Cancer is always a hard journey

Published 7:30 am Saturday, October 14, 2023

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I venture to say hearing the word cancer is one of the most dreaded words to hear today.

Vickie Wacaster, Patient and Hospice Advocate with Aveanna Hospice (formerly Comfort Care Hospice)

Our lives have forever changed for those of us who have been touched by cancer, either directly or indirectly. Cancer is not selective. It invades people of all faiths and nationalities without social, economic, or geographical restrictions. It plagues people who have always taken care of themselves – ate the right foods, exercised, and lived right as well as those who have abused their bodies from an early age. It affects the rich, the poor, the old and the young.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and although breast cancer is much more common in women, it can also affect men. According to the CDC, about 1 in every 100 breast cancers that are diagnosed in the United States will be found in men. Fortunately, around 64 percent of diagnosed breast cancers cases are discovered at a localized stage, which means before the cancer has spread. In those cases, the 5-year survival rate is 99 percent. In the year 2023, there are over 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. Though early diagnosis is key to long term survival, we continue to hope, and strive toward, a cure.

Just as vaccinations for deadly diseases such as polio, tetanus, and smallpox have been discovered, and treatments to cure others like tuberculosis have been successful, we believe one day we will see a cure for breast cancer. With all the modern technology we have available in our world today, we continue to make strides towards complete cure; In the meantime, however, many new treatments have become available to target breast cancer with promising results. Above all, remember, cancer cannot rob you of your faith – it may test it-but it cannot destroy it – for we know that cancer cannot harm the soul.

Above all, remember, cancer cannot rob you of your faith. It may test it, but it cannot destroy it, for we know that cancer cannot harm the soul. We pray that God will continue to touch the lives and hearts of our families and friends affected by any type of cancer.

I want to leave you with two quotes that ring loud with truth:  “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.” – Stuart Scott, and the words of Dr. Gary Breslow, ”Don’t be afraid to ask for the help you need, whether it is an errand or a hand to hold – your friends and family really do want to help in any way they can.”

— Vickie C. Wacaster is a patient and hospice advocate for Aveanna Hospice.