This is Steve Jobs.
Actually, this is him.
Most people think he died from pancreatic cancer.
But they’re wrong.
He died from this…
He was hippy dippy – so his treatment was fruit fasts, hot baths, and acupuncture.
But he was right to be freaked out – because chemo’s origin was deadly. It was invented from WWI mustard gas.
So it’s 1917, The Western Front:
Ya, that’s mustard gas.
The British first synthesized it in the lab in 1860 – but it was always just for shits. Well, until those pesky Germans ruin it (like everything else).
Because in WWI, the Germans are sick of the deadlocked trench warfare.
So they shake things up a bit – by turning Mustard Gas into a SUPER effective chemical weapon.
Here’s why it works:
- Cheap – Perfect for a resource-strapped Germany at the end of the war.
- Easy – You just need sulfur, chlorine, nitrogen, and basic equipment to make it.
- Potent – The gas lingers for 1-2 days normally, but up to weeks in the cold.
This means you’d have to evacuate your trenches.
Because if you don’t evacuate or mask up, you’ll end up like this…
Mustard Gas causes your eyes to burn, your skin to blister, and you to suffocate.
100,000 soldiers die like that 👆
So with every soldier…you know…dying…American scientists look for an antidote.
But they discover something odd.
The bone marrow from gas victims…it stopped making blood cells.
You’re probably thinking: Bone marrow? Whoopty doo. Tell me something interesting.
Well, how about you listen dammit.
Because bone marrow cells are similar to another cell – CANCER. They both divide like crazy.
So they get an idea…
He gasses ‘em.
Just kidding — they’re American, not German.
So instead of huckin’ gas canisters at the cancer victims, the scientists inject them with different mustard gas compounds.
Then – true to the trial & error of science 🌈 – they check which ones work.
They find a drug that works. Yippeee 🥳
But how’s chemo actually work?
Well, when a cell divides, it exposes its DNA.
Which chemo beats to a pulp.
Now this DNA pulping hurts ALL cells – but mortally wounds those quickly dividing ones that don’t have time to repair.
Aka cancer…and hair, stomach, and genital cells. Which is why during chemo you go bald, puke, and stop wanting to fugg 🍆
So what’s the lesson?
But if you do, thank these fine folks for giving you a fighting chance.
Dylan & Henry 🌈
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