Do You Want to Die of Cancer? If Not, I Have Some Tips.

Foreword: Stay away from Monsanto and its BGH-tainted milk…and other products. They are as bad as Agent Orange.

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Part I.

-One-

Have you ever seen someone you loved dying of cancer? I have. I have a feeling some of you may have too.

Those who have seen it intimately would quickly understand what I’m talking about: the horror and pain of the disease and how this disease from hell can hurt and destroy not just the person suffering from it, but the entire circle of family and close friends. But for the person who’s going through the pain and horror and trauma, it’s indescribable.

There’s a saying in our Bengali society: “Bhagaban, shatruro jeno emon na hoy.” It means, Oh God, may even my enemies not have this.

I am writing this article not as a doctor or a scientist. I am not a medical doctor. Although I have a doctorate degree in biology from a reputable U.S. university, and some of my post-doctoral research has been in molecular biology and infectious diseases, I do not have any special expertise to write about cancer from a biologist’s point of view. Plus, I have changed my career, and moved out of science into humanities, journalism and social sciences.

I am also sincerely apologizing to them who have sick patients at home: a child or an adult, whose cancer could not have been prevented because of various reasons. Some people are more prone and genetically predisposed to cancer. I am in no way contradicting their beliefs or lifestyle choices, or raising any hopes for them. I salute them for their courageous battle.

What I am writing here is purely a layman’s story. I’m describing some facts here, and I’m going to write down some simple tips I think I can share with you about cancer based on my real-life experience.

But before I write down the tips, let me quickly describe what kind of experience I have had with cancer. I must say it’s not something one should brag about. I wish I never had this kind of experience; I hope none of you ever have it too.

My mother died of cancer when she was only forty-two. She had ovarian and uterine cancer that spread too quickly — like wildfire. We did not have the means back in those Calcutta days to have regular medical check-ups, and my mother perhaps also hid some of the symptoms and pain to save my father and us from worries, stress and doctor’s visits. Maybe, she thought it was not serious, and that the pain would slowly go away. Eventually, when doctors saw her and did surgery on her, it was already Stage IV. Metastasis had occurred (i.e., the cancer had spread throughout her body), and even after removal of her ovaries and uterus, she did not survive for more than a month or perhaps six weeks. The cancer came back, caused her unbearable pain, changed her physically too, and doctors basically gave her maximum-strength sleep medications to save her from agonizing with the pain.

My mother died when my sister was only thirteen years old. I was twenty-one turning twenty-two. I could never get over with her painful death even after so many years. For my sister, she lost her at a critical age, and it caused her lifelong social and emotional problems. My father suffered greatly too even though on the surface, he wouldn’t show it.

One week after my mother died, my uncle — eldest brother of my father — died of oral cancer. His suffering was more prolonged. He actually got it a year before my mother did, and his cancer took time to develop. Doctors initially misdiagnosed it, and the disease spread. Finally, it went out of control, and my uncle who was a flute player, lost one side of his face; there was a gaping hole on his cheek. He couldn’t speak, and was in excruciating pain. Toward the end of the disease, about a couple of months or so before he died, he was in so much physical and emotional pain that he went to commit suicide.

Then, my grandmother — my mother’s mother — died of throat cancer when I had already left India for USA. She suffered greatly too for months. I heard she couldn’t eat or drink in the final months before she passed away.

(I have also known cancer deaths of a few other people I loved and admired a great deal: another uncle — my father’s youngest brother who had special affection for me; a colleague from my first work place at a rural Bengal college where both of us were professors; and a senior friend in Albany who became like an elder brother in this land of alienation where we have no relatives at all: friends have become like relatives here. I had a mentor who taught me political organizing during the dark days of Indira Gandhi’s Emergency rule also got throat cancer; twenty years later I saw him dying in Calcutta of this horrific disease. I have seen these deaths from a distance; yet, they were also difficult to bear.)

