Some good news.

If you care, and I know you do, Professor Pausch has some good news to share.

Every extra day counts.  Every extra minute counts.


  1. CL
    October 24, 2007 10:41 am

    that is so, SO wonderful to read.

  2. PittinDC
    October 24, 2007 11:07 am

    Seriously, you just made me cry in my cubicle. Professor Pausch is such an inspiration. Such good news!

  3. Bulldog
    October 24, 2007 11:09 am

    That is so absolutely AWESOME!!!

  4. ROBIN
    October 24, 2007 11:10 am

    Thank you for this…this man is amazing.

  5. Dawn
    October 24, 2007 11:41 am

    His interview with Oprah was so touching and inspiring. She let him re-create his final lecture to CMU and spent a good portion of her show interviewing him.

  6. Pensgirl
    October 24, 2007 12:00 pm

    Every extra minute is a chance for a miracle.

  7. cynical
    October 24, 2007 12:56 pm

    So because this guy is terminal, it all of a sudden gives him this tremendous depth and insight as to what is important in life? Well color me a monkey’s uncle. I was wondering how to gain that kind of insight.

    Aside from PittGirl herself who, since she is hot, does appear to be all things omnipotent and therefore immortal, we’re all going to die people! We just don’t happen to have an estimated time frame like this dude. Our time could be in minutes days or years. We just aren’t given the motivation to reflect on life with such urgency.

    I’d be willing to bet $1 that if we all knew we were dying, we’d change our tune about life a little bit and only worry about “the important things.” Oh yeah, AND make sure to schedule some time to go on Oprah and practice with the Steelers. Oprah for fuks sake!!! If your nearing the end of your time on earth, is going on Oprah really something that’s important in the grand scheme of things???

    This guy is the terminal equivalent of Luke Ravenstahl. Using his condition/position to get it on with celebrities and sporty figures. If life were truly about the important things, he would have told Oprah and Troysus to “Fuk off. I need to spend more time with my family.”

    It’s like those folks (me included) who “find God” when things are crappy. It’s real easy to believe in God when your life is in the shitter, but do you notice when things are going well, it’s easy to put God on the old back burner?

    Don’t get me wrong. I feel tremendously bad for anyone who is stricken with the cancer and I think it is a good thing that his treatment is going well… but give me a filth flarin’ filth break that he’s someone we should all place on a pedestal because he gave some speech at CMU and got to go on tv with the Oprah.

    Again, I feel bad for the man ’cause he has the cancer, but I don’t feel any worse for him than I do all the other people I don’t know who have some terminal illness. I hope they all have miraculous recoveries.

    “I mean, really, what’s the point? I’m not European. I don’t plan on being European. So, who gives a crap if they’re Socialists? They could be fascist anarchists, it still wouldn’t change the fact that I don’t own a car.”

    By the way… Troysus sucked against the Broncos.

  8. Sparky
    October 24, 2007 1:31 pm

    Cynical, I suggest you actually listen to his lecture before passing judgment.

  9. chrys
    October 24, 2007 1:36 pm

    I think that is wonderful news!! He really is an inspiration.

    And Cynical.. it only takes ONE person to touch your heart and see inside. No one is saying he’s more important than anyone else with a terminal disease, he just chose to open up to the public and share his story and his fight.

    God Bless all with the fortitude to go on… in dealing with .. well whatever.


  10. Ms. Caroline
    October 24, 2007 2:08 pm

    Cynical’s not a bad person, just a realist.

    To hear the word cancer and have it be you they’re talking to does give you a unique perspective on your life. We all choose to react differently. The professor is putting it all out there in what I’m sure is an attempt to heal himself and educate others. I haven’t listened to his lecture. It’s all still too fresh for me.

    Some of us go on with our lives as they are/were and stay in the background. Some of us are survivors. Some of us didn’t have our cancer diagnosis be a death sentence. I wouldn’t say I’m glad I had cancer, but I would say that I’m more than greatful for the perspective it gave me.

    This is all just one woman’s opinion, natch. For what it’s worth.

