Thursday, 28 January 2016

Cancer is a Bastard

The thing about cancer is that it's a bastard.

It mocks our ability to nurture; our fertility; our love of life and food and drink, by taking over the things with which we nurture; bring to life; celebrate love, digest and taste and generally enjoy things. It uses good things against us. Because it is a bastard.

When people talk about someone's "battle" against cancer, they forget that in cancer, our strength is turned against us. The normal, joyful, life-affirming multiplication of cells is turned into our enemy. People with cancer can be sick, low, depressed or utterly despairing.  Their brains themselves can be overtaken. This is not because they are not "fighters". It is because cancer is a bastard.

And when people act like someone's to blame because they've got cancer - when the mid-range tabloids tell us that only by eating / not eating a certain food. When we're told that stress increases our chances of getting it - which may cause us stress. Remember that the world we live in, the ages to which we now live - these also contribute. When people blame themselves - thinking they must have done something awful to deserve it. Don't blame a sufferer. Cancer takes advantages of the life we live, in the place we are in. Cancer can just occur through a random mutation. Because cancer is a bastard.

And when you hear someone referred to as a "survivor", remember that doesn't mean they are clear. They have passed a milestone after treatment. They can celebrate the milestone - rightly so, because every day on this world is a gift. But the enemy can still lay waiting, genetically like us. Just still, just biding its time. Because it is a bastard.

In the world to come, there will be no tears, no death, no fear and no cancer. No shame - because some still feel shame when they are diagnosed. No hopes, aspirations or plans cut short. No too-soon farewells, no worries that the lurker will return. But that is in a place yet to come.

In this world we can support the people who work to find cures to this disease. Let's pray for their work (and/or give to them to support them according to choice). Their work is important. Because cancer is a bastard.

Cancer Research UK
Macmillan nurses
Marie Curie

18 comments :

  1. It is.... and hugs.... and thank you

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  2. Thank you, 'Eileen' - I'm just recovering from breast cancer surgery and am about to start radiotherapy. I had almost the same 12 years ago on the other side, and, praise be, both of the lumps were very small and just under the skin, so were easily got rid of, and I haven't had to have chemo. But my dear husband lost his first wife to the same thing, but much worse and back in the 70s when things weren't as far advanced as they are now, and I've been more worried about him than myself, as he's been having flashbacks. Not helped by the fact that he's having treatment for Age-Related Macular Degeneration and is afraid of losing his sight. I read your blog to him, and he was very much in agreement with it - and very moved by it as well, as was I. So thank you again.
    Prayers and blessings. Helva.

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    1. Thanks, Helva. God bless you and prayers for your treatment.

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  3. Simon Martin28/01/2016, 22:07

    Many, many thanks Eileen.
    Couldn't have said it better myself.

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  4. It is indeed horrible; I appear to have recovered from incurable cancer against all the odds. It's a long story but I'm convinced that a radical change of diet, the cleansing of my body and soul plus the prayers and positive thoughts of those who care for me, all conspired to aid the efforts of the NHS and secure my survival. For anyone touched by cancer I recommend a visit to the independent cancer charity's web site: Canceractive.

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  5. Thank you for putting words to the largest part of my life and the last 48hrs.

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    1. Thanks and prayers for you, Robb.

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  6. Cancer is indeed a bastard and I have seen far too many people I love attacked by it, as well as enduring it myself twice. So far, so good for me, but I'm always aware it could still be lurking. You've put into words what so many feel. Thank you and prayers for any you know who are facing it.

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  8. So well written I felt I had to comment. The Press seems intent on shifting the "blame" for cancer on to the individual, which makes the diagnosis doubly unfair.

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  9. Good on you, ArchDruid.

    An old friend of mine is currently in remission from CLL (form of leukaemia) after chemo. The effects of the chemo, never mind the CLL, were devastating and we are all sure the only reason he pulled through is down to the prayers offered by family and friends and parishioners who don't even know him but responded to an appeal. Deo Gratias!

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  10. I think it was Hitch that said "you don't so much battle cancer as resist it".. I'm optimistic we'll nail it soon; there are lots of very smart people in the world.

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    1. I'm optimistic we'll find ways to cure many forms. And we do have some very smart people about.

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  11. I lost my beloved son, Braeden, to cancer in July. There are no words to describe the depth of devastation that cancer causes. Not only are bodies destroyed, but families are annihilated, too.

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    1. Can only express my sadness for you and your family. And pray that you find comfort and peace as time goes by. May God hold Braeden in his arms.

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  12. In the midst of all the battle terminology, and technology stories heralding yet another advance we may see in hospitals in 10 years' time, there are some unsung heroes. Having now seen a Hospice at close quarters for a few weeks, I have to say they are thoroughly wonderful places, filled with wonderful people.

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    1. You are absolutely right, Mike. God grant you strength and love this week.

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