I Hate Cancer

I so wanted her to live, but it was not to be.
Every day I came to sit beside her hospital bed, hoping against hope. My funny, lovely grandmother had contracted cancer; in 1973, little treatment other than surgery was available. She succumbed at the age of sixty-two.
Decades later, I have passed that age and seen cancer affect my friends and family too often. Research and new treatments have allowed many to beat cancer away, but others have not been so lucky. And the treatment remains a kill-or-cure option. Those who travel the road of chemotherapy, radiation, and medication toward recovery are often saddled with debt, despair, and loneliness along the way.
Some people say if they were to be diagnosed with cancer, they would forego all treatment. While I believe it is a human quality to “rage against the dying of the light,” I also know how demoralizing cancer treatment can be. As friends or family of those stricken with cancer, we should give our full support to them, whichever route they choose.
One of the saddest stories I’ve heard was from an acquaintance who had beaten breast cancer. She said that, after receiving the heart-stopping diagnosis, she called her best friend to tell her about it. The friend cut her off, saying she could not “deal with it.” I could not imagine how devastating that would be.
Granted, it can be difficult to hear that a loved one has a potentially terminal disease; but the same could happen to anyone. How would I handle hearing the words you have cancer? I have witnessed people battle through with courage, grace, and dignity. I would hope to do the same. This is what I would want from those I know; this is what I try to do for those who are suffering from the deadly disease:
· Let me talk. Even if I rant and rave, cry and scream, just listen. I need you there.
· Don’t cut me off or forget about me. A text saying “Thinking of you. Hope you’re having a good day” can bring light to a dark day. A funny card or little gift can brighten the mood. Cancer treatment is a long tough process; don’t let me give up.
· Finally, if the prognosis doesn’t get better, don’t lie to me. Don’t tell me it will all be fine. Just stay with me, hold my hand, be my friend to the end.

I wish everyone a cancer-free life.

OMP Admin Note: Michele Potter is a writer and OMP Network member – one of a group of networkers who will be blogging on a regular basis on various causes and issues.

Michele is an incredibly diverse and talented writer who I hope will collect her short stories and make them available on Amazon someday soon. In the meantime her story PERCEPTIONS is available in the guest author section of the flash fiction antholgy BITE SIZE STORIES VOLUME ONE.

https://www.amazon.com/Bite-Size-Stories-Jason-Greenfield-ebook/dp/B01HALHVBW/ref=la_B00CBFLI1W_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1475095358&sr=1-4

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bite-Size-Stories-Jason-Greenfield-ebook/dp/B01HALHVBW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1475095546&sr=1-1

 

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Why is there a need for charities?

Why is there a need for organizations such as Cancer Research, EMMAUS or any other body that provides assistance? Is it because humanity as a whole – not only those who control the world’s money supply and decide who should have a stake in it – has its priorities skewed?

 
Let me share an example. While I was staying in a youth hostel in London a few weeks ago, I noticed one guest who clearly had one or two issues. I glanced and turned my eyes away from his face because I didn’t want him to feel an acute facial twitch which he had was coming under the spotlight. He had his breakfast sitting with his back to the rest of the guests, so as not to draw attention to the twitch, or so I surmised. When he checked out, he needed to cross the main road at an intersection a few yards away from the hostel entrance. He stood at the crossing for over an hour. He obviously had problems crossing the road, even though it wasn’t that busy. It was long enough for a resident to alerted the security guy. The doorman said he didn’t want to call an ambulance in case it turned out to be non-essential. The guest went over to ask the guy if he needed help. He vigorously shook his head. Shortly after, he plucked up the courage to cross the road.

 
Whether the guy needed help or not is anyone’s guess, but it is clear there are people in his situation that do.

 
I talked about the guy to someone distant I chat with online who lives in Los Angeles.
“He must have had some acute phobia – a mental illness.”

 

“Seemed that way.”

 
“Homelessness and mental illness are closely related.”

 
“Homelessness in L.A. is a big problem. Thousands are sleeping on the streets or underneath bridges. We could quite easily care for the homeless and give them adequate housing if governments in the U.S. and elsewhere didn’t waste ridiculous amounts of money on defense expenditure – ceaselessly in search of some latest destructive technology. Those that lead us seem more interested in killing rather than caring.”

 
That’s part of the problem, surely – irresponsibility. There nee ds to be other ways to shift priority which is why charities exist. If left to governments, little, if at all, would be done to help the needy.

 
Sadly, as long as people don’t translate into profit, organizations such as Cancer Research and EMMAUS will remain.

