Nice reminder of the importance of community in helping us live with cancer, drawing from Hurricane Sandy:
The cancer diagnosis lays each of us bare. We feel frail and isolated, forced into a battle as primal as nature; the battle to survive. Even though we may be in the warmth of our own homes, the comforts of modern life pale and we are naked before the tempest.
However, Sandy taught a more powerful and incredible lesson. That lesson is one of immense love and strength. We are not alone. We are never alone. The family of man truly is a family and on the coldest days, we stand together against the wind. In the lee of the Hurricane, without hesitation, without personal consideration, despite fear, we rush together. We fight, suffer and sacrifice for each other. Isolated man is an illusion. We struggle as one.
This great hope is a vital lesson in the war against cancer. No patient is ever alone. Whether it is family, friend, neighbor, nurse, office worker, researcher, minister, administrator, cop, aide, doctor, pharmacist, cook or belief in an immortal god, we fight the illness together. It is WE that make US strong. Isolation is the illusion. We struggle as one. Together we build, heal and rise. Survivors of the storm.
Another piece by Susan Gubar, this time focusing on music and gynecological cancer awareness, and the group N.E.D. (No Evidence of Disease). Quote:
And then there are people like me who are diagnosed later in life but can’t fill out an N.E.D. dance card because, unfortunately, we still have E.D. (evidence of disease). That said, I am here to add that it is possible, if only intermittently, to hum along with E.D., which has its own sometimes somber but sometimes revitalizing rhythms.
The physician-musicians of N.E.D named their second CD “Six Degrees” for their six medical degrees, but also for the six degrees of separation between patients with gynecological diseases and everyone else. The title reminds me that every six minutes an American girl or woman discovers that she has a gynecological cancer. Let us hope that future research will develop new detection tools and improved treatments, giving each one a longer time to twist and shout with N.E.D.
Some vignettes from the American Cancer Society’s Picture Your Life in Cancer book. Many of the messages are familiar, and a nice way to personalize what it means to be living with cancer. Quote:
Indeed, a common theme of the “Picture Your Life” project is that cancer spurs people to take long-delayed trips, seek out adventure and spend time with their families. Photos of mountain climbs, a ride on a camel, scuba diving excursions and bicycle trips are now part of the online collage.
Nice piece on caregivers, those who come to help us, and our partners who also perform caregiving services while giving us the support and love we need.
The official press release launching my book is out.