I am sixty. Six omg I can’t believe this is true.
The first thing I said when I got up this morning was ‘Linnea, it’s your birthday. You’re still alive. Not sure how you do it, but you do.’
Gotta say, I didn’t think I was going to have an opportunity to get old. And so far, I’m loving it.
However it is all very bittersweet. Yesterday I spent time with someone who I care very much for. Someone who is young–too young–and who is in the last stages of fighting this disease.
And that breaks my flipping heart.
We’ve made significant progress when it comes to the treatment of lung cancer. More of us are living longer. However, the majority of effective treatments are still targeted therapies that are classified as inhibitors. By definition, inhibition restrains or restricts. When you are talking about targeted therapies, inhibition is almost always temporary. Cancer is an incredibly wily bitch; it finds a way around.
And sadly, medical research doesn’t operate at quite the same speed as wildly mutating cells.
It’s all quite complicated, actually. Regulations, incentives, the sheer enormity of the problem. However, from the perspective of the patient, it is actually absolutely straight forward. We want to live. And far too many of us are still dying.
So yes, I am happy to have this opportunity to turn sixty. It is a reminder of far we have come. But also how far we have to go.