Wednesday, June 06, 2007

All In

We're all going to die.

Some of us sooner, some of us later, but nobody gets out of here alive. How and when is usually a mystery to any given human, but not always. Some folks get to know and they are always in the "sooner" category.

Some of us play roullette with our health...Some of us lose. Everyone gambles a little bit, and nobody ever breaks the house.

Yeah, we all know all of this and it never seems to change anything, which seems pessimistic coming from someone who spends a fair amount of time agitating for political and environmental change...In these particular areas, all of humanity seems to be addicted to gambling. Environmental pollution is a gamble folks lose every day.

Our political systems are a gamble played with other people's money as often as possible. Conservatism is the biggest gamble of all...played with other people's money and other people's lives. Climate change is a gamble played with the future of the entire planet and every living thing on it. I always wonder how any rational human being figures they have the right to push every living organism on this entire Earth onto the table, glower at every one, and every thing...and say,

"All in!"


Sometimes people lose a gamble with their health. It affects people differently and their reactions must be viewed empathetically by most of us, since only the terminal can truly sympathize. I offer for sharing a short piece by someone whose writings I've admired. She gambled and is now playing her remaining chips with grace.



"...Tonight, I stand in a pharmacy and laugh and laugh and laugh. I
have filled two prescriptions for anti-nausea pills to help me through the
chemo. One prescription is for 27 pills; the other prescription is for 3
pills. In addition, I throw in a packet of nicotine patches, having
vowed that if I were in stage 2, I wasn't going to bother to stop smoking,
but if I were in stage 1, I'd quit. One of my material angels is paying
for these medicines, because my prescription drug plan will not authorize these
drugs for 10 days or more, and I need them by tomorrow. I laugh, appalled
at the obscene price that my angel is paying. The bill for these 30 pills
and 14 patches comes to $1,134.88.

If I'm an average initial-diagnosis-in-stage-one person, I'll be around
for the next 16-to-20 months. I'll write from time to time about how it's
going. And then, I'm outtie. Goodbye cruel world; hello world with
the tender, baby soft skin and the tremulous, aching smile of innocent
adolescence. Goodbye cruel world; hello world of big hearts and nausea and
pain, of mordant humor and hearty laughter, of radical and outrageous hopes, of
rapid-spreading, fast-moving, metastisizing, Stage 2 love."


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