Children with cancer

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freeatlast's picture
Children with cancer

Hi Guys & Gals

Right off the bat: please forgive me if I’m a little emotional right now.

I’ve been an Atheist for a long time and whenever some irritating religious human being asks me why I don’t believe I’ve always had the same answer: go swing by your nearest paedeatric oncology unit and let me know how you can even remotely justify what is going on there.

I just finished watching an incredibly interesting documentary on El Jazeerah about the incredibly successful public health system in Turkey. Part of the documentary was the story of an 11 year old girl who was diagnosed with cancer of the femur. After going through all sorts of chemo hell, something any adult will find unbearable, the decision was made to remove the tumerous femur and replace it with a prosthesis. The operation went well and initial indications were that the cancer has been removed even though she still had to get chemo, just to be safe. For as long as I live I will not forget her agonizing cries of pain and the utter hell she had to go through while recovering from the operation.

In the background was her family, her Mom and Dad doing everything humanly possible to make things better for her. Dad worked 20 hour days to provide for them and I could see the pride in him when he prepared her favorite meal on the day she came home. However, the cancer came back, she underwent chemo for a long time and finally passed away a few months after the operation.

So to the religious out there I ask: how can you worship a god that thinks it is perfectly OK to create a beautiful girl just to let her, and her family, go through all of this? I know he doesn’t exist but if he did, all I can say is fuck you, you sick fucking bastard. May you burn in hell for an eternity.

Like I said in the beginning, forgive me for being emotional but if there is any better proof that the fucker doesn’t exist I haven’t seen it.

Cheers.

Chris

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's picture
My guess is you'll find many

My guess is you'll find many folk agreeing with you; it's why they're atheists. It's why I became atheist. God doesn't heal, he doesn't do anything because god is a concept.

If you're watching a child die, I'd expect you to be "a little emotional". If you're not, than something's wrong.

When I was a Fundie, if the question was asked as to why god allows kids to die, you would get, "We can't know all of God's plans or why God allows certain things to happen. We can't understand because we don't know God's mind." And other excuses.

People are stupid. We make up excuses for all kinds of things. Religious folk will make up excuses for their god, because if they didn't, it means they don't have a God, and that terrifies them.

I give you a big hug. Never apologize for your feelings. They are genuine and yours to express. Take heart.

's picture
I was reflecting more on this

I was reflecting more on this, and want to add:

Many religious folk, not all, but many catholic/protestant denominations will use god as an excuse to not take action. Meaning, if there were no god (and there isn't), then humans have to do something to cure cancer and/or save children. Right? But to the Fundie, they think they can just sit back and pray ("the power of prayer" crap). And since others recognize (fooolishly) that their god is all powerful, other religious folk will validate in the action of praying, over actually doing something.

I've seen it over and over. They will pray for suffering children, but will they send money? No. Will they get involved politically? No. Will they put their name on ANYTHING? No way. They copout because taking action costs them too much.

I hope you're feeling better and can accept ugly things like this. Maybe it catapult you into action of some sort which will actually physically help cancer victims? It did, me. I donate to St. Jude's. I'm NOT advertising, I'm just saying that it was just a stupidly small way of helping those poor kids survive.

arakish's picture
From a book I just recently

From a book I just recently published.

If everything was intelligently designed, then answer this statement made by Stephen Fry when he was asked what he would say to God if he existed: “Bone cancer in children? What’s that about? How dare you! How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our [human’s] fault? It’s not right. It’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean–minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?”

To be wholly honest, Stephen Fry has the perfect proof with that statement that their God does not exist. Just go visit any Children’s Hospital and you shall see proof that your God does not exist. Children, young and innocent children, are suffering in the most awful pain. Their parents are praying to your God for protection of their children, for healing of their children. Some children will get better. Most, however, will succumb and die. And your only response to those that die would be, “God is mysterious.” God is mysterious? What kind of bullshit is that? No mystery at all, since it does not exist.

