I like to give myself a magic wand at this time of the year to grant wishes to those affected by cancer.
Here are my wishes for 2016:
- I wish that our friends and acquaintances would stop giving us advice.
- I wish that bake sales and chicken barbecues to raise money for people with cancer weren’t necessary.
- I wish that people with cancer weren’t beaten over the head with the importance of positive thinking.
- I wish that every employee in every hospital and doctor’s office greeted each patient and family member with a smile and kind word.
- I wish that modest advances in cancer research weren’t portrayed as major breakthroughs in the popular media.
- I wish that people with cancer didn’t make treatment decisions based on old information and long-held assumptions.
- I wish that everyone with cancer felt comfortable expressing their actual wishes, without being influenced by family members or caregivers.
- I wish that more people received hospice care earlier than in their last week or two of life.
- I wish that people didn’t make treatment decisions clouded by anxiety and/or depression.
- I wish that people with lung cancer weren’t asked, “Did you smoke?”
- I wish that everyone with cancer felt a connection to a community.
I know that these wishes won’t all come true in 2016, but I remain the optimist.
Reprinted with Permission from the Ithaca Journal
Publication Date: December 28, 2015
Bob Riter is the Executive Director of the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes. He can be reached at [email protected]