It must be hard on family and friends of cancer survivors, when they see their loved ones changing from the loving, caring persons they knew all their lives, into angry, bitter confused “creatures” who may not even remember who they are or those who are grieving over their approaching death. As a cancer survivor starting her third year after diagnosis, I want to apologize for the pain and suffering we may inflict on others.
It’s the nature of cancer not to be predictable as to its ravaging of biological entities. And cancer’s survival in the body is enabled by its ability to fool the immune system into dropping its guard by masquerading as T-cells, as well as by changing its biology so that chemotherapy drugs won’t kill it. Cancer cells are DNA-replication miscodings that scavenger cells from the immune system didn’t destroy.
Despite recent oncological research, cancer is still a death sentence, if it is not dealt with in a timely manner. After diagnosis, each one of us must educate ourselves about our cancers so that we can provide informed medical consent about treatment and not just rubber-stamp what the medical staff want to do.
Note: I am not a doctor or any kind of medical professional. The cancer tumor in my stomach was massive and I was bleeding to death because of it. My medically-informed judgement at the time of diagnosis (2016) was to refuse further medical treatment, except for palliative care. I do not regret that decision.