New Year A Time For Wishing

Bob Riter
Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes
Last Modified: January 12, 2011

Bob and Queenie
Bob and Queenie

At New Year's, we're supposed to make resolutions to change our own behavior in the months to come. I think it's more fun to wave a magic wand and change the behavior of everyone else.

Here's what I wish for in 2011:

  • I wish that people with cancer weren't beaten over the head with the importance of positive thinking.
  • I wish that people with lung cancer didn't get blamed for their cancer.
  • I wish that receptionists in every doctor's office smiled and made eye contact with everyone.
  • I wish that more family members asked the patient what the patient wanted and didn't assume what the patient wanted.
  • I wish that new cancer drugs producing modest benefits weren't marketed as major breakthroughs with exorbitant prices.
  • I wish that all journal articles emerging from medical research funded by the government were made available online, without charge, to the public.
  • I wish that exercise and nutrition received more attention in cancer prevention, treatment and recovery.
  • I wish that people dealing with cancer didn't have to worry about how to pay for it.
  • I wish that the relatives, friends and neighbors of people newly diagnosed with cancer refrained from giving advice (except when requested).
  • I wish that the prevention of cancer received the same attention and funding as the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
  • I wish that everyone with cancer took the time to thank their loved ones for always being there.
  • I wish that people didn't assume that the most aggressive cancer treatment was always the best cancer treatment.
  • I wish that every cancer patient understood that reality and hope aren't mutually exclusive.

I don't have a magic wand, but I will keep wishing.

Bob is the Executive Director of the Cancer Resource Center. His articles about living with cancer appear regularly in the Ithaca Journal. He can be reached at

Reprinted with Permission of the Ithaca Journal
Original publication date: January 8, 2011.

From the National Cancer Institute