Friday, February 14, 2014

first responders

            In the past few days I have read some very interesting articles on how to be prepared in bad weather. Amazing how those pop up when you're in the middle of bad weather and not so much before when you would have time to actually follow some of that advice. The thing is, some of that same advice can be applied to other things as well. Like fighting cancer.
              When storm warnings go out, certain people go into action. The weather teams set up their command centers, the police, the firefighters and paramedics make sure everything they use is ready, in good shape and prepared for all possibilities. The people who are paying attention make sure they have all they need for a worse case scenario. In some cases the doctors and nurses of hospitals, the employees of nursing and assisted living facilities have to stay at the facility to make sure that there are enough personnel there to take care of all the needs of the patients.
             What does that have to do with fighting cancer? I'm glad you asked.
             It is suggested that in winter, that every car have an emergency preparedness pack. In it could be a variety of items that would be handy to have in case of an emergency.. such as a slide from the road and becoming stuck and having to await rescue. In it should be a wool blanket, extra socks, a flashlight or one of those bands that fits over your head with a flashlight attached, (LED bulbs last much longer) water to drink, snack crackers, a first aid kit, something to read, what ever the individual prefers to have that would come in handy in case of having to wait. It is also recommended that you keep the gas tank as full as possible and your cell phone charged at all times. 
            Cancer......a disease that doesn't really give much warning. While meteorologists have all manner of radar and computers and charts, graphs and team work to spot the storms approaching, cancer doesn't have a team. Cancer lurks like a shadow in the dark, hidden and unseen until. But there is a group that is and has been working on that for a while. The American Cancer Society is actively fighting and striving to put an end to the battle once and for all.
            When one is preparing for a storm, they need information, what type storm? how soon will it arrive? How severe and dangerous is it? What do we need do to weather this?
            When one has been diagnosed with cancer, they ask similar questions. What type? How far along? How severe is it? What do we need do to beat this?
            Weather prognosticators will tell you everything that you need to know to get through a storm.
             Doctors, will walk with you step by step to help you get rid of the cancer within and beat it.
             The ACS is staffed with people ready, willing and waiting at the other end of the 1-800-(227-2345) number or at There you can get answers to your questions. They can and will send out informational pamphlets. They cannot diagnose, but they can offer in general information.
            Police, firefighters and paramedics are there to help prevent people from doing more damage after the storm, to get to those in need during the storm, to take care of damage the storm may be causing.
           Doctors and their staff are there to remove the cancer and its damage. To give the patient the needed medicines, to calm the mental and emotional storms.
            The ACS has programs ready for the patient in need. The HOPE house is there for people who must have treatments away from home. The Look Good Feel Better program for the patient. to help them with wigs, scarves and make up. The rider program to get them to their doctor appointments.
           The weather forecaster will tell you what is to come, and what you need stock up on, what you need to tie down, what needs to be wrapped or left dripping.
            The first responders will come for you should the storm be more than you bargained for. They bring ladders if you're in a high rise, they bring boats if you're in the water, they bring blankets if you're cold.
              The ACS will be there for you in the form of your local Relay for Life. The teams, the committees are made up of local people from your own neighborhoods. The folks next door, down the street, from work, from church, from the grocery store.. all joined by a common cause. To finally put an end to the fight. To beat cancer, to assure Survivors of more birthdays.. to win.
              That is why they gather, that is why they fund raise. To raise money for research. To raise money so that the information is current, ready to share and that there is always someone there to share it. To raise the money to fund the programs, to help with the training. To be there, when they are needed.
            there are many storms in this life. Cancer is not a storm to play with. But we can beat this. We can put an end to cancer. We can help more survivors celebrate more birthdays. With your help. Please find a Relay event in your area. If you cannot find one, will you consider helping me as I participate in ours? A donation of any amount will go a long way.

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