As I said, even though there’s nothing to brag about how many cancer deaths I’ve seen in my life — closely — and how they have forever changed my attitude toward life, I must say that I have also developed some knowledge and insight about cancer and how to perhaps ward off cancer as much as possible — if possible at all. And I want to share some of that insight and knowledge with you.

Sharing my personal knowledge — from a first-hand point of view — would be my small way to contribute to the worldwide battle against the deadly disease.

Again, thousand salutes to them who are fighting back courageously against cancer — all over the world.

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-Two-

Since my childhood in India, I always heard that very soon, there would be a cure for cancer. I heard that somewhere in the United States of America, some famous scientists had built an entire research township where they were pushing hard 24/7 to come up with cancer cures. In a poor Indian family like the one where I grew up, that rumor was reassurance. That was more than enough to believe that cure for cancer was not far off.

Boy, how mighty fools we were! Nobody told us that Western scientists — U.S. scientists in particular — have not been able to come up with a SINGLE cure for ANY diseases in the past fifty or sixty years. Nobody discovered or marketed a panacea like Penicillin or small-pox vaccine for a VERY long time, even though drug industries with help from media and governments have always created and sustained an illusion and false hope — whether it’s about cancer, AIDS or Alzheimer’s. At the same time, these powerful, now-global institutions have actively rejected thousands of years of scientific knowledge and lifestyle choices from the Old World: India, Africa, Japan or China.

Therefore, the real, believable rumor for me now has been that the mighty, well-financed, powerful medical research industry WOULD NOT want to come up with any more cures for deadly diseases — for obvious sale and profit reasons. Cures would cut long-term profit.

Genetics, Molecular Biology: Use Pro-actively.

I’d save that political discussion for later.

But, because the fact remains that “modern” Western science has not been able to produce any cure for cancer, and more people are dying of cancer worldwide than ever before, and signs and predictions are that cancer deaths will rise rapidly in the coming decades, I believe it’s about time we approached the disease from a totally different point of view — going completely against the dictates of a rat-race-variety Western lifestyle and the powerful medical science industry.

We shall go the pro-active way as opposed to the re-active way. That means, we shall change our lifestyle so that cancer cannot penetrate us and take us over. We shall live the way civilizations lived peacefully and prospered before the re-active, profit-driven variety of Western medical industry and multinational drug czars and insurance giants took our lives over, once and for all.

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-Three-

So, here’s my simple, three-point pro-active lifestyle-change tips, based on what I have seen in my own life.

(1) The first and foremost lifestyle change is: REDUCE STRESS AND ANXIETY. (Catch phrase to remember: SLOW IS GOOD).

(2) The second-most important lifestyle change is: EAT AND DRINK RIGHT. (Catch phrase to remember: LESS IS MORE). Here in the U.S., they say: “Eat one size smaller.” Plus, avoid junk food — like McDonald’s, KFC or Pizza Hut. Avoid drinking milk that has artificial hormones in it: such as Monsanto’s BGH.

(3) And the third advice, however generic, is: DO NOT DO ANYTHING YOU’RE GOING TO REGRET LATER. (Catch phrase to remember: LOVE YOUR LIFE).

(3a) — An emphasis of #3 above: LOVE YOUR LIFE. (Catch phrase to remember: YOUR LIFE).

Let me explain these three easy tips — one at a time. Stay with me for the next few minutes. Okay? Please?

But obviously, its easier said that done: reduce stress and anxiety. You’d say: yeah, right! How would you do it? In this West-inflicted, East-copied rat race where even the naive, half-asleep country farmer is being forced to overnight sell his farmland to a giant automotive, media or I.T. industry, where Monsanto is forcing Indian farmers to commit suicide by numbers unheard-of in human history, GE has polluted an entire river in USA, and where urban middle-class man with a private-sector job or small business is finding less and less time to spend with his loving wife and children (and in the Old World, aging parents) because he’s spending more time at work, on the road and away from home (and can’t even find free time on the weekend) — where is the time to rewind, to get rid of all the anxieties and stress?

