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Out, Damned Spot!

By Art van Bodegraven | 09/17/2017 | 8:21 AM

Please enjoy the thoughts and musings of our friend, supporter, and long-time contributor Art van Bodegraven Jr., who passed away on June 18, 2017. Art was a prolific writer and had amassed a collection of unpublished blog posts he had planned to run well into the future. To honor his memory, we will continue to post these remaining blogs as he had intended. If you’ve been a fan of The Art of Art blog, check out our tribute.


Thus cried out Lady Macbeth, distraught over the spilling of Duncan's blood at her urging.  In this case, the blood is not Duncan's, but mine - but I still want the damned spot to be gone.

OK, I'm not the only person in the room who's had cancer.  The difference might be that mine was overwhelmingly deadly, with a mortality rate of maybe 5% after five years.  Pancreatic cancer has  the worst survivival rate among the high-incidence cancers - 5% vs. #5.  Not heartening.

But, as noted in the past, my genius surgeon effected a purely surgical cure, completely removing the offending intruder.  Good news, for openers, made better by not requiring chemotherapy or radiation for further repair.  Lots of meds, for sure, but better than any of several alternatives.

There are a few obvious life-long effects, in diet and daily living; they, too, are way preferable to not being treated.

One set of complications is that medicine is still figuring out the longer-term impacts of the surgical (Whipple procedure) cure.  They are not trivial, and each event triggers a round of investigative testing.  So, the kidneys are in sad shape, the liver is suspect, the esophagus requires a medical Roto-Rooter from time to time, blood chemistry is out of whack and the ol' brain-pan misfires regularly.

Outside of that, I'm doing spectacularly well, but ordinaries such as driving, traveling, teaching, project management, and making rational decisions are off the table for now.

But, once again, the alternative . . .

One of my several doctors has casually noted that Whipple survivors typically don't live long enough to experience longer-term effects.  For better or worse, I have.

But, once again, the alternative . . .



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About Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven (1939 - 2017) was Managing Principal of the van Bodegraven Associates consultancy and Founding Principal of Discovery Executive Services, which develops and delivers supply chain educational programs. He was formerly Chair of the Supply Chain Group AG, Partner at The Progress Group LLC, Development Executive at CSCMP, Practice Leader with S4 Consulting, and a Managing Director in Coopers & Lybrand's consulting practice. Concentrating in supply chain management and logistics for over 20 years in his 50+ year business career, he has led ground-breaking strategic, operational, and educational projects for leading US and global clients. Art was principal co-author of DC Velocity's Basic Training monthly column for a decade, and was the principal co-author, with Ken Ackerman, of Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, the definitive primer in the field. His popular blog, The Art of Art, has been a staple of DC Velocity's web site since its inception.


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