“Many cancer patients say their illness gives them a new and deeper appreciation for life. Some even say they are grateful for their disease. I have no such gratitude for my cancer, although I’m certainly grateful for having advance notice of my death. In addition to allowing me to prepare my family for the future, that time gave me the chance to go to Carnegie Mellon and give my last lecture. In a sense, it allowed me to ‘leave the field under my own power’.”
In this quote the author shows us how he feels towards his disease. He talks about how his pancreatic cancer has pros and cons. He is now viewing life in a new perspective and learning to enjoy every moment you have. But he also is now not going to get to see his children grow up or get married or all the normal things that parents look forward to in their children’s’ lifetime. He says though that he is very grateful that he has some time now to prepare himself and his family for their future life without him. Instead of something more instant like a car crash, he has at least a few months to ready himself and give his children as many memories with him as he can.
“I let the slide linger, so the audience could follow the arrows and count my tumors. ‘All right,’ I said. ‘That is what it is. We can’t change it. We just have to decide how we’ll respond. We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” In this passage he is telling the reader not to feel sorry for him. He has cancer and he is not going to cry about it, instead he is going to make something of it. He knows that he only has a few months left to live but he is not going to spend those months moping around but being productive!
“We had just moved from Pittsburgh to Southeastern Virginia so that after my death, Jai and the kids could be near her family.” In this quote the author states that the setting is in Southeastern Virginia next to his wife’s