Tuesday, 27 April 2010


I hate cancer. There's just no other way to state it. Hate hate hate hate hate.

I hate how it's part of your own body, so you kind of end up hating your own body if you have it, or hating the body of someone you love if it's someone else suffering. It must be horrible to know that there is something inside you slowly killing you, as if your own body has turned against you.

I hate all the war dialogue that goes with the public face of having cancer: "fighting", "surviving", "losing the battle". And there's a lot of judgy stuff about who wins this fight too. Subtext: only losers lose, and by losing what people really mean is die.

I understand that everyone has to die of something and I don't expect to live forever. But my personal experience so far has been younger people getting cancer and dying of it. Sub-70 I mean. In the last month I've had a lovely neighbour diagnosed with it, a woman I knew well through work die of it, the second anniversary of the death of my father (whose death came about through a complication from surgery to cut it out), and a close friend of my partner's is likely to pass away from terminal cancer shortly. None of them have been what I would call old.

And none of them have been bad people either. It's the whole "when bad things happen to good people" injustice all over again. I'm not dealing with it very well, especially when I consider that so many of these people with cancer, still living or killed by it, are close to my son. He won't remember his Grandad, and he may well not remember any of the others either if/when they die too. It just seems so unfair.


sauj said...

Cancer is an awful thing. Though I do remember a moment in stage I Pathology, where the lecturer, having remained quiet for about 5 minutes, walks to the lectern and in a some what subdued voice, "half of you will die of either cancer or heart disease".

Everyone looks around, and we're all thinking the same thing.

Still sucks.

Nikki said...

I feel ya. I had two young friends die (aged 20 and 22) and the only other person I know who has died from it was a family friend who was in her 40s. :/

Not cool.

Boganette said...

I never thought about cancer until my nanny was diagnosed with it and died about two weeks later from it. I couldn't believe what it did to her. I still can't believe what happened to her. It feels almost like it wasn't real and it didn't happen to her. I feel so massively crushed every time I think about Nanny and I keep thinking about what she looked like at the end. It's so unfair. I hate cancer so much too.

Paul said...

I feel for you. A few days ago I met a friend, who I had known was unwell, but learned it was cancer. As you get older, inevitably you know more people who get it and you fear it more yourself. It is everywhere.

I also hate that healthcare insurance company in the USofA which has been finding ways of getting breast cancer sufferers off its books. And I hate those people who prevent girls getting a vacine for cervical cancer because they are afraid those girls will have sex.

Julie said...

Thanks for the comments. There's just this sense of dread when you hear the C word, even though a lot of people don't die (and in fact with my Dad his death was quite unexpected, given the size of the cancer etc). I think perhaps the uncertainty is part of the cruelty of the disease, in an odd way.

B - I still have days, even after two years, when I see an older white guy with scruffy grey hair and a blue shirt on and I think he's Dad for 5 secs.

Lucia Maria said...

Hi Julie,

I've had a number of people in my life die of cancer as well. Including my Dad, when I was in my early 20's. He never saw his grandchildren either.

My sister in law is currently facing surgery next week to get a large malignant tumour removed.

The only thing I can do at this point is pray, and hope that it isn't her time yet.