Advancement is at the suffering of others.
There is just no way around it. That fact has stared me in the face everyday. It’s a hard pill to swallow.
Why death for life?
Jacob’s care is at the expense of millions of children before him. He too will be a data point in this slow march in medical advancements. His case will add to the march towards not just a cure, but also, an understanding of the disease itself.
I say slow, but I wish there was a better word.
It’s not slow, because slow infers constant movement, but rather the understanding of cancer comes in spurts with decades of non-movement. “Sloth like” feels more fitting. Sloths sleep for the majority of the day, and move at well “sloth speeds,” but if needed can run across a road or even swim.
That is like the march of man with cancer. Sloth like. Not because they are lazy, but because we are limited in what we can do. We are limited in what we can see. We are mere humans living in bodies, bodies capable of attacking themselves and a world that is more complex than we can understand. Things we can’t see.
And science is based on rules. Experiments and are rooted in a firm belief of “doing no harm.” Trials with controls, etc.
You can’t do experiments that can harm humans. And how can doctors prove a thesis that can’t be tested? Especially test ideas that fly in the face of “knowns.”
“Knowns” have been such a constant in my search for WHY. All these “known” statements of declaration. All the time doctors have claimed they understand cancer and work under their thesis and only their thesis. Influencing medicine around the world for a decade. To learn that it was a dead end.
But yet, they learned something. Learned it was a dead end.
Some truths have been discovered by accident or by looking right in front of us. And even those often are ignored. The founders scoffed at and laughed at by the medical community. Most only recognized after their deaths.
Barry Marshall in 1984 swallowed a bacteria to be taken seriously! He gave himself stomach tumor to prove that bacteria, not only can exist in the stomach but can become cancerous. This was considered ridiculous. Laughable. But there he was growing his own tumor!
Again, progress at the suffering of someone.
Human trials that are given shots are usually for the hopeless. The sick with no options, but to go home and die. The stories of young mothers always referenced. Women who will do anything for just one more day.
Sadly, the stories usually end in death as these women are riddled with disease, often the trail dies with them. And then years later someone tries again with the not so sick and finds a cure! This has happened more than once.
So much suffering…so much time…
Medicine is COMPLICATED. I have the UPMOST respect for those who enter this field.
You hold the world in your hands. You understand the meaning of life for every day you know its pole. You know true North as you face South with a scalpel.
And I also hold a place in my heart for the sufferers. The ones who died for us to know more. Tonight I find myself thinking of them.