Is this a cruel irony?

A few years ago, my Grandmother passed away. She died of stomach cancer. I never knew cancer could kill someone so quick; she died about 8 months after we found out she had cancer. I guess in a way I was in denial about her dying; up to that point there wasn’t any disease a family member had that didn’t get cured to some extent, why should cancer be different? The whole time I believed she would eventually recover, right up to the point when I found out she had passed away.

About a year before this happened I had taken a Biotechnology class in High School. It was probably the most rewarding and challenging thing I ever did in High School. That class was very difficult- I worked harder on that class alone than any other class that semester. In fact, I worked harder academically at that class than any other class in my life. And yet for all my hours of study and tutoring by the teacher, I left with a ‘C’ (I wasn’t in any way disappointed- the class was a blast it was just extremely difficult.)

One of the excersises we did in the class was get into groups. Each group was a biotech R&D group. We were trying to find a protein that could cure stomach cancer. I found the assignment very interesting and our group actually did extremely well after animal tests showed the effectiveness of each group’s batch.

When my grandmother passed away, I had this guilty feeling that I was working on an excersize that was to be a cure for the same disease my grandmother succumbed to. I kind of felt like perhaps there was more I could have done. Did these magic cancer-curing South American leaves really exist? I didn’t know. The one thing the teacher never mentioned was whether or not these excersises were based on actual events/research.

I feel guilty that in the ‘simulation’ of class, I was part of a group that was the closest to curing stomach cancer, and yet in real life my grandmother died of it. Perhaps that is why I did not decide to pursue the biotech career field; the fact that people are dying because I can’t come up with a cure fast enough would weigh heavily on my concience. (that and I suck at math :frowning: )

aren’t you being just a tad hard on yourself?

you’re in school, learning how to do studies, apply scientific testing procedures and protocols, evaluate results…

and you beat yourself up because you didn’t find the cure on the very first try?

honey, there isn’t a certified doctor around that has a 100% cure rate, unless he never takes on anything bigger than a bruise. i don’t know of any PROFESSIONAL researchers who’ve found the cure yet…so why would you expect yourself, as a student, to do so?

and i though i had grossly inflated expectations of what i should be doing back when i was in college…

Sounds like you might be the best type of person who might not cure it, but at least make an impact. You’ve seen it, you’ve dealt with it up close and personally, and you sound like you would bust your hump over it. You weren’t able to save your grandmother, but you may save someone else’s one day. I fully agree with Lachesis, don’t beat yourself up too hard.

Yes, it is cruel irony. But you should not feel bad for it. Just an unhappy coincidence.

If you do feel bad about not coming up with a cure, maybe another look into the biotech field would be good therapy. But if you know that you will be a poor biotech researcher, then don’t feel bad for not going into the field.

Everybody dies. If your grandma had a full & rewarding life, then don’t beat yourself up about it. You weren’t negligent in anyway.

Well, I kind of feel that if I’m unable to apply something I learned, then I messed up somewhere- I either took a half assed approach to the class, or didn’t make any personal effort to retain the knowlege I gained. Its kind of a self-induced suffering brought on by missed opportunities and personal disappointments.

The main thing school taught me is how complicated things are. For me, learning about Biotechnology taught me how insanely complicated the field is, but I’m nowhere closer to curing people’s cancer than I was before I took the class :confused: