Ways of Dying

Every time somebody close to me dies, I contemplate death in general and in particularr. Guess it is an age and a health thing. I will try not to sound morbid here but touches of sadness are bound to creep into my post. I was thinking that so many people I know have died of cancer. I am sure they always died of cancer but it wa not diagnosed in the same way and recorrded as such. People used to die of other diseases. In the 1800’s and in many literary works people died of consumption and in many cases the authors made the deaths sound romantic as well as tragic. It added to the tragedy if you were young and a poet. .

In fact, there can be nothing romantic about dying of lung disease. despite the fine words that might have ben used to describe it with a weeping family standing arond the bed watching and waitin for that final breath. I wondered how many people still get TB these days and Mrs Wikipeida told me that in 2018, 1.5 million people died world wide of it. It is an ancient sickness which was known as the wasting diseas, King’s Evil and Scofula and transmitted through the air from one infected person to another by coughing, sneeezing etc. What does that remind you of? Crowded housing conditions certainly added to the problem and still do in places like refugee camps.

I mention TB because it seems to me that writers often descrice a cancer death today in similar romantic terms and to my mind it simply does not deserve that. honor Too many people close to me have died of cancer and it is not romantic. One fried deid this week and I am grieving for her while another died a few weeks ago. They were both worthy women who would have contributed more to their worlds. I feel a strong sense of loss and injustice even though I know life is not fair. But it should be. Why can’t all the really rotten folk get cancer instead?

Will we read and writr novels about cancer in the same way as the 1800 writers did about the wasting disease or are we more realistic. You coud say we have too much realism with our vcurrent virus and need to have the edge taken off death. And maybe it is more comforting that way. I think that covid has done much to show how unplesant severe lung conditions can be and few of us would willingly go on a vantilator to stay alive if it were not the only option to stay alive. We endure if becase we have to.

Bac to cancer. I am really rambling this morning. I hope that by next century, cancer will be like the consumption of the 1800;s and under ccontrol. Will it be a footnote in medicl history like diabetes? Next wee, I promise more cheery writing. I have been depreessed by lots of things recently but it is hardly faair toatke it out on my poor blog readers. Did you stop redaing at the title?