“THE TIME IS NOW. TOGETHER, WE WILL END CANCER.” At the news conference I attended, Dr. Ronald DePinho, president of MD Anderson Cancer Center, announced the Moon Shots Program and introduced the teams of doctors and the selected cancers they are going to begin with.
* Triple-negative breast and ovarian, which are linked at the molecular level
*Leukemia (AML/MDS) My Dr. Guillermo Garcia-Manero is on this team! I just KNEW he would be involved in something this great! He is the BEST!
In his speech, Dr. DePinho made the analogy of President Kennedy in his famous speech saying, “We WILL go to the moon.” And they did. “Together we WILL end cancer.” And they will!
This will be a very ambitious program to reduce cancer deaths. Lucy Richardson so graciously invited me to attend the conference and a breakfast beforehand. It was wonderful to visit with other survivors and bloggers. (And everybody LOVES Lucy! She is amazing!) It was a very emotional experience for me as a survivor! After the news conference I was asked to be video interviewed and every single time I talked about Dr. Garcia-Manero or my grandchildren, I happy cried! To think that my children and grandchildren will not have to go through what I am going through is beyond words! I don’t have to rely on hope alone…this Dream Team of doctors is going to make cures and preventions a reality! Globally! Shoulder to shoulder!
Wow…this is incredible news!
A few facts from Dr. DePinho’s speech:
* Cancer is a problem that begins early in life. Early childhood sunburn puts you at a risk for melanoma later in life.
* There are more tanning beds in most major American cities than McDonalds and Starbucks.
* Obesity by 2020 will surpass tobacco as a major driver of cancer.
Prevention is the key.
After the news conference we went over to the main building for a few minutes to see my friend Patti (!) and pick up some paperwork. I always get this indescribable feeling like I am back at home when I go to MD Anderson. I guess it is because it was such a life changing and life giving experience for me. I will forever be thankful! What a special place filled with special people!
My sister Jan went with me to Houston and we had a great time. I was thrilled she was able to go with me to the news conference! Girl trip…loved it!
This week I am in the throes of my final (12th) cycle of chemotherapy after having a stem cell transplant last year. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be almost finished! Just 2 more days:) There were a few times when I thought I couldn’t go on any longer…so happy I persevered! Vidaza will hopefully decrease my odds of a relapse of myelodysplastic syndrome.
Thanks to all of you who have been asking about my dad…he had back surgery to straighten up his back which was causing him excruciating pain. That surgery was successful. YAY! But he developed a hematoma and had a second surgery for that, and then another hematoma was removed a week after that. Three surgeries in three weeks. Needless to say,we made sure he came home from the hospital WITH the drain tube after the last surgery. He is having pain in his knee and leg, so he had an MRI yesterday. Results tomorrow. We are so hoping it is the healing process of the nerves where the hematomas were. He has endured so much…send him big love!
Dr. DePinho at the breakfast
A final thought…Robin Roberts, I really wish you were at MD Anderson Cancer Center! My thoughts and prayers are with you!