  11. Dennis Roddy
    October 24, 2007 2:19 pm

    I was struck by something in the post by the aptly self-named Cynical. He offers a one dollar bet “that if we all knew we were dying, we’d change our tune about life a little bit and only worry abou the ‘important things.’”

    It’s hard to argue with the presumptive logic of that statement. It is equally important to recognize that a change in tune does not always set the masses to singing along.So how to explain the chorus of awe that followed that grace-filled lecture at CMU last month? I suspect it happened not because Randy Pausch was changing his tune, but because he’d long ago written the symphony inside himself, and well before cancer invaded. He clearly amplified and focused and illuminated what seems to have been a longstanding and deep appreciation of the life he was living, a certain savor of small joys writ large inside him. I am now old enough to have known the dying. What I’ve noticed is that a fixed exit date merely augments what’s there. Those disappointed in their lives, crushed by misfortune or bitter at the world for not having served them better, do not abruptly shift to walking sainthood. More often than not, they talk of their woes because counting blessings takes little time. Conversely, the bitter out there are not always dying. What Randy Pausch is doing does not seem at all self aggrandizing. It rings of a man who has, on short notice, been instructed by fate to put the pieces of his life into some semblance of narrative reason. He did so in a lecture that clearly took effort he could as easily have expended on a wine-soaked night in a casino. At this point, no one of substance could sensibly fault him for either choice, but he chose something for us, not himself.

    Some people rise to an occasion; some rise above it; some define it and pass it along for transcendence. It is philosophy in practice, or the opposite of the scientific method by which all things are broken down to categories and subcategories, and then examined in isolation. Randy Pausch has taken the pieces and put them back together and discerned their meaning. I am sorry if his sharing these findings offends the sensibilities of Cynical, who seems to think that mortality, because it is inevitable, need not be relevant.

    Cynical refers, too, to those people “who find God when things are crappy.” As one who long ago noticed that things seem to be perennially crappy, allow me to posit that Randy Pausch probably found God – or, more to the point, God, or Faith, found him – long before cancer stamped a “use before” date on his remaining time. We are not, as Cynical says, “given the motivation to reflect on life with such urgency.” Well, we aren’t given it if we won’t accept it. Randy Pausch has offered and, to the betterment of the world, however incremental, many have taken. He wasn’t calling on anyone to give away his or her possessions, leave the family and live in a cave from which to stare into the void. He was suggesting we find the thing that gives us joy and accept it. We can apply whatever urgency to that message we choose. That it was given from the small time left to a man who had so much else left to do, I’m inclined to stop for a moment and listen. Maybe we should all live as if we were dying.

    Lastly, Cynical, Randy Pausch is not “terminal.” He is terminally ill. But I doubt he will soon cease to exist. He got something done.

  12. Tinare
    October 24, 2007 2:20 pm

    Wow thanks Cynical! Here I thought Professor Pausch was giving those of us who don’t know specifically how much time is left on our “countdown clock” a gift by showing us how to face death by living to the fullest. I now see that is all just attention-seeking. You should be so proud of yourself.

  13. Bulldog
    October 24, 2007 2:22 pm

    He is taking the precious time to share his story and message because of the tremendous outpouring of support and goodwill people from all over the world are sharing with him.

    I also think that to say “This guy is the terminal equivalent of Luke Ravenstahl. Using his condition/position to get it on with celebrities and sporty figures” goes way beyond being “cynical”. He is responding to people reaching out TO HIM, not vice versa, and he’s certainly not injecting himself into arenas to hobnob with celebs the way the mayor has done.

  14. Valerie
    October 24, 2007 2:24 pm

    Great response, Mr. Roddy. No one can explain it to “cynical” better than you did.

  15. Lukey
    October 24, 2007 7:38 pm

    Love the Burgh Blog, but thinking about quitting it. Can’t take it now that Roddy is posting these “War and Peace” length lectures.

    Give us a break, Dennis. We don’t want to read you in the PG so we certainly don’t want to read you when we sit down at night to read our favorite blog.

    This post was actually remarkable in its boringosity…do you read through before submitting, just to check maybe to see if there’s one iota of compelling material?

