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7 Ways to Make Happiness Last

As a surgeon I have used the word “cancer” — the C-word — thousands of times in my life. I have spent my entire professional life researching it, trying to find ways to resect it, suppress it, and, whenever possible, outright annihilate it. I knew what it was. I just never imagined what it could do. I thought it was just a word. I was wrong. It’s nothing like a word. It’s a force.I tripped over it, actually. I went to sleep for what I believed was a relatively routine surgery. The details are not important but the theme is. When I awoke, I was told my procedure had been “aborted.” I was in bit of a post-anesthetic haze because I remember thinking to myself, “Boy, did they ever goof! I can’t have an abortion. I’m a man.” Then it dawned on me. Surgeons never abort procedures — unless something’s gone terribly wrong. It sank in. I found out my surgery was halted because my surgeon had encountered a tumor. Surely benign, everyone on the staff reassured me. Just a precaution. Best not to proceed, I was told, until they were positive it was not malignant.As my wife drove me home, I remember tel …

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