It happened. I have officially been told by a cancer survivor that I am “too negative” and “obsessed with age as a number”. I’m not sure if I should be upset or wear this as a badge of honor. You see I had the unmitigated gall to post the same article I posted here on May 13 about the lack of improvement in survival rates in young adults. Where did I post this? On some site dealing with newly diagnosed young women? A site aimed at children trying to deal with their parents cancer diagnoses perhaps?
No! I had the nerve to post the article on a message board that I had been participating in about young cancer survivors. Why? Because I think the lack of progress in prognoses for young cancer patients is inexcusable. Because I think that they only way to change that is to not only appreciate and celebrate our survival but to advocate for those who can not advocate for themselves, for whatever reason. The reality is horrible, it sucks! The people that are addressed in these statistics are just beginning their lives. Maybe getting married, maybe having children, maybe beginning their careers or maybe underemployed and uninsured.
I have a strong feeling that this was not a reaction that came from reality but instead from fear and pain. We all know pain. It’s the fact that treatment is a bitch and hurts and can wipe you out. And fear, our good friend fear who sneaks up on us when we’re trying to go to sleep at night. The one who pops out to say hello when we hear about a friend with a recurrence or a neighbor who comes to you after they find a lump.
If you are reading this than either you have fought this fight or you know someone who has. Please remember to stand up for them, for yourselves. Me, I’m just going to stay “too negative” and “obsessed with age as a number” for the next 40 or 50 years or so and I’ll be happy on good days and cranky on bad days, just like everyone else.