Sunday, March 16, 2014

Rhetoric of Cancer

In the documentary-podcast Rhetoric of Cancer, Andrew Graystone explains how cancer changed his life. He said that for the 3 years he had cancer, he learned how to live with it, to go to bed with it, and to wake up with it. Because of this, he learned to love his body all the more, because he didn't want his body to experience more stress than what it is already experiencing. He didn't want to have a war in his body. He learned to accept it, that these bad cells were already a part of him. He also said that some people had a military style in dealing with his cancer. They were saying "you're gonna fight this thing" and the like which made him worry about it since he wasn't really the brave kind of person.

There is also an existing metaphor for cancer. Like the term "warheads", relating it to an experimental drug that targets the bad cells. Another one is "he lost his battle to cancer". It is obvious that military metaphors are what's always used for cancer. This may be problematic because some people are treating cancer as an enemy, which maybe it is, but sometimes you should know how to live alongside cancer.

Andrew Graystone, in the end, said that cancer is somehow a gift as well. It made him change his perception about it and it made his religion stronger. Of course he said that cancer and illness is a bad thing, but he said that it isn't necessarily evil. He said that it is normal in this world. There's a badness to it, but there is no wrongness to it.

This woke me up. All of my grandmother's siblings had cancer, which makes me a possible candidate as well. I've been worrying about cancer all my life, even if I don't have it. Andrew Graystone's perception about it is refreshing and for me, right. He said that you shouldn't hate or despise cancer, since it's already a part of you. You should just know how to live with it, and hope that it goes away. Your hatred won't do you any good. Look at the bright side of things, even if it is easier said than done. Try not to stress yourself to much by associating military language to cancer, but just do your best in making your body as healthy as possible. This, for me, is a good way to live with and alongside cancer.

Anna Isabelle R. Lejano

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