Chemotherapy is both a blessing and a curse.
While it’s keeping millions of cancer patients alive, it comes at a heavy price. I’m referring to what are euphemistically called side effects. God bless all women bravely battling breast cancer, including my courageous wife.
I can’t help thinking of cancer as an insidious attack by terrorist cells inside their bodies, an internal ISIS subjecting innocent victims to debilitating treatments they dutifully tolerate to stay with us.
When will there be drugs potent enough without such cruel side effects? Immunotherapy offers a ray of hope as a type of cancer treatment that boosts the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer, but it too is not without side effects. Angela’s oncologist, Dr. Elizabeth McKeen, thinks they may even be more severe than the side effects from her current chemo.
The other day I was straightening out my office at TransMedia Group, the PR firm Angela and I co-founded in Manhattan 36 years ago, when an odd thing happened. I came across the text of a speech I gave to the Treasure Coast Advertising Federation ironically only few days after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.
We were on the verge of postponing the event as America was still reeling from the magnitude of death, destruction and suffering caused by that monstrous attack none of us will ever forget, nor should we. No, I urged the federation that we should stay on course. I wanted more than ever to speak out. As I do now about cancer.
Here’s an excerpt from that prophetic speech, which opened with these words:
They say on 9/11 we lost our innocence. I say we graduated to a higher grade . . . to a higher consciousness of the tremendous good and evil in men’s hearts.
Odd isn’t it? How extremes cause extremes. Despicable acts of terror bring out such valor and humanity—the very best in our human nature.
We’re alert now to the bitter realities. From this tragedy, we learned other things about ourselves, about the people and things around us.
That ironworkers are made of iron.
That we’re all New Yorkers. And like New Yorkers we will defeat terrorism with our grit. Our indomitable spirit.
Today I feel this way about the terrorism called cancer. I think of the suffering it causes, yet the humanity, love and hope it inspires.
We must defeat it. We must make all of America’s Angela’s well again.
I’m donating to the American Cancer Society proceeds from the sales of my latest book, “Is there enough Brady in Trump to win the inSUPERable BOWL?” available on Amazon. Let us . . . Make America Well Again. TM