Monday, July 30, 2007

You're The Reason!

I've often been asked - by people who never had cancer - why I continue to "let" lymphoma remain a big part of my life. Today I'll explain why.

In my last entry, I mentioned that RIT rescued me in the nick of time, after all else failed, and that I was treated by Dr. Mark Kaminski, who developed Bexxar, one of the two RIT drugs. There is a tremendous level of comfort when you are being treated by one of the leading lymphoma experts, and as I have often said, and will always believe, I was incredibly lucky to be at the right place at the right time.

After my book was published and I began to hear from other patients, I slowly began to realize that not everyone is so lucky. Coincidentally, just yesterday, The New York Times published an excellent article entitled "Cancer Patients, Lost in A Maze of Uneven Care," and it's definitely worth reading. Here's the link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/29/health/29Cancer.html?th&emc=th

As I heard from more and more lymphoma patients, I also began to wonder why so few were offered RIT as an option. Mort and I wrote extensively about this issue in our previous blog, and the New York Times published an excellent article about it just two weeks ago.

While I heard from many patients who continued to undergo lengthy and sometimes invasive procedures without knowing that they may have other options, I also knew that there is a large and growing group of people like me who are living normal, healthy lives because we were the beneficiaries of new and better treatments and because we have doctors who employ the most advanced treatments medical science has to offer. All patients, present and future, deserve the same chance that we have, and it is for them that my commitment to raising awareness of lymphoma and its treatment options have only increased with time.

And so you are the reason I will always "let" lymphoma be a part of my life. I would not have chosen to have disease, but connecting with so many of you has been gratifying and humbling, and you continually provide strength and inspiration and the fuel for my commitment. In turn, I hope that in some small way you find some support and encouragement as well as practical suggestions.

Happy Monday to all!

Betsy

1 comment:

Gsele Mc Kenzie-Linscott said...

Hi Betsy:

This is Gisele in Ohio... We talked soon after your article appeared in the Columbus Dispatch... We are all "hanging in there" but are literally "scared to death"... I will write to you when I am not so tired...

Congratulations on your new site!

You are a fighter and I am so proud of what you do.

Thanks for being there!

Gisele Mc K.