From Paul Dail:
When I taught high school language arts, I would tell my students that I learned something new from them every year and that we should continually strive to learn and grow until our dying breath. Getting diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2014 upped the ante, especially when there was a pretty good chance that my dying breath was going to be much sooner than I thought. In a way, it was the best thing that could’ve happened to me.
You can read the following three excerpts (with links to full articles) or find Paul Dail’s complete portfolio at https://pauldail.contently.com/.
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Surviving cancer is kind of like living with a gun to your head
So I guess it’s time that I write this. Get it off my chest before the end of the year, even though the end of my first year since having my left kidney removed passed about three months ago. I’ve been meaning to write something ever since, but I’ve never quite been sure what I was going to talk about. Or maybe how I was going to tell you what it feels like surviving cancer.
Maybe it was the title of this piece – which I came up with long before starting to actually write it – that stymied me. Or maybe the roller coaster of my life these past six months, regardless of my cancerversary (yeah, I just came up with that). There’s a lot that figures into the ol’ thinking processes when one survives coming within an 85 percent chance of death – exacerbated by the somewhat well-known fact that I am a mild hypochondriac …
There’s a lot that figures into the ol’ thinking processes when one survives coming within an 85 percent chance of death
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Just put your socks on and be happy, damn it
First off, this isn’t really about socks.
While I might have just lost all of my sock enthusiast readers looking for an article about the newest in footwear, I hope the rest of you will indulge me for a moment.
It’s cold where I live with my wife and two young children. As I am writing this piece, I’m looking out on blue skies over snowy ground. Beautiful. But cold. Temperatures this morning were in the teens, and that was before considering the wind chill factor.
Yet here comes my two-year-old son – as he has on many such chilly mornings – with no socks on his feet. I know his feet are cold because I can feel they are cold. And because my feet are cold.
I know his feet are cold because I can feel they are cold. And because my feet are cold.
I’m a freelance writer and my wife is a teacher, which means we keep an eye on the heating bill. Much like my experience growing up in a family that wasn’t necessarily “well-to-do,” if you’re cold in our house, you put on a sweater. …
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Robin Williams had it right. We just stopped listening.
Let me be clear on two points right from the beginning. First, I’m not referring to Robin Williams, the man, and his decision to commit suicide. For the purposes of this column, I’m referring to Robin Williams, the actor, and his role in the 1989 film “Dead Poets Society.”
Second, I wasn’t watching “Dead Poets Society” as some sort of homage to Williams after his death. I just happened to be on a trip without my children and actually had a few minutes of quiet to watch something that didn’t involve cartoon characters.
I just happened to be on a trip without my children and actually had a few minutes of quiet to watch something that didn’t involve cartoon characters.
Moving on. Some of you may have read my column at the beginning of September about my experience with kidney cancer. I can only assume that if you did, you have been waiting anxiously for a follow-up column on my pathology report. The good news is that I’m most likely not going to die anytime soon from a recurrence of the cancer. (I know, you can all breathe a sigh of relief.)
When I got the original diagnosis, I didn’t pray that I would survive. …