“Cancer” is still one of those words that can steal your breath, ring so loudly in your ears that your surroundings go silent, and simultaneously make your mind race and time slow to a crawl.
The disease crept into our home March 2013 when my dad was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic adenocarcinoma….
I’ll never forget the look on his face. Anger, confusion, sadness, and fear. Why did this have to happen to him? He didn’t deserve this.
Dad got four cycles of chemotherapy. The fourth cycle was probably the worst as I think the cumulative effects of the drug became apparent…. Lost all his body muscles, osteoporosis, 5 spine fractures… He was operated on 21st January for Kyphoplasty to ease the pain as morphine had no more effect… He was too weak to recover….
My dad passed away this January 23rd. It seemed really sudden, but at the same time, almost perfect timing. He stayed alive long enough to see my brother who came 2 days earlier from South Korea. I think at that moment he was finally content and happy, and he no longer felt the need to hold on. What is helping get through it though, is knowing that he is not suffering anymore, and remembering him for all the good he has done, keeps dad alive in our hearts and no person or illness can take that away.
Today, the incidence of cancer worldwide is growing at an alarming pace, and there is an urgent need to implement strategies to prevent and curb the disease, according to a report from the World Health Organization.
New cancer cases will skyrocket globally from an estimated 14 million in 2012 to 22 million new cases a year within the next two decades, the report says. During that same period, cancer deaths are predicted to rise from an estimated 8.2 million annually to 13 million a year.
The estimates and predictions are in a new report, from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO). The project is a collaboration of more than 250 leading scientists from more than 40 countries.
There’s a need for access to effective and affordable cancer treatments in developing countries, including for childhood cancers, which would significantly reduce mortality, the report says.
The total annual cost globally of cancer was estimated to reach approximately $1.16 trillion in 2010, which is damaging the economies of even the richest countries and is way beyond the reach of developing countries, the report says.