THE C WORD by Daisy Waitherero Wambua

The feeling of being shipped to a warzone yet you have never registered for combat or being compelled to join a club that has never crossed your mind to join is the kind of feeling one would get after being diagnosed with cancer. It’s a battle that chooses you unlike all other diseases that we more or less participate in choosing. When you dance in the rain thinking you are in Bollywood, you catch a cold; when you kiss every frog in the pond looking for a prince, you get herpes; when you go to KFC more than the gym, you end up on the heavier side of life (read socialite)

Spending time with senior citizens and cancer patients doesn’t vary as much as I expected. Death is spoken of so casually that you will think it’s like talking about fashion or food or Johnston Muthama’s butt. The acknowledgement that we are mortal beings is something that most of us brush off easily though we constantly say YOLO. The most horrid thing in life is seeing someone fight for the life that we so carelessly live; all we do is strip women and some politicians and let us not forget about pouring water on the speaker because apparently he is too hot for the seat and of course being vocal about our emotions in the name of activism.

Leukemia, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Melanoma, Breast Cancer, Ovarian Epithelial Cancer, Lung Cancer, Neuroblastoma and the list goes on up to over 100 types. The cases of cancer which are generally related to tobacco is 22% and 5-10% is genetics. This therefore means that we have the choice to live a healthy and happier life if we so wish. When your body gives up on you and your mind is still hopeful that maybe it will finally pick up the positivity is what keeps these patients going. The fight for a future that may never happen and avoiding a past that can’t get enough of you. The prayer and hope that the next day will be a little bit better is what keeps despair at arm’s length.

It’s politically correct to live life like you are about to die but who lives as if they will die tomorrow? We all know that tomorrow will come that is why you have secrets from here up to Tennessee, a dream to work at a strip club that vanishes as soon as you open your eyes, voices inside of your head of things you should have said or could have said, feelings that tear you apart but you would rather keep them bottled up and a tears at night from the vicious past that you keep reliving.

I certainly do not wish to die but I constantly ask myself, if I knew I am going into the afterlife tomorrow, would this be the last thing I would want to do? Staring at my laptop at 3 in the morning. But just incase, if I die young place Oreos and tropical heat tomato crisps in my casket, wear yellow and not black, bring yellow lilies not roses (I have a thing for yellow,its called Kamba blood) cry and never cry again and please no tights at my funeral (fashion faux pas). Before then, I do pray to see somebody finding the cure to cancer. I would love to ghave the honour of such a discovery but I actually fall sick when I hear medical research institute and hospital.


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