Christopher Hitchens appeared on "Anderson Cooper 360" Thursday in his first TV appearance since being diagnosis with esophageal cancer. Hitchens, whose father died at 79 of the same disease, said that even he has wondered, "Why me?"
"You can't avoid the question however stoic you are, you can only bat it away as a silly one," he said. "Millions of people die every day. Everyone's got to go sometime. I've came by this particular tumor honestly. If you smoke, which I did for many years very heavily with occasional interruption, and if you use alcohol, you make yourself a candidate for it in your sixties."
As for his odds of survival, Hitchens says he is "realistic" about his chances given his diagnosis.
"I'm not resigned, but I'm realistic too. The statistics in my case are very poor. Not many people come through esophageal cancer and live to talk about it, or not for long. And the other wager is, the part of the wager, it's a certainty you'll have a terrible time and you may wish you were dying because it's an awful process. That you can't escape, you're going to get that no matter what. Then the torture may or may not be worth it or it will be torture by execution."