Tomorrow will mark the end of National Lymphoma Month for 2014. But just because the month ends, those of us who have to deal with Lymphoma, do so every day.
My goal this month was to do something that is difficult to do, bring awareness to a rare cancer, that honestly gets little attention. It gets little attention for a couple of reasons. Lymphomas are a rare cancer. And the blood cancer I was dealt with, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, only makes up 1% of all cancer diagnosis. It also gets very little attention because of its high cure rate of over 85%. Medicine does not see an immediate need to pursue alternative and safer treatments. But this is unacceptable for the 15% of Hodgkin’s patients who do not survive like Michael in “Meet Michael.”
Funding for Lymphoma and other blood cancers is difficult to raise because it does not carry the notoriety and effort as the major cancers like breast and lung. Whereas hundreds of millions of dollars are raised for the big two cancers… this year’s national annual September drive made just over $300,000. As a lymphoma patient and survivor, that is really sad. But then again, I believe this to be a result of the lack of awareness.
Dealing with any cancer is complicated both physically and emotionally. Cancer affects the patient and everyone around the patient. Cancer involves more than just the treatment. There are so many issues that come along with a cancer diagnosis: money, fertility, employment, the future, relationships, health, and more.
I want to end National Lymphoma Month on a positive note. Tomorrow I will publish a very special story, about one of the strongest Hodgkin’s/Cancer survivors I have ever known. From her diagnosis to her remission, to the life that she is building today, I hope that you will be as inspired as I am, when you read her story.
Beginning October 1st, I will get back to alternating my stories between cancer and single fatherhood. The challenge to myself will be complete tomorrow, thirty posts in thirty days.