New Year’s Wishes 2016

Bob Riter is the retired Executive Director of the Cancer Resource Center. His articles about living with cancer appeared regularly in the Ithaca Journal and on OncoLink. He can be reached at bobriter@gmail.com.

A collection of Bob’s columns, When Your Life is Touched by Cancer: Practical Advice and Insights for Patients, Professionals, and Those Who Care, is available in bookstores nationwide and through online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. All royalties from the sale of the book come to the Cancer Resource Center.

I like to give myself a magic wand at this time of the year to grant wishes to those affected by cancer.

Here are my wishes for 2016:

  • I wish that our friends and acquaintances would stop giving us advice.
  • I wish that bake sales and chicken barbeques to raise money for people with cancer weren’t necessary.
  • I wish that people with cancer weren’t beaten over the head with the importance of positive thinking.
  • I wish that every employee in every hospital and doctor’s office greeted each patient and family member with a smile and kind word.
  • I wish that modest advances in cancer research weren’t portrayed as major breakthroughs in the popular media.
  • I wish that people with cancer didn’t make treatment decisions based on old information and long-held assumptions.
  • I wish that everyone with cancer felt comfortable expressing their actual wishes, without being influenced by family members or caregivers.
  • I wish that more people received hospice care earlier than in their last week or two of life.
  • I wish that people didn’t make treatment decisions clouded by anxiety and/or depression.
  • I wish that people with lung cancer weren’t asked, “Did you smoke?”
  • I wish that everyone with cancer felt a connection to a community.


I know that these wishes won’t all come true in 2016, but I remain the optimist.

Click here to see all of Bob’s columns

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