(Johnny Cash reference)

Anyone can try to tell you how to deal with cancer, especially doctors and nurses and psychiatrists and therapists, but if you have not experienced it, you simply cannot know it.

I am a survivor.

I believe that hope and humor are the hallmarks of success for those who want
to outlast the Beast. I believe that medicine and the people who practice it
are wonderful, gifted, and dedicated people, for the most part, and I owe my
life to a number of them. I believe that caregivers are the most fantastic
individuals on the face of the Earth. I am not certain that I could give back
to those who have cared for me what they have given to me, most especially my
wife, who is only now becoming the pain in the ass she was before this all
began.

Hope and humor.

I truly believe that a doctor or nurse would rather spend time with a friendly,
funny patient than with some asshole. And I truly believe that that nurse or
doctor will provide better care, even though by accident, to that friendly,
funny patient than he or she will to the a**hole. It is human nature. Think
about your job and whom you prefer to deal with.

You have to deal with it whether you like it or not, and all of the people that
are there to help you have dealt with so much pain and sorrow that they are
sure to welcome someone with a positive attitude. Laugh. Laugh some more.
Spread it around.

As for hope, there is nothing without hope. In the last minute, we can always
hope that the Governor calls. We can always live as if our lives will never
end. That, after all, is the way we lived before we learned we were sharing our
bodies with the Beast.

What would I like for you to learn as soon as possible? I hope that you learn a
bit about what to expect from the Beast. I hope that you learn a bit about what
to expect from those around you (bless them, my friend, for they know not what
they do). I hope that you realize that your time here is limited, regardless of
cancer, and that you learn to cherish your moments and your loved ones and your
friends.

That is not so easy to do.

You are going to need some personal courage and a lot of love and caring from
those who are your family and friends.

You are going to need hope, and you are going to need humor.

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