Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Cancer is starting to become more of a national priority. It seems to be a daily occurrence to have cancer on the front page of some major media outlet (i.e. TV news, newspaper, magazine, etc.) Today I see that cancer has made the front page of NEWSWEEK along with a LIVESTRONG wristband.

Jonathan Alter wrote a great article on “My Life with Cancer” and he takes you through recent news headlines along with his own cancer experience. A very moving article! I specifically liked his comment one the recent news:

“Like the 10.5 million other cancer survivors in the United States, I experienced a bit of extra stress last week. When Elizabeth Edwards's breast cancer recurred in her bones and Tony Snow's colon cancer recurred in his liver, the cold fear that many of us live with every day crept a little closer.”

I can honestly say that I had the same feeling. It is not one of being afraid, but it is a feeling that anything can happen - bad or good. Nothing is set in stone!

Just another 3 months and I will be going back for my second 6 month check up which includes blood work and CT scan. My first one in January was an eerie time. It brought back all the memories of what my family, friends and I went through with diagnosis, second opinions, surgery, self-education and radiation treatments. I like to look at the bright side of things, but the check ups do make me think of what could happen.

That is why I stay FOCUSED and do not let it get to me. I FOCUS on living my life – much like what Eleanor Clift writes about her husband being focused on living his life and enjoying it in her article Playing the Cancer Card.

Also in online today, the man many - including me - consider to be the driving force behind making cancer a national priority, Lance Armstrong, wrote a great article in Newsweek. His opening paragraph is a critical point that it took 2 “upsetting announcements” to bring cancer to the forefront, which I also expressed last week. I found his following comment to be true:

“It's clear that the way we battle cancer is deeply at odds with our values as a country, and with our common sense. There is a serious gap between what we know and what we do; what we deserve and what we get; what should be and what is.”

As a nation we need to FOCUS on beating cancer, offering better treatments, more affordable healthcare, better health care for all races and more support for all survivors and caregivers. There is a lot of work to be done and it will not happen overnight – but I can tell you that Lance, me, Jonathan, Eleanor, and the over 10 million survivors will not stop until we make a change. Remember – it is the obligation of the cured.