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Cancer Patient Publishes Novel

A cancer patient in the southern metropolitan Guangzhou has published a novel in a bid to help other cancer sufferers regain hope and fight the fatal disease courageously as she did.

The 200,000-character novel by Ruo Yan, entitled "I cannot live without you", written in her bed, was completed in seven months.

Ruo, in her early 30s, was diagnosed early in 2003 to be suffering from a malignant tumor in the glandular tissue of her left kidney. "I felt as if the world had fallen apart," she was quoted as saying by the Yangcheng Evening News.

Before the diagnosis, Ruo had been lucky all along: she had been an eminent dancer and was working as a senior executive with a transnational firm. She is well grounded in mechanical engineering and holds degrees in economics, education and English.

She did not brighten up with the removal of the tumor in March,2003. "I had many dreams in life, and I didn't think I still had the time to fulfill them all," she told her doctor Fu Li of the Guangdong Provincial People's Hospital.

Fu, who himself a liver cancer patient, encouraged Ruo to take up writing.

"So I started, seven days right after the operation," said Ruo,"I underwent a chemical therapy then and was suffering from a severe diarrhea and acute pains in the waist. But I insisted on writing at least 2,000 characters a day."

Doctor Fu was also included into her novel, which was set in a sickroom, as a Doctor Lee of course, she said.

"I've come across quite a few cancer patients over the past year and I know well enough that a light-hearted 'cheer up' alone will not help them," said Ruo, "I hope they will read my book and forget their own pains, if only for a while."

Shortly after her discharge from the hospital, Ruo opened a workroom to teach kids English and it proved to be a success. Someparents have sent kids to Ruo's class in a hop that they would learn Ruo's optimistic attitude toward life.

"One of the kids was said to be a bit retarded, but has proven a rather quick learner in my class," said Ruo.

Official figures indicate that approximately 2 million Chinese are diagnosed of cancer each year and some 1.5 million die of varied types of cancer across the country.

"It's crucial for these patients to pluck up faith in themselves and keep to a healthy lifestyle -- one with a well-balanced diet, adequate exercises and an optimistic attitude," said Prof. Wu Yilong, vice president of the Guangdong Provincial People's Hospital.

(Xinhua News  Agency  April 23, 2004) 

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