“I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”
“In his Pulitzer Prize–winning book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Siddhartha Mukherjee writes that as recently as the 1950s, cancer was so feared and taboo that the New York Times refused to print the word in a support-group advertisement. It was the second-leading cause of death in the United States then—just as it is now—but it was as mysterious to most people as mortality itself. There is something monstrous about a disease that kills by wanting to live; cancer’s goal is to grow and prosper, with absolutely no regard for its host. It makes sense that people couldn’t speak about it—it’s not easy to commiserate about a nightmare.
And yet, human instinct tells us to band together to fight our enemies, even on the cellular level. Gradually, with scientific breakthroughs and education, cancer became less of a mum word and more of a buzzword. Hollywood jumped on the drama surrounding the disease, and soon films like Terms of Endearment and Beaches were keeping tissue companies in business. Novels and magazine articles highlighted survivor stories; television started adding characters afflicted with illness. Even Sex and the City‘s carousing Samantha had her share of chemo.