Chapter IV. The Expansion

  An Autobiography of a Cancer Cell

Chapter IV. The Expansion

One of the most exciting things in life is growth and expansion. Despite being born with disadvantages it is thrilling when one makes progress in life. Every day is worth looking forward to when one has that gut feeling that life is going to be successful finally. Every day is a rosy day when slowly but inexorably one can put down the enemies. I basked in the sunshine of my new found strength and relished every day of my existence.

However, it was required to focus on my immediate needs. The primary point was surviving the dangers around me. It was necessary to focus all my energy on making my existence definite. I was full of ideas and strategies. It appeared as if I was gifted with the art of evasion. Still, I did not want to take the situation for granted. I knew that when in a powerful position one has to be more careful than when one is weak; to have the perpetual power. I was aware that, if the self-inflicted factors that weakened the enemies were to be stopped I could be destroyed immediately. I banked on the instinct that my enemies’ benefactor could not become wiser in time, and by the time the benefactor realized, it would be too late {For a cancer cell, defense cells of the body is the enemy and the benefactor is the human with a bad lifestyle. There are evidences that when tobacco use is stopped, the cancer process can be reversed, especially with an improved lifestyle. However, more is the delay lesser the chances of reversal}.

My enemies were the creatures who followed rules. However pathetic, they were still united. Initially, they were aware of me, intensely. Their hostility was very open. They sent messages continuously and desperately. Anyhow, they were not expected to tackle me and their rules did not permit that. There was an immediate response to their message and different types of their law enforcement agencies swooped in search of me. That is when the cat-and-mouse game began. I started changing my attire and started merging to the background ingeniously. My altered inner core not only gave me the physical power of enormous nature but also provided me with various insights of survival, automatically. Survival became second nature to me. I could sense the danger in advance and gave me enough time to evade effectively {Normal cells send signals to the brain continuously, if something is amiss in their neighbourhood. To circumvent that, cancer cells start losing their identification receptors from their body surface one by one. There is one more theory that the switch does not happen gradually but suddenly. Whatever may be mechanism, there will be a time interval of many years, when change in lifestyle can reverse or slow down the cancer formation}.

The law enforcers searched for me in vain.  They were forced to report back to the lawmakers that things were good enough. Nevertheless, they were always on the lookout for me, constantly scanning the places where I was last seen. Slowly, my enemies surrounding me became complacent as they could not clearly make out my presence. Their complaints to the authorities slowly decreased. Still I knew that danger lurked {Body’s defence mechanism never ceases to be on alert. Only in the very advanced stage of cancer does it become incompetent}.

I was alone for a very long time but I was powerful physically and mentally. It took me some years to perfect my survival and was prepared to wage psychological battles, alone, without much difficulty. Also, I had help from outside indirectly.  I was thankful to the continued carelessness of the benefactor. Law enforcers were the demoralized and confused lot even though they had not lost the sense of purpose. The irritants that were responsible for my creation had no effect on me now, yet it continued to torment my detractors. Much later in my life I could understand that, had my enemies been more intelligent, they would have evolved a method of conveying to their benefactor a need for change.

My disguise was relatively perfect now. I was confident with my invisibility since the law enforcers’ botheration waned. Moreover, my opponents continued to suffer assisted by the carelessness of the benefactor despite their absolute faith in the system. Now I could look forward to raising my family. I entered the joyous phase of establishing my family. My loneliness finally came to an end. It was my most exciting moment in life; the power giving rise to power {Cell division is a natural process. A cancer cell also inherits this ability and misuses the by multiplying even when the division is not required.} Had my neighbors known this, they never would have allowed it. All the force of the system would have come down upon me. But I achieved it quietly, silently and like a ghost.

It took time for my family to grow; a matter of several years. Despite my ability, the terrain was hostile and we proceeded carefully {After its formation, the period over which one cancer cell becoming two and two becoming four can take months or years. This is facilitated by immunity of a person declining with continued exposure to carcinogen and advancing age. In fact, the first cancer cell may appear in the body around the age of 40 and clinically become visible around the age of 60, unless it is kept in check by the body immunity. In many persons who die of natural cause, cancer may never manifest and could be detected only at autopsy. It would be a case for “living with cancer” keeping the body immunity high}. With each addition of members we became bolder, yet we did not raise alarm. I had learnt that quietness was essential for our growth because inadvertently some of my family members perished with head on encounter with the law enforcers {Many cancer cells will be killed by the Natural killer Cells of the body. If there is any change with improvement in the life style, cancer may not progress further even if no reversal happens.}

Essentially, we had no rules or control, unlike our enemies who were the personification of the convention. We never ever believed that rules were required and we always knew that it was the defence of the weak people.  We were a liberal family. As I have mentioned earlier our sole objective was unbridled fun. Gradually, we were ruthlessly incorporated. Our food was abundant around us and we had plenty of time in hand. We devoured our enemies silently and they never realized what was happening. We killed for fun and for our hunger (Fig: There are lots of similarities between few of the actions of humans in terms of uncontrolled destruction of nature and philosophy of cancer cell).

human-progress

As months went by and as my family tree grew, we needed much more than what was around us. We realized that we could no longer depend on the supply chain that was available among the “creatures”. We decided to put up our own transport system for our raw food materials. We were a very active lot, unlike the lazy creatures around. We had a voracious appetite and we worked feverishly for our growth. We required an unlimited supply of water and food. We cut the supply to the “creatures who followed rules” and diverted it to us easily. It proved that – where there is might there is away. We were the elite who could live at others expense. This made our prosperity more pleasurable. We proved that one need not earn wealth but could easily sponge it. Also, it was essential for us to become prosperous in shortest time possible, because only that would fuel our growth  {One major change that happens during the early growth of cancer is technically termed neo-vascularization. Cancer growth will “pull-in” its own blood vessel from the nearby normal blood vessels. One strategy of treatment is to target these abnormal blood supplies and shrivel the cancer growth (metronomic therapy/anti-angiogenesis therapy.}

We lead a luxurious life. We did not bother about the wastage be it water or food; because they were in abundance. We pulled the roads to our communities, as and when required. It looked disorderly and nonetheless it did not matter to us. We grew in herds and since we had no regulations we appeared to have a chaotic system, but it worked tremendously. We were a happy lot, because everything was available to us at will. We lead the attack against the “creatures that followed rules” at will and ransacked them wantonly. We simplified our lives by following the principle of easy life over back-breaking work. We found short cuts instead of the circuitous process of saving energy. “Adjustment” rather than effectiveness was our motto. The so-called sufferings of the “creatures that followed rules” mattered little to us. And, that life was very amusing and thrilling {Do we humans also think that we have unlimited supply of resources?}.

We had absolutely no problem with our wastes. We could just strew around our wastes in our colonies and the creatures would clean it. The huge waste that was generated as we grew made the creatures work more and consequently made them weaker, which in turn helped us.

Added, to that we knew we were highly adaptable. It was the life of ecstasy, existence for pleasure and resources unlimited. The “creatures that followed rules” only sent whimpers of protest. They persisted with their usual method of sending the messages of their distress, by this time, to nowhere. Yet, we meticulously took care of one point i.e. of making ourselves invisible to the creatures flagging surveillance system and gave absolutely no hint to their benefactor.

By this stage, we the powerful and mighty were preparing ourselves to live happily forever…