If you were to read articles and books by the likes of Frosty Wooldridge and Tim Murray you would get an idea, perhaps, of why I am taking a different kind of look at cancer. Tim and Frosty talk about the overpopulation of the planet and some potential consequences we might face as Mother Nature tries to right this very unbalanced ship of ours. I shall not go into all the doomsday stuff they each so eloquently present. I will, however, propose that our overpopulation as a species on the planet, may in fact be bringing to us all those things we are so gallantly fighting.
Climate Change – Corporate Greed – Income Disparity
Processed Food – Homelessness – Water Shortages
Endangered Species – Cancer
Yes, I included Cancer.
What would happen if cancer were a part of Mother Nature’s way of bringing the planet back to some sort of stasis? What would happen if cancer were really here to teach us about life? What would happen if cancer were really a cure for a dis-ease much large than a human life?
Now, before you jump all over me in some sort of “How could you even think that way?” response let me tell you my dear brother Peter died of cancer on September 17, 2015. I witnessed him dying over a six-year period, and spent the last five days of his life watching him as his body perished under the strain of both the cancer and the massive drug and radiation abuse he put himself through in the name of defeating cancer. So I have earned the right to speak differently about cancer from a perspective only a compassionate voyeur and a brother could have.
Understand I loved my brother and wanted him to live. His ‘battle’ with cancer informed my life as well as altering my thinking about cancer. I watched: Peter, my family including Marge our mother, his dear wife April, and his friends as he bravely ‘fought the good fight’.
I watched the medical system take on this enemy called cancer not wanting yet another failure on their hands, another battle lost, another death to this seemingly unstoppable villain. I watched the nurses, doctors, care aides, and volunteers – this army of people fight along side Peter.
It was an all out war!
It was a massive, costly struggle!
It was a fight to the death between cancer and Peter!
The gloves were on and no one was going to throw in the towel!
All this warring, this intense activity, suggested we as human beings thought we could lick this demon. That we had an upper hand on Mother Nature – that for whatever homocentric reason, we could dominate Her, wrestle Her to the ground, and somehow come out the victor.
We simply did not.
With language such as this of course cancer wears the robe of a killer.
Perhaps if we change the way we speak about cancer we could change the way cancer has to dress. Now, I grant you accepting cancer as a cure is a huge step and it makes no sense on an individual, personal human level. I won’t dwell on it here, but it maybe from a planet level it could be. From the perspective of Mother Earth cancer may in fact be that very remedy for a species that has totally dominated any and all of our co-inhabitants on this home of ours. Just thinking out loud. Enough of this perspective.
Now, if we were to change how we view cancer and perhaps instead of fighting it we chose to work with it our language may change and our relationship with cancer might change too. What is cancer trying to teach us about our:
Diet – sugar and processed foods
Complex lifestyle and haste
Driven-ness in more ways than just automobiles
Connection with Nature or lack thereof
New aged spirituality as a bypassing of real life
What could it teach us about our very living? What if cancer was some sort of evolutionary opportunity for those of us who survive it by learning how to live with it?
Now, I am not saying that getting cancer is somehow a person’s destiny, not at all. That is absolute BS! Shit happens though, and sometimes it is really challenging shit. But can we not turn this shit into some sort of compost, approach it differently and live a fuller life even given the present of cancer?
My brother’s walk with cancer, deeply informed my life, and inspired me to live even more fully. Though I miss him deeply I am grateful for the life lessons dear brother Chemo-sabe (My nickname for Peter) taught me though his 6-year journey.
In Peter’s memory let us learn to walk with cancer instead of fighting it at all costs.