I didn't need more things to make me feel guilty and excluded. I was by far the youngest patient in the oncology ward.
I was too cynical to believe herbal remedies were going to cure me but unwilling to venture onto medical Web sites, where the depressing prognosis stats were lurking, ready to scare the hell out of me.
I am on chemotherapy." Hoping to reconcile with a bald cancer patient, the man offered: "I am in AA." The man's friend chimed in, "I'm addicted to porn." Ross compiled this and other absurd moments in his life as a marginalized citizen in his 35-minute stand-up show, excerpts of which he performed at the fundraiser."Comedy for Cancer" was a huge success and resonated especially well with the "Brooklyn hipster crowd," says Harwood.
Only one person in the audience, a cancer patient, said later it was "just too much." Cancer was traumatic for her, and joking about it made it worse.
Ross, 27, first got the idea to create a stand-up show about cancer last year, when a man sitting on next to him on the bus asked: "Did you shave your head because you're losing your hair?
" Ross, briefly appalled by the incongruity of the question, decided to be brutally honest: "No, man.
For members of an earlier generation, curing oneself of cancer was often associated with turning inward to positive thinking and spirituality and away from anything resembling cynicism and irony.
Experts nowadays say that the power of positive thinking might be overrated (thankfully).
Crammed inside a subway car in Manhattan—feeling remarkably generous, as I often do these days—I smiled at a young woman with a fancy black ponytail hairdo who was intensely staring at me. She said: "This is the second time you stepped on my shoe."It was quite possible that I stepped on her foot. Almost three years ago, at age 29, I was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer The chemotherapy treatment that followed left me, among other keepsakes, with neuropathy in my feet, numbness and tingling similar to what advanced diabetes patients experience. I later typed these words into Google and found Kaylin Andres, a 24-year-old San Francisco fashion designer who was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer normally found in children, last September. About 10,000 young adults die from cancer annually, more than from any other disease.
One day I walked two blocks barefoot before I noticed my missing sandal."I'm sorry," I said, then whispered, "I know this will sound strange, but I can't feel my feet." Keep up with this story and more She rolled her eyes. In this crowded train, nobody was paying attention to my cancer, and it all seemed surreal again: my numb feet, my uncertain life expectancy, the loneliness, all coupled with gratitude for being alive, even if it means sharing a world with this bitch on the 1 train. She uses her blog, Cancer Is Hilarious, to document her experience in a way young people could relate. I need something other than yet another study that offered grim survival rates or scary-sounding side effects. This is not the best statistic to stumble on when you are looking online for hope, as I did in September 2006 after my doctor told me he found a growth in my colon. Then I did what anyone of my generation would do: I Googled "colon cancer." Within seconds, I found out that my cancer stage, advanced stage IIIC, gave me a 44 percent chance to survive five years.
(That promise lasted all of five days)At the same time, I started receiving books, stacks of self-help volumes from well-meaning people.
Books claiming that cancer was hate materialized in the body of people who don't love enough.
Books promising you can cure cancer by drinking wheat-grass juice.