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  • It was the spring of 2011,

    譯者: Lilian Chiu 審譯者: Melody Tang

  • and as they like to say in commencement speeches,

    2011 年春天,

  • I was getting ready to enter the real world.

    套用大家在畢業典禮 演說中很喜歡用的說法,

  • I had recently graduated from college

    我準備好要進入真實的世界。

  • and moved to Paris to start my first job.

    我剛從大學畢業,

  • My dream was to become a war correspondent,

    搬到巴黎,開始我的第一份工作。

  • but the real world that I found

    我曾夢想成為戰地記者,

  • took me into a really different kind of conflict zone.

    但,我發現的真實世界,

  • At 22 years old,

    帶我進入了一個 非常不同的衝突地帶。

  • I was diagnosed with leukemia.

    22 歲時,

  • The doctors told me and my parents, point-blank,

    我被診斷出白血病。

  • that I had about a 35 percent chance of long-term survival.

    醫生直截了當地告訴我和我父母,

  • I couldn't wrap my head around what that prognosis meant.

    我能長期存活的機率是 35% 。

  • But I understood that the reality and the life I'd imagined for myself

    我無法去想那預後所代表的意義。

  • had shattered.

    但我了解,我曾想像 自己可以擁有的現實和人生

  • Overnight, I lost my job, my apartment, my independence,

    都粉碎了。

  • and I became patient number 5624.

    一夕之間,我失去了我的工作、 我的公寓、我的獨立性,

  • Over the next four years of chemo, a clinical trial

    而我成為 5624 號病人。

  • and a bone marrow transplant,

    接下來四年的化療、臨床實驗,

  • the hospital became my home,

    以及骨髓移植,

  • my bed, the place I lived 24/7.

    讓醫院成了我的家、

  • Since it was unlikely that I'd ever get better,

    我的床,我一天 24 小時, 一週 7 天都住在此。

  • I had to accept my new reality.

    因為我似乎不可能變好,

  • And I adapted.

    我得要接受我的新現實。

  • I became fluent in medicalese,

    我適應了。

  • made friends with a group of other young cancer patients,

    我會說流利的醫療語言,

  • built a vast collection of neon wigs

    和一群年輕的癌症病人成為朋友,

  • and learned to use my rolling IV pole as a skateboard.

    收集了大量的亮麗假髮,

  • I even achieved my dream of becoming a war correspondent,

    並學會把我那支有輪子的點滴架 當成滑板來玩。

  • although not in the way I'd expected.

    我甚至達成了當戰地記者的夢想,

  • It started with a blog,

    不過不是我預期的樣子。

  • reporting from the front lines of my hospital bed,

    一開始是一個部落格,

  • and it morphed into a column I wrote for the New York Times,

    從我的醫院病床前線報導,

  • called "Life, Interrupted."

    後來演變成我為 《紐約時報》寫的一個專欄,

  • But -- (Applause)

    叫做「人生,被打斷」。

  • Thank you.

    但——(掌聲)謝謝。

  • (Applause)

    (掌聲)

  • But above all else,

    但最重要的,

  • my focus was on surviving.

    我把焦點放在活下來這件事上,

  • And -- spoiler alert --

    且——警告,有雷——

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • I did survive, yeah.

    我活下來了,沒錯。

  • (Applause)

    (掌聲)

  • Thanks to an army of supportive humans,

    感謝一大群支持我的人,

  • I'm not just still here, I am cured of my cancer.

    我不僅還健在, 我的癌症也治癒了。

  • (Applause)

    (掌聲)

  • Thank you.

    謝謝。

  • (Applause)

    (掌聲)

  • So, when you go through a traumatic experience like this,

    當你走過像這樣的創傷經歷,

  • people treat you differently.

    大家對待你的方式會不同。

  • They start telling you how much of an inspiration you are.

    他們會開始告訴你, 你很激勵人心,

  • They say you're a warrior.

    說你是生命鬥士,

  • They call you a hero,

    或稱你為英雄,

  • someone who's lived the mythical hero's journey,

    一名活出神話英雄般冒險的偉人,

  • who's endured impossible trials

    撐過了不可能的試煉,

  • and, against the odds, lived to tell the tale,

    克服萬難後,活下來訴說這個事蹟。

  • returning better and braver for what you're been through.

