Luckily my zodiac sign is not cancer but on a serious note, why must terminal illnesses or diseases like cancer take the ones near and dear to us?
The world is having a rough week with the passing of David Bowie and as of this writing, Alan Rickman popularly known as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series has died with the same disease as Bowie and at the same age of 69 and before 2016 in the latter days of 2015, Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead died of cancer but a year older of both Bowie and Rickman.
Suddenly, I remembered the George Harrison, the youngest member of The Beatles died of cancer just at the age of 58 in 2001. Twenty one years just after John Lennon’s death in 1980. Dirty Dancing and Ghost lead star, Patrick Swayze died of pancreatic cancer in 2009 at the age of 57 so as Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011. Here in the Philippines, Johnny Delgado died of cancer in 2009. President Cory Aquino also died of the same disease and many others even the late education secretary and senator Raul Roco.
When I was in high school, I had a teacher in English who was always happy to be with us every day of the week. She was Miss Bonn Vibar. I first met Miss Bonn when I left my umbrella in school then when I was about to claim the umbrella from her because she has used we had a little talk and told to take care of my umbrella and the rest were history and every day of school were no longer dull. It’s not even that obvious that she was sick. It’s almost six years since her passing because of cancer and I just wish that as one of her students I could have known her better and spent more time with her not just within Angelicum but also outside the school.
Another person that I know back in high school that died of cancer was a school mate named Joshua Lipana and for a young guy like Joshua, I never thought of him bearing that sickness. Joshua was a dear friend to my friend Ingrid. Joshua was vocal but not radical about his political views. If not for him, I would not have given a damn about social issues.
People here in the Philippines often say that cancer is only exclusive to the rich but it’s not that true because cancer does not choose the people that they want to deteriorate. The issue is that rich people truly have the means for their check up, treatment, and that they are diagnosed properly while the middle class and the third class are hardly diagnosed properly because they don’t have the means to afford check up, the treatment then the medication. It is the third leading cause of death in the country.
As we live our lives, we have certain habits that could contribute to develop a certain disease. It may not be cancer but we always have to watch our balance and the very reason why we must eat healthy, have a balanced meal and have a healthy lifestyle.
There are a lot of bad habits that causes cancer such as smoking and drinking. I don’t deny that sometimes I smoke out of stress and during the times that I smoke, I would always think of myself then I would regret that I smoked and I disrespected our pediatrician in the times that I smoke but I just want to find a way out of a certain problem and I found the wrong way.
The last time I met with my pediatrician was when was still studying psychology. I asked a favor by asking if she knows some psychologists in the hospitals that she works. She gave the names of the doctors that she knows. After I caught up with her in UST Hospital on the day I met one of the doctors she suggested, I promised myself not to smoke again because she helped me conquer asthma until I smoked again out of stress. I just owe her big time and I don’t want her effort towards me and many other patients out there wasted. I don’t want her to know that one of her asthmatics like me died of cancer. Other than the fear of getting lung cancer, I also don’t want to lose my voice and talk like a Battle Droid from Star Wars.
As for drinking, I no longer drink that much alcohol the way I did during my teens but man I don’t want to die of liver cancer for my drinking. Which is why no matter how much we drink moderately, it would still contribute negatively to cause not just cancer but also hepatitis and many other sicknesses known to man.
Cancer does not go away that easy after many medications or quitting smoking and drinking because it’s not just these two common causes that can causes cancer. Cancer is sometimes caused by sun exposure, radiation and UV exposure which caused Hugh Jackman’s skin cancer. If he was not Wolverine he might not have cured himself but kidding aside Hugh Jackman was more than lucky that he immediately took care of himself and it was only skin cancer.
It is sometimes hereditary. One parent would be diagnosed of a certain type of cancer then one child would have the same type cancer. It’s hard for some people to be like this and I wish that people won’t have to be like this.
If I were studying medicine or med tech I would do my best in my academics to finish my program then earn my degree and when I get to graduate school and finish graduate studies I would do my best to work with people doing certain researches on finding an effective cure for cancer because chemotherapy for all I know costs so much and sometimes it’s not helpful in curing cancer.
I have never met a cancer survivor but if there was one person I know someone who kept fighting and never backed down is the mother of my brother’s basketball teammate here in our place.
It was just last summer when I saw her wearing a headdress that resembles a female bonnet but knowing how a cancer patient looks like, I didn’t just assume right there and there if she really has cancer but secretly I asked one of our friends on what happened with his mom and he told me that she has cancer.
She’s very supportive of her son and my brother whenever they get to be teammates for a certain inter-barangay league for summer since basketball tournaments are always a thing for the summer in certain areas here. She even treats us like her relatives for greeting us every time she gets to see us in our community and as for this writing, we haven’t seen her but we always give her a place in thoughts and prayers for her recovery.
Another story of fighting cancer that I am amazed is the story of Andi Manzano-Reyes’ mom where in a long post that she posted on her Facebook fan page not more than five years that she has to be strong for everyone in their family being the eldest and the day that her mom was cured, she was more than happy that her mom was cured and after reading that post, I almost cried. I could only hope and pray for everyone suffering to recover and be cured of the disease.
I really hate this sickness because this sickness has taken a lot of people away from us whether it is one of our beloved celebrities or relatives and friends. It is really heartbreaking to know that someone died because of the sickness. We would always wish that we won’t feel poor because having a little money makes us helpless to help ourselves save money and for others.
So for cancer, please leave us alone. Stop taking the people we love away from us whether they are an aging celebrity or a relative and friend that makes us happy to live and thankful for the gift of life.
For the people doing things that lures cancer closer to them every minute and every second of the day, quit smoking now and smoking e-cigarettes is not even an alternative for it can also cause tubercolosis. Quit alcohol because alcohol is not an alternate for water but if you can’t quit then at least drink responsibly then eat a balanced meal by eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, a whole lot of rice more than just meat because meat can also damage our colon and cause colon cancer.