Got some pretty awful news this week about a friend. The cancer came back. My dear friend is once again afflicted by this horrible epidemic of pain and suffering. I’m pissed that she’s sick and I’m pissed about cancer. I’m pissed that we don’t have a definitive cause for cancer and I can’t help but think that has something to do with the cost to businesses to clean up our products. I’m pissed at what cancer does to the individual, their family and their friends. I’m pissed it strikes when you least expect it. And lastly, I’m pissed that we’re not doing enough to end it. (I’m sure I’ll find more things to get pissed about).
Last night there happened to be a Standup2cancer telethon where celebrities, survivors and family members talked about cancer and it’s aftermath. I feel like everyone you know has had cancer or knows someone who does and that feeling was confirmed last night when Julia Roberts held it together long enough to announce that 1 in 2 men will have cancer and 1 in 3 women. Come again?!
What the hell is going on? And why aren’t we freaking out about it. I think the biggest reason we don’t have a larger public discourse about cancer is because it is so painful to discuss. But, it needs to be talked about and as a society we need to demand more answers sooner than later. Thankfully, there are incredible advocates doing just that, including those featured on the show last night.
Another great advocacy group that is close to my heart, is stupidcancer.org – I’m too young for this, foundation. Their efforts focus on providing support to young adults affected by cancer, a population that is diagnosed at a rate of one person every eight minutes. They are the nation’s largest support community for this underserved population and serve as a bullhorn for the young adult cancer movement.
From my experience with cancer, I know it makes me feel pretty helpless. Raising money for research and raising awareness by participating in races is wonderful and needed, but we also need to demand answers and track our progress on identifying cures. Are you actively involved in this advocacy work? Do you want to be? What else can we be doing?