Cancer, It’s Not A War – It’s An Illness!

Grief and writing make bad bedfellows. Part of being a writer is to put down on paper an expression of one’s feelings, either directly, or in some form of fictitious novel or short story.

The only way I find to carry on with life is by keeping busy and not allowing the thoughts that cause grief to rise up from deep within, bringing with them the anguish and accompanying tears that prevent even a short sentence from making it onto the page.

There’s so much happening in the world that I want to write about, but mostly I need to write about her.  Not to do so, to concentrate on world affairs: Boris Johnson’s  disgusting abuse of his governmental position, his toadying up to Modi of India now that Trump is no longer a powerful US presidential ally, the sudden relaxation of rules in the western hemisphere that protected people  from Covid, while the virus still rages and mutates elsewhere, and over it all the looming threat of catastrophic climate change, these are subjects overdue to be aired, but to do so feels almost traitorous, as though turning my back and walking away from the woman I loved, cherished, and cared for, for twenty years.

No, the time is not yet right. Johnson, Modi, all the other motherfuckers damaging our lives and the our planetary home by their selfish lust for power, must wait awhile before R J Adams can turn his attention back to them.

One day she will release him. But not yet. There are still memories that will not go away, tears still to be shed, in private, late at night, or early on waking, or during solitary meals, the chair where once she sat, now unoccupied.

There is one element I’ve come to hate with venom. It’s the marketing ploy that defines cancer as some evil monster to be battled against, the pink ribbons designed to show we are all united in our war against, “The BIG C.”

“The Great Stand Up To Cancer Bake-Off.” Fuck Off! It’s not some playground bully. It’s a fucking illness. The only people battling against it are doctors and scientists trying to find cures, and they’d consider it neither a battle nor a war.\

Most of these self-righteous idiots, with their ribbons and stickers, and anything else they can think of to advertise themselves as pathetic individuals, have never suffered from the disease. The crap they come out with serves only to make those who become terminal cancer victims feel as though they’re losers, that they’ve not done something right, they’ve not fought hard enough, and that’s why they’re going to die.

A message to the pink ribbon brigade: Stop it! If you want to raise money for cancer research, fine. Find another way. It started as false American over-sentimentality. They have an abundance of it. It spread like a cancer. It makes cancer sufferers feel inadequate. They cannot fight the disease, or stand up to it.  One day, pink ribbon wearer, you may find that out.

My late-wife was in total agreement with what I’m writing. She hated the idea of a ‘war against cancer’. Why not a war against heart disease, or motor neuron disease, or any of the other killers of humankind. Why not a war against the corporations that make the crap we have to eat these days, full of poisonous chemicals, or a war against Monsanto and their deadly products, Perdue Pharma for oxycontin, and all the other purveyors of opiates that have killed or ruined the lives of millions throughout the world?

Get a grip! It’s not a war against anything. It’s a usually terminal disease that cannot be fought by those suffering from it.

As my wife said to me when she was told of her stage four ovarian cancer, “We can only leave it to the doctors, my love, and hope for the best.”

The doctors did their best. They didn’t fail, but sadly were unable to save her, despite the ‘wonder-drug,’ the ‘miracle-cure,’ Lynparza, manufactured by a pharmaceutical giant whose name is very much in the news of late – AstraZeneca.

But that’s another story.




One Reply to “Cancer, It’s Not A War – It’s An Illness!”

  1. Gosh I’m so sorry to read this, my deepest sympathy. And you know about Annie too. Such losses. Heartbreaking,

    I agree with every stroke of your keyboard above. I hate that battle cry of kill cancer, It’s a dreadful disease that has taken so many of our dear loved ones and those pink ribbon profiteers make me ill.

    I thought you were gone from the blog world and saw your update on Annie’s sidebar.

    Again, deepest sympathy.


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