A guy on Sunday Morning spoke about what he was thankful for. His wife is fighting off breast cancer, his son was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma of some kind, his father and uncle and some other relative all still alive after cancer. He commented on the fact that every year since 1990 (I think he said) the death rate for cancer has gone down 1%. Not 10%, just 1%.
This is thanks to the modern detection, the modern drugs...it doesn't seem like much, but to me in particular, it is fabulous.
Yes, I wish it could be 10%. Hell, I wish it could be 100%. That would suit me just fine.
***In a future world, you go to the doctor, he slides a tricorder over you and says,"Oh, my, you have a cancer in your.... Here, let me take care of that for you." And he pushes a button on some sort of electronic screwdriver, points it at your cancer spot and "poof!" the cancer is gone.***
Wouldn't that be wonderful?
Yesterday I was talking with Sandy in Vegas about how I had found a photo of her cousin Sue who passed away years ago from cancer. She may have been twenty, maybe not even. She had melanoma that had gone through her entire body via warts. She had asked her doctor about some black warts on her neck and the doc told her "nothing to worry about". Six months later, she went to another doctor who told her she had about six months to live.
That's not saying much for doctors back then...let me think, it must be over 37 years ago because when my husband, who knew Sue, first came back to New Jersey, he asked about her and was stunned to learn she had died, and that was 1975, so it may even be 40 years since Sue actually passed.
My father who worked in a chemical plant, died of cancer in 1985. He had lymphoma and had some vague chemotherapy as they knew how bad it was already.
Most of the people who lived on my home street in Middlesex, NJ passed from cancer that could not be cured.
That got me thinking about the recent death of someone in my high school graduating class. I decided to make a list of all those classmates that I knew had died and came up with 8. There may be more, but these are the ones I knew through their obituaries.
I did some quick math and found this to be 5%. We're all in our mid-sixties now. There were a lot of good years left in all of them.
I am most grateful for still being alive. There are still things I have to do, still places I'd love to go, still people I'd like to meet. With this sword hanging over my head, I hope I get to do lots of the list.
Think about it for yourself. One minute, you're fine, the next minute, there's something eating away at you inside and you might not know it until it starts to hurt. Get a yearly check up. Visit your doctor and ask about the risks, tell him or her about every little pimple or lump or pain.
Take care of yourself. Hug your loved ones. Make peace with enemies. Fight for the greater good.
Support cancer research any way you can.