You may think it's impossible to kill someone when you are dead and lying in the grave, but it's possible. My aunt's parents did just that. Not directly of course, but it was just as if they put the knife to her heart. My aunt is a lady in her early 50s, leading a simple life with her kids. Retired a few years ago, she now enjoys travelling, baking and cooking. Man, are her cookies fantastic! She sure had much to live for. Many more years with her husband and kids, travelling all over world. It was time for her to enjoy life, after working hard for so many years. Unfortunately, that has all come to a sudden and unexpected stop when she was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. It started with a dry cought that lasted 6 months. She thought it was an ordinary cough, albeit a persistent one. Needless to say, a dry cough lasting 6 months is really alarming. Finally, she went to see a doctor when she couldn't take it anymore. The results were not promising, to say the least. After several urgent investigations, it was determined that she had lung cancer, most likely of the small cell variety. This kind of lung cancer is very aggressive because of its small size. It spreads extremely rapidly. In fact, in her case, it had already spread beyond the lungs, as is seen with most small cell carcinoma cases. Needless to say, prognosis is not good at all. I wouldn't further delve into it because this is not really the point of this post. As you can imagine, her life as she knew it was over. It was the beginning of an arduous series of chemotherapy which is merely palliative, not curative. My heart breaks whenever I think of her. It's not so much that cancer kills, especially lung cancer which is generally uncurable by the time it's detected. It's that her lung cancer was totally AVOIDABLE. Her type of lung cancer is strongly associated with tobacco smoking. Before the "invention" of cigarettes and other tobacco smoking products, lung cancer was a rarity. Now, it's the second cause of deaths in women in the US. Research has shown that smoking accounts for almost 90% of lung cancer cases. TBH, when you see cases of recalcitrant smokers coming in to the hospital with lung cancer, I actually think, "Man, you totally deserved that!". I do feel a little guilty (just a little!) for being so cruel, but that is exactly what it is. Smokers get lung cancer, not because it's their luck or God was unfair. They get it because they smoked their way to it. Even when they are diagnosed with lung cancer, some continue to smoke. But once, I saw an old man quit smoking ON THE SPOT after receiving the diagnosis. I thought that was pretty amazing since many smokers failed to kick the habit even after numerous tries. When I asked him about it, he said, "If you really want to quit, you can quit anytime." However, my aunt does not smoke. So, how did she get lung cancer??? Bad luck could be it. One may not smoke but one can still get lung cancer. It could have been asbestos or radon gas too. But asbestos has been banned ages ago, and the house she lived in for the last 20 years or so is asbestos-free. I don't believe Malaysia has a radon gas emission problem. So, was she just plain unlucky? When we dug deeper, we discovered that her PARENTS were chronic, heavy smokers. Since she was born until she left home, she was a chronic passive smoker. Even when she got married and lived in another home, she still went back home for "regular" doses of secondary smoke. With the strong correlation between small cell carcinoma and tobacco smoking, it looks like she was "killed" by her parents' smoking. They may have died several years ago, but the carcinogens in THEIR cigarette smoke signed my aunt's death warrant even after they were laid to rest. The moral of the story is this. I do not begrudge any smoker's right to smoke. But have a thought for others. Even if you do not care about strangers, think about your friends and family. If you want to smoke, make sure you stand a good distance away, and blow AWAY from people. At home, make ONE room the smoking room and only smoke there. Carcinogens in cigarette smoke can persist in a room for decades. If you have children, oh, for God's sake, give up smoking or go live in another house or something. Secondary smoke reduces their IQ and virility. No use sending them to expensive tuition and colleges while you smoke away their brain cells. And do have the courage to lay a little blame on yourself if they turn up sterile. Finally, if you turn up at the pearly gates and are not admitted because St. Nicholas (or the gatekeeper of heaven in your religion) says you murdered a few people, now you know how you did THAT.