I was reading Rachel Andersen’s post about cancer and how she has felt surrounded. It has come closer to her than it has to me, but I think I understand how she feels. She’s raising money for the American Association for Cancer Research. You can read Rachel’s post here and there is a link at the bottom if you’d like to donate.

Update: here is another blog post related to Rachel’s. This author is donating two books to the cause. You can read that entry here.

Surrounded

I’ve been thinking about cancer a lot lately.

When I was young (but old enough to be aware of the world), cancer was an “old person” disease.  People’s grandparents, in their 70s and 80s, old and wrinkled. In my kid world, you got old and either had a heart attack and dropped dead, or got this disease and died. Oncology and cardiology weren’t what they are today.

In my 20s, the ages of the victims started creeping lower. There weren’t many, but people only a few years older than me were diagnosed. In my 30s, there were more cases and the ages were still dropping; people’s parents were dying in their 60s. Now I’m about to turn 40, and I feel surrounded. Cancer has touched my family, my friends and coworkers, and their families. It seems like every day I find out about someone else. All ages, races, genders, socioeconomic levels… cancer doesn’t discriminate.

The only thing we all have in common is the environment. I think years of toxins, pollutants, and poisons have caught up to us. Our water, air, food, even the carpeting on the floor and the paint on the walls… surrounded again. On the brighter side, oncology has come a long way; its amazing. Chemo has improved greatly, there’s targeted radiation, drugs are able to keep tumor cells from replicating or can choke off a tumor’s blood supply. Early detection and clinical trials save lives. New treatments, therapies and medicines come out every year.

I’m often asked to pray for people. And I do. And I dedicate this post to all the victims, all the survivors, all the caregivers, and all those who pray for all those other people. Sending thoughts, prayers, positive vibes, good karma, chi, prana… and hugs.

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