What No One Ever Tells You About Becoming Immortal
by Rebecca Lang
Case Study: Diann
The first time the doctor smilingly tells her that she's dying, it comes as a shock. It doesn't matter how much Diann thought she prepared herself, those dreaded words hit like a punch to the throat. Cancer. Diann's mind flashes back to those twentieth-century films depicting chemotherapy, bald women, and missing body parts. Her nerves go numb.
At this point the doctor explains that Diann's a good candidate for intensive Nanotherapy.
"A relatively painless procedure. You'll be out of the hospital in less than a week."
Diann nods, pretends to understand the technical jargon, and mechanically signs the wavers.
The evening before the procedure, Diann recalls in her diary all the past surgeries she's survived. Remember that appendectomy you had when you were twelve? They cut a hole in your stomach, scooped out your guts, and stitched you back with needle and thread. This won't be nearly so bad. This is cutting-edge technology.
"You'll be up and about in no time," her husband Wayne assures her, giving her hand a gentle squeeze. "Good as new."
That was the first lie, she later writes. I know now I'll never be new again.
The Nanotechnology has to be monitored every six months, in case something goes wrong. Diann finds the constant updates a nuisance. Every year, a new breakthrough; every couple years, a new injection.
"Updates," she snorts over Thanksgiving dinner. "When I was growing up, they updated computers, not people."