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The Sun Magazine

Body and Mind

Cancer

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

How It Ends

It begins like this: You drop your son off at kindergarten. His first day of school. You think that nothing in your life will be as big as this: the moment he drops your hand, he who has clung to you since birth, since that first breath of air, first scream, first frantic rooting for the breast.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Cure For Racism Is Cancer

This strange country of cancer, it turns out, is the true democracy — one more real than the nation that lies outside these walls and more authentic than the lofty statements of politicians; a democracy more incontrovertible than platitudes or aspiration.

In the country of cancer everyone is simultaneously a have and a have-not. In this land no citizens are protected by property, job description, prestige, and pretensions; they are not even protected by their prejudices. Neither money nor education, greed nor ambition, can alter the facts. You are all simply cancer citizens, bargaining for more life.

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