Wednesday, March 30, 2011


WORLDWIDE - Quite recently, a well-meaning person was quoted as saying that we are "winning" the war on breast cancer. This made bloggers, oncologists and families across the world cringe a little bit. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people after that made the airwaves, most of them were with people who were angry. Not upset, not discouraged, but angry.

One friend reminded me gently (well, ok, not TOO gently…) "Well what about you, Heidi? Did you for one minute think that you had won, that you had beat this thing and were out of the woods? Of course not, when your oncologist said ‘remove surgically to test for cancer’ two months ago, you weren’t surprised at all. Went ahead with a complete mastectomy. That’s NOT winning." She’s right.

The collective conscious of cancer survivors is absolutely that of a warrior nation. We know words like finite and planning, and have to think about them all the time. I go to oncology wards across the nation all the time, and we are not a group of people who are neither forgiving nor forgetting of our cancer. I’ve learned that people don’t want to settle for just the following:

  • Better treatment

  • More targeted therapies

  • A cure (really!)

What I’ve heard from the collective at large is that we want prevention. This disease is sinister, and we are no less deliberate in our plotting to destroy it.

I don’t think the statement was meant to be cruel, to be self-serving, or to be crass, I really don’t. I think it was something said in haste from someone who hasn’t been around a cancer patient in quite some time. It made me angry to read, but then I reflected and decided this; what a blessing it must be for her and for everyone. They are the ones who might have had to be in a chemo ward before, but haven’t been so in a long while. We need to not fight amongst ourselves, cancer family. We need to pull together, educate each other and get ourselves into a tight Phalanx formation to win this battle. I.AM.SPARTACUS. :) (well, at least I have gladiator sandals...)

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