The new world order controlled and run by power at the top of the food pyramid is demanding more of your time — more of your life. They order, “Work harder, meet our production goals, or we’ll make your life miserable!” Problem is, it’s already miserable. Problem is, we’re already working harder — FOR THEM. We shall never be able to meet their production goals.

It’s not easy to discuss it all in one article. Plus, I do not have all the answers. I am writing this piece to tell you what social, economic and emotional situations the people I saw up close dying of cancer went through, so that the prevention (note that I’m not using the word remedy, because of its reactive nature) is possible and can be worked out. Regardless of what excuses or real, serious predicaments you have, won’t you try to live differently before it is too late?

Don’t you want to spend some precious time with the people you love the most, before this life ends?

I’m sure you have thought about changing your lifestyle many times over. WELL, BROTHERS AND SISTERS, DO IT NOW!

(I promise to write more on it. Please come back. Let me know your thoughts.)

Sincerely Writing,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

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Holistic Approach. Pro-active Approach.

Nightmare on Boyhood Street

A special note: I’d like to take a moment to thank all the readers especially those who read it from places I otherwise have no way to reach. It is a matter of great comfort that this post was read in countries — other than India, USA, Canada and U.K. — such as Austria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Spain and Thailand (and some more). I believe the cruelty and violence I described in this blog is global, and there is enough reason to believe that we are trying to find solidarity here — to stop this brutality. Thank you, readers. I hope you take a moment to share it with others. -Partha

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Nightmare on Boyhood Street

Today, I remember a day from my school life. I was thirteen at that time – an eighth grader. It was Calcutta, India. It was perhaps a late summer day.

Calcutta’s name has now changed to Kolkata. Bombay has changed to Mumbai. Madras is now Chennai. A lot has changed in India since then…a lot…especially with the invasion of new shopping malls, MTV, McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut.

Has child abuse changed in India? If your answer is yes, show me how. Give me some examples. If your answer is no, tell me why not.

Here is a real story from a real life.


Bang, bang, bang…

Punch, punch…

Whack, whack, blow…

Slap, slap, kick, thud…

A stout, muscular man in his forties held a young boy by the hair. He held him down with one hand. With his other hand, he beat up the boy mercilessly. He beat him up continuously. He punched him on his head and upper body. He slapped him fiercely, repeatedly, on his tender cheeks. He pulled his hair so hard that the boy was almost airborne. He pulled his earlobes so strongly that they were blood red. The slaps made reddish pink finger marks on his cheeks.

Along with the beating, the man groaned, ground his teeth, and grunted, “Huh, huh, huh…”

The boy took the abuse…the horrible beating. But he did not fight back. And he did not cry out, or ask for mercy. He did not ask him to stop. He did not show any visible sign of pain.

That made the man even angrier. He became more violent. He forced the boy to sit in an animal position, with his palms and knees touching the floor. The man then climbed up on him, and started to hit his back with his bent elbow. He also kicked him…or did he?

The violence went on for nearly ten, fifteen, twenty minutes…maybe, half an hour. The man lost his sense of time. The boy did too. He was nearly unconscious at this point.

The entire episode happened in a classroom. It happened in front of some forty or fifty frozen, traumatized, eighth-grade students. They watched it with horror;  some covered their faces. A few of them fell sick. Another boy urinated in his pants. One of their teachers was doing this to one of their classmates: they couldn’t believe their eyes! But none of them stood up or said a word against the barbarism. They watched it in complete silence…for the entire time.

Ashu Kar, a teacher in our famous, 150-year-old, missionary Scottish Church Collegiate School, was famous for his bad temper. There were a few other teachers who were even more notorious than him. They were never known for their quality of teaching or love for the students; they were only known for their dexterity to mercilessly, violently beat the kids.

