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What we can learn from Microsoft Founder Paul Allen's 36-year battle with cancer

A Healthline author reminds of his conversations over the years with the billionaire philanthropy on how to live with cancer.…

A Healthline author reminds of his conversations over the years with the billionaire philanthropy on how to live with cancer.

Share on Pinterest “Do not focus on the statistics because you just do not know if you” Paul Allen (Getty Images)

For all his well documented success, Paul Allen never lets his fortune or fame change him a lot.

Allen, who created the software giant Microsoft with Bill Gates 1976, died on Monday afternoon in Seattle of complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Allen originally received a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma 1982 and then non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma 2009. His non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma recurring this year.

Allen, who owned Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers, was a contradiction study.

Quietly, he was not particularly fond of speaking in public or in the spotlight. [19659005] But he purposely chose a highly profited life after Microsoft in global philanthropy and professional sporting.

Everyone was determined to make the world a better place.

And he just did it and gave his time and money

The news of Allen’s death struck me hard.

A decade ago I conducted a series of talks with Allen about his cancer that left a lasting impression on

The interviews were for my book, “Hope Begins in the Dark”, which tells stories of 40 lymphoma survivors, including celebrities as as Allen, who rarely speaks publicly about their cancer.

In our conversations, Allen was wise, kind, unpretentious, funny, childish in the best way and as “normal” as a person could be.

Everyone was really a model for brave coping with her cancer and giving so much to others.

Although Allen interviews were all on record, they were not really journalistic in nature. They were completely personal. And Allen had no problem with it.

He was genuine. He never puts on airs. What you saw was what you got.

The band we fake was largely due to the fact that we were other lymphoma survivors.

I’m a three-time, 22-year-old survivor. Allen was a three-time, 36-year-old survivor.

We found that we had many things in common, including a love to play the guitar. Everyone who gave up the electric guitar violin at the age of 14 was actually a skilled guitarist and songwriter. There seem to be some things he could not do.

In 2000, he bought Fender Stratocaster Jimi Hendrix, played in Woodstock, now living at the Experience Music Project, Seattle Rock Music and Pop Culture Museum Allen.

Everyone also bought Fender Strat as one of Eric Clapton played the song “Layla” from Clapton’s first auction, favoring his Crossroads charity.

But our conversations were most focused on our respective cancer problems and how we met Paul Allen and Bill Gates when they were students at Lakeside School in Seattle.

Allen, who was two years older than Gates, later convinced his childhood friend to cure Harvard started a software company.

In the summer of 1982, Allen was on a business trip to Europe when he felt a nudge on his neck.

He did not feel well. He knew it was wrong.

“I felt strange that I decided to cut my trip short,” Allen told me. “When I returned, my doctor saw the bump and said,” You need to get a biopsy tomorrow. “”

The initial diagnosis was non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“The doctors actually had the” less “than-50 percent-chance-of-survivors” look at their faces, “Allen recalled.

” It was not good. But then the results came a few days later and the doctor was all smiles when they told me I had Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “

While both cancers are treatable and vulnerable, Hodgkin’s lymphoma was more successfully treatable than non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

But getting a cancer diagnosis was still a big shock for Allen, who was 29 at the time.

” The the hardest part for me to have cancer was the first few days, “he said.

” It took some time to first internalize the fact that I may not be able to do it, then go from there to have a much better chance of A bot. “

Allen, who was still Microsoft’s chief technician when diagnosed, said his treatment consisted of 2½ months of radiation, five days a week.

” When I first diagnosed, I made some mistakes, “he explained. .

“For one, I bought this 2½ inch thick book about Hodgkin’s disease and started reading it. Big mistake. To see people in the book with bad results, yes, it was wrong for me to do. “

Everyone said that the best thing to do when diagnosed with cancer is to” just cheat on you and not worry about statistics or survival numbers. ” “

Everyone acknowledged that it was hard to get cancer, but he said the father had told him that he had to” take it out. ” “

” My father had gone through testicular cancer and he was a really strong and supportive person. When I was diagnosed, he was there for me, Allen said.

He said cancer gave him the value of being optimistic.

“Do not focus on the statistics because you just do not know if you” will be in the 90 percent or in the 10 percent, “he said.” 19659041 “You must be tough and always be positive. I know it’s easy to say, but there is no point in pessimism. Even if you will not survive for long, you do not want to spend the rest of the time you have on this earth angry and upset. “

Allen, who left Microsoft in 1983, went through an” unfair “phase, as so many cancer patients do.

” You can be negative and feel if you want to, but then you hear stories about young people children, for example, who are affected by cancer “said.

” I have a friend whose 6-year-old child died of leukemia. When you hear things you realize you just need to enjoy every moment. “

Lymphoma, the most common type of blood cancer, is a common term for a cancer group derived from the lymphatic system, which carries white blood cells to fight infections and other diseases.

The two most common types of lymphoma are Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

More than 8,000 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma every year. About 1,000 people died of the disease in 2018.

More than 70,000 people receive a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma annually in the United States . Almost 20,000 people died of the disease in 2018. There are 90 types of this cancer.

Allen had both Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma during his lifetime, which is unusual.

When he recently learned that his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma had returned, he tweeted optimistically:

“Some personal news: Recently, I learned that the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma I fought in 2009 has returned. I have started treatment and my doctors are optimistic that I will see a good result. Estimate the support I’ve received and count it when I fight this challenge. “

When I heard the news earlier this month that he was treated for lymphoma, I was hoping to see him again – especially considering the fact that there are so many more viable treatment options now available to the disease than It was when he first had a dia gnosis in 2009.