    在你經歷過後變得更好、更勇敢。

  • And this definitely lines up with my experience.

    而這非常符合我所經歷的一切。

  • Cancer totally transformed my life.

    癌症徹底改變了我的人生。

  • I left the hospital knowing exactly who I was

    離開醫院時, 我很清楚知道我是誰,

  • and what I wanted to do in the world.

    及我想要在這個世界上做什麼。

  • And now, every day as the sun rises,

    現在,每天太陽升起時,

  • I drink a big glass of celery juice,

    在我喝完一大杯西芹汁後,

  • and I follow this up with 90 minutes of yoga.

    我會做 90 分鐘的瑜伽。

  • Then, I write down 50 things I'm grateful for onto a scroll of paper

    接著,我會在紙卷上寫下 我感激的 50 件事物,

  • that I fold into an origami crane and send sailing out my window.

    然後摺成紙鶴, 讓它從我的窗戶翱翔出去。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • Are you seriously believing any of this?

    你們真的相信這些嗎?

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • I don't do any of these things.

    剛剛說的我一樣也沒有做。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • I hate yoga, and I have no idea how to fold an origami crane.

    我討厭做瑜伽, 也不知道怎麼摺紙鶴。

  • The truth is that for me,

    事實是,對我而言,

  • the hardest part of my cancer experience began once the cancer was gone.

    最艱難的癌症經歷 在我治好癌症後才真正的開始。

  • That heroic journey of the survivor we see in movies

    我們在電影中、在 IG 上會看到

  • and watch play out on Instagram --

    倖存者的英勇旅程——

  • it's a myth.

    那只是迷思。

  • It isn't just untrue, it's dangerous,

    它不僅不是真的,還很危險,

  • because it erases the very real challenges of recovery.

    因為它會抹除了康復過程中 最現實的挑戰。

  • Now, don't get me wrong -- I am incredibly grateful to be alive,

    別誤會我的意思——

  • and I am painfully aware that this struggle is a privilege

    我很感恩我還能活著

  • that many don't get to experience.

    我深刻地了解這種掙扎

  • But it's important that I tell you

    是許多人無法體會到的特權。

  • what this projection of heroism and expectation of constant gratitude

    但,很重要的是,我要讓各位了解

  • does to people who are trying to recover.

    這種將英雄主義投射在 嘗試復元的人身上,

  • Because being cured is not where the work of healing ends.

    並認為他們應時時抱持感恩的 期望,對他們有什麼影響。

  • It's where it begins.

    因為病被治好了並不表示 療癒的工作已完成了。

  • I'll never forget the day I was discharged from the hospital,

    療癒其實才剛開始。

  • finally done with treatment.

    我永遠不會忘記我出院的那一天,

  • Those four years of chemo had taken a toll on my relationship

    終於不用再治療了。

  • with my longtime boyfriend,

    化療的那四年傷害了

  • and he'd recently moved out.

    我和多年男友的關係,

  • And when I walked into my apartment, it was quiet.

    他不久前才搬出去。

  • Eerily so.

    我走進我的公寓,裡面好安靜。

  • The person I wanted to call in this moment,

    怪異恐怖式的安靜。

  • the person who I knew would understand everything,

    此刻,我想打電話聊天的對象,

  • was my friend Melissa.

    我知道能懂我的那個人,

  • She was a fellow cancer patient,

    是我的朋友梅莉莎。

  • but she had died three weeks earlier.

    她也是癌症病人,

  • As I stood there in the doorway of my apartment,

    但她在三星期前過世了。

  • I wanted to cry.

    當我站在我的公寓的門廊時,

  • But I was too tired to cry.

    我好想哭。

  • The adrenaline was gone.

    但我已經累到哭不出來。

  • I had felt as if the inner scaffolding

    腎上腺素沒了。

  • that had held me together since my diagnosis

    我覺得,從我被診斷出癌症之後

  • had suddenly crumbled.

    就一直支撐著我的內在支架,

  • I had spent the past 1,500 days working tirelessly to achieve one goal:

    突然瓦解了。

  • to survive.

