Cancer can happen to anyone, even to a short and frail boy-writer with a hat. Even before he turns 23. Even before his literary career starts. Even before he finds himself a sweetheart and attains financial stability. Alackaday!
There’s a 95% chance that I am the unfortunate owner of some kind of lymphoma, a cancer often afflicting young men about my age. I won’t bore you with my many symptoms, which include, among others, weight loss, fatigue, and at present, a choking sort of cough that’s most vexing, especially at night.
I’m having a hard time trying to decide whether I am supposed to die young or whether this disease has to happen to me so that I may change my ways and become a better person. Today, when about 80% or so of people diagnosed with cancer live at least 5 years, cancer can be a wakeup call to life. It creates the right conditions for you to assess your life, evaluate your progress, question your dreams, and sort your priorities. Sometimes we have to be confronted with death to fall in love with life.
I’m not going to ask you whether I should allow the disease to run its course or try to get treatment, because you probably live in the West, where death has a bad reputation, mostly because our culture is so worldly and materialistic. To tell you the truth, I have always had a profound dislike for my short and frail and weak body, which is why a change of state wouldn’t altogether displease me. Isn’t a year or so of pain worth an eternity of leisure?
I haven’t been to the doctor so far because I had more important things to do, that is, finishing the biography of a moonbeamed painter, contemplating funeral preparations, eating more fruits and vegetables, and trying to write worthwhile almost-poems. But now, vexed by my cough, I am seriously considering the possibility of visiting the nearest medical establishment.
I am fortunate, I suppose, because for many people with cancer, the diagnosis comes out of the blue, causing them not a little shock. In my case, I will go more for a confirmation than a diagnosis.
I think I shall visit a doctor the following week or the next. I’ll keep you posted.
Alas, the poor boy must be pricked with needles, subjected to costly scans, and perhaps even cut for a lymph node biopsy!
Don’t get your hopes up.
The author of this blog may die this year, or the next.
Until I figure out what kind of cancer I have and where exactly it is, I want to ask you something…
Is death really to be dreaded? Isn’t it vain to try to alter nature’s course? Isn’t it only normal to suffer tremendously if you try to fill your body with chemicals and radiation to prolong a possibly wretched existence? Is the purpose of life really to live as long as possible in order to enjoy as many pleasant experiences as you can? Isn’t it perfectly acceptable to die young from cancer, if you feel like it?