Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Little Rebel Cancer Cell

A story today in New York Times about dentist’s use of radiation. Dentistry radiation is not regulated and the levels in the new machines are higher etc. It got me thinking again about that little cancer cell. It’s that one lone cell that goes off in the wrong direction—that changes—that starts the cancer. That one “trouble-making” cell.

But what if that cell, that little guy is—however misguided—trying to save our lives? I mean, look at what we do—the chemicals we eat all day long, the medications we take all of our lives, the radiation we pour into human bodies to check for cavities and broken bones and acne. All good stuff by themselves. And all the things in our environment that have changed in 50 years. Maybe none of it is dangerous by itself—I am not a “don’t drink out of plastic bottles” girl. But what might be the collective effect?

And that one cell—Brave? Misguided? Hopeful? Says, “No” and heads for the door. “I am gonna change”, she says. And yes the door turns out to be a wall or a cliff—but the little cell says, “Enough, I’m changing.”

Can you blame her, really?

The little cell tries something new—tries growing—tries changing—and it starts a reaction that becomes cancer.

Haven’t we all done this? Had enough of the pain, the problems, the same old same old and said—“That’s it I’m trying something, anything”. We tried to go blonde when we had olive skin, or tried to lose weight using diet pills. Or we tried plastic surgery or Botox. Enough said. We have all done bad relationships, bad jobs, joined groups that turned out to be cults or just enormous wastes of time. We say, “It’s just part of growth” when we do it or our favorite nephew does it.

But the little cell that tries to change—we declare a war on her.

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