Facing surgery with friends

This is another deeply personal post, and I don’t really know where to begin. I have experienced an outpouring of love so profound that it cannot be fairly articulated. When I posted on Sunday that I was facing surgery to remove a tumor, and that I didn’t have health insurance, I did so because I thought my knowledge of health care in such a predicament might benefit others.

Jeff Jarvis urged me to put a tip jar on my site, and what followed was truly astonishing to me. Like the closing scenes of It’s a Wonderful Life, friends I both knew and didn’t know came to my rescue, and my understanding of love reached a new level. While I don’t have all the money yet, I’m we’re close. Four days ago, I was in an untenable situation; today, I’m free. This is the miracle of love.

I’ve always found it easier to give than receive, so this is quite overwhelming to me. How does one repay such a gift? I think the reality is that you don’t; you just repeat the kindness when you can.

One of the commenters to that original post, Britt Blaser, wrote:

How do all of us use this spontaneous outpouring of love and support to create an overwhelming mesh of interlocking pledges to reinforce each other in trials like these?Our health care system has been hijacked by lawyers and accountants while the Doctors were overwhelmed with their urge to be helpful (I’m married to an M.D.).

Please, Terry, get well quick. Then lead us out of this wilderness. No pressure though.…. 😉

This is an interesting challenge, and one to which I shall give considerable thought.

One thing I’ve learned about the concept of tribes since I began studying a postmodern culture is that we all have our own tribes, consisting of those we choose to invite in. I know my own tribes, but one never really knows the tribes to which one belongs, because they are choices of others, not our own. The experience this week leads me to believe that I’m a part of many more tribes than I’ve ever expected, and that is a very humbling proposition.

I’ve learned that facing surgery without insurance is nothing compared to facing surgery with friends.


  1. Very touching post. Now you must get through the surgery, and take good care of yourself as you recover. Someone as loved as you are must not be sick for long! 🙂

  2. A lucky man.
    Hope you heal up quickly.
    Have to admit I’m not convinced everyone has a tribe…I certainly don’t (or maybe i just haven’t found it yet?)

  3. Don’t obsess about how to pay it back — figure out how to spread it around. But first, get better. I’ll light a candle for you.

  4. Terry: you have one really important job now: get through this and get better. I love the idea of a tribe and am glad to be part of yours.

  5. I just heard the news from Bob Cox at MBA. Best of luck with the surgery and a full and speedy recovery, Terry.

  6. Terry,

    Best wishes on a successful recovery. We all wish you well!

    Regards, Tom

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