Sunday, August 06, 2006

Chemotherapy, Anyone?

While we keep fighting each other, Cancer is a silent lethal enemy fighting all humans from the inside, symbolizing our ability to self destruct. Today I visited a friend of mine recovering from a breast cancer surgery and although it seems the lump was completely removed, she might have to receive chemotherapy to make sure it's all clear. That "making sure" is a dangerous treatment which might harm many other systems in her body, including fertility, but that's a small prices to pay when the alternative is giving cancer the benefit of the doubt. I tried to convince her not to accept this treatment. I know people who refuse chemotherapy in much serious cases and treat themselves through alternative medicine successfully. But most people with cancer panic so much and trust doctors too much they can't take those chances, so they accept colloquial damage to the body "just in case".

Suddenly it occurred to me cancer is a brilliant metaphor for this war. Let's say Lebanon is the person, and Hezbollah is the cancer eating that person from within. When the cancer is already spread all over the body, it's pointless to start operating on each lump, the person is full of it and you can't dig a needle out of the hay. Chemotherapy gives a death strike to the whole body. The person will never be the same, but he'll survive. It seems everyone expects IDF to be the surgent in this case since other doctors are so afraid of the malpractice law suits. The U.S had too many deformed patients this year; it's IDF's turn to draw the fire.

(We can't treat a patient against his will, especially if he has learned to live with cancer in some form of denial and would rather maintain that status quo than start loosing his hair. but if that patient keeps attacking the hospital crew because of this illness, I guess it'll be forced upon him).

A person understands the sacrifice he makes when undergoing chemotherapy, but when it comes to the state level, every time the hair falls or you throw up, you blame the doctor for being a murderer and an abuser. I'm not becoming heartless at this point. I know that in the micro level killing children is more horrible than words can express, but if it wasn't done intentionally and systematically it can't be a war crime, because than every war is a crime! (I personally believe every war is indeed a crime and one day it'll be illegal to start a war under any circumstances, but I believe the world is not ready to embrace that yet. Although, the amount of war crime accusations is a good indicator we are making our way there).

I am not justifying this killing!!! It hurts me!!! People die on both sides!!! But this is war, nothing more nothing less, like western medicine is what it is with all its faults. This is how war works and this is how chemo works. Sometimes when your health is better and the cancer is not so spread and embedded in your other tissues, you can afford alternative solutions. But there are cases, like Lebanon's case, I believe, in which there's probably no choice. It doesn't seem logical we have to harm my friend's fertility in order to kill cancer in a different part of the body but this is how it works. I guess the same logic applies to the reason IAF attacks in certain places to avoid Hezbollah escape north. I don't know...

A later update:

Tonight was a lethal night. 4 rockets fell in the center of Haifa and many are dead and injured. 10 reserve army soldiers newly-drafted and ready to enter Lebanon were killed from one rocket by the border and their names weren't published yet, I'm worried for my friends who might be there. This is just getting worse and giving Israel the legitimacy it needs to strike back, probably on the back of Lebanese people again. I'm so depressed with all this death and I don’t think the war can be stopped anymore, I'm afraid the West is quite comfortable with us disarming Hezbollah, and they figuere, since everyone already hates Israel so they better take advantage of it and at least finish the job this time.

How many people have to die until our societies move beyond ideologies or pragmatic interests and realize nothing can be more important and sacred than individual life? God isn't an army lord giving orders from his pedestal in the sky. He doesn't tell the difference between us, it's us who tell those stories to ourselves for generations. Every time a person dies somewhere, a star falls, a spark of God's light goes out. What will be of us if we don’t wake up in time to save our savior?


Blogger Myrna said...

Carmel, today you made me cry. Since I had breast cancer, the metaphor is very strong for me. There is nothing more to say now. You said it perfectly, everything!

I must quote this piece on my bodaciousboomers blog over at type pad for all the people I know. Yikes you are amazing!


5:37 AM  
Blogger Carmel said...

thank you Myrna. and i will check Friedman...

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this blog is full of crazy talk, misunderstandings, incomplete knowledge (cancer, needle in hay, death sentence to the body), full of metaphores that don't work.

but in case you want to know, we , in america, are with you.

stay strong, write crazy thoughts.


1:38 AM  
Blogger Carmel said...

thank you Lena, i think that was our point. we don't pretend to know. we don't pretend it's normal. we're trying to be realistic and that kind of describes reality, isn't it? :-)

9:33 AM  

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