Tag Archives: mortality

The diary of another nobody

It’s the nature of autumn, perhaps- those barred clouds blooming in the soft-dying days (not mine, Keats), days which die noticeably earlier with every sunset now- that has got me thinking more than usual about how long I have left … Continue reading

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Just cherish it all- A small personal tribute to Graham Joyce (1954-2014)

I maintain a roster of writers who live with cancer and write about it in the media, and I check in on them every so often to see how they are. If they seem to be doing fine it makes me … Continue reading

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The view from Maslow’s peak (I) – Living through a thought experiment

A 20th-century psychologist called Abraham Maslow developed a “hierarchy of needs” which he thought human beings had to navigate in order to feel fulfilled in their lives. He depicted it as a pyramid: At the bottom are the bare necessities … Continue reading

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The view from Maslow’s peak (II) – Going with a different sort of flow

Don’t agonize about success or failure. Just do what you must do as well as you possibly can. In the process you may eventually transcend triumph and disaster. That is how to meet those two impostors. Those are the last … Continue reading

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The view from Maslow’s Peak (III) – In my end is my beginning (a personal history)

Every now and then, I see someone post on social media the following passage from the point of view of the protagonist Esther in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and every time it is met with a flurry of wistful … Continue reading

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And Beth shall be no more- Little Women, heroines and Nora Ephron

I’ve done the maths- for my most recent bout of treatment, which lasted 166 days, I spent 63 (in all, not consecutively) having chemotherapy. If you want to know what having chemotherapy is like, here’s how Christopher Hitchens described it in … Continue reading

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The bee

  Footnotes 1. I used the iPad app Paper by 53– an app that allows people who can’t draw to draw- to create this. I am indebted to the “Mastering Paper by 53” series on a website called Made Mistakes for … Continue reading

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Ars vivendi

Cancer sucks, but life is great – Stephen Sutton, Stephen’s Story Life is bearable even when it’s unbearable: that is what’s so terrible, that is the unbearable thing about it – Geoff Dyer, Out of Sheer Rage What do you … Continue reading

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Ars moriendi

I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed both nothing and everything. Before my cancer was diagnosed, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. After … Continue reading

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Cancer 101- dispelling two popular misconceptions

A lot of people seem to think that this is how cancer treatment works: You get cancer You get treated for it If you’re alive at the end of treatment it means that it worked and you’re cured. You’ve defeated … Continue reading

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