I find myself unnerved by this seeming epidemic of cancer that surrounds me. Intimates of mine seem to be getting it like a flu. These people aren’t chain smoking, drinking effluent or pursuing unhealthy lifestyles. They’re young and old, often in apparently perfect health.
I spoke to Salvatore (brain cancer), I spoke to Xeni (breast cancer) , and I also spoke to Magda Bandera, another friend of mine, an activist and journalist from Spain who went public with her cancer. They chose honesty, they valued openness, they took the responsibility for their dark state. And they have survived, to the extent that any of us mortals survive.
One can choose otherwise — like, for instance, Steve Jobs. The worst is to be kept in the obscure ignorance, where your body becomes the object, the victim, the target of an obscure menace. Disease may take your life but superstition and obscure protocols is where you lose your dignity, strength and social power.
When cancer knocks on our body, we become refugees within our own selves. Forces stronger then we can control seem to guide our being toward death. But there is a lucid moment when we realize that these forces can be understood: You cannot FIGHT cancer, win wars on cancer, battle cancer as a mystical otherness or just alien part of your body, because then you become part of that evil scheme.
Cancers are part of US, aspects of our metabolism gone astray, and parts of the human body, an entity that should be treated with love and care. One can’t fight cancer with panic, fear, silence and hatred, any more than one makes peace during war by doubling the demonized resentment. Wisdom, science, politics of free information and activism is the path to survival: The Internet is a new presence in the ancient house of pain.