About twelve years ago I was told that I had a form of cancer. It was a great shock, of course — for we all secretly think we’re immortal, don’t we? . . . that in our special case the gods won’t give the fateful thumbs down. Yet there I was at thirty-one having to face the fact that I was subject to sickness and death. There followed a period of great emotional turmoil, but one sunny morning I woke up to find I’d come through and could accept the fact. Actually, this was an important discovery: human beings can face death with equanimity . . . Well, in the event, I didn’t die. I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals and undergoing unpleasant drug and radiation treatment, but I’ve kept going — with a little help (and hindrance) from my friends . . .
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