I was really moved by Greg Fallis’ tribute to a political writer called Molly who died from breast cancer. He quotes her brutal description of the treatment in his post:
Having breast cancer is massive amounts of no fun. First they mutilate you; then they poison you; then they burn you.
Then, while reading Greg’s next post about Syria, I was struck by the similarities.
Cancer is like a civil war raging within. Battles are fought in different zones of the body and in the mind as the patient tries to stay positive.
Medical advisers are like the United Nations – trying to keep the peace and to decide what, if any, intervention is appropriate.
Is it better to try something in case it does help or to do nothing? Unfortunately, ignoring it doesn’t make the problem go away.
We can surrender some territory or make other concessions in an attempt to negotiate an uneasy cease fire and hope the conflict does not spread.
If necessary, we can mount attacks on strategic targets or launch a full-scale assault using the relatively crude and less discriminate weapons available within our arsenal – in the full knowledge that collateral damage is inevitable and with no guarantee that we will win in the end.
Family and friends stand by helplessly as the events unfold – at close range in homes and hospital wards instead of via the TV or Internet from the other side of the world.
At some point, one side concedes defeat. Depending on the outcome, the fighting turns into a waiting game to see where and when trouble might erupt again but life returns to some form of normality or it shifts focus and tries to minimise the suffering and delay the inevitable.
I am posting this on what would have been my mother’s 80th birthday had breast cancer not taken her from us over a decade ago. She lost her battle but many others are still fighting theirs – and more will follow. I wish them great mental and physical strength and courage in resisting this insidious onslaught.
I miss you, Mum.
Photo credit: © Cristian Tzecu | Dreamstime.com
Categories: Health & Wellbeing