Cancer can be an isolating experience. No two cases are the same, but Rodney Hardcastle’s own experience has inspired him to craft an essay exploring the ways in which the cancer is synonymous with terrorism on the body.
In his preface, he explains how, “I’ve heard it said many times that terrorism is like a cancer. It is evil, insidious, destructive, completely changes the way of life for the residents of the affected land, and if left unchecked, it will take over and destroy life as it is known in that land. So, I thought if terrorism is like a cancer, then cancer is like terrorism.’”
Through this metaphor, Rodney is able to use his personal experiences to portray cancer in a way that is accessible to countless individuals, whether they have their own experiences with this horrible disease or not.
He takes the reader by the hand and guides him or her through his personal ups and downs. Set in ‘Rodneyville’ his narrative follows the mayor as his typically peaceful town is unexpectedly bombarded with terrorists – ruthless, aggressive, and sneaky insurgents. “At the beginning of this battle, the mayor and his wife were in shock and disbelief that terrorism could infiltrate their town,” he writes in his story. He describes his cancer saying, “these terrorists were of the very aggressive kind, extremely rare and of the very high risk type.” There was no time to waste. He had to protect his town and fight back immediately.
“The first course of action was to try to cut off the supply line of food and energy to the terrorists via androgen deprivation with FIRMAGON®, also known as chemical castration, and then a quick surgical strike took place.” Rodney is very honest and open about the difficulties and setbacks he experienced each step of the way. “The surgical strike was very hard on the town since important systems such as utilities had to be interrupted and even removed. Healing took time, and as soon as enough healing took place, the next phase of the war needed to be implemented with all due haste.”
Rodney’s metaphor effectively conveys the ways in which the insurgents fight back against all the weaponry Rodney and his team throw their way. He also details how such weaponry is not only detrimental for the terrorists, but also for him. So, he sets out to find an additional, more natural, way to help his body fight. With so much information on the internet, he had to research diligently, sifting between genuine and pseudo-science articles. He and his wife decided to build a vegetable garden, where they can grow vegetables full of vitamins and enzymes.
This story was not only an exploration of the metaphoric parallelism between cancer and terrorism, but also allows Rodney to reflect on all he has learned from his battle. He explains how, “Contrary to logic, surprisingly, this uprising has provided many benefits to the mayor. It caused him to realize the extraordinary blessings of his incredibly supportive and loving family, fantastic friends who provided their support, and the extraordinary beauty of the domain surrounding the town he has had the privilege of governing.” His story also allows readers to feel a connection, either because they are fighting their own battles against terrorists, or they know someone who is and can now better understand what they might be going through.
The mayor of Rodneyville leaves readers with advice, offering a sense of optimism. “His advice is to live each day to its fullest, as if it were the last.”