Christopher Hitchens holds some political views with which I disagree, but like him, I am a staunch atheist. Last summer he found out that he, like me, has stage 4 cancer, which will probably kill him, again like me, fairly soon. He has talked and written a fair bit about it, eloquently of course.
Most recent is this video interview (with text transcript, via Jerry Coyne), where he talks almost entirely about his cancer and the prospect of his own death. He still finds time to tear into Mother Teresa, though:
He says many things that mirror my own thoughts. However, perhaps because his cancer is so much more recent, he still thinks a treatment might come soon to keep him alive. He also still wants to contribute to treatment experiments, regardless of whether they might help him directly, which something I have decided I no longer want—I have suffered enough in four years.
Hitchens realizes he might never again see his native Britain, because travel is becoming more and more difficult. He acknowledges that, even if he were to know how many months he might have left before he dies, he'd need to know what kind of months those would be before he could decide what to do with them. He talks of profound weakness, of undertaking a simple task one day that might have been impossible the day before, and might be impossible again the next. All give me pangs of recognition.
He and I have never met, or spoken, or communicated in any way, but I feel kinship with Christopher Hitchens. He is 20 years older than I am. Yet we are both on a short road to our deaths, which will be our end, and we both know it.