The following quote is from the book The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green:

Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying. (Cancer is also a side effect of dying. Almost everything is, really.) (Additional context: Excerpt)

What does this quote mean?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Matt E. Эллен Dec 21 '15 at 16:45

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  • Does anything in the question affect you personally? If so, other contributors may know of somewhere you can receive help. But as it is not strictly a question about the English language you may find that it gets closed. – WS2 Dec 21 '15 at 16:30
  • @meaning: I have edited your question to include context and to help our audience understand that the entirety of your original question was a direct quote from the book. I have also added a link to the surrounding paragraphs. Please let us know if I have inferred too much with this edit, but I think this will prove helpful to understanding your need. – Nonnal Dec 21 '15 at 16:42
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    The quote is in plain English. Please explain what part of it you have trouble understanding. If relevant, please include which dictionary you have consulted. – Matt E. Эллен Dec 21 '15 at 16:46
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    It sounds clever but is utter nonsense first to last. First off, the term side effect applies to medications and therapies, not diseases. Second, one can say that since we are mortals our lives tend inevitably towards death; but on that account to collapse the distinction between the antonyms living and dying is just silly. – Brian Donovan Dec 21 '15 at 17:08
  • If you follow the link (thanks, @Nonnal), you'll find that the quote belongs to a character in a novel. The character is a 17-year-old girl with cancer. She's an ironic and semi-detached observer of her own life. It probably won't help you understand the novel to take her words too literally or expect them to be totally rational. – deadrat Dec 22 '15 at 4:36

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