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 12: Bare Naked Thoughts

Before this calamity, I used to allow myself to think that I might get to count myself among the lucky ones; the ones fate permits to sidestep serious health troubles, lifelong. Clearly, I have been disqualified from participating in such thoughts.

I do not like to have to think of myself as being among the afflicted. About two months after my surgery, I participated in a cancer-related fundraiser. I did not like doing so. It was very hard. I imagine that I feel like a professional athlete does upon being traded to a team he does not really want to play for, from a contending team to an also-ran. Perhaps I should think, "At least I am still playing."

So far, I have been successful in thinking, "Quit feeling sorry for yourself," when necessary that I do so. Forcing myself to consider those who suffer from some sort of crippling disease or injury helps with my perspective. The woman who declared cancer a dirty word is awaiting a stem cell transplant donor at this writing. Eva and I will dog-sit her basset hound, Otis, for the three months she and her husband must commit to the next round of the fight for her life.

On occasion, I have thought, "Don't talk to me about your medical problems. If you don't have cancer, you're a piker," as someone wants to relate his or her medical story to me. But I would remind myself that we all have our troubles, and we are all made somewhat myopic by them. Obviously, my myopia, if left unchecked, can become putrid with arrogance.

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