Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 12, 2000

ANNA MONICA / L’Observateur / January 12, 2000

An annual letter from a friend of mine started off with “1999 was not a good year.” In reading the reasons she listed I couldn’t help but think “andwhat if she had the year I did.” It is so easy to dwell on our misfortunes. We humans love to recount them. Nonetheless, it serves no purpose but to keep us hostage to the bad that happens in our lives. As I have said before, I truly believe life is acombination of equal good and bad and no one is exempt. So, when life getsbad we need to look for the good which is also there.

My own 1999 started off with my second broken ankle, included saying goodbye to Polly and Jerry, dear friends who succumbed to ovarian cancer, and ended with my own return to treatment because of the same disease.

However, the year also ended with my having an avalanche of good wishes, cards, calls and prayer requests for my return to health from friends and mere acquaintances.

Perry Maurin and her brother, Michael, friends of long-standing but who I rarely see anymore, sent me a beautiful tape of inspirational songs. I amagain hitting a few tennis balls, and my loving, supportive family is always there for me.

That brings me to my special wish for the New Year. It doesn’t concernterrorism and the Y2K scare that never did bother me. The news media,especially television, which I thought was positively foolish in its coverage of the last day of the year, outdid itself with the anticipation of sensational news only to be let down. For that we are all grateful. The sensational news that I, and others like me, would like to hear this year is that we are making strides toward a cure for cancer. Asdevastating as this disease is for those who suffer from it and their loved ones, there really isn’t enough progress, no matter what you hear. True,the treatment for some cancers today is better than it was, and lives are prolonged. But it isn’t enough. For some time now I have been checking thedeath notices. There are other devastating diseases out there, but on mostdays I can tell you there are more deaths from cancer than anything else.

In most cases, we cancer patients have done absolutely nothing to have brought this upon ourselves.

Cancer is not a “political” disease, so we cannot expect any “politically correct” action. Famous people take up causes all the time and speakbefore Congress. They get attention and action because of their fame, andisn’t that pitiful? If those who have suffered and or died from cancer could rise up together and make demands there would be an outcry so great it could not be ignored.

Cancer isn’t a publicly popular cause either, and I don’t understand why not because it is truly invasive and makes more appearances every day in the lives of all people. It has no boundaries. It changes lives completely. It isgreatly feared.

I firmly believe we must not give in to fear. But I sincerely wish therewould be more of a public outcry from the general population for more government funding and a big, big push for aggressive research. We needmore support for the American Cancer Society, which is the largest contributor toward cancer research. Research is where the answers areand, ultimately a cure.

Therefore, you have my greatest wish for the New Year: more advances in the cure for cancer and more support from all of you toward combating this dreaded disease. For so many of us, it’s a matter of life. And, thank you so much for your continued prayers.

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