We are all slowly dying
No, I do not have cancer - but there are many people on the Internet who do.
The situation strikes one in a poignant manner. People put up blogs and recount their ordeal, the word spreads out, people help, they go to the doctor, they get cured or not - meanwhile I have 10 tabs open in Google Chrome trying to read people, trying to glean what's happening on the web and trying to search for answers that unfortunately even Google cannot provide.
Steve Jobs had Pancreatic Cancer, he's gone and as the Fake Steve Jobs put it:
"Words fall short.
Words scatter like dry leaves,
stirred by the wind,
swirling, rising upward,
tangling with each other,
like some incantation gone awry,
unable to bring you back."
And that's that, the blog gets abandoned, in a few years the domain will expire or not. Apple has a new CEO, people have their iPhones (except me...)
Some people try to make light of their own situation like Paul Pavao, who recounts in his blog http://yippee-leukemia.blogspot.com/ his daily ordeals. "Thrilled to Death" as he put it. 5 days ago, it was his 92nd day with Cancer and spent it waiting in a hematology clinic awaiting his bone marrow biopsy.
Financial giants like Warren Buffett who has Prostate Cancer, approach it in a different way, with care placed particularly on what the investors would feel should Warren die. Sometimes stature and prominence is a curse. People shake your hands, express their sorrow, you nod and say, "Hey, I'm really ok.". They stare at you for a while as if they really know how you feel and then mention something about their stock options and ask what would happen to Berkshire Hathaway or who would succeed you afterwards. You look at the floor, muster up a smile and refer them to the VP. See you later, bud.
I take a break from writing, I need to smoke.
Kids gone inside and I sip a glass of water and eat halo halo without ice. I hug them before I write, and tell them that they have a great future ahead of them.
Fiery, defiant and unrelenting, now he has chosen to be quiet. Choosing to express his disdain for capitalistic society by choosing to get his cancer treatment in Cuba rather than the United States.
Hope and Death
People approach death and the possibility of dying differently. I remember in College how death was treated in a clinical manner, philosophically.
The essence of life is death.
Some ready themselves to meet the possibility of a creator in another life, some ready their wills, some get their estate lawyers and some aren't ready at all. Societies build institutions and create an orderly process to ease the impact of dying both on the dying person and on the living people that get left behind. Religion centers itself around death in a billion ways.
There are those who have already gone home. Like Holy Cow I Have Leukemia, who left behind fond memories and poems,
"Now my friends it's time to go,
And this love will live to grow,
And I want you all to know,
I'm going home."
Dying in the Third World
Only in the most expensive hospitals will you see a semblance of any first world conveniences to dying. In the public hospitals, you'll see a myriad of suffering people laying about as if it was a war zone. Their families stare blankly in the distance while holding a hungry child. I have seen it in pictures and I have seen it in real life.
Here, there are no poems to share, only the mindless silence of pain, suffering and desperation. I am tempted to use numbers and statistics, but they don't really paint an accurate picture of what is.
This is an age when prom queens get arrested for pretending to have Cancer and an age where authenticity gets obscured by the obscurists for their personal gain.