Monday, April 20, 2015


The latest issue of the NYRB contains an article by frequent contributor Oliver Sacks. He says he’s dying of cancer. I found this a curious coincidence. The latest issue of the LRB, the NYRB’s sister publication, contains an article by frequent contributor Jenny Diski, who’s also dying of cancer. 

Diski’s been writing a series of articles, which she calls her ‘cancer diary’, ever since she was diagnosed last year. Apparently Sacks will not live long enough to write a ‘cancer diary’.

I could call this my ‘cancer diary’, since I’m writing it in anticipation of my death. I did have cancer, and was told it might recur.   

I should have died of cancer. Perhaps I will yet.

I told her that, if it did recur, I wasn’t going through another surgery. I’d kill myself instead. She said that, if I did, she’d kill herself, too. She didn’t want to live without me. Now she’s dead and I’m alive. 

She told me she was glad she was dying, because she didn’t want to see what was coming. The world has become unimaginably worse since she died. Worse for everyone, not only for me. 

She made it tolerable for me. I don’t like the person I’ve become without her.

No comments:

Post a Comment