Iam living with cancer Cancer was a disease known in ancient Egypt and its most popular treatment was to brand the sick part of the body (fortunately it’s no longer used!).
Introduction At her forties, my groandmother, who said “I got old now” never dressed in lively colours, especially in red, the 45 years she lived after then. This comprehension I continued as a third generation which had no interest with the age forties, became a part of the ground with her. Today people are living with the feeling of “immortality”. They all want immortal youth, beauty and perfection. Many people say “It’s normal to have an esthetic operation after forties” in their conversations. Noone wants to get old. At their forties women give births, continue their sexual lives, dress like young girls. Noone’s age and status are related anymore. My grandmother accepted the death as she accepted the old age. A natural and expected death. What destroyed her emotionally was my aunt’s death. She couldn’t bear it. “Allah, give the deaths in order” they say. Today’s technical accidents (traffic, plane, etc..) or suicides didn’t exist in our old culture. Suicide is a sin in our religion: “The life given by Allah, can only be taken by Allah”. Cancer, considered as century’s plague, was believed to be a contegious disease in the beginning of the 19th century. There are articles about this. Deaths whose reasons weren’t know were explained by cancer. Diagnosis is very hard at these days. Death and cancer are used in the same meaning. Today, Turkey has the old culture’s traces. The death refusing and ignoring attitude of the doctors and the patient relatives is the same as the occidental attitude. It has now been changed in America. Everyone bears their individual responsabilities. People are trying to regain their inner worlds they lost with the industrial revolution. We can’t handle anything without our inner worlds and souls. Refusing death is the modern time problem. When death is seen as natural as living, the dramatic, exaggerated and showy whinings will no longer exist. As Halikarnas Balıkçısı Cevat Şakir mentions it very well: “Death fits into life, but life doesn’t fit into death; it overflows.” Death always exists as life’s most natural part. It’s just the relation between we and death who changes. Mevlana: “With every breath the world is renewed. But we see the world so stable that we are not aware of this newness.” says in Mesnevi. Turkey is afraid of this renewing to be in every branches. So it’s getting impossible for the world to cuddle life, who can’t even accept death. Getting renewed means cuddling the world. Our life traject open its wings for the soul journey and it leads us to everywhere. Finally I’d like to add that everything I wrote and recommended is my personal experience. I wish this book in which I present you my own experience, supports your feelings. Nevval Sevindi Etiler/2001 Cancer, An Old Story Cancer was a disease known in ancient Egypt and its most popular treatment was to brand the sick part of the body (fortunately it’s no longer used!). AD 130-200, in ancient Greece, anatomist Caudius Galen made studies on cancer and described the state of being “melancholic” as the most important reason for breast cancer. At these days, diet was applied on cancer treatments. During renaissance, Andreas Vesalius (a Dutch anatomist) as taking the breast with a surgical operation and controling blood loss, lead the way of modern surgical treatments. Branding method was no longer in use. It was Dr. Le Dran who found out that breast cancer was not just partial and could jump to armpits and lymph glands. This was a revolution. It changed the beliefs about breast cancer totally. So the need of a medical treatment following the surgical treatment was found out. But finding these all out doesn’t mean that the primitif and superstitious methods were easily abandoned. People hardly change their curing cultures and beliefs. In 1800’s, after being cancer, the possibility of living ten years onwards was only 12%. In 1930 and 1950’s there had been remarkable changements in therapy. Clinic methods were improved and cancer’s states started being observed. Cancer, who is this century’s most actual and important problem, as well as being physical, is also a psychological and social problem as it remind us of fear, hopelessness, guiltiness, being abandoned and death. Beyond being a serious and chronic disease, cancer contains undefiniteness and reminds of a painful death, guiltiness, being abandoned, chaos and panic. Another disease in this state is; AIDS. Pessimist attitudes as “I’d rather die than catching cancer or AIDS” were seen in researchs made with not only patients but doctors and nurses. The way it’s taken as an emotional destruction, cancer causes a crisis on people’s psychological balance. Crisis is a period starting from healthy life to according the threat of disease and death. It takes time to accept the truth and handle it. I met a woman who was cancer and stayed in a state called “fake death” just because she didn’t want to accept the truth. After being diagnosed as cancer, she slept without eating or drinking for 6 months. In this “fake death” state. After accepting the truth, she started struggling against cancer and turned back to her normal life. In 1950’s, American doctors never told their patients the diagnosis if they were cancer. Cancer was a secret catastrophe at these years. In 1975 with an amazing invention, the mystery of cancer was solved. The researchers of the University of California found out that the normal cells became anormal by some reasons. Until that day it was unknown what caused cancer and how it occured. Genes who made cancer were discovered. It was found out that at least twelve genes could cause such an anormal enlargement. There have been a lot of progresses. Today it’s possible to detect directly the cancered cell and even its treatment but still it is not found how to prevent cancer. That’s why I think it’s important to share my cancer experience. In my opinion cancer is an individual disease. Everone has their own cancer. Because cancer occurs by different reasons and results for every person. Cancer can not be annihilated with a massive treatment method. It is necessary to build a strong relation between your psychology, lifestyle and beliefs. Cancer is not just genetic, just phychologic or physical; maybe it’s the sum of all of them. Genetic tests are made in America. The permission documents of these tests take pages. Your sister’s and mother’s blood samples are examined in this test with yours. But they want you to take some risks on the papers you sign before being tested. If it appears from the genes that you are going to be cancer, they want to ablate your breast. My sister didn’t let it happen as she has every right in this respect! Family story is also an important risk factor on breast cancer development. A gene who is detected at young age and causes tendancy to breast and ovary cancer is (BRCA1) mutation. This gene takes place in chromosome 17q 12-21. Recently by these genetic tests %85 people who tend to be breast cancer during their lives. Environmental factors are important as well. For instance; women in Japan have less tendancy to cancer than the Japan women immigrants in America, who are on the same level with American women in second generation. Eating habbits and environmental conditions are effective factors. Don’t fear the cancer but fear the fear itself! You can get over anything with courage and joy of life. Did you ever feel as if a truck hit you when you were told you were diagnosed with cancer? Or they hided it from you, you learned it by chance; first few minutes life turns upside down. You feel like a laundry in a washing machine. Up and down, continuously. Shock! Fear! Guiltiness! Anger! Dazedness! All these reactions are universal. Every cancer patient’s first attitudes.