Why would a God who has ultimate power, ultimate knowledge, and ultimate goodness (again I still differ on the goodness) allow there to be “bone cancer” in innocent children? I have personally seen a seven–year old child in the hospital with advanced leukemia. (Why I was at the hospital is whole other story.) Sad to say, even after my wife and I anonymously donated a sum of money to her family, that child died about nine months later, just three days before her eighth birthday. Cancers to kill children? This makes your God nothing more than a filicidal maniac. A very sick, sadistic psychopath. And where did you say from whence evil comes? The answer is simple: If it does exist, your sky–faerie is the ultimate source of all evil.

Thus, your God’s Intelligent Design is not so intelligent, nor is it designed.

And I understand. Our twin daughters had a mild form of lymphoma (reason for being in hospital above, but this reason was never published). The doctors were able to completely annihilate though. In the remaining seven years, it never came back.

Unfortunately, cancer is a part of our world. We still research it. We still develop new methods for dealing with it. And to be wholly honest, I do not think there is such a thing as a "cure for cancer." Hate being so blunt, but... I think all we can do is to find methods of "treating" cancer. Sometimes those "treatments" may "cure" the cancer. For that, I am very thankful. It gave 7 more years with my daughters I may never have had. Just wished there was a "treatment" for the cancer of death...

rmfr

LogicFTW's picture
@Arakish and thread.

@Arakish and thread.
It is my understanding, with high enough resolution imaging equipment, they can find trace forms of cancer in just about anyone at any age. The trick is figuring out which are not a problem and which will shorten the lifespan of a person.

Our cancer detection and therapy in the US is so bad that for some form of cancers, (I assume this is true in many other countries but this study did not cover that.) There is no difference in life expectancy for those that do certain kinds of cancer detection test and those that do not. Now a lot of factors play into that, not the least of which, healthy people tend to not take "tests on their health as much as those that are unhealthy or diseased/prone to disease" but the problem remains that our detection and cures for many cancers are so bad that the placebo effect is frequently more effective than drugs and other methods to combat cancer.

I can try to go hunt down the link to the study if anyone wants it. Naturally, the very powerful, and profitable medical industry does try to suppress this study and others like it. (And if you think this is conspiracy theory'ish, I invite anyone to take a close hard look at the for profit medical industry.
 
 

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arakish's picture
Yeah, but they did not have

Yeah, but they did not have that sophisticated of equipment back in 1988 where we lived. That is why we had to travel to Duke Medical Children's Hospital up in Durham, NC. They found it for sure. We had to keep going there for about six months(?) for treatments, but they did eradicate it. That is when I found out about that one child. Discussed it with my wife, and we anomalously donated a sum to her parents for her treatment. Kept up with the hospital by phone to find how the girl was doing. Only THREE days before her eighth birthday. If the Christian God does exist, this just shows how psychotic and maniacally filicidal that sorry shit is. However, it is just proof that it probably does NOT exist. Bad things happen. And the only thing we can do is deal with it.

Trust me. I know.

rmfr

LogicFTW's picture
@Arakish and thread.

@Arakish and thread.

As evil as the for profit medical industry is, no one can deny just how many advancements they have made in the last 30 years. Especially in the area of many cancers, some cancers that were frequently a death sentence in the past are now curable or close to it. Truly amazing. Who did that? Scientist, not god. (Makes me quite angry when theist claim that god worked through the scientist to produce medical advancements and miracles. So many things wrong with that concept I could fill pages on it and just cover the tip of the iceberg.)

It is truly great for your child they were able to eradicate it. But to visit and get involved with another child, only to find out later that the child still unfortunately passed away. I can only imagine some form of "parents of a surviving child guilt." Why did your child make a full recovery and not that child? At the very least with your kind donation you at least made it less of a factor of funds access.

Another point that sucks: the by far largest single measurable factor that determines the average lifespan of a child being born today?

Wealth of the parents/guardian.
For every additional zero in the parents/grandparents net wealth figures, along with access to wealth, adds years to the child's potential average life span.
Not obesity, not how drug free the parents are, not even genetics, (except for a few rare extreme cases.)

