Archive for December, 2010

The Bastard

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Cancer really is a bastard.  If one of the definitions of “bastard” conveys illegitimacy, our cancers are our very own bastards.  It is formed from our own cells, run amok, and their presence informs us that our bodies have turned against us, to the point of trying to kill us.

The Bastard toys with us, too.   ‘I’m was stage 1, it was caught early, is it gone for good?’…Or how about, ‘I was stage 4, I was treated and it’s been gone for a long time, I’m told it will definitely come back, is that written in stone?’  Lots of questions, not nearly enough answers.

When you’ve lived with The Bastard, you know first-hand that it’s wily.  Unpredictable.  Difficult to control.  And maybe worst of all, you can never be sure you killed all of it.

I’m not being facile when I say, it is what it is.  But in The War Against Cancer, it’s disappointing that people with any type of advanced cancers have trouble getting into clinical trials, or that the dollars for research for advanced cancer are minuscule, compared to the drugs in the pipeline for those with earlier diagnoses.  It’s as though the research community has decided those folks are dead already, so why bother.

That suggests The War Against Cancer is being waged badly.  Any strategist knows you can’t blow off your flanks.  Those doomed to the back of the room with stage 4 are in no less of a purgatory than the stage 1, who’s blown away when the cancer comes back.  Everybody who has, or had cancer has a seat on this bus.