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Does cancer always kill ?

Updated on August 15, 2011

prisoners of war and cancer

"Oh , alright sis. Let's say i'd really prefer to die , a very old man, killed by a jealous lover.ha ha.."Somehow I couldn't laugh at my brothers' previous comment, so he was trying to lighten the atmosphere. What he had said moments before was our family were quite lucky, because many people wonder how they will die but in our family we know it will be cancer it's just a matter of which kind..

I had to forgive my brother his warped sense of humour because it's definitely inherited from our dad.........

Only 5 weeks before dad died he was lying there looking Up at me in obvious pain despite the drugs that had been given him and he said "at last, I'm the one who's in fashion. I'm the trendy one now. Al the teenagers are walking around looking like this aren't they? I knew he was thinking of the baggy trouser fashion but I couldn't laugh at his clothes loosely hanging over his tiny frame. So, so, much weight, he had lost.........But this odd sense of humour had probably been the thing to keep my dad going all his life. Born in 1929 right on time to be a child during the depression. Then at 10 years old seeing 2 of his older brothers go overseas to war. World war 2 had begun. During that 1939-1945 war both of dads' parents died. His father when dad was 13 and his mother less than a year later. Bombs still dropping on the big cities of Britain.

His eldest sister Kate, was 18 years older than my dad , already married with a son of her own . She took care of him but only until school leaving age, which then in Britain was 15. No parents, no money for college, yet I never heard him complain. He only ever showed gratitude that he'd had a big sister that loved him and was sad to see him leave home at 15 yrs of age to go looking for work in the city..Hundreds of miles away. Even during wartime there was no work in his small hometown for 15 yr olds, so he packed his bags and whistled his way to work in the city.. His greatest pain was the telegram that arrived from the war office a few days before he was due to leave. One of his brothers had been taken prisoner by the Japanese. He hated the thought of his brother thousands of miles away from home in a torturous prisoner of war camp.............................................Then..................Hiroshima..............Nagasaki.............

These were people being killed, people like any of the bombed out Londerners during the Blitz by the German Army... those men, women and children , casualties of the Atom bomb were not my uncles torturers.. They were families like the ones in London who slept in the underground railway stations as best they  could , then dragged themselves up to the daylight to see if their home was still standing or not. mostly they were not

My dads' brother survived his P.O.W. camp, He came home all skin and bone and very silent..but........ALIVE!.. It was many, many, years before bone-cancer took the life of my dear, silent uncle.

Cancer seemed to be an unspoken word back then,. The quietly, whispered 'c' as though saying the word out loud would make it too 'real'. Well it IS real

My dad, lying there 67yrs of age, not so old, yet knowing the end can't be more than a few weeks away, tries to keep cheerful just like his sister before him who had succumbed to the same thing . .Stomach cancer. Another of his brothers fought off the demon killer lung cancer for as long as he could but the demon won. Another sister of dad' large family had good treatment for breast cancer. Yes, she needed a mastectomy but recovered well. Joy of joys for these brothers and sisters who all were dropping like flies.,but it re-curred. She's gone.

One more sister, the tiny one 4ft 11ins, with a huge heart but the smoker of he family. "O Aunty please, we're finding out more now. Those things are really bad for you"The coughing gets worse, it's too late, she's gone.

I slowly begin to understand my brothers' glib comment about taking it for granted that we'll both get some form of cancer.. I can't be angry with him now as I realise he wasn't only thinking of all our dads' family that I've mentioned here, he was thinking of our beautiful mum taken from us when we were so little by ., Leukemia..., Then both of her brothers ,although years later cancer of the throat. One after the other.

"It's obvious " he'd Laughed "its only a matter  of which kind we'll get"" He'd laughed. I shudder.....................

Every fundraiser, every nurse, doctor, every surgeon, every scientist Anyone involved in cancer research or treatment are each of them worth their weight in gold to me.One Day, (I think), One Day, the curse of cancer will be gone.

My husband has no such optimism. "cancer doesn't take prisoners" he says "it kills.. No P.O.W camps for cancer patients , no return from the fight. at least not for long"......

I forgive his negative attitude because I know who he is thinking of. Not all my family, or even the many friends we've lost before they've age 30. No. He's thinking of a short, 1st marriage he had long before he met me. There was a daughter and now that daughter has a 2 yr old with a tumour on her liver......He's thinking of his tiny granddaughter going under the knife to have the tumour removed. I gently remind him that it's done. She had that operation more than a year ago and she looks wonderful. She's a little 3 yr old fighter playing at home when she doesn't have to be staying in hospital for treatment and rest... I try to make him see that she could signify a new generation of hope. All the cancer research is not being wasted. Treatments are improving. Early detection his having an enormous effect on some types of cancer.

Sadly, my husband has a mental block about this ghastly disease. He honestly believes that 'remmission' is just for a short while. He believes cancer does not take prisoners.

Well, I beg to differ, and have I not had just a modicum of experience with cancer.?

Cancer does take prisoner, sadly the prison is often the grave. The grave is their prison.But BELIEVE! Jesus Christ used 4 words. "Lazarus, come on out!" Lazarus was released from his prison, the grave after 4 days. One day Christ will call to the prisons again thousands of names, "come on out!' Believe. One day those prison gates will open and thousands will walk out. Believe and hope. Look to the incredible music of Handels' Messiah "o Death, o death, where is thy sting,? o death . Where is thy victory?. Death will not win,. It's a temporary prison if only you'll believe. Believe and hope.


Submit a Comment

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    Thank you Uva, for that information. I didn't mean my hub to be depressing. I realise there is always hope and new discoveries all the time. Pleased to meet you on hubpages

  • Uva profile image

    Uva Be Dolezal 

    8 years ago from Washington State, searching for home town.

    There is some hope, I think. I was in remission for 12 years. After round 2, I am again. My family also has the cancer genes, we have a BRCA1 deletion. They are starting to sort out the 1,000 s of mutations and 100s of deletions in each branch of DNA. They are starting to have better tests, to detect very early pre-cancer. breast MRI, expensive, but only test that works. My vote is for mitigating risk. Cleaning up the causes of the original damage for the next generation. You can have a mutation and/or deletion and no cancer. Also less toxic more specific focus of treatments seems to be the medical pattern.

    The other end of the stick is just as sharp and terrible as ever. I don't mean to make light. They are expecting cancer to overtake heart disease, in the ranks of causes of death. But, more people are living longer and suffering less.

    thanks for sharing

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    Sorry to hear about your aunt. Thank you for reading and commenting on my hub

  • prasetio30 profile image


    8 years ago from malang-indonesia

    I happen with my aunt. She was die by the breast cancer. Although we try to get the solution and the best medicine for her. But for the final stadium it was difficult to heal the cancer. chemotherapy a little help.

  • einron profile image


    8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

    What could I say? You are right! Both our families have this cancer gene. We are thankful that as Christians, we have hope in the future.

    God bless.


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