Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cancer's an Asshole

I don't usually cuss in my titles, but considering the subject matter, I believe that's excusable. About 6 months ago, the Rabbi at my synagogue told us about a girl who had leukemia. Her family was short on funds to treat her, and he asked the community to mobilize and help fund her treatment, a very last ditch attempt. At around the same time, similar sermons were being spoken, all asking people to donate a few dollars to help A. The next day, I gave a five, as did each my (11 year old) brother, and both of my parents. I guess other families were doing this as well, because they raised enough money. A travelled to Israel, the place where the experimental treatment was being conducted, and started on the tough treatments.

About 30 minutes ago, I was called to the computer, where my mom showed me an article. A died at around 5:30 am on December 29th, Israel time. I didn't know A personally, and I didn't even know her family, yet I was crying while I read that article. The chemotherapy killed her before the cancer did, she was actually in remission.

Were my $5, and everyone else's, a waste? I'm wrestling with that question right now.

I think that the overall objective is to kick cancer's ass. Did this help?

She's dead. Her family is probably shattered. Cancer just took another innocent life, no ass-kicking there. Our money didn't save her. She was one of the first people to try out this treatment, which worked well in almost every other patient who went through it. What does that mean in terms of the research for it carrying on? What if my money spelled ruin for something that was looking promising?

Then again, the researchers probably learned more about the cancer. What kicks its ass the most effectively, and avoids kicking the ass of the patient. And science is all about trial and error, so on the large scale of things, this could be a tragedy, but not too terrible in the long run.

I almost feel like I should have prayed for her more, like I should have done something. Sent her a get well soon card or something. But I guess it's not my fault.

Cancer is kind of like this huge bonding force. I've been affected so deeply by it that when I hear of someone else who was affected by it, I just want to give them a big hug. Not that it shouldn't get a good ass-kicking.

<3 Gabi

Socks today: Pink and white striped fuzzy socks. I can't decide if it's ironic or not that they are ones to fund breast cancer research...


  1. Such a sad story, and I'm sorry for the loss of the family. :( My own grandmother died of cancer several years ago, and I understand the pain they must be going through. Cancer definitely is an asshole.

    And no, it's not your fault for her death. Don't blame yourself. You meant well, and there was nothing you could have done for her, unfortunate of me to say. You did your best by donating, and praying for her safety. There is only so much a person can do when you're dealing with something as devastating as cancer. And I am sure the money you donated went to good use though. Well, I wish you, and the family a Happy New Year.


  2. oh, I'm so sorry, this has to be hard...but know that it's not your fault, and you did your part in helping out for the best. Sometimes, there are things that are just outside of our hands, and this was sadly one of them.

  3. cancer really sucks.

    a couple of years ago, my mom had cancer. luckily, she didn't have a severely life threatening cancer. She had thyroid cancer, which was really easy to treat. (radiation treatment and she was home the same day) what was hard for her though, was she got cancer again in the same month. She also had skin cancer in a couple of different spots. What sucks for me, is that it runs in my family...


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