    Cynical’s a bastard, but he has a point. Good people are dying of cancer every day and they don’t get 15 min. But hey, Pauch has great insights for people, so what’s the harm. But let’s no go overboard and start suggesting he’s heroic…

  16. Trish
    October 25, 2007 6:38 am

    I’d be willing to bet $1 that if we all knew we were dying, we’d change our tune about life a little bit and only worry about “the important things.”

    We ARE all dying. Like Cynical says, the only difference is unlike Professor Pauch we don’t have an idea of when it’s going to happen. Pancreatic cancer is a bitch to say the least–a former boss of mine went from seemingly perfect health to death in only three weeks because of it, leaving behind a wife and two small daughters. But it can only take one wrong move in a car–or a jet flying into your office building–to end it. I remember reading account after account of people who died in the WTC who never took out life insurance or took other steps to take care of their family’s security because hell, they were young, they weren’t about to die, death’s for old people! Professor Pauch is actually lucky that he’ll be able to get his ducks in a row, so to speak. Most people never do because they think somehow death won’t happen to them.

    Boy, I turned into Debbie Downer there.

  17. cynical
    October 25, 2007 7:12 am

    cynical is sorry. please forgive my cold-hearted post.

  18. M. Silenus
    October 25, 2007 9:41 am

    Cynical, you sparked a really significant discussion, so it is cool. I’d bet my dollar that most of us have had/will have those same thoughts at one point or another, so it’s good that someone says it. Reflecting on Pausch’s story is important to the extent that it helps us all think a little harder about our own stories. Turning him into a celebrity may actually minimize the impact of his story, but I will not begrudge the man his steelers jersey.

    There is always another layer of darkness that can pull us into a cynical loop. When I feel like I’m getting into that loop I often reflect on the Bruce Cockburn line (also quoted by Bono), that you have to “kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight.” Pausch is doing that about as well as anyone.

  19. cynical
    October 25, 2007 12:03 pm

    cynical actually honored to have former Allegheny County chief exec Roddy reply to posted comment. cynical wishes Prez Bush was as eloquent as chief exec Roddy.

    cynical not really that cynical either. cynical did watch video. cynical agree that we should not begrudge the man and his steelers jersey. and cynical’s wife loves the Oprah, so cynical got his ass kicked by making negative comments.

    cynical just amused how anonymous internets posters take themselves so seriously. like, since we put our words on the internets, we have some kind of relevance. at least PittGirl is hot when she offers her anonymous platitudes of wisdomy wisdom though. cynical realizes how hypocritical this is too, since I visit theburghblog all the time.

    cynical full of contradictions.

    cynical like to push buttons. hehe

    cynical is no longer cynical. cynical is now bastige.

    just kidding! cynical loves all, especially if you’re hot, or are an over-paid defensive safety who needs to learn how to tackle with his arms (except if he uses them to tear a quarterback’s head off).

    doh! there I done did it again. can never leave well enough alone.

    it’s the internets folks! it’s all a bunch of hooey! take it for what it “is” is.

    cynical sorry again. cynical’s IP address will probably be banned after this.

    But in all honesty, I do apologize for the harsh remarks of my earlier post. No matter the circumstances, there’s no excuse for bashing anyone like I did. I do appreciate the insight people have provided in their replies. We’re all just fighting the good fight, and the Professor’s personal fight is about as great as they get.

  20. MoreRoth,LessBurger
    October 25, 2007 3:02 pm

    Pittgirl, Here in the ATL, there was a front page article on Monday about a pancreatic cancer survivor. I am sure that the Professor gets a lot of unsolicited advice, but if you thought it appropriate, maybe there would be a way to get this info to him? I don’t mean to be pushy, but I am not that cynical…..xoxo Aunt Di – former and always a ‘burgher!

    The basic story on Howard – “He’s one of the 1 or 2 percent who has survived pancreatic cancer and his mission is to not have the other 98 percent suffer.”

    GodBless and GoSteelers!!!

  21. PittCheMBA
    October 27, 2007 2:35 am

    My father died of cancer when I was 24, and only 9 months after he offically retired from the work world for good. Two weeks before he died, I received and accepted my first real job offer after college. My father was never able to see his son grow up from a young college graduate to a mature responsible adult. Every extra minute does count.

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