The "Hotel Melanoma" moniker is a metaphor for living with my particular brand of cancer. Except for those lucky few of us deemed "cured", all we cancer survivors are guests of one of the many, many branded hotels in the "Hotel Carcinoma" chain. We can check out any time we like, but we can never leave. Meanwhile, let's be livin' it up; and please support cancer education, prevention, and treatment research.

Tutu Brothers

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cancer Is One Fight

I guess what irks me a bit about the pink ribbon marketing frenzy of October is that consumer products companies seem to have forgotten that there are dozens of cancer varieties that need more awareness and financial support. (By the way, Kroger, that pink lid and ribbon on a container of deli-sliced smoked turkey breast really grossed me out, so I bought another brand.) Or maybe they haven’t forgotten and just don’t care, because pink sells and that’s really all this ribbon thing is about?

A case in point: November is both lung and pancreatic cancer awareness month. Yes, you read that correctly, two of the biggest cancer killers have to share an awareness month. (And melanoma officially gets one day during the skin cancer awareness month of May since, hey, it’s “just skin cancer”.) I strongly suspect that if you want to buy a product next month carrying a white/clear or purple ribbon you’re going to have to hunt for it.

The irony in all of this marketing Balkanization of the Cancer World is that cutting-edge cancer research often seems to “cross over” and lead to advances in treatment for more than one cancer brand. And hallelujah for that.

Hoping that one day we’ll all climb out of our silos and understand that cancer is really one fight we’re all in together, I’ll sign off with some bent lyrics to Jackson Browne’s “Tender Is The Night”…

Between the darkness on C street
And this Hotel filling up too tight
Between the illness in my parts
And the roar of C’s approaching fright
Somebody's after some money
Somebody turns the corner on the fight
Looking for some money
Somewhere for the fight

Cancer is one fight
When we hold all hands so tight
Cancer war’s our notion, cancer is one fight

Between the life that we expected
And the stay in Hotel M
We can't walk back out again
After the way we fight
When just outside there are people tanning
Living lives we used to lead
Chasing down the sun they ‘need’
Somewhere in the light

Cancer is one fight
And the tan addiction is the teen one’s fright
Cancers are the hunters, cancer is one fight

We're gonna watch C take flight
When we’re banding all together
Forget about who's right
When we're standing all together
It's another world in sight
When we’re ready to team cancer

Cancer, cancer cancer...

And in the hard light of a battle won
No one remembers colored ribbon fun
Cancers all are cured, they lose
You win, I win, we choose

Cancer is one fight
The tan addiction is the teen one’s fright
Cancers are the hunters
Cancer is one fight
When we hold each other tight
Cancers are so undercover
The danger and the quiet killer
Cancer war’s the notion
Cancer is one fight
When we hold our hands so tight

Cancer, Cancer, Cancer...

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