The myth of cancer
He/She/They just got cancer......
How many times have you heard people say this when talking about someone recently diagnosed with cancer? I've heard it a lot. A friend of mine has a sister who "just got cancer." Now, she's a good friend and a smart lady, but still she believed that her sister had suddenly woken up one morning to find her body had flipped the cancer switch.
Here's the thing. There is no switch and the body doesn't decide to make cancerous cells overnight. To help understand this let's revisit the purpose of the human body. It is to STAY ALIVE. Your body will never turn around and kill you off for no reason. It simply isn't designed to. If it absolutely has to, it may divert energy from certain areas, systems or functions, in order to keep the big guns blazing i.e. your heart, lungs, kidneys etc. This may resort in less than ideal overall function, but recognise it for what it is. An attempt to keep you alive.
We've all heard miraculous stories of human beings who've survived in impossible circumstances. People who were told they wouldn't live/walk/talk and yet somehow they did. Why? Because if there's any chance of keeping you alive, your body will take it.
When combined with your mind, your body is the most powerful tool on the planet. The difference is, your mind can work against your body. Your mind can sabotage your best efforts to succeed, prosper and even to live. But only if you let it. Your body, on the other hand, will always work with you. It will never attack its own cells without....well, without you giving it a reason.
So why do people get sick? Why do people die? Why does cancer even exist? The answer is that we give the body a reason. The body will create conditions of illness if we don't give it what it needs to function healthily. This illness shows itself as symptoms and we have a choice to listen and do some maintenance, ignore the symptoms and hope they go away, or suppress them. By suppress I mean relieve them with medication and essentially ignore them. So if you suffer from headaches for example and you pop some pills, sure the headache might disappear for a while but you haven't addressed what's actually causing the headaches. The more you suppress symptoms the deeper the illness will go and the more serious your symptoms will become. Remember the body only creates illness in response to the way we treat it.
And cancer? Well, the truth is that all our cells have the potential to become cancerous, but it's up to us whether they do or not. Now I'm sure there are readers currently screaming, "but my mother/father/aunt/uncle had cancer and so I'm more likely to get it. My response is, if there's cancer in your family you may have a higher pre-disposition. So if you don't do anything, and by that I mean look after your body, it may know how to make cancer more easily than someone else's body. However this doesn't mean it HAS TO, or WILL create cancerous cells in your body.
What I am talking about here is your POTENTIAL. Your potential to be healthy or to be ill. Your potential is also your choice. So if you have a history of disease in your family, ask yourself this question: WHAT AM I DOING ABOUT IT?
Are you living in fear waiting for it to come and get you? Do you wake every morning wondering if today's the day your body will flip the switch? (If yes please re-read from the top.) OR, are you actively engaging with your body? Are you aware of symptoms that need your attention? Are you managing your life so that it creates balance and health for your body? In short, are you giving yourself every chance of living?
If you're not then I absolutely respect your choice. It is your life to live, (or otherwise,) and that is absolutely your decision. Just don't ever fuel the myth that illness, or God forbid, cancer, is something the body springs upon you. Don't ever turn to anyone and say "It just happened" because it didn't. Your body, the very cells you are made of, will have been communicating with you for YEARS. You will have had numerous symptoms to listen to, or ignore, and many chances to make a different choice.
Let's go back to the sister of my friend. It turns out (when I asked a few pertinent questions) that she'd had a host of other symptoms for years and she wasn't a particularly positive person. Note that although I separated the mind and the body earlier, they are actually never apart. They function as one and should be treated together. So if you have the best diet in the world but you're a closet depressive, what are your chances of being happy and healthy? Or if you live your life expecting illness, or cancer, to strike, what's likely to happen? Your mind plays a huge part in your health so look after it well.
If you're not convinced. If you're in denial. Or even if you're angry about what I've written, consider this. Cancer, or any illness for that matter, is not hiding around a corner waiting to jump out and get you, it is the last resort of the best friend you will ever have, your body.