Former President Jimmy Carter announced yesterday that he has an advanced form of cancer discovered during recent liver surgery. Even worse, the cancer apparently has spread to various parts of the humanitarian’s body. I’m just going to say it, however rude it sounds: Fuck cancer. It is evil, period, it has caused too much suffering for me and for just about everyone I know, and it makes me beyond angry at this point. Its intrusion into people’s lives seems never to end. That is certainly true for Jimmy Carter and his family.
It was not clear where the cancer originated or where it had spread. Carter’s family, however, has a history of pancreatic cancer, which CNN correspondent Sanjay Gupta said could be afflicting the former president. Carter lost his father, brother and two sisters to the disease. His mother had breast cancer, which later moved to her pancreas.
“If you’ve got pancreatic cancer, you die. Absolutely,” Carter told CNN’s Larry King in 2008.
Earlier today, I asked you to support the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the American Cancer Society. I reiterate that request and add one for PurpleStride, which focuses on pancreatic cancer. I’ve done a lot of work with this organization; these folks are so committed to the effort to eradicate this form of the disease. While at it, for personal reasons I’ll add another: the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society — the folks there are angels.
I could list a host of cancer-fighting agencies, but here is the thing: All cancer must be stopped. I really believe this goal is achievable. And it’s urgent that we finally get this done, people. There has been enough pain, enough loss. Enough. We can do this. We must do this.
Another request: Please take the time to thank President Carter for the work he has done and the example he has set in working for peace, justice, and charity. He is not a man of mere words: As years of seeing him swing a hammer for Habitat for Humanity show, Jimmy Carter — along with his wife Rosalynn Carter — is a human of deeds.
Of course, I pray for his recovery. He is still here with us, and really, there is no better time to express gratitude for all he has done, and with any luck, what he has left to do.