    我不屈不撓地把過去 一千五百天都投入在

  • And now that I'd done so,

    達成一個目標上:活下來。

  • I realized I had absolutely no idea how to live.

    現在我已經辦到了,

  • On paper, of course, I was better:

    我發現我完全 不知道要如何活下去。

  • I didn't have leukemia,

    從書面資料來看,我的確變好了:

  • my blood counts were back to normal,

    我沒有白血病了,

  • and the disability checks soon stopped coming.

    我的血球數恢復正常,

  • To the outside world,

    也不再收到身障給付支票。

  • I clearly didn't belong in the kingdom of the sick anymore.

    對外界來說,

  • But in reality, I never felt further from being well.

    我很顯然不再是 病人王國的一份子。

  • All that chemo had taken a permanent physical toll on my body.

    但在現實中,我一點都沒有 覺得自己已經好了。

  • I wondered, "What kind of job can I hold

    那些化療讓我的身體 受到永久的實體損害。

  • when I need to nap for four hours in the middle of the day?

    我納悶:「我這種人 能找到什麼工作?

  • When my misfiring immune system

    我白天需要午睡四個小時。

  • still sends me to the ER on a regular basis?"

    我的免疫系統不時會出錯,

  • And then there were the invisible, psychological imprints

    讓我經常被送去急診。」

  • my illness had left behind:

    而且,我的疾病還留下了

  • the fears of relapse,

    看不見的心理烙印:

  • the unprocessed grief,

    對疾病復發的恐懼、

  • the demons of PTSD that descended upon me for days, sometimes weeks.

    沒有處理的悲傷、

  • See, we talk about reentry

    有時會持續數日甚至數週的 「創傷後壓力症候群」。

  • in the context of war and incarceration.

    大家談的重返社會,

  • But we don't talk about it as much

    是針對經歷過戰爭 和被監禁的人而言。

  • in the context of other kinds of traumatic experiences, like an illness.

    但我們不太會談到

  • Because no one had warned me of the challenges of reentry,

    其他類型的創傷經歷,如疾病。

  • I thought something must be wrong with me.

    因為沒有人警告過我 重返社會要面臨的挑戰,

  • I felt ashamed,

    我以為是我自己的問題。

  • and with great guilt, I kept reminding myself

    我感到羞愧,

  • of how lucky I was to be alive at all,

    帶著很強的罪惡感, 我不斷提醒我自己,

  • when so many people like my friend Melissa were not.

    我光是能活著就很幸運了,

  • But on most days, I woke up feeling so sad and lost,

    我的朋友梅莉莎, 還有好多人沒有這種好運。

  • I could barely breathe.

    但在大部分的日子裡, 我每天起床都很悲傷和失落,

  • Sometimes, I even fantasized about getting sick again.

    而且幾乎無法呼吸。

  • And let me tell you,

    有時,我甚至會幻想再次生病。

  • there are so many better things to fantasize about

    讓我告訴各位,

  • when you're in your twenties and recently single.

    當你二十多歲,且剛恢復單身時,

  • (Laughter)

    其實有許多更好的事情可以幻想。

  • But I missed the hospital's ecosystem.

    (笑聲)

  • Like me, everyone in there was broken.

    但我懷念醫院的生活。

  • But out here, among the living, I felt like an impostor,

    在醫院,所有人都跟我一樣破碎。

  • overwhelmed and unable to function.

    但在外頭,在活著的人當中, 我覺得自己像個騙子,

  • I also missed the sense of clarity I'd felt at my sickest.

    不知所從,無法正常運作。

  • Staring your mortality straight in the eye has a way of simplifying things,

    我也懷念在我病得最重時的清澈感。

  • of rerouting your focus to what really matters.

    直視著你有限的生命, 讓一切變得更簡單,

  • And when I was sick, I vowed that if I survived,

    讓你把焦點放到真正重要之處。

  • it had to be for something.

    我生病時,我發誓如果我活下來, 一定要為了什麼而活,

  • It had to be to live a good life, an adventurous life,

    一定要好好過人生, 過一個冒險的人生、

  • a meaningful one.

    一個有意義的人生。

  • But the question, once I was cured,

    但我被治癒之後, 問題就變成:要怎麼做呢?

  • became: How?

