Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What's Up With the Doc 7? - or Rallying the Troops


Good morning!

First, I'm feeling great. It certainly helps that I didn't screw up and take steroids instead of acid reducers like I did at this point in the last chemo cycle. So right at this moment, except for the fact that I have no hair to speak of, I feel exactly like I did two weeks before this monster was diagnosed - no pain, no nausea, great energy level and all smiles.

Yesterday my Medaris cousins drove up to have lunch and shoot the breeze with me. I'm not sure it's really safe to have that much kick ass and takes names later mojo in one room for very long, but it was a delight to see them and catch up on kids and parents and life in general.

But the real purpose of this email is to ask a small favor of all of you and your friends.

The National Lung Cancer Partnership has put an online petition up to encourage increased federal funding for lung cancer research. I ask you to take a look, and, if you will, to sign it.

A social stigma is attached to lung cancer that seriously impedes funding and advocacy, although many patients -- like me -- are lifelong nonsmokers, and even those patients who have smoked do not "deserve" to be punished with this terrible disease. Today, lung cancer research is only funded at the federal level by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This is in contrast to many other common cancers which receive funding from several different federal funding agencies. Lung cancer receives considerably less research funding (about $280MM) from NCI than either breast ($570MM) or prostate ($310MM) cancer. If you translate that into research dollars per death from cancer, NCI estimates that in 2005 it spent $1,708 per life lost to lung cancer; $13,947 per death to breast cancer; and $10,214 per prostate cancer death.

The petition can be found at:

The first ever United for Lung Health Federal Advocacy Day will be held on May 13-14 in Washington, D.C. and I'm sure a bump in petition signatures will be something good for the advocates to have in their pockets. I won't be able to make it this year, but hope to be there with bells on my toes and fire in my belly next year.

Well, I suppose I've procrastinated long enough. Time to scale the mountain of laundry that's glaring at me.


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