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by Susie

STOP - such a universal word - a harsh word. It has a military feel to it - a word or sign not to be disobeyed. During my life I have mostly obeyed but there have been exceptions. When I was at university in Wales in the late 60's and early 70's I embraced the word with my fellow student protestors "STOP the WAR in VIETNAM!" we shouted, "STOP the VIOLENCE!"

We staged a "sit-in" against the war in the Registrar's office. We brought sleeping bags, music, food and drink and locked ourselves inside, refusing to come out. We were yelled at and told to "STOP" the "sit-in" but instead we turned up the volume of the record player and played Cream's "I'm So Glad" and Eric Clapton's "Layla". We tried to sleep on the hard floor of the administrative building but instead talked and sang and chanted more "STOP the WAR in VIETNAM!" "STOP the VIOLENCE!"

Finally dawn came and we were tired and hungry. The university police finally lost patience and yelled "STOP this or else!

We stopped the demonstration and "sit-in" peacefully.

I wish we could use the power of "STOP" for our cancers. We may say it to ourselves over and over: "STOP this scourge", "STOP this disease", and "Stop the pain", but as yet we still await the power of science to "STOP" cancer before it stops us.

This piece was created in response to a Road Sign prompt in a cancer writing group.