I know that you will find this hard to believe, but I am not on Facebook. Call me crazy, but I keep up with all of the people that I really care about and love when we are together and they unexpectedly share a photo with me. When my friends get married, I attend the festivities. When they go on vacation (and I don't go with them) I ask them about their adventures. When they have cute little babies, I visit and take my own pictures. I am really not interested in their shopping, cleaning, cooking, or bathroom habits. Plus, if someone was ever to "defriend" me, I might have a hard time with that. So instead, I blog and friends that are interested in what I think, not what I do, check in.
It is hard, however, to visit with my friends and family and not hear about the latest post on Facebook and this one just supports that fact that I never will be a part of that social media.
Apparently there has been a lot of chatter lately about cancer on Facebook. Not surprising because according to the American Cancer Society more than 11.7 million people were battling the disease in 2007. Athletes wear pink in support, consumers buy products with pink ribbons in support, and people (including myself) walk, run, and donate time and money in support of this horrible disease. Cancer is in the media, on TV, and mentioned on Facebook because it affects people's lives.
On old friend of my sister, let's call her Peter, saw these posts and felt compelled to comment. Her comment however, was about how alcoholism is also a disease and why should we focus so much on cancer when people like her are suffering from the effects of alcohol. WHAT?
I have seen the effects that alcohol can have on a person and feel for those that have to live with someone that chooses alcohol over them on a daily basis. But the fact is, though a disease, an alcoholic chooses to start drinking. They choose to continue drinking because they like the way it tastes or makes them feel. It becomes a habit and an addiction and takes tremendous strength to overcome. But they can choose to "cure" themselves; get help and stop drinking.
Cancer patients don't choose which cells metastasize. They don't undergo chemotherapy because it tastes good. And they certainly don't begin radiation therapy because they like the way it makes them feel. They can't put down their hospital gown and simply walk away from cancer.
That, Peter, is why people talk about cancer. And why it is very hard for me to feel sorry for you, on Facebook or not.