Cancer, Stress, and Death

Cancer, Stress, and Death

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When I delivered the keynote address at our joint 1977 symposium on Cancer, Stress, and Death in Montreal, I took great pride in announcing my unique qualification for this singular honor-I had survived a normally fatal cancer, a histiocytic reticulosarcoma that had developed under the skin of my thigh several years pre viously. Faced with the physical and emotional realities of this situa tion, I refused to retreat from life in desperation. I immediately underwent surgery and cobalt therapy, but insisted on knowing my chances for a lasting recovery, which at that time seemed far from encouraging. Although I knew it would take tremendous self-discipline, I was determined to continue living and working without worrying about the outcome. I suppressed any thoughts of my ostensibly imminent death, but rewrote my will, including in it several suggestions for the continuation of my work by my colleagues. Having taken care of that business, I promptly forced myself to disregard the whole calamity. I immersed myself in my work-and I survived! But, of course, this was not my only reason for my feelings of pride and accomplishment.Death is a time during which bonds become very clear, particularly if the environment is one to enhance this quiet clarity. ... may make events in death very meaningful and may radically alter perspectives within the family even after death. ... I remember standing outside the Mt. Carmel Caves where Homo sapiens have lived (probably continuously) for at least ... In such rituals, symbols become significant to the body, and verbal language remains poor facsimile of all that goes on within.

Title:Cancer, Stress, and Death
Author:J. Tache
Publisher:Springer Science & Business Media - 2013-11-11


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