GARY CARTWRIGHT’S STORY COVERING the last months of the life of his son Mark [“Nothing to It,” June 1997] was extremely moving. Most impressive of all was the dignity with which he and his son approached the inevitable. The communication shared during this time was inherently more intimate, and this was perhaps the greatest gift the circumstances had to offer. Many people do not get this opportunity before the death of a loved one. Mr. Cartwright is rightly proud of his son, and they have given me a gift as well.
E. FRED AGUILAR
READING ABOUT MR. CARTWRIGHT and his son has inspired me to become a bone marrow donor. I hope other readers take the same action. Thanks for sharing such a personal experience.
THE STORY ABOUT MARK BROUGHT back memories of a wonderful friend of mine, Alvin Guidry. Same illness, about the same time period, and the same result. He was in the prime of life, ready to think about retirement and his future with his wife on their new ranch. So many dreams cut short. A good man, father, husband, and friend. “Nothing to it.”
MARK WAS BRIEFLY A PATIENT at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, and he is fondly remembered. While we were pleased to see a public discussion of the difficulties that leukemia patients face, we feel that readers need to be made aware that there are many types of leukemia, that there are effective therapies for each, and that these therapies have been shown to increase survival.
The article states that “a bone marrow transplant is the only complete cure for leukemia” and that “adult leukemia is almost always fatal.” Both of these statements are incorrect. Mark had acute myelogenous leukemia, or AML. Chemotherapy can induce a complete remission (no clinical evidence of leukemia) in the majority of AML patients (more than 70 percent).
Traditionally patients who survive five years after diagnosis are considered to be cured, as only 3 percent of AML patients relapse after being in remission for three years. Unfortunately the leukemia returns earlier in many who had achieved a remission. It is difficult to cure an AML patient either with chemotherapy or with a bone marrow transplant once the disease has relapsed. Transplantation can also cure some patients, but even experts cannot agree whether continued chemotherapy or transplant is better for patients in remission.
STEVEN KORNBLAU, M.D.
MICHAEL ANDREEFF, M.D., PH.D
ELIHU ESTEY, M.D.
HAGOP KANTARJIAN, M.D.
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Hematology, Houston
YOU HAVE DEFINED “ CHEAP” WITH YOUR JUNE cover theft of Bill Cosby’s beautiful memory of his murdered son, “he was my hero.” Bush-league plagiarism of an original conceit.
IRA B. HARKEY, JR.
I WAS ELATED TO SEE the article on Michael Ray Charles [“Shock Therapy,” June 1997]. Ten years ago I wrote a paper comparing advertising based on race, and everyone thought I was crazy! I would like to be counted as a fifth finger on the one hand Mr. Charles uses to count his African American supporters.
IT’S IRONIC THAT SLOANE alone could pull off high tea south of the border with her elaborate silver tea service throughout the sixties, considering that in London slang, the term “sloane” means “bimbo” [“Sloane, Alone,” June 1997]. But Sloane Simpson wasn’t “sloane” in the London sense of the word. Even while her dazzle diminished in her later years, she’d saved just enough polish to occasionally outsparkle every debutante, socialite, and matron in Dallas. If you were to turn her over, you’d see “sterling” hallmarked on her backside—proof positive that Sloane alone was the genuine article.
I NEVER REALIZED THE INFLUENCE Texas has had on the fashion industry [“The Way We Wore,” June 1997]. I had always wondered where the term “slacks” originated—now I know!
REGARDING GREGORY CURTIS’ commentary on human rights leader Eldrewey Stearns [Behind the Lines: “The First Protester,” June 1997] and Michael Ennis’ article about Michael Ray Charles: As a black male, I was inspired to read about progressive blacks who challenge the racist status quo perpetuated by white people who do anything to prevent minorities from progressing. Keep telling it like it is. sherman hinton El Paso