Christopher Hitchens God And Cancer

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Christopher Hitchens God And Cancer

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[Christopher Hitchens God And Cancer]

Anderson Cooper, AC360°, CNN weeknights 10 ET.
[THE WORLDWIDE LEADER IN NEWS]

[Anderson Cooper:]
When did you realize something was wrong?

[Christopher Eric Hitchens (13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011):] Source: LYBIO.net
It was in the middle of my tour for my memoir, my “Hitch 22” and I was feeling a bit ropey, but I wrote it down to overwork. And I rather enjoyed the feeling of burning the candle at both ends and living a 36-hour day. But it abruptly was brought in on me that that was an illusion. There was a morning I couldn’t get out of bed. There was – something was obviously wrong with my heart and my lungs. This was in New York.

[Anderson Cooper:]
You felt it as soon as you woke up?

[Christopher Hitchens:]
Oh, yeah. I couldn’t move, really. And my thought – this is not – there’s an expression about I woke up feeling like death. I’ve had that. This was not like that.

[Anderson Cooper:]
You’ve had some rough mornings?

[Christopher Hitchens:]
This was like that. And I thought, “Maybe I’m dying.”

[Anderson Cooper:]
And when you found out what kind of cancer it was, it’s the same sort of cancer your father had?

[Christopher Hitchens:]
You know, one of the first things that I thought was, that’s what killed the old man.

[Anderson Cooper:]
My dad died of a heart attack when he was 50, and I really don’t want to die of a heart attack.

[Christopher Hitchens:]
Yes.

[Anderson Cooper:]
Like, for some odd reason the idea of dying – it’s not even the age thing but having that, for some reason – so did that cross your mind?

[Christopher Hitchens:]
You don’t feel any familial piety about the disease that killed your father. No. And then the second thought was self centered. I thought he lived to be 79. I’m 61.

[Anderson Cooper:]
So that question, “why me,” came across your mind?

[Christopher Hitchens:] Source: LYBIO.net
Well, you can’t – you can’t avoid the question, however, stoic you are. You can only bat it away as a silly one. I mean, millions of people die every day. Everyone has got to go some time. I came by this particular tumor honestly. I mean. If you smoke, which I did for many years, very heavily, with occasional interruptions, and if you – if you use alcohol, you make yourself a candidate for it in your 60s.

[Anderson Cooper:]
And you said to me you burned the candle at both ends. You think…

[Christopher Hitchens:]
And it gave a lovely light.

[Anderson Cooper:]
It gave a lovely light. But you think part of the way you lived is responsible for this?

[Christopher Hitchens:]
Well, it would be very idle to deny it. And I might as well say to anyone who might be watching, if you can hold it down on the smokes and the cocktails, you might be well advised to do so.

[Anderson Cooper:]
That’s probably the subtlest anti-smoking message I’ve ever heard.

[Christopher Hitchens:]
Well, the other ones tend to be rather strident.

[Anderson Cooper:]
That’s true.

[Christopher Hitchens:]
And, for that reason, easy to ignore.

[Anderson Cooper:]
Yeah. So, you are hopeful?

[Christopher Hitchens:]
Well, I’m not fatalistic. I’m not resigned. But I’m realistic, too. The statistics in my case are very poor. Not many people come through esophageal cancer and live to talk about it, or not for long.

[Anderson Cooper:]
I know you know that there are people praying for you. There are prayer groups, actually. And you talked about that a little bit. What do you think about that, the fact that people are praying for you?

[Christopher Hitchens:]
There are people who are praying for me to suffer and die. They have lavish Web sites relishing my…

[Anderson Cooper:]
Really?

[Christopher Hitchens:] Source: LYBIO.net
Oh, yes. And then there are people, much more numerous, I must say, and nicer, who are praying either that I get better or that I redeem myself, that I make peace with the Almighty, that my soul gets saved, even if my wretched carcass does not. And some pray for both.

And, in fact, the 20th of September has been designated Everyone Pray for Hitchens Day on one Web site in case you want to mark the calendar for that. I shall not be taking part in that.

[Anderson Cooper:]
So you don’t pray at all?

[Christopher Hitchens:]
No, no. That’s all – that’s meaningless to me – I don’t think that souls or bodies can be changed by incantation or anything else, by the way.

[Anderson Cooper:]
So do you tell people not to do it?

[Christopher Hitchens:]
No. I say if it makes you feel better, then you have my blessing.