 

David Butterworth

 

OMP Admin Note: David Butterworth is a writer and OMP Network member – one of a group of networkers who will be blogging on a regular basis on various causes and issues.

David’s first book CRUISING COAST TO COAST can be found on Amazon and his flash fiction will be available in Volume 5 of BITE SIZE STORIES (coming early 2017)

https://www.amazon.com/David-Butterworth/e/B00RYSEBGU/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/David-Butterworth/e/B00RYSEBGU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1474484203&sr=8-2

Cancer Research UK

One of the fantastic charities we are raising funds for is Cancer Research UK. One of the most recognised charities in Britain, this cause has a vision to increase the survival rate of cancer victims to 75% within the next twenty years.
The charity as it is today has been around since 2002, and currently supports the work of over 4,000 doctors, scientists, and nurses throughout the UK. With the money they raise, they are able to fund these developments and they hold fundraising events to help even more people.
So far, the charity has funded major breakthroughs in a wide range of areas. Not only do they focus on finding out more about each cancer type individually, but they also explore other areas such as cancer biology, cancer drugs, clinical trials, radiotherapy, and the cancer prevention, just to name a few.
Nowadays, more than half the people who are diagnosed with cancer survive for at least ten years, as opposed to the quarter who survived back in 1970. Such changes can be clearly seen in certain cancer types, such as breast cancer, which has seen an increase from a 40% survival rate to 78% in just the last 40 years. Similar results have been seen in other cancers such as testicular cancer and malignant melanoma—the most serious form of skin cancer.
However, there are other types which have not showed the same success rates, with only one percent of pancreatic cancer patients being expected to live longer than ten years. It is with the money they raise that researchers hope to improve these statistics in order to reach their goal of a 75% survival rate by twenty years’ time.
Research is being funded in a wide selection of areas, including, among many others, London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow, Leister, and Southampton. The benefits of the research, however, are not exclusive to these areas, and the discoveries made by the research teams help people all across the world.
Money made for Cancer Research UK by the One Million Project will go towards funding researchers, helping bring us even closer to the day when all cancers will be cured.
Find out more about Cancer Research UK by visiting their website:

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org

Rachel Wollaston

OMP Admin Note: Rachel Wollaston is a writer and OMP Network member – one of a group of networkers who will be blogging on a regular basis on various causes and issues.

Rachel Wollaston’s fiction can be found on Amazon in the flash fiction series BITE SIZE STORIES (Volume One) along with three other guest writers. Her full length book KINGDOM is also available on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-E.-Wollaston/e/B01FRIZXU6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1473867285&sr=1-2

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rachel-E.-Wollaston/e/B01FRIZXU6

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Who are America’s Homeless Veterans?

We can send men to the moon, cameras to capture photos of Mars, and we can find out how to get from Point A to Point B by utilizing billion dollar satellites orbiting the Earth.

Why is it that we have so many homeless among our nation’s veterans?

Statistics from the US Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs indicate about 11% of the US homeless population are vets. The majority are male, live in heavily populated urban areas and many suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse. Almost half are African American or Hispanic. Homeless veterans are younger on average than the total vet population with 50% aged 50 years and younger. The vets are from every major war, but almost half are from the Vietnam era.

About 1.4 million more veterans are considered at risk. Some of the reasons given for the numbers of homeless include the extreme shortage of affordable housing, lack of jobs providing livable incomes and difficulty gaining access to health care. Military occupations and training don’t always transfer to civilian jobs, leaving veterans at a disadvantage.

Efforts through the VA, state and local governments and community resources for the homeless have helped to decrease the number of homeless by 17% over the past year.

The efforts of EMMAUS International help to provide the homeless with more than just a bed. They provide a home, meaningful work and a sense of belonging. EMMAUS International was established in 1971 and is made up of over 300 groups in 36 different countries.

The One Million Project (OMP) is a non-profit which raises money for charity including EMMAUS. OMP is comprised of over 80 writers, artists and media people who have volunteered their creative work to assist in this effort.

Kate McGinn

OMP Admin Note: Kate McGinn is a writer and OMP Network member – one of a group of networkers who will be blogging on a regular basis on various causes and issues. Kate hopes to spread awareness of the issue of American Veterans returning home to less help than they deserve. EMMAUS is one of the two main charities we are supporting.

Kate McGinn’s fiction can be found on Amazon in the flash fiction series BITE SIZE STORIES (Volume Two) along with five other guest writers. Her full length book EXODUS is also available on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Kate-McGinn/e/B01KUKTYFQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1473258208&sr=8-1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kate-McGinn/e/B01KUKTYFQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1473258097&sr=1-2-ent

@katemcginn6