I am conflicted by this heart -wrenching photo taken by life long friend Less Cancer board member – Journalist- Miles O’Brien of his dear sister Aileen.

This is not how I want to see my friend Aileen, and yet I am stirred by the story this picture tells.  I am moved by the authenticity of the love that is portrayed and so evident in this startling photo. And yet I am broken hearted by the clear transparency and the bold truth of cancer unmasked.

I am crushed that anyone would have to endure the unspeakable pain and agony that comes with cancer.

Just the day before Aileen died I spoke with her on the phone.

Aileen called me “Cuz” Aileen always called me Cuz, she was as warm and loving on the phone just hours before her death as she was throughout her life. For me that call was a gift I will hold near to my heart.

This picture that Miles shared with me at the time has since now been seen and shared countless times by people all over the world including the likes of  Michael Moore, Lance Armstrong and Mia Farrow from the boing boing blog by Xeni Jardin

The Cancer truth is that today we live in a world of not Less Cancer but rather more cancer.

Maybe just maybe for Aileen’s beautiful girls -for all our children -cancer will not become the expected stage of life it is today.

Clearly with today’s science and medicine we are better and better at winning the battles that come with cancer.

However to truly win the war on cancer there must be less incidences  of cancer.

There is no feeling of hope or happy ending here . There are no pink ribbons ,running athletes or cheering crowds at the finish line.  Only tears.

I do rest better knowing that despite cancer’s evil attempt at taking Aileen down, cancer never could touch Aileen’s heart, Cancer could never get to her soul – her core.

Cancer could not break love.