Guest post by Michelle Abel (Michelle is a Principal for PwC, Wellesley/Babson College hubsite corporate sponsor of the PMC)
I went to my first PET scan today – not for me, but for one of my closest and dearest girlfriends as she prepares to start chemotherapy tomorrow. The goal for today? Understand what cancer remains and set a baseline after her recent radical and aggressive surgery meant to remove as much appendiceal cancer from her abdomen as possible. Six weeks ago she knew nothing of this disease growing inside of her. Now, her thoughts are consumed with treatment options, statistics, and how her children, husband and she are going to survive this. My role today was purely to keep my girlfriend company, and to offer encouragement and moral support. While these things I can offer do mean a lot, they do nothing to overcome my overwhelming feeling of helplessness.
This is not my first dose of helplessness and I know that it won’t be the last. Two years ago I sat in an office at Dana-Farber listening to my husband’s oncologist explain how we’d aggressively tackle the prostate cancer that invaded at a young age. Three years ago we buried my sister-in-law as she lost her life to breast cancer and left her husband, five children and the rest of our family reeling.
For every story like my sister-in-law's, there are also stories with happy endings that inspire hope, and I know there IS something I can do. As a rider for Team PwC, going into my seventh PMC ride, I know for a fact that my efforts have made and will continue to make an impact on cancer research and the prognosis for those living with cancer now and in the future. Multiply these efforts by the more than 6,000 riders, 4,000 volunteers and countless donors that combine forces at the PMC, and our collective outcome is spectacular.
So while I know I’ll still feel helpless when I can’t reach in and rip that cancer out of my dear friend or make it disappear, I’ll know that in being part of the PMC, we are truly part of something positive and powerful that is making a difference.