Its about 4:30 and I can’t sleep. Why, because of fear I suppose!!!! I have been deep in thought for about nine months now with the topic of cancer. Its like I breath it everyday. It is not just about me its all around and ever since I have experienced it when my father died in the 70’s ;its been there knocking on my door. I am not a doctor and not a preacher, but I am a caring person that fears the word cancer (unknown). In reading and a lot of research, I am amazed that not more of us do not see what is happening. Are we going in the right direction? I know a lot of my family and friends do not understand me and say that I am lucky that I can do this treatment that I am undergoing. But it is not luck, I am doing it out of fear for chemo, for I have seen what it can do. Its like playing “ Russian Roulette” a gun that is loaded and is past around, you release ~ bang is it your turn or do you miss the bullet !!
We are all focused with financial needs, for the economics at this time is slipping deeper. Yes, we have a lot to worry about , but I am in the same boat. I am just like every one else. I am financially struggling and half of our retirement savings went toward my treatment. My husband just became disabled and our paycheck decreased in half, and we have student loans that we are sharing with our daughter to pay off. So you see, I am like everyone else. I am living the American dream. I have good insurance, but it does not pay for my treatment because it is not FDA approved. I chose to go outside the zone for fear (unknown) of my life. Chemo may save some lives, but it is like the gun that is past around. Just the history of how it came about scares me.
The era of cancer chemotherapy began in the 1940s with the first use of nitrogen mustards and folic acid antagonist drugs. Cancer drug development has exploded since then into a multi-billion dollar industry. The targeted therapy revolution has arrived, but many of the principles and limitations of chemotherapy discovered by the early researchers still apply.
The beginnings of the modern era of cancer chemotherapy can be traced directly to the discovery of nitrogen mustard, a chemical warfare agent, as an effective treatment for cancer. Two pharmacologists, Louis S. Goodman and Alfred Gilman, were recruited by the United States Department of Defense to investigate potential therapeutic applications of chemical warfare agents. A year into the start of their research a German air raid in Bari, Italy led to the exposure of more than one thousand people to the SS John Harvey's secret cargo composed of mustard gas bombs. Dr. Stewart Francis Alexander, a Lieutenant Colonel who was an expert in chemical warfare, was subsequently deployed to investigate the aftermath. Autopsies of the victims suggested that profound lymphoid and myeloid suppression had occurred after exposure. In his report Dr. Alexander theorized that since mustard gas all but ceased the division of certain types of Somatic cells whose nature it was to divide fast, it could also potentially be put to use in helping to suppress the division of certain types of cancerous cells.
Using this information, Goodman and Gilman reasoned that this agent could be used to treat lymphoma, since lymphoma is a tumor of lymphoid cells. They first set up an animal model - they established lymphomas in mice and demonstrated they could treat them with mustard agents. Next, in collaboration with a thoracic surgeon, Gustav Linskog, they injected a related agent, mustine (the prototype nitrogen mustard anticancer chemotherapeutic), into a patient with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. They observed a dramatic reduction in the patient's tumour masses. Although this effect lasted only a few weeks, and then had to return for another set of treatment, this was the first step to the realization that cancer could be treated by pharmacological agents.
Its like a science experiment, but its our life we are experimenting on. I just think that we need to step back and look at all the results and choices we have before going forward; out of fear. We need to look at the bigger picture on how this disease got started in the first place? So you see my friends we are in the same boat together, I am no different then you, I am just thinking outside the box for a better way of survival.
My journal, I am hoping; will help in the future so that others will find comfort and hope for a better way of controlling cancer. Its been going on way to long and I feel we need to focus on funding the reason it’s around and how to prevent it, not just how to kill it. Focus on the foods and water we drink ~ is it safe!!!!!! In research that’s what we need to change along with keeping our immune system balanced.
Until next time, remember I am just like you afraid of the unknown.
I AM NOT A RAG DOLL, BUT A PERSON THAT CARES.