Tag Archives: science

AIDS for Cancer

contortionist

I saw the VICE News report on new cancer treatment recently. I have to say; some things about VICE turn me off. I believe some pieces on VICE are being “edgy” just for edginess’ sake and really have no redeeming value.  But overall, VICE News is amazing. They do wonderful journalism and are not hindered by the news media’s myopic attention on issues. I’m so glad that they’re now on HBO. While the Internet is more popular than traditional media, it helps to get the show out there on TV screens for people who don’t even know what VICE is.

I remember when I was twelve and I was reading about Taxol on LIFE Magazine and how it was the miracle drug that could wipe cancer off the planet. While many cancer patients’ lives were prolonged by Taxol, it wasn’t the miracle drug that the magazine article made it out to be. People still died from many forms of cancer. Along with the lack of a reliable cure for cancer, treatment was still expensive, and the chemicals and radiation would often harm patients just as much as the cancer would.

The use of viruses to treat cancer looks very exciting. It’s heartwarming to see the patients in the documentary basically snatched from death’s door and given new hope, even new cancer-free lives. It is a shame however that much of the research still struggles to find funding. It is a shame that so much money is being spent on other useless things instead of helping find a cure to deadly diseases. There’s so much brainpower and genius wasted on products that don’t really help humanity in comparison. I don’t care much about the new Apple watch. I care more about using the AIDS virus to kill cancer cells. How about we all pool our collective intellects and resources to solving that one problem for a year? I wonder how far we could go.

While the documentary makes me feel hopeful for the future, in many ways, it depresses me as well. What have I done with my life? How come I’m not helping cure cancer? How come I’m not putting money out there for cancer research? Maybe I should start putting my money where my mouth is. We should all be invested in this. It’ll affect us one way or another.

I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer years ago. She was misdiagnosed by a careless physician for months, and by the time they confirmed it was pancreatic cancer, she only had a few months to live. Perhaps if she had been diagnosed earlier, she might still be alive today. Or perhaps if more people cared about curing cancer…

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Healthy But Short Life

Insect

I don’t put too much stock on palm reading or any sort of fortune telling at all, but during drinks, a palm reader looked at my hands and told me that I’ll have a healthy life… a short and healthy life.

See, I haven’t been the healthiest kid growing up. I was always sick with something… a skinny, asthmatic kid. This must be the root of my weak and cowardly nature. Anyway, I’m much better now. I’m not as skinny. Heck, there are parts of me that my wife would even call fat. My body basically forgot it had asthma, and the only thing that worries me is a somewhat enlarged thyroid and a slightly high blood pressure. The thyroid’s a genetic thing, and I just have to watch it. As for my blood pressure, it’s the burgers I’ve been having on a somewhat regular basis. I’m going to have to watch that, too. I work out, I take my vitamins, and I brush my teeth religiously. Healthy life.

Too bad that according to this palm reading; it’ll probably end soon in a fatal accident.

But is a short life really any worse than a long one? I guess it depends on a person’s lifestyle, or what exactly they’re doing with that life. But really, a short life is far worse for the people the dead leave behind. I don’t think the dead ever think that their lives are far too short. At least, that’s what I assume. When I pass away and become privy to the secrets of the universe, I don’t think I’ll mourn much for my short life. I’ll mourn for the living I leave behind, but not for dead old me. I like to imagine that there are grander truths after death, and that all of this living is inconsequential compared to the “life” afterwards. It sounds very Catholic of me. At least that’s what I prefer to think. It’s Catholic, not morbid.

All this talk of life and short lives remind me of Rufus Wainwright who wrote, “Life is the longest death in California.” The song is not my favorite, but it’s my favorite line he’s ever written.

Life truly is the longest death.

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