Frilly flower symbolises hope for cancer cure

They  have elegant
fluted blooms and are known for their vibrant yellow colour, although daffodils
come in many shapes and shades of yellow and cream.

I am thinking, though, of Daffodil Day and how it focuses
our thoughts on cancer and our universal hope for a cure.  Cancer is indeed the scourge of contemporary
society and  I believe the Cancer Council
of Australia’s figures that one in two families will be affected by this frightening
disease before they reach 85.

Its impact on our contemporary lives cannot be
under-estimated when one casts an eye around one’s family, friends and work
colleagues and begins to count how many people we know afflicted with some kind
of cancer.

It is alarming how this deadly disease seems to hit so many
people and it is sobering to remember that lung cancer has now surpassed breast
cancer as the No. 1 cancer killer of women. Then there is myriad other cancers
which strike our loved ones.  Breast cancers
strike women at a rate of 1/8 in our lifetime;  Prostate Cancers have the same rate and then
there are the nasty spinal cancers, ovarian cancer and bladder, bowel, stomach
and liver cancers to name a few.

The Big C has hit our home like a loaded truck and I have
learnt in the last six months since Olivier was diagnosed with advanced
prostate cancer, and bone cancer.

So,  I will share the
three Rs of cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The first R on Daffodil Day is, I believe, to Remember that
many researchers around the world are working towards a cure; that there are 11
million survivors of cancer who will celebrate birthdays in 2011.

The second R is Regression, which is what happens when
treatment begins to work.

The third R is  Remission when blood tests no longer show any
cancer cells following treatment.  This
is a big achievement, but with really aggressive blood cancers it may only be a
limited reprieve.

Oh! I have just thought of one last “R”.  We need to rejoice because the vast majority
of people diagnosed with cancer now survive and this is best illustrated by the
figures of children suffering childhood leukemia.  Forty years ago, no child survived leukemia,
but now most children will live into adulthood. And isn’t that great news?


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