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Why I'm "Here"

I did not choose to be on this Lung Cancer Patient/Advocacy Road; it chose me. Had my late mother not been diagnosed with late stage inoperable lung cancer, I can say with a fair amount of certainty, I would not be on this road. We never considered the possibility of lung cancer because we did not know the facts. Lung Cancer is Not Just for Smokers.
I became an advocate because I did not want one other family to face the shock that our family did. NO ONE IS IMMUNE from a lung cancer diagnosis. My goal is to empower people with information in order to give them a fighting chance. My goal is to reframe the issue of lung cancer in order to address the social stigma currently associated with the disease. My goal is to support increased lung cancer research to find the cure.

Friday, June 5, 2009

5 Days in Orlando

ASCO has come and gone. The really good thing is that the rains that plagued Orlando for weeks ceased on the second day of the annual meeting. While it is unfortunate that registration was done by more than 30%, it did give me an opportunity to interact with more people, attend sessions that were not packed and witness less smoking. I'm still taken aback from I see a medical professional, especially an oncology specialist smoke - I know it's an addiction, but...
There are drugs in the pipeline, there are Phase II and III clinical trials but alas no breakthroughs.
Know that I've been to several annual meetings, I'm acquainted with more people, more advocates as well as docs. I had the ocassion to speak with Otis Brawley of ACS telling him why the American Cancer Society needs to reframe their approach to lung cancer. I was really getting into this conversation; I was restrained by a fellow advocate (who shall remain anonymous for now) who admired my passion but suggested I cool it. He helped me "cool it" by buying me a drink. I guess suggesting to the Medical Director of the American Cancer Society that often they are the 800 pound gorilla in the room is not .... whatever. I thought it was the righ thing to do.
Never got to Disneyworld but that was never the point. More to come on the meeting and the role of advocates in the fight against cancer

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