Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The other cancer: lung cancer

Now that pinktober is over, we’re 9 days into the cancer awareness month that no one seems to be aware of: lung cancer.

This morning, I was digging through my disorganized jewelry drawer looking for my “hope” bracelet. It was designed by a friend who has been battling lung cancer for five stinking years.

The bracelet is all wood and some kind of green stone that’s said to  be healing (don’t know exactly -- I’m not good at the details on the groovy woo front). It has a small charm that says “hope” on it. She’s amazing -- I might have given up hope at this point, and she hasn’t. The least I can do is wear the bracelet and try to hope for her.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. It's another one of those diseases that have a stigma, that those who get it somehow “deserve” it. The question on everyone’s mind (or the assumption) is that the person in front of them with lung cancer did it to themselves with cigarettes.

You don’t have to smoke to get lung cancer. My friend certainly didn’t. And it kills more women than breast cancer.

And even if you smoked 3 damn packs a day your whole life, no one “deserves” to get sick.

A few months ago I read The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. In it, I read how cancers that used to be death sentences are now treatable. Lung cancer isn’t one of them... yet. But the book gave me hope.

We have enough stiff dick pills and botox for barely wrinkly women, and when I turn on the news, I’m sick of hearing about all the latest cure for overactive bladder. I want the latest cure for lung cancer, and I want it fast. There are too many people out there with expiration dates stamped on their foreheads (my friend’s words), and they need the research done and the drugs tested before the milk goes bad.

We need to race for a cure for lung cancer, too.

1 comment:

  1. Hello: i know the person you are talking about. i have known her since high school. We lost contact for many years and just reconnected. I am so sad to think what she has gone through and what she is facing! She is one tough cookie! What a wonderful blog post!