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illness Quotes

30 of the best book quotes about illness
  1. #1
    “I’m dying, Landon.”
  2. #2
    “Though we tremble before uncertain futures may we meet illness, death and adversity with strength may we dance in the face of our fears.”
  3. #3
    “‘When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time. You’d be shocked at how many adults are really dead inside - walking through their days with no idea who they are, just waiting for a heart attack or cancer or a Mack truck to come along and finish the job. It’s the saddest thing I know.’”
  4. #4
    “He’s much too smart to fall for this, but he wants it to be true. He wants it to be true more than he wants the truth. The smile that breaks across his face is cautious, but so beautiful that I can’t look away. I would lie to him again for that smile.”
  5. #5
    “Mom sobbed something into Dad’s chest that I wish I hadn’t heard, and that I hope she never finds out that I did hear. She said, ‘I won’t be a mom anymore.‘”
  6. #6
    “This year is a little harder than the previous. Maybe it’s because I’m eighteen now. Technically, I’m an adult. I should be leaving home, going off to college. My mom should be dreading empty-nest syndrome. But because of SCID, I’m not going anywhere.”
  7. #7
    “I guess if you’re going to be born with an illness that requires constant care, then it’s good to have your mom as your doctor.”
  1. #8
    “Basically, I’m allergic to the world. Anything can trigger a bout of sickness.”
  2. #9
    ″ ‘It’s better this way. I don’t want you to have a broken heart.’
    ‘Love can’t kill me,’ I say, parroting Carla’s words.
    ‘That’s not true,’ she says. ‘Whoever told you that?’ ”
  3. #10
    “I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door.”
  4. #11
    “Of course Anna should be honored for donating her bone marrow. Of course she deserves recognition. But the thought of rewarding someone for their suffering, frankly, never entered my mind.”
  5. #12
    “It made me wonder, thought, what would have happened if Kate had been healthy. ... Certainly, I would not be part of this family.”
  6. #13
    “A major decision about me is being made, and no one’s bothered to ask the one person who most deserves it to speak her opinion.”
  7. #14
    “Shouldn’t terminal illness, then, be the perfect gift to that young man who had wanted to understand death?”

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  1. #15
    “I had a nagging sense that there was still far too much unresolved for me, that I wasn’t done studying.”
  2. #16
    “My life had been building potential, potential that would now go unrealized. I had planned to do so much, and I had come so close. I’ve spent almost a third of my life preparing for it. I had mapped out this whole forty-year career for myself—the first twenty as a surgeon-scientist, the last twenty as a writer. But now that I am likely well into my last twenty years, I don’t know which career I should be pursuing. If I had some sense of how much time I have left, it’d be easier. If I had two years, I’d write. If I had ten, I’d get back to surgery and science. If only I knew how many months or years I had left. Tell me three months, I’d spend time with family. Tell me one year, I’d write a book. Give me ten years, I’d get back to treating diseases. The truth that you live one day at a time didn’t help: What was I supposed to do with that day?”
  3. #17
    “I recall the sun filtering through the magnolia tree outside my office and lighting this scene: Paul seated before me, his beautiful hands exceedingly still, his prophet’s beard full, those dark eyes taking the measure of me . . . I remember thinking ‘You must remember this,’ because what was falling on my retina was precious. And because, in the context of Paul’s diagnosis, I became aware of not just his mortality but my own.”
  4. #18
    “I sat, staring at a photo of Lucy and me from medical school, dancing and laughing; it was so sad, those two, planning a life together, unaware, never suspecting their own fragility.”
  5. #19
    “It occurred to me that the reason my parents had no money was me. I’d sapped the family savings with Phalanxifor copays, and Mom couldn’t work because she had taken on the full-time profession of Hovering Over Me.”
  6. #20
    “Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying. (Cancer is also a side effect of dying. Almost everything is, really.)”
  7. #21
    “I hated hurting him. Most of the time, I could forget about it, but the inexorable truth is this: They might be glad to have me around, but I was the alpha and the omega of my parents’ suffering.”
  1. #22
    “There is sickness rolling through my body; I’m neither strong nor healthy, and my days are spent like an old party balloon: listless, spongy and growing softer over time.”
  2. #23
    “In this room, I had sat with patients and explained terminal diagnoses and complex operations; in this room, I had congratulated patients on being cured of a disease and seen their happiness at being returned to their lives; in this room, I had pronounced patients dead . . .”
  3. #24
    “Any part of me that identified with being handsome was slowly being erased—though, in fairness, I was happy to be uglier and alive.”
  4. #25
    “Medical training is relentlessly future-oriented, all about delayed gratification; you’re always thinking about what you’ll be doing five years down the line. But now I don’t know what I’ll be doing five years down the line. I may be dead. I may not be. I may be healthy. I may be writing. I don’t know. And so it’s not all that useful to spend time thinking about the future—that is, beyond lunch.”
  5. #26
    “As a resident, my highest ideal was not saving lives—everyone dies eventually—but guiding a patient or family to an understanding of death or illness.”
  6. #27
    “Even if I’m dying, until I actually die, I am still living.”
  7. #28
    “The tricky part of illness is that, as you go through it, your values are constantly changing. You try to figure out what matters to you, and then you keep figuring it out. It felt like someone had taken away my credit card and I was having to learn how to budget. You may decide you want to spend your time working as a neurosurgeon, but two months later, you may feel differently. Two months after that, you may want to learn to play the saxophone or devote yourself to the church. Death may be a one-time event, but living with terminal illness is a process.”
  8. #29
    “but none of these signs of malnourishment or illness or grief … detracted from Lux’s overwhelming impression of being a carnal angel.”
  9. #30
    “Anxiety, the illness of our time, comes primarily from our inability to dwell in the present moment.”

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