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Main > Literature > The Red Devil
The Red Devil
Rich, a successful magazine editor in New York, began treatments for breast cancer in her early thirties. She documents with sharp accuracy the pressure she put on herself to remain "normal" and career-focused throughout her ordeal: working, dating, exercising, not discussing what she was going through readily and freely. The flip side of the normal world is Cancerland: a more lonely and inscrutable place, where doctors don't want to diagnose you with cancer and your life necessarily picks up pace to what Rich describes as doubletime. Anything starts to go, as in an interlude with a homeless man who asks for change after Rich has just lost her job for no real reason:
"I'm looking for work."
"Me, too!" I exclaimed. "I don't have a job either."
"Well, at least you have your health," he said, backing off.
"Actually, that's not true," I said, on a roll. "I had cancer."
"Well, everyone's got problems," he said snappishly, and walked away.
That interlude typifies your experience within "The Red Devil." Like the guy in the subway jonesing for some change, you'll approach Rich perhaps expecting something different. But you'll get to know her, and quickly. And, as I'm sure the guy in the subway did, you'll get more than you bargained for out of what she tells you.
- Planet Cancer