I am ringing in the New Year by entering my 11th year of living with metastatic breast cancer.
Although living with cancer is the last thing I ever could have foreseen, it is what it is; and on a good day, I am grateful that I am still here. (I have more good days than bad). The hardest part is the treatment because when you have metastatic cancer, drugs only work for a certain period of time and then you have to find a stronger drug to keep your cancer in check.
There are a lot of side effects to these drugs, and that is why I continue to fight back with my foundation, the Noreen Fraser Foundation. Raising money for women's cancer research is the most important mission in the fight against cancer. I have known too many women who have come to the end of the pipeline on available drugs. What happens then? You die. Investing money into this research will find new drugs to keep patients alive and new, less toxic drugs so that living with cancer will not be living in hell. As the year comes to an end, we are hoping for as much support as we can receive from donors to continue this fight. I will never give up on this mission.
The other thought I had as we approach the New Year, is the concept of "teams." The breast cancer walks employ this technique to raise money for the walks. A team is the support system for a cancer survivor....like Team Noreen. Why not create "Team ______" for the person in your life who has cancer...any kind of cancer. The "team members" would each be responsible for a certain area of "happiness" for their loved one and would keep in touch with each other to share how they feel their loved one is doing. For instance, I would be responsible for entertainment, another team member might be responsible for treatment, another exercise, etc. etc. This could be a great card to send someone on New Years’ Day – announcing the team and what they will do for you in 2012. I love this! Now I have to find a team for me. My first choice for entertainment on my team would be Will Ferrell. (Ok, that's not going to happen, but I can dream). If you decide to create a team, keep in touch with me and let me know how it is going. Maybe I can help with suggestions. You can write to me on Facebook.
Don't forget end-of-the-year donations to women's cancer research. You never know whose dollar it will be that brings the cure to the forefront. I wish each and every one of you a healthy New Year.