Except then I realized that the whole question of fairness is a more sophisticated concept than that. It falls within the realm of those human elements without correspondent empirical manifestation — justice, mercy, honor, and love, for example. My whole life is unfair in some significant ways that happen to benefit me at the expense of others. I am tall(ish) white man of WASP extraction born in mid-twentieth century America. The degree of privilege and ease that has cloaked me all my life is a form of unfairness to others so pervasive that most people in our society never recognize it all. I was in my twenties before I first began to glimpse my own good fortunes as a social justice issue.
So is cancer fair? No. Neither is my nice, well-paid, white collar job that permits me to work sitting down at home, preserving both paycheck and health insurance benefits in the face of cancer's unfairness. Instead of taking a leave of absence or becoming permanently unemployed because I don't have the capability to do my job.
This seems important to me. I don't know what it means yet, I need to think more, but my denial of unfairness is beginning to feel simplistic and unsophisticated to me.