I have always been a person who cares. Inequality, environmental issues, criminal justice reform.
If you were my roommate in college, you would have had to put up with the kitchen cupboard I turned into a bulletin board covered in newspaper articles. Now facebook is my podium.
One cause that was never on my radar was lung cancer. That is, until I was diagnosed back in 2005. Even then, it would take another three years and being restaged to IV, before I became involved in advocacy.
The majority of the other advocates/activists I know also have stage IV lung cancer. But there are a remarkable subset who were diagnosed (and remain) at an early stage. Ostensibly they could have walked away from this world. And how about the spouses, partners, parents, children, caregivers, friends, family, widows and widowers who don’t have lung cancer at all.
We–those of us with advanced disease–couldn’t do it without them.
To choose to advocate for lung cancer patients–even with all of the bias, stigma and an incredibly high mortality rate–that takes a lot of commitment, courage, and compassion.
So I just want to say thank you for this extraordinary expression of love.
Not only does it make us feel cared for, it underscores the fact that we are like one big family. And that is a formidable feeling.