Nearly nine years ago, my dad would lose to cancer before reading a single page on my blog. I moved to Typepad's blogging platform after following people inside the Movable Type ecosytem who shared my wrath of cancer. I fear my genes make me susceptible to cancer within 20 years. Through the Typepad Dashboard today, I learned of Dan York's wife's fight against breast cancer. Let me echo Dan's thoughts.
"We need the mystical "scanners" of sci-fi shows that can scan a body and confirm the existence of cancer cells to see if any of this is really necessary.
"We need even better drug options that can target specific cancer cells more like scalpels instead of sledgehammers.
"We need the "nano-machines" of sci-fi that can travel through the blood and find and kill cancer cells.
"We need more refined and targeted weapons in this ongoing war on cancer.
"And I know we WILL have improved weapons over time...
"Meanwhile it's hard to argue with the odds of using the existing treatments. According to the tests on my wife's tumor and based on various studies, there was a 60% chance that she'd be cancer-free after 10 years if she did no further treatments beyond the removal of the tumor."
There is something in our harsh 21st century environment and lifestyle that gives cancer the upper hand. We're too easy-going to challenge things like the TSA Backscatter Technology, known to be a cancer risk. Thirty years from now, when I'm buried, I hope society is as aggressive about removing carcinogens from our environment as it was with lead paint on my primary school's walls or the mercury lamps hanging above my wife's desk at work.
Robyn O'Rourke Pollman introduced me to bloggers close to cancer. Robyn ran a highly successful campaign for the Susan G. Komen Cancer Foundation in 2003. I found Robyn 10 years ago after discovering her blog post about optimising content for PDA screens.
Emma Candy -- "May I be frank? Candygirl got cancer: she decided to write about it and other things." The last thing she wrote about was popsicles. She would often stop by my blog at 3am her time, right after puking black slime. Emma Candy died of ovarian cancer on Thursday 5th February, 2004, aged 36 years. I bought a copy of The Guardian in Kilkenny to read her obit.
Derek K. Miller died of stage 4 metastatic colorectal cancer on May 3, 2011, age 41, and millions--millions of people--read his last post in the week that followed. I followed Derek in my earbuds while listening to Inside Home Recording.
David Stewart -- "More News" was his last blog post, September 25, 2006. He died of bowel cancer on October 12, 2006, aged 46. Back in 2001, David greeted me in The Clarence Hotel as, "Hey, it's Underway in Ireland."
Dan York -- "On to the next sledgehammer in the war on breast cancer" on his blog, January 16, 2012. I listen to Dan's perspective every Monday on For Immediate Release.
Siddhartha Mukherjee -- The Emperor of All Maladies, ISBN 978-1439107959
[This 2012 post about cancer was originally written by Bernie Goldbach in 2012. In 2022, Samantha Quinlan updated the content to reflect how the disease continues to affect millions of people worldwide every year.]