Cancer and a Bit of Sci-Fi

My heart feels heavy after hearing the news that Allan Rickman has passed away. This, just a few days after David Bowie died from cancer too.

I’m both amazed and terrified that just a few decades ago, cancer was considered a rare disease. They used to say that cancer was the affliction of the rich, either because only a certain few could afford the high cost of prolonging their lives from cancer, or because the less privileged rarely indulged in those destructive excesses that consequently destroyed health and wellbeing.

Now, it seems everyone has cancer. It has become a very common and virulent disease, and despite our advances in medicine and technology, we have yet to find a cure for it.

I have a theory that cancer is nature’s way of balancing the inequalities. In the same way that the Black Plague and the Spanish flu ravaged millions of lives before, cancer has become Mother Nature’s current equalizer in neutralizing our destruction to our environment.

I am not afraid of dying, but I am terrified that I will die from cancer. Notwithstanding that it has become common among people I know, I am also considered as a “high-risk” for cancer, because both sides of my family have a cancer history. I had seen first-hand how a person deteriorates first from the disease, then from the medicine, and eventually, from the pain. I had seen how cancer slowly drains a person’s spirit and will to live. And once the battle ended, I had also felt the extreme disbelief in trying to reconcile the healthy and vibrant person you once knew to the shell of a person that the cancer left behind. I wouldn’t have the fortitude to survive such a brutal battle, considering that essentially, it’s a battle between yourself and your traitorous body.

One of my more morbid theories is that cancer might just be a natural progression of evolution. That’s why in most cases, it takes away the best among us first — those people who were highly talented, who were well-loved…in a sense, highly evolved human beings. A lot of the people I know or I’ve heard about who died from cancer were deemed to have been taken away too soon. It’s like these people were still at their peak, or they have yet to claim their world as their oyster, but in a blink of a few days, months, or years, it’s all over.

If this is the case, then maybe we’re not supposed to cure or eradicate cancer. Maybe we’re supposed to find a better way to manage it, a way where we can coexist and harness the abnormal cell growth inside our bodies.

Maybe, just maybe, cancer is not the enemy.