Hitchens r.i.p.

Slept reasonably well, you could say the sidewinder sleeps well tonite. But it’s been one of those days when lethargy rules and I sit, lie, doze, think of what I should be doing; doing anything is a real effort.

Listened to Christopher Hitchens (another hero) talk about his cancer. He made the observation that with cancer it’s a battle, not so with heart disease or diabetes and other diseases. Hitchens was of the opinion that it is the cancer that does battle with him, and that he does not do battle, rather he resists, or resisted. I have some sympathy with this, certainly have never considered myself a battler but don’t really consider myself a resister either. My cancer just is, it’s my turn. If I link this with recent reports that the majority of cancers are down to bad luck (about two thirds) because of random mutations in DNA during cell division then a recent throw of my dice landed me on a crabby snake. Poor snakes, so often seen as the baddies.

So I slipped down a snake but I keep rolling the dice, the odds are in my favour with this type of crabby snake but I may yet get a bad roll again.

Poor Hitchens, he’d probably hate to read those words together, had to also deal with a number of religious types who viewed his cancer as some sort of divine retribution. They were even taking bets on him converting before he died. In his later years he called himself antitheist as opposed to atheist, fulminating against those who professed belief and the harmful effects of religious belief. There were also those who thought his cancer retribution for his heavy smoking and drinking, the latest science would appear to debunk this.

Dyed my hair red yesterday, well the tufty bit on top. Looks quite weird.

Just back from a little walk to the shops, first time I’ve been out on my own for a while, felt OK if a little fragile. Kept my hood on, didn’t want to frighten little children and old folk with my hair.

I’m afraid the walk hasn’t sharpened the brainbox, Hitchens wrote about how cancer treatment significantly affected his mental ability. So we’ll just have a cheery cartoon:

Manifesto 55:

  • nicked from Paul Mason: build 200,000 council houses a year and start to rid us of the house price tyranny that bedevils so many of us. This, amongst other things, will free up money to be spent on more productive things than property.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

One thought on “Hitchens r.i.p.

  1. Hi Duncan,

    I liked today’s post, it sent a tremor of memory through me. Like Christopher Hitchens, my Jan was also 1949 – 2011, and, like him, her life was ended prematurely by cancer. Although from the start we talked about her cancer as an invader, she quite quickly began to dislike, then resent, the language of warfare used so frequently with cancer patients. Obituaries so often beginning “after a long battle with cancer,……” and medics talking about weapons to defeat the cancer…..too quickly the chemo and radio therapies felt like a campaign, assault, counter assault, her body a battleground.

    Like you she was somewhat fatalistic, accepting her misfortune and, after a difficult course of chemo and two of radio, she decided to adopt an approach akin to Ahimsa – non-violence – ………dieting carefully and enjoying her last months as best she could. She was more content when her body wasn’t constantly referred to as a battleground, felt her life winding down and navigated accordingly. It is so important to find one’s own path, however it may be, to be with the cancer as one is with everything else……..for those who find it best to take on a battle, that is grand, but there are other ways, each to their own.

    Have you read ‘The Emporor of All Maladies’ ?

    All the best in 2015……..onwards!



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