The rich among us frequently live quite a bit longer than the poor, especially true for people born rich.

 
 

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arakish's picture
LogicFTW: "It is truly great

LogicFTW: "It is truly great for your child they were able to eradicate it. But to visit and get involved with another child, only to find out later that the child still unfortunately passed away. I can only imagine some form of "parents of a surviving child guilt." Why did your child make a full recovery and not that child? At the very least with your kind donation you at least made it less of a factor of funds access."

Sorry it took so long. You kind of hit a nerve on that one. And I had to think a while.

Yeah, we did feel bad about that other child dying and our daughters lived. However, when we later discussed it, my wife and I were able to see the good that was done. We did donate some money. That money had to alleviate some of the medical bills. And in that, we did help where we could. Even though in the end, the girl died, we also looked at it that we may have given enough for her parents to perhaps afford a better funeral. And in that idea we took some solace. It may not have helped to save her, but it had to have helped some. In fact, it is hard to still think about it. And you are right about the "Why did ours survive and she did not?"

And then just imagine the guilt I felt. Lone survivor guilt. And still do.

rmfr

LogicFTW's picture
@arakish

@arakish
I apologize for hitting a: I am guessing, a still raw and very painful nerve. We certainly do not need to speak further on it unless you want to.

And then just imagine the guilt I felt. Lone survivor guilt. And still do.

I can only imagine. And I know fully well that my imagination falls far short, it gives me chills just to even begin to imagine it. I do not have any kids, unless you count domestic pets (hah!) but I do know if I lost my wife suddenly, it would shatter me, even if I was in no way at fault.

 
 

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arakish's picture
http://www.atheistrepublic

LogicFTW: "I apologize for hitting a: I am guessing, a still raw and very painful nerve. We certainly do not need to speak further on it unless you want to."

No need to apologize. Yes, talking about my wife and daughters in any capacity shall always be a "raw nerve." However, as have said previously, talking about it, thinking about it while writing, will be painful, but it also helps. It is just that issue of cancer in children very rarely comes up, especially until this thread.

As said, the hardest part of what our daughters went through, was dealing with the donation that seemed to help none. However, my wife and I did discuss the issue and reconciled that it HAD to have helped, even though it seemed not to.

Life is full of horrors. How we face them and come through them is what truly defines us. When everything goes well, and there is never a bump in the road, only shows who the true weenies will be when a horrible tragedy strikes.

Excluding the horrible abuse I suffered at the hands of the church, the very first horrible tragedy I ever had was my youngest sibling (sister) was literally and completely run over by a drunk driver, literally mutilated. The funeral had to be closed casket. The first AND ONLY lesson I needed to obey the "Never drink and drive" adage. Even this is hard to think/write about. However, it is nothing compared to the loss of my wife and daughters.

So, if I say you hit a raw nerve, do not apologize. Talking/writing about it always helps even if it hurts like being in the Christian Hell.

As always, thanks for the support and listening.

rmfr

Tin-Man's picture
@Arakish

@Arakish

Hugs to you, my friend... Big hugs...

LogicFTW's picture
@Arakish

@Arakish

What Tin-Man said above.

It sure seems like you have had far, far! more then what is fair in terms of tragedy in your life.

Another example that reality does not operate on fairness, things happen and those things that happen are not bound by any sort of parameter of fairness.

The only thing we can hope to do is try to be fair to each other if we want any semblance of fairness in our lives as that is the only aspect of fairness we humans have any control over, our own actions.

 
 

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arakish's picture
LogicFTW: "It sure seems like

LogicFTW: "It sure seems like you have had far, far! more then what is fair in terms of tragedy in your life."

"Another example that reality does not operate on fairness, things happen and those things that happen are not bound by any sort of parameter of fairness."

"The only thing we can hope to do is try to be fair to each other if we want any semblance of fairness in our lives as that is the only aspect of fairness we humans have any control over, our own actions."

