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117 - cancer

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Suzuki Roshi had been quite ill. He had been falsely diagnosed with infectious hepatitis and had gone to the hospital for more tests. I went to visit him just as his lunch was served.

He motioned me to come and sit next to him at the edge of the bed. As I crossed the room he mouthed the words “I have cancer." When I sat next to him he leaned over and took a bit of food on his fork and put it into my mouth. “Now we can eat off the same plate again.” He said it as if the new diagnosis were some big gift.


p.120. Yvonne Rand, Mt. Zion Hospital, San Francisco, 1971.