Why?

This had to be done... There aren't enough cynics around

The Color Violet

This post is part of the Chennai Bloggers Club's CBC VIBGYOR BLOG TAG where some of us will write a post on the colours of VIBGYOR each day starting 1st of September to the 7th of September.
The colour theme for today's post is   VIOLET                        

               
“Roses Are Red That Much Is True But Violets Are Purple Not Freaking Blue”
               
                Sometimes, Violet can indeed make a person blue. For an average movie goer, cancer means just one thing- death and ipso facto unrequited love. But then, a point movie makers often disregard is that the disease is not universally fatal. But sometimes, the treatment can be as painful as the ailment which brings us to the question of denying treatment. This is one such incident...

                Fever and itching can be attributed to a dozen diseases but a common cancerous denominator is Hodgkin’s disease (as long you don’t have nodes and a large spleen, you needn’t worry. yet). With a relatively favourable prognosis, the condition can be successfully tackled. Famous survivors include Alisa Kleybanova (tennis player) and Mamta Mohandas (singer/actor) and Starchild Abraham ("Wolf") Cherrix (we’ll get to that). And the ‘ribbon’ associated with raising awareness about the condition is Violet.
               
                The victims list includes the man who unearthed Tutankhamen (Howard Carter. Carter died of the disease when he was in his 60s and this is often cited to disrepute the ‘Curse of the Pharaoh’ theory. Incidentally, a type of cell found in these patients is called the ‘Mummy’ variant (of the popular Reed-Sternberg cell<the irony>). Another celebrity who the disease claimed is our own Prithiviraj Kapoor (the man behind several successful productions including Mughal-e-azam, Alam Ara).

                The treatment includes a variety of chemotherapeutic agents which can be distressing, but it is indeed a reasonable price to pay given the high cure rates (85-90%) and longevity. There are fears of secondary cancers and adverse effects on other parts, including the Cardiovascular and Endocrine systems. Recent work has been directed at minimising such unintended troubles.

                Cherrix was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s and underwent initial chemotherapy when he was 15. When told that he needed further treatment, he decided that it was too much trouble and with the consenting age set at 14, he had the right to and hence refused further conventional treatment and opted for ‘natural healing’ (Hoxsey Therapy) in Mexico. His parents sided with him and were taken to court for negligence by the Social Services!

                After the lower court found them guilty, the verdict was reversed ensuring he would receive treatment from a board certified radiation oncologist with interest in alternate cancer therapy. His treatment then included low-dose radiation therapy as well as a sugar-free, wheat free, organic food diet, and various vitamins, aimed at increasing his immune system's activity. In June 2008, Cherrix celebrated his 18th birthday and the completion of his requirement to report his medical condition to the courts.

                This brought the Abraham’s law, which that increased the rights of patients aged 14 to 17 in Virginia to refuse medical treatment. The disease again hogged the courtroom’s attention when a mother-belonging to a band of natural healers,-fled with her son, meaning he, despite wanting "rudimentary understanding at best" of his condition, was denied treatment. After court’s intervention, the thirteen year old boy received his treatment and as of now, appears to have been cured of the affliction.

                On January 2013, Cherrix’s cancer returned. We have nothing but prayers to offer for him.

***


4 comments:

Karen Xavier said...

Sad...
Have you read the 'Emperor of Maladies' by Siddhartha Mukherjee...

Sai Sriram said...

Nope... Know it got Pulitzer, and that kept me away from it...thanks to the 'white tiger'...

Karen Xavier said...

Hehe... so that also was boring huh. I started reading Emperor of Maladies eight months back... still haven't completed it. It is nice in some parts, but mostly it drags... it's about the biography of Cancer. Will give White Tiger, a wide berth too...

Sai Sriram said...

We might get an interesting, less accurate biography of cancer if someone published parts of my pathology test papers... ssabba evlo kadha eludhunen