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Richard M. Cohen

Richard M. Cohen is the New York Times bestselling author of Blindsided: Lifting a Live Above Illness and Strong at the Broken Places: Voices of Illness, a Chorus of Hope. This follows a 25-year network news career at CBS News and CNN.

Entries by Richard M. Cohen

Defending Self-Esteem

(0) Comments | Posted August 21, 2014 | 10:21 AM

When I step into the trap of believing I am less of a person than I used to be, is that a thinly-disguised message from others or a self-generated attack on my own self-esteem? As Meredith walks beaches alone while I sit at the computer, when she shops in Provincetown...

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Sick and Looking for Work

(0) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 1:25 PM

What to tell potential employers about our health when we are out there on the mean streets, looking for work. Tough subject. When Calvin Coolidge was riding the economic boom of the 1920, he uttered what probably was his only memorable line, "The business of America is business." The citizenry...

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MS and Sex

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 12:48 PM

Before an MS award dinner last week, I sat down with nine guys from the Mandell Center for Multiple Sclerosis in Hartford. Mandell deals with urological issues related to MS. This is the only program of its kind in the country. These guys were a support group. Imagine that. Whoever...

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Welcome to Sisyphusville

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 9:49 AM

The boys of summer are doing their thing. This is the season when thoughts turn to our national pastime. Not in this house. I have been thinking about Camus' Myth of Sisyphus since my vision once again headed south and walking north toward home became such a hike. Maybe this...

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Word Power

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 4:13 PM

I found an old newspaper under my desk and quickly looked over the front page. Clinton White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, never known for tact, characterized liberal activists as retarded, with a short expletive attached. The word retarded is unacceptable no matter how it is used. It hurts...

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Living in Our Heads

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 12:37 PM

I have been hit by optic neuritis a handful of times in the last six years. Decades of relative visual stability after a rocky start to my MS journey had lulled me into the silly assumption that I had won the battle and beaten back the neurological invader.


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(1) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 3:57 PM

An unholy alliance comes together in my seemingly-endless war with MS. This time, the pulmonary embolism did a number on me. Trauma to the body, even surgery, kicks in the MS. That happened with a lumbar fusion, and bouts of colon cancer, and now my blood clot in my lungs....

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(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 1:36 PM

My stem cell journey began in Rome, at a Vatican adult stem cell conference close to a year ago. I chaired the opening panel, which was on stem cell therapy and multiple sclerosis. Joining the group was Dr. Saud Sadiq, a New York MS specialist, who I had known casually...

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Evoked Potentials

(0) Comments | Posted March 9, 2014 | 9:28 AM

A stem cell clinical trial for MS here in New York is about to begin. I am part of it. I have endured a bone marrow aspiration (video at, assorted other procedures and endless blood work that rendered me anemic. This final test, though, took the cake.

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Protecting Yourself

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 9:19 AM

When I heard my diagnosis of multiple sclerosis at 25, my father, a physician also living with MS, was quick to react. "Don't tell anyone," he advised. "News is a competitive business. It will be used against you." I wanted to believe otherwise, that people would react benevolently. My teacher/rabbi...

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A Diminished Man

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2014 | 3:47 PM

A diminished man lives upstairs at my house. My long war with multiple sclerosis and two skirmishes with colon cancer have taken their toll on my body. I am less than I was. And my spirit has suffered. The battle for the body inevitably spreads to the mind. Hanging on...

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Lessons From My Father

(0) Comments | Posted January 10, 2014 | 11:32 AM

My old man taught me not to feel sorry for myself because I was sick. I was a young man with MS, and the question "why me?" was off limits under his roof. I made the mistake of uttering those very words in his presence just once. I was 30...

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Searching for Community

(0) Comments | Posted January 3, 2014 | 2:14 PM

This is a season of contradictions for many. The chronically ill feel the tug of Dr. Doolittle's push-me-pull-you character. We isolate ourselves, instinctively pulling away from others. This is an automatic response to the stress of sickness for many. Yet the holidays push us close to family and friends in...

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