It’s been 8 months since treatment ended. Even though I’ve survived to this point, I can’t help sometimes thinking that the treatment, the cure, was worse than the disease. It attacks not only the tumor, but your spirit, your essence. And your only choice is to stand up and take some more.

This afternoon the owner of the company I work for and I returned from a fairly successful presentation of our work. He was dropping me off at my car in the parking lot and came out to stretch and shake hands. Which he did – and then looked at me and said, “You don’t know how happy it made me to see you walk back into the office a few months ago.”

I said that I thought about that day all the way thru the radiation and chemo treatments that weakened and sickened me day after day. Treatments that were so abusive, it left me without a voice, a throat so swollen that I couldn’t even drink clear water and had to get all of my nutrition thru a tube placed directly into my abdomen. Like adding a can of oil to your car. Only I had to do it 5 times a day at minimum.

it was five months before I had the energy to work my way over to my office on a Friday afternoon and feel the joy of returning to my friends and family. To enjoy surprising them and say look, I did it. I got thru.

“How did you do it?” he asked

“Sheer stubbornness,” I said.

But what I thought was that thru all of those months, those days where I could barely raise my head, those nights that I had to sleep in a stuffed chair because if I tried to lay down I couldn’t breathe – thru those long nights where I felt my worst, I would say to the disease:



I don’t believe it – here I am in my doddering years and I can’t wait until this movie comes out! I’ve already reserved my 10-year-old grandniece to cover for me at the theatre.

I think it’s the hamster that does it for me.

Let it begin!

A Jewish grandmother is watching her grandchild playing on the beach when a huge wave comes and takes him out to sea.

She pleads, ‘Please, God, save my only grandson! Bring him back.’ And a big wave comes and washes the boy back onto the beach, good as new.

She looks up to heaven and says, ‘He had a hat!’”

– Stefan Kanfer, reviewing Stop Me If You’ve Heard This: A History and Philosophy of Jokes, by Jim Holt, in the latest City Journal

(…and a h/t to Execupundit)

There is no late.

There is only done or not done.

© Bill Israel

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