Cancer and ‘The X-Files’

Linda Zercoe —  February 17, 2016 — 5 Comments
Leave a Comment


As most of you may know, we are almost finished with the latest new six-episode installment of the show ‘The X-Files’. For the uninitiated, ‘The X-Files’ is about a fringe group of the FBI that is tasked with investigating alien abductions and beings as well as other unusual phenomenon. The two agents, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, over time, believe that there is a larger government conspiracy to cover up the aliens, the abductions and other incidents of paranormal activity. Their slogan is “The Truth is Out There”.

This mini-season started with an entirely new premise – the government, using alien technology are actually the ones abducting humans and doing the experiments – creating alien/human hybrids by manipulating their DNA – to what end I do not know. This was an interesting new premise and I am hoping when I watch the last episode they will pick this theme back up. I love science fiction, mystery and conspiracies!

I watch TV late in the evening. Sometimes I fall asleep and wake up after my DVR has finished. Last week I woke up to a cartoon segment where there was a man sitting on his porch at night when a flying saucer flies over his house, sends down a bright-light tracking beam and the man floats up into the spaceship and is abducted. The next scene is a subsequent night but another abduction. The third scene shows the man screaming as the flying saucer sends down its tracking beam and he is once again sucked into the space ship. Another night he chains himself to something on the house as he is muttering that they will not be able to take him now! The saucer shows up, tries to suck him up into the ship, but he is attached to the house, so the aliens suck him and the whole house up into the tracking beam and everything takes off in the flying saucer.

I’m now laughing as I’m watching this, thinking, ‘what power does this man have over the aliens that want him’.

The final scene shows the man at night, leaving his house, paranoid, sneaking and going to hide at his neighbor’s house up the hill. Again later that night, the flying saucer flies over his house, sends down the tracking beam, the beam moves (somewhat hysterically) around the house looking for the man and eventually spots him at the neighbor’s house. The beam, now at a 45-degree angle to the space ship, shines the light on the cartoon man and tracks him up inside once again. By this time I am belly laughing so hard I am crying.

I have told this story to many of my friends, each time laughing with tears in my eyes. Why, I’ve wondered. Obviously, the man was unlucky to be chosen by the aliens. His attempts at thwarting the abductions were futile. There was no place for him to hide. I then I realized that I could totally relate to that cartoon man.

Being diagnosed with cancer and all that goes along with it IS like an alien abduction!

I don’t have any idea who did the cartoon or even what channel it was on. But it is interesting that the irony of having no control, being randomly hijacked for ‘medical experiments’ is something I would find funny. But as I have heard said, a good joke is based on some truth. There are plenty of studies that report on why we laugh at jokes. I like this summary: humor = tragedy + time or distance.

It hasn’t been so long since I have had ‘cancer’ come calling. I had surgery for another tumor in December (even though it was benign – my neck was opened up). I surrendered to the ‘aliens’. I think the truth of it is that I’ve had over 24 surgeries and each time I have been sucked into the tracker beam. I don’t like it. I fight it, deny its inevitability, get angry, and dig my heels in. But eventually I have to surrender, suck it up, have courage, faith and get it done. I’m lucky to still be here with all my scars, reused scars, drain puncture holes, and traumatized brain – to have survived all of this. And then, I symbolically throw another body part into my body part cemetery in my back yard.

Even though shows like ‘The X-Files’ and this cartoon clip are ‘far-fetched’ or sci-fi, or out ‘there’, I find it interesting that this experience for me was a metaphor for the experience of cancer and so ‘out there’ that I could relate and laugh about it.

I want the alien visits to stop. I want them to find out how to stop cancer. I want ‘the Moonshot’ to succeed. I don’t want to believe in conspiracies, corporate greed, and the ‘naysayers’.

As they say in ‘The X-Files’, “I want to believe.” “I need to believe.” “The truth is out there.” Still OUT THERE!

In the meantime, I will be happy being luckily, unlucky!




Photo credit: Copyright: <a href=’’>mikekiev / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

5 responses to Cancer and ‘The X-Files’

  1. I loved your relating the cartoon. It unfortunately fits those times in one’s life when try as we might to hide, bad things still happen to us. It can often seem as if we’ve been “chosen”.
    After all you’ve been through with your particular alien ship- cancer- it’s a testament to your ability to persevere and to prevail as you identify with the poor hapless man who cannot seem to escape being beamed up time after time. My wish is that the alien ship will forever be lost in outer space.

    • Linda Zercoe

      Thanks Clara! I love your that it is your wish ‘is that the alien ship will forever be lost in outer space’. So clever and another great metaphor!

      love you,


  2. Kathleen Gibbons February 18, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    I love your blog! You give a whole different perspective on “Beam me up Scotty”. I’m hoping the space ship is hit by the big meteorite!

  3. Linda (another Linda) May 24, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    I just read your book “Kick-Ass Fairy” and loved it. You’re a super writer and I hope you always keep your sense of humor.

Tell us what you think

Text formatting is available via select HTML. <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>