In 1985, Andrea, a member of the French post-left group Os Cangaceiros, learns that she has cancer. After 5 years confronting the psychological and physical effects of chemotheraphy, she decides to turn her back on the medical system, choosing to die on her terms rather than live on those of the French health service and its almost complete domination by economic imperatives. To begin with, she writes two letters: one to the nurses who had been looking after her, the other to her friend Bella. What follows is the making of her own end, an assertion of living against a society which produces illness and isolation.
In a collection of her final letters, Andrea says:
“My story, in the end, is a very ordinary one: there is nothing particularly special about walking out of hospital before the last stage of chemotherapy. I realize that I have made a big meal out of a tiny slice of experience. But I was about to be deprived of my own death, hence of my life—which had been founded on the refusal of dispossession. By reappropriating my end I have retrieved what was at the beginning, and regained an understanding of my rebellion. I now see how my life, after childhood’s song of innocence, became what it was in its essence, namely a song of experience. Under this aspect it has strategic lessons to offer.”
All of that violent sabotage with Os Cangaceiros was fucked up enough, but then you had to write your final thoughts on life in really inaccessible language like this. N’Drea, you were totally a manarchist.