I'm a big believer in donating one's body to science. My grandfather had both lung and throat cancer. Throughout his life he'd been a lover of science, so it was easy to respect his written wish to have his body donated. Nothing else would have seemed quite right to me, anyway. However, lots of people in my family were really upset when they found out that he'd already made these arrangements ahead of time which meant they couldn't stop Tulane from taking his body straight from my grandparent's house when he died. At the time, my mom certainly didn't approve.
I'm partial to cremation because I don't want my family wasting a bunch of money on an elaborate coffin and funerary flower displays and all of that fancy schmancy stuff. Okay, let me be honest. The biggest reason why I want to be cremated is strictly based on vanity. I HATE the way most morticians put make-up on the corpses. I mean, I understand that most of them aren't trained make-up artists but do they have to make you look like a painted-faced clown? People will be seeing my body for the last time and I have no desire for them to walk away with that sight stuck in their head for all eternity.
My parents have also let us know that they've made arrangements to be cremated. When I visited them in Dallas last year, they made sure to tell me that the urns they've purchased were in the guest room closet so that I'd know where to retrieve them from when they passed away. It was weird because they were just so dern upbeat about it. I was a bit creeped out for the rest of my visit because that's the room I had to sleep in. Knowing that the containers my parents planned to be put in were no more than three or four feet from where I was sleeping made me a wee bit uneasy.
However, lately, I have been thinking about whether or not it would be right for me to be cremated. I mean, maybe it would be a wasteful thing to do. My cancer is very rare. Most med school students won't ever see a tumor like mine. Having my body burned means that even fewer of them will get this opportunity. Heck, maybe getting a look at what it's done to my body will even help doctors figure out better ways of treating chondrosarcoma in the future.