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View Diary: My Favorite Authors: Siddhartha Mukarjee, exploring the vast realm of the malignancy empire (32 comments)

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  •  Great diary.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Will need to read it.  Having worked closely with children with this terrible disease, I have just one comment and it is something that I saw more often than not.....the kids seemed to find the strength to live their lives to the fullest...and often gave their parents and families the strength to cope.  Perhaps it was their innocence of being youthful and fight the cancer...I am not sure but it was amazing to see.

    A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble. Mohandas Gandhi

    by SingaporeSpunk on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 07:24:12 PM PDT

    •  Interesting comment (0+ / 0-)

      And it just occurs to me that although Farber's pioneering work with children is discussed extensively, in 'the Emperor of all Maladies'and we do, in fact hear from the real 'Jimmy' fifty years after he was the cancer child poster boy, we still have very little of the impressions of battling the disease from the child's point of view. Most of the personal accounts that Mukherjee references in his work - and pretty much all of the one's I am familiar with - deal with the impressions of adults who have been diagnosed, or seen and experienced their loved ones diagnosed with cancer. Your point thus makes me think that children deal with the disease differently than adults, and furthermore, if you like, more resiliently.
          I didn't really want to go into this - the diary is depressing enough - but from long and often painful experience watching others deal with cancer, having it really puts you in a separate world (which is explicitly stated in the book) which by definition is very different from the one that healthy adults normally inhabit. It's like there is 'adultworld' and there is 'cancerworld', and there not a lot of similarity between them. So it can be energizing and reaffirming to join children in cancerworld. It is often very draining, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually to join adults there. If our friends or loved ones have the disease, we do it. It is the right thing to do. But that doesn't mean it doesn't take its toll; call it another dark corner of the empire of malignancy

      An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

      by MichiganChet on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 03:04:09 PM PDT

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