Friday, July 25, 2008

47 and dead

I just heard the news that Randy Pausch, the now-famous professor who gave his "last lecture" and became a YouTube and worldwide sensation, just died of his pancreatic cancer. He was 47.

I am 47. Did I mention that I'm starting to feel my own mortality?

I heard about the "last lecture" a few months ago, and I actually taped it to watch later on TV, but I could only bring myself to watch part of it. Then I saw part of it on Oprah.

Basically, here is a guy, very optimistic and upbeat, with 3 young kids, who gets the really bad news that he has a really bad cancer. And he decides to make the best of it, which is basically how he lived his life, anyway. No "poor me." No "now I see the light" either. Rather, I think he just continued to live his life the way he always did -- with gusto -- and then he died.

If I were him, I would be pissed off that life handed me this: an interesting life, a good career, a wife and 3 kids, and now: an early death? Royally pissed.

See, I don't think all these cancers in (relatively) young people are due to cell phones or eating badly or not exercising enough...I think they are due to our toxic environment, chemicals in places they shouldn't be like our homes and our water and our BODIES. That's why 47 year olds are dying of cancer.

And I'm pissed. And scared.

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