Last week I finally hit a wall. I have had enough and needed a break from the cancer world. It started with a death of a 26 year old Harvard graduate to a father in pain with a sick wife. This disease has no mercy. I was becoming visibly upset and since Molly was turning 40 on Saturday, I decided to take a break.
Advocating for Lung Cancer is hard and frustrating. It’s not the fact that its research is underfunded or the fact I always have to qualify my statement by saying “Non-smoker’s Lung Cancer” when asked about Molly. It’s the fact it effects real good people, not serial killers and child molesters!
From the very beginning after my family and work, I have dedicated all my free time to fighting LC stigma and LC research. I don’t do things in life half ass, when I commit to do something I devote all my free time to it but I think I have met my match.
I had been following Burton’s story for months. His girlfriend Emily had been his main caregiver since his diagnoses and gave him more support and care than any patient could ask for. Back of my mind I always thought he would survive, because Emily deserved it. This was not to be, as he was emitted to hospice few weeks ago and died shortly after. Two days after his death, I spoke to a father with two little girls whose wife was diagnosed in January. Since diagnosis, she has been on Tarceva, had 15 rounds of WBR, surgery, radiation and Chemo. His story broke my heart, the only difference between him & I is that my wife’s treatments are working.
My frustration and anger became obvious to my children, and I knew I needed a break from the cancer world. I still spoke to my support friends, but about fun things like kids and birthdays. Molly and Kathy’s husband share same birthdays so it was fun to talk about our plans. On Friday Molly, and Lisa, went to the Stanford Game with Chris Draft, and on Saturday we had a 40th birthday party for Molly at a Spanish restaurant. I had not seen Molly this happy in months.
Today after a week, I went on Twitter to see if there were any new LC treatments, and glanced on inspire.com looking for good patient news. There weren’t any new treatments and Inspire was as usual depressing. It was very nice to pretend to be a normal healthy family even if it was only a week. I think I will take another break in December, but right now I have to get ready for the biggest Lung Cancer Awareness Month campaign in history 🙂