Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wishing for what isn't

I came across an article and video from a young mother dying of cancer who wants the FDA to release a drug for her that might help her live a little longer. (I admit I didn't watch the whole video.) The article wanders on and discusses the costs of having cancer which is a completely separate, but very important, issue that I won't get into here today. Probably another day that will end up here, again.

While I feel for this young mother who is dying of cancer, I would like to make a point here. She is pleading with the FDA to release a drug which might extend her life. The article notes at the end that the drug manufacturer is working with her doctors on getting her the medication.

But my point is that we can wish for everything we want but we can't assume that we will get what we want and that it will help us the way we want. At every cancer or other icky diagnosis, we wish they could make it go away. But wishes don't solve problems.

As cancer people, we want to be optimistic as we go through treatment. We hope that with every treatment all the evil cancer cooties in our bodies are being killed off. We dream of the days when we have hair, can eat a meal without fighting nausea, and all our treatments and surgeries are done. Optimism goes a long way in treatment. It keeps us positive.

I also think that wishes can cloud our judgement. We can't wish for things that don't exist. We would like to have that cancer free world that exists in Star Trek but we aren't there yet.

This young mother is getting the drug she believes will give her more time before dying. But do we know if it will really work for her and relieve her pain and let her live a little longer? No we don't. So she gets her wish but there is no guarantee.

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