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Love in the time of cancer

Stephen Leeder
Med J Aust 2013; 199 (9): 567. || doi: 10.5694/mja13.c1104
Published online: 4 November 2013

Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the time of cholera ends relatively happily when Fermina, Florentino, the captain and his lover raise the ship’s yellow cholera flag and are thus free to cruise the river idyllically forever. By contrast, cancer — the cholera of our day — often ends in painful reality, loss, death and grief. “We may say we are fighting cancer”, writes Julian Barnes in his new book, Levels of life, “but cancer is merely fighting us; we may think we have beaten it, when it has only gone away to regroup. It is all just the universe doing its stuff, and we are the stuff it is being done to”.

  • Stephen Leeder

  • Medical Journal of Australia, Sydney, NSW.

Correspondence: mja@mja.com.au

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