    我二十七歲,沒有工作、 沒有伴侶、生活沒有架構。

  • I was 27 years old with no job, no partner, no structure.

    這次,沒有治療大綱或出院指示

  • And this time, I didn't have treatment protocols or discharge instructions

    來協助引導我向前走。

  • to help guide my way forward.

    但,我所擁有的, 是收件匣中裝滿了

  • But what I did have was an in-box full of internet messages

    來自陌生人的網路訊息。

  • from strangers.

    數年來,世界各地的人 讀了我的專欄之後,

  • Over the years,

    會用信件、留言、 電子郵件來回應我。

  • people from all over the world had read my column,

    那對於作家來說是大雜燴。

  • and they'd responded with letters, comments and emails.

    我得到許多不請自來的建議,

  • It was a mix, as is often the case, for writers.

    告訴我要如何用像是精油 之類的東西來治療我的癌症。

  • I got a lot of unsolicited advice

    還有人問我的胸罩尺寸。

  • about how to cure my cancer with things like essential oils.

    但,大部分——

  • I got some questions about my bra size.

    (笑聲)

  • But mostly --

    大部分寫信給我的人 都是用他們自己的方式,

  • (Laughter)

    來理解我所經歷的。

  • mostly, I heard from people who, in their own different way,

    有位佛羅里達的青少女聯絡我,

  • understood what it was that I was going through.

    她跟我一樣,剛結束化療,

  • I heard from a teenage girl in Florida

    她寫給我的訊息主要 是由表情符號組成的。

  • who, like me, was coming out of chemo

    還有一位是俄亥俄州的 退休藝術史教授霍華,

  • and wrote me a message composed largely of emojis.

    他一生中大部分的時間

  • I heard from a retired art history professor in Ohio named Howard,

    都在對抗一種使他 逐漸衰弱的神秘疾病,

  • who'd spent most of his life

    他從年輕時就得到這種病。

  • struggling with a mysterious, debilitating health condition

    還有一位德州的死囚,

  • that he'd had from the time he was a young man.

    叫做小 GQ——

  • I heard from an inmate on death row in Texas

    GQ 是「幫派混混昆恩」的縮寫。

  • by the name of Little GQ --

    他一生中都沒有生過病。

  • short for "Gangster Quinn."

    每天早晨他從做 一千個伏地挺身開始。

  • He'd never been sick a day in his life.

    但我在一個專欄中寫的內容,

  • He does 1,000 push-ups to start off each morning.

    讓他感同身受到是 我的「癌症監禁」,

  • But he related to what I described in one column

    讓我被侷限在一個 小小的螢光房間中。

  • as my "incanceration,"

    他信上這麼寫著: 「我知道我們的情況不同,

  • and to the experience of being confined to a tiny fluorescent room.

    但死亡的威脅 在我們的影子裡虎視眈眈。」

  • "I know that our situations are different," he wrote to me,

    在我恢復後的前幾週、 幾個月,我十分寂寞,

  • "But the threat of death lurks in both of our shadows."

    這些陌生人和他們的 話語成了我的生命線,

  • In those lonely first weeks and months of my recovery,

    雖然是來自背景如此迥然不同的人,

  • these strangers and their words became lifelines,

    有這麼多不同的經歷,

  • dispatches from people of so many different backgrounds,

    他們卻都告訴我同樣一件事:

  • with so many different experiences,

    你可以被你所遇到過 最糟糕的事情給綁架,

  • all showing me the same thing:

    並讓它挾持你所有剩下的日子,

  • you can be held hostage

    或者,你可以找到 一個向前走的方式。

  • by the worst thing that's ever happened to you

    我知道我需要做某種改變。

  • and allow it to hijack your remaining days,

    我想要再次動起來,

  • or you can find a way forward.

    想辦法讓自己從現狀脫身, 回到外面的世界。

  • I knew I needed to make some kind of change.

    所以我決定踏上 一段真正的旅行——

  • I wanted to be in motion again

    不是大家認為我應該去做的

  • to figure out how to unstuck myself and to get back out into the world.

