For O.M., that anxiety had been crippling. Diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 21, the then-pre-med student at first refused to accept reality. “I’m pretty domineering,” he laughed. “I told the nurses, ‘I can’t have this right now.’ I thought I could negotiate with cancer.” That domineering spirit served O.M. well through six rounds of chemotherapy. He even looked forward, he insisted, to the debilitating side-effects of his cancer-killing infusions. Enduring them gave him a sense of agency. He could withstand the punishment; his cancer could not. Only when the treatments ended, with his cancer in remission, was O.M. consumed by a feeling of abject helplessness. The fight was over. From that day on, all he could do was wait to see whether the cancer would return.
Is this the beginning of the next wave of drug decriminalization?