Agnes Caruso Photography

Photography

World Cancer Day

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Pink carpet of flowersToday was World Cancer Day. What is that all about? It is about a lot of things: people we knew and lost to cancer, those who survived the fight with the disease and raising number of people who are diagnosed with it. We can make it about the things most important to us, whatever they are: life, friendship, love, courage…

The first time cancer touched my life was still in primary school, one of our classmates got sick with bone cancer. He fought bravely but unfortunately died at the age of 11. This was a shock to us all, there was nobody there to help us cope with it, we just had to get over it or not on our own.  A few years later my Mum’s friend was loosing her son to a brain tumor over a couple of years. The sad part was there was no way to operate and other treatments were very limited. The young man was a gifted musician. Then my friend’s father suddenly got diagnosed completely by chance and very quickly lost his battle even without realizing what was happening. There was so much sadness and suffering. Those who were left behind were wandering if this could have been prevented, could have someone help to stop the disease. I think that we were all praying for a miracle.

I wanted to help and studied cancer for my degree, but the more I studied the less clear things were.It seemed like cancer was getting more complicated the more we discovered about it. Today we know a lot but in many cases we are still powerless to stop it doing the damage. There are so many factors that can cause cancer and the disease does not differentiate between young and old. It is often a brutal disease killing you slowly for years before it shows up and gives you visible trouble. In Australia and especially in Queensland, we are very well aware of dangers of skin cancer, so we cover up and put on sunscreen. I am still amazed how many people risk their health by sunbathing for hours on beaches around the world.

Susan

However, it was not skin cancer but breast cancer that attacked two of my friends with a very different outcomes. One beat the disease, while the other unfortunately died. Susan got diagnosed suddenly with an aggressive form of disease. Despite it, the initial treatment seemed to have worked, she was slowly recovering, started coming back to the gym and we were running together one more time. She felt optimistic despite the toll the treatment was taking on her. However, it did not last long, a sudden turn and she was not there anymore…

There are many more people who died of cancer, but we are now fighting back and more people have a chance to survive and live longer than ever before. Let’s fight it together and support those who get sick and those who care for those that are sick.

 

 

 

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