Friday, February 5, 2016

World Cancer Day 2016

Yesterday was World Cancer Day, an international effort to "raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment."

Well, yes.

Few of us don't need to have our awareness of cancer raised any more than it is already raised.  I would dare say this of each and everyone of my readers.  Dear reader, I would be willing to bet that one or more of these is true:
1.  You have or had had cancer;
2.  You have a loved one who has or has been treated for cancer; 
3.  Same for a friend; and
4.  Sadly, you probably know someone no longer with us due to cancer.

How much more aware can any of us be of cancer?

The prevention, detection and treatment part is something else entirely.  

For example, right now, there is no test for early detection of pancreatic cancer, the cancer that took an aunt, an uncle and a great uncle.  The man possibly most at risk of pancreatic cancer in the United States is currently battling a different type of cancer - former President Jimmy Carter.

Just speaking for myself, I don't know what strikes more fear into my heart - thinking of cancer and the nature of this disease that hijacks your very cells and turns your body against itself, or thinking of how cancer is treated and what it does to you.

All of our hearts have been broken by cancer.  A couple of weeks ago, I found some photographs from 2008, when I still had printed photos.  I looked at a group of me, some friends and neighbors, and thought of those who have had cancer since that day.  It was chilling.  Two of the group are no longer with us.  Three more survived their cancers.

 Today, I reread a post from 2012, wishing my best friend from childhood a happy 60th birthday. That girlfriend I blogged about below passed away this past September from cancer, and one of the bloggers who commented on that post passed away, also from cancer, last month.

It is said that cancer is a word, not a sentence.  Neither my childhood friend, or my blogging friend,would put up with an instant of self pity from me.  Instead, if they were here, they might have said:

"Let's get out there and treat life as the miracle it is - each and every day.  And let's do whatever we can to whip cancer's butt."

The people who do the cancer research, who work long hours in labs, whose pictures never get on the cover of celebrity magazines, are our true everyday heroes.  Perhaps you know one of those people.  If you do, I welcome your comments.

Today, in this blog post, I honor them.


  1. Very well written post. Thanks fir spreading the awareness.

  2. I would modify your last paragraph. I am not sure that those who toil in labs- regardless of their hours- are the heroes you claim. Most of them are just toiling in their jobs, being paid like the rest of working humanity. However, those who are inspired by a theory, seeking a resolution for the problem, the understanding of why/how/when a cell is converted from normal to aberrant... those are the potential heroes.

    1. But how else do become inspired by a theory and have half a hope of being taken seriously and bringing it to reality, if not through the drudgery of formal training and paid work, slogging away like the rest of humanity until that spark can be kindled and fed the right kind of fuel? Even the drudges working in the labs and merely running tests ordered by others are surely part of a necessary process. The results depend on the care they take in doing their jobs, in the accuracy of their work. They are surely more "heroic" than the celebrities kids look up to, even if their part is a small one, mostly played off-stage.

  3. Been there! Mom was diagonised with cancer and in it's severe form. It's a miracle we got her back. It is a dreaded C word indeed! :(

  4. Thanks for this post. I do, indeed, know people who have or who have passed from cancer. The treatment is often debilitating, but I'm grateful for every weapon in the arsenal against this monster.

  5. Yes, my grandmother had ovarian cancer. She died when I was two. I do support cancer awareness, but you're right that most of us are already aware of it. I think it's the signs, symptoms, and early screenings to catch it sooner that we need to spread awareness for.

  6. Nice, thank you for this treat

  7. Thank you for this thoughtful post. We certainly are all too aware of cancer. :(

  8. Good of you to put this out there.

  9. Yes, I have lost a few loved ones to cancer, and every day I pray for a cure. Thank you for spreading awareness.

  10. You are corret. I lost one of my best friend due to Lung Cancer. I knew how painful it would be.

  11. Thanks for raising awareness. Know many family and friends that have succumbed to it, had it, and have it. May we soon find a way to cure this dreaded illness.

  12. My father had cancer and, sadly, passed away three and a half years ago. Cancer affects pets, too. Four years ago, we lost our precious furball, Smokey, to lymphoma. He and my dad are buried together. They are missed and will always be loved.

  13. I haven't lost anyone close to cancer but I am aware how deadly the disease is. I know people who have battled it and who are now in remission. It's good to raise awareness and hopefully, some day a cure will be found.


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