Friday, May 16, 2014

wishing you continued good health

As, I mentioned in my last post,  I've been working on a campaign called Fair Cancer Care. We're hoping to create awareness, followed by change to how chemotherapy drugs are covered in Ontario. We launched in time for the provincial election campaign, in the hopes that we can get our local candidates to take an interest. You can find out more at

The people behind the campaign are a group of Ottawa residents who have all been affected by cancer. We've all been promoting the hell out of this campaign as the election date draws nearer. My good friend Andrea is a driving force in our group. Her creativity has been key to getting us moving and, as someone who lived through breast cancer, she gets how crucial it is to ensure that everyone gets the best care available.

Yesterday, Andrea had the following exchange via email with someone she knows slightly, who'd been asked to sign our petition. I share the following exchange with Andrea's permission. For the purposes of clarity and my own amusement, we'll call the other person Ms. Smug Hubris.

SH: "I don't believe that cancer causing radiation and toxic chemotherapy is the cure for cancer. Healthy whole food and a healthy lifestyle is."

Andrea: "I thought the exact same thing before I got it. Wishing you continued good health."

Although my response was much cruder (rhymes with "Oh duck off"), I think Andrea was perfect. While Ms. SH is entitled to her opinion, I'll continue to fight for the very best cancer care to be available to everyone. 

Because the thing is, anyone can get cancer. I've known several extremely healthy living, eating and drinking people who've been hit by a cancer diagnosis. I know people who did everything right before and after that diagnosis and died anyway.

We need a cure for cancer. But until then, we need the very best chemotherapies to be available as soon as they are approved. And everyone should have access to the treatment their oncologist prescribes, regardless of ability to pay.

Ms. Smug Hubris can chose whether or not to seek treatment, should she be unlucky enough to get cancer. We'll keep working to make sure it's available.

To learn more and sign our petition, please visit You can like us on Facebook, too.


writewrds said...

Wow. I can't believe Andrea heard that. Wishing everybody with cancer and all of us the most options and best care we can get.

laurie said...

Amen to that.

Mark said...

Didn't Steve Jobs eat only organic produce his entire life and still get pancreatic cancer?

laurie said...

I didn't know that - but there you go.

Catherine said...

Just email myself this post and will be sure to share

Anonymous said...

There is a columnist in a Globe and Mail A.P. who is a fierce advocate for savings in health care.
After one of his articles about the cost of Herceptin for the young Ontario women with an early stage breast cancer, I have e-mailed him.
My question was if he will feel the same when anyone in his family will be diagnosed with breast cancer?
I did also say "I wish you well"

laurie said...

Good for you, K.! More people need to respond!

Sherman Morrison said...

This was a fantastic post. Very hard-hitting and realistic. You can live the healthiest lifestyle on the planet and still get cancer. That's just the way it is in the modern world. I can't help but wonder, though, if even after decades of research we've missed something really fundamental about cancer. Sometimes I feel like the researchers are so wrapped up in what new twist on this or that drug might help that they've forgotten to question even basic assumptions about what cancer is. It makes me think that's what's holding back more effective treatments. I continue to search for these answers myself, though new thinking is hard to come by.

Sherman Morrison

laurie said...

Thanks Sherman. The whole world of cancer research and especially of pharmaceuticals is not exactly transparent, is it? I think the profit driven model means that questions like the one you ask often go unanswered. What matters, too often, is not "will it help?" but "will it sell?" Treatments that will not generate enough income often go un-funded. And then there is the whole notion that there is no motivation to cure cancer, since treating it is such a lucrative enterprise.