December 11, 2009
Posted: 07:32 PM ET
By Howard Swains via Wired.com
"When the editors at Wired.co.uk commissioned this article, we all knew there was a chance I wouldn't live to see it published. I was diagnosed last September with a disease that was chomping through my body with the impunity of a pepped-up Pacman in a ghost-free maze. I would be writing about my experiences of a new treatment, in the vanguard of medical technology, but doctors told me to prepare for the worst. I was dying, they said, and may not even make Christmas, let alone the April launch date of a new website."
I could go on. I could tell you how agonising my treatment has been, how the drugs have dulled the pain but sharpened the emotional torment. I could describe the anguish, anger, resentment and waste of someone dying unmarried and childless at 33. I could describe all this in a blog from my hospital bed, and invite you to comment and show your support; to tell me I'm loved, form an emotional bond with a stranger and let me know that we're battling this monster together.
I could do that, but it would all be lies. It would be a story, an online fabrication you would stand little chance of disproving. Although you may hate me when you discovered I had lied, and feel betrayed, used and manipulated, neither of us would be alone. People are dying all the time on the internet – dying through disease, dying in accidents, dying by their own hand – and their deaths are reported in great detail on blogs and discussion forums. Writers present harrowing stories of battles against the odds, tragic tales of misery heaped upon misery, blight following calamity following gross misfortune. Some of the stories sound too tragic to be true. And they are.
Filed under: Larry King Live
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