Book Sample - "got cancer?" (spring break gone bad)


An excerpt from "got cancer? spring break gone bad" by James J. Gaudio,
a book about surviving cancer and finding strength.

Chapter 1: Signals from the Stairs

Upon my entry into the school building, it was my habit to ascend the two flights of stairs on the north end of the building. These stairs lead to the building’s second floor. The lower flight consists of sixteen steps from the first floor to the landing. The upper flight consists of fourteen steps connecting the landing to the second floor. With or without a load, these stairs can offer an opportunity to test one’s physical condition. Accordingly, I would sometimes make the climb as fast as I could, just to take measure of my conditioning.  Unfortunately, a day came when I would no longer have to try to make the climb difficult. On that day, and much to my chagrin, I discovered that even a slow paced, methodical climb up these stairs became an endeavor that pushed me to my physical limits. The stairs were telling me something, but I did not want to listen.

... By the time I cleared the stairs from the first floor to the landing, I knew that something was different. By the time I cleared the flight from the landing to the second floor, I knew something was wrong. My bag and legs felt as if they were made of lead, and my legs ached, too. I was very short of breath and light-headed. My heart raced, and I could feel its beat pounding in my head. I wondered if I might faint. I had to take a moment to recover. What was this about?

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