Ain't that the truth. Some people never have anything bad happen to them. And that can seem to be completely unfair to those who are dealt the crappy hand. But I can still be happy with my life because, if I were to truly look at it, there were actually only two great tragedies: I was abused by the church as a child at the same time my youngest sister was killed; then my family was killed some 25 years later. I may have only had 18 years with me wife and daughters, but they were the most wonderful 18 years any man could have had (biased of course). Otherwise, everything else was just a "glitch in the Matrix." My daughters lymphoma was caught so early it only took three months of actual treatments with another three months of follow ups. After those six months of going to Duke Hospital, we then only needed the once a year checkups at the local Regional Medical Center. I have seem some cases where it sometimes takes years of treatment. And even then the child still dies.

After the death of my family, it just hit me so hard, I classify it as the worst ever. Even as the suppressed memories of my childhood return, those still pale in comparison. Of course, they have had one effect. Where I was angry at religion, I am now in a murderous rage. Of course, this does not mean I am going to go out and kill religionists. Just means I have become so angry at them I only feel that they should be exterminated like the roaches they are. Especially the Religious Absolutists, of which Ken Ham is one.

rmfr

CyberLN's picture
Makes no difference how old

Makes no difference how old someone is, cancer just sucks.

Algebe's picture
@CyberLN: Makes no

@CyberLN: Makes no difference how old someone is, cancer just sucks.

The cure ain't no picnic either. My wife's going through chemo right now. We're grateful that the technology is available to detect the disease early and kill it, but the side effects are awful at times.

I can't imagine what it must be like for little kids.

's picture
Your wife is indeed a lucky

Your wife is indeed a lucky woman to have you by her side. She doesn't have to go through it alone. It's a huge relief that they got it early.

Chin up. It sucks but it does get better. I went through it alone, and all I can say is I'm grateful she has you. It does get better.

And one day, it will be over, and you'll both be the better for it. Take heart, Algebe, if they catch it early, that's half the battle. Chin up! Keep going!

Tin-Man's picture
@Freeatlast

@Freeatlast

Big hugs to you, dude. I absolutely hate seeing bad things like that happen to children. It just totally sucks, and it gets me choked up at times, too. It is perfectly okay to be upset about things like that. NEVER apologize for being human.

Cognostic's picture
@ freeatlast: "Cancer Wards!

@ freeatlast: "Cancer Wards!" I love the sentiment. The world is a frigging cruel place. My example is walking the streets of third world countries or even poverty stricken nations like Cambodia, Philippines, China, and Laos. Walking by filthy two and three year old children, pregnant mothers and old people sleeping in doorways is heartbreaking. I watched one old woman who I was sure was dying being fed a bowl of soup by a younger woman while sitting against a building on a busy street. I knew the old woman was not going to make it through the night. Her breathing was extremely labored; literally gasping for air. Her body was skin and bones. The soup did not look like it was going to help. How does a human being just walk by these people? There are so many of them that you just learn to do it. They stand outside restaurant windows and look in while you are eating. They greet you with outstretched palms when you exit convenience stores or the ATM. They are everywhere and there is no way for anyone to help them all. There is no time to spend with each and every one of them. To stop and speak for a minute or two with each one would cost hours just to get to the end of a block. And all of them need much more than a single person can provide.

Now comes the bad part. These starving beggars line up at the churches on Sundays, listen to the sermons, and dump the small coins they have begged into the basket as it is passed about. NOTHING PISSES ME OFF AS MUCH AS THE CHURCH ROBBING THESE PEOPLE AND FILLING THEIR HEADS WITH MAGICAL THINKING AND LIES WHILE DOING SO. Then after the service what does the fking Church do? It ushers everyone out of the building and out of the gates that protect the parking area. It locks its doors and locks its gates and the starving homeless hang out in front hoping for handouts to account for the loss they have suffered by the greed of the Church. NOTHING PISSES ME OFF MORE THAN THE CHURCH STEALING FROM THE STARVING.

