It’s Daffodil Day here in Australia. A national campaign which nods support to all those affected by cancer. And that is one in two of us fine folk.
Today acts as a bit of a reflection day for me. Particularly this year, as for the past few years, as per the campaign, I’ve called out someone I know dealing with the roller coaster of a cancer diagnosis publicly on social media. This year for the first time in – I can’t remember – no-one in my close circle is affected.
7 years ago Mum had a malignant mole removed from her back.
5 years ago, it was my turn with a malignant melanoma found in my calf.
2 years ago, my school friend died at 37 of advanced ovarian cancer.
2 years ago, my brother-in-law, a fit personal trainer aged 37 was diagnosed with stage 4 anal cancer.
1 year ago after enduring the most aggressive chemo and radiotherapy available, he went into remission.
6 months ago, we were devastated to here the cancer had returned in his stomach.
2 weeks ago his scans showed up nothing abnormal. His body, used to fighting the crap out of cancer for the past few years had killed it off once more. He’s back in remission.
To say this is a relief is the biggest understatement. The father of two kids under 3, he’s a walking, talking example of how looking after yourself, enjoying a healthy balanced lifestyle puts you in the best position when fate deals you a doozy. He enjoys a beer every night and eats the odd tub of ice cream in one sitting but also works out for an hour 5 times a week before work.
The chemo he was given was tough, new and scary but he handled it like a dream. The doctors were amazed how he bounced back. I firmly believe this was due to his lifestyle and physical fitness.
But this drug would not have been available if it hadn’t have been for campaigns like Daffodil Day across the world, funnelling money into research. In Australia only 10% of research projects receive government funding. We as a society need to chip and do the heavy lifting when it comes to ensuring progress is made.
One in two affected by cancer is one too many. So please, on your way home tonight, buy a bunch of daffodils, a dougal bear or a pin.