I haven’t had cancer and my prayer is I never get it. Though I’ve lost loved ones to it, I don’t know a great deal about it and maybe this is a good thing or not. I believe that we bring forth what we dwell on so maybe it’s a good thing that I don’t dwell on it. However, it may be a catch-22. I was deeply affected by it 15 years ago. I’ll never forget it. My granduncle who was a successful doctor had stomach cancer. Three of his four children, my aunts and uncles, are also doctors excellent doctors. In fact, they’re all our family doctors. Despite all the information my granduncle and his children had about stomach cancer there was no way of getting out of it unscathed. He had surgery to remove it before it spread but it suddenly reappeared and this time around it refused to take a bow. It spread like wildfire. We all had hope that he would make it but the medical staff made it clear to us that they didn’t see any good coming out of any of it. The day I was at the hospital to visit him, they asked my grandaunt, aunts and uncles to consider switching the life support machine off as it was a waste of their money. They refused and they told them that they would let God have the final say. We all surrounded his bed in a semi-circle and with a firm hold of each other’s hands, we recited Lord’s prayer in a choir. The moment we said amen, the life support machine went off. It was like a scene I had seen in a film. So unreal and heart wrenching. A great shock to the mind and body. After a moment of great stillness, silence and watching tears streaming down the faces of everyone around me, my paternal grandmother, who I drove to the hospital with, gave my grandaunt the longest tight hug I’ve ever witnessed. It was indeed one of the saddest moments I’ve experienced in my life.

Sometimes, it takes a different form of resilience
Then came the day my cousin, who’s the same age as me, found out she had breast cancer. I was totally devasted for her but she fought it. She had surgery to remove cancer, went through chemotherapy, and prayed fervently. She was also surrounded by supportive family and friends throughout the whole process. After the process, she recovered but a couple of years later it reappeared. This time around it was not only deflating but also exhausting. It was extremely difficult the second time around but she refused to let it get the best of her. She fought it head on and again she overcame it. She shared her story with as many people as she could. She also made major changes to her diet by becoming vegan and committing to a daily exercise routine and she has never turned back.

The reality of cancer
The reality about cancer is that no matter how well informed we’re about it and possibly trying to prevent it,  it can infect or affect anyone at any time. None of us is immune to it. Many years ago, a good friend of mine got happily married in her early twenties only to find out before her first anniversary that her husband had throat cancer. He was an upcoming model but the throat cancer took a great toll on him and he passed away a year after diagnosis. How horrible that cancer that attacks your cells leaving you hanging onto a thread has no cure or vaccine. Cancer treatment has been proven to be effective and there are many preventive measures but surely not everyone has positive outcomes. I’ll never be able to articulate what it’s like to have cancer but I sure do know what it’s like to have a cancer scare and it’s not pretty. I was misdiagnosed with stomach cancer in my early twenties and it all was shockingly unbelievable. I went along with the process of the confirmation of the diagnosis but deep down in my gut, I refused to believe that it was my new reality. After further investigation, it turned out that I didn’t have stomach cancer but instead I had a stomach ulcer which turned out not to be as deadly because here I am twenty years later.

So, f*ck cancer
Now, why are scientists who’re intelligent enough to come up with vaccines and cures for many other diseases not found a solution for cancer which according to Google was first discovered about 3000 BC? Cancer is horrible from how I’ve seen my loved ones suffer from it. I don’t wish it upon even my worst enemy. If you’re battling with it and you’ve lost someone to it, I am very sorry. My prayer is that you’ll fight it with every fibre of your being and overcome it like my cousin and that scientists will find a cure or vaccine soon. But for now, excuse my French but fuck cancer!