Christopher Hitchens: My Fight With Cancer

Essayist writes of battling a 'blind alien'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2010 2:28 PM CDT
A 2005 file photo of British essayist Christopher Hitchens.   (AP Photo/Chad Rachman, File)

(Newser) – Christopher Hitchens writes of his entry into the strange land of "sick country"—in his case a cancer diagnosis—with its accompanying bouts of "sentimentality and self-pity" and "gnawing sense of waste." But the renowned atheist has it in perspective: "To the dumb question 'Why me?' the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: Why not?"

That doesn't mean he's giving up. "I am quietly resolved to resist bodily as best I can, even if only passively, and to seek the most advanced advice," the 61-year-old writes in Vanity Fair. He sees his cancer as a "blind, emotionless alien, cheered by some who have long wished me ill. But on the side of my continued life is a group of brilliant and selfless physicians plus an astonishing number of prayer groups. On both of these I hope to write next time if—as my father invariably said—I am spared."

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