My last trip to the Philippines saw me walking down the street where beggars flourish and sleep in doorways without eating. Babies, pregnant moms, grandmothers and the blind and deformed. As I walked along I heard Church music. I got closer and there were three neatly dressed people. All men. They were wearing clean polo shirts, neatly pressed slacks, and dress shoes. Their hair was cut, combed and neat. Two of the men stood on either side of a man who was sitting on a chair playing an acoustic electric guitar and singing church songs. The men on the outside had small purple bags that they held out to the passers by expecting donations. "ASSHOLES" They should have been buying Jollybee dinners and handing them out to the people sleeping on the sidewalk just 100 feet from where they were trying to get money.

I FKING HATE RELIGION!!!!! The only time any Church takes care of anyone poor is when they can make a profit from the venture. One bowl of rice and a good picture is worth a million dollars to a Church. Churches need to be TAXED and held countable for the money they pull in and the horrible ways they take advantage of the poor.

freeatlast's picture
Thanks for all the comments

Thanks for all the comments and interesting discussions. There is so much suffering in the world and we all find our own ways of dealing with it and helping those we can. I agree cancer sucks, no matter how old you are. I’ve lost friends and family to cancer, I’m sure all on here can say the same. The flip side is that I also know people who recovered and I am grateful for that. Cancer treatment can be successful if the disease is diagnosed early, it is just a pity the side effects are so terrible. In some ways I think it is easier for an adult to deal with that because we understand more but it is terrible for children who can’t fully understand what they are going through and how all the pain and suffering might help them in the long run.

I read an article a while ago regarding nano medicine, the idea is that the particles are very small and attach themselves only to cancerous cells. If successful it will drastically reduce the side effects of chemo because it doesn’t affect healthy cells and tissue. That, in my humble opinion, will be a step forward and imagine how much easier it will makes things for cancer patients.

Anyway, I’ve decided to become involved in a charity organization for kids with cancer. That documentary moved me and I have to do something, no matter how small it is in the bigger scheme of things.

Cheers.

Cognostic's picture
@ freeatlast: " I’ve

@ freeatlast: " I’ve decided to become involved in a charity organization for kids with cancer."

I think that's great. It sure beats those people that "PRAY" and then pat themselves on the back believing that they have actually done something constructive. "PRAYER" makes me sick. You on the other hand are to be commended for your effort.

Diotrephes's picture
freeatlast,

freeatlast,

"So to the religious out there I ask: how can you worship a god that thinks it is perfectly OK to create a beautiful girl just to let her, and her family, go through all of this? I know he doesn’t exist but if he did, all I can say is fuck you, you sick fucking bastard. May you burn in hell for an eternity."

In the old days some people explained such tragic events by putting the blame on the parents. In other words, the children inherited the sins of their parents.

In Wisdom 3:16-19 (CEB) = "16 The children of adulterers, however, will come to nothing. The seed of people who have sex with others in violation of the Law will dry up. 17 Even if they live to old age, their lives won’t amount to anything. In their old age they will have no honor. 18 If they die young, they will have no hope or comfort on Judgment Day. 19 The family line of those who don’t do what is right will come to a bad end."

Job 4:7 (CEV) = "7 No truly innocent person has ever died young."

Isaiah 65:20 (NOG) = "There will no longer be an infant who lives for only a few days or an old man who doesn’t live a long life. Whoever lives to be a hundred years old will be thought of as young. Whoever dies before he is a hundred years old will be cursed as a sinner."

I had a sister who died when she was a baby, before I was born. I've missed her my entire life.

Don't live your life based on ancient ethnocentric Middle Eastern Jewish (or Arabian) religious fairy tales. I've seen the progress that concerned people have made in conquering once fatal childhood diseases. There's a lot of work that still needs to be done and maybe someone will make major progress against the other diseases that end so many lives before they are lived. Maybe you can inspire a young person to become a medical researcher?

Sapporo's picture
If life is a test, then god

If life is a test, then god certainly fails it.

qwert1234's picture
It once again shows that it's

It once again shows how hard its to be a theist.

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