Friday, April 15, 2011

It seeks me out that sometime did me flee

I do not want to be melodramatic. I have a white terror of melodrama. But on the other hand, I know that I must serve as a public witness. What little talent that I have probably assigns me such responsibility.

At all events, my cancer has returned. No need to plunge into the concrete particulars of my case. Suffice it to say that, when I was initially diagnosed, my doctors gave me one to three years to live, although there was also a ten percent chance that I would live ten years. Anatole Broyard, who contracted the disease before me, got just fourteen months. My friend Denis Dutton persisted for two years with it. So far I have survived three-and-a-half years. (And don’t ever let anyone tell you there is no such thing as survivor guilt.) My doctors now say that my odds of living another five years are fifty percent. Or, in other words, I have a half-and-half shot being among the ten percent who live ten years.

Not bad. If I write somewhat more than usual about death and dying, though, you’ll understand why. And forgive me, I hope.

21 comments:

Edward Bauer said...

I am a consistent reader of your blog, checking in every day hoping for a new post. I learn new things and new ways of looking at old things. Selfishly, I urge you to please keep up the fight. And reading about death and dying have never kept me from reading Tolstoy, Chekhov, or Roth, to name just three.

Edward Bauer

Vikram Johri said...

Dear Mr Myers,
This is VIkram Johari. We interacted briefly some time back about my interst in pursuing a PhD in English Litt. from an American university. I am sorry to hear about your condition, and hope things will be fine.
Regards,
Vikram

Susan Messer said...

I will certainly forgive you. And I think this is a good, straightforward way to say what's on your mind.

Lee said...

There is nothing to forgive. I wish you all the best.

Interpolations said...

I am very sorry. I am sorry, too, that I'm at a loss for words. I can say this, however. I will be thinking about you and reading you.

Kevin

Amateur Reader said...

Your readers have surely forgiven you for worse before.

You have been in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I'm a long-time lurker. Just to say I wish you'll be well, Prof Myers.

kinnareads said...

I'm a lurker. Look at what it's taken for me to come out of the shadows. I follow your blog quite religiously. I don't always agree with what you say, as it should be. But I'm drawn to your critical and uncompromising ways. And of course, your deep appreciation for literature. I delight in the title of your post even as the post itself delivers such bad news. Hang in there. For what it's worth, I'll be thinking of you. And all the best.

David Gruber said...

David,

Thank you for your work on this blog and elsewhere, which has enriched my life as a reader and a teacher.

I hope for the best for you and your family, and that your course of treatment will be successful.

David

Dan said...

Ever since I've discovered your blog it's offered me, in addition to striking literary analysis and an idea for the topic of my capstone paper (the canon controversy), a sense of real optimism about the scholarship that's still possible within the academy.

I'm terribly sorry to hear this news and, selfishly, I hope you'll be around to reach the jaded and startle the settled for years to come.

Anonymous said...

I am saddened to read about the return of your cancer.

Tim
(One of your readers diagnosed with prostate cancer 4 1/2 years ago)

Anonymous said...

I'm a lurker, too. I follow your blog regularly and regularly come away with a fresh understanding of things.

As a hospice worker, I am grateful you intend to share your thoughts on death and dying. But I sincerely regret the reason for it.

I wish the best to you and your loved ones. I hope you are among the ten percent.

forcheville said...

Best of luck with it, D.G. You have many well-wishers who've come to know you through this unfailingly readable blog.

PMH said...

Always, always hope, and trusting in God, your doctor, and not in statistics. I forget the name of the Civil War soldier who was badly wounded and asked the doctor about his "chances." The doctor answered, "1 in 100." "Well," the soldier responded defiantly, "I'll take my one chance." He did and lived another forty years.

Here's hoping (and praying) that this development can be overcome and will not break your readers' hearts.

courtneyvz said...

Your teaching through this blog means as much to me now as your teaching in the classroom did when I was an undergrad. You and your family are in my thoughts. I hope you will continue to write about the things that are on your mind.

zmkc said...

PMH said it so well, I can only echo his/her sentiments.

Mark Athitakis said...

I've held back on commenting here---for fear, I suppose, of saying the "wrong" thing. (I'm mindful of some of your earlier posts on this matter.) But like the others here, I want to let you know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

leezee52 said...

Dear David,
I have read your blog from time to time and felt I had to say something now. My heart is breaking. Please be well my friend. I know we
haven't spoken since high school but you are always in my thoughts.

Your Friend,
Lee Ellen Bornstein Scharhon

D. G. Myers said...

“PMH” is my old chum and co-conspirator Paul M. Hedeen, the author of The Knowledge Tree, a poet, and a professor of English at Wartburg College.

Ian Wolcott said...

I carry a copy of “The Fox’s Apology” in my backpack everywhere I go. Dull days on the train when I’m feeling down I pull it out, read it, and find that I feel much better. There’s medicine, maybe, in words. So if you’re the patient again, you’re also the pharmacist. I don’t say that a few of your pills aren’t bitter or hard to swallow, but I'm glad to keep coming back. Thank you for doing what you continue to do here, and for letting us know. You’re in our thoughts.

Roberta Rood said...

Prof. Myers, Your blog is wonderful, a source of sustenance. You are in my thoughts; I wish you the best.