The C2S blog draws on the arts, the social and biological sciences to explore the many meanings of health and "dis-ease." Designed to be a locus where patients, their families and professionals can meet on a level playing field, it is the natural off-shoot of the Cell 2 Soul Online Journal. We encourage the submission of ideas, essays, poems, stories, humor, and timely reviews relating to the humanities and health care.
Hans Rosling, a Swedish physician became a pop-star statistician by converting dry numbers into dynamic graphics that challenged preconceptions about global health and gloomy prospects for population growth. He died on February 7th at 68 of pancreatic cancer.
The topic of Global Health and Social Determinants of Health has interested us greatly. It is covered in detail in Michael Marmot’s dense book, The Health Gap (that few will wade into). Rosling’s work makes this information palatable and easily understandable.
Rosling, his wife and daughter founded Gapminder, an independent Swedish foundation with no political, religious or economic affiliations in 2007. Gapminder is a fact tank, not a think tank. It fights devastating misconceptions about global development.
The poet, Frank L. Meyskens, Jr., M.D., is a distinguished oncologist. His new book "Believing in Today" concerns loss, grief, and imagining one’s own death. Some of the poems deal with the poet’s own mortality and, such as the one featured below, were inspired by his father’s death. Others are reflections on aging and what looms ahead. The Final Song
Once again we rushed to be with you a long scary ride in the pouring rain, arriving at midnight ten hours later exhilarated and exhausted.
You had been failing badly for several days now gasping, eyes shut , becoming aware of our presence when my brother began to sing “You are my sunshine.”
Your eyes opened and in a strong voice you began to sing, song after song, and for an hour we sang with you, you correcting us when we didn’t get it right.
And then you returned to wherever you had been and for the next three days you said your goodbyes, one by one, as your friends and grandchildren called.
It has been nearly six weeks now since you sang yourself into the cosmos, never will I forget that divine moment, my chest then heaving, my heart now aching, my eyes glistening at the finality of that moment.