Saturday, January 11, 2014
Here's the thing...
How many of you have seen this on your FaceBook page? I see it quite often, and always, though the sentiment is good, it also sort of rubs me the wrong way. It popped up again this morning and since I had time, I analyzed just WHY this particular one bothered me so much. I think I figured it out.
Here's the thing... all that stuff listed at the beginning of this meme are NOT wishes. They are all within the realm of possibility. One only has to CHOOSE those things and work for them and they can happen. It's not magic. But cancer? That is another story. Kicking cancer's butt IS a wish that can sometimes come true with the proper treatment, IF it's available or affordable. That IF is a big one though - not everything works for everyone. Treating cancer is difficult... all you have to do is look at those who don't survive it in spite of the best treatments to know that this is true.
If you want to be thinner, go on a diet. Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, Paleo, removing something from your diet that you are sensitive to - all you have to do is stick with it and eventually you'll be buying smaller jeans.
If you want to be bigger, eat more (healthfully) or have surgery, depending on what it is exactly that you want bigger.
If you want more money, a cool car, a day off or a new phone, you can have those things by training, getting and keeping the right job that will provide you with those things. Having confidence in yourself, your knowledge and your attitude are key in arriving in that place.
If you want to date the person of your dreams, you need the right attitude about relationships and to be the person of someone else's dreams. If you are loud, rude, chemically impaired, messy, smelly, persistently broke, expect the other person to tolerate bullying, abuse, or you acting like you're still single - chances are that you are NOT the person of someone else's dreams. If you don't care for yourself, other people probably won't either.
All of these things are under your control. It might take time. It might take effort. It might mean changing your entire life around and getting therapy - but it CAN happen. It's not magic.
Cancer, on the other hand, is not always something that you can control. Sure, if you're a smoker or work around chemicals or are around some other hazardous material, you can avoid it by not being around it and possibly not get cancer. But what about brain tumors in children? Or the young man with the bright future suddenly discovering that he has bone cancer? Or the woman with no risk factors whose breasts try to kill her? Or the man who has worked hard every day finding that mole on his arm was a warning sign of advanced melanoma? Cancer happens and sometimes there is no rhyme or reason as to why. It can strike anyone at anytime in their lives.
THOSE people wish. They pursue treatments, but even the best treatments are no guarantee of survival. They pray. They do everything they can possibly think of to survive. And a lot of people do. And a lot of people don't. Every cancer is different. It reacts differently to treatments. It behaves differently in different people. They wish for a cure. For themselves. For other people.
You may not be able to do anything about the cancer itself, but you can do something for the people making those wishes. Be there. Talk to them, write to them. Pray with them and for them. Go shopping for them. Change the sheets for them. Make a pot of tea for them. It doesn't take a lot to make a difference. It just takes caring and doing. Something. Anything. Go do it now because I know you know someone. I could write a long list of people I know who have had cancer, both survivors and non-survivors, but I won't. If you don't know someone with cancer now, you will in the future. Start thinking now of what you can do to help so that they can put their energies into their treatments - and their wishes.