There is some wisdom in taking a gloomy view, in looking upon the world as a kind of Hell, and in confining one’s efforts to securing a little room that shall not be exposed to the fire. *Perhaps a better … Continue reading Literary Zen XI
Leaving religion with its heavens and hells and golden-paved avenues and abiding virgins and doting angels and disinterested saints and other high-ranking, hifalutin gods and demigods aside, is there an actual evolutionary and/or functioning purpose for an eternal soul? In … Continue reading Does it matter if our soul* is eternal?
Well, at least my fear of death is… Well, at least according to the late great interdisciplinarian philosopher Ernest Becker. Yes, according to Becker, it is this death anxiety of mine – and of yours too so you might want … Continue reading Death is my co-pilot
On this day five years ago, I received the news that a recent lung biopsy showed that my lungs were inflicted with a severe form of graft versus host disease (GVHD) called bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS). BOS, I came to find out, was a known but uncommon side-effect resulting from a bone marrow transplant (for leukemia) that I had had earlier in the year. And by severe I was told it meant the BOS was incurable, non-reversible, and, in most cases, aggressively fatal. I was also told — because I had asked and insisted on an answer — that, according to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study of the time, BOS had only a 13%, five-year survival rate. In other words, there was an 87% chance that within five years I would be dead.
Well, it’s been five years and here I am – a newly minted Thirteen Percenter.
Can a brother get a “Hell yeah?”
Anyway… at my most recent appointment with my oncologist, in addition to his standard declaration whenever he sees me of, “So, I see you’re still alive,” he also declared that my present condition may just be a miracle of sorts because it appears that my incurable BOS may have actually been cured… somehow.
I don’t think I would be overstating if I said that, because of all my goings on these past five years – goings on such as leukemia, GVHD (and not just of the lungs, but also of the eyes, liver, and intestines), prednisone side-effects, cytomegalovirus (CMV), and heart failure to name a few – I think I’ve learned a thing or two about life in general and living it in particular.
Now, if you search around this site, I’m pretty sure you will find that much of my writing, mostly encapsulated in my haiku, reflects a lot of the insights and learning I’ve garnered from these goings on. However, just because I like you all so much and don’t want you to have try to sift through this site for days on end in an effort to discover these insights and learning, and because short, pithy lists are all the rage these days, I will identify for you the top thirteen things I learned about how to not only not die, but mostly about how to best live your life filled with happiness and meaning, regardless whether death is looking you directly in the face or not.
Okay, so here we go…
BOOK | FICTION | LITERARY HAWSER by J Hardy Carroll RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★ To one who considers some of his favorite literary works to be those about World War II – SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE and CATCH 22 being the … Continue reading A World At War Just Like It Was Yesterday: HAWSER – A Review