Arijit "Poop Strong" Guha has died of colon cancer

Arijit "Poop Strong" Guha (Twitter), a really sweet guy who took on a dirty rotten insurance company and stood up to TSA "Flying While Brown" bullying (while wearing a t-shirt designed by Boing Boing's own Cory Doctorow) has died.

He was 31, and had metastatic colon cancer.

I did not know Arijit in person, but we exchanged a number of internet messages since we met online as cancer-compadres. His wife posted this today to their Facebook page. Read the rest

Cancer and music "that makes me want to live"—Brian Mansfield

USA Today's Nashville music critic Brian Mansfield was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 48. In a beautiful piece at USA Today, he describes a kind of "cancer honeymoon" just after his diagnosis in which he felt hopeful and eager to make changes in his life. That ended abruptly when further information about his disease showed that things would be harder. Read the whole piece, I don't want to spoil the story for you here, but this part really resonated with me:

Cancer has changed the way I hear music, more than any other life event except my marriage. Songs I once appreciated only on a surface level now strike deep at the core of my soul. Some inspire me; some terrify me. Others that I might have liked before, I've got no use for now. I've also got more time to listen, whether it's during my morning exercise time or while lying in a hospital bed.

These songs form part of the soundtrack to my cancer story...

Man. Same here, Brian. Before my mastectomy, someone on Twitter told me that some study showed that patients who were able to bring a CD of music to the operating room, to be played during their surgery, had better recovery outcomes. I made just such a CD and brought it to the hospital. Didn't end up playing it, and I recovered well, but I share this anecdote because there have also been certain songs that I play to and from important medical appointments, certain songs I've cried to or just listened over and over to, to jolt me out of the awful darkness that comes with cancer. Read the rest

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