Today as I sit in the “Chemo Room” I thought I would give you a sweet lil lesson on the history of chemotherapy before the Benedryl kicks in and I start seeing tiny evil garden trolls running around giving out pizza and dry martinis…(true story).
According to cancer.org, during World War II, naval personnel who were exposed to mustard gas during military action were found to have toxic changes in the bone marrow cells that develop into blood cells.That drug was the predecessor of methotrexate, a cancer treatment drug used commonly today. I have treated with Methotrexate for a few years for rheumatoid arthritis and had no idea about the connection. The history goes back even further. In the early 1900s, the famous German chemist Paul Ehrlich set about developing drugs to treat infectious diseases. He was the one who coined the term “chemotherapy” and defined it as the use of chemicals to treat disease.
An Important name in modern chemotherapy is Sidney Farber, a pediatric pathologist. He is regarded as the father of modern chemotherapy, after whom the Dana–Farber Cancer Institute is named. Farber began raising funds for cancer research with the Variety Club of New England in 1947. Together they created The Jimmy Fund, which was one of the first nationwide fundraising efforts to take full advantage of modern media, such as a broadcast of the radio show Truth or Consequences on 22 May 1948. The success of the Jimmy Fund led Farber to realize the importance of marketing in the scientific advancement of knowledge about diseases.
I could drone on and on about this, but if your like me, you’ve already checked your phone twice while reading this. If you have been touched by cancer in any way and want to read more but don’t want science babel (Sorry Dr. Schmoopy) I recommend reading: The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee. You will discover the significance of the crab on the cover later on in the book. Look for it at Goodreads.com or amazon.com .
I apologize for the brevity of this weeks read. I am still in the throes of severe fatigue which I’m hoping to level off at some point.