A New Year, A New Hope

Never-Lose-Hope.

Over the holidays my family and I took a break from Cancer world. We have had an active 2013 from scans, getting results, cancer fund raisers, to our NBC documentary and needed a break. This was of course easier said than done, cancer is well…….. is like cancer…..it takes over your life. We tried to have a normal holiday despite its existence, and it was good.

The week before Thanksgiving Molly had what remained of her main tumor radiated so we went into holidays feeling pretty good. In Addition the city of Menlo Park after 6 months of trying  gave us our building permits to build a studio and make our backyard usable. For Silicon Valley standards we have a fairly large backyard, and so far it has been serving as a giant dog toilette! December is also my oldest daughter birthday, so to summarize it was a nice month.

Last year Molly was diagnosed during the holiday season, and I was looking forward to January. For those of us who are new to the Cancer’s FU World, January is not a good month. Unfortunately a lot of people die after the holiday season, a fact unbeknownst to me prior to Molly’s diagnosis.  It seems a lot of patients want to spend a last holiday with their loved ones so they hang on.

This year similar to last year has started pretty rough with two young people already passing, and few starting hospice care. Even though each of these deaths are heart breaking, it is important to note that no two patients are alike. We in cancer world try to compare our loved ones to other patients, a practice that has become easier with internet sites like Inspire. I understand a lot of patients and caregivers look for support on Inspire, but for me personally it causes anxiety and depression. I know I am being ungrateful, as I have met wonderful people through it.

I have been in this world for thirteen months and I am amazed what a difference a year has made. Besides all the new treatments and options in the pipeline, I am finding more patients are not only admitting they have LC, they are also willing to get in front of the media and tell the world about it. This is the first step to change LC’s stigma and get the funding it needs. A year ago I had a hard time getting patients admitting they had LC, let alone have their stories published. This is thanks to patients like Molly, Sam, Lisa, Tori, Jill, Janet and activists who are changing the face of Lung Cancer.

So to those of  you who are new to this, there are a lot of hope. I know this month has been a tough one, but we must go on. Cancer sucks and watching loved ones dealing with it sucks more, but with each month of survival we get closer to cure. Think it’s a pipe dream? Three years ago so was immunotherapy, now it’s reality.

 

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