CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS EVEN FINDS HUMOR IN HIS CANCER, BUT WAS "PETRIFIED" IT WOULD STOP HIS WRITING, HE TELLS STEVE KROFT - "60 MINUTES"
"I Rather Look Down at People with Lesser Cancers" Says the Vanity Fair Columnist and Author Suffering from Stage 4 Esophageal Cancer
If he could find a way to cruelly criticize the saintly Mother Teresa, finding humor in his own cancer is almost to be expected from acerbic writer Christopher Hitchens. But the fear of that disease stopping his writing petrified him, the Vanity Fair columnist and author tells Steve Kroft in an interview that jumps from funny to serious and back again. The interview will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, March 6 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT)
It's been nine months since the often outrageous Anglo-American author and cultural commentator was diagnosed with esophageal cancer that has metastasized. It's stage four in medical parlance and there is no stage five, Hitchens points out. "I am a member of a cancer elite. I rather look down on people with lesser cancers," he says with a chuckle.
Asked what his life is like now, the tone grows serious. "I was very afraid it would stop me writing," he tells Kroft. "And I was really petrified with fear about that because I thought that would, among all things, diminish my will to live because�being a writer's what I am rather than what I do." Watch a clip.
His father died of the same type of cancer and he says he is resolved to fight it, but acknowledges his dire situation. "But the statistics are five percent [survival rate], in other words, which are not the odds I would have picked." says Hitchens. Asked how far ahead he thinks, he manages to make Kroft laugh once again. "I hate it when people ask what the expiry date of my credit card is. I noticed it the other day, someone said, �What's the expiration date?' I said, �Who wants to know?'"
Also in the interview, Hitchens. America's most famous atheist, discusses his career and some of his more controversial stances, such as his caustic criticism of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa.