It’s hard, then it’s harder, then it’s….

So tomorrow is “World Cancer Day.”

I guess that means putting a focus on cancer; how research has advanced treatment, and how all the other arms of cancer care have fallen into place.

Doctor to patient care, palliative and hospice care and care giving has changed so much over the years too.

So what’s left to learn?

We haven’t scratched the surface really.  I stand with the group who think years from now, when oncologists look back, they will wonder why or how chemotherapy was a part of standard care.  Poison in..cancer out?  I just can’t imagine chemo will stand the test of time.  There’s got to be so much more medicine can do for cancer patients than that slow drip of poison.

And there’s got to be better ways for care givers to learn what is expected of them.  We didn’t have a clue, what was ahead, once that diagnosis was made.  We were just ordinary people, with jobs and lives and boom…all of a sudden, none of those things mattered.  What mattered was to learn how to spot a side effect that was about to explode into fever or rash or nausea. What mattered was to learn how to change a bandage and how to do a proper transfer from bed to chair.  What mattered was to figure out, by trial and error, what foods worked best with certain cancer treatments and which ones did NOT.

And I fear it’s still “baptism by fire” for most care givers.

“World Cancer Day” should be renamed “Cancer Awareness Day” and every cancer center in the land should make it a day for the patients and their care givers to learn more about this disease and how to live with it.

But, then that’s just my opinion.



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