There was a moment in the hospital when it just seemed too much trouble to keep breathing, and I was truly tempted to give up. This was my third cancer operation; I'd suffered through breast cancer twice before getting pancreatic cancer. After all, as the doctor said, at age 82 I'd had my life. It would be so nice to just stop making the effort and drift away. But I kept repeating my mantra: Never give up on life.
It worked. I recovered. I went back to doing all the things I loved to do, including writing books. And somehow, ten years slipped by. When I realized how much time had passed, I wanted to shout it to the world. Don't give up on life. Even when things look bleak, they can change in an instant.
I wrote some extra passages to my memoir, Oops, I Lost My Sense of Humor, and sent it off to be reprinted in a new edition. I wanted to give it to the world as a reminder: always wait to see what tomorrow brings. There may be joys you never suspected. We learn new things every day about how to fight disease, how to understand the universe. If you die, you'll never know about all that.
For me, recovery meant a second chance. I'd always wanted to be a writer but never had the time to work hard enough over a book to perfect it to professional standards. Now at last I did!
I know that Oops ends rather abruptly. That's because it doesn't end at all. I will have more to say as time goes on, and there will be another printing. But don't wait for it; it could be another ten years. I'll want to record how it feels to be a hundred.