I know that the cancer was due to my many years of smoking cigarettes. During my thirteen years in and out of Vietnam, literally every adult I knew smoked. In the years that followed, as it became blatantly clear that smoking caused cancer, I realized I had to quit. I was so addicted that it took me years. But I did it. Ironically, I had quit long before my cancer showed up. That didn’t stop it from almost killing me.
I can’t claim credit for my excellent health that saved me from the cancer. It was due to a healthy lifestyle I clung to for no other reason than it gave me pleasure. I ran and lifted weights because I enjoyed both to the hilt. I regularly got runner’s high— a deeply relaxing state of euphoria, that is, a sense of extreme joy or delight—from weight lifting as well as from running.
I’ve written in this blog about the good fortune I’ve always been blessed with. In brief, I bumbled my way unintentionally into a lucrative career (spying) because of my flare for languages. That led to my early retirement which allowed me to fulfill my life’s calling of writing fulltime. My excellent health, cancer notwithstanding, is part and parcel of a life overloaded with good luck.
I have much to be grateful for.