But luckily, these men would not teach us, some of the best students. Back then, Scottish had merit-based promotion; they would always place us in Section A because we topped in the final exam. The abusive teachers would not take our classes. We were privileged to get some of the phenomenal educators of Calcutta whose presence in the classroom was like a gentle breeze coming off the ocean. Shyamadas Mukherjee of Mathematics, Bijan Goswami and Amiya Roy of Bengali, Rev. Santosh Biswas and Sudhendu Deuri of English, Nitya Sengupta of Chemistry, and Tarun Datta of Biology. Then, there was our famous headmaster A. R. Roy, known for his personality and poise. They were great teachers. We learned from them as eagerly and as fast as blotting paper would soak up water or ink – through every possible capillary of our young, inquisitive minds. We’d look forward to their classes.

The horrible hangmen would get the poor, “backward” students in Section C, D or E. We’d often hear horror stories from them. Even in elementary school, in fourth grade, there was severe student abuse. And I’m not even talking about the verbal abuse that was commonplace: teachers would make personal, intrusive, insulting, snide, negative remarks, constantly on a daily basis, to students that did not do well in tests or failed to turn in the homework; particularly, students who came from underprivileged families. Indian boys and girls were used to verbal abuse. At home, they got it from their fathers, uncles or neighbors. At school, they got it from teachers. The verbal insult and undermining would dash their self-esteem once and for all.

Now I’m talking about the more serious, inhumane, physical abuse. We the “good” boys from Section A came to know about them in middle school, since maybe, when we were in sixth or seventh grade.

Police beating a child

There were two men named Mr. Jana and Mr. Dafadar who took Section E classes only: boys who did the poorest in last year’s finals. They brought in class their own special teaching methods and tools. Every day, they’d enter the classroom, and before doing anything else, call out some students they decided the worst backbenchers. They’d line them up outside the classroom facing against the wall, with their arms all the way up, the length of the arm touching the wall, as if cops doing a shakedown on them. I’m convinced these teachers were cops or military men before they became teachers; they did it to their sixth, seventh or eighth-grade students exactly the way cops did it to suspected, frisked criminals. Or, in case of today’s India or USA, anyone the cops or military might suspect to be trouble makers.

Jana and Dafadar – I don’t remember which one was more dangerous – would then return to classroom, take attendance for the remaining students, give them some meaningless work to do – maybe, a bunch of arithmetic or English grammar problems from the textbook without showing them how to do it, and return to their “favorite” students waiting outside. Now, they’d stick out their personal, two-feet-long, wooden ruler scale or a long, bent cane, and spank the students real hard until they all cried out in pain. Some diehards would not budge; some of the kids were so used to it that they’d look the other way, and chuckle while the bad cops kept beating the others. If they’re lucky, they’re spared. If Jana and Dafadar caught them chuckling, they’d have some more special treat that day.

Some E or D students regularly cut classes. They also nicknamed the abusive teachers: Jana and Dafadar were called Jharudar or something, meaning the sweeper; alternately, it could mean the one who beats badly.

That was them. Then there was our Ashu Kar. In between, there were some more child molesters – big or small.

Why do people get so violent? Why are some people so cruel? What pleasure do some big, powerful men get out of beating young boys or girls who can’t resist or fight back?

Sigh…tears…sigh…tears…sigh…

Sincerely Writing,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

Owner beating child worker at a textile factory

Our Children’s 9/11

Children's Tribute to 9/11 (Trinity Church, St. Paul's Chapel, NYC)

We went from school to school, and community to community here in New York and New Jersey, and we collected real-life stories written by our children. These are their 9/11 stories. These are their 9/11 world.

To these children, to you, I owe thousand apologies that in spite of many tries, my co-workers and I could not find a publisher willing to publish your stories. But I did not forget you, and I did not forget the way you opened your hearts and minds to us.

I’m now posting some of these stories here. Hope the world will notice this time.

 

Sincerely Writing,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

Advocacy work at: (1) New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE); (2) New Jersey Immigration Policy Network.

