Malignant Tumor Sees Every Day As Gift From God

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Vol 36 Issue 24

Secretary Pretty Sure Vending-Machine Guy Is That Uncaptured Serial Rapist

MONROE, MI–Midwest Heating & Air Conditioning secretary Liz Boorstein said Monday she is "almost positive" that the United Vending Services worker who comes by once a month to refill the break-room snack machine is the serial rapist reported on the loose in the area. "Don't you go in there alone if he's in there," Boorstein, 40, warned co-worker Jen Rall. "He looks just like the guy in the police sketch they had on the news. And once, he gave me this really weird look when he was putting in the Kit-Kats." In May, Boorstein was "100 percent sure" that a small hole in one of the ladies' room stalls was the work of a "Midwest Heating & Air-Conditioning peeping tom."

Man Watching Cleopatra 2525 Has No Time To Read

MCALESTER, OK–Despite his great love of literature, Cleopatra 2525 viewer Kenneth Washburn doesn't have time to read, the 33-year-old McAlester resident reported Monday. "Sure, I'd love to curl up with a good book a lot more often," said Washburn as he watched Cleopatra, an exotic dancer cryogenically frozen in 2001 and accidentally thawed out in 2525 by two female warriors, race through a futuristic cityscape to evade a horde of murderous Betrayer robots. "But, unfortunately, between work and chores and everything else, there just isn't much time." Washburn then flipped over to E! Wild On The Mediterranean during a commercial break.

Local Play Well-Attended By Friends, Family

WOONSOCKET, RI–The Woonsocket Community Players' summer production of The Music Man drew 200 friends and relatives of the cast to the Woonsocket Community Center Monday. "Rebecca sang so beautifully," said Eunice Banks, grandmother of Rebecca Stevens, who played Marian in the production. "And everyone else did a wonderful job." Similar accolades were lavished on the play by the sister of the pianist, the college roommate of the actor playing Mayor Shinn, and Woonsocket Register editor Edward Roth, whose wife costumed the play.

Trouble Again In TV's Africa

ATLANTA–Once again, trouble is brewing in TV's Africa, it was reported Monday on CNN, the network that airs the long-running continent. "In last night's episode of Headline News, there was major civil unrest in Mozambique," said viewer Larry Cronin of Peekskill, NY. "One of the characters, this insane guy called General Abuye, was waving this huge machete in front of a burning village. It was crazy. But then there was this really sad part, where this whole refugee camp full of AIDS-infected orphans were starving. I wonder what'll happen tonight." Africa, TV's 17th-rated geographic area this season, has not been number one in the News Nielsens since 1985, the year the Bob Geldof-hosted "Live Aid Airlift" season finale drew a record 45 million viewers.

Leather-Jacketed Congressman Makes Up His Own Rules

WASHINGTON, DC–U.S. Rep. Vinnie Abruzzo (I-NY), the greasy-haired, leather-jacketed legislator who joined Congress in January 1999, is fast earning a reputation as a man who makes up his own rules. "Just yesterday, Vinnie introduced H.R. 4673, which would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for the establishment of medical security accounts for individuals who are 40 or older," said Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC). "When he did that, we were all like, 'Whoa, this guy's got his own set of laws he's making up here.' If we don't like it, I guess we could vote 'Nay,' but I don't know if that'd be such a good idea."

The Dot-Com Fallout

The darlings of Wall Street until March of this year, dot-com companies have fallen on hard times, with countless Internet businesses going belly-up or seeing their market value plummet. What do you think of the struggles of the New Economy?

Dressing Up Your Dog As Boba Fett Is Something You Have To Devote A Weekend To

I've always thought of myself as a creative guy. Whenever my friends in the Star Wars novel-reading club schedule a Sunday-night Star Wars viewing party, I like to get into the spirit of things by dressing up in a theme outfit. And, of course, a big part of the excitement is dressing up my pet Cocker Spaniel, Nikto, as a character from the films or expanded universe, too.
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Malignant Tumor Sees Every Day As Gift From God

MUNCIE, IN–On July 12, the cancerous growth imbedded in the brain tissue of Warren Lenders got the news no tumor ever wants to hear: chemotherapy. Facing the prospect of cancer-killing radiation, the six-month-old malignant brain tumor could have cursed the heavens for dealing it such a cruel fate. Instead, it chose to be grateful for the time it has left, viewing each new day as a gift from God.

A recent photo of the brave tumor. Inset: Its place of residence for the past six months.

"God put me on this Earth for a purpose: to attach myself to the parietal lobe of loving husband and father of three Warren Lenders," said the tumor, speaking from the left hemisphere of Lenders' cerebrum. "But if He says it's time to go, then it's time to go. It is not for me to question why."

"As it says in the Good Book," the high-grade cerebellar astrocytoma continued, "'If you have received God's Gift of Grace, rejoice. Enjoy it every day.'"

After tragically losing most of its mass in a June 28 operation, the tumor is now in the midst of 12 grueling weeks of chemotherapy, a procedure doctors say it has a less than 20 percent chance of surviving.

"This has been the greatest trial of my entire life," the tumor said. "Operations, radium bombardment, cesium. You name it, I've been through it. But just as He did with Job, the Lord is presenting me with these hardships as a way of testing my faith."

According to doctors at Indiana University Medical Center, where the tumor is being treated, malignancies of its kind generally have a 60 percent survival rate. But because the tumor was detected early, its chances are far worse.

"Statistically, the odds are against it, no question," chief oncologist Dr. Irwin Patel said. "But this is one tough little tumor, and I wouldn't count it out. It's showing unusual tenacity for a supratentorial growth of its size. We thought the surgery would be the end, but when we got in there to debulk it, we found it had spread all over the place."

Throughout the ordeal, the tumor has found comfort in its strong Christian faith.

"Going into that surgery, I thought, 'Well, this could be the end of the line for me,'" the tumor said. "But, by some miracle, a few of my tendrils had adhered to the occipital lobe without the doctors realizing it, and I made it through the operation. I know in my heart it was God's hand guiding that surgeon's scalpel to the wrong place that day."

After the surgery, the tumor's weight had dropped to 9.8 grams.

"Some tumors might have thrown in the towel right then and there," it said. "But I'm not the type. I need only remember the trials that Jesus went through while in His earthly form to realize that my trials have been nothing."

The tumor sees the fact that it is still alive as "part of God's great plan."

"May I quote The Bible again? 'For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,'" the tumor said. "I guess I'm so calm because I know that when it's my time to go, a better life awaits me in Heaven, where I will be rewarded for my faith with a glorious bounty of ganglion and glial cells, the likes of which a mortal being like myself cannot even conceive."

With its time possibly drawing to a close, the tumor reflected on its life.

"Honestly, I've been lucky," it said. "I could have been born an easily detectable epidermoid cyst and been destroyed swiftly. But instead, I was hidden by the bone matter of Lenders' skull and went undetected by X-rays for months."

The tumor also draws comfort and strength from its offspring.

"In my life, I've been fortunate enough to metastasize three dozen beautiful little cancerous cell masses, which I've sent off into the cerebrospinal fluid," it said. "Right now, they're just imperceptible growths on the spinal cord and medulla. But, God willing, when I've gone to my maker, they will be there to carry on my work. Praise the Lord."

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