23 March 2009

In Remembrance

My mom had been sick for sometime when she was finally got a diagnosis in December 2000. She had been dismissed by doctors as unhappy, hormonal and stressed. A cough and various "female" symptoms was all she had...it took months before someone finally ordered a chest x-ray. By that time, it was too late.

Two days after Christmas 2000, my mom was diagnosed with Lung Cancer.

For three agonizing months, she tried everything chemotherapy, experimental chemotherapy, after it was apparent that the stage III cancer had spread to distant lymph nodes, she was started on radiation. It was miserable, she was miserable. If we would have known how it all would end, I'm sure our decisions would have been a bit different.

On March 23, 2001, Melody Ann Whisler Teter left us. She was 43.

Obviously, this is supposed to be a political blog and well, even death is political.
Cancer funding in this country is substantial, but so are the death rates of certain cancers.

As you can see from this chart, Breast Cancer research far exceeds the other cancers on this list. This is a testament to the powerful lobbying efforts of the Komen foundations and others like it that have been a force for getting money for their cause.

I guess what bothers me is that we are spending the least on the deadliest cancer (by incidence) on this list. Lung Cancer kills more people every year than Breast, Prostate, Colo-Rectal and Pancreatic Cancers COMBINED! Yet it received only $1,151 per diagnosis, compared to $3,104 for Breast Cancer. It only received $1,529 for each death, compared to $13,989 for Breast Cancer.

Lung Cancer is almost always diagnosed in advance stages, there are currently no screening tests that catch it in its early stages leading to extremely high death rates.

It doesn't have to be this way. We must find a way to increase funding. How do you think the inroads were made against Breast Cancer...massive funding, it still gets massive funding.

If you'd like to help in the fight against Lung Cancer, please consider a donation to the Lung Cancer Alliance.



  1. Very nice way to remember your mom. I love the picture.

  2. That's one of my fav pics of you two. I remember when you took that pic too. She was a great mom with what little she had during those days. She did her best! Loved her dearly & miss her often.


  3. That's a beautiful picture, and I'm sorry for your loss. You're right about the funding issues.