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I am 15 years old.  My name is Sheika Jones and my favorite color is blue.  I love to sing and listen to music.  I write poems on my spare time. I have a best friend name Fantasia and she means the world to me.  I want to be a singer or a nurse wehn I get older, or a teacher so I can teach kids about different cultures.  I am a  business person.  I like to wear a lot of jewelry. I am jamacian, puerto Rican, Indian, and Black. I am a spick but I also deserve to get treated with respect.

To be an immigrant is like you escaping from another country and to another or to just not be from your own country.  It hasn’t changes since 9/11 because people still treat others the same way.  I think it should have changed America, should have came together instead of separate.  Certain people do act different towards me now, but I don’t pay them no mind.

Sheika Jones

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I WILL BE MISSING YOU

You were so full of life, always smiling and carefree.

Life loved you being a part of it,

And I loved you being a part of me.

You could make anyone laugh,

If they were having a bad day.

No matter how sad I was you could take the hurt away.

Nothing could ever stop you,

Or even make you fall.

You were ready to take on the world, ready to do it all.

But God decided he needed you,

So from this world you left.

But you took a piece of all of us; our hearts are what you kept.

Your seat is now empty, and it’s hard not to see your face.

But please always know this.  No one will ever take your place.

ou left without a warning,

Not even saying good0bye.

And I can’t seem to stop,

Asking the question why.

Nothing will ever be the same,

The halls are empty without your laughter.

But I know you’re up in heaven,

Watching over us and looking after.

i didn’t see this coming,

It hit me by surprise.

And when you left this world,

A small part of us died.

Your smile could brighten anyone’s day,

No matter what they were going through.
And i know everyday for the rest of my life,

I will be missing you.

Stephanie Figueroa

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Twin Towers
With the one-year anniversary of Sept. 11, I find I have a lot to look back on. I remember the night my friends and I decided not to   dress up for the New Comers High School Senior Prom.  Instead, my friends and I decided to crash the formal party held at the World Trade Center in street clothes, causing all kinds of trouble.  Unfortunately, no kids after the year 2000 would be allowed to have a prom there.
I remember Sharif, nicknamed Bunty, one of the older players on my high school football team, was looking up to by everyone in my lowly sophomore and junior years.  I was shocked by the news that he too died in the attacks.  Walking two kids to the Sept. 11 memorial that we have on our school grounds, I forze when I saw his picture, surrounded by roses and other mementos. Instead of shedding tears, all I could do was remember the funny moments that secretly endeared him to me.

That is what Sept. 11 has meant to me and a lot of my friends back home.  It should serve as a reminder of the good times we have with the people we care about, just as much as it serves as a time of mourning.  Sept. 11 is more than merely wearing a glum face and crying for those people who passed away.  And damn us all if it ever turns into another commercial holiday. Sept. 11 is about love.

Love is the driving force that seems to push everyone in these times and it is what should push us as we remember those whose lives were lost in the attacks.  We have love for our fellow man so we fight to rescue him or her from a burning, collapsing building.  The love we have for the people who died drives us to memorialize them on the anniversary of one of our most tragic days.  The people who knew them and loved them most, did so regardless of their faults and always will.

Some of the people who were killed that day were loving, laughing, jolly people who would hate to see their loved ones in sadness or despair. So as you remember, please try not to upset yourself too much.  The grief should be understood by everyone.
I recall coming home to New York after Christmas break.  My cousin and I would look at the thin lines that ran down the Wold Trade Center and ponder about the hundreds of thousands of people in them, hustling and bustling, doing what all New Yorkers do.
The Twin Towers were so tall, but never in an ominous way.  To me, they seemed to be a beacon, a huge road sign saying, “Welcome to New York City.  This is your home and it always will be.”

I almost walked right past the site because I was so used to having the Twin Towers mark where I was located.  I saw a small crowd of people staring at something, and then I turned to the left, I saw a vast empty wasteland I knew was the end of the New York legacy the World Trade Center helped to represent.

