In For the Kill

Best read under La Roux’ In For the Kill, remixed by The Twelves

WARNING: Cancer kills, so please have the decency of not belittling its victims by making them a theme of a half-thought-out chain-mail!

I friend of mine was lashing out some resentment towards chain-mail-esque facebook statuses that were apparently reeking havoc in her newsfeed. Mine was uncannily lacking those types of annoying statuses, but unlike her forgiving nature, I have zero-tolerance for those who insist on having infuriating, irrelevant and/or boring statuses. I am firm believer of the fool me once, shame on you — fool me twice, shame on me mentality, thus I keep those unfortunate souls that feel the insatiable need to post those kinds of unwanted statuses completely hidden.

You probably know what kind of statuses I am talking about. We have all seen them popping up from time to time. Anyway, this particular status was about cancer patients. It stated how people generally have 1,000 wishes, but the poor cancer patient has one and only one wish, i.e. getting better. The status followed by a wish of posting this back on your own profile in order of honoring those who are/have fought cancer. Along with a note stipulating that 97% of people who read this status will ignore it (and silently implying that they therefore don’t care for cancer patients), and the remaining 3% were the only who cared about those who have cancer. Okay, I must admit, I am paraphrasing, the message wasn’t so blunt as if saying if you don’t post you’ll go to hell, and if you do you’ll go to heaven. But you get the gist of it.

I just find these statuses counter-productive. The message gets lost in the chain-mail instructions. If you feel inclined to honor those who are fighting/have fought cancer, just say so. Don’t cause guilt for those who don’t follow your footsteps. It is irrelevant for honoring of those in question. One should see it for themselves that they should perhaps utilize their status for voicing their support for those in need. When I read these statuses, I feel as if am I considered a nitwit an not able of figure this logic out myself. So that’s why I don’t post them back, I find them insulting. Not because I don’t care for those with cancer, because I do. Deeply.

Instead I support the cause by buying brooches. That way I can openly yet silently (as not to force anyone to follow suit) show off my support and also give money to cancer research that genuinely helps cancer patients. Statuses don’t come with this important added benefit for cancer patients. Besides, that prostate-cancer brooch is highly fashionable in my opinion (it’s a little mustache), however the breast cancer one is a bit tacky, but it’s only up for limited time.

Since I am nitpicking, the grammar is usually always a bit off in those aforementioned statuses, i.e. this particular status said ‘verða betri’ (e. get better) referring to the one wish cancer patients have, however the proper way to word that sentence is to say ‘batna’ (e. get well). If you’re going to guilt people in spreading your message, the least you can do is have it grammatically correct.

In case you just find me arrogant and talking out my ass. I am not (in my opinion). No one in my family takes cancer light-heartedly, there are two cases of malignant cancer in my immediate family. Specifically breast and prostate. The prostate cancer is not exactly a life-threatening case. My elderly grandfather has it, so luckily for him the uncontrolled cell growth is still relatively slow due to his age. His Parkinsons is more of a problem than his cancer. It’s just an added concern.

Breast cancer however, is a big deal in my family. My mother got diagnosed with malignant breast cancer when I was collage, that had spread to two of her lymph nodes. So quite serious. She had the whole works: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and five year hormonal plan. I experienced first hand, the gruesome side affects of cancer: hair loss (that took a great emotional toll on my mother), nausea, constant fatigue, grief, etc. Most importantly my mother always had hope. She temporarily found religion during the most trialling time, used sacred stones, drank very nasty organic drinks, etc. Basically trying all kinds of alternative medicine that her oncologist confirmed weren’t contradicting to her medical treatment. It worked. Today she’s cancer-free.

The thing I noticed about my mother, during this entire phase. She never wanted to be considered just a cancer patient. She continued her life as always. She maintained her self-runned firm (although at a slower speed than before). She went on holidays abroad, even postponed her radiation for a week, so she could take my brother and I to Crete for a couple of weeks. We took great care in not exposing her skin to the bare sun. That’s a big no-no for cancer patients.

During the height of her cancer treatment, she witnessed her first born getting married and yours truly graduating collage with distinction. No one can tell me that my mother had only one wish. If anything she had more than ever. Because of her diagnosis she started living in the present, she celebrated life to the fullest. Every birthday she throws now is if she was hitting a new decade. Most find it a bit silly, but I get why she does it. She’s also started allowing herself more, buying clothes just because (I have very much like this side of her, being her most prominent beneficiaries), and travelling abroad on a regular places, both weekend city trips and exotic locations, e.g. China, Kenya, Tunis, and incidentally, whilst I am writing this post, my beloved mother is in Egypt celebrating a successfully finish of her 5-year hormonal plan.

She’s one of the lucky ones. I honor her everyday, and don’t need a status to prove it.


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About tungufoss

a PhD student that sews whilst her code compiles...

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