April 26, 2013

{Sponsored Video} We Don’t Whisper “Cancer” Any More


American Cancer Society image

I believe our generation may be the first where most everyone has a story about cancer. When the American Cancer Society approached me to share about how cancer has affected me or someone in my life I said yes and have been trying to figure out who and what to write about because there are so many stories. And while I have been tossing around this post for weeks, with my new business relationship to help the American Cancer Society celebrate its 100th birthday this has become a sponsored post, although it’s the same post I was planning on writing before they asked me to share.

If I were to ask you to tell me a story about how cancer has touched you or someone you know, I doubt you’d have to think too long before sharing. I’ve mentioned before that my grandma is a three-time cancer survivor. I paid tribute to my friend Sally who lost her life to pancreatic cancer. I’ve mentioned my annual mammogram party. I met one of my dearest friends, Carrie, when she was on leave from her job to undergo chemotherapy. And most recently one of my clients shared that she will be undergoing reconstructive surgery due to breast cancer. I bet you could easily come up with four or five stories of your own.

On May 22nd the American Cancer Society turns 100 years old. It’s because of this organization that we no longer whisper “cancer”. When I was growing up, no one dare speak the word above a whisper. And definitely not in mixed company. I believe it was this belief that kept me from knowing my mother had cancer. Why else would she have been seeing an oncologist? It wasn’t until after she died when going through her medical bills that I saw that word “oncologist”.

Today, we see everyday men and women chronicle their stories online. We see parents take to websites and social media to share about their child who has cancer. We don’t whisper it. We hashtag it, we write it in ALL CAPS on Facebook, and we tell people about surviving cancer. Soon there will be a generation who will never have had to whisper “cancer”. This generation won’t have the effects of second-hand smoke because the American Cancer Society lobbied congress to more closely regulate cigarettes and smoking. Our children may not face some of the same risks of cancer because the American Cancer Society is funding research that may hold the key to unlocking what is needed to eradicate certain types of cancer.

I look at photos on Facebook from my friend who’ll be celebrating her 1st wedding anniversary soon. She just had a birthday. Two things many of us take for granted. But despite cancer, and the various effects it’s had on her, she’s here. And she’s doing amazing things and enjoying life.

About 5 years ago I received a frantic call that I needed to hurry to my Grandma’s side because she may not pull through her surgery. At 87 she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She refused chemo and radiation. There were complications with her surgery and when I arrived at the hospital I was told to prepare for the worst. Little did they realize who they were talking about. I believe my Grandma takes this “more birthday” thing seriously. She watches a lot of TV and I’m sure has seen the ads for the American Cancer Society talking about beating cancer and having more birthdays. Since her first cancer diagnosis she’s had about 20 more birthdays.

My friend Sally got to have 2 birthday after her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. That’s huge! But most importantly, she was there to see her only child turn 9. It wasn’t just about her birthday. She knew she wouldn’t see her son grow up, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t going to get one more birthday with him.

In the past decade we’ve come to realize that silence won’t eradicate cancer. We’ve decided that talking openly about cancer is the only way to get our friends and family to get screenings, to do self-checks, and to take action to support cancer research.

100 years ago a few physicians and business leaders decided to give cancer a voice and created the American Cancer Society. Silence won’t cure cancer. Each of us fights cancer in our own way. Together we can finish the fight!

Disclosure: As mentioned above, this is a sponsored post and I have been provided compensation by the American Cancer Society. All thoughts and opinions are mine, and may not reflect the views of the organization. My thoughts and opinions were not influenced by this compensation. This article was not reviewed or edited by a third-party. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Why do I put these disclosures in my posts? Besides being a lawyer and writing about this stuff, they’re required by consumer protection laws and you deserve to know.

Image and video courtesy of the American Cancer Society. Used with permission.


{ 1 comment }

Shifra April 30, 2013 at 3:11 am

I look forward to the day when cancer won’t be as prevalent. But, in the meantime, I’m proud of the people I know who have fought an awesome fight against cancer. Though not all are survivors, they have won my eternal love and respect. Good for you for writing this post! And good for the American Cancer Society for spreading the word!

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