I consider myself a cultural tourist, a pop culture star gazer. So many of us want to know what’s happening in the lives of celebrities. I’m certain that that’s what’s contributed to the rise in popularity of so many reality shows that chronicle the day to day lives of stars; why we sometimes don’t mind waiting in line at the grocery store to get another peek at the cover story detailing what’s new in the lives of singers, actors, TV personalities, and sports figures. I’m not so “devoted” anymore, but there was a time that with each new publication or each new episode, I’d be watching and waiting to see what’s next.
Today I got a chance to see some of my most admired superstars and did a different type of star gazing. I was at the briefing for the release of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)’s Cancer Progress Report 2016. I had the opportunity to hear from some superstars – researchers and doctors who are paving the way for more breakthroughs that can increase survival and quality of life. I got to hear from superstars, the survivors and their families who have faced grim prognoses, but with determination and their own research, took newly approved cancer fighting therapies and participated in clinical trials.
The leadership of the AACR provided an overview of some key focus areas:
- Precision medicine
They provided an overview of recent FDA approved cancer fighting drugs. There was also an overview of the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel’s recent recommendations.
It was an information rich day and, as happens whenever I’m in the presence of other cancer survivors, I was so inspired. I think researchers and survivors agreed that there is still much to be done. But, equally, we are encouraged by the progress in the cancer fight. In addition to my pop culture star gazing, I include these among the most admired celebrities. The children, women and men who brave cancer, their caregivers and the researchers and doctors who develop and administer the cancer fighting and lifesaving therapies. I’ve said that I hope to see an end to cancer in my lifetime. I’m always encouraged by progress. So for these celebrities, for the next breakthrough, I’ll be attentively watching and waiting.
Melanie A. Nix – Triple negative breast cancer survivor. Resilience Coach, Reconstructionist™ and Health and Wellness Advocate. Always striving to color outside of the lines when defining my new normal.