Greetings. Welcome to another day in the whole scheme of things. That is a good thing, having another day. There was a time when I feared for the arrival of the next day. Cancer does that to you, makes your afraid you won’t see another day, and makes you afraid that you might when you are undergoing treatment.
Last Friday was national pink out day. Thankfully for me I was off last week. I didn’t have to participate because I hate the color pink. I would never join that group of pinkers. It stands for awareness, give money for research or so they say. It is not necessarily for helping those that are going through cancer treatment now. Those are the real people that could use some of that money. Not all treatment is created equal when it comes to who can pay for what. And that is really what guides the treatments. Who can pay for what!
Most of the web sites that tout awareness that I browsed have a little donate button, or pay button, or give now button. They take cash, credit cards, and checks. They have fundraising idea, information about breast cancer, in case you have forgotten, and the donate button. What I didn’t find on many is an explanation of where all the money goes once it is collected. What percent of their take actually goes toward “cancer” whatever.
Again let me ask, what part of the money they collect actually goes to ” cancer” anything? While I was browsing I viewed site after site selling lots of very attractive “pink” products, especially the shirts. God they were lovely. They even made me want to buy one except for the fact that they are preying on all the people wanting to be a part of ” something.” These promoters have jumped on the band wagon in order to make lots of money selling pink products to those sensitive individuals who think they are helping a cancer patient.
Awareness is the key word in all the publicity. The advertisements show lots of people who have lost loved ones or who are going through treatment now. It actually makes my stomach turn because many of these promoters are just using the theme ” breast cancer awareness” to rake in the dough.
My challenge to you is be AWARE of where the money goes. That should be the new awareness. What percent goes into the cancer pot? And, once they have reached the percent that they have said they will donate what happens to the 100% they now get to keep in their pockets” oh yeah it is profit” for them as they then continue to collect on the theme, and their products.
Now I appreciate all the get togethers. All the support of family members who have lost loved ones. All those who are going through treatment now. It is a difficult road to travel. It is a horrendous road to travel. It’s a frightening road to travel. I know because I have been down that road.
I don’t want to take away from the good of the givers but people must be aware of where all the money really goes, and who actually benefits the most. As I told you in an early blog I had to pay out of pocket for a PET scan of my body because insurance would not pay for it. You see it was not the recommended protocol in the breast cancer screening process, despite my diagnosis of breast cancer. It cost over five thousand dollars for that PET scan.
Now, here I was with a diagnosis of breast cancer wanting to be sure that it hadn’t spread anywhere else in my body in the year and half my providers kept telling me lets watch it, and the insurance guys said ” nope, can’t do that.” My greatest fear was that after dicking around for 1 1/2 years it might have spread somewhere else because that happens! But the insurance company said ” oh no, we don’t do that yet.”
To me they were saying ” let’s wait and see if it spreads first before we do it.” Now for me I was lucky it hadn’t spread but, what about all the others whose cancer had spread while watching and waiting. Or whose “other” cancer was detected after they started treatment. Treatment almost kills the body and puts you in a very vulnerable state. The tiniest tumor can become a monster once your ” guard” is down. Which is what chemotherapy does, it lets down the body’s guard so the drugs can kill the cancer cells. The problem with this is that all those sneaky other toxic cells can now get a foothold and spread disease. Many cancer patients die from secondary infections brought on by their chemotherapy. Or they die from their own body’s natural bacteria and fungus which are present to protect the body, but then go crazy from the drugs and mass produce causing disaster in the human host.
There are millions and millions of dollars taken in all the time in the name of CANCER. Why can’t we help those who are going through this horrendous trial by fire? Why can’t there be a fund for all patients who have cancer to have a PET SCAN FIRST when they get a diagnosis of cancer? Why not be sure that it is only in one location?
I know what some of the people out there are going to say, and that is there can always be little tiny areas of cells not detectable by our scanners. We all know this. Hopefully the chemotherapy will attack those areas and kill them off as well. I am talking about other tumors in other areas of the body. I am talking about the lymph system, the blood system, and any other areas where growth can occur. Things that are measurable but haven’t been measured.
I knew a lady whose husband was found to have throat cancer. Right way the doctors wanted to do surgery and chemotherapy. I suggested to her as a friend that they do a PET SCAN FIRST to be sure there wasn’t cancer somewhere else. Often there is a primary site, and then there can be other sites as well. The primary site is what catches the doctor’s attention. If you just focus on that primary site, the secondary sites might not get the treatment (drugs) that they need to kill off that cancer. There is not just one drug to treat all cancers. It sometimes takes a whole arsenal. So, while the primary site gets treated, and maybe does well, the secondary site can then take off and consume the host unbeknownst to the patient and doctor due to the wrong cocktail of drugs.
A PET SCAN is not a guarantee but it is much better then just looking at the primary site. Providers know that certain cancers spread to certain areas like breast and brain. Lung and brain. Lymph system all over the body. So why wouldn’t they do a test that would look at those areas to be sure there was no other cancer before starting treatment? Good question, huh!
My friends husband’s primary site was actually his ear as it turned out after his PET SCAN, not his throat. The throat was the secondary site. It changed the whole course of his treatment. And, had they just focused on his throat his ear cancer would have probably spread into his brain. Maybe it would have anyway. But isn’t it better to be sure. This story is so true. Do you know of any true stories to tell?
So when people throw out that word awareness challenge them to define that term. Be aware of who is taking in the money. Be aware of where the money really goes. Be aware of what programs and money is really out there for cancer patients. Be aware of what you need to do to stay healthy. But, TAKE ACTION NOW should you find a lump or bump that shouldn’t be there. TAKE ACTION NOW if something is not right in your body. Do not let fear keep you from seeking medical care. And, if you are not happy with the provider go else where. It is your body, your wellness, and you are in control to TAKE ACTION NOW.
So for today, have a great day you deserve it.