Monday, October 8, 2012

The ten year quandary

I read an article a couple weeks ago that Houston's MD Anderson's Cancer center announced they are going to shoot for the moon and attempt to cure eight types of cancer within the next ten years.

One of those types of cancer is Melanoma. 

How do I feel about this?

Surprisingly conflicted.

On the one hand, WOW!  Good for them for going for the gold!  What a huge blessing it would be to know not another family would need to suffer like ours.  What an amazing gift to know that in the future my children wouldn't have to fear such a disease!  It is such a hopeful statement.  Bold and exciting!  Can you imagine?  I certainly can!

Then there is this tiny selfish, angry part of me that says, "What the what????  Why couldn't they have announced this ten years ago?"  I feel like an awful person thinking this way.  What's happened has happened...but if they think they can cure it, why has it taken so long for eyes to be opened?  If they think they actually can achieve this...why now?  Why not before?  Why not for my Ryan?

We can't go back in time.

I know that.

Then there is the D Mama bear inside me roaring at the idea of telling others, "Ten years."

When J was diagnosed with diabetes we were told there would be a cure within ten years.  We were newbies then...and a bit naive I suppose.  We honestly believed them, and left the office thinking Our Diabetic Life would be a temporary thing...

Seven years later when L was diagnosed we were told the same thing.  "Ten years and there will be a cure for sure.  They are getting closer!"

And a year later when another nurse tried to tell us the same phrase after B was diagnosed I stopped her and made her promise never to say those words again.


I feel like I'm in the twilight zone.  Ten years from any point we are currently at, there will be a cure for everything.  Impossible, right?  We'll never get to that point because the time is always determined from this exact point.  And this exact point changes minute by minute.

Curing Melanoma in a ten year time frame?  Damn, I'm glad they are trying.

But I hate that I lack faith in the outcome.

I hope I'm proven wrong.  I PRAY I am proven wrong.  PROVE ME WRONG MD ANDERSON CANCER CENTER!  Please!

It's about time this world started curing things.  It's about time we stopped putting band aids on the problems and patting ourselves on the back for putting off the solution. 

Maybe a cure will come for these deadly cancers because the people who have them don't live long.  The money made off them is limited.  I don't know.  I know of people who believe that pharma is making millions off Diabetes, and is hurting our cause for a cure by blocking any progress towards it.

Yeah...maybe I'm one of the people that feels that way too...sometimes.

Can progress really be made on any disease?  Has society really cured a disease yet?

Regardless of my hesitation.  Regardless of my sadness.  Regardless of my tainted view of miraculous future cures...

Regardless of everything, I'm glad they are trying.  And I support them 100% in their noble efforts.

Even if it is too late for Ryan, maybe it won't be too late for someone else I love.  <---- and that's worth putting all my conflictions asides, and allowing myself to once again feel a pang of HOPE inside my heart.


  1. HOPE inside our hearts is what matters most right now I guess....I totally understand your conflicted feelings :(

    My Dad always told me not to believe the "ten year" dream, for he was also told in the 80's that a cure for Diabetes was coming....of course as a parent of a D child, I HAD to HOPE, even if I didnt always feel hopeful inside. If that makes any sense! ((HUGS))

  2. With you on being conflicted when I hear about a cure for anything being blank-years-away. Do I hope, pray, wish it to be true...of course I do. But there's always part of me that says 'yeah, we'll see about that.' Guess it's my lack of faith or trust or something that keeps one of my feet firmly planted in 'that will never happen' so I don't get too disappointed when it doesn't actually happen. Kinda hate that about myself sometimes.

  3. Right. There. With. You. We are on year 5 with diabetes and nothing knew on the horizon for a cure. I shifted my hope to a better life with D for Lilyboo in the future and a cure would be just be a bonus. I had to for my sanity.

    On the cancer front...I hope they find a cure in the next ten years and if anyone has the's MDA. I live here and see them every day working hard for a cure and for their patients. It's the best place on Earth for cancer patients. They don't cure anyone but the research done there is by far the best.

  4. I still get mad four years later when anyone talks about new treatments or research for pancreatic cancer. Nothing can bring my aunt back.

    I am so jaded to cure talk. Have they ever cured anything?

  5. My T1 was diagnosed last September. In June when we went to the Endo I said something about a cure in the next 10 years. The endo actually laughed and said he had heard that there would be a cure in the "next 10 years" for the last 40 years. His exact words, "When I see a patient cured I will believe it." I was so heart broken and discouraged. Then I thought, " I am really glad he said that. I would hate to hold out for that cure and have it not come." I think a more responsible thing for health professionals to say would be, "They are working on a cure but one has not been found at this time." Don't give an unrealistic time frame, it doesn't do anyone any good!

  6. When I attended college and majored in bio/chem my goal was to attend grad school get a phD and cure molecular bio teacher looked me in the eyes and bluntly stated, "that is IMPOSSIBLE Sarah because cancer is caused my multiple mutations on a variety of alleles." Oh. The breath was knocked out of me with the realization that the idea of a cure if far too simple for the amazingly complex problem, every patient is different, EVERY patient may or may not have the same do they tell people this? I think it's simply hope for a future. Hope is not an easy sale, they want all people to go into it with the dream and desire for life and the hope that it is attainable. And, I do believe that when medical centers say "cure" they really mean more effective treatments. Isn't that what the big thing in diabetes world has been, what the definition of a "cure" is...mine seems to be different than a lot of peoples, but I still have hope for the big ol' technology free cure, the no injections, no BG check, no nada cure. Same for maybe my professor was right, it's an arduous task, but one worth pursuing. I haven't given up and am thankful that others are still fighting to find answers. Losing my amazing father-in-law so quickly to pancreatic cancer put an even hotter fire under my bum to keep going. So, maybe ten years is a strange number to keep throwing out there, but we have to have something to hang our hope on, right? Take care Meri :)

  7. The good news is that, for people like you and me, believing (or not believing) that a cure is imminent is pretty much irrelevant. Yeah, I've heard the 5-year and the 10-year things, and while I feel that we ARE getting closer to a cure for diabetes, I don't have much faith in it. But I'm not doing the research, so quite honestly, whether I believe it will happen doesn't matter. I'll still donate money, when I can, to organizations working for a cure, just as I'll buy the occasional lottery ticket -- on the chance, the SLIM chance, that it will bear fruit.

    Hoping for a cure for any disease is just bearing additional weight on my shoulders that I'm not quite strong enough to carry. I'll let the medical science community work towards that, and I'll just work towards maintaining my day-to-day health.


Moderation now enabled, so comments will not immediately be seen.