I remember when I was little, we used to play this game in class where everyone went around the circle trying to name off words that start with a certain letter. Having to pick words that started with the letter C was always my favorite because you have words like cake, cats, creamsiciles and cotton candy. One word that I would never have imagined to have to think about also starts with letter the C. That word is Cancer.
When I was 8 years old, my grandma was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Being so young I really didn't understand what the big deal was. I just remember being fascinated by all the noises and the bright lights of the hospital room. We were all taught about cancer in our countless science classes growing up. We would always hear about wearing sunscreen so that you don't get skin cancer or that smoking is really bad for you because it causes lung cancer. During the month of October we saw pink ribbons everywhere and during the month of November we saw guys growing out their beards.
About a year ago my mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and my view on the "C" word completely changed. In movies having cancer is glorified, almost masked in the way that they don't show the real effects. The movies don't show all the doctor appointments, the families anxiously waiting in the hospital, the endless worries that the cancer might come back, the realness of the scars and the emotional/physical exhaustion that comes with having cancer.
The battle against cancer is an ugly and a hard battle but the people who beat show something beautiful. They show that you are tough enough to overcome something that is trying to kill them. We learn so much about the human body and its perseverance to fight. Cancer is an ugly, ugly,ugly thing and it's something that we need to bring awareness to every day of the year. Early Detection is key to fighting this awful thing and so is knowledge. Medical advances such as genetic testing are great tools to detect the causes and pin point these mutations to help people get help earlier.
Hopefully in the future when my children are sitting in a circle around the room thinking of words that start with the letter "C'" they will never have to have the word cancer pop up in their heads.