I was so sad to hear that cancer took David Rakoff. I remember reading and being struck by his essay “I Used to Bank Here, but That Was a Long Time Ago” in his book Fraud (2001) about his first battle with lymphoma.
In this clip from a recent This American Life episode, he writes so honestly and hilariously about losing his left arm to another nasty tumor.
"It’s a power trip,” one girl said. “It’s power. When you’re 13, and can walk down the street, and everybody looks at you like, ‘There goes the pope.’ And you could say something to someone and they wouldn’t dare—I mean not even dare to say something back? That’s a power trip. When you sit there and you’re just like: ‘Just say something.’ And they’re like: [mopey voice] ‘No, forget it.’ And they walk away. And you’re like, They know not to mess with me."