9 July 2013: Is Cancer Sexy? You Decide.
Edward G. Nilges at the Theater April 2013…weighing 130 pounds
Cancer could create more responsible individuals in the presence of the possibility of death, a possibility we’re trained to ignore. That could be sexy.
I read, prophetically, a 2011 column in the New Yorker in which a long-term runner like me got the big C and at first, as the cancer started feeding on her, dropped pounds as I did around that same time (Google “spinoza1111 Orphic Mystery”). She felt sexy but not when, exhausted and in pain after her last run, she thought, I have run my last run.
On March 26 2012, my late son’s 34th and last birthday, I had that thought but pushed it away as an artifact of reading the New Yorker article. But the next day I felt savage back and leg pain: in April I was crazed nightly and in May I was diagnosed with cancer, that was pressing nerves and organs. I started on Tramadol and Panadol and graduated last December to morphine. The pain comes and goes, today, it’s mostly absent but not in any sense gone.
Tuberculosis was the sexy disease of the 19th century, creating the romantic high concept of Camille and La Traviata. In the HBO Mini-Series The Big C you know the sexy ones such as the star Laura Linney will be almost but not quite immortal. Well with cancer you keep your friends as opposed to leprosy in the old days and AIDs in its old days. But this isn’t being sexy.
This is what I was getting to: these British POWS in WWII Hong Kong were being fed rotten sweet potatoes by the Japanese.
Therefore I drink my Ensure supplements and I consume loads of dark chocolate with at least 60% cacao added to lower the sweetness but I am only at 147 for today.
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, climbing steps at what are for me brutal levels and walking are my new forms of running. Also, walking uphill to the Senior Staff quarters.
But nothing provides the sudden emotional release of running which I must forgo.