through it. One was a colostomy nurse at New York Hospital, the other gave me my chemo. I don't know how they get through it, though. Think about how many friends they lose every year.

Holly Veloz, of Merced, Calif., writes: I don't have a question, But a prayer, That God give you more time with your son and wife. My prayers are with you and your family. In GOD all things are possible. Just belive, and trust. Kind Regards

Joel: Thank you so much, it is most appreciated.

Linda Flores, of Battle Mountain, Nev., writes: Hi Joel, I can hardly wait to read your book. My son has terminal cancer also, brain glioblastoma,phase lV, the worst kind of brain cancer there is, he has has chemo many, many times, radiation, two surgeries, and possibly awaiting another surgery, the doctor told him Monday the 23rd, that they would NOT be giving him anymore chemo that it wasn't doing any good, and that basically there was nothing left that they could do for him & only gives him a very few days, and he is only 36 years old, I really don't know how to handle it. This has been so devastating for our whole family, he has two daughters,also, how do you deal with this and telling his children that their Daddy is dying is just more than we can take, and he is our only son.. You take care and hang in there. my thoughts and prayers are w/ you and your entire family at this time.

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