Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dear Big Pharma

I stood in the hallway this morning crying, as I watched my children sleep. I felt so thankful for their health, but so afraid because I have seen how quickly that can change. It was just confirmed that Aaliyah, a little warrior sister, is losing her battle with cancer and losing it way too fast. She's the same age as my youngest children. She's a child. She's a child!

1 month ago, she was doing her chemo like a champ and her outlook was good. Today, she and her family are trying to take in every possible moment and get in all of the love they can. 
It's not fair! She needs time dammit!

We can create weapons that will kill hundreds of thousands with one strike. We can create diseases to kill people. We can create chemicals that can wipe out entire blocks. We can send troops to kill for oil, money, power. 

We can't produce the cure that will save a child, a woman, a man. We can't make sure that everyone has access to health care that could potentially save a life. We can't help a man who walked away from the pharmacy because he could not afford the $1200 medicine that could prolong his wife's life for a while longer. We can turn away someone who has no insurance. How can these lives not matter? Why are there so many people hurting right now? 

I realize that there is no money in a cure. I realize that the premise behind big pharma is to grow the almighty dollar. But why in such a painful way? Why can't there be money in a cure? Why can't we put a stop to this disease? Why can't we save her? Why the children? Why anyone?

I'm glad that I don't understand how you function. I'm glad that I am not the type of person it takes to run your type of company. Instead, I will continue to research, to fundraise, to speak out, and to fight to help bring awareness and support.

Another battle is slowly being lost, while another dollar is being counted. Who is really winning?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Why Can't We?

Have you ever looked at the news and wondered, "What in the heck kind of world did I just bring my children into?"
Turning on the news and seeing the acts of terror, violence in local neighborhoods, and fighting within our government daily...Wow, just wow.
My husband and I have had conversations and dreamed of living on an island cut off from the problems of our society. Then we think, where is "safe?" Where could you go where you didn't hear it, see it, or feel the ugliness of it? We couldn't come up with that place.

Then we start to see the strength of a country, of a people, rising from the turmoil arm in arm. Making a statement. Taking a stance.
Why can't we be like this all of the time?
Why can't we respect each other for who we are?
Not for the color of skin, or for the religion I am in, or for the language I speak, or for the education I seek.
Is it that hard to do?

My students watched "Our Friend, Martin" and then I had them write down the dreams that they have for the world around them. So often, I see the bad choices that young people make, see them trying to impress their peers instead of leading, or sitting on the couch instead of going out and having fun. Friday, my 4th graders let me know that there is still so much hope within our children. Their dreams touched my heart, listening to them stand before their class and speak, gave me a unique view of their leadership skills.
I watched them go out and have a great time on the playground with each other, sit at the lunch table side by side laughing at the same jokes, talking about the same things, and talking each other through math problems to make sure they each understand.
There really is beauty in our world. We really might have a chance at change.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

But Right Now :(

I have been watching ESPN since I woke up this morning and haven't been able to change the channel yet. In tears and heartbroken. 

I hate you for taking another life.
I hate you for taking another parent away from their children.
I hate never hearing the words "Cancer Free."
I hate that we will never be able to have the feeling of safety that we had before cancer.
I hate that I will always fear a recurrence.
I hate that the lasting effects will never be understood by the the people that we most need to understand.
I hate that people assume that I am "cured" but that I will never be cured or feel cured.
I hate that I am afraid to go to the doctor because I know what will result from my concern.
I hate the feeling of loss and despair that I feel whenever cancer has taken another life. 
I hate the pain that I go through just making it through day to day life all because of chemotherapy.
I hate that there is someone right now in pain and fighting trying to hold on.
I hate that there is someone right now who is hearing the words of diagnosis. 

I know that this moment will pass. I know that soon I'll be laughing, watching football with my hubby, and getting my children ready to return to school tomorrow. I know that soon my tears will dry up and I'll turn the channel because of emotional overload but right now, 

I hate you cancer!!