Thursday, December 17, 2009

Stories Untold Behind Cancer (1)

Some friends may be aware that
my dad was afflicted with colon cancer
some 8 years go.

When my dad was first diagnosed with cancer,
I was startled, angry and constantly in denial.
I couldn't understand why
my dad should be the unlucky one
and why
a loving and charitable daddy like mine
had to go through such suffering...

When dad finally passed away after 1.5 yrs of battling,
I decided to face it with courage and wisdom,
despite the pain of losing my very loved one.

-- I vowed to find out the truth about cancer.
I decided to understand the in and out of
the monsterous disease,
find a way to eliminate it
so that it will never torture or take away any more life.

Then, I started to dive deep into
the world of cancer;
attempting to learn about the disease in all perspectives:
from the cause, to the cure, to the technologies,
to the preventive measures, to the philisophies...

The process of understanding cancer
wasn't a straight line.
being a graduant from a Biotech Degree
and a Research Assistant in an academic research lab at
the National Cancer Centre of Singapore back then;
I did have some advantage in the speed of learning.

It didn't take too long (tho' still 2 solid years)  for me
to realise two Essential Hallmarks of cancer:

(I) Cancer is a systemic disease (cf topical)
 ie. it's a disease that arises from
a wholesale error of the entire bodily system,
rather than solely from a individual error of an organ/tissue.

(II) Cancer is fast-forwarded manifestation of aging
ie. it's actually a natural deterioration of the body,
except that it's happening in a relatively fast pace.
In other words, premature aging.

Bearing these two hallmarks in mind,
as anchor points,
understanding cancer is much simpler and
a lot of confusions surrounding the issues of
the causes and the cures could be easily harmonised.

More on the 2 fundamental hallmarks to come...

With metta,
Kee Yew

p/s: this series of blog on cancer is dedicated to my beloved daddy, my family and all friends who are afflicted by cancer in one way or another.

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}


  1. My late mother died of Cancer too at 63, when she was diagnosed with cancer, it was Stage 4 and the doctor estimated she got 5 more years and she refused to go for operation. My mom went through all these different phases like in denial (she did ask what she had done wrong? Since she was a Buddhist, we use past Karma to help her get over it).
    The surprise thing was she lived for another 5 years and maybe she truly believed what the doctor said - 5 years and then she left. It was at the last 6 mths - she suffered more, for the 4.5 yrs, she was very independent and spends time doing things she wanted to do - even into Buddhism and took up a Buddhism course and got stress by the exam (haha..). She even knew exactly when she was going to leave but didn't tell me, the nurse said she left in a peaceful way.
    My mother's cancer, my dad died at age 55 (Stroke/Diabetics) taught me something else, very valuable lessons in life. My grandma was diagnosed with cancer at 91 and passed away after a year, she got heart problem but it didn't kill her but cancer took her life. I believe if I go deeper into all these, there are some valuable lessons to be discovered (not so much on the illness, but something else ...)
    With such family history ( my grandma got stroke at 80+ pass away after 3 yrs), yet I am not that health conscious, or maybe I view thing differently and what happened had different effects on me.
    However, going into a more healthy lifestyle, is a good prevention measure and help to eliminate the stress on family members, society, economy and medical system ...

    cheers crystal :)

  2. Dear Crystal, thank you for the sharing!

    My dad, my uncle and my grandpa all were afflicted by cancer. So I know my brothers and I are all genetically-predisposed to cancer too.

    Perhaps because of my background, I tend to drill into the scientific aspects of it.

    I totally agree that Buddhism would be the ultimate cure. Along the years of dharma learning and practice, I am gradually discover that cancer is actually mind sickness deep down, hence a proper Buddhism teaching on how to view and handle life is vital for solving cancer from inside out :)

    That's why when I look at my father's cancer case in retrospect now, under the light of Dharma, I see the logic why he got cancer.

    Like u, I learn something else too, from father's cancer case. Something more than just sickness, medicine and healthy lifestyle.

    Hence, I somehow see my dad's incidence as a +ve legacy passed on to the family :)

  3. Whatever happened in life do have a purpose ...

    Dharma helps us to look at Cancer in a positive perspective or Cancer help us to get closer to Dharma ... :)

    cheers crystal


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