Out of The Blue - The Story of a Man Who Fought Back by A. J. Wright - Read Online
Out of The Blue - The Story of a Man Who Fought Back
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Summary

When I started writing, or when I first started thinking about writing, I debated long and hard how best to weave my personal tale into this book. On the one hand, my battle against cancer is the stage setting for the play. This long and cumbersome process has been going on for over twenty years, and throughout that time I’ve faced almost every possible physical and mental pain imaginable. That is the source for the insights that make this book. Hand-in-hand with the hardships associated with cancer, I’ve also had numerous exciting and joyful experiences: meeting people I would otherwise never have met, and meeting myself in ways that would have otherwise forever been hidden. I have often been told that my personal story could be inspiring or uplifting, especially for people dealing with any of the challenges that fall under the disheartening category of “life threatening diseases.” Certainly, there is no doubt that this book would never have been written if not for my cancer.

On the other hand, I really did not want this book to fall under the label of "Cancer Patient Books." Not because there is anything unflattering or uninteresting in that category — A great deal of what is included hereafter comes from reading and personally practicing what I've learned from such books — but simply because I believe that what I’ve experienced, learned and tried to share, can apply to almost anyone, even “healthy” folks. We all cope with something, and as the Buddha said, we all suffer.

Some people think of me as some kind of hero, strong and optimistic, despite a terrible and difficult life. I have to say I do not like this point of view. It actually irritates me. It is true that I have undergone, and am still facing, some unpleasant experiences. But while my cancerous companion, who has traveled with me for so long, would not have been my first choice on this life’s journey, the truth is still this: I love my life! I think many others live lives far more difficult than mine. It is irrelevant how hard it is for me or anyone else. What matters is that it is hard for everyone. I don’t think of myself as a hero, but rather as someone who was dealt a certain hand of cards by life and slowly, with a lot of work and guidance, learned to look at them, understand them, and ultimately make the most of them.

This is what I wish to write about.

Perhaps, because of some psychological barrier, some fear of exposing myself, I thought I could write of all my hard-won insights, and leave my personal story out of it. Of course I was wrong. The minute I actually started writing, I realized there was no way to separate the two. My personal tale and my life’s insights are one.  Throughout the book they are intertwined, and any attempt to separate them would be like trying to create two different individuals out of one person. The insights I believe I’ve gained do not exist in a vacuum. They are part and parcel of my own particular life’s journey.

I dreamt about writing this book for a long time, but never got around to it. One day I came upon a video lecture by an American Computer Sciences professor named Randy Pausch. Randy had terminal cancer when invited to lecture at the university where he used to teach. The lecture was part of a series newly titled "Journeys" wherein faculty members shared their life’s reflections and insights. The series was previously known as "The Last Lecture." In his case, the title was particularly appropriate. He seized the opportunity and entitled his lecture "Really Achieving your Childhood Dreams." I set aside an hour and a half to watch Randy’s YouTube video, which provided me with the inspiration I so desperately needed. Immediately after viewing his lecture, I sat down and began to write.

Published: A.J. Wright on
ISBN: 9781386404835
List price: $10.99
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Out of The Blue - The Story of a Man Who Fought Back - A. J. Wright

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