• Yippee!!!! Our visit to my Congressman, ended up being successful!!

    Asked by LiveWithCancer on Wednesday, July 18, 2018

    Yippee!!!! Our visit to my Congressman, ended up being successful!!

    I think I wrote about how rude my Congressman was when the Texas contingent visited him last week hoping to get more funding through the DOD for lung cancer research and to support for the Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventive Services Act of 2018. I just finished writing a really mean blog post about him and how he treated us. (His behavior is still not excused.) Anyway, I have always felt like I was talking to a wall when visiting with him.

    I just got word that he co-sponsored the bill!!! (I did NOT get word that he also threw his support behind restoration of DOD funding, but I am delighted that he at least decided to support the bill.)

    19 Answers from the Community

    19 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      What's that they say about the squeeky wheel gets the grease? Good job in spurring them along. I fully believe that if left to their own, every politician would take the easy route and go with the flow of whatever is happening. Especially if the "DONORS" are allowed to make huge donations and then visit the congressmen on the hill.

      about 1 month ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      Not that I called names, but I was glad I hadn't submitted my blog already when I learned he had co-sponsored! I really do not much like this representative and I would vote him out of office in a heartbeat, given the opportunity. (Unfortunately, he wins his primary every 2 years, leaving me with little choice.)

      There's a fellow named Chris Draft that was a former NFL player. His wife died of lung cancer at a very young age and Chris took up the charge to change things for lung cancer. He's a remarkable man. Anyway, he made the statement to Congressment Nolan (whose daughter has stage 4 lung cancer) that you don't make a touchdown every time you get the ball, but hopefully you make some yardage down the field.

      To keep from getting totally discouraged, which I usually do when we visit our legislators, I was trying to tell myself that maybe we made a yard or two, even though it felt like we were pushed back 20 yards :)

      about 1 month ago
    • SandiA's Avatar
      SandiA

      That’s great! Sorry he was so rude and no excuse for that but so glad you were successful! Thanks for speaking up!

      about 1 month ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      That is wonderful, and I'm glad you hadn't yet posted your disparaging comments about him! The draft folder, and slowing up my reflective "Send," has kept ME out of a few pickles!

      about 1 month ago
    • Molly72's Avatar
      Molly72

      Good for you, LWC!
      I am proud that you stood up to him for rudeness. After all, he works for you, many of those scallywags in Washington either forget this fact or don't give a rat's patootie.
      A squeaky wheel does get greased!

      about 1 month ago
    • andreacha's Avatar
      andreacha

      Great news LiveWithCancer - I can relate to your feelings about your Congressman. One place where I lived (in another state) the Congressman was terrible, the worst I've ever seen. His head was as big as an elephant's and he thought he'd have that job for the rest of his life. Everyone freely told him what they thought of him but he felt he was invincible and he never listened. Next term he was voted out by a landslide! I'm sorry yours keeps getting re-elected. I just hate it when you have to wait for Karma to kick in!

      about 1 month ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      @andreacha, you described my Representative to a "T" ... except that he keeps getting back in office. I might not have told you guys what he did.

      A year or two (maybe three by now), I went to see him and saw his aide. She was so rude that I wrote him a scathing letter about her. I have to admit that he took the letter to heart and called. I was at an agility trial that weekend. He left a message on my cell phone to return his call. I was shocked he did that.

      But, in talking to him, he told me things like "I'm going to come visit you at your house next time I am in town" and "I'm going to fire the aide (which I did not want - I just wanted her instructed on how to treat constituents)" and ... what really got me ... "I don't support lung cancer research..." I hate liars. He didn't come to see me, he didn't fire the girl. The only thing he was honest about was not supporting cancer research... :(

      So, this time, I warned our Texas group that (1) I had a very bad taste in my mouth for him and would have to work hard to be nice to him and (2) he doesn't support lung cancer causes.

      He was the only Congressman who arranged to see us. We saw Aides everywhere else. He came in, so pompous.

      We had a young mom there who is raising her son as a widow. Her husband was diagnosed with his lung cancer within a week of them bringing their newborn home from the hospital. He fought the disease for several years, but then died at age 40, leaving her a widow at 35.

