Second chance at life | January 21, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - January 21, 2011

Second chance at life

Faced with the prospect of death, four people shift priorities while embracing life

by Carol Blitzer

Remember the old joke about the man who was asked what he would do if he had only a year to live? He said he'd stay married to his wife because every day felt like a year.

This story contains 3761 words.

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Associate Editor Carol Blitzer can be e-mailed at


Posted by Star Teachout, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 21, 2011 at 11:03 am

Much thanks for this article.There are so many different survival stories--many of which don't involve attacks on our bodies, but on our spirits and attitudes. It is always a joy to meet or hear of people who have become clear and taken their lives to a higher purpose. Our goals as the "bystanders" is to infuse our own lives with their inspiration. A wonderful topic for our news...

Posted by Steven Kunes, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 21, 2011 at 11:47 am

What a wonderful article and an inspiration to us all! We should live each day as if it's our last and with one (and ONLY one) goal in mind: What can we do to help our fellow human being?

Posted by local gurl, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 21, 2011 at 1:06 pm

I had a near death experience at 16 and it absolutely changed my life. It is truly amazing to be watching your body on the ground as if you were a spectator in the crowd and suddenly realize that it is YOU!

Posted by marlene, a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Jan 21, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Dr Guordino was my oncologist at Stanford before she left for Genentech. She was a truly amazing, caring doctor for me and I had no idea what she was going through with her treatments.

It is a privilege to know her.

Posted by Moi, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 23, 2011 at 3:55 am

Lessons for all.
But I'd say a headache that lasts over two days warrants a call to one's physician.

Posted by stanford, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 24, 2011 at 10:44 am

I just wanted to say what a moving article, and very well written. The four people you profiled are heroes. The fact that they didn't let their experiences change them for the worst, they fought fear and worries and made it through better people - not that they were not before. I am so moved by their stories. I will spend some time thinking about my own life. I wish them all them very best for a happy and long life.

Posted by Survivor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Kudos to the Palo Alto online for bringing these stories to our attention. I, too, had Dr. Guardino as my oncologist at Stanford and was inspired every day by her attitude and optimism. I'm alive and strong at almost 2 years post-diagnosis thanks to her.

Posted by learned, a resident of Meadow Park
on Jan 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm

if anyone doesent like you, you still have the right to fdight for your life. no person no aythority ,no police person has right to harass you if you know you did nothing wrong. you have right to fight to death ,anyone who harms you brcause of race religion or any thing that makes you a target.

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