I spoke with my mother this morning on the way to work, and she was telling me in detail how much my sister Ruthie is suffering from the heavy chemotherapy she’s on to fight her lung cancer. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to think of my beautiful sister, who was so healthy only a few months ago, so ravaged by this disease, and by the extraordinary measures doctors are having to take to cure her. Nobody should have to go through this pain and suffering, either themselves or standing by as a family member or dear friend struggles through it.
I said goodbye to Mama when I pulled into the garage at work. I noticed a man standing by his car, fiddling with his keys, smoking a cigarette. Every time I see someone smoking nowadays, I think, If you only knew what I know. That is, if you only knew how hideous lung cancer is, what it does to your body, and what the treatment does to your body, you would put those damn things down. True, Ruthie never smoked, and she still got it, but hers is a relatively rare case. The CDC attributes 90 percent of male lung cancer deaths, and 80 percent of female lung cancer deaths, to smoking.
Please don’t smoke. If you smoke, quit, and if you don’t, please don’t smart. And don’t smoke around your children. You really, really don’t want to be dealing with this disease.
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About Rod Dreher
Rod Dreher is director of publications at the John Templeton Foundation, a philanthropy that focuses on science, religion, economics and morality. A journalist with over 20 years of experience, Dreher has written for The Dallas Morning News, the New York Post, and other newspapers and journals. He is author of the book "Crunchy Cons." Archives of his previous Beliefnet blog, "Crunchy Con," can be found here. He and his family live in Philadelphia.