Thursday, 14 June 2012

Yes there IS an Atheist in a foxhole and I am she! :p

Fuck cancer and all its associated shit. I was dealt a crap hand; perfectly fit and healthy, under 40 and end up in 2008, with a gynaecological cancer which not only put me into the early menopause. ruined my sex life, makes me feel like an old lady but also has a stigma attached to it (even though I had ENDO-cervical cancer NOT caused by HPV; as soon as people hear 'cervical' they assume HPV=slutty chav >..< )  It also left me with chemo-induced arthritis and cognitive impairment (chemo-brain). When I was diagnosed, I had been studying to do my PhD for feck's sake! Cancer threw that idea out the window too. FAIL >..< ....but I digress.

I figured there are a few things I could do with this crap hand so randomly dealt by no-one in particular; I could:

1)  just do nothing and die (not an option)
2) do alternative treatment without a clue and take my chances (I didn't do that when I was diagnosed, but do it now and have more than just 'a clue' as I do scientific research on such treatments almost daily);
3) do chemo-radiotherapy and take the shit that comes with it; <- that is what I did and stared death in the face as I did it all whilst remaining true to my philosophy of godlessness and Buddhist logic.

Now whilst I often regret not being able to do more research first (or getting that hysterectomy in 2007), treatment worked as well as it could have; it obliterated the tumour (along with most of my ovaries, womb and cervix) but I am not dead. So the oncologists wipe their hands clean and send me on my way, as they say; "have a nice life; you've no evidence of disease now, but should you have a recurrence, sorry about your luck". So after 4 months of treatment hell; off I go in a blind rage and still in a stupor from my initial diagnosis. How the fuck did this happen; NOW WHAT!?

So I go and seek out other Young adults with cancer. I found lots of great friends through, Young adult cancer Canada, Macmillan, and Wellspring.

Several of them have died in the past 3 years and that makes me extremely sad and continues to fuel my rage, hence the creation of the Malignant Militia; a way for me to rant and rave and demand accountability without having to stand at Speakers' Corner looking like a crazy person.

I take the rage and turn it into something somewhat useful and hope to spare any other young adults from the hell in which I found myself by helping to educate them that cancer is rarely preventable and if you get it; it's NOT your fault! If you do have ANY wonky symptoms; *insist* that your GP consider cancer before just brushing you off as being "too young for that!". 

So that is essentially my mission these days; I try to have a good time all the time despite my shit cards. 

However, (and this is where I am finally going with this tale! :o ), what the fuck makes people assume that I am a 'god believer' and propels them to say shit like 'god doesn't give you more than you can handle, and if god closes a window, he opens a door' or other such drivel! REALLY!? WTF? Don't assume I believe in YOUR god! >..< They don't even bother to find out. I don't go around assuming everyone is an Atheist! :/

Just cos I had cancer doesn't mean I had some 'death-bed conversion'. If there even is a god, he's a right git for giving good people cancer :/.

I'm not even going to get into it here about how there have never been wars in the 'name of Atheism; how the Buddha was an Atheist; how the very definition of atheist just means 'non-theist or non-god' and not 'evil devil-worshipping baby-murdering sadist'. :/

For a real insight into what is religious silliness, please see Bill Maher's 'Religulous'. ;).

Contrary to popular belief then, I'm not whinging about my sad stupid life down the pub into the bottom of a whiskey bottle. I actually had the driller on my jobsite today tell me that I was 'extraordinarily cheerful despite only usually getting 4 hours of sleep every night and living with a cancer Dementor around me every day'! and damnit; he was right ;).

It is true that everyone deals with cancer in their own way cos there is no 'right way', and I will make no apologies for doing what I think needs to be done (the Malignant Militia Mission ;)) but my mind belongs to logic and not some sky fairy. :/ 

And on that note, I am reminded of Homer Simpson when he was coerced into joining the Movementarians in 'the Joy of Sect' ;). (back when 'the Simpsons' was funny of course ;)).

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Overheard in a busy local....the 'cancer conversation'

Having had cancer and already equipped with an intense empathic sense, I can tell who is part of the 'cancer crew' whether they know it or not. Today I had lunch at my local Vietnamese Thuan Kieu (which is fab by the way ;)) and there were 2 middle-aged ladies sitting across from me; one of which I know has/had cancer.

I heard the tell-tale questions of the 'non-cancer' one; 'have you done any research into alternatives? How are you feeeeeling?' >..<  The other lady clearly had heard it all before and through gritted teeth remained cheerful and friendly to her (I can only assume) friend.

"Yes,' she said, "I've spent years researching but have gotten rather weary of it; it's been 10 years and I'm still here so I'm glad of that".
Friend lady says "Well, congratulations for all your hard work :)"

Cancer lady just smiles...and I TOTALLY wince.

I know (and I'm sure other cancer lady knows), it's nothing to do with 'hard work'; I'm sure Becca and Laura worked *extremely* hard at surviving; they just didn't manage to pull it off :/. All the millions of survivors who don't do anything different and just continue to eat crap and/or smoke and live for another 50 years post-cancer and then those, like Laura; all-natural, organic Vegan food eater, young, fit, non-smoker etc. who researched every alternative she could and despite surviving 5 recurrences; still didn't make it to 40 years old :(.
There is something epically wrong with society's perception of cancer as something which is your own fault and out of which (with 'hard work') you can get out.

So I'd just like to say this: