Cancer…. Saying it, typing it, thinking it brings up a host of emotions in just about anyone. Nowadays, it seems like the question isn’t how many people have been affected by it, but, rather, how many people haven’t.
In 2003, I was in Iraq. This was the start of the war. We had to take and clear the airfields so that we could start setting up bases in various parts of the country. As an infantryman, I was right up in the front lines, moving from place to place and making sure that the areas were secure so that the rest of the Army personnel and civilians could set up shop. We had finally gotten settled up in Mosul after several months of moving around when I got the call.
Hey, Brian. We just wanted to let you know that they found a lump and your mom is getting it checked out.
Boom….breast cancer. What could I do? She wasn’t on her deathbed, so I couldn’t leave to go home. And while I was in theater, the guys were depending on me to do my job. I still had guard duty to pull and missions to go on if we got called up. You need a little time to process that sort of thing and a war zone is not the right place for that.
Thankfully, I had some great and very understanding leaders. They let me pull my guard duty and, otherwise, just left me with my thoughts. I asked for a day to pull it all together, but, in reality, it took a good week. Still, while it was tough to process there, I would much rather have heard it then than after I got back. Better not to feel like someone is hiding something from you.
In the end, my mom is now a survivor. 10 years now! She still has her yearly appointments to keep on top of any changes, but she is living a full life and I know that she appreciates every day that she is given.
Thanks to groups like the American Cancer Society, mom is not the exception. Did you know that only 60 years ago just 1 in 3 people diagnosed with cancer survived 5 years? Today, it’s 2 in 3 and they are not planning on stopping until 3 out of every 3 people diagnosed with cancer makes it past 5 years. With 46 Nobel Laureates on the job, I know that they have the skill to do it.
What they don’t have, however, is funding! They are not being silent about that! They are not afraid to shout to the rooftops if it means saving even 1 of the 577,000 cancer patients who died this year! Check out this video for more info.
Are you interested in getting loud and joining the fight? You can lend your support and help Finish the Fight!
Has cancer touched your or someone you love? Leave us a comment and share your voice!