22 January 2008

Leave No Mom Behind

Since John died (and even while he was sick), I've often thought that I should do more to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer, do fundraising events, talk about cancer research, and generally be more of an advocate. My excuse for not doing so is time. My real reason for not doing so is that it still feels to raw to me, and I'm too selfish. Maybe someday.

Thankfully, other kind spirits in this world are better able to channel their mental and physical energy. One of my friends in the computer, Debbie, lost her mom to lung cancer (and no, she was not a smoker) two years ago today. To honor her mom, Debbie is planning to RUN A FREAKIN' MARATHON in Denver on September 21, 2008. A marathon! Now that's some commitment to the cause. Debbie has a page set up where you can make donations to support her, and by doing so, support lung cancer research. Please stop by and say hello, and donate if you can.


Yankee T said...

Going over there now.

buddha_girl said...

Will check her out momentarily.

I think you've got more than enough on your plate right now. Selfish is not a word I'd ever use to describe you - stop using it yourself! Right this very minute.

You honor John in so many ways. We don't always have to do something public to honor those people we love so dearly.

You are doing a bang-up job raising the two children you and John created. That's honoring your husband.

debangel said...

Selfish is the last word I'd use!! I can't thank you enough for helping me spread the word about my mom, and helping to put a human face to this terrible disease. Every action we take in this world to make it a better place is an act of love and selflessness..so don't sell yourself short.

I read all of your archives about John months ago. He sounded like such a wonderful man, husband and father, and he'd be so proud of how great a mom you are, and how caring of a person, in spite of your grief. I promise you now, I'll be thinking about him, too, when I run.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone else in saying that 'selfish' is certainly the last word I would use. Like so many others before you and so many that will follow you, you will find a way to honor John beyond the private ways that you already do - and the world will be a better place because of it. For the time being, remind your children of him and his love, and watch them grow to be the loving, caring, and outstanding adults that they are sure to become.

I am still working through your archives, and have been a reader for quite some time - today just seemed fitting to 'out' myself! Off to check-out Debbie's site.

Anonymous said...

You are busy doing the work that you need to do right now.

I know you didn't it mean it in a judgemental way, but it does bother me when people ask if someone who had lung cancer smoked or not.

A friend of mine recently lost her mother to lung cancer and her mother did smoke. What difference does it make? No one deserves to die too soon and in that way(again, I know you are way more in touch than that, I'm just generally venting here.)


debangel said...

((Sorry to borrow comment space here, but I thought I could also answer Kathleen if it's OK!))

Kathleen- I think Stacey was making the same point I did in telling my mom's story- that is EVERYONE'S first question when I tell them she died of lung cancer. I bring that up as a way of trying to open people's eyes than ANYONE can get lung cancer, not just those with the obvious risk factors. Unfortunately, the bias against smokers is what keeps funding for lung cancer research so low. I for one? Hate cigarette smoke. I have a big nose and I can smell it a mile away. But if I die with two healthy lungs and they get donated to a dying smoker? More power to them. Everyone is somebody's baby and everyone leaves behind someone who loves and misses them. I would hope that the smoker had a change of heart and decided to stop smoking after getting a new gently-used set, but that's not the same as "strings attached". Nobody deserves to die like that, not a macrobiotic vegan or a two-pack-a-dayer. The only thing that needs to die an excruciatingly nasty death is cancer.

((Stepping off the soapbox now. Thanks for leasing the ranting space!!))

Angela said...

You are definitely not selfish. You're doing all that you can to keep yourself and the twins lives on track, you are one amazing woman.

Snickollet said...


First of all, I'm so sorry about your friend's mom.

I totally get what you're saying, and Debbie hit the nail on the head when answering you, so I won't repeat all the good stuff she said. I hesitated when I noted that Debbie's mom didn't smoke, but it's true that some people (hopefully not my blog readers, but still) that lung cancer is a disease that people deserve to get because they smoked. If that's not bad enough, most of those people don't know you can get lung cancer even if you don't smoke. So opening people's eyes to the fact that cancer kills indiscriminately is important.

Cancer just plain sucks. No two ways about it.