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    Alanna Mitchell quote. They are very good odds. And I know that my scientific brain believes them, if not my panic-ridden, maternal one. Those odds should have made a difference to my reaction. I should have been able to take the diagnosis calmly, intelligently, reflectively. But that would be to assign rationality to this phenomenon. The trouble with abject fear - with searing, lurid metaphor - is that it is not rational. And the myths that spring out of fear that deep are certainly not. They are the stuff of nightmares. They are tenacious

    They are very good odds. And I know that my scientific brain believes them, if not my panic-ridden, maternal one. Those odds should have made a difference to my reaction. I should have been able to take the diagnosis calmly, intelligently, reflectively. But that would be to assign rationality to this phenomenon. The trouble with abject fear - with searing, lurid metaphor - is that it is not rational. And the myths that spring out of fear that deep are certainly not. They are the stuff of nightmares. They are tenacious

    Alanna Mitchell
    Moms Typewriter
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    Alanna Mitchell quote. The point is that if you think you can pinpoint the cause, then you can fool yourself into thinking you can avert the cause. It's deeply egotistical. It's life played as a grand insurance policy. Our myth-making around cancer stems from the same impulse. Because we don't know exactly why most of it happens, we weave a makeshift wisdom around it, a false prophet, which seeps into the common story and feeds our hunger to understand why. The guilt is a byproduct, a way to assign blame and seek absolution. It's a lesser evil that the forces of randomness. And it gives us the illusion of control

    The point is that if you think you can pinpoint the cause, then you can fool yourself into thinking you can avert the cause. It's deeply egotistical. It's life played as a grand insurance policy. Our myth-making around cancer stems from the same impulse. Because we don't know exactly why most of it happens, we weave a makeshift wisdom around it, a false prophet, which seeps into the common story and feeds our hunger to understand why. The guilt is a byproduct, a way to assign blame and seek absolution. It's a lesser evil that the forces of randomness. And it gives us the illusion of control

    Alanna Mitchell
    Moms Typewriter
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    Alanna Mitchell quote. The predominant cancer metaphor is war. We fight cancer, usually valiantly. We attack tumors and try to annihilate them and bring out our arsenals to do that, and so on. It's us against cancer. This metaphor has come in for its share of criticism within the ethical, psychological and even oncological disciplines. A main concern is that when someone dies of cancer, the message that remains is that that person just hasn't fought hard enough, was not a brave enough soldier against the ultimate foe, did not really want to win.The cancer-is-war metaphor does not seem to allow space for the idea that in actual war, some soldiers die heroically for the larger good, no matter which side wins. War is death. In the cancer war, if you die, you've lost and cancer has won. The dead are responsible not just for getting cancer, but also for failing to defeat it

    The predominant cancer metaphor is war. We fight cancer, usually valiantly. We attack tumors and try to annihilate them and bring out our arsenals to do that, and so on. It's us against cancer. This metaphor has come in for its share of criticism within the ethical, psychological and even oncological disciplines. A main concern is that when someone dies of cancer, the message that remains is that that person just hasn't fought hard enough, was not a brave enough soldier against the ultimate foe, did not really want to win.The cancer-is-war metaphor does not seem to allow space for the idea that in actual war, some soldiers die heroically for the larger good, no matter which side wins. War is death. In the cancer war, if you die, you've lost and cancer has won. The dead are responsible not just for getting cancer, but also for failing to defeat it

    Alanna Mitchell
    Moms Typewriter
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    Alanna Mitchell quote. For the first time, I understood the ancients' need to find explanations for why things happen. It's a quintessential human imperative. Random is not emotionally satisfying. Therefore, lightning was the bolt from an angry god. Crop failure was punishment for failing to honor the gods with a fatted calf. The plague happened because you took the Lord's name in vain or coveted your neighbor's wife. Going to church regularly and praying could forestall illness. And on and on

    For the first time, I understood the ancients' need to find explanations for why things happen. It's a quintessential human imperative. Random is not emotionally satisfying. Therefore, lightning was the bolt from an angry god. Crop failure was punishment for failing to honor the gods with a fatted calf. The plague happened because you took the Lord's name in vain or coveted your neighbor's wife. Going to church regularly and praying could forestall illness. And on and on

    Alanna Mitchell
    Moms Typewriter
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