Although having been through a cancer experience myself, I’ve fell for the delusion of thinking, like most of us do, that cancer is a modern disease. That it is the dilemma of our age.
However, reading “The Emperor of All Maladies” , by Siddhartha Mukherjee makes me realize that the truth is far from that.
From evidence of existence that goes back two thousand years old found in stuffed mummies, to different names given to cancer by different civilizations, to obscure appearances in history books as an non-treatable disease; cancer is one of the oldest recorded diseases in the human history. In fact the attention that cancer got in our age is merely a byproduct of our increased life expectancy and increased means of measuring and seeing such cells.
I’ve always tried to abstain from searching and understanding cancer in medical terms. I always believed the naivete that I had, and still have, are extremely powerful in the face of such suffering. I still do.
Knowing such history, however, puts things in a different perspective. Now it feels like my cancer experience is like a baton being passed on to me in the race of humanity existence. Having always thought cancer teaches more than it tortures; my experience shines in a new light.
I feel like having a new responsibility, not towards my friends, my faith or myself. Rather towards my humanity. Responsibility to tell my experience as seen from a first person point of view. Not to say that such recalling will result in a huge discovery and advancement in the such a race. Yet to say a that our understanding of such a race is a collective effort where contributions can come from the most obscure of places; a lonely little blog on the internet.
To be continued…
Karkinos is the one of the first names to be given to Cancer. Meaning crab in Greek.