Cancer in green

As a medical practitioner I have come across many absorbing encounters. Once a loving daughter approached me and opened her heart. She said she had been the only one taking care of her mother ever since her mother was diagnosed with cancer. She fed her, gave her baths, changed her clothes and they slept together in the same bed. Trying to figure out what her concern was, I politely asked what it was that was troubling her. She again repeated that she was the only one taking care of her mother in ways she mentioned earlier. She repeated this many times before I asked her respectfully, “Do you fear that you might get cancer while taking care of your mother?” With a hesitant voice, she said, “Yes”. I was glad that I could gather the courage to ask her the question as I got the opportunity to clear her perception. I felt she left with a much lighter heart after our conversation but left me with a heavier mind, for such misconceptions exists.

Cancer patients and their families break into tears while sharing their feelings on how they felt when they received the news of their loved one diagnosed with cancer for the first time. How they lost the power to think and rationalize.

One recently married couple went abroad bearing a heavy financial load as the wife was diagnosed with cancer, although the condition was easily manageable in Nepal. Upon inquiring, the husband told how his close family members and so called well wishers came to him and suggested he leave his wife. Fearing society he decided to seek treatment abroad.

Likewise, in the many awareness and interaction programs that are conducted the question raised is, “How would you feel if someone close to you is diagnosed with cancer?” Amongst the answers we received the majority replied, “I would feel pity” even if they had very limited knowledge on what cancer really is.

Cancer is most often looked upon with fear, as a dangerous entity that, some believe, doesn’t have any answer and cancer patients along with their families are seen with pity rather than admiring them for the courage that they together display.

So, is this the only way that cancer and cancer patients viewed? Is this how cancer should be associated with – fear and pity?

We should say no and propose to see cancer in green, the color of life and a new state of balance. We have many ways to combat cancer.