Ten Commandments of Cancer
by Paul H. Klein, September 3, 1993
- Thou shalt regard the
word, "Cancer", as exactly that:, a word. Nothing more, nothing less. For its
original meaning has changed mightily over the years, as have such words as
Smallpox, TB, and Polio, all once dreaded ailments, now non-existent as maladies.
And thus shalt go thy Cancer. The answer shall come to those who shall be present
to hear it. Be present when it comes.
- Thou shalt love thy chemotherapy,
thy radiation, and thy other treatments even as thyself, for they are thy friends
and champions. Although they exact a toll for their endeavors, they are oft
most generous in the favours they bestow.
- Thou shalt participate
fully in thy recovery. Thou shalt learn all the details of thy ailment, its
diagnosis, its prognosis and its treatments. Thou shalt discuss them openly
and candidly with thy Oncologist and shalt question all thou do not comprehend.
Then, thou shalt co-operate intelligently and knowledgeably with thy doctor.
- Thou shalt regard thy
ailment as a temporary detour in thy life and shalt plan thy future as though
this detour had not occurred. Thou shalt never, at no time, no how, regard thy
temporary ailment as permanent. Thou shalt set long-term goals for thyself.
For thou WILL verily recover and thy believing so will contribute mightily to
- Thou shalt express thy
feelings candidly and openly to thy loved ones for they, too, are stricken.
Thou shalt comfort and reassure them for they, too, needest comforting and reassurance,
even as thou doest.
- Thou shalt be a comfort
to thy fellow-Cancerites, providing knowledge, encouragement, understanding
and love. Thou shalt give them hope where there may be none, for in hope lies
their salvation. And by doing so, thou providest comfort for thyself, as well.
- Thou shalt never relinquish
hope, no matter how thou may feelest at that moment, for thou knowest, in the
deep recesses of thy heart, that thy discouragement is but fleeting and that
a better day awaits thee.
- Thou shalt not regard
thy ailment as the sum total of thy life but as merely part of it. Fill your
life with other diversions, be they mundane, daring, altruistic, or merely amusing.
To fill thy life with thy ailment is to surrender to it.
- Thou shalt maintain,
at all times and in all circumstances, thy sense of humour, for laughter lightens
they heart and hastens thy recovery. This is not an easy task, sometimes seemingly
impossible, but it is a goal well worth the endeavour.
- Thou shalt have enduring
and unassailable faith, whether thy faith be in a Supreme Being, in Medical
Science, in Thy Future, in Thyself, or in Whatever. Steadfastly sustain thy
faith for it shall sustain thee.