There was a time when I did not know anyone with cancer. Sure, I saw heartbreaking stories on Extreme Home Makeover and on the news, but I never knew anyone who had directly been attacked by the unpredictability of cancer. Now I feel like every way I turn someone else I know is learning that it is their time to face the unknown. That is what I see cancer as being: the unknown. Yes, we have a standard guideline with most cancers, certain procedures that are known to make a difference, but there is not a true cure...at least not in my mind. Most people who are cured from cancer are cured from trial and error. They attempt the procedures that have been known to help others, but the procedures and treatments vary from person to person. Will we see a day when there is a shot we receive at a particular age that can save us from joining The Cancer Society? I hope so. I am becoming frustrated and sad how "cancer" is becoming a common diagnosis.
In the past week I have learned of a sweet college friend who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She will lose both breasts & have to go through 8 chemo sessions. She has a newborn baby at home...This should be an exciting time in her life. Did I mention she is only 25? She has a wonderful attitude though. I know it will take her far. (By the way, my melanoma friends who have reached out to this young girl? I know your support and prayers mean the world to her. I am proud to call you all my friends.)
Another sweet college friend has had a year that has been filled chemo suites, lab tests, and funerals. She was a cheerleader for BOTH of her parents. She had to bury her father this past week...This beautiful girl lost her mother AND father to cancer in less than a year. How much is one person supposed to be able to handle? Still, this incredibly strong girl keeps a positive attitude. I hope she finds peace & the ability to rest. I know she has to be emotionally and physically exhausted.
Last week was a bit ironic for me. On August 5, 2001 I lost my Grand Father to lung cancer. He was an intelligent man who had an addiction to his smokes. It cost him his life. On August 5, 2011, 10 years after lost my Grand Daddy, I received the "all clear" from my oncologist....no evidence of melanoma. I am not a super religious person. I have my beliefs, but I have plenty of questions; however, it does seem a bit ironic to me that I received such great news on a day when my family was especially mourning the loss of a special man. I will believe Grand Daddy had something to do with it.
When you find yourself hearing about a cancer research fundraiser, a fundraiser for someone living with cancer, etc, please consider participating. Not only is cancer a scary diagnosis, it is expensive. Donate to your local Relay for Life. Support your local hospital. If you cannot donate money, please consider donating your time...or your hair.
Every little bit helps.