Reality Bites

Yesterday was “World Cancer Day”.
Any other year I may or may not have known and probably wouldn’t of cared much except to find it an interesting fact.  This year I spent it in a chemo chair. Painfully aware of why a World Cancer Day exists.

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I’ve been having all kinds of feeling as I’ve been trying to fundraise money for the Colon Cancer Alliance and looking at all the cancer research that happening and money being raised for it.  While I’m grateful, I’m worried.
When I ran with Team In Training to raise money for blood cancers, they always talked about “the race for the cure”.  Of course that always sounded important, but I didn’t realize what that really meant to those we were raising the money for.

I know some of you have Googled my cancer. My cancer at it’s stage is not good by the statistics.  Fortunately, most of those statistics are outdated and typically apply to old men.  There are more and more people who are living longer and longer, especially younger people it seems.
But here’s my reality…   By the statistics that exist and by doctors standards (including my own), I’m lucky if I live 5 years.  Personally, I’m looking to see 50 and anything beyond that is just super bonus living!
While that doesn’t sound great, I think it actually is.  Most likely if I had gotten this cancer 10 years ago, I wouldn’t of made it as long as I have already. Research and treatment has come along way in the last 10 years. So I pray for those guys in the white lab coats every day to find the next thing that’s going to keep me alive until another lab coat finds the next thing.  Of course I’d love a cure, but I’ll take what I can get.
It’s scary to think about my fate like that but I’ll just keep taking every day I get.
Worrying will get me nowhere.  It’s just wasted time, and feelings.
The kids were doing a writing exercise with MJ the other day and I joined in with them.  Here’s my little poem about it:

worry is gray
it tastes like bitter twigs
it smells like an electrical fire
it reminds me of dirty molasses
it sounds like crushing metal
worry makes me feel like running in circles

Who wants to feel like that all the time?  Besides, I think keeping as positive as possible and living life is what will keep me going.  Even if it’s just day by day.
This song pretty much sums up my feelings.  I couldn’t express it any better.  Thank you, Ingrid Michaelson:

So what does this mean to you?
If you yourself don’t have cancer or don’t have anyone close to you with it, it’s easy to not think about.  It’s easy to not think about even though there’s reports just about every day about things that are causing cancer.  It’s easy to not think about it even if you do know someone with cancer or are involved in cancer fundraising activities.  I did.
Until your doctor looks you in the face and tells you that YOU have cancer, you can’t really know how it feels.  Until you are sitting in that chemo chair or hunched over the toilet after a treatment or collapsed on the couch with fatigue, you can’t know.
But you might have to.  And that’s what I want people to know and why I want to get people involved.

Do you really know what your odds are of getting cancer?

Even if you think you know, PLEASE check this out:

(btw the 24,528 in the still shot is the odds of getting stuck in an elevator.  You need to see it to believe what the cancer odds are)
Doesn’t that freak you out just a little?  It’s terrible!
And that’s why everyone needs to be aware and take a stand!  Donate to cancer causes!  Do a charity race!  Volunteer time at a cancer center!
I can’t tell you how much I love going to chemo when I know the volunteer therapy dogs are going to be there.  And there’s a lady who comes and does massages and there’s art people.  There’s so much people can gain from everyones help.

But what we really need?  Is time.  As more and more people are diagnosed, more and more people are losing their battles.  We would like cures, but we need time and that costs money.  I hate that it does, but it does.  I understand there’s big business in medicine, but besides taking care of myself, I have to rely on this system and so do you.

I’m sorry that I get all preachy about this, but it’s only because I don’t want anyone to have to go through what I’m going through.  I don’t want to see anymore of my friends or family fall into the horrible odds.  I didn’t think it could happen to me, hopefully it won’t happen to you too.  Awareness is the key.

So please join me in this war against cancer.  Stand up for me. Stand up for anyone else you know going through this. Stand up for everyone who’s surviving with this terrible disease and even stand up for those who have lost their battle.

Let’s end this shit so there doesn’t have to be a World Cancer Day.  Let’s end it so we can celebrate “World Were Living Longer Than Ever Day”  or “World Cuddle Day”.  Whatever.  As long as it means no more suffering from this damn disease.

Peace and Love,
Heather

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2 thoughts on “Reality Bites

  1. You’re right, it’s easy to not think about. Like everything else, we each see the world through the lens of our specific reality, and everything outside of it seems fuzzy and unreal. I’m so grateful for friends like you, who remind me (and all of us) that your reality can so easily BE my reality, and that the changes are frighteningly high that it will be some day. The more we strive to bring this into the scope of our sight, the more living we will all have ahead of us. Message received, my friend.

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