This is the second year that I have volunteered my time to the Relay for Life. Already at my limit for time spent volunteering, I was proud of the fact that I limited my participation to being the queen note-taker. All I have to do is show up to meetings, document the discussions, then email my notes to the person who does something, surely important, with them. At our first meeting for the 2016 Relay, I thought about why I was there. The truth is that I was there to help my friends, who were in charge of the event. What I was afraid to admit out loud was that I didn’t want to be any more involved because I don’t believe in the American Cancer Society. (Please don’t stop reading right here. I promise there is an ah-ha moment coming!)
From my understanding, the ACS does research on the latest and greatest chemotherapy and/or radiation. Chemotherapy is literally designed to do its best to kill cancer before it kills you. Even top oncologists will tell you this. Plus, both chemotherapy and radiation actually cause the disease they are trying to eliminate. Why would I fundraise for that? Why isn’t the ACS researching High-Dose IV Vitamin C, or Ozone therapy, or hyperthermia, or any myriad treatments that fight cancer by promoting health, instead of promoting death (of cancer cells) with killing?
As I was frustratingly discussing this with my love, he poignantly asked me if I believe there is a place and time for chemo. Before half of my emphatic answer “ABSOLUTELY” was out of my mouth, I was hit by one of those darn humbling moments. Don’t you love those? Of course I believe in chemo. My belief for treating cancer is as simple as it is complex. I believe that the perfect treatment is the one that the person with cancer decides is perfect. That’s it! My caveat to that is that I want to make sure the person made their own decision, with all of the information they need, and without any coercion. So, if I actually do believe in chemo, how can I turn around and shun a society that is doing its best to research it?
My point here is not to debate the accomplishments or shortcomings of the ACS. The point is that it has brought up quite a few questions for me. Where else in my life do I adamantly oppose something that I actually agree with? Where do I place judgement based on old stories without knowing the entire truth? Where else do I not give my all because of an old belief, instead of giving from the never-ending abundance of my heart? Why would I limit my giving?