by Taylor Bell, Guest Blogger
The following is in reference to my recent post, "The White House is "Pink". What about LUNG CANCER?" I just got a text from my godbrother who recently lost his grandmother to breast cancer, and I wanted to share it with y'all.
Josh said, "Not sure if you meant it, but in your stuff about lung cancer being forgotten in the last few days, you come off as very... I don't know the best way to put it but the most polite is probably desensitized to breast cancer. I get what you are trying to get across but others might not. It seems very close to, '$@#& breast cancer - that's not even the worst one!!' Just thought I would let you know so you don't alienate a potential proponent for awareness because they get turned off."
I hope you guys don't feel that way. Here is my response:
"I'm sorry if it comes across that way; anyone who knows me that I support all types of cancer! I work in cancer care and give every breathing second to cancer in some way. You know, I actually admire what the breast cancer movement has done over the past 40 years by increasing survival rates to nearly 98%. But what is unfair is the desensitizing attitude that the general public has done to lung cancer patients. I will shut up when people stop asking me if I smoked to get lung cancer. Until then, it's freedom of speech and everyone who I care about knows my heart and intentions and that I support all types of cancer, including breast cancer."
After thinking about it and talking with my sister, I think the honest truth is that I am extremely jealous of what the breast cancer community has been able to do. I am jealous of their survival rates, their funding, the lack of stigma. I am jealous of what their PR campaigns have been able to do. And I hope to one day get lung cancer there.
So, for anyone's feelings that I hurt or if I came across harsh or uncaring - for that I am very sorry. I hope everyone knows and understands my heart. They know that I chose to go into cancer care to make a difference for all cancer patients. No cancer is better or more important than one cancer or the other.
I do believe, though, that it is my duty and obligation as one of the 15% to speak up on behalf of everyone who isn't able to speak up.