The Truth Board

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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Thought

Imagine if one day you woke up without a thought, not by choice but because you couldn’t remember how to think. Thinking, it’s something we take for granted. When I use this word, I mean in the broadest sense, literally thinking. I don’t mean thinking about people, thinking philosophically, thinking about the one you love, I mean thinking.

According to the American Cancer society, each year over one million people are diagnosed with cancer in the United States, a number that when you think about it, is truly suffocating. Of that million plus people, nearly half will die. In the most recent American Cancer Society survey it was noted that over 565,000 people died from some form of cancer. Think about it, that is nearly everyone in my home city of Seattle, Washington, dead, or every 17th person in Los Angeles County, gone. And that’s just one year.

Currently, I know about a dozen people battling some form of cancer, as I can imagine most everyone does. One of those people is a truly fascinating woman who is has brain cancer, a disease that in conjunction with Other Nurvous System cancers, kills 2% of the aforementioned statistic. Every time I see her, her ability to simply think weakens slightly. I try to imagine what it would be like to be this woman and wake up one morning to find that numbers, which once filled my brain, became a foreign language. How life would be if typical utensils I use on a daily basis, such as a fork, spoon or knife became objects that were alien to me. What the world would be like if the names of people I had grown up with my entire life fled my memory bank, along with the names and memories of dozens of other important events and places I used to know so well.

You see when I wake up, I normally think about how I am tired, and then I think about how I need to pull my body out of bed to make breakfast, get dressed and go to work or school. But think about it, what if one day you woke up and didn’t know how to think in such a way, didn’t know how to tell your brain and body that you think it’s time to move, so instead you lay helpless until someone else can do the thinking and moving for you.

This woman I know, says things that make my heart stop. She says she cannot wait to be better, she cannot wait to get feeling back in the half of her body that is not longer functioning. While it is all terribly tragic, for her and for the dozens of people closely connected to her, it is astonishing simultaneously. Simply put, in the face of a disease that seems to be as daunting as Mt. Everest, the one thought she holds onto most dearly is a noble thought. This woman thinks daily, hourly, minutely for all I know about how she can’t wait to win a battle which if I were in her position I would let defeat me. She has a hope, which cannot be deflated.

It is a beautiful thought really. If you think about it.



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