In a Word by Benjamin Rubenstein

Favorite drug: OxyContin. Second favorite drug: Cinnabon. Most painful drug: chemotherapy. Second most painful drug: Cinnabon. Drug I consumed most: Benadryl. Person who has consumed most Benadryl in world history: me. Number of uses of Benadryl: infinite.

Favorite food: pizza. Favorite topping: pepperoni. Practice never followed: kosher. Feeling experienced during bar mitzvah: nervousness. Substance wished knew about during bar mitzvah: whiskey.

High school sport: tennis. Sport too short to succeed at: all. Sport too tall to succeed at: none. One and only thing short people are better at than tall people: lifespans. Percentage chance fabricated the last sentence: fifty. Favorite teenage activity: driving. Favorite musical artist when driving: N’Sync. Sentence you should keep to yourself: previous.

Greatest talent: resilience. Most desired talent: dating. Age at first cancer: sixteen. Age at second cancer: nineteen. Actual age: thirty-two. Felt age: sixteen. Favorite surgically removed body part: pelvis. First motorized gift idea that came to mind when considering Make-A-Wish Foundation: Batmobile. Actual gift from Make-A-Wish Foundation to aid in recovery from surgery: television.

Most agonizing activity to relinquish after surgery: sports. Favorite activity that resulted from losing ability to play contact sports: rockclimbing. Item you should never forget when rockclimbing: harness. Opinion of people who climb without harnesses: unbalanced.

Favorite remaining body part: liver. Body part thrilled not to have: uterus. Potential number of future kids: two. Facility in Fairfax, Virginia, of ingredient for potential future kids: sperm bank. Cost to keep potential future kids frozen: lots. Medium mother was required to consent me to use to perform in a sterile cup: smut. Subject that makes for the best cocktail party stories: sperm bank.

Location of 1,396 friends: Facebook. Location of 1,147 friends who can’t recall ever having met: Facebook. Person who loves Facebook most in world: mother. Person for whom most thrilled Facebook wasn’t available during cancer treatment: mother.

Person whom cancer affected most: mother. Activities mother sacrificed because of cancer: everything. Thing mother sacrificed most because of cancer: health.

Perform cardiovascular exercise, train with weights, eat vegetables, eat little sugar, eat few carbohydrates, eat whole foods, restrict calories, reduce body fat, drink vegetable juice, sleep well, reduce stress, limit toxins, live in cleanliness, and always research ways to improve health in order to remain: cancer-free. Person who improves every additional year I remain cancer-free: mother.

Attribute of cancer glad no longer experiencing: suffering. Thing received years later in order to never forget the suffering: tattoo. Least favorite attribute of cancer: cancer. Most missed attribute of cancer: alleviation. Topic almost never discussed for a decade after cancer: cancer. Reason discussing cancer now is so rewarding: connecting. Person who I am most thrilled remains cancer-free: mother.




Benjamin Rubenstein is the author of the “Cancer-Slaying Super Man” books. He is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program.



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