12/14/2012 03:16 pm ET Updated Dec 14, 2012

Taking On Cancer Again, This Time With The Wisdom of Age

After I finished eight months of treatment for testicular cancer in my mid-20s, my psychologist said, “Well, that was like having five years of therapy all at once.” What he meant was that you learn a lot about yourself in weekly talk sessions, but during a life-threatening illness, the “issues” come at you nonstop. I relished the slow unfolding of myself in the first, but I resented -- no, hated -- every step of the second. Nearly two decades later, when confronted with the same diagnosis, I finally understood the benefits of that earlier trial by fire, much as I did the wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson when he wrote, “The years teach much which the days never knew.”

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