So I was doing some research for a post, and I remembered that there was a web site that I had looked at a few days ago, but I didn't bookmark it, and I couldn't remember what the name of the site was. So I did a search for "Follicular Lymphoma," and I was scrolling through the results, and on page 2, I saw this:
"Lymphoma Follicular for Sale"? Well, this was something I obviously needed to explore. I mean, if someone is out there selling Lymphoma, then there must be buyers out there. And if someone is willing to buy, then I would be happy to sell them my Follicular Lymphoma. Really cheap. I'll even pay the sales tax. It's really good lymphoma, too -- I've hardly used it for the last 6 years or so.
(The search engine I was using, by the way, was not Google. Because Google wouldn't so something like advertise Follicular Lymphoma, or Lymphoma Follicular, as being for sale. That would be weird, and they wouldn't so that, and Blogger, which hosts this blog, is owned by Google, and wouldn't do anything to upset my blogging Overlords.)
So anyway, I get this weird result in my search results list, and I really have no choice but to click on it, because how could I resist?
My click brought me a shopping site, and the first result was this book:
But here's the kind of strange thing: it was being sold by WalMart. I know you can get pretty much anything at WalMart, but this is a study guide for medical students who are preparing for their board exams. I've never read this book, so this isn't an endorsement (though WalMart did encourage me to be the first to review it). But it's good to know that WalMart is there if I have any medical-boards-level questions about cancer.
The rest of the page, and the next two page, were lists of more books about Follicular Lymphoma, other kinds of lymphoma, and cancer in general. Some looked like the same kinds of study guides as the first one. Others looked like self-published stories from cancer patients and caregivers (all my love to you folks -- I hope someone reads your stories and they are helped by you).
But then it got really weird, because the next page was stuff like shoes, a waffle iron, a vaccuum cleaner -- things that didn't seem to have any connection to Follicular Lymphoma (or Lymphoma Follicular). I clicked on some of them to see if there was something in the ads that was related to FL, and there was nothing that I could see. I was expecting SOME connection -- proceeds from the sale of the waffle iron go to Lymphomation.org, or something like that? But, no. It was just a waffle iron.
But this did get me thinking about how little I see about Lymphoma in the world when I'm not looking for it. I'm probably especially sensitive to this during this particular month, when my bread has a pink wrapper and local businesses are pushing their "Cookies for Boobies" promotions and the like.
Lymphoma Awareness Month was in September, and I worry that maybe we're not doing as good a job as we could be in making people aware. There's lots of good stuff happening in the Lymphoma World -- new treatments, new approaches, new ideas. And "awareness" is important on its own, but more important is doing things like pushing for more funding for Lymphoma research, or considering a clinical trial for treatment, or writing to someone who can help save RadioImmuno Therapy.
Some folks celebrated a new year a few days ago, but maybe we can all make a new year's resolution today to be advocates, not just for ourselves, but for all lymphoma patients. We're in this together.