Cancer, be not proud


I can neither understand, nor accept that it is divine will that a disease was designed to kill its host and itself in the process, other than to surmise that if it is God’s will, he/she/it is neither the omnipotent nor benevolent being we were taught to love/fear in organized religion. And, further, that the process under which the individual must ultimately perish (and their family/friends give comfort and assistance) is neither compassionate nor illuminating. However, if you believe in a paradisiacal hereafter, I offer this twist on John Donne’s Holy Sonnet 10 where I substitute “cancer” for “death” and piss on its grave.

Cancer, be not proud, though some have called you

Mighty and dreadful, for you are not so;

For those whom you think you can overthrow

Die not, poor Cancer, nor yet can you kill me, too.

I cannot understand your suicidal need,

To grow without boundaries and murder your host

When to do so causes your own harm the most

Like a terminal drought caused by a nefarious weed.

You are a slave to enzymes, proteins, and desperate DNA,

And must with poison, war, and evil dwell,

And a warm embrace or gentle music can make us sleep as well

And better than your sting; why do you brag then?

One short sleep past, we wake eternally,

And cancer shall be no more; Cancer, you shall die.

In short, Fuck You, Cancer.