Cancer is tragic but the Patients are not a tragedy!

By TUNGA Christian

Earlier in life, possibly in high school before I enrolled into this medicine program. I had heard of a few cancer cases, such as my friend’s mo
m who died of breast cancer, another friend’s uncle who luckily got rid of a brain tumor and so on thus making it easy for me to confuse with other diseases. My turning point of how I looked at the disease was a few months after I enrolled into the medicine program in level one when I came across a neurosurgeon late Paul Kalanithi’s memoir, When Breathe Becomes Air [1] and how he battled stage IV lung cancer after reaching at the peak of his career as a neurosurgeon. Now to make it clear, cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues and is the leading cause of death worldwide accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020 according to the World Health Organization, WHO. Cancer is also categorized in types such as lung cancer, breast cancer, colon and so on, depending on the site of origin. But to make myself clear too, after reading Ben Carson’s Gifted Hands in high school, I was inspired and had to focus my dreams to being a neurosurgeon which is why I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Paul Kalanithi’s book. For God’s sake, this book scared the shit out of me. I drowned in my tears throughout the book because I couldn’t imagine studying and training all those years, like am doing and not be able to reap what he sowed. How unfair that is? Anyways, don’t cry too soon because the book changed my life and am going to tell you how. (more…)