Please take a moment to get over the title of the link and then read content therein before choking on the words. *sigh*
Given that I’ve had cancer; Breast Cancer specifically, I was a bit taken aback by the campaign’s message until I read it. Those who have not had cancer; especially a rare or low survival rate cancer can’t begin to fathom what goes through the mind of the person who does. A very close friend of mine has Appendix cancer, which is extremely rare with a very low survival rate. She was given five years to live once diagnosed and praise God that she’s out lived her prognosis; however, last fall she was told it had come back. She’s doing well and is responding well to the treatment she’s under; however, given an option, she’d rather have been diagnosed with a cancer with a greater survival rate. No, this is not me speaking for her; this is me speaking her words. Like that campaign indicates, no one wants a cancer diagnosis, but would always opt for more curable one. Sadly, even the more curable ones still come with a death sentence depending on how well one responds to their treatment. Ultimately, no cancer is a good cancer.
When I was diagnosed, I was informed that my chances for survival were extremely high since it was caught before it spread out of the breast itself in spite of there being two tumours; one bigger than the other. During the course of my treatment, I often heard “if you’re going to get breast cancer, the one you have is the best one to get”. Really? Again, NO cancer is good cancer. For me, I underwent a mastectomy where my right breast and supporting muscle was removed and later replaced with an implant. The many surgeries I underwent during reconstruction and the ensuing medicine I was prescribed was harrowing; especially that latter which severely compromised my quality of life. How is that good? Seven years later I’m still here; still strong and still standing. All praises due!
I’ve argued with many doctors during the various conferences I’ve attended and other breast cancer patients/survivors that my cancer was still a cancer and should not be demeaned in any way. I begged them to stop telling women that their diagnosis was “the one to get” because there is no cancer competition that anyone would enter for. I’m honestly conflicted about the campaign; truly I am, but sadly, I do understand it in spite of my own experiences and opinions.
In closing I’ll say this, if you have an opportunity to or want to volunteer yourself for a community service, please consider the American Cancer Society as an option. Where able, offer to drive and sit with someone through their treatment. Provide food, your companionship, and time to aid in their healing, trust me being avoided or left alone during that time is awful. In addition, please don’t undermine anyone’s cancer regardless of the stage. NO cancer is a “good” cancer!
Yea, I said that!