      Her son is now 5-1/2 and struggling with losing his dad (I think his dad died two years ago). She relayed the story to our good Congressman about taking her son to a Cub Scouts meeting (but she mistakenly called it a Boy Scouts meeting) and how sad it was when the boys wanted to know where her son's dad was. She listened to him explain death and lung cancer to them. He never wanted to go back to the group.

      All the good Congressman could do was inform her that it wasn't Boy Scouts, it was Cub Scouts. As such, it was perfectly fine for a mother rather than a dad to be involved.

      There was absolutely no compassion for a little boy or a young woman who were missing their daddy/husband. All of us were just dumbfounded by the horrible way he treated her.

      He argued with everything anyone said, but that was the worst, by far. It seemed so cruel and inhumane.

      We were all dumbfounded when we learned today that he had co-sponsored the bill. I honestly didn't think he even heard us talking about it because he was so busy disputing everything we said.

      I still don't like him, but I was very happy that he is supporting the legislation! It is to find out why so many young women who have never smoked are being diagnosed with lung cancer. That's the fastest growing group of people being diagnosed. And no one seems to know why.

      about 1 month ago
    • wmsavs' Avatar
      wmsavs

      I have to say empathy is a lacking quality within Congress and is why their rating is even less than the President. I'm certain a majority of Congress is like that and is probably a key reason why they're not able to get things done. Fortunately our Congressman has been helpful for our area and is a key reason he is always re-elected by a wide margin.

      about 1 month ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      LiveWithCancer, he certainly DID something good! I think you should judge him by his actions rather than words. Many adults don't instinctively have the ability to say the right thing when it comes to sad things---he probably thought he was being reassuring when he mentioned the Cub Scouts thing.

      Have a good weekend!

      about 1 month ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar
      Ejourneys

      Great advocacy, LWC! Good for him for doing the right thing, and good for you for holding him accountable for his actions, both the bad and the occasional good.

      I detest my Congressman, who this year has voted to defund NEA and NEH (a vote which fortunately did not pass); to steal Social Security's $2.9 trillion surplus (which also fortunately did not pass); to strip food aid from the poor including 16.1% of the population in my county (29.8% kids), which unfortunately passed; and to drive 8.9 million children off healthcare including 11,931 children in his district, which unfortunately also passed.

      But he is a cosponsor of the Lymphedema Treatment Act, so I give him credit for that.
      Do I judge him for his actions? You bet I do.

      about 1 month ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      LiveWithCancer, has the study you've been advocating for considered the impact of second-hand smoke? There are some very surprising studies already done that show even living with a smoker who only smokes outside is impactful, because smoke stays on a smoker's clothes to be breathed inside.

      (I was a smoker 20 years ago.)

      about 1 month ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      @BarbarainBham, surprisingly, the young women who are being diagnosed with lung cancer have lived very healthy lives, most of them big athletes, healthy eaters, and never around smoke, even as children (parents also didn't smoke). It is quite scary because they are not being diagnosed in a timely fashion because they fit NO profile of someone who should have lung cancer. And unfortunately, even doctors still think lung cancer is a smokers disease. (That's one of the biggest hurdles we face. Until doctors accept that the disease happens to people with lungs, we'll continue to have young people misdiagnosed until their cancer is stage 4.)

      At the meeting I attended last week, I was the only person there at our table who somewhat fit the mold (former smoker, older, but not near the median age). Otherwise, we had a former ice skater who was diagnosed at age 27, a woman who was diagnosed at age 50 who played tennis 4 days a week and was nutty over diet (meaning, she ate really healthy) and who never smoked and was never around smoke. She died in January. Her husband was at the meeting. The other, a man, died at age 40. Same story. Athlete, healthy eater, non-smoker.

      That was just at the meeting and at my table. I know so many young women who have always led very healthy lifestyles and who were never around cigarettes who are fighting stage 4 lung cancer. There was a young doctor on one of the panels who is also a lung cancer patient. I think she is mid-20s. She said she was offensive she was so against cigarettes. Ironic that she is the one diagnosed.

