Thomas Hartle speaks with a pronounced cheeriness that’s initially hard to reconcile with his words. “I’m honestly trying to do my very best to die with cancer,” he says. “Not from cancer.”

That hasn’t been easy since Hartle was first diagnosed in 2016. Surgeries and chemotherapy did keep his stage four colon cancer at bay, but the tumours returned last summer. It’s now inoperable. The spikes of abdominal pain led to a new problem — “High anxiety levels in terms of panic attacks on a daily basis.”

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