Sunday, February 27, 2011

The World's New "Natural Disaster"

I don't know about the rest of you but it becomes very frustrating when our own country cannot balance it's budget, spends money like drunken sailors and places the ramifications on the backs of hard woring Americans.

Then come the natural disasters, earthquakes, floods, tsunammi's. I don't have an exact number on just how much the US provides to other countries but I know it's quite an extraordinary figure. On top of that, we see fundraisers for the victims of this tragedies to which celebrities in particular (but others as well) contribute literally millions of dollars. Does anyone who has contributed to Haiti actualy think any of that money will ever get to the people? Pleeease!

Meantime, there is a growing natural disaster in this country to which most are oblivious except of course those living it. It's called CANCER and it can turn a person's life upside down just as fast as an earthquake or a flood. It's ramfications can leave you homeless, jobless, having to make choices between eating and obtaining often vital medications, many to alleviate agonizing pain.

If course I see fundraisers for various cancer "research", but what about fundraisers to actually help the patients? To help them to rebuild their lives, alleviate the near constant daily stress which only causes further deterioration of their condition because we all know what stress does to the body and the immune system.

I'm glad Sean Penn and others think that Haiti has the potential for such vast improvements. Potential perhaps, likelihood not so much. The American Cancer Society doesn' t provide financial assistance either, much to the surprise of most people, instead they just give you a list of phone numbers which you can call and repeat your story to over and over again trying to receive assistance, as if that isn't traumatic.

Far too many cancer organizations think that the patient's need ends when treatment ends. This couldn't be further from the truth and actually is just the beginning for most of these folks. They've previously been caught up in their treatment schedule, doctors appointments, appointments for CT scans and PET scans, chemotherapy etc and have no time to even focus on "daily life" because this has become their daily life. But when treatments ends, daily life is never the same and too many patients find themselves financially destitute, lacking emotional support as well, needing help because side effects complicate what were once simple everyday chores. These are the forgotten. I think survivor is an incorrect classification because often they are not even surviving they're barely existing. And, while it's nice that the ACS provides a beauty sessoin with free make-up to help women feel better about themselves, personally I'd rather have a check to pay my electric bill or put food on the table.

Perhpas it's long past the time when we should be looking within our own countries to those who have been just as ravaged and just as emotionally and financially devastated as the others they so quickly rush to support. Perhaps it is time for these same people to contribute to a fund which will provide houses to cancer victims who have lost theirs, or funds to pay their electric bills, medical bills, be able to obtain their much needed medications and even buy food.

I think I speak for many victims of cancer, especially those whose cancer is HPV related. A virus which 80% of us will be affected by, but far few that have even heard of. Bring the compassion home to care for those Americans who are struggling every day but for whom nobody is putting on a fundraiser to assist their needs. Charity begins at home and far too many have forgotten that very simple slogan.