Hello dear reader(s)!
No, this post isn’t about Alan Rickman, despite the fact that I loved all his work and the one time I decided to act (when it wasn’t compulsory in elementary school plays) I chose, read for, only wanted, and got the role of Sheriff of Nottingham because he made it so cool;
it is not about David Bowie; it is not about Lemmy. This post is about the fucking piece of shit classification of diseases that killed them, and more specifically, about our ineptitude as a society in dealing with it.
For those of you who are new here, I am a cancer survivor. If that’s what you want to call me. Because cancer has messed me up pretty bad. Cancer killed the person that I was, which may be a good thing because he wasn’t near as cool as the person I became; with the exception of the fact that because of cancer, I can’t be around a lot of people, I still have days where I just feel like garbage, I have chronic kidney disease, I have cataracts, I can’t hear out of my left ear, I have PTSD from the multi-year, extremely close fight for my life, I have neuropathy in my feet that puts them in constant pain and makes it hard for me to stand for long periods, I have a bad back from lying in the hospital for literal years of my life when added up which makes it hard to sit or lie down for long periods of time, my GI system is still all messed up from all the antibiotics, and I still experience a fatigue that most people my age would not understand. There is more, but that’s what I can think of right now.
The biggest issue is my immune system. Everything else is slightly manageable, but with anti-vaxxers, people who work sick, idiots who can’t even be bothered to wash their hands after they go to the bathroom, and so many other things, that is my biggest challenge, one which no amount of physical training will help with. I just have to hope that certain cell lines in my bone marrow decide to grow. I was hospitalized just last month for getting pneumonia, where I got even more harsh antibiotics.
So, as you may or may not be able to tell, I’m not such a fan of cancer. It came very, very close to killing me many times. And it kills way too many people. And it doesn’t have to.
New treatments, even cures for some cancers are being discovered all of the time. Immunoptherapy is so promising for so many types, but is still in the early stages of being explored. Many insurance companies are still considering it experimental and won’t pay for it. And the FDA wants trial after trial after trial. And while clinical trials are usually paid for by the provider, the associated costs are not. This slows down potential life saving treatments. The years-long ban on embryonic stem cell research certainly didn’t help anything either. Abortion is legal, whatever your beliefs on that don’t matter. What matters is why waste cells that could save actual living lives? Go debate abortion in some other place. And let us not forget that the vast majority of your tax dollars go to propping up a military that for decades has been nothing more than a tool of the corrupt to push their corporate imperialism. No offense troops, I know you think you’re doing the right thing, but look at the results. You’re being used. It isn’t fair to you, or us, or anyone. How about we start funneling money away from the creation of death and toward the enrichment of life? Actual life, non-parasitical life, as already recognized by the law and the fact you get a goddamned birth certificate and every age law is based on when you were born?
And now let’s talk about cannabis. Does cannabis cure cancer? NO! Nothing cures cancer. Cancer is not one thing, and no one thing will cure all cancer. Could it possibly cure some? Doesn’t really look that way. But it has been shown to reduce some solid tumors in certain cancers in conjunction with standard treatment verses standard treatment alone. It has also been shown to potentially prevent the recurrence of some types of cancers. And more cancer fighting properties might be found, if the government wasn’t working so hard to block research into it. I can tell you from experience, there was nothing that worked better for me as an appetite stimulant, anti-nausea medicine, and anti-anxiety/anti-depressant. I was 220 before I got sick, then lost way too much weight. Cannabis took me from 140 completely swollen with water to a healthy 190-200. It also helped me lower the doses on my insanely strong narcotics until I just decided to stop altogether because they were doing more harm than good. Cannabis has been legal in both Washington and Colorado for over a year now. Do you know how many people have overdosed from it? Zero. That is fact. The only reason this drug is still illegal on a federal level is because of the lobbies of the tobacco and alcohol industry. More dangerous and legal drugs that have both been proven to CAUSE cancer in many people. Could smoking marijuana cause cancer? I’m sure smoking anything could. But if you think smoking it is your only option, then you are living under a rock. Could ingesting it? Maybe, but I’d be willing to bet no more than ingesting the apple you get from the grocery store.
Cancer will always probably kill people. And if we find a way to totally beat it, something else will. People are going to die, and they should. The world is overpopulated as it is. However, so many cancers could be treated or cured if the attention was given, and the gloves were taken off. (Not in the literal sense, especially for those who work with patients.) The lives cut too short, and the amount of suffering it causes, should make it a priority. The economic costs of fighting it alone should make it worth a massive public initiative to find ways to eliminate as much of it as possible.
But instead, we continue to spend our money making bombs, jets, and drones so our companies can continue to exploit the cancer causing resources of other nations for profit when alternatives do exist. We continue to spend our money on corporate tax breaks instead of research. We continue to make potential treatment, or at the very least, proven methods to help fight it illegal for the sake of cancer causing drug lobbies.
Every time we mourn someone who dies of cancer, we should mourn the fact that life has been made into a for-profit, capitalism at all costs, broken society. We need to mourn our crumbling idea of civility.