Subjective Objectivity – The Blog of The Reasonable Man

August 7, 2010

“I was fairly reconciled to the loss of my hair”

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikeshotgun @ 12:05 am

I highly recommend this missive from Christopher Hitchens about his experience with cancer. I have had a fair few issues over the years with Hitchens as a polemicist, but this is a frank and astonishing piece of writing:

I have been taunting the Reaper into taking a free scythe in my direction and have now succumbed to something so predictable and banal that it bores even me. Rage would be beside the point for the same reason. Instead, I am badly oppressed by a gnawing sense of waste. I had real plans for my next decade and felt I’d worked hard enough to earn it. Will I really not live to see my children married? To watch the World Trade Center rise again? To read—if not indeed write—the obituaries of elderly villains like Henry Kissinger and Joseph Ratzinger? But I understand this sort of non-thinking for what it is: sentimentality and self-pity.

Read the whole thing. It’s not so much morbid as it is an account on the inconvenience of mortality.

I have yet to have to deal with that putrid illness either directly or indirectly, so it doesn’t probably doesn’t touch a nerve with me the way it might with others. But still:

These are my first raw reactions to being stricken. I am quietly resolved to resist bodily as best I can, even if only passively, and to seek the most advanced advice. My heart and blood pressure and many other registers are now strong again: indeed, it occurs to me that if I didn’t have such a stout constitution I might have led a much healthier life thus far. Against me is the blind, emotionless alien, cheered on by some who have long wished me ill. But on the side of my continued life is a group of brilliant and selfless physicians plus an astonishing number of prayer groups. On both of these I hope to write next time if—as my father invariably said—I am spared.

Man.

Cross-posted at Something Quotable

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