In the present, I’ve had it said to me a few times recently. Sounds like a weird thing to say, but if you think about it, it’s true. Because the sad fact is, it’s epidemic.
Don’t believe me? Try to find someone who hasn’t had a family member of dear friend who hasn’t dealt with this. These days that’s hard to do – and that’s just talking about BC. Add Hodgkin’s and all the other types and many people are swimming with names to offer up. One of my good friends L.S. was motivated to get up-to-date with her own mammogram after my diagnosis. Guess what? She had it too. I just spoke to her the other day, and her diagnosis motivated her sister in law. And guess what?…You got it. I also recently made a new “Blacquiantance” or net-friend (a blogger-friend or acquaintance) who had been posting about her own mother-in-law’s BC surgery, only to find out she has it herself. Scheesh! (You can support her here.)
What could possibly be good about an “epidemic”? These days it feels like cancer is very “in”. While not happy to be part of the trendy group in this instance, the up side is that it is easy to not feel alone in all this. Plus, the unfortunate fact that there are so many of us are getting it means growing attention and investment into the research necessary. My doctors and chemo nurses have told me several times that even compared to just two years ago, treatment has tangibly improved.
Case in point: one day I had to go get a blood draw. They sent me to the day clinic, where chemo is given. While I waited, I heard some poor soul vomiting his or her guts up in another room. Seriously. Wretchedly. It was awful to hear. It tugged at my heart for that person. I mentioned it to the nurse when she came in, saying how strange it was. I’d never witnessed one person in such a state in all the times I’d been there. She said, “That’s thanks to the new school of anti-nausea drugs. Just a few years ago, the entire place was like that every day.” Ugh, how awful. Thank goodness, indeed.
A mutual friend of myself and L.S. told us just the other day that she has been expecting BC her entire life because of heavy family history. She said she’s lived her life in fear of the day she is diagnosed. Until now. While she’s not looking forward to it, she said that seeing two of her friends go through it and come out the other side, feeling (and looking : ) as good as we do, has made her realize that it’s completely doable. She’s not eager, but “I’m not scared anymore,” she said. Her words make it all as close to worthwhile as it can never come. I hope some of you can say that too.