Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cancer is a scary word

Yesterday, a colleague casually mentioned that she'd had cancer junior year of college. It's been almost three years since then but she still experiences shortness of breath and she's always terrified it might come back. I was humbled by her courage...    

People, please think twice before making thoughtless jokes/comments about baldness, wigs and hair-removal techniques. Most of us know at least one person who's had cancer and had to undergo surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. It's a traumatic experience for the entire family- definitely not funny.

It isn't just "old" people who get it. Cancer can happen to literally anyone. Perfectly healthy, happy-go-lucky people with very active lifestyles may have battled with cancer in their youth and put it behind them- it could be the 40-year-old secretary typing away at her desktop, the pretty new girl in the office, the boss, your next client, your ex-roommate... It's important to be aware and to be prepared. Not to scare anyone, but if you have a chronic cough, unexplained weight loss or an injury that isn't healing as it should please consult a doctor. 

As an aside, I finished reading Still Alice. It's about a professor at Harvard diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. Again, it makes one realize how a single event can change one's entire life in an instant. 


  1. I am awed by your colleague's courage. May she be in good health always. Prayers for her.

    You're right about cancer. One of my dearest relatives had cancer for 22 years. We knew it was coming but it was so hard to be prepared. :(

  2. Definitely not funny. A friend of mine got ovarian cancer, though it was diagnosed in very early stages. She alway used to talk very casually about it, and I used to think that maybe cancer gives you the courage.