BY ERIK DUVAL. Apparently, today is World Cancer Day… I’m not sure about this concept of having days for specific topics. I mean: is there a World Ebola Day? A World Political Prisoners Day? A Let’s-get-rid-of-religious-and-other-bigotry Day? There are only 365 days in a year and so many worthy causes… Still, I was asked to reflect a bit on my experience over the last 10 months, and ended up thinking about how cancer is maybe a bit ‘different’ from other diseases…
First of all, being told you have cancer makes you think in a rather direct way about … dying. (I was told my cancer was ‘not a good one’ and that ‘maybe now would be a good moment to start writing my memoirs’.) Of course, unless we make some rapid and dramatic progress, most of you who read this will die eventually. But most of us sort of ignore this most of the time, if not all of the time. I had wondered before how I would cope if someone would tell me that I only had a small amount of time left. Maybe I would panic, or go mad, or become ultra-religious?
Actually, it may sound bigger than it is, but, if anything, the last 10 months taught me that I can cope with dying. Not that I especially want to die. Certainly not any time soon. But I think it is possible to make reasoned decisions about what you want to still say to whom and what you still want to accomplish when you start running out of time.
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