      No one, no one has a single clue what is happening or why so many young women are being diagnosed. They are the fastest growing group of new lung cancer patients. My heart hurts for my new friend that I mentioned above. Her cancer was diagnosed when she was 17 weeks pregnant. She's on her 6th line of treatment. Something will work for a month or three and then her tumors outsmart the treatment. The longest she has been on a drug is 10 months. They're running out of options quickly. But, she had a beautiful attitude. I fell in love with her and her husband.

      about 1 month ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Have they considered factories/chemicals in the air nearby or anywhere they've lived or worked? It is sad for young people to have their youth taken away. Let us know how this bill fares and progresses.

      One time I asked the pathologist I worked for about my aunt, a chain smoker who never had lung problems, who was married to a chain smoker who died of lung cancer. The pathologist said that some people have enzymes that protect them from lung cancer, and some people don't. Of course, he gave me a very simplified answer for my simple brain, but maybe the answer about the young women you speak about is related to what he said.

      about 1 month ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      Since the young people are from all over the United States, I don't expect that it is going to be environmental. I think you are more likely correct with it being something genetic somehow. I know the young mom who is 30 now tested positive for BRCA, too. But, that isn't the case with all of them. It is something that really needs to be studied, for sure.

      The bill doesn't ask for any money. It just asks for research to be done (so that, based on the research, more money can be requested, I am sure). I think the resulting report might be a real eye-opener for a lot of people, including doctors and lawmakers ... and might go a long way to removing the smoking stigma. I am amazed at how difficult it is to get co-sponsors for it. It is bi-partisan, something else you don't see too often.

      about 1 month ago
    • cheryncp's Avatar
      cheryncp

      I have always believed in the old adage " Actions speak louder than words." It sounds as if some of our politicians need to be schooled in how to communicate with their constituents however as long as they are voting in favor of lung cancer funding I can overlook some of their lack of class.

      29 days ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I am seeing red this afternoon. When we visited each of the Congressional offices, every single person bragged on how they had given NIH billions more than requested. (We weren't requesting NIH funding, but DOD funding. DOD is more generous)

      Anyway, today, after learning that a friend's relative died from lung cancer after a few month long battle, I decided to look at how much NIH gave lung cancer out of those billions more. Well, in FY2017, they allocated $352M, in FY2018, $380M, and for FY2019, $355M.

      Breast cancer: FY2017 - $689M; FY 2018 - $755M; FY2019 - $709M.

      # of deaths in 2015 - breast: 51,103. Funding for 2015 per death: $13,189.
      # of deaths in 2015 - lung: 163,199. Funding for 2015 per death: $2,138.

      I do NOT get it. DO NOT.

      29 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      DOD, as in Department of Defense??

      Maybe it would help to ask the American Cancer Society why there's such a discrepancy in funding for lung cancer, and join the largest advocate group they recommend.

      28 days ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar
      Ejourneys

      Okay, that discrepancy burns me up, too, and unfortunately I can guess why it exists: the kind of hype that fetishizes breast cancer at the expense of us all (including breast cancer patients! I wonder how much of that money actually goes where it's needed). In this case fetish translates into votes, or so the politicians hope.

      So I need to be an ally here, because we are all in this together.

      I've added the following to my call list (because I've been calling my members of Congress a lot lately!):
      H.R.4897 - Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventive Services Act of 2018
      https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/4897/
      My Rep. is not on the Energy and Commerce committee, but I can ask him to cosponsor. (I've been making this clear to his staffers, after having gotten a letter from his office saying he can't do anything because he's not on a committee.)

      There's also a counterpart in the Senate:
      S.2358 - Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventive Services Act of 2018
      https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2358/
      I'm usually in stark disagreement with what Sen. Rubio does, but credit where credit is due. I'll be thanking him for sponsoring this one and I'll encourage Sen. Nelson to cosponsor.

      I invite others to call their members of Congress on this as well. You can find out who the cosponsors are at the above links. Full contact info, including field offices, is at https://contactingcongress.org/

      LWC, do you participate in #lcsm?
      https://lcsmchat.com/
      I don't know if they know about these bills. Their next chat is this Thursday at 8PM Eastern.

      28 days ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar
      Ejourneys

      PS: I've now called all of my members of Congress on this. Spoke to a live staffer in DC for each and quoted some of your numbers.

      27 days ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy


    Read and answer more adenocarcinoma, lung cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Adenocarcinoma, Lung Cancer page.