    狗屁癌症之旅或神話英雄之旅,

  • And so I decided to go on a real journey --

    而是真正要打包的那種旅行。

  • not the bullshit cancer one

    我把我擁有的所有東西 都放到儲藏室,

  • or the mythical hero's journey that everyone thought I should be on,

    把我的公寓租出去,借了一台車,

  • but a real, pack-your-bags kind of journey.

    說服了一個很親密 但又有點臭的朋友,

  • I put everything I owned into storage,

    去伴隨我的旅行。

  • rented out my apartment, borrowed a car

    (笑聲)

  • and talked a very a dear but somewhat smelly friend

    我和我的狗奧斯卡一起展開了

  • into joining me.

    一萬五千英里的全美公路之旅。

  • (Laughter)

    一路上,我們去拜訪了 一些寫信給我的陌生人。

  • Together, my dog Oscar and I embarked on a 15,000-mile road trip

    我需要他們的建議,

  • around the United States.

    也需要對他們說聲謝謝。

  • Along the way, we visited some of those strangers who'd written to me.

    我們去俄亥俄州, 住在退休教授霍華家。

  • I needed their advice,

    當你失去過或是受過創傷,

  • also to say to them, thank you.

    自然會築起心防。

  • I went to Ohio and stayed with Howard, the retired professor.

    但霍華鼓勵我打開自己, 去面對不確定性,

  • When you've suffered a loss or a trauma,

    面對新的機會, 不論是新愛或是新的失去。

  • the impulse can be to guard your heart.

    霍華的疾病永遠不會好。

  • But Howard urged me to open myself up to uncertainty,

    年輕時,他完全無法 預測他能活多久。

  • to the possibilities of new love, new loss.

    但那並沒有阻止他結婚。

  • Howard will never be cured of illness.

    現在霍華都有孫子了,

  • And as a young man, he had no way of predicting how long he'd live.

    每週還會跟太太去上交際舞的課。

  • But that didn't stop him from getting married.

    我拜訪他們時,

  • Howard has grandkids now,

    他們才剛慶祝完結婚五十週年。

  • and takes weekly ballroom dancing lessons with his wife.

    他給我的信上寫到:

  • When I visited them,

    「你無法在物質王國找到意義;

  • they'd recently celebrated their 50th anniversary.

    它並不存在於晚餐、爵士樂、 雞尾酒,或對話當中。

  • In his letter to me, he'd written,

    當所有其他的一切都被奪去時, 剩下的才是意義。」

  • "Meaning is not found in the material realm;

    我去德州拜訪了死囚小 GQ。

  • it's not in dinner, jazz, cocktails or conversation.

    他問我,我在醫院病房時

  • Meaning is what's left when everything else is stripped away."

    怎麼打發時間。

  • I went to Texas, and I visited Little GQ on death row.

    我告訴他,我把拼字遊戲 玩到出神入化,

  • He asked me what I did to pass all that time

    他說:「我也是!」並解釋,

  • I'd spent in a hospital room.

    雖然他大部分的時間 都待在單獨監禁室,

  • When I told him that I got really, really good at Scrabble,

    他和附近的囚犯仍然 想辦法在紙上玩桌遊,

  • he said, "Me, too!" and explained how,

    透過送餐的小洞口喊出 他們的下一步棋——

  • even though he spends most of his days in solitary confinement,

    證明了人類精神的堅韌,

  • he and his neighboring prisoners make board games out of paper

    以及我們透過創意來適應的能力。

  • and call out their plays through their meal slots --

    我的最後一站是佛羅里達州,

  • a testament to the incredible tenacity of the human spirit

    去拜訪寫給我一堆 表情符號的青少女。

  • and our ability to adapt with creativity.

    她的名字很完美, 叫做尤妮克(獨特),

  • And my last stop was in Florida,

    因為她是我所見過最光芒四射、 最有好奇心的人。

  • to see that teenage girl who'd sent me all those emojis.

    我問她,她接下來 想要做什麼,她說:

  • Her name is Unique, which is perfect,

    「我想要讀大學,去旅行,

  • because she's the most luminous, curious person I've ever met.

    吃我以前從來沒有嚐過的 怪異食物,像章魚,

  • I asked her what she wants to do next and she said,

    以及到紐約拜訪你,

  • "I want to go to college and travel

    然後去露營,但我很怕蟲子,