Might Be Small

It might be small.

Sometime yesterday, my brother and I rewatched SpaceX’s first astronaut launch. Then we went on to talk about orbit, how that this unseen force called gravity holds our blue home in orbit. Do you remember the common saying? “Not being able to see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.” Well, we continued, talked about the many unseen that keep even our bodies rolling. And yeah, we eventually got to the molecular part. You know, right? These very molecules that add up into the cell that makes up the very basis of our being. And though we live each day, not paying attention to them- it takes just one of these small guys picking up a new dance to get us started on a hospital tour.

Well, the good news is, the cell has some mechanisms to either turn off or turn on these dances to ensure everyone is safe. And if things go out of hand, the cell kills itself, keeping everyone else safe in the end. But you know how the absence of a cat, brings out the raging strength of the angry mice colony. In the same way, I guess you know what happens when these cell mechanisms happen to get turned off themselves- or as the case may need, turned on, prematurely. Then we might have before us, a state of cancer.

Small, but mighty.

So, right here in our body are these small things we call nitrogenous bases. They line up to form this assembly, which we call genes. And these genes code for proteins that can help the cell grow, multiply or tell the cell to stop getting bigger, and if need be, commit suicide. Now, the arrangement of this assembly must never change. Think of soldiers on a battlefield, each with a duty. Take one of them off, and the whole game becomes different. If a base within an assembly changes, or is replaced by whatsoever means, we refer to it as a mutation. Sometimes, this mutation may lead to nothing less than victory, and everyone goes home happy. But at other times, it can lead to the opposite.

Earlier, there was the mention that some genes can help a cell grow or keep it from doing so. Among these are the Proto-oncogenes, and the Tumor Suppressor genes. The Proto-oncogenes help the cell grow up, while the Tumor Suppressor genes do the opposite. Now, these genes can mutate due to the body getting exposed to some known (mostly, unknown) substances or conditions. And when they mutate, and the mutations get accumulated, it can lead to the cells growing abnormally. It can be as a result of proto-oncogenes getting activated to oncogenes, causing abnormal cell growth. Or it can be due to the deactivation of Tumor Suppressor genes, leading to cells growing without a turn-off button. Either way, we have on our hands, a medical case of cancer.

The good doctor says we can fight these abnormally growing cells with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation depending on the part of the body they started growing from, and what stage of growth they are. You see, these cells can move from where they started from, to a new space in the body. We call this metastasis. And trust me, this case is a sad story. We’ve lost some of our folks, loved ones to these raging cells. But we have also beaten some down. We keep fighting today, our host-friends by us, separating these cells from their hosts as many times as possible. And we plan to never back down, nor give in. So we keep advising everyone to stay away from tobacco, from fats, maintain good hygiene, and shield themselves from intense rays. But in truth, we still don’t know how, or when the next riot will start within a loved one.

Still, I know this one thing. Little things do matter. And if you get that, make sure to live in today, making every second count as an infinite. And if you are a loved one having a riot within you, know that you don’t have to go through this alone. I understand it can be difficult, so should we start by talking?

“Hi, I’m Boluwatife,
And I believe in God.”

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