I imagine a number of you have seen the video below. I hadn’t. If you haven’t, it’s well worth watching. If you have, it’s well worth watching again.
Here’s the story. Randy Pausch was diagnosed with severe pancreatic cancer a little over a year ago. He underwent all the brutal treatments available, was declared cancer free, then had a virulent recurrence, and has but a few months to live. On September 18 of last year he gave a farewell lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, the institution at which he teaches. The lecture was memorable (to say the least) in that Dr. Pausch didn’t really complain about his situation, but instead is using it to live life to its fullest in the few days he has left. It’s a remarkable lecture and was repeated in abbreviated form on the Oprah show. It is the Oprah show lecture that is in the video below. Unfortunately it is slightly marred by having the camera cut numerous times to the smarmy Mehmet Oz in his too-large suit. But not marred enough to destroy the message. I hope you enjoy it as much as MD and I did.


  1. I wonder if he knows how important it is to avoid dietary sugars to keep cancer from having something to eat. Not that it’s a cure mind you but it might give him more time. He doesn’t mention his diet anywhere and you can’t send him an email.
    My father died of pancreatic cancer but I could never get him to listen to these dietary reccs.

  2. My poor English has limited my comprehension, not enough to not to understand how great this man is…
    p.s. for Fred Hahn:
    Hi Fred.
    Doesn’t cancer thrive on gluconeogenesis?
    Doesn’t cancer get in this way all the glucose it needs?

  3. Thanks Dr. Mike,
    That post really made my day……and perhaps my future!
    I’ve done some wrong in my life, well not necessarily wrong, but things that might be frowned upon by certain people, including my friends and family. Randy’s speech really makes my want to speak up, but i’m afraid of being ostracized. I don’t know what is worse, suffering in silence or potentially being ostracized. It’s funny, i am very health conscious, thus the reason i am a devotee of this site (and your books), yet my suffering probably does more harm than any diet could.
    Good luck. I hope everything works out okay.

  4. I have been suggested to watch this video but cannot. This man is from my own backyard (Pittsburgh) and have known of his circumstances for quite some time. What upsets me is he probably will never hear of studies, however small, such as this one..
    http://ict.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/5/1/83. or this from NIH http://www.dr-gonzalez.com/pilot_study_abstract.htm
    I only hope I would have a fraction of his courage and poise if I would ever receive such a devastating diagnosis.
    As do I.

  5. That was a moving video. Thanks for posting it, and thanks Tom for posting the original.
    Isabella posted the link to the “update” page, which I found quite interesting. Randy Pausch is eating 4000 calories per day just to maintain weight. I wonder what those calories are composed of? Since it is very difficult to eat 4000 calories a day from fat and protein, it leads me to believe that he must be eating a very high carb diet.
    Some of Dr Mike’s posts re pancreatic cancer:
    I think Fred Hahn and Marco bring up a good debate. Will a person with cancer necessarily fuel that cancer via glucogenesis, starving all normal cells? Or will a person with cancer benefit by eliminating sugar/carbs entirely, in hope of starving the cancer?
    Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize back in the 1920’s for his original research proving that cancer thrives on sugar… but where did that sugar come from?
    Would it be possible to prolong Randy Pausch’s life by restricting carbohydrate?
    There is evidence that low-carb, ketogenic diets are effective in treating malignant brain cancer. Malignant brain cancers are probably as bad as pancreatic cancers, at least in terms of prospects for survival. If I had either, I would certainly go on a low-carb diet.

  6. Mike, all I can add is ‘thanks for posting this.’
    I’m heading into another surgery at the Sloan-Kettering day spa for my own cancer recurrence. Most days I am just trying to get through the enormous lists of things that have to be done before I put time on hold again for the surgery and recovery. Most days, I don’t have time for negative energy and I don’t spend too much effort checking progress on my dreams.
    Today, I took a breath. I watched Randy Pausch’s video lectures (both of them.) I linked them to my blog. And I realized that I’m happy, too–whatever happens when the five surgeons go hand to hand with my own cancer in three weeks.
    Hey Pat–
    Sorry to hear about the recurrence. My thoughts will be with you. Please keep me posted.

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