Cancer Center is no ordinary building |

Cancer Center is no ordinary building

Barry Ginter

When I left the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center on Wednesday, I wasn’t thinking about all the high-tech equipment, nor about the church-like architecture of the building.

I was thinking about the people who made all this come true. I’d just been listening to a few of them and it occurred to me that, in every room we entered, the conversations were not about cancer cells and linear accelerators. They were about the frightened people who would enter that building and how this place would help them cope with the trauma of a cancer diagnosis.

I wasn’t surprised later, reading about the center, to discover its mission statement talks of spiritual and emotional care as well as quality of life.

Few families are untouched by cancer. When I saw the chairs where patients will be given chemotherapy, I saw my sister. I remembered how much she hated what that poison did to her until it seemed that another dose was a worse fate than death. But she went on and fought it until there was no more hope, showing more bravery than many of us who loved her.

That’s why I was surprised on Wednesday. I didn’t really want to think about cancer. I didn’t really want to remember that awful year.

But you can tell from the minute you walk into the Cancer Center that it is a place of life and hope. Maybe that’s partly because of the colors, the artwork and the architecture. But it’s mostly about people.

I’ve only had the pleasure to meet a few of them, but there are roles of people who envisioned, funded and supported this center. The $12 million for the center was raised by the Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare Foundation and many people and groups stepped forward to provide the extras that turned a building into that place of hope.

One of the most dramatic examples is the Merriner family, which funded the Merriner Cottages. They’re just a stone’s throw from the Cancer Center doors and will give patients and their family refuge and respite without having to drive long distances home each day.

Then there is the labyrinth, funded through a $200,000 Carson City Rotary Club donation. I’ll admit I know little about the concept, but I do know it has brought confidence and inner peace to others dating back centuries.

The Cancer Center is a major addition to our community, and you really should see it and meet some of the people who made it possible. There will be an open house from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday. It’s at 1535 Medical Parkway, northwest of the new hospital.


Any column this close to an election ought to contain something political, but to be honest, after listening to dozens of pitches from candidates, I’m getting pretty tired of it all. Not even the latest gubernatorial scandal out of Vegas can get much of a rise out of me.

So it was fortuitous that Sam Bauman, our entertainment and recreation writer, walked into my office, irritated by one of those recorded phone calls from a local political candidate and inspired to write up his version of a solution. He, like a handful of people who have called me, has vowed to not vote for any candidate that campaigns by phone.

Here’s Sam’s solution:

“Irritating to have to drop everything to answer the phone only to find out it’s a recorded message from an arrogant politician. Why arrogant? Because they think their message is more important than anything else you’re doing. Bah!

“Here’s one way to deal with all those blathering recorded political phone calls we’ve been getting. After answering the hundredth or so phone calls from such as Laura Bush, Bill Clinton and others, I got one from a local candidate. As he started his meaningless spiel, I interrupted (although I’m not sure that he heard) and said, ‘Thanks for asking for my help. I am a professional political consultant and I charge $100 per hour or part thereof, so you’re on the clock. Keep talking.’

“Well, he kept on talking. But now I’m letting him know that I’m going to bill him for $100 for that part of an hour I had to listen to him. He asked for my help, so I told him I was available and was listening. So there’s the basis for the bill.

“Since I doubt that he will fork over the $100, I’ll have to take him to small claims court. I can do that without a lawyer and he’ll either have to be there and pay up or look pretty stupid in court. Either way I win, because this will send a message to all those presumptuous pols who think I have nothing to do but answer their calls – a sort of phone spam.

“So, folks, get out your pencils and get the names of the pols calling. Track ’em down and bill them for your time. Maybe we can get back to real elections.”

• Barry Ginter is editor of the Appeal. You can contact him at or 881-1221.