Todd and I watched Stand Up 2 Cancer last night and I found it emotionally draining. Cancer statistics are staggering. Mind blowing. Unreal. In the United States alone 1500 people die from the disease each day. One person each minute. And yet the means to end this insidious illness are within our grasp. For the very first time I’ve started thinking I may see the cure in my lifetime.

Before I was diagnosed I wasn’t afraid of cancer. It was something that happened to other people. I was young and healthy and there was no reason to think I would end up with it. But I did get it and a year later my mom got it. It changed the way I think and not necessarily for the better. My rose colored glasses shattered and no amount of duct tape will ever fix them.

If only we could find the cure. If we could stop cancer before it starts. If we could obliterate the disease and talk about it past tense like polio and yellow fever. Maybe then I wouldn’t have this niggle of fear in the recesses of my heart. The fear that my daughter or my son or my husband or my sisters or my father, ad infinitum, will hear those same words I heard a little over three years ago.

The program last night was a lot of things – sad, moving, inspiring, exciting. The individual stories tugged on my heart, the stories of children with cancer tore at my soul. How incredible it would be to have a cure and make these stories a thing of the past.

I want a cure. I want it now. I don’t want to have the nagging questions in the back of my mind. Will I get cancer again? Will my daughter or sisters end up with breast cancer? Has my family paid their cancer dues or will we have to ante up again? Geesh. Imagine a world where we don’t have those kinds of worries. How awesome would that be?

Just like everything else, research isn’t free. Which is the point of this particular organization. They talked about how the March of Dimes was started to fund polio research and find the cure. At that time the plea was for every person in the U.S. to send in one dime and that would be enough money for the research. And look what happened. Polio in America is a distant nightmare. This is the same thing.

Last night 100% of the donations went directly to cancer research. I’m not sure if that was just during that hour or if it continues even still, but if you’d like to make a donation you can click on the link above.


Some of you also read Michelle at My Semblance of Sanity. She has blogged a lot about a very special little boy named Julian Avery. Julian lost his fight with cancer in January. There was a part last night where Halle Berry, Casey Affleck, Jennifer Garner and Forrest Whitaker read a short piece about different cancer patients and their picture was shown on the screen behind them. All of a sudden there was Julian on the screen and Forrest Whitaker read a piece his mother, Mimi, had written. If it hadn’t already been personal, it sure was after that. Not that I ever knew Julian or his family, but I’d been reading about him and everything he was going through and mourned the day I learned he passed away.

As sad as pediatric cancer is – and it’s the saddest of all forms – there is hope. Hope for a cure. If you can’t pay for a cure, you can at least pray for a cure.

Crossposted at Mothers With Cancer


  1. Gretchen on September 6, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Hoping, praying, and next week, walking for a cure. xxxooogretchen

  2. My Semblance of Sanity on September 6, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks for your words!YOU ROCK!You are my hero!

  3. Lori on September 6, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. I not only pray for a cure each day. And, like Gretchen, I’m walking. Oct. 11.

  4. Theresa on September 6, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    Hello, I saw your comment on Michelle’s blog and stopped for a visit. This is my first time to your blog. I am a cancer advocate…because I don’t want one of my children, or husband or myself to get cancer. I met Julian on Christmas night when my sister sent me his carepage. He stole my heart and I have never been the same.The statistics about the March of Dime was amazing…to think that today it would be if everyone gave $1.50!Awareness! Thanks for being brave. Love Theresa

  5. Eileen on September 6, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Jen,Your words speak to me. I fear cancer and hope and pray ever single night for a cure. My father died from cancer and it seems like so many people I work with keep getting diagnosed. Prayers,awareness and funding seem to be our biggest weapon right now. I will stay in this fight, joining with the many, many others. I am going to check out Julian’s story and see if I can send words of support to Mimi.XXXXXXX

  6. Andria and Co. on September 7, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Great, thought invoking post.Heading over to read Julian’s story…(came here via Fertile Mertile.)

  7. Jenster on September 7, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Gretchen & Lori – I can't wait to hear about your walking experience! Todd and I are planning on doing it next year so I could use all the advice I can get!Michelle – Thank YOU for all you do. You are amazing!Theresa – Thanks for visiting! And thanks for advocating! Someday maybe it will be a distant memory.Eileen – I'm telling you, it's just a matter of time before there's a cure. It just can't get here fast enough.Andria – Thanks for the visit!

  8. Cmommy on September 7, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Among the first things that pop into my mind when I hear that someone is battling a long-term, life-threatening disease is “What will this do to their insurance coverage?” Because I live with Multiple Sclerosis and use a very expensive drug weekly, I’m hyper aware of the insurance issue. The stress that is heaped upon a family can be crippling. Personally, if we lost coverage today, I’d be uninsurable.I didn’t mean to be on a soapbox; I’m just saying that finding a cure for cancer is imperative. I am saddened to think that those who have survived it could be left without coverage. Hugs, Jen!

