Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Calling it Quits" on Frankly Speaking About Cancer

It was like being in the dark ages the first time I had cancer when it came to emotional support-there was none. People I knew asked me to not say the "C" word around them, no one seemed to understand the physical, emotional and financial devastation I was going through with being diagnosed with a life threatening disease at age 32.

When I had a recurrence in 2010, I knew that emotional support would help me through my journey with cancer this second time and I joined Gilda's Club immediately. This free resource, part of the Cancer Support Community, seems to have a magically effect on it's members. Cancer is a horrible disease that not only eats away at your body, it can eat away at your soul if you let it. While being a member of Gilda's may not heal your body, it does heal your soul.  It is a place to talk to others on the same journey who know exactly how it feels to be dealing with cancer. Yes there are tears but there is also a lot of joy, deep friendships develop and life is so very real and in the moment at Gildas. Facades drop away, cancer  doesn't discriminate, it strikes everyone, At Gildas you are accepted regardless of race, color, religion, political preference, sexual affiliation, everyone is welcomed.

While I no longer attend support meetings, I still volunteer to help Gilda's whenever I have a chance. It is important for me to give back to a place that was so important in my emotional healing from cancer. So when I was asked to speak on the Cancer Support Community's weekly radio talk show, I was happy to share my knowledge about how to become smoke-free. You can listen it it here: Calling It Quits.

The best way to treat cancer is prevention and I'm doing my part by helping smokers quit tobacco; smoking is the cause of 30% of all cancers, it's not just lung cancer. Instead of thinking of it as "just a bad habit", it is a time bomb that kills 50 to 75% of it's long-term users. There is no other substance as deadly as tobacco that is allowed to exist simply to satisfy the greed of corporate interests. We could make a huge dent in our "War" against Cancer, if smoking cessation and prevention were actually a priority in our society.

I hope you never get cancer but if you do, please reach out to the Cancer Support Community, they can help. If you want to prevent getting it - stop smoking now.

No comments: