Several people have, if not so much complained, expressed to me their dissatisfaction with the frequency with which I have been updating this blog. Indeed, one friend asked if I was feeling too sick to write. On the contrary, my dear friends, I have been feeling quite well, for the most part (‘cept when I exercise a couple of days after chemo; apparently, that’s the not the smartest decision I have ever made, prompting a good friend to refer to me affectionately as a dumbass).
In short, I haven’t blogged that much because I have not had much to say (which I am sure surprises many of you). In the beginning, this blog served as a way for me to continue to update you, my loyal readers, regarding my mental and physical well-being. More recently, though, things have been generally good. Chemo weeks suck; non-chemo weeks don’t suck. Beyond that distinction, I have not had much “cancer-related” news to report, and that (more than anything) has kept me from posting, as I have always viewed this blog as “Merle’s Cancer Blog.” Perhaps, I need to give myself permission to write about stuff other than cancer (as we all know these treatments I’ve been going through have worked and I am cancer free — fingers, toes, and eyes crossed)!
The above paragraph notwithstanding, though, I actually have some cancer-related news. As many of you know, the Pancreatic Cancer Network (PANCAN) is a large advocacy group for issues related to pancreatic cancer. I received an email from PANCAN today heralding the publication of a letter to congress by pancreatic cancer survivor, Patrick Swayze. In a previous post on this blog, I was somewhat critical of Swayze not using his celebrity in advocacy. So this letter is certainly a really good step (anyone expecting a big BUT right about now??)
This is a good step, but, when reading the letter, I got the sense that it was written by some ghost writer rather than Swayze himself. Some of you may be saying, “Well DUH.” Perhaps this feeling lies in my sense that the letter is so well researched and my sense that Patrick would not do that kind of in depth research. Perhaps that is just my “ivory tower” snobbery, but I would have no problem accepting this letter if it had come from someone like Randy Pausch, but it just doesn’t seem like Swayze.
The other but with regards to the letter lies in it’s message. Swayze correctly identifies pancreatic cancer as the 4th leading cause of cancer-related death in the US, but fails to mention that it is the most underfunded form of cancer of the leading forms of cancer-related deaths. I would have liked to have seen Swayze call for more funding for pancreatic cancer research, in particular, rather than a call to fund NIH (in support of cancer research, in general). So, as I said, this is a good step. I am very happy that Patrick is stepping up and using his celebrity, but being the greedy S.O.B. that I am, I would love him to do more.
One last thing: while out and about today, I drove by a church with a message on the outside sign that made me laugh out loud. I was so tickled I just had to stop and take a picture (click on the picture for an enlarged view of the sign). Enjoy…