  9. Becky on September 7, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Inspiring, thought-provoking words, my friend. A cure definitely needs to be found.Do you remember me blogging about my friend Roberta who died of Cancer back in January? Almost unbelievably, her husband died Friday evening…of Bone Marrow cancer. Which had been misdiagnosed until just a couple of weeks ago as sciatica nerve trouble. Unfortunately, when he ended up in the hospital 2 1/2 weeks ago with double pneumonia and slipped into a coma, doctors there discovered it was already in a late-stage aggresive form of cancer which had spread to his brain. His doctors think he may have actually had the beginning stages of cancer back when his wife was fighting her 3rd battle with cancer. Their sons (one still in high school and in our youth group) lost both parents to cancer in 8 months time. It breaks my heart. It’s. got. to. stop. And believe me, I’m going to be praying now more than ever for a cure to be found.I just have to wonder why, when many people prior to the 1980’s found Vitamin B 17 (Laitrielle), the substance from the seeds in Apricot pits, to be helpful in curing their cancers…why it was outlawed and no longer available in health food stores in our country by the mid to late 1980’s?I know many regard this ‘alternative’ treatment to be kind of ‘out there’, but more actual research at least needs to be done on that substance, which, if it is indeed a necessary vitamin or dietary nutrient that many think it to be…it could be a simple vitamin deficiency that leads to cancer…something very easily and inexpensively remedied. Of course, if that is the case, the medical ‘industry’ that has grown up around fighting this disease in the U.S., along with some of the Pharmaceutical giants (and their powerful lobbyists) are fearful of this substance and what it could do to their current job security and profits.Roberta yearned to try it, but felt her hands were tied. If her doctors or insurance company had gotten wind of her trying this ‘alternative’ treatment, she could have been denied the insurance coverage (and later hospice care) for going ‘outside’ their prescribed treatment. She wanted to give it a try, too…she was willing to try anything at that point…but not wanting to burden her family with the staggering costs of out-of-pocket Hospice care in the event it was ‘too late’, she didn’t. That, too, breaks my heart. Knowing there is something out there that could and had helped others she knew (including a retired man in our community who was healed of his cancer that way, and routinely takes folks across the border for treatment at great personal expense, on ‘missions of mercy’ to get them help he believes in)…but didn’t want to risk trying it.Sorry for ‘dumping’ about this here…everything is still pretty fresh.

  10. Stacy~ on September 8, 2008 at 8:25 am

    I know what you mean about wanting a cure now. Watching anyone suffer, loved ones, a child, is awful. Becky, I think there comes a point where a person will try anything, and considering the alternative, I think it should be their choice. How sad that someone has to die when there may have been a fighting chance. I don’t like the idea of having to give up hope. I guess that’s why we turn to God for what we need. {{{hugs}}}

  11. Cheryl Wray on September 8, 2008 at 10:42 am

    It is all very sad…but I’m glad to hear that there is hope out there for a cure. We can all pray for that, can’t we?

  12. Lainey-Paney on September 8, 2008 at 10:54 am

    praying for a cure daily.I routinely read about the "Vamp" family ( & another boy in our area, Gage Holmes, ( Both have battled/are battling pediatric cancer.Everyday we pray for a cure…On another note:Chili's restaurant has a PROFITS day on Sept. 29th (Monday). All proceeds that day go to cancer research. Just so ya know!

  13. The Daily "B" on September 8, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Incredible! Beautiful and inspiring post!

  14. Jenster on September 8, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Cmommy – The insurance issue is HUGE! I had to have several shots that were about $1700/shot, but I had to wait until insurance said I could get them. Still, I had great coverage and I’m thankful for that. I don’t know what we would have done otherwise.Becky – that’s horrible about your friends. Those poor boys. I do know several people who have tried the B17 and it didn’t work so I don’t believe it’s an absolute cure. But it’s still something that should be studied. Maybe I’m stubborn (no, really. Maybe. lol) but I can’t and won’t believe in the conspiracy theory. It would just make me way too angry so I have to think positively.Stacy – Wise words. :o)Cheryl – ABsolutely!Lainey-Paney – I LOVE Chili’s! I’ll be there! :o)

  15. Dev on September 8, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Jen ~ I cried all the way through the show, I couldn’t help it. Cancer has affected all sides of my family and took my Dad in 1994. I do hope and pray that a cure is found in my lifetime.Thank you for such an inspirational and thought-provoking post.

  16. radioactive girl on September 9, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    “It changed the way I think and not necessarily for the better. My rose colored glasses shattered and no amount of duct tape will ever fix them.”That is exactly what I have been saying. I am not the same person I was before, and there is no way to un know or un experience what I have.I couldn’t watch the cancer thing. I think I am just not quite ready yet.

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