Maybe out west, people are used to seeing vast stretches of useless land, but to a city dweller like me, it scared me, like when your father has a heart attack right in front of you and you don’t know CPR.  Everyone around country says what happened in New York was horrible because people were killed.  This is true and I would never suggest otherwise, but there is more than just that tragedy.

My entire world was taken away from me. I rode the outside of the F train, another train leading into Manhattan, only to find I was disoriented by the loss of the greatest landmark I have ever known.  The landscape looked different. I might as well been in Seattle or some other city.  Those two building were like party of my family, like those two cousins who are brothers that spend the holidays with you.  But their undoing ws not going to break my heart.  When the towers fell, my world was altered forever.  I found hope in the strength of the people who were on the scene, helping each other to survive during and long after the 11th.
So now, as we try to move forward, what is it exactly we ware going to remember?  If you ask me, I am going to have to say I will remember raiding my prom. I ma going to remember my mother, who I love more than anything, taking time off from her job to take me to the top of the World Trade Center when I was six years old. I am going to remember the first bombing, when all of the television stations were out and all we could do was watch CBS’s airing of “The Wizard of Oz,” I am going to remember Fat.

In short, I am going to remember the good times, because they are the only things that can pull us past tragedies. On Sept. 11, I plan to laugh as much as I plan to cry.

Oscar

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3 years ago, I thought my dream was brighter than everyone else’s dream.  I thought, I could accomplish my dream so easily.  But unfortunately these days I have been living with fears.  I earnestly believe that my fear has started when the terrorist broke the World Trade Center.  That day was like some other ordinary days.  I woke up in the morning; I think it was about 8:00.  So I took the breakfast in the morning with my parents and then they left from home at 8:30.  Then I decided to turn on the television because I didn’t know what to do.  But unfortunately, in that couple of planes had attacked in the World trade Center.  At the first time I thought it was kind of movie, actually I couldn’t believe it.  After watching 30 minutes about the same topic, I finally understood that it happened..  This was one of the most horrible tragedies, I have ever seen.

About 5000 people had died in the attack.  It happened around 8:45.  This attack was absolutely unnoticeable.  I had tears in my eyes because my uncle died during the attack.  I couldn’t believe that my uncle died because I had conversation with my uncle the day before of attack.  My aunt had been crying since my uncle died.  My uncle had two children, one of them is 16 year old, and the other one is 19 years old.  Now they are getting mentally sick.  They always talk about hteir father.  They haven’t forgotten their father.  I hope they will overcome the horrible memory very soon.

I wanted to be doctor. I have lost my self-confidence because 9/11 because now I think there is not enough opportunity for Muslim people.  Well I am a Muslim.  And my first name is Mohammed.  And I have heard, some people think all the Mohamed is terrorist. But is that my mistake, my name is Mohammed. I think this kind of stereotype, I meant those people who think Mohammed is bad, and they shouldn’t judge one person with others.  But fortunately, I feel much better right now because my father have told me you shouldn’t think about it all the time.  I should move on and keep focus on your dream or aim.


Jony

________

On 9.11.01, I was in my native country.  Though I was not i the USA at that time I still can see that most horrible moment and day in front of my eyes, because I was watching the WTC falling through the media.  I was feeling like thousands of people are dying in front of me and I couldn’t do anything to save them.

However, it’s a real heart touching event to know and to see, but also its true that situation made many living Muslim people to suffer a lot.   Nowadays many people all over the world think Islam means terrorism, which is absolutely wrong.

Right now I’m living in the USA with my whole family.  But in the Sep. 11 only my two brothers were here.  I heard from them that luckily they didn’t have to face any kind of big problem during that time, but many of our relatives faced different kinds of problems like as, immigration, religious discrimination, and people’s hate.  People in the USA know that general Muslim people cannot be blamed for that terrorist attack, but still we are suffering.
Nusrat Jarin

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