Posted by: jeanne | June 13, 2008

i gave myself cancer

the response is always, ‘no you didn’t (fool).’ but i believe in mind over matter. i believe that words have power. i believe that god listens.

after 9/11, i was appalled that america reached for the gun instead of stopping to wonder how something like that could have happened. no introspection at all, no realization that the rest of the world hates us for a reason, nothing but the victim’s desire to destroy.

i was so depressed by that, so disheartened, so angry at stupid selfish humans, that i asked god to take me home.

and god said yes.

i heard her. there was a particular scintillation in the air, my words vibrated with power, and god’s answer had the reverberation of authority. sure.

no problem.



and so, a couple of months later, after trying to create post-9/11 paintings, after trying to make sense of the whole stupid response – killing many thousands of muslim men, women and children is okay because somebody we haven’t even identified killed 3000 americans – i began to work myself out of my suicidal depression.

and then i found a lump.

this scared the shit out of me. i stopped writing in my journal, and haven’t resumed, except in this blog. i monitored the lump. it grew and diminished with my periods, and it hurt – not all the time, but a pulsing ache that i would cup my hand around and try to send some ‘go away’ energy into.

i did not go to a doctor.

i knew that if i went to a doctor, they would confirm what i most feared, and i would be putty in their hands. i would end up doing whatever they told me to do, thankfully, and would have suffered the consequences.

how stupid, you say. doctors know what they’re doing. cancer treatment is state-of-the-art. they only want what’s best for you. you’ll be fine. trust them.

but i was keeping my eyes open. in my building, there were more than the usual numbers of cancers and strokes and other untimely deaths. everyone in the place thought the building was cursed, and ttere is a lot of evidence that they are right.

the people i knew who had cancer did radiation and chemo, like the doctors said.

they died of the radiation and chemo. one woman floated around the halls like a ghost during her year with poisons, and then had a recurrence and died because she had no immune system left to fight it with. one man had a recurrence 18 years after his first bout with cancer, and tied up all his loose ends and then shot himself because he couldn’t bear another round of chemo.

everyone i was watching for clues as to how to deal with what i had died of the treatment.

and i was listening to my little inner voice at this point.

the voice screamed ‘no’ every time i thought of what i was expected to undergo in the name of cure.

i did my research. chemo and radiation are poisons. the idea behind treating cancer with poison is that you’re betting that you kill the cancer before you kill the patient. chemo drugs damage your heart, kill your immune system – on purpose – and cause so much misery that you want to die.

which is how i got into my position in the first place.

only after i had lived with my growing and shrinking painful lump (lumps that grow and shrink are widely held to be harmless cysts, and doctors will tell you that tumors don’t tend to hurt), only after i had come to terms with my fears, only after i had reconciled myself to dying, only when i had resolved to follow the little voice instead of what ‘everybody’ wanted me to do, did i go to a doctor.

at that point, i was able to ask the proper questions because i’d been studying cancer. i was able to argue with the doctors who wanted me to be a good little patient and do what they wanted. i was able to say no to much of the treatment options they presented as not options at all but what i ‘have to’ do.

i hate having to do things for other peoples’ reasons. my little voice hates trusting people who think i’m a whack job because i’m not lining up for the poison.

the moment of truth came in an interview with a male oncologist. he spent most of an hour trying to convince me to do radiation and chemo. i kept telling him i had grave doubts. he kept not listening to me.

then he tried to tell me that he would make all of his female relations go thru chemo and radiation if they had cancer.

and i asked him, ‘what if you had it?’

and he looked confused, and said, ‘i don’t know.’

and at that point my little voice went wild.

so i refused chemo. i refused radiation. i kept my immune system. i kept my strength.

even tho i had changed my mind some time back about wanting to die, it’s a lot easier to get a wish granted from god than it is to get her to take the wish back. once i had cancer, i had to cope with it. i had to realize that i would now most likely die of cancer, and that i would most likely not live to old age. i might not see my kid grow up. i might never know my grandkid.

oh well, these are the choices you make.


  1. Thanks for the post

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