These include targeted therapies and immunotherapies that utilize the body’s immune system to fight cancer .

Among the most heralded of these New treatments are CAR-T cell immunotherapy, which constructs the body’s T cells to find cancer cells and destroys them.

“Much has happened in medicine since I overcome this disease in 2009, Allen wrote after his latest recurring. “My doctors are optimistic that I will see good results from the latest therapies, like me.”

Allen only a few weeks after writing that note from “complications related to his lymphoma”, his company Vulcan Inc. announced this

For Allen, life was after Microsoft.

The deep field that he left on the world stretched far beyond his computer giant.

And he was deeply appreciated of his life and never took it for granted.

“You must really recognize the beautiful flower that you see to literally stop what you do and go over to that flower and smell that flower,” he told me.

All who never married and had no children emphasized the importance of spending quality time with friends.

“You have to take extra moments with friends,” he said. “We are all caught in the rhythm of our lives and we lose our way, we lose our balance. This was something I realized when I reviewed my cancer treatment.”

Allen added: “I thought I had worked too hard and that there were things I really wanted to do in the life that I had abandoned. I would not extinguish them anymore. “

During the breaks of his radiation treatment, he explained that I would go skiing and diving – two things I always wanted try. There was just no reason to extinguish these things anymore. No reason at all. Then we will all look at life. “

Allen said that having cancer made him a better person.

” Your awareness changes as you go through something like this. Having cancer can be a terrible thing, or it can be a learning experience, an opportunity to increase your consciousness, “he said.

Perhaps what he said had the most effect on me over the years, it’s the lessons you learn fighting cancer often tends to recede, they can fade over time like an old newspaper.

“You have to work sometimes to hold on to the things you learned,” he said.

“It’s good to come back to your normal life, but it is also important to remember the things that cancer has been inspired in you. Some of it never gratulates you. It is difficult to quantify, but part of it becomes subconscious. “

Everyone said having cancer also showed him the importance of balance in your life.

” I simply worked for many hours a day, “he said.

” I left Microsoft after my illness, and yes , my cancer diagnosis was one of the reasons I left. Microsoft was a very intensive environment. Nobody knows exactly how to get lymphoma, but there are certainly a number of factors, including stress and lifestyle, as well as genetic predispositions. “

When he was a child, Allen said he knew a girl who got Hodgkins,” What makes me wonder if there was a connection there. “

Everyone told me that” disastrousness of the situation does not make any good. “

He said that he learned through his cancer battle that we all have a strength in us.

” Many of us do not even know that it’s there until we’re really challenged, he says. “If you would have told me Paul, you can adjust to radiation five days a week for two and a half months.” I would have said, “Are you joking with me?” “

Allen said It’s important for cancer survivors to find distractions and to re-enter the rhythm of your life.

” When I was treated for my cancer, I closely followed my favorite basketball team, “he said.

“Every day, it’s important to find something you love, something you like. Whether it’s music or sports or whatever, you’ll need to try and find something positive – no matter how big or small it is. When you are told that you have cancer, you must run on the things that make you happiest in this world. “

Everyone told me that he decided many years ago to dedicate the majority of his wealth to philanthropy.

” I believe that those who are lucky enough to achieve great wealth should put it into work for the best of humanity ” he said in his rewarding promise.

“Giving Pledge reminds us everything as our net worth is finally not defined by dollars but rather by how well we serve others. In the end, my greatest satisfaction comes from working to make our world a better place. “

Engaged to make this a better world, all credited much of his passion for giving his tricks with lymphoma.

In the last four years of his life, as though he somehow knew that he should getting sick again, Allen saw that he would give up another hack:

  • In 2014, he donated $ 100 million due to the Ebola outbreak that had destroyed West Africa the year before.
  • That year he gave another 100 million dollar to start the Allen Institute for Cell Science to better understand how human cells function and their role in human diseases. [19659090] In 2016, he made an additional $ 100 million contribution to launch the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, a attempt to promote life sciences through new and unconventional methods.
  • And earlier this year he gave $ 125 million to his Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, which he will pade 2013, for a new research program.

Everyone and I laughed a lot during our conversations, maybe because we were both in remission.

Overcoming cancer tends to make you a bit gig ddy.

We agreed that cancer patients should try to maintain a humorous feeling whenever possible.

“I once remembered that I was in the cancer center and was waiting for my radiation. I was sitting there with a number of patients with lung cancer and of course it is a very hard type of cancer we all know,” says Allen. 19659005] “Well, we all sat there in the waiting room and this guy comes to the door, pops his head and cries:” Hey, is there a cigarette machine in here? ” “

” The nurse responded indignantly: “No gentleman, there are no cigarette machines in a cancer center.” “

Allen said that he and the rest of the patients in the room just started laughing loudly.

” It was a very welcome moment, “he said.” Humor is important when you go through this type of thing. Sometimes you just have to laugh. “

Reacting this week to the news of Allen’s death, Gates said that personal computing would not exist without him.

” I’m heartbreaked by one of my oldest dear friends, Paul Allen, “Gates said in a statement.

“From our early days together at Lakeside School, through our partnership in the creation of Microsoft, to some of our common philanthropic projects over the years, Paul was a true partner and dear friend. Personal calculation would not have existed without him. “

Gates noted that Allen loved life and those around him” and we all appreciated him in return. He deserved much more time, but his contribution to the world of technology and philanthropy will continue for generations to come. I will miss him enormously. “

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