I feel good today. One day at a time, right?
Last week I felt horrible for the first five days after starting a chemo regimen of Afinitor, Exemestane and my self-diagnosed addition of Valtrex to head-off the mouth sores. With a terrible headache and feeling bone-tired, I could not do anything. It is so scary when that happens, because you immediately assume the physical setbacks will be your future. Luckily, the clouds parted, and I feel good today. My body just had to get on board with the plan.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and such a busy time for me. I pray for the stamina to accomplish all I have planned. It's an opportunity to get the word out and make television appearances, as well as a major time for fundraising.
There are several messages which I will be focusing on this month. The first is prevention. Please get your mammograms and pap smears. Breast self-examination is also important. Many women, including myself, have found a lump this way. The earlier cancer is detected, the better your shot at beating it.
Secondly, don't make donations to organizations you have not researched. Support to organizations that give their money to researchers who share their scientific results. Ten years ago, hospitals and research laboratories did not share their findings. The focus was on trying to win a Nobel prize for their institution. Thankfully, that attitude is now beginning to change. No man is an island.
Finally, the best organizations are the ones who target their money. Rather than giving $50,000 to ten research projects, these organizations find the most promising research project and grant them $500,000.
Focused funding is the breakthrough concept on which I founded Stand Up To Cancer, and it remains a key objective of the Noreen Fraser Foundation. An example: Last year, the Foundation granted $250,000 to a promising research project at UCLA. The scientific findings resulted in Pfizer agreeing to take the project into Phase 3 Clinical Trials. Pfizer invested $190 million to advance the study and bring the drug to market as quickly as possible.
Spread the word: Early detection, focused funding, and supporting those who share information.