[Anderson Cooper:]
Its interesting hearing you talk about it. It’s – I mean, obviously, you are an intellectual, and you seem to be dealing with it in an intellectual way. Does that – does that make sense? You seem to be look at this, trying to look at this as rationally as possible. What about the emotional side?

[Christopher Hitchens:]
Well, let’s say as objectively as possible.

[Anderson Cooper:]
Objectively?

[Christopher Hitchens:]
Yes. And to my slight to my own surprise – because I’m not by any means tear proof, I haven’t wept at any point yet. Maybe that’s to come. But I’ve become moist when I think about my children, for whom it’s a nasty shock.

[Anderson Cooper:]
Part of the book that really resonated with me is you write – it’s in the first chapter. You write about your mom, who committed suicide. I had a brother who committed suicide, as well.

[Christopher Hitchens:] Source: LYBIO.net
Oh…

[Anderson Cooper:]
And it certainly – it’s something that, unless you’ve sort of had it touchdown in your life, it’s – one doesn’t really sort of realize the impact it can have. What – what kind of an impact did it have on – on you?

[Christopher Hitchens:]
My mother took her own life in a suicide pact with a lover after the failure of her marriage to my father while she was still quite young. And I was terribly upset at the thought that someone as vivacious as her would or could ever get to a point where she would think there was no point in any further life.

And that was succeeded by the feeling that I, who was very close to her, should have been able to give her some such reason. And I think I describe – and I know I do in the book, the awful discovery I made in the hotel in Athens where she took her life. Of course, that – this was the old days of switchboards. I went through all the records. She made several efforts to call my number in London, and I had never been at home.

And I’ve – I’ve never been able to lose the feeling that she was probably calling in the hope to find a hand to hold of some sort to cling to and that, if she’d heard my voice, because I could always make her laugh – I – if I invariably could make her laugh, however blue she was – then I could have saved her. So as a result, I’ve never had what we’ll call closure.

[Anderson Cooper:] Source: LYBIO.net
I think that word “closure,” though, is such a ridiculous word. I mean…

[Christopher Hitchens:]
Glad to hear you say that.

[Anderson Cooper:]
Every time I hear it, I feel it’s – people who speak it who have not lost anyone and don’t understand that there is no such thing as…

[Christopher Hitchens:]
There is no such thing, A. And B, it wouldn’t be worth having if it were available, because all it would mean is that some quite important part of you had gone numb. Oh, how nice. I don’t feel anything about her anymore. No.

[Anderson Cooper:]
Oh – actually, I want to read something else that you wrote in – and we sort of talked about a little bit. But I just thought it was really a great sentence.

You said, “I had been in denial for some time, not only burning the candle at both ends and finding that it often gives a lovely light, but for precisely that reason, I can’t see myself smiting my brow with shock or hearing myself whining about how it’s all so unfair. I’ve been taunting the reaper into taking a free scythe in my direction. I’ve now succumbed to something so predictable and banal that it bores even me. Rage would be beside the point for the same reason.”

Do you find this boring in a way?

[Christopher Hitchens:]
Yes, if that I think – that’s what will kill me.

[Anderson Cooper:]
The mundane?

[Christopher Hitchens:]
Yes, having to sit through chemotherapy, for example, is almost a Zen experience of boredom. You can’t do much except read. You don’t feel great. And you’re watching poison going into your arm.

People saying you should be struggling, battling cancer. You’re not battling. You couldn’t be living a more passive moment than that. You feel as if you’re drowning in powerlessness.

[Anderson Cooper:]
In a moment of doubt, isn’t there – I don’t know. I find it – I just find it fascinating that, even when you’re alone and, you know, no one else is watching, that there might be a moment where you, you know, want to hedge your bets.

[Christopher Hitchens:] Source: LYBIO.net
If that comes, it will be when I’m very ill, when I’m half demented, either by drugs or by pain where, I wouldn’t have control over what I say.

I mention this in case you ever hear a rumor later on, because these things happen, and the faithful love to spread these rumors. On his death bed he finally – I can’t say that the entity that by then wouldn’t be me wouldn’t do such a pathetic thing, but I can tell you that not while I’m lucid, no. I could be quite sure of that.

[Anderson Cooper:]
So if there is some story that on your death bed…

[Christopher Hitchens:]
Don’t believe it.

[Anderson Cooper:]
Don’t believe it?

[Christopher Hitchens:] Source: L Y B I O . N E T
Don’t credit it, no.

Christopher Hitchens God And Cancer

Christopher Hitchens God And Cancer

Christopher Hitchens God And Cancer. So you don’t pray at all? That’s meaningless to me. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.

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