How could something that looks so beautiful actually be something quite hideous?
Yesterday I saw a picture on Yahoo.com in an article about amazing photographs from the microscopic world. This picture attracted me like no other published on the site.
It simply was stunning and quite beautiful to my eyes and my visual brain. If I did not know what it was, I would describe it as a photo of gorgeous blown glass Christmas ornaments – lovely and fragile. Or maybe a new kind of delicious wispy cotton candy – yummy to the taste with peppermint and spearmint flavors.
It is neither. It is actually a picture of two human cancer cells as they sit next to one another prior to dividing into four cells. As a cancer survivor, I’m unnerved that these two striking objects (if you can call cells objects) that appear mesmerizing and exquisite are actually maniacal methods of destruction. The devastation that cancer cells wreak is mind-boggling. Looks certainly can be deceiving, can’t they?
I don’t talk often about my experience with this dreaded disease, and at times, I’m even hesitant to call myself a cancer survivor. I feel blessed and grateful that the type of cancer I experienced was in an early stage and treatable through surgery with a few doses of radiation for precautionary measures.
I have been cancer-free for five years now, but yet, the niggling thought that the disease may return still comes to my mind. I’m sure that happens for most cancer survivors.
I admire the campaign for breast cancer awareness that has been promoted during the month of October, but as someone who did not have that particular kind of cancer, I feel a little left out of the hoopla. Every day, people die of all types of cancer. Where are the campaigns for those?
Both of my parents suffered with this devastating disease and in the end, it took both of their lives. Neither of them had breast cancer; my mother had a vicious, fast-spreading cancer, my father had a slow-growing kind. The cancer I was diagnosed with was yet another type of cancer.
There is no special color to wear or item to buy that will send dollars to research for the two different kinds of cancer that ran rampant through my parents, destroying their bodies and lives; nor for the cancer that tried to attack my life or for many of the other cancers that my friends have endured themselves or watched a loved one fight but eventually lose the battle.
I wonder why that is? Maybe there should be an all-cancer awareness month, promoting screenings and research for all categories of this life-destroying illness. What are your thoughts about this?