Cancer Doesn't Care if You're Famous or Not

| by

Yesterday afternoon I saw a list of "celebrities fighting cancer." I ignored it but then wanted to go back and read it. But I couldn't find it. I know it was on the internet somewhere. I tried Googling it and came up with another list of celebrities with cancer - much longer, going back decades.

My thoughts on celebrities and cancer is, um, well, celebrities are people too, and just because they are famous doesn't really change that much. They might go to the big fancy medical centers. They will have days where they are scared, nauseous, feeling the little pinch when they put in the giant needle, and have the same scans, tests, and procedures as the rest of us. They might be lucky enough not to have to worry about expenses their insurance doesn't cover.

We can't just list famous people dealing with cancer without listing all of the non-famous people dealing with cancer. My first thought was to have an anti-celebrity list of people with cancer where anyone could sign their name. But then, that list wouldn't be complete without everyone who is no longer with us who can't sign their name.

Cancer is a leveler. It doesn't matter if you are famous or not. Some days you want to talk about it, some days you don't. Some days you spend too much damn quality time in the waiting room between fun interludes with needles and machines.

One few thing we all have in common is a desire to see a cure. To reach a day where you go to the doctor and they say you have cancer, but we'll do this and you take this for 30 days and it should be gone by then. It seems everything that is out there "reduces tumors," "impedes tumor growth," "reduces spread," or "extends life for two to four months." Those aren't cures. Those are slowing the progression. A real cure is one that removes it from your body for ever.

Twenty years ago, Lyme disease was the scourge of southern New England, affecting dozens. If you were bitten by a tick carrying Lyme disease, you were destined for a life of arthritic like pain with no cure. Now they give you antibiotics and you're done. That's what I want in a cure for cancer.

The list I want on cancer is a list of type of cancer followed by actions done to cure it. Not a list of staging and prognosis for each stage and treatment options. Just a cure. Am I asking too much?